Kennedys opens office in Oman to meet growing customer demand in the Middle East

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The opening marks the firm’s second location in the Middle East after Dubai and makes it the only international insurance-focused law firm in the country

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British company Kennedys has strengthened its presence in the Middle East by opening an office in Muscat, the capital of the Sultanate of Oman.

The new office will be the firm’s second in the Middle East, adding to its existing presence in Dubai. It will be led by Insurance, Construction and Litigation Partner Jamie Kellick, who joined Kennedy’s Dubai office in 2019 from Addleshaw Goddard.

Kellick will be joined by partner Nasser Al Shamli, who will be leaving Nasser Ali Shamli, Advocates & Legal Consultants, Kennedys’ partner firm in Oman.

The launch of the Muscat office responds to growing client demand in the Middle East and will see Kennedys claim status as the only international insurance-focused law firm in the country, the firm said in a statement.

Kellick led Addleshaw Goddard’s dispute resolution practice in Muscat, after joining the firm in 2016 as General Counsel covering dispute resolution in the United Arab Emirates and Oman. His practice there focused primarily on construction and projects, as well as commercial, regulatory and fraud issues, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Al Shamli, meanwhile, has spent the last six years in private practice and brings with him extensive commercial litigation and arbitration expertise in Omani law disputes. He focuses his litigation and arbitration practice in energy, aviation and construction litigation, and has experience in handling shareholder disputes and labor law issues.

Commenting on the launch, Kellick said: “Oman continues the process of transformation into a modern regional economy center, with extensive infrastructure and utility projects still underway and with other projects planned. With the growth of government, private and foreign direct investment, there are considerable opportunities, and our presence in the region will be of significant benefit to our existing clientele as well as to new clients who wish to work with Kennedys. ”

The firm said Kellick’s “strong relationships” with Omani companies, coupled with his dispute resolution expertise, will enable him to build a local litigation capacity in Oman, reflecting the strategy he used to open in Dubai in 2006.

Kennedy’s Dubai office currently has seven partners and five employees, including partner in international arbitration Celine Abi Habib Kanakri, who joined Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla, the UAE arm of Baker McKenzie, in 2019. Partner duo Victoria Clucas and Bill Evans moved to Kennedy’s post in Dubai from London last fall, adding to their team of property, energy and construction.

Nick Thomas, Senior Partner at Kennedys, added: “There are currently no other international insurance companies operating in Oman and we are seeing an increase in customer demand as the country’s economy continues to diversify and to grow. Our Dubai office has developed its litigation capacity in recent years, and we are now looking to replicate that success in Muscat. “

The Muscat office will be Kennedys’ fourth launch to take place amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Earlier this year he opened in Perth with a team from Clyde & Co, adding to its existing Australian outposts in Melbourne and Sydney. And last October it exploded four-partner boutique in Tel Aviv Zelichov Ben-Dan & Co, making it one of the first international firms to offer local legal advice in Israel. The company also opened an office in Leeds in February, and expanded its reach to the United States with an office in San Francisco Last June.

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