Two well-established UAE law practices have partnered to create a new law firm, offering independent legal solutions to businesses in Abu Dhabi and beyond. Emirati and international, common and civil law-qualified lawyers have come together to strengthen their existing range of services and address the region’s growing demand for quality professional legal services. The decision to form the joint venture comes in response to Abu Dhabi’s ambitious growth plans, aiming to diversify its economy and attract higher levels of foreign direct investment.

At the signing held at Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) Authorities Building in Abu Dhabi Nathan Banks, founder and Managing Partner of Banks Legal, and Otaiba Bin Khalaf Al Otaiba of Al Otaiba & Hamdan Budebes, formalised the establishment of the firm, Al Otaiba Banks Legal Limited.

The Al Otaiba Banks Legal team has over 75 years of combined, local and international experience with expertise across a diverse range of sectors, including government, infrastructure, education, healthcare, energy and resources, construction, media and telecommunications, technology and hospitality. The newly-formed venture offers a comprehensive suite of legal and corporate services across all legal disciplines, including mergers and acquisitions, banking, private equity, foreign direct investment, employment, intellectual property and real estate transaction services.

Co-founder and Partner of newly established Al Otaiba Banks Legal, Nathan Banks, said: “Banks Legal is very honoured and excited to be partnering with the prestigious firm Al Otaiba & Hamdan Budebes. We are committed to understanding the commercial and strategic objectives of our clients, adhering to international best practices in delivering commercially-viable solutions. With the UAE positioning itself firmly as a leading regional hub and Abu Dhabi contributing significantly, we feel it is vital that collaboration between Emirati and international expertise is demonstrated.”

According to The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development 2018 World Investment Report, FDI to the UAE increased by eight per cent to US$10.4bn in 2018. To further increase FDI into the capital, Abu Dhabi has formalised the establishment of a new government body, Abu Dhabi Investment Office, and given it more authority to attract higher levels of FDI to the emirate. A total budget of $5.45bn has been allocated to the 2019 development package that aims to enhance and diversify the emirate’s economy. Further bolstering confidence in Abu Dhabi’s economic development, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, last year announced a $14bn stimulus package to facilitate the growth of Abu Dhabi’s economy and businesses based in the capital.

“As Abu Dhabi continues to solidify its position as a hub for foreign investment and economic activity, there is a growing need for the delivery of high-quality legal services to complement the existing professional services industry of the region. Abu Dhabi has a robust economy and a foundation from which we believe economic activity will continue to develop and prosper,” Banks added.

Otaiba Bin Khalaf Al Otaiba welcomed the establishment of the new joint venture. He said: “In forming Al Otaiba Banks Legal, we are now better-equipped to service clients across a broader scope of legal and corporate services locally and abroad. We are looking to align with the future growth of the Abu Dhabi economy by bringing certainty to business transactions through a mix of civil and common law practice.”

Discussing future plans of Al Otaiba Banks Legal, Al Otaiba added: “Building on the strong client and government relationships both firms have developed, our plan is to expand Al Otaiba Banks Legal across the GGC and Middle East to service an even broader range of clients in each market.”

Al Otaiba Banks Legal provides a uniquely tailored, client-focused service with a wealth of industry and market knowledge. Plans to further expand the team in Abu Dhabi are underway, with a focus on specialised lawyers within key sectors, in the Abu Dhabi economy.