Watson, Farley & Williams (WFW) has announced the opening of a new office in Dubai.

The office, which opened this week, will serve as a hub to advise Middle East clients in the maritime, natural resources, energy, transport and infrastructure sectors, and WFW intends to extend and develop its Islamic finance practice in the region.

“The decision to move out there was client driven,” a spokesperson for the firm tells GTR. “We’ve been working there for years, but the work flow got to the point where we realised we needed a presence on the ground.”

It was confirmed to GTR that finance partner Andrew Baird will move from London to run the Dubai office. Together with two associates, he will advise clients on English law transactions throughout the Middle East.

“We have been advising clients in the UAE and broader Middle East region for more than 20 years,” says Baird. “This office opening is both a response to their desire to work with us even more closely and an opportunity to build on our existing practice in the region.”

Commenting on the office opening, managing partner at WFW, Chris Lowe, says; “With the lingering lack of liquidity in some of the more traditional banking markets around the world, the Middle East is an even more vital source of funding.”

WFW now has offices in 11 countries, including the US, Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong, as well as those throughout Western Europe.