The Firms

September 9, 2011 6:53 PM

Going Global: Vedder Price Eyes London, K&L Gates Opens in Qatar, Chadbourne Heads to Turkey

Posted by Tom Huddleston Jr.

Several firms announced plans to expand internationally this week, with K&L Gates and Chadbourne & Parke opening offices in Qatar and Turkey, respectively, and Vedder Price launching a London location with hires from Clyde & Co and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Vedder Price's London office will open next month and be headed by Gavin Hill, Clyde's former cohead of aviation finance and Derek Watson, a former Freshfields senior associate who joined Vedder earlier this year, according to U.K. publication Legal Week.

The office will be Vedder's first outside of the United States, where it currently operates in Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C. Vedder, which often works on matters related to the transportation industry, recently advised Airbus on a sale of aircraft to AMR Corporation for $38 billion. The London office is also expected to focus on transportation finance, Legal Week reports.

"It's a shame that Gavin has chosen to leave just as we are expanding our aviation finance capabilities across the firm," Clyde's remaining aviation finance cohead, Philip Perrotta, told Legal Week, adding that the firm was expanding in London, the U.S., and the Middle East.

Also expanding in the Middle East: K&L Gates, which announced that it has established an office in Doha, Qatar—its second in the region—with the assistance of partner Kenneth Freeling, a former Dewey & LeBoeuf partner in Doha specializing in IP litigation and antitrust matters who joined the K&L Gates in March. (K&L Gates opened it first Middle East office, in Dubai, in 2009.)

Peter Kalis, K&L Gates's chairman and global managing partner, said in a statement that the new office is "a foundation block of our strategy in the Middle East."

According to the firm's announcement, the new office will be located in Doha's famous Tornado Tower, and will focus on energy and infrastructure, banking and finance, telecommunications and technology, real estate and construction, intellectual property, and disputes, according to the firm.

Along with Freeling, the K&L Gates Web site lists international finance counsel Kathleen Bradley as being based in the new Doha location.

Another firm making an international move this week is Chadbourne & Parke, which announced the opening of an Istanbul office under the leadership of Ayse Yuksel. Yuksel, who will serve as the new office's managing partner, had been leading the firm's Turkey, Middle East, and North Africa (MENA) corporate practice in London, New York, and Dubai.

Chadbourne expects the new office to expand the firm's presence in emerging markets, while focusing on M&A, private equity, capital markets, corporate finance, project finance, and tax matters, according to a prepared statement.

The firm will rely on attorneys transferring from its New York and Dubai offices to staff the new location, and will also work closely with local firm Cigdemtekin Sahbaz Attorney Partnership on Turkish law matters.

Yuksel, who was named to The American Lawyer's list of "45 Under 45" top global female attorneys earlier this year, advises on a variety of transactions. In 2008 she represented Koc on the sale of its $3.4 billion stake in Turkish retailer Migros Türk to BC Partners, Turkey's largest-ever private equity deal.

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