Kennedys expands in the Middle East with opening of Oman office

Kennedys has continued its growth in the Middle East with the opening of a new office in Muscat, in the Sultanate of Oman.

This office opening is in response to client demand for a presence in Oman, and sees Kennedys become the only international insurance-focused law firm in the country.

The new office will be headed up by insurance, construction and disputes partner Jamie Kellick, who joined Kennedys' Dubai office in September 2019 from Addleshaw Goddard. Jamie, who has recently moved from Dubai to Muscat, has been joined by Nasser Al Shamli of Nasser Al Shamli, Advocates & Legal Consultants (NASLAW), Kennedys’ associate firm in the Sultanate of Oman.

I’m delighted that Jamie and Nasser will be supporting our clients across the Middle East region and our global clients from our Oman office.

Jamie has strong relationships with local Omani companies and the country conducts high levels of business with the UAE and India; places where Kennedys already has a strong presence, in the form of an established office and co-operation with local firm Tuli & Co respectively.

His expertise in dispute resolution means Kennedys will be able to build a local litigation capability in Oman, as it has done in Dubai where the office opened in 2006.

The Dubai office currently has seven partners and five fee earners, including international arbitration partner Celine Abi Habib Kanakri and associate Khalil Mechantaf who both joined the Kennedys from Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla in 2019. Partners, Victoria Clucas, and Bill Evans, moved from Kennedys’ London office to the Dubai office in October 2020.

Nasser is a licensed practitioner with the Oman Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs, and has full audience rights before Omani Primary Courts and the Administrative Courts (Primary Circuits).

He has gained extensive commercial litigation and arbitration experience in Omani law disputes over the last six years in private practice. His litigation and arbitration practice includes having advised and represented clients in contentious energy, aviation and construction related matters, shareholder disputes and labour law issues.

Nick Thomas, Senior Partner at Kennedys, says: “The Oman opening is part of our ongoing commitment to our global strategy of growing our international capabilities based on client need. There are currently no other international insurance firms operating in Oman and we are seeing an increase in client demand as the country’s economy continues to diversify and grow. Our Dubai office has grown its litigation capability in recent years, and we are now looking to replicate that success in Muscat.”

Jamie Kellick added: “Oman continues the process of transforming itself into a modern regional economic centre, with extensive infrastructure and utilities projects still proceeding and with more planned. With growth in both government, private and foreign direct investment there are considerable opportunities, and our presence in the region will be a significant benefit to our existing client base as well as those new clients who want to work with Kennedys. It’s an exciting time to be opening an office in and bringing a new offering to the Sultanate.”

Peter Ellingham, partner and head of the Kennedys Dubai office says: “I’m delighted that Jamie and Nasser will be supporting our clients across the Middle East region and our global clients from our Oman office, by continuing to provide advice to local and international clients on the challenges and opportunities they face throughout the Gulf Region, the Middle East, Africa and beyond.”

In the last 12 months, while many offices were in lockdown, Kennedys opened new offices in San Francisco in July 2020, Tel Aviv in October 2020, Leeds in February 2021 and Perth in May 2021.