Vinson & Elkins LLP is beefing up its Middle East practice with the addition of three senior attorneys in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The 91-year-old Houston firm says more attorneys will be following in the next few months.

Corporate partners Creighton Smith and Jim Knight have moved from the Houston office. Smith will office in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, and Knight will office just down the coast in Dubai, the largest and most lavish emirate that has rapidly become the seat of Middle Eastern and global finance.

Hessam Kalantar, formerly with another firm in New York, also joins the Dubai office as counsel.

There are now six full-time partners in V&E’s two UAE offices, and a seventh who divides his time between there and London.

“When we opened our Dubai office in 2003 and our Abu Dhabi office in 2007, we did so to better serve our clients in the Middle East, North Africa and the Indian subcontinent, and our recent expansion reflects a continuation of that effort,” said Managing Partner Joe Dilg.

“We will continue our growth, and expect to have at least 25 lawyers in the region by year end,” said Jeff Eldredge, partner-in-charge of Europe and the Middle East.


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