In 2008, we opened our first office in Qatar licensed by the Qatar Financial Centre.
Qatar, located in the Arabian peninsula, has, in recent years, been amongst the world's fastest growing economies and is one of the world's largest exporters of liquified natural gas. Continuing progress and development is a fundamental priority of the State, with the Qatar National Vision 2030 (with a budget of US$200 billion) including as one of its four pillars the development of a competitive and diversified economy to create a truly self-sustaining economy.
The Qatar Financial Centre was established in 2005 as a leading onshore business and financial centre, with an aim to promote Qatar as a major business and commercial hub at the crossroads between East and West, and in 2018, the Qatar Free Zone Authority was set up as an independent authority to oversee and regulate the freezones in Qatar. Disputes arising out of the QFC and the QFZA fall within the jurisdiction of the QFC Civil and Commercial Court and Regulatory Tribunal, comprised of internationally renowned judges from a wide range of civil and common law jurisdictions.
The recent reforms to Qatar arbitration law (with Law No. 2 of 2017 Promulgating the Civil and Commercial Arbitration Law, which is based on the UNCITRAL Model Law, coming into effect on 12 April 2017) have been met with a positive response globally, and given Qatar’s strong leadership and first class infrastructure, logistics and transport links, Qatar is increasingly becoming a hub for domestic and international arbitration.
Since 2008, we have been frequently instructed by Qatari State entities, as well as Qatari and international companies operating within Qatar and outside. We also regularly advise commercial and State entities elsewhere within the GCC and Middle East region. Given Qatar's location and excellent transport links, our lawyers frequently travel to Africa, the Far East and across the globe in connection with international law, arbitration and litigation matters.
We appeared in the first ever case before the Civil and Commercial Court in the Qatar Financial Centre, and have appeared before the Court and the Regulatory Tribunal on a number of occasions subsequently, having been instructed by clients directly as well as appointed Advocate to the Court in some significant regulatory matters (including Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority v First Abu Dhabi Bank P.J.S.C.  QIC (F) 2). We are also members of the QICDRC Pro Bono panel.
Our office in Qatar, McNair International LLC, is a limited liability company incorporated in the Qatar Financial Centre in 2008 under QFC Number 00074 and is licensed by the QFC Authority.