QFC Announces New Policy Statement on Licensing New International Law Firms in Qatar
The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), a leading onshore financial and business centre in the region, has unveiled a new policy statement on providing legal services in the QFC for prospective applicants. The new policy, which is effective immediately, sets out the conditions to prospective applicants intending to provide legal services in or from the QFC, ensuring that these firms have a positive economic impact on Qatar.
Under the new guidance, International law firms may be licensed in the QFC if they meet the following conditions:
- The firm is ranked by Legal 500, Chambers and Partners, or by a similar reputable ranking acceptable to the QFC Authority;
- The firm is to conduct most of its operations from Qatar and at least 51% of the QFC Entity's income can be attributed to activities undertaken by the QFC Entity in Qatar;
- The firm will have no less than three full-time lawyers on the ground whose individual salaries meet a minimum of QAR 15,000 each; and
- The firm will occupy an office with a minimum of 8sqm per person.
Al-Jaida added: "As global actors, these firms require seamless multinational services. With the new designated policy, we ensure that new legal firms licenced with the QFC have the capacity and expertise to serve these international clients across geographic boundaries and help meet their global strategy.”
The policy further stipulates that while exemptions may be made, subject to the QFC Authority’s absolute discretion, for firms that have a strategically important substantial contract with the government, subcontracts, where the government is not a party, will not be exempted.