Bakers holds talks over tie-up with top UAE firm Habib Al Mulla

Baker & McKenzie has held talks with respected United Arab Emirates firm Habib Al Mulla & Company over a possible combination.

The law firm, which has offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, was founded in 1984 by executive chairman Habib Al Mulla (pictured).

It currently has a total of around 45 lawyers, and in 2011 appointed former Clifford Chance Italy head and chief procurement officer Rob Morris as its chief executive.

A spokesperson for Bakers said: “Like all leading law firms, we are continuously studying the market for strategic growth opportunities.

“At any given time, we may be in discussion with a number of individuals, practice groups or firms around the world. By firm policy, we do not comment on such discussions until they are positively concluded.”

Habib Al Mulla declined to comment.

Bakers, which boast 72 offices in 45 countries, already has a number of bases in the Middle East and North Africa, including Riyadh, Cairo, Abu Dhabi and Doha.

It recently bulked up its Johannesburg base with the takeover of three-partner disputes practice Rudolph Bernstein & Associates in December, while it has also applied for a licence to practice in South Korea.