Firms eye Qatar 2022 World Cup roles as delivery committee sounds out potential new advisers

The organisation overseeing preparations for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar has begun approaching law firms to bolster its stable of legal advisers in the run-up to to the event.

Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy – which was established in 2011 after the country was named as host of the 2022 tournament – is responsible for delivering the new stadiums, non-competition venues and infrastructure for the event.

The committee is known to have already worked with a number of law firms in the region, including Clifford Chance (CC), DLA Piper, Bird & Bird and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, but it is understood that it has recently contacted others about providing additional advice.

One source close to the process told Legal Week that the organisation could formalise its existing law firm relationships under a panel arrangement, and that at least two firms have had informal conversations with the committee about the process.

In 2013, CC announced that the Supreme Committee had appointed the magic circle firm to advise on its infrastructure programme, including the construction of the Lusail Stadium which will host the final and the opening and closing ceremonies.

The same year, Bird & Bird opened an office in Dubai and cited the Supreme Committee as one of its recent client wins in the Middle East.

DLA’s website, meanwhile, states that the firm has advised the Supreme Committee on “partnership arrangements for the development of a stadium and tournament infrastructure and the legacy redevelopment of one of the 2022 Football World Cup tournament sites”.

In the last two years, a number of firms have pulled out of the Doha market, including CC and Herbert Smith Freehills, which closed their offices this year, and Latham & Watkins, which shut down its Doha and Abu Dhabi bases in 2015.

The Supreme Committee declined to comment.