Central Asian law firm Colibri Law has partnered with Iranian firm Gheidi & Associates to become the second international law firm after CMS to open an office in Tehran.
The office will focus largely on corporate M&A matters, including joint venture agreements, due diligence of Iran-based assets, trade and regulatory issues, and share purchase agreements.
The team will be led by partner Otabek Suleimanov, an emerging markets transactional lawyer, Nasim Gheidi, a well-known Iranian lawyer and practice head with extensive legal experience in Iran, and Assel Nassimoldina, a Kazakhstan-based senior managing associate with 10 years’ worth of banking & finance experience. The firm’s local lawyers in Tehran will be fully integrated and will work closely with Colibri’s five other offices.
Colibri’s entry into the Iranian market represents the continued cautious opening up of a market that has long been estranged from Western business. However, last summer’s Iran Deal saw the country pledge to reduce its uranium reserves in return for relief of US, EU and UN sanctions.
The culmination of four years of strategizing, Colbri’s opening has its managing partners highly optimistic. Suleimanov remarked: ‘Iran is the largest market to open up in the post-Soviet era and we see endless opportunities, particularly in the areas of infrastructure, energy, industrials and consumer goods.’
Several UK firms, including Clyde & Co, Eversheds and Pinsent Masons, have also actively speculated entry into Tehran.