Legal Market Overview
Iraq remains a challenging market for both law firms and clients, with ongoing political uncertainty and the threat of the resurgence of the Islamic State (IS) organisation contributing to the volatile environment. In 2019 widely publicised protests against unemployment and corruption took place in a number of prominent cities including Baghdad, resulting in the resignation of the Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi in late 2019. Following these events, firms reported a drop in investment from international clients across a range of industries, particularly in the oil and gas sector.
However, despite these continuing issues, in September 2019, the Iraq-Syria frontier border crossing in al-Qaim reopened for the first time since its closure in 2014, which could signal a potential future increase in trade movements between the two countries, although the long-term impact remains to be seen.
The legal market features a number of global law firms, which handle work for international investors in the Iraqi market from abroad, though some international firms have established strong associations with well-known domestic law firms, which represent both local and international clients.