The head of global strategy for Reed Smith L.L.P., a law firm based in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, responds to a question about why they feel they need to have expertise in Islamic finance.
Q: Do you have an Islamic finance practice?DIFC Authority CEO Nasser Al Shaali says that Islamic finance is providing one of the driving forces attracting "new, more sophisticated investors".
A: We do have some Islamic finance work out of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. It is increasingly important because that is where the money is. Let's face it: Money is basically pouring into the Middle East and, to the extent that it is going to be invested in debt instruments, it will have to be in instruments that are sharia [the Islamic legal code] compliant, and you have to have expertise to do that.
La Trobe University in Sydney, Australia launched the country's first master's degree in Islamic commerce.