Clifford Chance announced this week that it has received approval from the Saudi Ministry of Commerce and Industry to set up a mixed Saudi and foreign lawyer partnership, making it the first international law firm to establish formally in this way in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is intended that the new partnership will be operational from 1 January 2014. The development is the next step in the evolution of Clifford Chance‘s long term connection with Saudi Arabia and part of its broader strategy for ambitious growth across the Middle East.
The new partnership will fully integrate the Corporate, Finance and Capital Markets practices from Al-Jadaan, Clifford Chance’s long-standing co-operation partner in Saudi. Abdulaziz Al-Abduljabbar and Khalid Al-Abdulkareem, currently partners in Al-Jadaan, will join Clifford Chance as partners. All Al-Jadaan associates in the firm’s transactional areas, along with a number of business services staff will also transfer to CLifford Chance . The firm will build on this existing well-regarded resource by recruiting and developing more Saudi associates.
Mohammed Al-Jadaan, together with Yousef Al-Jadaan and Abdullah Al-Hashim will continue as partners with Al-Jadaan, which will operate as a niche boutique focusing on litigation and mediation, legal strategies and structuring activities in Saudi Arabia. Mohammed Al-Jadaan will remain managing partner of Al-Jadaan and will act as a special adviser to Clifford Chance in Saudi Arabia, consulting on innovation in Saudi market transactions.
Graham Lovett, Clifford Chance Regional Managing Partner for the Middle East said: “The decision to establish our own entity in this way is very much a response to the growing Saudi-specific demands of our global and local clients, who have already responded positively to our increased investment in Saudi Arabia. The relationship with Al-Jadaan has been extremely successful and positive and it seemed natural to build our Saudi practice by taking our existing collaboration to the next level. Being able to offer clients the very best support in Saudi is critical to our commitment to the region and so we are delighted that our application to combine top tier Saudi and international lawyers in a single partnership structure has been successful.”
Mohammed Al-Jadaan said: “This ground breaking move reconciles the ambitions of the Al-Jadaan partners with the long term needs of our clients. The new entity will enable the partners and associates in the Al-Jadaan transactional practice to continue to set the highest standard for legal services in the Saudi market, while at Al-Jadaan we will be able to develop further our litigation, mediation, legal strategies and structuring-focused advice to clients. This development is also great news for Saudi legal talent who will now have the opportunity to train with and develop their careers in one of the world’s leading international firms, ensuring they benefit from an institutionalised career path.”
David Childs said: “This first-of-a-kind international partnership demonstrates our ambition to deepen relationships for the long-term with important Saudi Arabian enterprises and our global clients with interests in Saudi, both of which are critical components in our growth strategy for the Middle East. I look forward to welcoming Abdulaziz and Khalid into the partnership and to developing a new generation of Clifford Chance partners in Saudi.”
continues to be recognised for its cutting-edge work in the Middle-East with the Firm recently being named IFLR Middle East International Law Firm of the Year 2012, winning for the fifth time in six years. Al-Jadaan has won the IFLR Saudi Law Firm of the Year in each of the seven years it has been awarded. Both firms also shared the coveted IFLR Debt and Equity Linked Deal of the Year award for the Saudi GACA sukuk and IFLR Equity Deal of the Year award for the Zain KSA rights issue.
Clifford Chance has in the past two years launched offices in Doha, Casablanca and Istanbul as it continues to serve clients across the Middle East and North Africa.
Clifford Chance ‘s Saudi partnership will consist of four partners, one counsel, 17 associates and 20 business services staff members.
Clifford Chance is one of the world’s leading law firms, helping clients achieve their goals by combining the highest global standards with local expertise. The Firm has unrivalled scale and depth of legal resources across the five major regions of Africa, the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East, and focuses on the core areas of commercial activity: capital markets; corporate and M&A; finance and banking; real estate; tax, pensions and employment; litigation and dispute resolution. Clifford Chance has 35 offices in 25 countries with some 3,400 legal advisers.
Clifford Chance was ranked ‘tier one’ in more cross-border tables than any other firm in the Chambers Global 2012 Directory. This independent analysis focuses on firms’ legal ability, professional conduct, client service, and commercial awareness, and these rankings provide outstanding recognition for the Firm’s breadth of expertise and consistency of quality across global markets.