Kirkland & Ellis has recruited partners from Latham & Watkins and White & Case to set up its new office in Riyadh, its 20th global office for the massive law firm.
The office is to be headed by former Kirkland partner Kamran Bajwa, who is joined by Noor Noor Al-Fawzan (pictured) and Manal Al-Musharaf.
Kirkland & Ellis has added partners from Latham & Watkins and White & Case to open an office in Riyadh. The firm has been keen to expand to the Kingdom, as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies with a wealth of opportunity as well for corporate deals.
The law firm’s press release is below –
Kirkland & Ellis, the world’s largest international law firm by revenue, with 3,500 lawyers in the U.S., the UK, Europe and Asia, is expanding to the Middle East with a new office in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Riyadh office will help support Kirkland’s rapidly growing roster of existing and prospective clients in Saudi Arabia and the region.
“Saudi Arabia is an important market requiring sophisticated legal services for international business. At the same time, the Kingdom is one of the world’s fastest growing economies and a rapidly modernizing country that is becoming increasingly significant for Kirkland’s client base,” said Jon A. Ballis, Chairman of Kirkland’s Executive Committee. “Our Riyadh office will help us to serve our many clients with operations in and interests across Saudi Arabia and throughout the Middle East.”
Kirkland has been granted a Foreign Law License by the Saudi Ministry of Justice to operate directly in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia following reform to the country’s legal licensing model. The new Riyadh office and Regional Headquarters is led by Kirkland corporate partner Kamran Bajwa, who has over 20 years of experience handling complex international legal matters in the Middle East and emerging markets. Two of the top Saudi lawyers in the market and leading women in the Saudi legal profession, Noor Al-Fawzan and Manal Al-Musharaf have joined Kirkland as partners for the Riyadh launch.
“Riyadh is an ideal location to serve the diverse interests and needs of our clients,” Mr. Bajwa said. “The creative, business-minded approaches for which Kirkland lawyers are known are critical for the complex transactions our clients undertake in Saudi Arabia, which is one of the most dynamic and fast-paced markets in the world. I am excited for the opportunity to build the Riyadh office and regional headquarters, expand Kirkland’s reach, and get to work on the ground for our clients in this region.”
Mr. Bajwa’s significant experience in the Middle East includes eight years living in the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. He also served as the Chief Legal Officer for the leading investment bank in the MENA region. He has been a partner with Kirkland and led its Middle East practice since 2011.
Ms. Al-Fawzan joins Kirkland from Latham & Watkins, where she was a partner in the Riyadh office. She focuses her practice on M&A, joint ventures and general corporate matters with a Saudi nexus. She previously worked as legal counsel in the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), an arm of the World Bank Group. She holds an LL.M. from Duke University School of Law and an LL.B. from Prince Sultan University. She is qualified to practice law in Saudi Arabia and the state of New York and was ranked as “Next Generation Partner” by Legal 500 Saudi Arabia 2023.
Ms. Al-Musharaf was previously a local partner with White & Case in Riyadh. She advises public and private issuers and investment banks on a broad range of capital markets transactions including equity offerings (IPOs and secondary offerings) and ongoing corporate governance and reporting obligations. She previously served as Legal Director of the Public Investment Fund Projects/NEOM Company in Riyadh. She earned an LL.M. from Harvard Law School and an LL.B. from Prince Sultan University. She is qualified to practice law in Saudi Arabia and the state of New York.
With the expansion to Riyadh, Kirkland has 20 offices around the world.
Kirkland is recognized internationally for excellence and ranks number one on Law360’s Pulse Prestige Leaders report of the top 100 law firms by prominence and distinction. In 2022, the Firm ranked number one for global publicly announced mergers and acquisitions by deal count (796 deals), according to Bloomberg’s Global M&A Legal League Tables, and number one by value and number of investment funds, according to Private Equity International. Kirkland also ranked first for having the largest litigation and restructuring practices in the world according to The Lawyer’s Global Litigation Top 50 survey and Global Restructuring Review, respectively.