The Tie-up between global law giant Hogan Lovells and Saudi law firm ZS&R was explained by a release from Hogans and a supplied interview with Hogans CEO Steve Immelt on the tie-up and reasons for it – namely creating a better relationship with Saudi Arabia and client activity in the region.
The deal comes after Hogan Lovells’ former arrangement with Al-Yaqoub Attorneys ended with the Saudi firm entering an arrangement with fellow legal gian Mayer Brown.
Riyadh-based ZS&R is a three-partner firm that focuses on projects, dispute resolution, banking and finance, capital markets, corporate and M&A.
The association takes effect from June 26 and is nonexclusive and the two firms will retain separate partnerships.
ZS&R was founded in 2017 by Dr. Najem Alzaid (left) Saad Alrashed and Turki Alsheikh.
Q: Why has Hogan Lovells decided to launch an association with ZS&R Law Firm?
A: Saudi Arabia is a market of strategic focus for us and our clients. With ZS&R Law Firm, we believe we have found a group of experienced partners with a deep understanding of doing business in Saudi Arabia. We have worked alongside ZS&R Law Firm on several matters and decided to formalize our relationship with them as they complement our capabilities very well.
Q: Why has ZS&R Law Firm decided to launch an association with Hogan Lovells?
A: ZS&R believes its clients will benefit from the broad international reach of Hogan Lovells.
Q: How did the relationship between ZS&R Law Firm and Hogan Lovells come about?
A: H.P. Goldfield, our senior international affairs advisor, was introduced to Dr. Najem Al Zaid several years ago by a former senior official in the Saudi Commerce Ministry. The two became friendly and when Dr. Najem finalized plans to go into private practice we began to seriously discuss an association. Prior to our formal association, we worked together on a number of matters across various jurisdictions, and noted that our teams worked together fluidly. Our approach to client service and shared interest in investing in the Saudi market strengthened our conviction that this was the perfect partnership.
Q: Have ZS&R Law Firm and Hogan Lovells worked together previously or is this a new relationship?
A: Several of our partners have had the opportunity to work alongside ZS&R Law Firm on client work. Kelly Hardly and Turki Alsheikh worked together in another firm. We are currently working on a ground-breaking transaction in the Kingdom, but the details of this are still confidential for now.
Q: What are the formal details of your relationship with ZS&R Law Firm?
A: ZS&R will remain an independent firm and will operate in association with Hogan Lovells. The two firms will not be financially integrated and will remain separate legal entities that refer work to each other on an exclusive basis, subject to the usual regulatory constraints
Q: What kind of work will you be doing in Saudi Arabia?
A: Our work will be helping multinational clients with their interests in Saudi Arabia as well as acting for Saudi clients on their outbound investments as well as advising on Saudi Vision 2030 mandates.
Q: What’s next in the Middle East? Will you be looking at opening offices or entering into associations in other jurisdictions?
A: While we have no immediate plans, we will continue to be guided by the needs of our clients in the jurisdictions that are important to them.
Q: Who from Hogan Lovells will be overseeing the relationship with ZS&R Law Firm?
A: We have established a committee of four people to oversee the relationship – two representatives from Hogan Lovells and two from ZS&R Law Firm.
Q: Do you have a business plan and any financial targets for Hogan Lovells / ZS&R Law Firm in Saudi Arabia?
A: We have agreed a business plan but have not set financial targets as this is not a revenue sharing agreement.
Q: What are the opportunities for Hogan Lovells in Saudi Arabia?
A: Historically Hogan Lovells has acted for a number of Saudi clients on international matters as well as clients investing in the Kingdom. The political and economic situation in Saudi Arabia is changing and we see a myriad of new opportunities for both inbound and outbound work, especially taking into account key strategic plans in the area such as Saudi Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program.
Q: What are the main areas of work for ZS&R and where do you see most synergies taking place in this association i.e. corporate/disputes? Are there any particular sectors which will be a focus for both firms?
A: There will be a particular focus on the energy, construction, engineering and transportation sectors, as we utilise our vast PPP experience for projects in Saudi Arabia. We are currently working with ZS&R on several opportunities in these sectors.
Q: Can you clarify what clients you are already sharing and expect to gain more work from through this association?
A: We are working closely with the regulator of public transport in Saudi Arabia on the new Saudi Rail Law, as well as several other confidential matters
Q: When was ZS&R Law Firm established?
A: ZS&R was established in 2017 by founding partners, Dr. Najem Alzaid, Saad Alrashed and Turki Alsheikh.
Q: How many lawyers does ZS&R Law Firm have?
A: Seven lawyers – three partners and four associates.
Q: What do the initials ZS&R represent?
A: The initials represent the first letter of the surnames of the founding partners.
Q: Will any Hogan Lovells lawyers sit in the Saudi office?
A: No, the two firms will remain separate entities.
Q: Why did Hogan Lovells end the association with The Law Office of Montaser Al-Mohammed? (AYALA)
A: While we enjoyed an excellent relationship, our objectives and priorities are now different.
Q: How was Hogan Lovells operating in Saudi Arabia when you didn’t have an associated office?
A: We have a strong team of lawyers, based in our hub in Dubai, who partner with our clients across the Middle East. When necessary, before our association with ZS&R, our team partnered with local counsel to meet the needs of our clients in the Kingdom.