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AS&H in co-operation with Clifford Chance launches in Saudi Arabia

5 November 2016

AS&H in co-operation with Clifford Chance launches in Saudi Arabia

Leading international law firm Clifford Chance today announced that its co-operation with the newly established Abuhimed Alsheikh Alhagbani Law Firm (AS&H) in Saudi Arabia became effective. The new co-operation replaces the stand-alone Clifford Chance Law Firm that was established in 2013.

AS&H has been formed by three past and present members of Clifford Chance's talented and widely recognised cohort of senior Saudi lawyers: Majid Al-Sheikh and Mansoor Al-Hagbani, along with Dr. Fahad Abuhimed, most recently a deputy minister at the Ministry of Commerce and Investment. Dr. Fahad is an alumnus of Al-Jadaan & Partners Law Firm, Clifford Chance's former Saudi association firm, and previously spent a year on secondment to Clifford Chance.

Robin Abraham, Clifford Chance Regional Managing Partner for the Middle East commented: "We are delighted to be partnering with the Kingdom's leading lawyers to continue to build on our existing market leading position as Clifford Chance. Since first announcing our co-operation with AS&H earlier this year, we have received an overwhelmingly positive response from our clients. Our new co-operation provides the depth and range of specialist capabilities that are critical to our Saudi and international clients now and into the future as the Kingdom embarks on its Transformation Programme."

AS&H in co-operation with Clifford Chance offers Saudi and international clients best-in-class support across corporate / M&A, finance, equity and debt capital markets, anti-trust and competition, privatisations, financial services, real estate and construction, legislative drafting, regulatory, public policy and dispute resolution.

With six partners, more than any other law firm in the Kingdom, the new co-operation offers clients the greatest depth of top Saudi and internationally qualified foreign lawyers as well as continuity and stability.

Dr. Fahad, Managing Partner of AS&H, added: "We expect the coming months and years to see a significant increase in the demand for legal services in Saudi Arabia, with a greater requirement for deep specialisation across a broader range of expertise. We are delighted that Clifford Chance has agreed to join with us to offer clients the breadth of legal services that will be needed. Together, we will offer clients a sizeable pool of talented Saudi and internationally-qualified legal professionals supported by experienced and committed leadership. We know the Clifford Chance team personally and respect their long-standing commitment to the Saudi market and the development of the Saudi legal profession."

Senior Clifford Chance Saudi partner, Khalid Al-Abdulkareem, will continue to contribute his in-depth expertise and insight to deliver a smooth and successful integration between AS&H and Clifford Chance. His tremendous track record in corporate and M&A law alongside his managerial experience will be paramount in supporting all stakeholders throughout the process of integration.

The Saudi lawyers and business services staff employed by Clifford Chance in Riyadh have transitioned to AS&H. Clifford Chance partners Khalid Al-Abdulkareem, Omar Rashid and Mohamed Hamra-Krouha, along with Clifford Chance's internationally qualified foreign lawyers based in Riyadh, will continue to work alongside AS&H's Saudi lawyers. AS&H operate from Clifford Chance's previous offices at Business Gate in Riyadh.

The co-operation replaces the operating arrangements established by Clifford Chance in Saudi Arabia in 2013. Since that time, Clifford Chance's practice in the Kingdom has gone from strength to strength, consolidating a reputation established over many decades of engagement with Saudi clients. Since 2013, Clifford Chance has advised on major mandates such as the establishment of the Saudi Telecom Company's SAR5 billion sukuk issuance programme; the US$10 billion revolving credit facility for Saudi Aramco; and, the Public Investment Fund's acquisition of a US$1.3 billion stake in Korea's POSCO E&C. The Riyadh team's stellar track record was recently recognised for the 11th year in a row winning Saudi Law Firm of the Year at the prestigious IFLR Middle East Awards – the team has won the same award since its inception in 2006.