The firm shuttered a standalone office in Saudi Arabia, opting instead for a cooperation with a newly-established local firm.
AS&H has been formed by three past and present members of Clifford Chance's 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. Abumihed 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.
“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,” Robin Abraham commented.
“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,” the Clifford Chance Regional Managing Partner for the Middle East added.
Clifford Chance announced late in August that it is shuttering its standalone office in Saudi Arabia. The new cooperation which replaces it has six partners, more than any other law firm in the Kingdom.
The AS&H and Clifford Chance cooperation will focus on 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.
“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,” said Abuhimed
“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,” added the AS&H managing partner.
Khalid Al-Abdulkareem, senior Clifford Chance Saudi partner, will handle integration between AS&H and Clifford Chance.
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.
Since 2013, Clifford Chance has advised on major mandates such as the establishment of the Saudi Telecom Company's SAR5 billion sukuk issuance program; the US$10 billion (about $13 billion) revolving credit facility for Saudi Aramco; and the Public Investment Fund's acquisition of a US$1.3 billion (about $1.69 billion) stake in Korea's POSCO E&C.
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