Kirkland & Ellis expands into Saudi Arabia with Middle East headquarters

The firm has been granted a foreign law license by the Saudi Ministry of Justice

Kirkland & Ellis expands into Saudi Arabia with Middle East headquarters

Kirkland & Ellis is expanding to the Middle East with a new office in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Riyadh office is expected to 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,” said Jon A. Ballis, chairman of Kirkland’s executive committee. “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.

“Our Riyadh office will help us to serve our many clients with operations in and interests across Saudi Arabia and throughout the Middle East,” he added.

Kirkland is one of a small number of foreign firms to be 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.

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.

New to Kirkland, Noor Al-Fawzan and Manal Al-Musharaf have joined as partners for the Riyadh launch.

Al-Fawzan joins 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.

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.

With the expansion to Riyadh, Kirkland has 20 offices around the world. 

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