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Legal market overview
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of the strongest economies in the Gulf region, and it has maintained an enviable level of activity, particularly through publicly funded projects in the energy, infrastructure, real estate, healthcare, and education sectors. The legal market was relatively stable in 2012 compared with the changes of 2011, when numerous international and local firms had realigned allegiances. Even so, a number of changes did take place and, notably, Mohammed Al-Sheikh joined the World Bank as the Kingdom’s representative, prompting Latham & Watkins LLP to form a new enterprise, namely Law Office of Salman M. Al-Sudairi in association with Latham & Watkins LLP. Former Eversheds LLP local partner, Hani Qurashi, engaged with a new international ally to form Hani Qurashi Law Firm in cooperation with Kilpatrick Townsend. Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP vanished from the market following its bankruptcy and dissolution.
Al-Jadaan & Partners Law Firm in co-operation with Clifford Chance LLP is one of the market’s most prominent strategic partnerships between an international law firm and strong local practice, with other key partnerships including Zeyad S. Khoshaim Law Firm in association with Allen & Overy LLP, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP in association with the Law Firm of Salah Al-Hejailan, and Legal Advisors in association with Baker & McKenzie.
New laws and regulations, such as the new mortgage law, stock exchange listing regulations and new employment legislation, indicated the Kingdom’s desire to improve its legal framework.