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Editorial

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Who Represents Who

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The finance team at Legal Advisors, Abdulaziz I. Al-Ajlan & Partners in Association with Baker McKenzie Limited acts for major banks in the region, including Arab National Bank, Arab Bank and Samba Financial Group. The group also advises borrowers and Bilal Kahlon has been assisting dairy company Almarai with its dual tranche syndicated facility from HSBC Saudi Arabia and J.P. Morgan, with a total value in excess of $580m. Ian Siddell is practice head. Julie Alexander is also highly experienced.

Clifford Chance LLP in association with Abuhimed Alsheikh Alhagbani Law Firm (AS&H) has been handling high-profile transactions in Saudi Arabia, acting for major regional and international lenders, as well as multinational companies. It assisted the group of lenders to Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Company with a $4.7bn murabaha facility. Other clients include Acwa Power and the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia. Abu Dhabi-based partner Mohamed Hamra-Krouha leads the practice. Paul Latto joined DLA Piper Saudi Arabia in January 2016 and Abdulaziz Al-Abduljabbar retired.

Drawing on its ‘excellent technical strength’, Hammad Al-Mehdar & Co in alliance with Simmons & Simmons LLP provides ‘good solutions and excellent value for money’. The team regularly acts for major regional and international banks, including Banque Saudi Fransi, Morgan Stanley, Riyadh Bank and Lloyds Bank. The office is also well known for its expertise in Islamic finance, project finance and real estate matters. Ahmed Butt and Dubai-based Muneer Khan, who are ‘fantastic to work with’, head the department.

Julian Johansen and Karim Wali lead the ‘outstanding’ team at Khoshaim & Associates in cooperation with Allen & Overy LLP. The group has been acting on restructurings and refinancings for regional corporates and banks. Most notably, the team assisted borrower Ma’aden Phosphate Company with a range of financing facilities, including the $850m murabaha facility for the company’s project financing activities. Other clients include Saudi Aramco, Jabal Omar Development Company and Arab National Bank.

Law Office of Salman M. Al-Sudairi in association with Latham & Watkins LLP handles a range of financing matters, from project finance to debt restructuring. Highlights included acting for Alinma Bank on the SAR3.6bn Islamic financing of Jeddah Economic City Kingdom Tower, with Salman Al-Sudairi and Amar Meher leading the transaction from Riyadh. Other clients include Equate Petrochemicals Company and joint venture manufacturing and technology company SABIC SK Nexlene. Dubai-based partners Harj Raj and Villiers Terblanche head the practice.

The Law Firm of AlSalloum and AlToaimi in association with White & Case LLP provides ‘depth in knowledge and a strong international practice, complemented by a solid local law team’. Saudi Aramco is a longstanding client of the firm, which has real strength in project finance. It advised the national oil company on its $10bn shari’ah-compliant revolving credit facility. Riyadh-based Adam Pierson, who is ‘a great communicator with vast knowledge’, made partner in early 2016. Doug Peel is also recommended.

DLA Piper Saudi Arabia is best known for project finance and the arrival in February 2016 of Paul Latto from Clifford Chance LLP in association with Abuhimed Alsheikh Alhagbani Law Firm (AS&H) has bolstered this expertise. Highlights saw senior consultant Keith Bullen leading the advice to the Saudi Electricity Company on its $3bn joint venture financing. Other clients include the Ports Development Company, HSBC Saudi Arabia and Credit Suisse.

The acquisition finance-focused practice at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP in association with the Law Firm of Salah Al-Hejailan has seen an increase in mandates from foreign investors, including The Abraaj Group. Other clients include Bank Saudi Fransi and the Islamic Development Bank. Dubai-based Haris Meyer Hanif made partner in May 2016 and now heads the Saudi team. William Coleman and senior lawyer Rodger Murray are also recommended.

Law Firm of Hassan Mahassni In association with Dechert LLP acts as local law counsel on high-value, often cross-border, project finance transactions. Highlights included advising Acwa Power on financing the Kirikkale power project in Turkey. Saudi Binladin Group is another client. Rahul Goswami, Hassan Mahassni and Firas Sawaf are the key names.

Ali Abedi heads the finance team at Hatem Abbas Ghazzawi & Co., which has been advising large Saudi and multinational corporates on a range of project finance facilities. The team continues to act for The Dow Chemical Company and Sadara on the $20bn petrochemical complex project in Jubail.

King & Spalding in affiliation with the Law Office of Mohammad Al-Ammar is highly regarded for its project and Islamic finance capabilities. The team acts for regional corporates, local banks and private equity firms; Solidere, Alimna Bank and Swicorp are clients. Highlights included advising water and power company Acwa Holding on the $1.7bn financing of an air separation unit. Zaid Al-Farisi heads the team.

Law Office of Mohanned bin Saud Al-Rasheed in association with Baker Botts L.L.P. acts for a range of banks and investment firms including Riyadh Bank, Alistithmar Capital and The Saudi Investment Bank. Recent work has included facility amendments and investment fund establishments, often on transactions involving significant cross-border aspects. Restructurings have also been an area of activity. Stephen Matthews and newly appointed partner Shadi Haroon are the key names.

Glenn Lovell heads the finance team at Al Tamimi & Company, which has a solid bank client base including Emirates NBD, JPMorgan Chase and Abu Dhabi Islamic bank. The firm regularly advises banks as local counsel on conventional and Islamic finance structures used in the projects and energy sectors. Senior associate Ahmed Mahomed is another key name.

Amgad Husein leads the finance team at The Law Firm of Wael A. Alissa in association with Dentons, which advises regional corporates on Islamic financing facilities. Highlights included assisting retail group Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair Company with its $75m murabaha financing from Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank. Standard Chartered and HSBC are also clients.

Al-Ghazzawi Professional Association has experience in acquisition and asset finance, also handling debt restructuring work. Hussam Al Ghazzawi is managing partner.

Looaye Al-Akkas is the key name at The Law Office of Looaye M. Al-Akkas in Association with Vinson & Elkins LLP, where he advises on project financing matters, often involving the energy sector.

Law Offices of Dr Mujahid M. Al-Sawwaf is well known for acting as local law counsel to international financial institutions. David Wells is the key name.

Sharif Akkad Law Firm (MAK) regularly advises on Islamic finance structures, acting for local and international clients. Sharif Fareed Akkad is managing partner.

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