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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Saudi Arabia > Commercial, corporate and M&A > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Commercial, corporate and M&A
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial, corporate and M&A clients in Saudi Arabia using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Legal Advisors, Abdulaziz I. Al-Ajlan & Partners in association with Baker & McKenzie Limited is regularly involved in major domestic and cross-border M&A and high-value commercial agreements. Mohammad Al Rasheed and Karim Nassar advised Alawwal Bank on its share for share merger with the Saudi British Bank; valued at $4.9 billion, the merger created what is now the third largest bank in Saudi Arabia. The practice also advised an Al Faisaliah Group company on its sale of shares in Al Saifi Danone to Saudi Arabia's National Agricultural Development Co. Also recommended are George Sayen, who heads the practice group, and Omar J. Iqbal, who was promoted to partner in July 2018.

Abuhimed Alsheikh Alhagbani Law Firm (AS&H) in co-operation with Clifford Chance is instructed by domestic and international corporates in M&A and joint venture structuring; however, the team is perhaps best known for its considerable strength in public and private investment fund transactions. Practice head Majid Al-Sheikh assisted Crédit Agricole with its high-value sale of a 16.2% stake in Banque Saudi Fransi, and also advised National Agricultural Development Company on the $543m acquisition of the share capital of dairy and juice producer Al Safi Danone.

Noted for its ‚Äėabundant experience‚Äô,¬†Clyde & Co LLP¬†has a long-standing reputation in the Saudi market and is often involved in the market's most significant deals.¬†Alain Sfeir assisted Aldara Medical Corporation with the establishment and operation of a hospital in Riyadh, which was financed through several capital markets transactions. Additionally, Sfeir advised Pepsico on its corporate restructuring, and also assisted APCO Worldwide with the regulatory approvals needed for its incorporation in Saudi Arabia. Also recommended is managing partner¬†Abdulaziz Al-Bosaily, whom clients rate for his ‚Äėprofessionalism and¬†deep understanding of Saudi law‚Äô.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP in association with the Law Firm of Salah Al-Hejailan is instructed by family conglomerates, domestic and international investors, and major international corporates, and has also been involved in a number of privatisation transactions in connection with the Vision 2030 initiative. Practice head Fares Al-Hejailan advised Volkswagen on the renegotiation of its three-way joint venture and distribution agreements for its Audi, Bentley, Porsche and VW vehicles. Also of note, the team acted for Banque Saudi Fransi in relation to its sale of stake in Allianz Saudi Fransi to Allianz Group; the deal resulted in Allianz Group holding a majority stake in the Saudi target company, which is highly unusual for a foreign investor in Saudi Arabia.

According to one client,¬†Khoshaim & Associates in cooperation with Allen & Overy LLP provides ‚Äėunmatched holistic support‚Äô. The practice group is headed by the ‚Äėphenomenal‚Äô¬†Zeyad Khoshaim, who, alongside senior associate Leen Zaza, advised Saudi Aramco on the establishment of an offshore drilling joint venture with Rowan Companies. In another highly publicised mandate, the team acted for AMC Theatres in relation to its entrance to the Saudi market. In 2018,¬†Johannes Bruski¬†left for¬†Tortell Smeets Lange in Frankfurt, but counsel¬†Irfan Butt joined the team from¬†ZS&R Law Firm in association with Hogan Lovells.

King & Spalding in affiliation with the Law Office of Mohammad Al-Ammar has experience of high-value M&A, particularly in the oil and gas sector, though the team is perhaps best known for its strengths in private equity and venture capital fund formation and transactions. Dubai-based Osama Audi is advising National Shipping Company on its joint venture with Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation to establish a $1.5bn fund for the acquisition of oil tankers. Nabil A. Issa, who divides his time between Dubai and Saudi Arabia, advised Jabal Omar Development Company on the approximately SAR6bn sale of properties in Mecca to a fund managed by Alinma Investment Company. Jawad I. Ali is another Dubai-based contact.

Law Office of Mohanned bin Saud Al-Rasheed in association with Baker Botts L.L.P. is active across a range of industry sectors where it advises domestic corporates and prominent multinationals on M&A, corporate structuring and international investment transactions. Samuel Eversman jointly heads the practice together with Stephen Matthews, who has acted for engineering consultancy Mott MacDonald International in relation to the establishment of a branch in Saudi Arabia. Daikin Europe and VTT International are also among the team's clients.

The Law Firm of AlSalloum and AlToaimi in association with White & Case LLP advises multinational corporates, financial institutions and government entities on M&A and joint venture arrangements. Sami E. Al-Louzi advised NMC Healthcare on its $207m acquisition of stake in healthcare companies Cosmesurge and Al Salam Medical Group. Other contacts include Yazeed Al-Toaimi and counsel James Rimmer.

Hatem Abbas Ghazzawi & Co. focuses on acting for international corporates doing business in Saudi Arabia, and receives a stream of instructions from international law firms that do not have a presence in the country. Ali W Abedi acted for The Dow Chemical Company in successfully obtaining the first-ever licence for a wholly foreign-owned trading company in Saudi Arabia. The team also advised US-listed Nabors Industries on the establishment of a joint venture with Saudi Aramco to provide certain onshore drilling services. Also recommended are Asad Abedi, who has expertise in international securities, and Andreas Haberbeck, who has experience of contentious and non-contentious matters.

Law Office of Salman M. Al-Sudairi in association with Latham & Watkins LLP handles M&A and commercial joint ventures for multinational corporates, venture capital investors, financial institutions and sovereign entities. Practice head Omar M Elsayed advised the Saudi British Bank on the acquisition of HSBC’s stake in financial services provider SABB Takaful, and also advised BATIC Investments and Logistics Co on a number of business and asset acquisitions by way of capital increase under new securities regulations.

The ‚Äėvery¬†professional team‚Äô at¬†Al Tamimi & Company has ‚Äėgreat international experience‚Äô advising government bodies and international corporates on business and asset acquisitions, project development and joint ventures, and other large commercial agreements. Practice head Grahame Nelson was involved in a significant privatisation transaction, and also advised Eaton Corporation on the Saudi aspects of its proposed $2.3bn acquisition of the electrical business unit of Larsen & Toubro.¬†Rakesh Bassi¬†joined in November 2017 from DLA Piper in collaboration with Amer Al Amr Law Firm, and¬†Bandar Al Hamidani was promoted to partner in 2018.

Al-Enezee Legal Counsel in association with EKP has experience of M&A and finance and capital markets transactions across a number of sectors, but is particularly active in Saudi Arabia's telecoms and insurance industries. Key figures include Wissam Hachem, who acted for Gulf Union Cooperative Insurance Company in its merger with Ahlia Cooperative Insurance Company; Hadi Melki, who is instructed by a number of public and private investment funds; and managing partner Ziad El-Khoury, who advises on contentious, non-contentious and regulatory issues.

Acting for major domestic and international corporates,¬†DLA Piper in collaboration with Amer Al Amr Law Firm ‚Äėprovides tremendous value‚Äô in cross-border M&A, joint ventures and commercial licensing agreements. In one stand-out matter, the team is advising Saudi Telecom Company on its proposed $1.8bn purchase of the exclusive broadcast rights for the Saudi Professional League. Other key figures include¬†Paul Latto¬†and¬†Edoardo Betto, who is rated for his¬†‚Äėoutstanding industry knowledge‚Äô.¬†Rakesh Bassi left the firm in November 2017 for¬†Al Tamimi & Company.

Law Firm of Hassan Mahassni In association with Dechert LLP¬†has ‚Äėin-depth knowledge of the nuanced complexities of Saudi law and its legal system, and also clearly understands its clients' business and legal needs‚Äô.¬†The department is jointly led by legal advisor Abdul Moeen Arnous and counsel Husum El Khatib, who have particular experience of M&A, corporate restructuring and commercial agreements. Moeen Arnous is assisting Saudi Total Petroleum Products Company with its corporate restructuring, and El Khatib advised Saudi Arabian Fertilizer Company on an asset transaction with another of its parent company's subsidiaries.¬†Also recommended is¬†Faisal A. Linjawy, who is advising Universal Motors Agency on its corporate restructuring.

Mohammed Al-Ghamdi Law Firm in association with Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP is involved in the banking, pharmaceuticals, energy and petrochemicals industries, where it advises primarily international corporates on the establishment of joint ventures, licensing and distribution agreements, M&A and corporate restructuring. Mohammed Al-Ghamdi and Dubai-based John C. Boehm jointly head the practice.

Saud Al-Ammari (Dr.) Law Firm is instructed by government entities, regional conglomerates and energy-sector corporates, which it advises on joint ventures and M&A. Key figures in the team include Saud Al-Ammari and Graham McLeod, who provide ongoing commercial, corporate and regulatory advice to Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Company. The team also advises Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare on technology outsourcing contracts, labour and employment law, and leasing ad development agreements.

The Law Firm of Wael A. Alissa in association with Dentons¬†provides ‚Äėin-depth analysis and sound advice‚Äô and is sought by some clients to handle ‚Äėthe most critical business issues‚Äô. Practice head Mahmoud Abdel-Baky¬†is acting as Saudi counsel to KKR in relation to its acquisition of Unilever's global spreads business, which is structured as an asset transfer as opposed to a share transfer. Another key contact is senior legal consultant John Balouziyeh, who ‚Äėstands out as a trustworthy advisor and understands the highly competitive and politically-charged market‚Äô. In 2018,¬†Ziad Saad¬†and counsel Mohamed Youssef¬†joined the firm from¬†Vinson & Elkins LLP¬†and¬†Fawaz Al-Hokair Group, respectively.

Al-Ghazzawi Professional Association is headed by Talal Amin Al Ghazzawi, who has extensive experience of M&A and large joint venture agreements, and regularly advises on regulatory issues arising from the establishment of foreign business operations in Saudi Arabia.

Hammad Al-Mehdar & Co in alliance with Simmons & Simmons LLP has experience advising international corporates, banks and investment companies on share and asset acquisitions and various commercial agreements. Key figures include Ahmed Butt, Muneer Khan and Middle East managing partner Andrew Wingfield.

Law Offices of Dr Mujahid M. Al-Sawwaf advises international corporates, banks and financial institutions on the establishment of joint venture arrangements, distribution contracts and other major commercial agreements. Name partner Mujahid M. Al-Sawwaf and David Wells are names to note.

Shearman & Sterling LLP in association with Dr Sultan Almasoud & Partners advises clients in the energy, real estate, industrial, consumer goods and retail sectors on a variety of corporate and commercial matters. Jointly headed by Sanjarbek Abdukhalilov and Sultan Almasoud, the team is advising Al Ahlia For Cooperative Insurance Company on its potential merger with Gulf Union Cooperative Insurance Company. The joint practice heads also acted for Jabal Omar Development Company in the drafting and negotiation of its joint venture agreement with EagleWing regarding the management of a hotel in Mecca.

Al-Joufi Law Firm provides Saudi law advice on M&A and shareholder agreements, joint venture arrangements, securities transactions and domestic regulatory issues including matters pertaining to the new Saudi Arabian Companies Law. Yousef Al-Joufi heads the firm.

AlDhabaan & Partners in association with Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP provides a range of ongoing commercial, operational and structuring advice to international corporates operating in Saudi Arabia. Indeed, recently promoted partner Anmar Al-Gharifi handles ongoing corporate matters for Metlife AIG ANB, and Muhammad Arif Saeed assisted an aircraft manufacturer with the registration of a joint venture company in Saudi Arabia. Also of note, Fahad AlDehais AlMalki advised Derayah Financial Services Company on its acquisition of a 45% stake in a rehabilitation centre, which included the subsequent establishment of a private placement fund. Muhammad Anum Saleem was promoted to principal associate in 2018.

Faisal Adnan Baassiri Law Firm in association with Ashurst LLP handles a wide range of corporate and commercial matters spanning M&A, company registrations, commercial agreements, employment and IP law, and corporate real estate transactions. Practice head Faisal Adnan Baassiri is advising Nesma Group on issues relating to its worldwide trade mark registrations. Acting in cooperation with its global and regional network, the team also acted for Lamprell in its participation in a joint venture with Saudi Aramco, Bahri and Hyundai for the development and operation of a maritime yard.

Hourani & Partners is regularly involved in M&A and corporate restructuring mandates. Dubai-based Salim Sader advised Al Borg Medical Laboratories on the acquisition of a 96.5% stake in Proficiency Healthcare Diagnostics Laboratories. Other key contacts include Hayel F. Hourani and Chadi F. Hourani, both of whom work across the Riyadh and Dubai offices. Also of note in 2018, Amgad T. Husein and Anas Akel joined the practice from The Law Firm of Wael A. Alissa in association with Dentons, and counsel Mustafa Kemal from Hogan Lovells (Middle East) LLP.

Sharif Akkad Law Firm (MAK) is headed by managing partner Sharif Fareed Akkad, who has broad corporate and commercial experience. The firm has referral relationships with a number of regional law firms.

Having worked in cooperation for multiple years on corporate and finance transactions, Zamakhchary & Co. and Linklaters entered into a formal association in October 2017. Head of transactions Martin Creek is the key figure in the Saudi practice group.

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