Addleshaw Goddard Obtains License for Operations in Saudi Arabia 

International law firm, Addleshaw Goddard has successfully obtained a Foreign Law Firm License from the Saudi Ministry of Justice, marking a significant milestone in its expansion plans. The firm had earlier revealed its intention to establish a presence in Riyadh in 2023, and this recent development solidifies its position in the Middle East, where it already operates in Dubai, Qatar, and Oman. 

To celebrate the launch, Addleshaw Goddard hosted an event in the historical At-Turaif district, a UNESCO World Heritage site, attended by over 300 clients and industry contacts. The Riyadh office is now fully operational, boasting a team of five highly esteemed partners, including the latest addition, Christian Both, who joined from Clifford Chance. 

Christian Both joins three other recent lateral hires who have been working across Saudi Arabia and Dubai on various client matters. The team includes Ibrahim Siddiki, former head of KSA corporate M&A practice at Bracewell in Dubai; M&A expert Homam Khoshaim, previously at Latham & Watkins; and Banking & Finance partner Amar Meher, formerly of Latham & Watkins. Projects & Infrastructure partner Alex Sarac has also relocated from AG’s Dubai office to bolster the partner group in Riyadh. 

The office begins its operations with seven additional fee-earners, forming a 14-strong team that specializes in corporate M&A, banking and finance, and infrastructure. The team’s diverse expertise spans multiple sectors, aligning closely with the strategic goals outlined in Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, covering energy, oil and gas, renewables, infrastructure, transport, technology, hospitality, manufacturing, and consumer goods. 

Addleshaw Goddard’s objective in Saudi Arabia is to offer clients a comprehensive suite of services locally, supporting a wide range of inbound and outbound matters within the region and across the firm’s extensive network of 18 offices worldwide. 

Over the past decade, the firm has witnessed substantial growth in the Middle East, with revenue doubling during this period. The opening of the Riyadh office is seen as a pivotal move to sustain the firm’s upward trajectory in the region, with a targeted income growth of 40% over the next five years. Currently, Addleshaw Goddard has 24 partners and nearly 60 other full-time fee-earners based in the Middle East. 

Andrew Johnston (pictured above), Addleshaw Goddard Head of Middle East and Asia (who has been elected global Managing Partner with effect from 1 May, 2024), said: 

“Establishing an office in Riyadh has been done as a direct response to existing client demand. It is an essential next step for our business in the Middle East and will form a central plank of our growth trajectory in the region in coming years. It will allow us to attract more of the best people and better 

serve existing and future clients. The market reaction, the clients we have already secured and deals we are working on in the short time since we announced our intention to launch in KSA has been really encouraging and is a testament to the quality of the team who are all well regarded in the Saudi market.”