Clifford Chance and Abuhimed Alsheikh Alhagbani Law Firm (AS&H) have reached an agreement to establish a 50:50 Joint Venture (JV) in Saudi Arabia, operating under the name AS&H Clifford Chance. The move comes with full support from the Clifford Chance global partnership, as the company has had a presence in Saudi Arabia for many years in various forms, including cooperation with AS&H since November 2016.
AS&H is a prominent law firm in Saudi Arabia with a team of 64 Saudi nationals and internationally qualified lawyers specialized in practice areas such as Corporate, Banking & Finance, Debt and Equity Capital Markets, Antitrust, Regulatory, Public Policy, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Real Estate, Construction and Public Private Partnerships. In conjunction with Clifford Chance, AS&H has amassed a wealth of experience in Saudi Arabia and has helped develop many of the features of existing market practice.
With effect from 1 May 2023, the existing cooperation arrangement between Clifford Chance and AS&H will be restructured into a JV. This new JV structure will enhance Clifford Chance’s position in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East and its ability in supporting regional and international clients. It will also allow all current AS&H lawyers and business staff access to Clifford Chance’s Academy programme which offers a wide range of classroom and online legal and business skills training to lawyers and business professionals, helping them to develop their legal, business and commercial skills.
The restructuring of Clifford Chance’s business in Saudi Arabia marks the company’s commitment to enhance its presence in the Middle East and support regional and international clients. With effect from 1 May 2023, the existing cooperation arrangement between Clifford Chance and AS&H will be restructured into a JV. The new structure allows for all current AS&H lawyers and business staff to access Clifford Chance’s Academy programme, providing a comprehensive range of legal and business skills training to develop their legal, business, and commercial capabilities.
This new partnership is a significant milestone for both firms and highlights their mutual desire to advance their presence in Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East. As one of the first international law firms to be granted a license from the Ministry of Justice to practice law in Saudi Arabia, Clifford Chance continues to demonstrate its commitment to the region, providing a broad range of legal services to clients across various sectors.
A&SH Clifford Chance will continue to benefit from strong and collaborative leadership with Fahad Abuhimed (pictured left), the existing AS&H Managing Partner, remaining the JV’s Managing Partner. Majid Al–Sheikh, Mansoor Alhagbani and Yasser Al–Hussain will retain their practice area leadership roles and continue to be supported by the existing contingent of Clifford Chance partners, Omar Rashid, Daniel Royle and Sahel Mughal who are all based in Riyadh. Alwaleed Albazaie and Hanan Hassanain will also be partners in the JV.
Guy Norman (pictured right) will be the Senior Clifford Chance Partner within the new structure. Norman was previously Clifford Chance’s Global Head of Corporate and prior to that spent a number of years as Head of Corporate in the Middle East. He will now relocate to the region and help integrate the JV into the global firm with the existing Clifford Chance partners based in Riyadh, including alignment of global processes and policies. He will take a leading role alongside the other JV partners in client development in Saudi Arabia and help deliver the full potential of the opportunities which the region offers for the Firm.
Fahad Abuhimed, AS&H Clifford Chance Managing Partner, comments: “This exciting new joint venture further cements the unique relationship that Clifford Chance and AS&H have enjoyed for the last six years in the Kingdom, and which has created an unrivalled legal powerhouse in Saudi Arabia.”
Charles Adams, Clifford Chance Global Managing Partner comments: “We are delighted to be creating an even stronger and more integrated Saudi offering through our new joint venture arrangement with AS&H. We look forward to working together in continuing to provide our local, regional and global clients with the highest-quality advice and support in this exceptionally dynamic and fast-growing market.”