CMS expands reach in the Middle East with Riyadh Office opening

International law firm CMS is strengthening its commitment to the Middle East with the opening of a new office in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The firm recently received its Foreign Law Firm Licence from the Saudi Ministry of Justice, enabling it to operate formally in the country. 

This expansion into Saudi Arabia is a natural progression for CMS, given its robust advisory capabilities in the Middle East. The firm already has a significant presence in the region, with offices in Morocco, Oman, Israel, Turkey, and the UAE (Abu Dhabi and Dubai). While serving clients with interests in Saudi Arabia from other CMS offices, the firm recognized the need for a dedicated Riyadh office to better serve its growing clientele in the Kingdom. 

The new CMS Riyadh office will be led by Mohammed Aldowish (pictured), a seasoned commercial litigation partner. Aldowish joins CMS from Clyde & Co, where he headed the disputes practice in Saudi Arabia and was a key member of the Middle East Dispute Resolution Group. He brings substantial expertise in advising both Saudi and international clients on various matters, including infrastructure and construction disputes, shareholder and joint venture disputes, commercial agency and distributor disputes, commercial arbitration claims, and court proceedings within Saudi Arabia. Additionally, Aldowish frequently provides counsel on construction contracts for major projects governed by Saudi Government Tenders and Procurement Law. 

Mohammed Aldowish said: “I am delighted to be joining CMS. Saudi Arabia, with its fast-evolving economy and continued growth potential under Vision 2030, presents an enormous opportunity for the firm and its clients and it makes sound strategic sense for the firm to grow its presence in the Kingdom. I look forward to drawing on my experience in Saudi Arabia and the wider region and working alongside the talented team at CMS to deliver on the needs of our clients.”    

Adrian Bell, CMS Partner and Joint Managing Director for Asia and the Middle East adds: “Having a formal presence in Saudi Arabia allows us to streamline our offering to clients, providing local law capabilities alongside a full-service and international-focused platform as well as demonstrating our continued commitment to the Middle East region. 

“With strong regional expertise and a standout reputation for disputes, Mohammed is an excellent hire for the firm and will play a critical role in building our client offering and capturing new opportunities in the region.”   

CMS has maintained a strong presence in the Middle East for over a decade, cultivating enduring client relationships and a proven track record in sectors such as energy and infrastructure, financial institutions, healthcare, education, hospitality, real estate and construction, and technology, media, and telecommunications (TMT). 

With its new office in Riyadh, CMS is well-positioned to further enhance its services and support clients as they navigate the legal landscape in Saudi Arabia and the broader Middle East region.