Abuhimed Alsheikh Alhagbani Law Firm - Clifford Chance’s Saudi arm – is one of the leading firms in the market for all areas of work covered by the rankings.
Recent banking highlights for the firm feature a number of large Islamic finance transactions – syndicated loans and acquisition related financings – with a mix of borrow and lender side roles.
In the projects area, recent notable finance work included mandates for lenders on pet-chem developments.
The firm’s capital markets practice was involved in a number interesting deals in the research period. Among the highlights were roles for issuer Savola on the first accelerated book-built secondary trade on the Tadawul; work for the Ministry of Finance on the Kingdom’s sukuk programme and issuances under it; and a role for Bank Al-Jazira as issuer on a rights issue.
In M&A the firm worked on a number of the most high profile Saudi banking M&A deals in the research period, with highlights including advising Crédit Agricole on the sale of a stake in Banque Saudi Fransi and advising Saudi British Bank on its merger with Al-Awwal Bank.
Acwa Power, Samba Financial Group, Saudi Electricity Company and The National Commercial Bank (NCB) are among the firm’s key clients.
"Knowledgeable with a strong network." – Project development
"This is probably the best full service practice in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A deep bench of very good associates and excellent local contacts offer high quality advice. The partners are excellent and extremely experienced." – Project development
Al Tamimi & Co is active generally in financial and corporate work. The firm works in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East representing major international corporations, banks and government organizations.
The banking group advised lenders and borrowers. In one highlight deal, the firm represented Dubai Aerospace Enterprise on the lease of 8 Airbus A 320 aircraft.
The project finance team worked on various deals, with an emphasis on energy, infrastructure, healthcare and airports.
The capital markets team was active on the equity side. A standout deal came from representing Aster DM Healthcare FZE on its IPO in India.
In M&A the firm had a focus on aviation, defence and sports but the deals are confidential.
Key clients include Al Rajhi Bank, IBM, Kone Corporation, Chervron, AT Kearney, Saudi Aramco Shell Refinery Company.
“It is great to have a regionally focused law firm that has international quality staff and practices. The firm’s strengths is to combine western trained lawyers with local knowledge, flexibility, Arabic languages capability.” – Project finance
Dr Sultan Almasoud & Partners works in association with Shearman & Sterling. Its strength is capital markets but it has recently been active in project finance, M&A and banking too.
In the project finance the firm worked on transactions in the power and oil and gas sectors. A standout deal came from representing International Power on the development and financing the Fadhili Gas Complex.
In capital markets the firm was active on the equity side advising on Saudi IPOs. In one highlight, the capital markets team represented AlBaha Investment and Development Company on an IPO on the main market in Saudi.
In the banking practice, the firm worked on banking and finance transactions in Saudi Arabia. All the transactional details were confidential.
In the M&A space the firm was active across several sectors, including energy, real estate, consumer goods and retail. A standout deal came from representing real estate company Jabal Omar Development on its joint venture with Saudi property management companies.
Key clients include Citigroup Global Markets and Ewan Al Maali Real Estate Investment Fund.
Faisal Adnan Baassiri Law Firm works in association with Ashurst. Its strength is project development and finance work. The firm is active in energy, infrastructure and the natural resources sectors across the Middle East.
In project development the firm represented Dubai Electricity & Water Authority on the first solar power plant in the Middle East.
The project finance team represented National Container terminals on the development of a port in Saudi Arabia.
Significant clients include JGC Corporation, Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects and Petrochemical Industries Company.
“Knowledge of rail sector in the Middle East.” – Project development
Hammad & Al-Mehdar is active in M&A and has recent experience in the energy and technology sectors. In one highlight deal, the firm advised GlaxoSmithKline on its joint venture with Saudi Import Company to manufacture medicines in Saudi Arabia.
Significant clients include BECO capital, Uturn and AER Rianta International Middle East.
“The firm has been excellent, taking a very solutions focused and pragmatic approach in helping us navigate the cultural and legal complexities of doing business in Saudi Arabia. On a number of occasions he was innovative and commercial in proposing workarounds to challenges we encountered.” – M&A
A rare independent, domestic firm in Saudi Arabia, Hatem Abbas Ghazzawi & Co is one of the market’s strongest local counsels for Islamic and conventional lending and debt issues. The firm is experienced in advising on large oil and gas projects, on both the development and the financing.
In the banking area the firm has been working as borrower’s counsel to foreign lenders providing credit to Saudi borrowers.
The firm’s recent portfolio of capital markets work features several notable issuer side roles on debt issues. A few highlights were advising Acwa Power on its debut bond and representing the National Commercial Bank when it sold a tier 1 bond.
Notable M&A in the research period included oil and gas, media, technology and agriculture deals, which were a mix of mergers and joint ventures. The firm’s clients included Saudi and foreign parties.
In the projects area the firm has been working on a prominent power projects, advising on development (including negotiating PPAs and the financing).
Acwa Power, Dow Chemical, Citicorp and The National Commercial Bank are key clients.
Allen & Overy’s Saudi sponsor Khoshaim & Associates is strong in all areas of work covered by the rankings and known for Islamic finance expertise.
In the banking and finance area the firm secured borrower and lender roles on large corporate and project Islamic financings. A few of the headline deals were representing Ma’aden when it refinanced a facility used to build an aluminium smelter and advising the lenders providing financing to Mobily.
In capital markets, the firm had key roles on the market’s most significant sukuk and bond issues. The clear highlights were advising the arrangers and dealers on the establishment of Aramco’s domestic sukuk programme and issuances under it, and acting for the government on Saudi Arabia’s recent sovereign bond issues.
Notable M&A work in the research period was predominantly joint ventures and included work for Saudi Aramco on the establishment of an offshore drilling joint venture with Rowan Companies.
In project development the firm is representing Acwa Power as sponsor on a utility PPP.
Key clients include HSBC, Samba Capital, Saudi Aramco and Standard Chartered.
"Excellent law firm, attorneys and support staff. They are very diligent and eager." - Restructuring
"Excellent team. One of the few law firms with a commercial mind-set." – banking, M&A
Law Office of Looaye M Al-Akkas works in association with Vinson & Elikns and is active in M&A, and project development. The firm worked on domestic and cross-border transactions for corporations, financial institutions and family entities across a variety of sectors.
In one highlight deal the firm represented Sadara Chemical Company on its corporate issues and also in connection with a joint venture to build a hydrogen peroxide plant. In addition,the firm represented Saudi Aramco on its joint venture with Jacobs to form a company to provide professional program and construction management services in the Middle East and North Africa.
Key clients include Ahmad Hamad Al-Gosaibi & Brothers Company and Summit Technologies Company.
Law Office of Salman M Al-Sudairi, which has a formal relationship with Latham & Watkins, is recognised for finance and capital markets advice in particular.
Recent highlight lending work for the firm included large syndications for state controlled Saudi companies including Ma’aden and the Saudi Electricity Company, where the firm acted for the lenders.
The firm advised on a number of high profile conventional and Islamic debt issues in the research period, most notably advising the state on its bond issues. It also secured some equity work, including advising Zahrat Al Waha on its IPO.
Notable clients include Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, PIF, and Dar Al-Arkan.
Legal Advisors Abdulaziz I Al-Ajlan & Partners is Baker McKenzie’s Saudi sponsor firm. Conventional and Islamic corporate and project finance lending and equity capital markets are arguably the areas where the firm is strongest but is has a broad team experienced in high-end work in all areas covered by the rankings. Construction, infrastructure and natural resources are sectors in which the firm has expertise.
In the banking and finance area the firm’s recent highlights were predominantly lender side roles on large Islamic corporate and project facilities. A few of the highlights were advising Ma’aden as borrower on refinancing a large project financing facility and a lender side role on large syndicated Islamic loan to Marafiq.
The firm’s capital markets work is all confidential but includes a number of IPOs and secondary offerings, with work for underwriters and issuers.
Among the firm’s notable M&A deals were roles for Hanco when it sold Al Tala'a International Transportation Co to Byrne, and working for a major shareholder in Al Safi Danone Company when the business was sold to the National Agricultural Development Company.
In the projects area the firm is working for sponsors and developers on transport and oil and gas infrastructure developments.
Among the firm’s key clients are Banque Saudi Fransi, Ma'aden, and Saudi Binladin.
"Very solid partners (Karim Nassar and Zahi Boustani), with deep market knowledge and commitment to clients." – Capital markets, M&A
"The banking and finance team have been extremely responsive and have been able to provide great feedback on several transactions and regulatory queries that we have had in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They have also been able to coordinate our cross-border queries across the various Baker McKenzie offices." – Banking, capital markets
"Baker & McKenzie and its local affiliate demonstrate a sound understanding of local law and regulations. Their expertise in drafting of legal documents differentiate them from their peers. The documentation drafted are easy to follow. The deal team involved is always accessible regardless of their rank in the firm and always provide expert advice based on market practice. Their turnaround time is very impressive, which showcases their ability to service their clients." - Banking
"The firm is very good, and has access to partners and associates in Bahrain and Dubai." – Banking, project development, project finance
"The strengths that I would highlight are the law firm's ability to understand the underlying issues of a matter, and its network of close contacts within the market. It is efficient and able to deliver consistent, professional and timely service." – Banking, project finance, restructuring
Meshal Al Akeel Law Firm, the Saudi sponsor of Hourani and Associates, is recognised for M&A. The firm advised private companies, equity funds and family groups across different sectors in the research period. A standout M&A deal came from representing online food company Delivery Hero on its acquisition of food delivery platform Carriage.
The firm hired partners Amgad Husein and Anas Akel from Dentons.
Investcorp, Al Borg Medical Laboratories and TasHeel Holding Group are among the firm’s key clients.
“Excellent work. Very thorough, reliable and fast.” – M&A
"We pick Hourani and Associates to contribute value to our operations. Their knowledge of our business and of the market in itself helps us in ensuring that our business needs are always protected. We find Hourani and Associates to be proactive in highlighting matters that need attention and in finding pragmatic solutions for our group." – M&A, restructuring
The Law Firm of Salah Al-Hejailan – Freshfields’ Saudi arm – has a strong corporate transactional offering, and is recognised for equity capital markets and M&A advice.
The firm’s recent capital markets work all relates to the equity markets and includes a number of proposed IPOs where the firm has issuer roles, including for Al Habib Medical Group Services Holding Company and Saudi Airlines Cargo Company.
The firm’s other corporate deals were a mix of M&A and joint ventures. Among the highlights were roles advising Danone on the sale of its interests in Al Safi Danone Company to the National Agricultural Development Company. A notable joint venture saw the firm representing Volkswagen when it renegotiated a three way agreement it has with Audi, Bentley and Porsche in Saudi Arabia.
Key clients include Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Samba Capital, and Saudi Airlines Cargo Company.
The Law Office of Mohammad Al-Ammar, King & Spalding’s sponsor in Saudi Arabia is strong in bank lending and project finance area, and on Islamic finance transactions in general. As is true for King & Spalding as a whole, representing funds on transactions and fund formations is a speciality of the Saudi team.
Recent banking and finance highlights for the firm include a number of large lender side corporate, acquisition and project finance facilities which were predominantly shariah compliant.
In capital markets work the has been active on sukuk transactions, predominantly working for dealers and arrangers, although it has an issuer side role on a proposed healthcare IPO.
Key clients include Arab National Bank, Islamic Development Bank
"Knowledgeable, responsive experts." – Investment funds, M&A