Clifford Chance and AS&H announce Joint Venture in Saudi Arabia to create AS&H Clifford Chance
5 March 2023
Clifford Chance and Abuhimed Alsheikh Alhagbani Law Firm (AS&H) are pleased to announce their agreement to enter into a 50:50 Joint Venture (JV) in Saudi Arabia. The JV will be known as AS&H Clifford Chance. The restructuring of Clifford Chance's business in Saudi Arabia has the full support of the Clifford Chance global partnership.
Clifford Chance is one of the first international law firms to receive a license from the Ministry of Justice to practice law in Saudi Arabia through the joint venture with AS&H.
Delivering for our clients through AS&H Clifford Chance
Clifford Chance is one of the world's pre-eminent law firms, with significant depth and range of resources across five continents and a strong client base which includes leading corporates, financial investors, governments, regulators, trade bodies and not-for-profit organisations. Clifford Chance has had an on-the-ground presence in Saudi Arabia for many decades in a variety of forms and has operated in cooperation with AS&H since November 2016. The cooperation has been highly successful and a key part of Clifford Chance's market-leading Middle East practice.
AS&H is the leading law firm in Saudi Arabia and has a deep bench of 64 Saudi nationals and internationally qualified lawyers who are specialists across a range of practice areas including 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 led the market in developing many of the features of existing market practice. The team regularly advises key Saudi Ministries and government-owned entities as well as a wide range of government owned, privately and publicly held Saudi and international businesses, listed companies and financial institutions. The firm has a strong track record of advising on some of the most innovative and ground-breaking transactions in Saudi Arabia.
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 leading 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.
AS&H Clifford Chance will continue to benefit from strong and collaborative leadership with Dr Fahad Abuhimed, 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 will be the Senior Clifford Chance Partner within the new structure. Guy 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.
Dr 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.