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Saudi relations: Clifford Chance special adviser resigns to head public regulator

Clifford Chance’s (CC’s) special adviser in Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Al-Jadaan, founding partner of local firm Al-Jadaan & Partners with which the Magic Circle firm holds a cooperation agreement, has resigned from his role to chair the Capital Market Authority as it oversees the liberalisation of the country’s financial markets.

Al-Jadaan’s appointment as special adviser dates back to CC’s original cooperation agreement with the local firm in 1998. His departure comes just one year after CC fully integrated the corporate, finance and capital markets practices of Al-Jadaan & Partners, constituting the first international firm to make such a move in the region. The move saw Al-Jadaan re-appointed as special adviser to support the various practices with a team of 30 permanently based Saudi and foreign lawyers.

An Islamic finance specialist, Al-Jadaan has previously advised international investment banks on regulatory and structuring issues and served as special adviser to the board of directors at Morgan Stanley Saudi Arabia. Having been appointed to the top role at Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority by the new king, King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, following a cabinet reshuffle last month, he will now work with the agency as it liberalises the burgeoning Saudi market to stimulate foreign investment.

The operations of Al-Jadaan & Partners, meanwhile, will continue under the leadership of two remaining partners, Yousef Al-Jadaan and Abdullah Al-Hashim.

Having confirmed Al-Jadaan’s resignation would not affect the firm’s current agreement, a spokesperson for CC said: ‘This appointment recognises the contribution Mohammed has made to the development of the capital markets in the Kingdom. The CMA is expected to undergo significant growth and change in the next 12 months and in future years and we are confident that under Mohammed’s leadership these changes will be driven forward in the most effective and efficient manner possible.’