While some law firms are consolidating their presence in the region, Shearman & Sterling has bolstered its presence in the Middle East through an affiliation with local Saudi Arabian firm Abdulaziz Alassaf & Partners.
The practice, which has 16 lawyers across three offices in Riyadh, Jeddah and Al-Khobar, provides services across ten practice areas including banking and finance, real estate and construction and intellectual property.
The team includes head of corporate Sanjarbek Abdukhalilov, the firm’s founder Abdulaziz Alassaf and managing partner Sultan Almasoud. Abdukhalilov, who trained and worked at the London office of legacy Denton Wilde Sapte, advises on M&A, private equity, joint ventures and capital market transactions.
Almasoud said: ‘We aim to take our practice to the next level through our partnership with Shearman & Sterling, a law firm with similar values and vision to our own – dynamic, ambitious and focused on client excellence.’
Shearman has also appointed Brendan Hundt, a member of the firm’s project finance & development practice, as counsel in the Abdulaziz Alassak & Partners’ office.
Commenting on the development, Shearman’s senior partner Creighton Condon said the new affiliation reinforced the firm’s ‘market-leading position throughout the Middle East.’
Shearman currently has an office in Abu Dhabi with over 20 lawyers in practices including oil and gas, project development and finance, M&A and bank finance and restructuring. In February the firm announced its first foray into Africa, with an international arbitration and projects focused practice in Egypt. Arbitration partner and Paris chief Emmanuel Gaillard is spearheading the plans and is set to manage the launch.