Addleshaw Goddard secures licence to operate in Saudi Arabia
Addleshaw Goddard has been granted a Foreign Law Firm Licence by the Saudi Ministry of Justice after announcing its intention in 2023, to launch an office in Riyadh, its fourth in the Middle East alongside Dubai, Qatar and Oman.
The firm celebrated its launch with 300+ clients and contacts at an event in the historical district of At-Turaif, a UNESCO World heritage site.
The Riyadh office is now fully operational and initially comprises five highly regarded partners following the arrival of its latest partner in the Kingdom, Christian Both, from Clifford Chance.
Christian joins three other KSA-based lateral hires who have been working between KSA and Dubai over the last few months on a range of client matters – Ibrahim Siddiki who joined from Bracewell in Dubai, where he led the KSA corporate M&A practice, and Homam Khoshaim, an M&A expert formerly at Latham & Watkins as well as Banking & Finance partner Amar Meher, formerly at Latham & Watkins. Projects & Infrastructure partner Alex Sarac has also relocated to Riyadh from AGs Dubai office to complete the partner group.
The office opens with seven other fee-earners. The 14-strong team offers expertise in corporate M&A, banking and finance and infrastructure and has broad sector expertise in energy, oil and gas, renewables, infrastructure, transport, technology, hospitality, manufacturing and consumer goods which aligns closely with KSA Vision 2030.
AG's aspiration in KSA is to provide clients with a full-service capability on-the-ground and to further support a wide range of inbound and outbound matters in the region and across the firm's network of now 18 offices worldwide.
The firm has reported a steep growth trajectory in the Middle East over the last decade with revenue growth having doubled during that time. The opening of the Riyadh office provides an essential next step to deliver income growth of 40% over the next five years, further maintaining the firm's upward trajectory in the region. The business currently has 24 partners and nearly 60 other fee-earners based full-time in the region.
Andrew Johnston, Addleshaw Goddard Head of Middle East and Asia (who has been elected global Managing Partner with effect from 1 May, 2024), said: "Establishing an office in Riyadh has been done as a direct response to existing client demand. It is an essential next step for our business in the Middle East, and will form a central plank of our growth trajectory in the region in coming years. It will allow us to attract more of the best people and better serve existing and future clients. The market reaction, the clients we have already secured and deals we are working on in the short time since we announced our intention to launch in KSA has been really encouraging and is a testament to the quality of the team who are all well regarded in the Saudi market."