International regulation firms shake up Saudi presence in advance of new rules

(Reuters) – Looming variations to principles governing international law firms in Saudi Arabia could help reshape the oil loaded kingdom’s legal current market, with two global corporations saying this week that they are deepening or launching their existence there.

Worldwide firm Squire Patton Boggs stated Monday that it is terminating its affiliation with a area law firm in Riyadh and as a substitute designs to open up its possess place of work and retain the services of lawyers in the region.

And on Tuesday, Greenberg Traurig explained it was starting off an affiliation with that same regional place of work, the Khalid Al-Thebity Law Business, as it enters the Saudi legal current market for the 1st time.

Miami-founded Greenberg Traurig, which did not have a existence in Saudi Arabia right before, claimed it intends to register with its Saudi partner as a joint venture in the kingdom, a move that would comply with the new legislation company regulations.

Saudi Arabia final year announced ideas for regulation companies to be ready to run there independently, taking away a prerequisite that they do the job via affiliated Saudi legislation places of work. These associations will no for a longer period be permitted when the new principles go into influence afterwards this year.

Squire Patton Boggs explained Monday that it to start with gave observe that it planned to terminate its affiliation with Khalid Al-Thebity Law Agency in November, part of an effort to “placement itself for maximum growth in Saudi Arabia about the coming many years below the new authorized regulatory framework there.”

Organization chair and worldwide CEO Mark Ruehlmann said in a statement that Squire Patton Boggs is “committed” to being in the kingdom and starting to be “the ‘go to’ organization in Saudi Arabia for several years to appear.”

Richard Rosenbaum, executive chairman of Greenberg Traurig, stated in a assertion the new Saudi pointers are making it possible for international legislation firms to have a “legitimate presence” there. He reported the partnership with the Khalid regulation business and its present contacts in the region “will permit us to make a content affect from day just one.”

Three other international regulation firms — Latham & Watkins, Clifford Likelihood and Herbert Smith Freehills — claimed before this thirty day period that they were being among the the initially companies to get a license from the Saudi Ministry of Justice to exercise independently there.

Saudi work has been divisive for some regulation firms with a U.S. existence, and some minimize ties with the kingdom just after the killing of Washington Write-up columnist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. A CIA evaluation that calendar year uncovered Saudi Arabia liable for Khashoggi’s killing.

Squire Patton Boggs did not have any remark related to Saudi Arabia’s human rights file, and Greenberg Traurig did not reply to a request for remark.

Our Specifications: The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

Jacqueline Thomsen

Thomson Reuters

Jacqueline Thomsen, based in Washington, D.C., covers legal information connected to policy, the courts and the authorized profession. Observe her on Twitter at @jacq_thomsen and e mail her at [email protected].

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