CC London litigation chief relocates to Moscow, finance co-head to Saudi

  • Print
  • Comments (37)

Readers' comments (37)

  • What a development for the Kingdom.
    I guess this is a sign that CC are taking control of the finance practice in Saudi to try and stop the constant loss of lawyers from Al Jadaan.
    Interesting to see if a corporate partner will follow.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The only way CC will be able to stop the constant loss of lawyers from Al Jadaan is to loose, or at least control, Al-Jadaan himself. It remains to be seen just how long Mr Plews will be able to stick it in Saudi.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Where to start - the whole Al Jadaan saga would fill three volumes.
    Cutting Edge clearly doesn't know Mohammed Al Jadaan. No way will he let CC get any influence in the practice in Saudi Arabia. Like Anonymous, I'd give Tim Plews 6 months before he goes home in total frustration.
    As for a corporate partner, everyone knows that the last 3 expat managers on the corporate side didn't manage two years between them. Who'd volunteer for that gig?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I heard the entire corporate team below partner level changed last year except for one expat. Retention in the finance team isn't much better.
    There is a huge disconnect between partners and associates throughout the practice.
    Not that clear what Mr Plews is supposed to do about this.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Al Jadaan must be doing something right because they have won every award going in the last few years and are head and shoulders above the rest. The above comments are petty (no mention of a CC finance partner who to my knowledge has already "stuck it" in Riyadh for 3 years) - but a predictable reaction from people who seem to be playing in Al Jadaan's shadow. Plews deserves to succeed.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Hey Envy. A man of your obvious intelligence should be able to see that all of the above comments refer to associate retention not partner retention. You are right. Not a single partner has left Al Jadaan. More's the pity.

    But lets not forget the headcount below partner. How many associates over the last 3 years or so? Give us the figures please. Tell me while you are at it how many associates over the last three years have made senior associate?

    No-one is denying that Al Jadaan wins awards. But what has that to do with the tunnel-vision leadership, hyper-critical environment and lack of Associate development.

    Plews may well deserve to succeed and no-one wishes him ill. But the question is whether he will be allowed to succeed. Maybe you have the answer to that too.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • While we wait for Envy to take instructions, we can ponder another fact.

    Al Jadaan was formed in 1996 and between then and now not a single associate has made senior associate.

    Is there any other law firm in the world which claims to be No. 1 in its jurisdiction ("head and shoulders above the rest" says Envy) and which can boast of such an achievement?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Hey Envy,
    I can tell how many associate have left the firm within the last three years. There were more that 16 associates left the firm out of 19 lawyers!
    No one of those lawyers stayed at the firm more than 18 months in total. In fact, some of them run away from the first 6 months.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • On unrelated matters, what do guys think will happen in the upcoming months in terms of Latham vs. W&C?
    In your opinion, will L&W succeed in taking over most of W&C's recent business? (I'd say yes, except for Aramco, which will continued to be managed by W&C from outside Saudi Arabia.)
    Will W&C rise from the ashes and get back to being a great firm in Saudi? (I'd say yes as well.)
    How will they achieve that? (I'd say from partners and associates relocation and lateral hires from some of the good int'l firms established in Saudi),
    Cheers

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Ben. There is a separate thread on White & Case in Riyadh elsewhere on this website. I would suggest that you post your questions there rather than deflect attention away from this extremely enjoyable discussion about Al Jadaan.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I do believe that more enjoinments are coming over the next few months at Aljadaan and this is Tim's job to evaluate the situation and give final image to London management rather than Dubai management.
    But, the question now is:
    Where has the mouse gone!?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Ah ah, noted...
    (While enjoyable, however, this discussion doesn't really explain how Al Jadaan manages to stay on top while bleeding associates and never "making senior associates". I'm curious about that...)
    Cheers

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • It really isn't rocket science how Al Jadaan wins awards. Joint projects with CC, a global giant and one of the largest ME practices.
    Who need associates when you can just add a Saudi partner to a CC transaction team.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Where did Envy go? I was expecting a rebuttal of all the points raised about Al Jadaan.

    Even DLA managed a more spirited defence when it was under attack a month or two ago.

    Will no-one defend Al Jadaan?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Clearly not.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • A little birdy told me...

    that Clifford Chance's associate firm in Saudi, Al Jadaan, is suffering from something of a retention problem. CC are sending a senior partner out there ostensibly to ramp up their presence in the area. But insiders tell RoF that it won't do anything to stop the flood of fleeing associates?

    Envy, Roll on Friday is rolling and we heard no tiny bit of rebuttal from you. It appears Al Jadaan is darn for sure.....or maybe RoF is interviewing you right now?!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I guess Envy is too busy covering his own arse!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Some more facts. Expat turnover in past 12 months now at 90%. Saudi turnover below partner level in past 12 months 60%.

    Someone should poll for current associate job satisfaction. On a scale of 1 for happy and 10 for miserable the result would be about a 12.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Maybe Envy has been sacked from Al Jadaan's BD department and deported. Or if the culture of the place is more toxic than Chernobyl as some of the above comments seem to suggest, perhaps he's got radiation poisoning

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Maybe Envy has been tasked with changing the accounting system at Al Jadaan from the 15-minute unit to a 30-minute unit. This will ensure that profits stay up in a slow market.

    Makes me wonder why the rest of use 6-minute units if the market leader (head and shoulders above the rest of us) uses 15 minute units.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Maybe Envy has no clue as to how to mount a solid defence? Ahhh... he needs to hire a lawyer! Which firm shall he sought advice from? Definitely not from CC!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Hey all stop wondering where Envy has been? I will tell you but please keep it secret:
    He is thinking seriously to go back to the Military Hospital!
    But if he decides to do so, we should all wish success and happiness!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Maybe he's seeking therapy for his delusions! Ohhh... I hope we don't have to wait too long for his reply! However, I hope it's worth the wait as he will be more insightful and hopefully, he will stop talking nonsense!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • As a Saudi associate who used to work previously.....What goes around, comes around.. ....like this beautiful comments....the Saudi associates are paid below market rate compare to other firms in riyadh (and jeddah, shame.....) .....is that how a No. 1 firm in saudi pays associates to stay "head and shoulders above the rest" says Envy....:)

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Envy has gone because you cannot rebut facts. All of the awards and PR spin that firms can generate cannot hide the fact that Al Jadaan is failing as a sustainable business as ahat has been shaped by Mohammed Al Jadaan himself.

    All of the talk from the past about developing associates and building a Saudi law firm to international standards has gone out the window as a result of excessive self-glorification at partner level and the sheer inability to forsake profitability to address deep-seated practice management issues. As the number of available expat associates dwindles, the problem becomes more exacerbated.

    Cemeteries the world over are full of the best and brightest lawyers of their generation; capable of highly original and creative thought. But they are all long since forgotten. The names that live on, through law firms, are those that were able to found a culture that others wanted to build on and keep alive. It may be premature, but I'm willing to bet that Al Jadaan won't see a second generation leadership, either organic or lateral.

    That is a great shame, especially given some of the talent that has come and gone from that firm, both local and expat.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Could all the above comments made out of pure jealousy? It makes me wonder, based on the comments above, whether the "marriage" between Aljadaan and CC is really working or are they better off heading for splitsville?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • It depends on how you see it. CC needs a local firm in order to operate in Saudi. If CC does not maintain its partnership with Al-Jadaan, CC will have to find another local partner. The determining factors for CC should include, amongst others, its reputation, expanding its presence and capturing the Saudi market. However, it seems that the chicken has come home to roost. Obviously, expats and local associates who had left were extremely dissatisfied with how things were run and how they were treated. So, CC should ponder whether it is worth remaining in such a partnership while inadvertently allowing its reputation to suffer in the long term. Maybe Tim should scout for alternative partnership during his stint in Riyadh?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Hey Anonymous | 11-May-2010 8:27 pm,

    The grass is always greener on the other side. What makes you think that the problem disappears once CC works with another local firm? For all you know, the problem is pervasive throughout the Kingdom. Haven't you heard this saying before that it's better to work with the devil you know than the devil you don't?!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Given that there are three or four ex-CC/Aljadaaners currently adding value to A&O's Riyadh office, it seems the grass is considerably greener on at least one other side of the fence! I'm sure they're not the only firm to benefit from the quality candidates that CC recruits but Jadaan can't retain.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The issue of CC finding another partner is irrelevant.

    CC is fully aware of the outrageously arrogant manner in which Al Jadaan treats its expat associates and does abosolutely nothing other than keep footing the bill for its share of the expensive recruitment and relocation costs that accrue each time Al Jadaan has to recruit to plug a gap.

    If the relocation of Tim Plews is supposed to be a sign that CC intends to start, finally, putting some pressure back on Al Jadaan then it should have comes 3 years ago after the A&O exodus on the finance side. The relocation of the current CC finance partner has been a failure, reports suggest that the said partner has become like the locals in his attitude towards the expat secondees.

    I would also love to know when CC will do something on the corporate side. Then again, maybe there is insufficient money and prestige at stake in corporate in Saudi Arabia for CC to do anything other than watch the revolving door.

    The list of firms in Saudi Arabia with ex-CC/Al Jadaan is growing. I guess that CC can no longer recruit on the basis that expats don't want to stay in the Kingdom and have to find some other excuse for people leaving Al Jadaan. I wonder what it is.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I heard that Al Jadaan will no longer provide no-objection letters to its expat lawyers when they leave. Makes the lawyers re-entry into Saudi Arabia conditional on Mohammed Al Jadaan's approval of the firm they want to go to.

    I guess A&O won't be seeing any more ex Al Jadaan.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Envy
    Succinctly, you must be either:
    Mohamed Al-Jadaan OR
    A complete ignorant of the Saudi legal market.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I think it is more likely that Envy is an office manager with misguided loyalty. No doubt when the current round of support staff redundancies at Al Jadaan is finished, the only logical target left will be the said office manager>
    Who will be envious of Envy then?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Oh no i dont think he was Abu-Yamen (abu-matyaz)

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I think Abu Musameh has been sucking on the cactus juice again.
    Latest gossip on the street is that Mr Plew's move is just spin. It seems that he is unlikely to be seen around town apart from fleeting visits from Dubai where the lifestyle is much more appealing.
    I guess it just depends on how you define "relocation."

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Another expat lawyer has fled the good ship Al Jadaan. This leaves the finance side about as thinly staffed as the corporate side.

    Reliable sources advise that two of the remaining three expats have their eyes firmly fixed on a move to London and soon the cupboard will be bare.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Hey Edge

    Would those two expats happen to have the same first name?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

Mandatory Required Fields

Mandatory

Comments that are in breach or potential breach of our terms and conditions in particular clause 8, may not be published or, if published, may subsequently be taken down. In addition we may remove any comment where a complaint is made in respect of it. These actions are at our sole discretion.

  • Print
  • Comments (37)