DLA scoops CC ally to lead Islamic push

DLA Piper has plundered Clifford Chance’s Saudi Arabian alliance firm for a new global head of Islamic Finance.

Oliver Agha is to join DLA’s equity partnership on Monday [5 February] from Riyadh-based The Law Firm of Yousef & Mohammed Al-Jadaan, where he had the title of head of projects and general counsel, and co-chair of the banking and finance practice.

A US-educated lawyer, Agha trained in New York before spending five years in the Hong Kong and Beijing offices of Fulbright & Jaworski. He joined Al-Jadaan in January 2005.

Agha was a lead partner providing local law advice to the conventional and Islamic lenders on the $8.5bn Petro-Rabigh refinery and petrochemical project. Agha’s work on the deal was ground breaking for structuring Islamic finance compliant structure within conventional financing.

A DLA spokesperson said: “He will head our projects capability in the Middle East, and will pull together the Islamic finance expertise across the firm globally. It’s a booming market and this will help DLA capitalise on that.”

Agha will now work with DLA’s Saudi Arabian affiliate, Abdulaziz H Al-Fahad, an eight-lawyer firm.

The firm has also bolstered it Dubai operation with the relocation of projects and construction partner Brian Clark to work with Agha. Clark specialises in public sector procurement work.

The hire and relocation follow that of Bruce Mullins from Curtis Mallet-Prevost Colt & Mosle last month, where he was managing partner of the Muscat office. Mullins will head DLA’s planned Oman operation.