Herbies brings exclusive Saudi association to an end

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has announced that its exclusive association with Saudi Arabian firm Al-Ghazzawi Professional Association (GPA) will come to an end in August as the two firms have “evolved in different ways” since the agreement was set up in 2008.

The decision to part ways is understood to be amicable, with the two firms releasing a joint press release saying that their strategies have developed in “ways we could not have foreseen” four years ago.

While the move sees their exclusive relationship come to an end, the firms are expected to continue working together on a non-exclusive basis.

Last January HSF legacy firm Herbert Smith appointed a new Middle East head, Dubai-based corporate partner Zubair Mir, after incumbent Neil Brimson stepped down after five years in the role to manage the firm’s Doha office (4 August 2011).

Herbert Smith has gone through a number of major changes since setting up the agreement with GPA, notably merging with Australian firm Freehills in October last year.

Since the merger was announced in June the firm has lost nine high-level partners, including senior litigator Ted Greeno (27 March 2013). London corporate fraud and asset tracing head Simon Bushell quit for Latham & Watkins earlier this year (7 February 2013), while financial regulatory duo Martyn Hopper and Nikunj Kiri are both set to join Linklaters (29 January 2013).

Meanwhile, Moscow partner Dmitry Kurochkin, the firm’s head of disputes for Continental Europe, the Middle East and Africa, joined Dechert in November last year (21 June 2012), followed by Kevin Lloyd, who is exiting for US firm Debevoise & Plimpton in London (5 December 2012).

Read more about the exits in this week’s feature and leader.