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Hogan & Hartson has taken its first step into the Middle East by launching a strategic alliance with The Law Firm of Salah Al-Hejailan (LFSH), one of Saudi Arabia’s leading firms.
Hogan has been focusing on building its European operations and the Saudi alliance is predominantly aimed at assisting the London office, which is currently working on four project financings in Egypt and a number of hotel and leisure complexes.
“We now have a presence in the Middle East. Sharia law runs across the region. Many lenders in Egypt, for example, will be local banks operating throughout the region. It’s a market, it’s a big one, and it’s an important one,” London managing partner Garry Pegg told The Lawyer.
The two firms have been working together for 20 years and, although this is a non-exclusive alliance, Hogan is expecting to send lawyers to Saudi on a full-time basis.
“It’s a very complex legal system that the Saudis have,” said the managing partner of Hogan’s international offices Raymond Batla. “We decided it was best to go in as an alliance. We’ll renew it as we go. I wouldn’t rule out us having a permanent presence.”
LFSH opened in Riyadh in 1967. It also has an office in Jeddah and is planning on opening in Al-Khobar.