Outer Temple gears up for Saudi launch

Outer Temple Chambers is looking to expand its presence in the Middle East by opening in Saudi Arabia.

The country is planning to open a series of economic cities aimed at attracting outside investment. One aim is to build an ­arbitration centre to emulate the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

Outer Temple business development director Derek Jenkins said: “We’ll open in Jeddah at some stage. At the moment Saudi’s a very ­difficult nut to crack, but it has to be done.”

The set formed an alliance with Abu Dhabi firm ­Salloum & Co in December 2007 as part of an ongoing strategy to build a presence in the region (The Lawyer, 3 December 2007).

A year later the set recruited Saudi-qualified Ali Almihdar as a door tenant. Almihdar established his own Jeddah-based firm, Almihdar Law Firm (ALF), in 1976 and remains part of that firm.

At the time of recruiting Almihdar, Outer Temple head of strategic development Richard Lissack QC said: “This is part of a ­coherent and costed ­strategy in preparation for the ­deregulation that’s coming in 2012.”