Linklaters signs deal with A&O’s sponsor firm in Saudi

Linklaters has signed a cooperation deal with Allen & Overy’s (A&O) local sponsor in Saudi Arabia, Abdulaziz AlGasim Law Firm.

The deal between Linklaters and Abdulaziz AlGasim will go live today and continue indefinitely, according to Abdulaziz AlGasim managing partner Monaji Zamakhchary.

A&O had been working with Abdulaziz AlGasim since 2007, but the five-year deal expired in June (19 June 2012) though the two firms were known to be discussing whether to continue working together.

Zamakhchary told The Lawyer: “We have high regards for Allen & Overy but came to the understanding that it would be best to pursue our strategic goals independently. We’ve known about Linklaters for a long time, they’ve been very active in the [Saudi Arabia] market] and we’re looking forward to working with them.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for Linklaters said: “We’ve been doing transactions in the Middle East for over 30 years and established our office in Dubai in 2005 and in Abu Dhabi last year. We’ve been very successful in developing our Saudi practice and this arrangement with Abdulaziz AlGasim Law Firm will allow us to further extend our already very active practice.”

Abdulaziz AlGasim is a full-service firm specialising in Islamic finance, regulatory work and litigation. It has over 30 lawyers.

In November 2011 Linklaters’ Singapore relationship partner Allen & Gledhill broke off its relationship with the magic circle firm to begin tie-up talks with A&O, but discussions broke down between the two firms in spring 2012 (26 March 2012) and now neither A&O nor Linklaters has a local partner in Singapore.

Linklaters has made a number of international moves in recent months. The firm signed an exclusive alliance with South Africa’s Webber Wentzel earlier this month (3 December 2012) and forged a similar alliance with Allens Arthur Robinson in Australia in April (23 April 2012).