Vinson launches Riyadh operation

Vinson & Elkins is expanding its Middle East practice with a new office in Riyadh.

The US energy specialist is opening in association with The Law Office of Looaye M Al-Akkas, the name partner of which has joined Vinson as a partner.

“The addition of a Riyadh office underscores Vinson’s strong commitment to the Middle East and to Saudi Arabia [in particular],” said Joe Dilg, ­Vinson managing partner. “It’s exciting to have Looaye, a highly regarded Saudi lawyer with a depth of experience in the market, join us on the ground in the kingdom.”

Al-Akkas’s arrival takes the number of native ­Arabic-speaking partners Vinson has resident in the Middle East to five.

“[This] is unique among international firms and ­provides exceptional value and efficiencies for our clients,” added Dilg.

Al-Akkas was previously a senior associate with Legal Advisors in Association with Baker & McKenzie in Riyadh. He also worked for three years at Saudi Aramco as in-house legal counsel.

He specialises in major projects and M&A and also has experience across a wide range of capital markets matters.

Vinson’s Saudi practice also includes partners Sami Al-Louzi and Ahmed el-Gaili, as well as associates William Page and Fahad AlMalki.