White & Case unveils global Islamic finance unit

White & Case has launched a global Islamic finance unit formalising its sharia-compliant capabilities.

The new unit will be led by London-based partner Craig Nethercott in conjunction with partner Mohammed Al-Sheikh, who is based at the Riyadh offices of White & Case’s Saudi Arabian associated firm, the Law Office of Hassan Mahassni.

They will be supported by six partners and 17 lawyers, drawn from White & Case’s asset finance, banking, capital markets, corporate and project finance practice groups in London, New York, Paris, Riyadh and Washington DC.

Nethercott explained that the firm had been advising on Islamic financing issues for some time, but realised the need to formalise its capabilities to secure more mandates in the Middle East and comply with Islamic law.

“With interest in Islamic finance increasing across our client base, we wanted to provide a clearer picture of what we do,” he said.

White & Case recently advised Saudi Aramco on a $9.9bn (£5.65bn) joint venture with Sumitomo Chemicals for the redevelopment of a refinery on Saudi Arabia’s western coast into a major integrated refinery and petrochemical complex.