The Dubai-headquartered firm already has a Saudi base through its office in the capital Riyadh. However, a Jeddah office would allow it to access banking, corporate and project finance opportunities in the west of the country. A source with knowledge of the expansion plans told The Lawyer: “There are a lot of project finance deals in Jeddah, such as the Red Sea Gateway Terminal, and there’s a lot of activity in Medina and Mecca, which are close by, so it makes sense.
Plus, Al Tamimi is a Gulf Cooperation Council firm, so it doesn’t need a local sponsor.” But despite having the option of going it alone, Al Tamimi is thought to be looking at entering Jeddah through a tie-up with local lawyers Adli A Hammad and Mohammed A Al-Mehdar. The tie-up is seen as offering good connections and technically skilled lawyers to Al Tamimi and a strong regional brand to Al-Mehdar and Hammad. Talks are believed to be at an advanced stage.
Nevertheless, Al Tamimi declined to confirm such a bolt-on. Senior partner Essam Al Tamimi said: “Part of Al Tamimi’s strategy is to expand throughout the Middle East. We currently support operations within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through our Riyadh office. However, we’re evaluating options as partof our expansion strategy to open an office in Jeddah, but we have nothing firm to date.”