Trowers ties up Middle East ‘blueprint’ double

TROWERS & Hamlins is riding a record year for its Middle East practice, closing two landmark deals in Saudi Arabia and Libya within a week.

The firm advised the winning consortium to provide Saudi Arabia’s first private water and power project, the $2.5bn (£1.41bn) Shoaiba project. Allen & Overy advised the financiers.

Trowers also advised a consortium of lenders on a $30m (£16.9m) onshore oil-drilling rig for Libya’s Arab Drilling and Workover Company, which was advised by Clyde & Co.

Trowers Middle East projects partner Adrian Creed said law firms were increasingly looking at Libya on the back of oil and gas clients as these types of transactions increase.

“Regardless of the noughts on the end, this is a very important deal and a document blueprint for other lender transactions,” Creed said. “We hope this will be the catalyst for other structured transactions.”

Creed said Saudia Arabia’s governing Sharia laws had historically deterred international lenders, but that the Shoaiba project had proved to be a breakthrough.

“This is one we can wave about as a blueprint, and now that we’ve got one away we expect many more to come forward,” he said. “We expect there to be at least one of these of this size in Saudi every year for the next 20 years.”