The Saudi Arabian legal market, with its strict regulations, is not the easiest place for a Western law firm to do business. After its merger in June, Squire Patton Boggs found itself faced with a dilemma as both legacy firms had a Saudi association formed in 2012. One had to be dissolved.
Yesterday the firm announced that it was continuing the relationship with legacy Patton Boggs’ Saudi affiliate, Khalid Al-Thebity. The two firms tied up in 2012 as Dewey & LeBoeuf’s Saudi team quit the collapsing US outfit.
Meanwhile Squire Sanders’ associated firm, Al-Enezee, is set to forge a new path as an independent firm.
Of course that doesn’t mean another international firm won’t come knocking on Al-Enezee’s door in the near future. Saudi associations are often fluid – back in 2012, Linklaters signed a deal with Allen & Overy’s associate Abdulaziz AlGasim Law Firm, with A&O choosing to set up a new alliance with a local firm led by partner Zeyad Khoshaim.
Squire Sanders also had a complex history in the country, having originally moved in via a deal with Abdulaziz Al-Assaf. That relationship later broke down – as did Abdulasziz Al-Assaf’s later tie-up with legacy Norton Rose – but Squire Sanders cemented its Riyadh presence in 2012 through a deal with Al-Enezee.
With international firms continuing to bang on Riyadh doors, such as Charles Russell in June, demand for a local sponsor should remain high.
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