Jones Day to launch three Saudi bases with nascent association

Jones Day has established an associate relationship with Saudi firm Al Sulaim Al Awaji & Partners Law Firm and will open three offices in the kingdom this year.

The US firm opened a Riyadh office on 1 January, and said it would open offices in Jeddah and Alkhobar later this year.

The Saudi operation will be headed by partner Yusuf Giansiracusa, who rejoins Jones Day from Al Sulaim. Giansiracusa previously worked at Jones Day in the 1980s and 1990s and headed up Winston & Strawn’s Riyadh office between 1993 and 1996.

Fahad Habib will relocate from Washington later this year to head the Jeddah office, while Oliver Passavant is moving from Frankfurt to be the partner in charge of Alkhobar. The two offices will focus on project finance, M&A and dispute resolution.

The move into Saudi Arabia follows the 2009 opening of Jones Day’s Dubai office. Managing partner Stephen Brogan said setting up in Saudi Arabia was a “natural next step”.

Jones Day joins a number of competitors in the kingdom, including White & Case and Latham & Watkins as well as UK magic circle firms Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

The kingdom is seen as a profitable place for Western firms to do business as project finance and infrastructure work in particular is booming at present.