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Allen & Overy expands into Saudi Arabia with Riyadh office launch

Allen & Overy expands into Saudi Arabia with Riyadh office launch


This expansion comes ahead of the eagerly anticipated merger between Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling, forming A&O Shearman, scheduled for May 1.

Securing the necessary license from the Saudi Ministry of Justice, Allen & Overy's Riyadh office marks a strategic move to solidify existing relationships with leading Saudi Arabian clients while extending support to international clients seeking investment opportunities within the region. By establishing a physical foothold in Riyadh, the firm aims to seamlessly connect its client base with the local market, leveraging its esteemed reputation and expertise.

The Riyadh office will serve as an integral component of Allen & Overy's global network, reinforcing its position in the Middle East for handling top-tier, intricate legal matters. To spearhead operations on the ground, A&O has assembled a dynamic team led by partners Hosam Ibn Ghaith and Haris Meyer Hanif.

Hosam Ibn Ghaith brings a wealth of experience to the table, having previously served as General Counsel at Hassana Investment Company, a key player in managing Saudi Arabia's social security and pension fund. With nearly 15 years of practice in advising on complex transactions, including corporate law, capital markets, and Islamic finance, Hosam's client-centric approach positions him as a valuable asset to Allen & Overy's Riyadh venture.

Haris Meyer Hanif, a seasoned legal professional recognised for his expertise in finance, restructuring, and insolvency matters, joins from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. With over a decade of experience in the MENA region, Haris is poised to lead Allen & Overy's efforts in establishing a robust team specialising in restructuring and capital solutions.

Khalid Garousha, regional managing partner for the Middle East and Turkey at A&O, expressed enthusiasm about the firm's expansion into Riyadh, emphasising their commitment to supporting Saudi Arabia's ambitious Vision 2030 agenda. He highlighted A&O's longstanding presence in the Middle East and their dedication to delivering unparalleled legal services to domestic and international clients.

Wim Dejonghe, senior partner at Allen & Overy, echoed Garousha's sentiments, underscoring the strategic significance of the Riyadh office in tapping into the Kingdom's growth potential. He lauded the partnership with Hosam Ibn Ghaith, Haris Meyer Hanif, and soon, Dr. Sultan Almasoud and his team, envisioning a seamless integration of expertise, experience, and innovation to benefit clients.

As Allen & Overy embarks on this new chapter in Saudi Arabia, the firm remains poised to navigate the evolving legal landscape, offering comprehensive solutions and unparalleled service to clients across the region and beyond.