PRESSR: Kirkland & Ellis chooses Riyadh as its regional headquarters in the Middle East

Two of the most prominent and successful female lawyers in the Kingdom assume leadership roles in the company

Riyadh: Kirkland & Ellis; The largest international law firm in the world, in terms of revenue, with 3,500 lawyers working in its offices in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Europe, and Asia, is expanding its scope of work by opening its new regional headquarters in Riyadh, the capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is its first office in Middle East region. This step comes with the full support of the Regional Headquarters Program issued at the initiative of the Saudi Ministry of Investment and the Royal Commission for the City of Riyadh.

Commenting on this step, His Excellency Engineer Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih said: The Minister of Investment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: “The Kingdom continues its tireless endeavor to provide a wide range of investment opportunities attractive to investors from all over the world. The opening of the new regional headquarters of Kirkland & Ellis, in Riyadh, reflects the great importance that leading international companies attach to the Kingdom, and the growing demand.” We, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, welcome Kirkland & Ellis and all leading global companies, and look forward to their contribution to supporting our ambitious national goals to achieve growth based on economic diversification. "

Commenting on the opening of the company’s new regional headquarters in Riyadh, John Bales, Chairman of the Executive Committee of Kirkland & Ellis, said: “Today, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is witnessing an unprecedented social and economic transformation, in terms of speed, scope and scale of impact. “Strong government spending and a high volume of foreign direct investments, the Kingdom continues to attract the most prominent companies from around the world, many of which are prestigious clients of our company.”

He added: “Kirkland & Ellis is ranked first globally in the field of private equity, mergers and acquisitions, litigation, and legal restructuring services, which are a pivotal part in building a diversified Saudi economy. We aspire, through the opening of our new regional headquarters, to In Riyadh, to support our international client base, and the growing group of Saudi clients, who today seek to benefit from the exceptional opportunities offered to them by the Kingdom’s rapidly growing economy.”

It should be noted that Kirkland & Ellis was granted a license to practice law for a foreign office by the Ministry of Justice to work in the Kingdom, after the reforms the Kingdom witnessed related to granting licenses to the legal profession. Two of the best Saudi female lawyers, Nour bint Muhammad Al-Fawzan and Manal bint Ibrahim Al-Musharraf, joined the company as partners to launch the work of the new Riyadh office and the company’s regional headquarters. They will be joined as part of the senior management team by partner Kamran Bajwa, who has more than 20 years of experience in complex international legal matters in the Middle East, in addition to leading Kirkland & Ellis’ regional business since 2011. He is fluent in the Arabic language and is Study Islamic law.

Kamran Bajwa commented on the opening of the firm’s new regional headquarters in Riyadh, saying: “We are very pleased to see today two of the most prominent and pioneering female lawyers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia assuming pivotal leadership roles in our new office in Riyadh. We affirm our commitment to the continuous pursuit of attracting an elite group of the most prominent lawyers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” Highly qualified Saudi lawyers, and developing their skills, as we move forward in our ambitious journey of expansion and growth.”

He added: “We are fully confident that the innovative business approaches that Kirkland & Ellis lawyers are famous for are essential to the complex transactions conducted by our clients in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is one of the most growing and developed markets in the region. I look forward, with great enthusiasm, to... Today, to contribute to the establishment and development of the Riyadh office, which will be our first regional headquarters, and to support the goals of the “Saudi Arabia 2030” vision, and to expand the scope of “Kirkland & Ellis” services, to reach a wide base of clients locally and across the region.”

Ms. Nour bint Mohammed Al-Fouzan joins Kirkland & Ellis after serving as a partner in the Riyadh branch of Latham & Watkins. Her areas of specialization focus on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and other corporate matters in the Kingdom. Al-Fouzan previously held the position of legal advisor at the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency of the World Bank Group in the United States of America. On the academic level, Al-Fawzan holds a master’s degree in law from Duke University School of Law, and a bachelor’s degree in law from Prince Sultan University, and she holds licenses to practice the legal profession in both the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the state of New York, in the United States of America. Classified as a “Next Generation Partner” by Legal 500 Saudi Arabia for the year 2023.

As for Ms. Manal bint Ibrahim Al-Musharraf, she was a local partner at White & Case in Riyadh. It provided various legal services and consultations to companies and investment banks in the field of capital markets, including primary and secondary offerings, governance requirements, and ongoing obligations to which listed companies are subject. Al-Musharraf previously held the position of legal director for the Public Investment Fund/NEOM projects in Riyadh. On the academic level, Al-Musharraf holds a master’s degree in law from Harvard Law School, and a bachelor’s degree in law from Prince Sultan University, and she holds licenses to practice the legal profession in both the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the State of New York, as well as in the United States of America.

With the opening of this regional headquarters for Kirkland & Ellis in Riyadh, the number of the company's offices has become 20 around the world.

It is worth noting that Kirkland & Ellis is internationally recognized for its excellence in work, as it ranked first in the “Law360’s Pulse Prestige Leaders” report for the top 100 law firms in terms of importance and excellence. In 2022, the company ranked first in announced global mergers and acquisitions, according to the number of deals (796 deals) and managed global transactions worth more than $255 billion, according to Bloomberg’s periodic legal classification tables for global mergers and acquisitions. Kirkland & Ellis also ranked first for having the largest litigation and restructuring-related legal services sector in the world, according to “The Lawyer” survey of the top 50 global litigation firms and the “Global Restructuring Review” platform, respectively.

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