Linklaters and Z&Co work together through a formal agreement, as is the practice for all international law firms operating in Saudi Arabia. As part of our arrangements, Linklaters lawyers are based in Z&Co’s offices in Riyadh. Our presence in Saudi Arabia is led by Omar El Sayed (Head of Banking and Finance, Saudi Arabia). Our global approach, and both firms' commitment to excellence and in-depth understanding of the legal and commercial landscape of Saudi Arabia mean that we have established a leading position for delivering complex and innovative advice which has helped our clients successfully pursue opportunities, realise investments and manage risk in Saudi Arabia.

Commitment to excellence

We are acknowledged as a market leader for corporate/M&A, capital markets, banking, project finance, Islamic finance and international arbitration matters. Our offices also have dedicated sector specialists in the energy, infrastructure, petrochemicals, financial institutions, financial sponsor and telecommunications sectors. The firm’s track record includes acting on some of the most significant and innovative deals, as well as some of the most high-profile disputes that the region has seen in recent years.

Saudi Arabia Map

Pioneering advice

We are one of the few firms in the region capable of advising on leading cross-border transactions, and our clients regularly instruct us on their most complex deals.

We continue to advise on some of the largest and most high-profile deals in the Saudi market, but what we are truly proud of is our ability to take on some of the most structurally complex projects and coming up with innovative solutions to help our clients achieve their strategic objectives.

As the deals are becoming more complex in the Kingdom, driven both by the diversification of projects and greater sophistication of financing methods, clients are increasingly looking to us as one of the pre-eminent firms for intricate financial models, to assist them with their most important and challenging matters. 

We are known as one of the leading law firms within the Saudi PPP space, having been involved in the first major successful PPP in the Kingdom, the Madinah Airport PPP Project and we are currently advising on a number of the PPPs in Saudi Arabia. Additionally, it should be noted that we are also involved in the majority of the I(W)PPs in the Kingdom.

Highlights of our experience in Saudi includes advising:

Corporate/M&A

  • Eni on its US$3.9bn acquisition from ADNOC of a 20% equity interest in ADNOC Refining
  • PIF on the acquisition of a 50% in Americana (IFLR Middle East M&A Deal of the Year 2017)
  • DP World on its US$3.7bn global joint venture with Canadian pension fund, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and the sale to the joint venture of its Vancouver and Prince Rupert container terminals
  • DP World on its acquisition of Dubai Maritime City and DryDocks World
  • Barclays Bank plc on its disposal of its retail portfolio in the UAE to Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank PJSC, this represented Barclay’s exit from their retail business in the UAE
  • COSCO Shipping Ports Limited, the largest integrated shipping company in the world, in relation to the landmark container terminal concession agreement for container terminal 2 at Khalifa Port, Abu Dhabi
  • ADNOC Distribution on the acquisition of 75 retail stations and a fuel terminal from Emarat in the Northern Emirates
  • Dubai/ICD on the merger of EMAL and DUBAL to create a US$15bn entity
  • Al Noor Hospitals Group plc on the combination Al Noor Hospitals Group plc with Mediclinic International Limited and on its listing and IPO on the London Stock Exchange
  • Dubai World and PFZW on the US$2.8bn disposal of EZW (Jebel Ali Freezone) to DP World
  • Emaar Malls on the acquisition of a majority stake in online retailer and ecommerce business, Namshi

Banking

  • the creditors’ committee for the unsecured and partially secured lenders on all aspects of the US$10bn restructuring of Dubai Group, one of the most complex restructurings to have taken place in the Middle East to date
  • on the acquisition of Travelex from Apax by UAE Exchange
  • on a US$400m Term Sharia Compliant Bank Facility provided to Emirates Steel Industries PJSC
  • the lead arrangers on the US$3.1bn refinancing of Abu Dhabi National Energy Company ("TAQA")

Capital markets

  • on the US$500m guaranteed note issuance by Hikma Pharmaceuticals
  • on the Global consent solicitation in relation to 28 series of outstanding
  • bonds and sukuk with an aggregate nominal amount of approximately US$3bn issued by First Gulf Bank P.J.S.C. prior to its merger with National Bank of Abu Dhabi P.J.S.C.
  • on market “firsts”, including the first Basel III-compliant additional tier 1 capital issues internationally, in countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East (including in the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia)
  • on the issue of US$450m Perpetual Subordinated Tier 2 Fixed Rate Reset Notes by Qatar Reinsurance Company guaranteed by Qatar Insurance Company, the first ever insurance regulatory capital issuance in the CEEMEA region
  • on the issuance of the US$400m Shariah-compliant Additional tier 1 Capital Sukuk by Al Baraka Banking Group