10 March 2006

DLA Piper forms Saudi alliance

London - DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary ("DLA Piper") has entered into an affiliation agreement with leading Saudi Arabian lawyer, Abdulaziz H Al-Fahad, based in Riyadh. The agreement will give DLA Piper access to one of the most important markets in the world as Saudi Arabia has a rapidly developing economy fuelled by high oil prices and its recent entry into the World Trade Organisation.

The affiliation with Abdulaziz H Al-Fahad will significantly broaden DLA Piper's Middle Eastern capability and will make it one of the few international legal services organisations to have a presence in Saudi Arabia.

Abdulaziz H Al-Fahad, a Yale graduate, has practised in Saudi Arabia for over 20 years and is one of the country's leading lawyers. He advises major multinationals on investment in Saudi Arabia and is particularly known in the areas of litigation, privatisation, securities offerings and project finance. Abdulaziz H Al-Fahad is a member of the Committee for the Development of International Trade of the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and until recently a member of the Advisory Commission to the Supreme Economic Council. His eight-lawyer firm represents both Saudi Arabian clients and multinationals.

In conjunction with this affiliation agreement DLA Piper has also appointed two Saudi-based lawyers, Tom Travers and Chadi Hourani. Tom is an England and Hong Kong qualified lawyer and joins DLA Piper as a partner. He has worked in the UK, Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia and advises both Saudi Arabian and multinational clients on corporate finance, banking, litigation and other commercial matters. Chadi Hourani, a US-qualified lawyer, focuses on banking and securities law.

The affiliation, effective on 1 March, is the first of its kind for DLA Piper and provides a great opportunity for it to extend its reach across the Middle East following the opening of its office in Dubai. The global legal provider will also support the needs of Abdulaziz H Al-Fahad's international client base.

DLA Piper's Dubai-based International Development Partner, David Church, said: "This is a key step in our overall strategy for the Middle East. We have a new office in Dubai but client demand and the levels of foreign investment in Saudi Arabia make our affiliation with Abdulaziz H Al-Fahad an important step. We are delighted to forge an alliance with such a distinguished Saudi lawyer and to have appointed two of our own experienced Saudi Arabian lawyers who will enable us to enhance our Middle Eastern practice."

Abdulaziz H Al-Fahad said: "DLA Piper has a huge breadth of experience and its focus on Middle East practice will add significantly to my firm's capability in serving the needs of multinational and domestic clients in the Kingdom."

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