SOURCE: King & Spalding

April 16, 2007 17:08 ET

King & Spalding's Middle East Expansion Continues Apace With an Affiliated Office in Saudi Arabia

Riyadh Affiliation With The Law Offices of Mohammed Al-Ammar Extends U.S. Firm's Reach and Scope Throughout the Region

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES and RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 16, 2007 -- King & Spalding, a leading international law firm, announced today that it has expanded its Middle East practice throughout Saudi Arabia through an affiliation agreement with The Law Offices of Mohammed Al-Ammar in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. King & Spalding, whose lawyers have been handling client matters in the Arabian Gulf for more than 20 years, established an office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in December 2006. The firm expanded its Middle East platform in Dubai last January with the addition of three lawyers.

King & Spalding also announced that Tariq Abbadi has joined King & Spalding in Riyadh as Of Counsel to work with Al-Ammar. Abbadi, a native Arabic speaker who specializes in corporate and Saudi regulatory work, has practiced in Riyadh for more than three years. He joins King & Spalding from Baker Botts.

King & Spalding's Riyadh affiliation with lawyer Mohammed Al-Ammar enhances the firm's ability to provide a high level of service to Saudi clients and on Saudi-related transactions. Al-Ammar has significant experience in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, including serving as in-house counsel in Riyadh for Samba Financial Group (a prominent financial institution in the Middle East) and being seconded to a UAE energy company to advise on an initial public offering.

"We are very pleased to announce the finalization of our affiliation with The Law Offices of Mohammed Al-Ammar in Riyadh," said Robert D. Hays, Jr., chairman of King & Spalding. "Our close affiliation with Mohammad and the addition of Tariq not only adds further depth to what we believe is the strongest Saudi Arabia practice group in the region, but also expands our ability to service the increasing demands of our clients in Saudi Arabia."

A large portion of King & Spalding's Middle East matters concerns Saudi Arabia. In February, the firm represented The National Titanium Dioxide Co. Ltd. (CRISTAL), based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in its proposed US$1.2 billion acquisition of Lyondell Chemical Company's global Millennium Inorganic Chemicals business.

King & Spalding's Saudi Arabia practice group is comprised of lawyers who devote a substantial portion of their time to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia matters. In addition to Al-Ammar and Abbadi, key members of the Saudi Arabia practice group include the following lawyers:

--  Jawad Ali, a native Arabic speaker, is an Islamic finance expert and
    represents various   Saudi Arabian funds and individual investors;
    
--  Nabil Issa, who has specialized in Saudi matters for more than five
    years and formerly practiced in Riyadh, focuses on Islamic finance and
    investment;
    
--  Patrick Campos, who has worked in Riyadh and Dubai over the past three
    years, centers his practice on project development and finance and Islamic
    finance;
    
--  Wael Wahbeh, a native Arabic speaker, specializes in corporate and
    private equity work and practiced in Riyadh prior to moving to the UAE.
    
Issa and Campos were both acclaimed for their Saudi Arabia knowledge and experience in the 2007 edition of Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business.

"With Saudi Arabia's accession to the World Trade Organization in 2005, its vibrant economy and strong interest in Islamic finance, the need for legal services among current and new clients has been growing," said Philip R. Weems, managing partner of King & Spalding's Dubai office. "We are glad to be able to provide a wide array of advice and representation with our lawyers located in Riyadh and Dubai."

King & Spalding has seven lawyers resident in the UAE, including three partners, and expects to add five more lawyers to its Dubai office within the next three months. With 12 lawyers in Dubai and an affiliation in Riyadh, King & Spalding will be one of the largest U.S. firms in the region.

The firm's Middle East practice focuses on Islamic finance, energy, real estate, private equity and international arbitration in the Middle East and North Africa. Its offices in Dubai and Riyadh specialize in complex commercial and financial transactions and international arbitration. King & Spalding is a leader in the area of Islamic finance and pioneered many Shari'ah-complaint financial products that are in wide use today. The firm is also recognized worldwide for its oil and gas work -- especially in the area of liquefied natural gas -- and has a strong practice base in electric power, petrochemicals and renewable energy. Its corporate practice group provides a complete range of services to global clients in multiple jurisdictions. American Lawyer magazine has ranked King & Spalding's international arbitration practice as one of the top 12 in the world.

About King & Spalding

King & Spalding is an international law firm with more than 800 lawyers in Atlanta, Dubai, Houston, London, New York, Riyadh (affiliated office) and Washington, D.C. The firm represents half of the Fortune 100, and in a Corporate Counsel survey in August 2006 was ranked one of the top ten firms representing Fortune 250 companies overall. For additional information, visit http://www.kslaw.com.

Contact Information