US firm, Dechert announced earlier this week that it has opened its second office in Saudi Arabia, developing its association with domestic firm, Hassan-Mahassni. The new office is located on Al Olaya Street, a well-known commercial district in Riyadh, after the firm first expanded into Jeddah in September 2015. It is believed that the new office will help the firm to grow its corporate transactions, capital markets, investment funds, and international arbitration in the Kingdom, with the help of Husam El-Khatib, who joined Dechert from DLA Piper in July 2016.
International firms operating in Saudi Arabia are required by local law to work through an association with a domestic firm. Clifford Chance and Clyde & Co were, until recently, the only two international firms who operated under their own names. However, due to a legal battle concerning the validity of international joint ventures in the region, Clifford Chance ended its mixed partnership with the local firm, and launched a new association with the newly formed domestic firm, Abuhimed Alsheikh Alhagbani. Clyde & Co on the other hand, still operates a mixed partnership in Saudi Arabia with the Law Office of Abdulaziz Al-Bosaily under its own name. Other US firms that also have a presence in Riyadh include Baker & McKenzie, DLA Piper, Norton Rose Fulbright and Latham & Watkins.