Curtis adds third Middle East office in Saudi Arabia

The New York firm's office in Riyadh will 'significantly expand' its presence in the regional market

Riyadh Shutterstock

Curtis Mallet-Prevost Colt & Mosle has strengthened its presence in the Middle East by launching an office in Riyadh. 

The new office will be the firm’s third in the region, adding to its existing presence in Dubai and Muscat, the capital city of the Sultanate of Oman. According to the firm, the Riyadh office will provide Saudi and international legal services to clients based in the Kingdom and Saudi services to international clients. 

George Kahale, Curtis’ worldwide chairman, said: “We have been active in matters relating to Saudi Arabia for some time, but we believe this step will enable us to significantly expand our activities in this very important market.”

Kahale added that the office’s initial focus will be with the New York-headquartered firm’s traditional areas of strength, namely international corporate and finance transactions, international tax, investment and investment management, as well as trade, public and private international law, and cross-border litigation and arbitration. 

According to the firm’s website, Curtis associate Ali Mohammed Alqahtani will anchor Curtis’ on-the-ground presence in Saudi capital working with partners Charles Buderi and Marco Blanco, who are based in London and New York respectively. Jeremy Miocevic, Curtis’ Dubai managing partner, will also be part of the Riyadh team. 

Buderi and Blanco both have extensive experience acting as part of Curtis’ international arbitration offering in Dubai, having handled cases before various arbitral institutions in the region including the Dubai International Arbitration Centre and the Dubai International Finance Centre. 

Miocevic, meanwhile, focuses his practice on corporate and commercial matters in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. He joined the Park Avenue firm in 2010, and has served as Dubai managing partner since 2018. 

The launch raises Curtis’ office and affiliates count to 19 across the US, Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. It opened its doors in Dubai in 2008, three decades after it first set up shop in the region in 1973 by becoming the first US firm to become licensed to practice in Oman, a title it retains to this day. 

The firm’s most recent expansion move came in May when it opened an office in Brussels, a move that saw New York partner Simon Batifort relocate to the European capital to lead the new venture. 

Last month, Gowling WLG also made a play in the region, teaming up with Saudi Arabian law firm Al Ghazzawi Professional Association (GPA) to support its clients seeking Saudi-related legal advice and GPA’s domestic clients looking to expand internationally.

Last December, Allen & Overy and its Saudi Arabian partner, Khoshaim & Associates, ended their co-operation agreement with both sides stating the benefits of working with a wider range of law firms.

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