23 Jul 2021

Gowling enters partnership with Saudi Arabian firm Al Ghazzawi Professional Association

Anglo-Canadian firm plans to recruit Riyadh-based team to support relationship leads Jonathan Brufal and Tim Casben

(L-R) Tim Casben, Jonathan Brufal and Ruba El-Sayegh Images courtesy of Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG is partnering with Saudi Arabian law firm Al Ghazzawi Professional Association (GPA) to support Gowling clients seeking Saudi-related legal advice and GPA’s domestic clients looking to expand internationally.

GPA is a full-service law firm with offices in Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam. The firm was founded by current chairman Talal Amin Al-Ghazzawi and has been in operation since 1968. Gowling partner and UK head of international projects Jonathan Brufal and Dubai managing partner Tim Casben are leading the firm’s relationship with GPA. They will be supported by Canadian-based partner Ruba El-Sayegh, who co-leads Gowling’s Arab States country desk. The firm is also planning to recruit a team to be based in Riyadh.

Brufal said: “Our firm has considerable experience and strength in the Middle East and establishing a presence in Saudi Arabia is a natural step in our expansion strategy. The agreement with GPA will further bolster our expertise in the region and support clients to take full advantage of a wide range of commercial opportunities in Saudi Arabia.”

The cooperation agreement will see the two firms work together across sectors and services including government advisory, corporate and M&A, energy and infrastructure, project development and finance and disputes and international arbitration, among others.

Belal Ghazzawi, senior managing partner at GPA, said: “The Saudi economy is witnessing a transformative evolution, with the Saudi Vision 2030 strategy central to the growth of what is already the largest economy in the Middle East. This agreement demonstrates our commitment to forging a strong relationship with Gowling WLG and a platform for our clients to navigate the global marketplace with confidence alongside one of the world’s leading law firms with an impressive international presence.”

Other firms have also been stepping up their presence in the Middle East. Last month Kennedys announced plans to open in Oman – the only insurance-focused law firm based in the country. The new office is located in the capital Muscat.

Earlier in the year, DWF hired insurance partner Brian Boahene from Ince to establish its insurance practice in Dubai less than a year after reducing its UAE headcount amid pandemic-related cost-cutting.

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