Quinn Emanuel signs up Saudi litigator to open Riyadh office

Nasser Alrubayyi joins US firm as a partner; sets up associated firm to operate as local ally

Nasser Alrubayyi Image courtesy of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan

US litigation specialist Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has hired Saudi litigator Nasser Alrubayyi as a partner to open an associated Riyadh office. 

The office – an association with the newly formed Alrubayyi & Attorneys – hands Quinn its 16th base outside the US, and its second in the Middle East, alongside its Doha arm, which has been operational for five years.

Alrubayyi spent eight years as an associate and later partner at local firm Khoshaim & Associates before leaving last December and, according to his profile on LinkedIn, launched Alrubayyi & Attorneys this month. Chambers & Partners ranks him as an 'up and coming' and 'astute' practitioner 'with deep strength in Saudi disputes'.

Quinn Emanuel said he was operating with a team of local lawyers, although it did not immediately disclose how many.

“We want to be in every major market to serve our clients and are dedicated to strengthening our capabilities in the Middle East,” said firm founder John Quinn. “Saudi Arabia is an important legal market with Saudi Vision 2030 and the focus on economic diversification and the encouragement of international investments. We are delighted to be working with Nasser, who is a gifted and successful litigator and is widely known in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” 

Based in Riyadh, Alrubayyi is experienced in Saudi and Shari’ah law and has argued cases before the Saudi Administrative Supreme Court.

“I’m gratified to be joining forces with Quinn Emanuel through the new association,” Alrubayyi said, adding that the firm “has an unmatched reputation for representing and advising international clients in complex, high-stakes disputes and that perfectly dovetails with my practice and the practice of Alrubayyi & Attorneys”.

International law firms looking to enter Saudi Arabia are required to form an association with a local firm. The UK's Allen & Overy announced an association with Khoshaim & Associates back in 2012 though they went their separate ways in 2020, with both sides stating the benefits of working with a wider range of law firms but saying they would continue to work closely together going forward.

Other international law firms to enter such an association in Saudi Arabia include listed UK firm DWF, which last October launched an association with Al-Ohaly & Partners. Last August New York firm Curtis Mallet-Prevost Colt & Mosle opened its third office in the Middle East in Riyadh in partnership with newly-formed Trafua Legal Consultants and the month before Gowling WLG announced a partnership with Al Ghazzawi Professional Association.  

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