Law Firms

International Law Firms Like Riyadh, But Lawyers Don't

The American Lawyer reports that U.K. law firm Norton Rose has established a presence in Riyadh, explaining the reason this way:

“With one-fifth of the world’s oil reserves under Saudi Arabia’s desert sands, it might seem unnecessary to ask what exactly attracts international law firms to the kingdom–a bit like asking Donald Trump’s third wife just what it was that she saw in the billionaire property magnate.”

The magazine says that despite the allure of Riyadh, U.S. law firms have had trouble opening there. Norton Rose is entering the city by forming an association with a 12-lawyer Riyadh-based firm that previously was allied with Squire Sanders.

Norton Rose Middle East head Stephen Parish told the magazine that the problem involves persuading lawyers to move to the area. “For cultural and other reasons, there are very limited numbers of high-quality lawyers who want to go and live in Saudi,” he said.

Other law firms making inroads in Riyadh include Allen & Overy, which opened an office there in May, and White & Case, which is adding four lawyers to its Riyadh office.

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