News & Insights

Press Release

September 20, 2023

King & Spalding Obtains Foreign Law License, Enabling it to Formalize and Broaden its Presence in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH, Sept. 20, 2023 – King & Spalding has been granted a foreign law license by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Justice, paving the way to expand its work for clients in Saudi Arabia since establishing an affiliation in early 2007.

The license follows recent developments by the Saudi Arabian government allowing foreign law firms to officially operate in the country. The firm previously has been operating in the Kingdom in cooperation with the Law Offices of Mohammed AlAmmar, which will continue to operate as a separate firm.

 “We are committed to growing our presence in the Kingdom and the new license is an exciting and significant step for the firm,” said Robert D. Hays, chairman of King & Spalding. “We have been active in advising on outbound and inbound Middle East work for decades, having first established presences in the region in 2007 and 2008. The new Saudi licence is a natural evolution that further aligns and integrates our practice. We thank the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Investment and the Ministry of Commerce for their guidance through the licensing process.”

 Through this newly approved entity, King & Spalding’s lawyers in Riyadh will continue to partner with their colleagues in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, as well as the firm’s 20 other offices around the world, to help clients navigate the largest and most complex corporate and M&A matters, funds, financings, restructurings, real estate, energy and infrastructure projects and a wide range of disputes in the Kingdom. Recent notable work includes acting for:

  • NEOM on a US$8.4bn world-first green hydrogen and green ammonia megaproject;
  • Azmeel Contracting on its landmark US$2bn Saudi restructuring;
  • GLD Partners, LP to acquire Arabian Entertainment Company (AEC), which operates restaurants and entertainment venues in Saudi Arabia, and a definitive business combination agreement between AEC and a SPAC listed on NASDAQ;
  • the seller of a shareholding interest in Naqel Express Company to the Saudi Post;
  • Alkhabeer Capital on the successful IPO and listing on the Saudi Stock Exchange of the Alkhabeer Growth and Income Traded Fund, which raised 1.08 billion Saudi Arabian Riyals (US$ 288 million);
  • Western Union on its acquisition of a minority interest in stc Pay for US$200 million and planned conversion of the same to a digital bank.

 “We have been involved in many of the region’s landmark deals, including recent pathfinder work in areas such as energy transition, REITs and insolvency.  As we look to the next chapter, we have recruited multiple Saudi national lawyers to our Riyadh office, as well as to our New York and London offices to undergo specialized training prior to returning to Riyadh.  We are also establishing a local trainee programme to help develop the next generation of Saudi lawyers,” commented Nabil Issa, managing partner of King & Spalding’s Middle East offices. “This development positions us perfectly to build on our strong platform, expand into new areas of law and continue to offer high-end legal services for our clients’ most sophisticated transactional, regulatory and disputes matters. In addition, we thank Mohammed AlAmmar and we wish him much success as we transition from our affiliation of more than 16 years.”

In addition to the Saudi lawyers, Martin Hunt, a current King & Spalding partner, will transfer to Riyadh from the London office and will continue to focus on M&A matters in Saudi Arabia as well as representing regional clients on their global investments.

 “This license comes at an ideal time as Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 programme of investments begins to gather pace and we continue to ramp up both our inbound and outbound work related to the Kingdom,” added Zaid Al-Farisi, partner based in Riyadh.

About King & Spalding

Celebrating more than 130 years of service, King & Spalding is an international law firm that represents a broad array of clients, including half of the Fortune Global 100, with 1,200 lawyers in 23 offices in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The firm has handled matters in over 160 countries on six continents and is consistently recognized for the results it obtains, uncompromising commitment to quality, and dedication to understanding the business and culture of its clients. More information is available at

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