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Press Release

November 20, 2023

King & Spalding Recruits Middle East Real Estate Partner Malek Al Rifai

Dubai, November 20, 2023 –Malek Al Rifai has joined King & Spalding LLP as a real estate partner in its Corporate, Finance and Investments (CFI) practice. Al Rifai is based in the UAE, but will focus on a combination of UAE, Saudi Arabian and other matters across the wider MENA region with support from the firm’s real estate lawyers in the Middle East, Europe, UK and U.S. offices.

Al Rifai’s practice focuses on structuring and executing complex transactions for clients across the Middle East region, including developers, owners, investors, stakeholders, financial institutions, investment funds and REITs. He has experience in a variety of public and private real estate and corporate real estate transactions – including M&A, financings, project development, joint developments and HMAs – and in asset classes across office, hospitality, education, retail, health care facilities, industrial and mixed-use properties. He regularly represents regional and international real estate funds on a wide range of transactional matters in the MENA region.

“Adding Malek to our team will help us tap into the uptick in Middle East infrastructure investment, including giga-projects in Saudi Arabia, which include a significant real estate component and require substantial real estate know-how,” said Todd Holleman, head of the firm’s CFI practice. “Malek brings together expansive real estate experience across many types of transactions and sectors with an in-depth, on-the-ground understanding about how deals get done in the Middle East. It’s an exciting combination.”

Chambers and Legal 500 recognize Al Rifai as an “Up and Coming” lawyer for UAE real estate in 2023. He earned his undergraduate degree in Economics and Social Sciences from Collège Protestant Français and his J.D. from Saint Joseph University (Faculty of Law). He also holds an Executive Master of Business Administration from Bayes Business School (City University of London). He is fluent in Arabic, French and English.

Al Rifai is the latest senior lawyer to join King & Spalding’s CFI team in the Middle East in 2023. Earlier this year, the firm added projects partners Dan Feldman and Brendan Hundt from Shearman & Sterling and investment funds counsel Dounia Mansour from Dechert.  

“Real estate is a key area for our transactional teams, so having a next-generation leader like Malek join our ranks is an exciting development, especially in the context of our regional expansion plans,” added Nabil Issa, managing partner of the firm’s Middle East offices. “His addition underscores our ongoing commitment to offer clients market-leading advice for all their critical investments that reflects a strong understanding of the local regulations.”

 “King & Spalding’s footprint in the Middle East and in Saudi Arabia, in particular, gives me the opportunity to be involved in some of the largest most exciting real estate developments in the world,” said Al Rifai. “I am looking forward to working with my new colleagues to help clients benefit from the firm’s platform in the region and the strong combination of skills we can provide.”

 About King & Spalding

King & Spalding is an international law firm that represents a broad array of clients, including half of the Fortune Global 100, with 1,300 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 consistently earns recognition 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

 Media Contact:

Antony Collins
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