One client noted the team's 'ability to see the big picture while still not losing sight of detail’, while others rate the firm for its ‘cohesion', its 'flair and persuasiveness' and its 'commercial sense’.
The Legal 500, 2019 

Leveraging its ‘finely tuned organisational skills and superior knowledge of Saudi law’, Legal Advisors, Abdulaziz I. Al-Ajlan & Partners in association with Baker & McKenzie Limited has expertise across a range of project finance, Islamic finance, securitisation and receivables financing and debt capital markets transactions.
The Legal 500, 2019

The Banking & Finance team has been extremely responsive and has been able to provide great feedback on several transactions and regulatory queries that we have had in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They have also been able to coordinate our cross-border queries across the various Baker McKenzie offices.
IFLR1000, 2019

In the current market, few of your financial transactions will be routine. They involve risk, reward and many unknown elements. We reduce some of the risks involved by maintaining a full service team with a commercial approach. Whilst we cover all your transaction legal needs, you can concentrate on your core business.

We regularly advise sponsors and companies, private equity funds, banks and other financial institutions in project finance, trade finance, government and export credit agency finance, real estate finance, acquisition finance, general corporate finance, aircraft and other asset based finance, debt restructuring & insolvency, derivatives, funds and Islamic financing transactions.

Our transactions range from short-term unsecured facilities to global banking facilities involving multi-jurisdictional collateral, may involve several layers of credit (multi-lateral agencies, senior, mezzanine, subordinated, vendor), and often include Islamic finance structures.

Our team members are experienced in structuring, documenting and advising on a wide range of Islamic banking and finance products currently being used by Islamic banks and financial institutions, including murabaha, mudaraba, Istisna’a and parallel Istisna’a, ijara, musharaka, wakala, sukuk, Islamic funds and various Islamic treasury products.

We also provide debt capital markets advice to issuers, underwriters and corporate trustees in connection with a broad range of capital markets products. We have significant experience of complex financial restructuring arrangements in the region.

Acquisition Finance

We represent banks and financial institutions, private equity funds and corporates in connection with the financing of mergers, acquisitions (equity or assets), leveraged buyouts and recapitalisations, restructurings and other similar transactions. In particular, our team has broad experience in connection with cross-border acquisition financings, including the timely and efficient creation and perfection of security interests in many different types of collateral in multiple jurisdictions.

We assist clients in developing the structure of acquisitions and the financing involved in such transactions. We can also provide advice with respect to the documentation of risk management in acquisition financings through interest-rate and foreign exchange swaps, caps and similar instruments.

Aircraft and other asset based Finance

Our team regularly represents airlines, arrangers, lessors, lessees, lenders and other participants in a broad range of transactions to finance the acquisition of transportation, manufacturing, high-tech and industrial equipment. In particular, we have developed a recognized capability in lease financings involving high-value equipment, particularly aircraft. The typical aircraft transaction in which we act involves all aspects of the financing of the aircraft(s), often in multiple jurisdictions, and may also involve support by an export credit agency.

Debt Capital Markets

Our team provides debt capital markets advice to issuers, underwriters and corporate trustees in connection with a broad range of capital markets products. We have acted for major players in the Saudi Arabian market in structuring and completing EMTN programmes. Our experience in Saudi Arabian sukuk issuances is unrivalled.

General Corporate Finance

We represent both financial institutions and corporate borrowers in many types of financing transactions. These transactions include single bank, club and syndicated financings and are typically comprised of term loans, revolving loans, letter of credit facilities and/or Islamic facilities. Our transactions range from short-term unsecured facilities to global banking facilities involving multi-jurisdictional collateral, and may involve several layers of credit (multi-lateral agencies, senior, mezzanine, subordinated, vendor).

We also represent financial institutions in their capacities as agents, issuing banks or other syndicate members, sellers or purchasers of participations, and assignors or assignees of direct loan interests.

Governmental and Export Credit Agency Finance

We have extensive experience of acting for sponsors and borrowers in financing transactions involving governmental and export credit agency finance. In particular, we regularly work with The Public Investment Fund and the Saudi Industrial Development Fund in Saudi Arabia.

Pre-export and Trade Finance

We specialize in pre-export and trade finance transactions. Our team advises on, and documents, lending transactions, counter-trade and barter transactions, and facilities for documentary letters of credit, collections and bankers’ acceptances.

Colleagues at the associated offices and affiliated firms throughout the Baker McKenzie network, including in the key financial center offices of London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore, have wide experience in litigation and arbitration in connection with international trade finance arrangements including specialist shipping litigation and disputes concerning bank guarantees, letters of credit, bills of exchange and sale of goods.

Projects and Resource-based Finance

We consistently rank highly in independent surveys of advisers on both privately and publicly financed projects, judged both by aggregate value and number of transactions. We are engaged in a broad spectrum of energy, chemicals, mining and infrastructure transactions and are equally comfortable acting for sponsors and lenders. We handle all aspects of a project from our offices in the region, including project document drafting and negotiation, and drafting and negotiating conventional, Islamic and governmental/export credit agency financing facilities, together with security and intercreditor arrangements.

Real Estate Finance

We advise financiers and borrowers, including developers, with respect to financing, both on a conventional and Islamic basis, land acquisitions, development and construction finance, creating and negotiating mortgage finance products and structures, portfolio sales, workouts, and loan syndications and participations.

Our clients benefit from our knowledge of local markets and our experience in the development, sale and acquisition of real property, including major mixed use integrated real estate schemes, shopping centers, hotels, residential towers, land plots, office buildings and property portfolios.

Our team understands the financial, regulatory and tax implications of acquiring commercial property throughout the Middle East. Together with our colleagues at the associated offices and affiliated firms throughout the Baker McKenzie network, we can also assist with financings involving real property in other jurisdictions. This means the deals can be structured to achieve the clients’ goals, whether strategic or financial, in cross-border and domestic deals.

Specialist Areas

We also have experience in Debt Restructuring & Insolvency, Derivatives, and Funds.

Legal Advisors, Abdulaziz I. Al-Ajlan & Partners in association with Baker & McKenzie Limited is especially active in the equity capital markets space, where it advises issuers and underwriters and is regularly instructed in major regional IPOs.
The Legal 500, 2019

Experience across a wide range of services

The Saudi Arabian Capital Markets practice has been involved either as issuer’s or underwriter’s counsel in numerous debt and equity offerings and is consistently ranked in Tier 1 by the legal directories. Since the advent of the Capital Markets Law we have acted as transaction counsel in more than 30 Initial Public Offerings. The lawyers fluently deliver innovative advice, assisting clients in capital-raising transactions in Saudi Arabia while mitigating liability. They provide practical, bottom-line focused advice tailored to the parties’ business needs.

Strong track record

Drawing on the long on-the-ground experience in the Kingdom, together with our deep industry, regulatory and technical expertise, we are able to assist our clients in structuring and executing complex capital markets transactions. Our clients often call on us to:

  • Represent them as underwriters on all aspects of debt and equity offerings, from disclosures and due diligence to compliance and rights issues
  • Partner with them as deal advisors in acquisition and divestiture transactions to develop innovative deal structures and growth and exit strategies
  • Advise them on regulatory compliance and enforcement issues and in mitigating risk

Extensive Saudi IPO experience

  • We have advised on landmark IPOs in the Saudi market such as Arabian Centres Company, Ma’aden, STC and Kingdom Holding
  • Because of our experience, we enjoy excellent working relationships with almost all the financial advisors in the Saudi market, enabling us to work cohesively as one team.
Baker & McKenzie and its local affiliate demonstrate a sound understanding of local law and regulations. Their expertise in drafting of legal documents differentiate them from their peers. The documentation drafted are easy to follow. The deal team involved is always accessible regardless of their rank in the firm and always provide expert advice based on market practice. Their turnaround time is very impressive, which showcases their ability to service their clients.
IFLR1000, 2019

We provide a whole range of corporate law advice, including the formation and structure of corporate entities, reorganization and merger of corporate groups, structuring the rights and obligations of shareholders and advising on various management structures. We also advise on a broad range of commercial contracts such as contracts for services, consultancy, cooperation and development, franchising, distribution, marketing, manufacturing, licensing, outsourcing, construction and maintenance and support. Our corporate commercial advice covers broad sectors, such as the telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, contracting, consumer and luxury goods, mining and resources sectors.

Our relevant experience includes advising on regulatory matters relating to foreign investment, company incorporation, consumer protection, commercial licenses and general compliance. Our administrative and regulatory experience in the Kingdom includes preparing new sets of regulations and drafting Royal Decrees to enable transactions. We interact with relevant ministries on a daily basis including the following: the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), the Ministry of Commerce and Investment (MoCI), Modon, the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu (RCYJ), the Customs Bureau, the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA), the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC), the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mining (MEIM), the General Authority of Competition (GAC), the General Authority of Military Industries (GAMI) and the Capital Market Authority (CMA),amongst others.

We also advise both local and international companies on the full spectrum of employment matters including: contract drafting, company handbook review and amendments, work and disciplinary/incentive rules, immigration matters and Saudization, including issues relating to secondments. We advise on all aspects of labor and employment benefits issues associated with operating in single and multiple jurisdictions.

Legal Advisors, Abdulaziz I. Al-Ajlan & Partners in association with Baker & McKenzie Limited represents clients in banking, shareholder and tax disputes, and also has experience in the energy and construction sectors.
The Legal 500, 2019

Our experienced litigation and arbitration practice comprises practitioners having more than 20 years of experience in handling litigation and arbitration matters for key corporate clients in the Kingdom. They provide expertise to clients in relation to a wide range of legal matters, including representing clients before the Sharia Courts, the Board of Grievance, the SAMA Committee, Labor Committee and Committee for Negotiable Instruments and all other courts and tribunals.

Our lawyers act for some of the world’s largest corporations, financial institutions and governmental organisations on a wide range of disputes from large litigations and arbitrations to smaller commercial disputes. Our lawyers understand that litigation can be emotional as well as expensive so we take a commercial and pragmatic approach to resolving disputes. We are known for our ability to tailor our service to help clients achieve their commercial objectives. Given our association with Baker & McKenzie and its unrivalled global footprint it is unsurprising that we are viewed by clients as well placed to act in multijurisdictional cases. Staffing a multi-lingual team with the appropriate mix of qualification and expertise, even at short notice, causes us no difficulty.

We have outstanding expertise in corporate disputes of all sorts, governmental claims and other administrative matters, including tax appeals, commercial agency matters, employment disputes, intellectual property rights, fraud and other criminal matters. Our product liability and recall practice are also recognised as leading practices.

In cooperation with Baker & McKenzie's global platform and collaborative working culture, we are able to swiftly mobilise arbitration practitioners globally in high-stake matters regardless of the location and governing law Seamlessly sharing precedents and know-how, we assemble the right team with the required level of skills to implement the strategies required for the decisive resolution of disputes, and provide fully integrated advice and a consistent service approach.

Having regularly represented multinational corporations as well as state-owned entities and state agencies, as well as leading local corporates, we have deep insight into leading arbitrators domestically and around the world, and can match the arbitrator best suited for our client’s cases. A number of our practitioners act as arbitrators as well as publish and speak on arbitration topics.

Our disputes practitioners have been involved in many arbitration proceedings in recent years including a significant high stakes arbitration between two large telecommunication companies in Saudi Arabia. They have acted as arbitrators and also represented clients in arbitration proceedings. We continually advise clients on recent developments within the arbitration landscape in the Kingdom.

Our core competition capabilities include merger control filing, restrictive agreements, dominance, compliance programs, and general competition law advice. The team on the ground has extensive experience in advising on competition law in Saudi Arabia and the wider Gulf Cooperation Council region, and in the last year we have been instructed on several significant competition law matters for large corporations. These include deals in the areas of fast moving consumer goods, cars, retail, fashion, services, manufacturing, and information technologies.

The experience of the lawyers working in this area spans all aspects of these transactions, from the merger control filings, competition assessments, horizontal agreements, vertical agreements, non-compete clauses, abuse of dominance to negotiation of documentation, compliance with regulatory requirements and all other ancillary matters. We provide a whole range of competition law advice, including the drafting of all merger filing documentations, development of compliance programs, review horizontal and vertical agreements and advising on various competition law matters.

We deliver a highly tuned one-stop-shop service for global merger control clearance. Our industry expertise means we deliver commercial compliance advice on a daily basis. We share know-how and experience with the associated offices and affiliated firms throughout the Baker McKenzie network. We develop innovative products (and provide access to innovative products developed by the associated offices and affiliated firms throughout the Baker McKenzie network, such as the award-winning Global Merger Analysis Platform and the multilingual global dawn raid app) in order to share that know-how and experience with our clients.

We actively engage with regulators to help shape the regulatory and enforcement environment. We convene ad hoc industry alliances to make sure that the business world speaks with one voice on key policy issues.

We are committed to working together efficiently and collaboratively to deliver coordinated and pragmatic advice as cost effectively as possible. We can help clients with:

  • Antitrust Litigation
  • Cartels, Investigations and Dawn Raids
  • Compliance & Audits
  • Distribution
  • Dominance / Monopolization
  • Merger Control & Joint Ventures
  • State Aid
Legal Advisors, Abdulaziz I. Al-Ajlan & Partners in association with Baker & McKenzie Limited provides 'exceptional service' across the gamut of contentious and non-contentious real estate and construction matters.
The Legal 500, 2019

Tendering

We represent government agencies, developers, financiers, manufacturers, project managers and other consultants on all aspects of major construction, engineering and infrastructure projects. Project owners often engage us at the tendering stage to draft an appropriate form of contract and advise on tendering conditions, Government procurement regulations and an appropriate risk allocation strategy.

We are also experienced in advising tendering parties on key project risks and mitigation strategies. This includes advising on all aspects of Shari’a issues and the various Gulf Civil Codes and how these may impact risk allocation under the proposed form of contract.

Contracts

We are experienced in dealing with the standard forms of contract used in the region (including FIDIC) and in drafting amendments to the standard forms. Additionally, we have experience in drafting a wide range of non-standard, project specific contracts for project delivery approaches, ranging from engineering, procurement and construction (EPC), design, construct and maintain (DCM), engineering, procurement, construction and management (EPCM), build, own operate and transfer (BOOT), public private partnerships (PPP), guaranteed maximum price, partnering and alliance arrangements.

Construction Disputes

Members of our team, and lawyers from the associated offices and affiliated firms throughout the Baker McKenzie network, have extensive experience with construction dispute resolution, including mediation, expert determination, arbitration and litigation.

Where required for legal or practical reasons, we work with, and can recommend, appropriate local counsel. We also work closely with technical consultants where required, such as programming consultants in extension of time/delay disputes.

Our work on contentious matters will often include the following scope of work: advising on prospects of success and advising on a suitable negotiation strategy; advising on dispute resolution options; outlining the dispute resolution process in Saudi Arabia and, through the associated network of Baker & McKenzie offices and affiliated firms, in other relevant jurisdictions including advice on likely costs and time-frames; recommending and liaising with specialist consultants and counsel; preparing witness statements and expert reports; enforcing arbitration awards and court judgements in Saudi Arabia and, through the associated network of Baker & McKenzie offices and affiliated firms, throughout the world; assisting with settlement strategy and negotiation and drafting settlement deeds.

Our team members are experienced in structuring, documenting and advising on a wide range of Islamic banking and finance products currently being used by Islamic banks and financial institutions, including murabaha, istisn’a, ijara, wakala, sukuk, musharaka, wa’ad, mudaraba and arboun.

  • General Islamic Banking and Finance Products: General Islamic banking and finance products including: Mudaraba, Murabaha, Ijara (a. Ijara mawsufah fi al-dhimmah, b. Ijara muntahia bittamlik, c. Ijara wal-Iqtina), Istisna’a, Musharaka (a. Musharaka Mutanaqsa (diminishing partnership), b. Shirkat al-Melk (co-ownership), c. Shirkat al-Aqd (contractual partnership)), Bai al-Muajjal, Bai al-Salam and Bai al-Arboun.
  • Treasury (liquidity management) Products: Commodity Murabaha (Tawarruq), Wakala, Wa’ad, Mudaraba and Short-term Sukuk (Sukuk al Ijara, Sukuk al Salam, Sukuk al Musharaka).
  • Project Finance Instruments: Various Shari’a compliant project financing instruments including Ijara (and its various modes), Istisna’a, Musharaka (and its various modes), Murabaha and Sukuk.
  • Capital Market Instruments: Issuance of Sukuk.
  • Acquisition Finance Products: Shari’a compliant financing structures for cross-border acquisitions, providing an ‘A to Z’ service using our extensive network of offices.
Legal Advisors, Abdulaziz I. Al-Ajlan & Partners in association with Baker & McKenzie Limited is regularly involved in major domestic and cross-border M&A and high-value commercial agreements. Mohammad Al Rasheed and Karim Nassar advised Alawwal Bank on its share for share merger with the Saudi British Bank; valued at $4.9 billion, the merger created what is now the third largest bank in Saudi Arabia.
The Legal 500, 2019

We have the experience and expertise which is critical to helping clients mitigate risk and achieve their goals across a range of industries. We assist our clients through all stages of a transaction, from deal inception to business integration, and help to bridge the gap between aspiration and achievement.

Private Mergers & Acquisitions

We bring sophisticated and fully integrated abilities to help capture and protect value in even the most complex and multifaceted deals. Working closely with lawyers in our leading global practices — including tax, finance, antitrust & competition, employment, compliance and intellectual property — we bring the right capabilities and experience to anticipate and resolve issues in all involved jurisdictions.

Joint Ventures and Strategic Alliances

Our expertise spans all stages of joint venture and strategic alliance transactions, starting with structuring the partnership, multijurisdictional considerations, equity participation and director liabilities. We also provide guidance on the optimal operational and governance structures based on the goals of the investors, and develop exit and termination strategies.

Compliance and Governance

Our services include forming new corporate structures, reorganizing existing structures, repatriating earnings, executing post-acquisition integrations, and advising on corporate clean up, rationalization and group simplification projects. We also plan, coordinate and manage corporate housekeeping such as calendarizing annual corporate compliance requirements, preparing annual meeting minutes and filings, and handling director and officer replacements.

Carve Outs and Divestitures

We have developed proven techniques that break down the complexities of these deals into a manageable, efficient process covering all of the human resources, legal, finance and tax implications. These techniques include auction tactics to push the timetable, best practice templates, global precedents to ensure consistency across jurisdictions, and project managers to oversee the process. No matter the scale of the transaction and the number of jurisdictions, we manage these projects to ensure clients achieve the best value on their disposals.

Post Acquisition Integration

We understand a deal isn't over when it closes and place particular emphasis on post-acquisition integration. We help establish clear objectives from the outset of the transaction, minimize risk, and pre-empt issues that could lead to expensive remedial action later. Our goal is to use our in-depth market knowledge, commercial practices and industry regulations to develop and execute integration plans that not only support the deal, but the buyer's future operations.

An international powerhouse and go-to for expert advice on financial contracts and complex restructurings. Pre-eminent in the power projects space, with experience acting as counsel for both lenders and borrowers.
Chambers Global, 2019

We have extensive experience in planning, structuring and implementing the varied aspects of major natural resource and industrial development projects. Our clients span governments and other public entities, sponsors, participants, project companies, contractors, off-takers, shippers, traders and financiers.

Our lawyers help guide, implement and evolve the corporate and financial framework within which to develop a project. Utilising our construction and commercial expertise we also draft and negotiate the documentation to build, implement, operate and commercialise projects. We know each project is unique and has its own distinct commercial, technical, and financial environment requiring us to be an integral part of the project team rather than spectators merely documenting matters.

Projects that our lawyers have helped develop include upstream oil and gas infrastructure facilities, refineries, Liquefied Natural Gas plants and infrastructure, petrochemical plants, mines and mineral processing facilities, power plants, desalination and water treatment plants, cooling plants, industrial production facilities, Public Private Partnership projects, alternative energy and renewables projects, as well as major shipping and transport facilities such as ports, airports, pipelines and railways.

We also deal with varying commercial activities relating to projects, such as joint ventures, production sharing and other participatory arrangements, farm-ins, unitisations and production enhancement schemes, off-take, supply, sales, trading, transportation and distribution arrangements.

Legal Advisors, Abdulaziz I. Al-Ajlan & Partners in association with Baker & McKenzie Limited provides 'exceptional service' across the gamut of contentious and non-contentious real estate and construction matters.
The Legal 500, 2019

Our real estate team advises in respect of the entire real estate lifecycle from the initial land acquisition to corporate structuring and joint venturing, project financing, construction, development, sub-division, titling and leasing. We regularly work for participants in small, medium and large-scale real estate projects at each level including Private Participants (Developers, Contractors, Financiers (Conventional and Islamic), Operators and Owners) and Public Participants (Governments, Authorities and Concessionaires).

The associated offices and affiliated firms throughout the Baker McKenzie network also have a wide range of experience in real estate transactions within the Gulf and wider Middle East and North Africa region. In addition to our years of on-the-ground experience, we are able to draw on the experience of the associated offices and affiliated firms throughout the Baker McKenzie network which includes more than 380 lawyers familiar with all aspects of real estate including property development, acquisitions and disposals, commercial and portfolio leasing, and the provision of security around the world.

Real Estate Development

We specialize in major integrated, mixed use real estate developments and the associated network of Baker & McKenzie offices and affiliated firms has also worked for master developers, sub-developers and governments in the Middle East on numerous landmark projects.

We provide advice on strata title strategy, development strategy and town planning. We have particular expertise in developments funded by and undertaken in compliance with principles of Islamic Shari’a.

Acquisition and Disposals

We advise on local and international acquisitions and divestments of all manner of assets within the real estate asset class, including hotels, island resorts, commercial buildings, shopping malls, residential developments, real estate businesses and trusts, theme parks, industrial sites, warehouses and technology parks.

Hotels, Resorts and Tourism

We advise owners, operators, developers and financiers of hotel, travel and tourism real estate in acquisitions and disposals, negotiation of hotel and resort management contracts, advice on all aspects of labour and employment benefits issues associated with operating in Saudi Arabia and, through the associated network of Baker & McKenzie offices and affiliated firms, in multiple jurisdictions, protection of hotel brands in structured leases and joint venture agreements and assist with all aspects of capital raising for hotel projects.

Leasing

We advise both landlords and tenants on leasing issues arising in respect of industrial estates, commercial property, warehousing and other commercial uses.