Kirkland & Ellis to launch in Saudi Arabia

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By Emily Hinkley on


New office will focus on energy and infrastructure work

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

US giant Kirkland & Ellis is set to launch its first office in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia following changes to the rules around foreign firms operating in the country.

The new office is reportedly being headed up by a trio of former Latham & Watkins and White & Case partners and will focus on energy and infrastructure work.

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List 2023 shows the Chicago-headquartered outfit already has twenty offices around the world, including London, with this latest outpost officially opening its doors next month.

The launch has been made possible after Saudi Arabia amended the Saudi Code of Law Practice back in March of this year — a move which enables firms to apply for foreign licence from the Saudi Ministry of Justice. Prior to that foreign firms were only able to operate in country through associations.

The 2023 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

“Riyadh is an important market for international business and one of the world’s fastest-growing economies,” said a spokesperson from the firm. “Many of our clients are active and growing in Saudi Arabia, and we are actively considering our options and client needs there.”

Kirkland isn’t the only firm planting a flag in Saudi Arabia, with Clifford Chance, Herbert Smith Freehills and Latham & Watkins, among others, already securing licences to operate in the country.

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