OVERVIEW & EXPERTISE

 

In 2009, Blakes marked the opening of its offices in Al-Khobar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), and Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain, making it the first international law firm in Al-Khobar and the first Canadian law firm to establish a permanent presence in the region, through an exclusive association with Dr. Saud Al-Ammari Law Firm.

Blakes is committed to serving our clients with assets in the Middle East and has now established a presence in Riyadh, the capital and largest city in the KSA. This office complements our existing offices in Al-Khobar and Bahrain, allowing us to work closely with our clients to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the Kingdom’s 2030 vision and transformation plans.

The team in the Middle East is composed of both local, Arabic-speaking lawyers and expatriate lawyers, and includes members who are licensed to practise law in both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. The familiarity these lawyers have with the Saudi and Bahraini landscapes coupled with their long-standing relationships with local government ministries serves them well in facilitating inquiries and expediting the processing of matters on behalf of clients. We represent regionally based and international companies doing business in the Gulf Cooperation Council and the wider Middle East and North Africa regions, as well as counselling local investors and businesses pursuing opportunities around the world.

The team in the Middle East is supplemented by more than 580 Blakes lawyers worldwide, offering local and global expertise in the following key areas:

  • Corporate/commercial laws and regulatory matters
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Joint ventures
  • Infrastructure (including PPPs)
  • International trade
  • Project finance
  • Securities
  • Privatization matters
  • Litigation, through the local courts, the Shari'ah courts, and local and international arbitral tribunals
  • Capital markets regulations and licensing
  • Energy
  • Title and lease issues
  • Competition laws
  • Conventional and Islamic financings
  • Mining

Blakes is committed to a long-term future in the Middle East region. We are dedicated to not only growing our practice, but also building a team that is an effective mix of local and western-qualified lawyers in order to meet our clients' needs on both a regional and global scale.


Representative Matters

Members of the Blakes Middle East group have advised on a variety of transactions including:

  • Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP) on the purchase of an interest in National Petroleum Services (NPS), the largest regionally owned oilfield services provider in the Middle East. APICORP was part of a consortium that agreed to acquire NPS in a transaction valued in excess of US$500-million.
  • Trinidad Drilling on its joint venture with Halliburton to provide and operate drilling rigs for Halliburton's international integrated projects.
  • Sadara Chemical Company, a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Dow Chemical, on ongoing corporate and commercial matters.
  • Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Company (Petro Rabigh), a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical, on ongoing contractual arrangements and dispute matters.
  • Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Company (YASREF) Limited, a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Sinopec, on its operational requirements and ongoing contractual arrangements.
  • Air Liquide Arabia with respect to engineering, procurement and construction contracts related to the development of more than US$500-million in industrial gas production facilities.
  • Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Center Company Ltd. (Wa'ed) on the establishment of an entrepreneurship program to support and fund small and medium enterprises in Saudi Arabia.
  • LUKSAR on incentive-based contracting structures to support the next phase of its drilling program.
  • Azmi Abdullatif Abdulhadi Abdullah Mahana Al-Moaibed for Engineering Consultation (AMCDE) on its joint venture with Kellogg Brown & Root Limited to jointly pursue engineering projects, including the GES+ contract awarded to the joint venture by Saudi Aramco.
  • APICORP on the sale of its equity interest in Bahrain National Gas Company (BANAGAS) to Boubyan Petrochemical Company.
  • Petro Rabigh, and assisted in the closing of a syndicated loan financing of a US$5-billion expansion of an existing, world-scale petroleum refining and petrochemicals complex in Rabigh, Saudi Arabia.
  • Sanjel Corporation on the reorganization and recapitalization of Sanjel International Saudi Arabia Limited, an oilfield services joint venture in Saudi Arabia, and the investment by the Industrialization & Energy Services Company (TAQA) to become a successor joint venture partner.
  • Saudi Railways Organization on the establishment of a railway commission to certify railroads in Saudi Arabia.
  • APICORP on the sale of its equity interest in Alexandria Carbon Black Company to the Aditya Birla Group.
  • Equinox Minerals Ltd. on Saudi and Canadian issues related to its acquisition of Citadel Resource Group Limited in a transaction valued at US$1.23-billion. Citadel is the owner of the Jabal Sayid mining project in Saudi Arabia, which holds the largest identified copper reserves in Saudi Arabia.
  • Global Banking Corporation on its proposed acquisition of 11 per cent of S-Tel, India, a joint venture established between Batelco and the Siva Group.
  • Suncor Energy Inc. on its C$44-billion strategic merger with Petro-Canada, including significant operating and development assets in Libya and Syria.
  • A Saudi petrochemical limited liability company in its joint venture with a Canadian company with respect to its tax restructuring and its pre-licensing with the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
 

 INDUSTRY RECOGNITION

 
Blakes is not only highly recommended by various surveys and guides, it is consistently recognized for the transactions in which it is involved:
  • Frequently advises major joint ventures, as well as Saudi and international corporations, on commercial contracts, licensing and regulatory issues. Its client roster includes major names in the energy, defence and petrochemical industries, and work ranges from M&A transactions to EPC contracts advice.” Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business
  • “A mainstay in the courts of Saudi Arabia, it also represents clients before numerous regulatory bodies and committees.” Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business
  • "They give very reliable advice and they are prompt and efficient at attending to our needs" and "they have been responsive and offer a lot of support and knowledge." – Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business
  • "...has 'talent across the board'... and is considered a 'go-to firm' for complex corporate disputes..." – The Legal 500 EMEA
  • “This Canadian firm has established a solid presence in Bahrain, bringing significant experience in the oil and gas sector. The busy office services a number of international corporations on projects in both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, as well as advising a number of high-profile local clients on outbound investments….” – Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business
  • “… expertly represents Gulf-based and international companies in the GCC region” and “has quickly built up a strong reputation for litigation and arbitration.” – The Legal 500 EMEA
 
Members of the Blakes Gulf team are consistently recognized as leaders in their respective fields by the following surveys and guides:
  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business
  • The Legal 500 EMEA
  • IFLR1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms
  • Who’s Who Legal: Business
 

 PEOPLE

 
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Trainee Lawyer | Al-Khobar
Al-Khobar: +966-13-847-5050 x9342
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Employment & Labour, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Middle East
Consultant | Riyadh, Al-Khobar
Riyadh: +966-11-418-7455
Al-Khobar: +966-13-847-5050
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Islamic Finance, Middle East, Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Chair, Saudi Arabia and Middle East | Al-Khobar, Bahrain, Riyadh
Al-Khobar: +966-13-847-5050 x9321
Bahrain: +973-1715-1500
Riyadh: +966-11-418-7444
Areas of Expertise: Competition & Antitrust, Foreign Investment, International Trade, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Infrastructure, Oil & Gas, Middle East, Nuclear Energy, Major Projects, Oil Sands, LNG, Transportation, Mergers, Acquisitions & Divestitures
Associate | Al-Khobar
Al-Khobar: +966-13-847-5050 x9339
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Foreign Investment, Middle East
Consultant | Al-Khobar
Al-Khobar: +966-13-847-5050 x9335
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Employment & Labour, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Middle East
Consultant | Al-Khobar
Al-Khobar: +966-13-847-5050 x9337
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Middle East, Marketing & Health Regulatory, Employment & Labour
Trainee Lawyer | Riyadh
Riyadh: +966-11-418-7403
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Labour Law, Middle East
Trainee Lawyer | Al-Khobar
Al-Khobar: +966-13-847-5050 x9330
Areas of Expertise: Foreign Investment, Corporate & Commercial, Employment & Labour, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Middle East
Trainee Lawyer | Al-Khobar
Al-Khobar: +966-13-847-5050
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Employment & Labour, Middle East
Consultant | Al-Khobar, Bahrain
Al-Khobar: +966-13-847-5050 x9338
Bahrain: +973-1715-1500
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Oil & Gas, Energy, Middle East, Foreign Investment, Nuclear Energy, Private Equity
Associate | Al-Khobar
Al-Khobar: +966-13-847-5050 x9387
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Middle East
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2237
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Mergers & Acquisitions, Mining, Energy, Middle East, Mining Lending
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2479
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Procurement, Infrastructure, Middle East, Public-Private Partnerships
Chair | Calgary, Toronto
Calgary: 403-260-9610
Toronto: 416-863-2150
Areas of Expertise: Capital Markets, Mergers & Acquisitions, Oil & Gas, Energy, Restructuring & Insolvency, Australia, Africa, Europe, Middle East, Latin America, Equity Capital Markets, Pension Funds Investment, Investment Funds, Investment Vehicles, Major Projects, Mergers, Acquisitions & Divestitures, Cannabis, Credit Unions
Firm Managing Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2748
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Mergers & Acquisitions, Procurement, China, India, Africa, Korea, Middle East, Latin America, United States, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Pension Funds Investment, Investment Funds, Investment Vehicles
Associate | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9717
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Oil & Gas, Energy, Mergers & Acquisitions, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Corporate Governance, Joint Venture & Co-ownership Structuring, Pipeline & Midstream, Middle East, Transportation, Major Projects, Mergers, Acquisitions & Divestitures
Partner | London, Bahrain
London: +44-20-7429-3553
Bahrain: +973-1715-1500
Areas of Expertise: Energy, Oil & Gas, Mining, Infrastructure, Mergers & Acquisitions, Middle East, Corporate & Commercial, Mining Streaming & Royalties, Defence, Europe
Associate | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9646
Areas of Expertise: Energy, Oil & Gas, Power, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Middle East, Downstream & Marketing, Transportation, Major Projects, Oil & Gas, E&P Conventional, E&P Unconventional, Mergers, Acquisitions & Divestitures, Pipeline & Midstream
Associate | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-4034
Areas of Expertise: Asset-Based Finance, Debt Finance & Lending, Project Finance, Infrastructure, Renewables (Wind, Solar, Hydro & CleanTech), Africa, Europe, Middle East
Office Managing Partner | Vancouver
Vancouver: 604-631-3336
Areas of Expertise: Tax, Tax Controversy & Litigation, Transfer Pricing, Sales & Commodity Taxes, Pensions & Benefits, Executive Compensation, Forestry, Infrastructure, Middle East, Aboriginal
Office Managing Partner | Bahrain, Al-Khobar, Riyadh
Bahrain: +973-1715-1523
Al-Khobar: +966-13-847-5050
Riyadh: +966-11-418-7433
Areas of Expertise: Procurement, Corporate & Commercial, Project Finance, Infrastructure, Construction, Public-Private Partnerships, Power, Middle East, Africa, India, Oil & Gas, Transportation, Major Projects, Joint Venture & Co-ownership Structuring
Senior Counsel | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9623
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Corporate Governance, Energy, Enterprise Risk & Crisis Response, Procurement, Construction, Oil & Gas, Middle East, Latin America
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-5258
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Mergers & Acquisitions, Middle East
Associate | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9752
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Energy, Mergers & Acquisitions, Procurement, Construction, Infrastructure, Public-Private Partnerships, Oil & Gas, Major Projects, Power, Renewables (Wind, Solar, Hydro & CleanTech), Middle East
Partner | Riyadh, Al-Khobar
Riyadh: +966-11-418-7422
Al-Khobar: +966-13-847-5050
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Financial Services, International Trade, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Mergers & Acquisitions, Foreign Investment, Middle East, India
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 BULLETINS

 
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