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Middle East

Middle East
Middle East

Blakes is committed to serving our clients in the Middle East. The team has extensive knowledge of the Saudi and Bahrain landscapes, in particular, which 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 member states 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 complemented by 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

  • Privatization matters

  • Capital markets

  • Energy

  • Competition 

  • Conventional and Islamic financings

  • Mining

To meet our clients' needs both regionally and globally, we are dedicated to growing our practice and building a cross-disciplinary team of lawyers with an effective range of expertise.

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Recent Experience

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.

  • 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.

Awards & 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

  • "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