Vinson & Elkins has represented clients in the Middle East and North Africa for more than 30 years. Our lawyers bring extensive knowledge and a deep understanding of specific country-by-country considerations and regional variations, so that each client is able to navigate the complexities and customs of doing business in the region.
We have an established and integrated office network in the region, including in cooperation with the Riyadh-based Law Office of Looaye M. Al-Akkas. Internationally qualified lawyers located in Dubai and Riyadh — including eight native Arabic speakers — advise clients on complex transactions, projects, and dispute resolution matters from Morocco to the UAE. The Law Office of Looaye M. Al-Akkas is located in the iconic Kingdom Tower. Vinson & Elkins’ office in the region is in Dubai and headed by Amir Ghaffari.
Consistently named the “World’s Leading Energy Law Firm,” (Euromoney*, 1995–present), our team has particular experience advising clients on transactions and international dispute resolution matters across the energy sector, with a focus on all facets of oil and gas exploration, production, transportation, and processing.
Additionally, we regularly advise clients who operate in the construction and engineering, infrastructure, power, mining, telecommunications, and health care sectors, on mergers and acquisitions, project finance, capital markets and securities, arbitration, litigation, and restructuring and reorganization.
Our Riyadh team is made up entirely of Saudi nationals who are multi-lingual and, in addition to being Saudi licensed lawyers, admitted to practice in the United States and in England & Wales. Our lawyers bring deep understanding of Saudi Arabian business, legal and regulatory systems and a long history of advising local, regional and international clients doing business inside and outside of the Kingdom.
* Based upon the number of lawyers named in the Guide to the World’s Leading Energy Lawyers.
The Republic of Iraq Ministry of Oil in connection with the $17 billion Basrah Gas Project to capture the large volume of natural gas currently being flared in oil fields in Iraq’s southern region and process it for both domestic power generation and LNG export; the project involves a 25-year development joint venture agreement with Royal Dutch Shell plc and Mitsubishi
Sadara Chemical Company, a joint venture of the Saudi Aramco and Dow Chemicals, in connection with its joint venture to build the world’s largest Butanol plant in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Ahmad Hamad Al Gossaibi & Bros (AHAB) in Saudi Arabia’s largest restructuring and settlement negotiations with creditors
The Republic of Iraq Ministry of Oil on a multibillion dollar development of the 1,000-kilometer Iraq-Jordan Export Pipeline Project, which will be developed on a BOOT basis. Our advice includes leading the negotiation of the Intergovernmental agreement, the BOOT contract, crude and gas offtake agreements, and project finance bankability considerations
China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec) on project finance and sponsor financing documentation matters in connection with its joint venture with Saudi Aramco for development of the $10 billion Yanbu Refinery on the west coast of Saudi Arabia
Oman Oil Company in the $2.4 billion acquisition of the Oxea Group, the world’s largest supplier of Oxo chemical products, from Advent International
Representing the claimant (an Omani branch of a multinational drilling rig supply company) in relation to an ICC arbitration over the nonpayment of monies owed under a services contract for drilling in Oman
Represented a Middle East commodities exchange in DIFC Court proceedings relating to the termination of a member’s interest on the exchange
The developer of an aluminum smelter in relation to the negotiation of a long-term agreement for the supply of natural gas from Sonatrach in Algeria
Representation of the sponsors in connection with the development of an LNG project in Qatar
An arbitration under the Rules of the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration arising from the alleged payment of bribes in the procurement of major construction projects in the Middle East
A major Middle East telecommunications company on various corporate transactions, including the establishment of independent tower operating companies to own and manage passive network infrastructure and related leaseback arrangements
Sanabil Investments, a Saudi government owned diversified investments company having SR20 (US$5.3) billion paid capital owned 100 percent by the Saudi sovereign wealth fund: the Public Investments Fund, in its acquisition of a 20% equity stake in Ebrahim Mohammed Almana & Brothers Company, a leading owner and operator of hospitals in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom – in connection with which Shihana was awarded the Deal Maker Of The Year Award 2016 by Finance Monthly
Group of Sellers, sale of 100 percent of their equity in Kudu Company for Food and Catering (the largest QSR chain in Saudi Arabia established in 1988) to a consortium of private equity funds lead by Abraaj Capital
Saudi Aramco in connection with its agreement with Jacobs Engineering to form a Saudi Arabia-based joint venture company to provide professional program and construction management services for social infrastructure projects throughout Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East and North Africa
A Saudi citizen and prominent international investor in international arbitration against a foreign government for mistreatment, unlawful takeover and mistrial as well as representing him locally before the Bureau for Public Prosecution, the Ministry of Interior and its department (e.g. the Saudi Interpol) and the Criminal Court