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With one-fifth of the world’s oil reserves under Saudi Arabia’s desert sands, it might seem unnecessary to ask what exactly attracts international law firms to the kingdom — a bit like asking Donald Trump’s third wife just what it was that she saw in the billionaire property magnate. But compared to the neighboring emirate of Dubai, which has seen an influx of U.S. and U.K. firms, Riyadh has proved far tougher for foreign lawyers to crack, despite the Saudi government’s avowed commitment to privatization and foreign investment. So by Saudi Arabian standards, Norton Rose’s recent arrival — in conjunction with White & Case’s decision to beef up its Riyadh outpost and Allen & Overy’s launch of a Saudi office in May — constitutes something of a foreign invasion.

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