DLA Piper has established a new association in Saudi Arabia after its country managing partner left to set up his own firm in Riyadh.
Eyad Reda, who had been DLA Piper’s country managing partner since 2009, left the firm at the end of December to launch a new practice in the Saudi capital under his own name. On Jan. 1, DLA Piper’s Saudi operations transferred to the newly created Amer Al Amr Law Firm, which is led by the global legal giant’s former Saudi litigation head Amer Al-Amr.
DLA Piper said that “the majority of staff” in the country had transferred over to the new firm established by Al-Amr, as did its offices in Al Khobar, Jeddah and Riyadh.
“I am privileged to lead the next phase of DLA Piper’s evolution in the kingdom,” said a statement from Al-Amr. “With a focus on diversification, legal reform, market liberalization and private sector participation, it is an exciting time for Saudi Arabia.”
Saudi rules prevent international law firms from operating in the country without a local partner firm. The deal with Amer Al Amr marks the fourth association that DLA Piper has had in Saudi Arabia since moving into the market more than 10 years ago.
In 2006, DLA Piper struck an association with Abdulaziz H. Al-Fahad, but that relationship ended two years later and the firm linked up with the Abdulaziz Al-Bosaily Law Office. In 2009, the latter’s namesake Abdulaziz Al-Bosaily broke off his relationship with DLA Piper in favor of a partnership with Clyde & Co, where he is now general manager of its Riyadh office.
DLA Piper subsequently turned to Reda to head up its Saudi business, hiring him in September 2009 from the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, where he was a legal counsel.
Other large firms to have struck up new Saudi associations in recent months include CMS, Linklaters and Pinsent Masons. DLA Piper’s move in Saudi Arabia comes on the heels of the firm’s absorption of 150-lawyer Danish firm LETT, 50-lawyer Portuguese firm ABBC and 60-lawyer Liner in Los Angeles.
DLA Piper has also been active in the lateral market heading into 2018, picking up Mayer Brown tax transactions partner Lewis Greenwald in New York; Porzio, Bromberg & Newman litigation partner Stephen Matthews in Short Hills, New Jersey; a pair of Jones Day partners in Tokyo; and Weirfoulds restructuring partner Edmond Lamek in Toronto.