Baker Botts expanded its projects finance strength in the Middle East by hiring Euan Pinkerton, formerly of Herbert Smith Freehills, as a global projects partner in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Pinkerton, who started work at Baker Botts this week, said the firm has a long history and great credentials in the Middle East, and he looks forward to helping it further build up its practice.

He said the market in Saudi Arabia is fairly competitive. “There are a number of firms with a longstanding presence. Pedigree goes a long way in this part of the world,” he said.

Pinkerton declined to identify his clients but said he’s done a lot of work for Saudi and international clients in the oil and gas and petrochemical industries.

Andrew Baker, managing partner of Houston-based Baker Botts, said in a written statement that the Middle East is an important market for the firm and its clients.

“Euan has a deep understanding of the market, and his background in projects and project finance, encompassing conventional, Islamic and capital market modes of financing, will add tremendous value for our local and international clients,” Baker wrote.

Baker Botts opened its Riyadh office in 2001 and seven lawyers are now based there, according to the firm’s website. Baker Botts also has offices in Kuwait City and in Dubai.

Pinkerton said he has worked on legal matters in Saudi Arabia since 2003 and has lived in Riyadh since 2011. Before joining Herbert Smith’s office in Riyadh in 2015, he was a partner at White & Case.

Herbert Smith confirmed in a statement that Pinkerton had left the firm at the end of September, and added that “we thank Euan for his contribution in the past three years and we wish him well.”

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