Holman Fenwick Willan (HFW) has expanded its specialist Middle East legal offering with the launch of three new associations in Riyadh, Beirut and Kuwait City.

The move adds to the firm’s current offices in the region (in Dubai and Abu Dhabi) and brings its total number of lawyers working across Mena to 40.

HFW will be operating through associations with local law practices Al-Enezee in Riyadh and El-Khoury & Partners (EKP) in Beirut, both of which have a strong portfolio of regional business. The firm will continue to represent local businesses and government entities as well as multinational companies, financial institutions and private investors throughout the Mena region. The teams are led by Ziad El-Khoury alongside Khulaif Al-Enezee (Riyadh), Wissam Hachem (Riyadh) and Hadi Melki (Beirut).

In Kuwait, the firm will operate through an association with Rula Dajani Law Office, headed by the firm’s Middle East managing partner Rula Dajani Abuljebain, to provide a range of onshore legal services across the firm’s core industry sectors, and including local litigation.

“We recognise the importance of the Middle East region to world trade and as such, it has become an increasingly important part of our growth strategy,” says HFW’s senior partner Richard Crump. “The addition of these associations rapidly moves HFW into the top tier of firms operating in the region in terms of geographical footprint and size of team, which in turn enhances our experience and language capability and, importantly, provides greater cultural understanding to better serve our full client base across the region.”

The new associations come just six months after the Saudi Stock Exchange, the Tadawul, opened up to foreign investors and at a time where the government of Saudi Arabia is working to limit its reliance on hydrocarbons by driving growth and diversification across the private sector.