Ashurst strengthens Middle East projects capability with partner hire

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    International law firm Ashurst announces it is strengthening its Middle East projects practice with the appointment of partner Bilal Rana.

    Bilal, who will be based in Riyadh, joins from Clifford Chance where he has been a part of the project finance group since 2014. He specialises in advising regional and international financial institutions, borrowers and sponsors on Islamic finance and project finance transactions. Bilal began his career at Linklaters in London in 2005, prior to moving to Saudi Arabia in 2009 with Baker & McKenzie.

    Ashurst established a presence in Saudi Arabia in 2013 through its association with Faisal Adnan Baassiri Law Firm. Its Middle East oil and gas team has also recently been bolstered with the transfer of John King, senior energy and resources counsel from the firm's Perth office to Abu Dhabi.

    Joss Dare, head of Ashurst in the Middle East, said:

    "Bilal's appointment reflects our commitment to growing our Middle East practice. Saudi Arabia is undergoing a period of rapid and far reaching change, both as a society and as an economy. There are significant opportunities that fit well with our regional strategic focus on the energy, transport and infrastructure industries on which Bilal will help us capitalise. His extensive experience and skill set is a perfect complement to our projects team and builds on our established association with Faisal Adnan Baassiri Law Firm to enhance our Saudi capability."

    Faisal Baassiri, head of Ashurst in Saudi, added:

    "Growing our offering in Saudi is a very exciting prospect and shows the strong commitment of the firm to Saudi Arabia especially in these exciting changing times. Jeddah and Riyadh are quite separate commercially – Riyadh is the centre of government and where most Saudi banks are based and Jeddah hosts some of the major Saudi corporates. Bilal is a highly respected and experienced practitioner and I am confident that he will deliver great results for clients and play a key role in further developing our capability in Saudi."

    Bilal Rana commented:

    "Privatisation/PPP is the cornerstone of Saudi Arabian government's Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Programme 2020. Ashurst, as a leader in PPP and infrastructure development, both globally and regionally, offers a very compelling value proposition to businesses operating in the Saudi market. I have been impressed by the quality of the firm's PPP and project finance capability and I am looking forward to working with Joss, Faisal and the wider Middle East teams to further develop the Saudi practice and client base as part of the firm's expanding projects offering."