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Hatem Abbas Ghazzawi & Co


Hatem Abbas Ghazzawi & Co - Jeddah
  • Post Office Box 6387
  • Jeddah
  • Mecca Province
  • Saudi Arabia
  • 21442
  • Number of partners worldwide: 4
  • Number of other lawyers worldwide: 9
  • Languages: Arabic, English

Firm Overview:
Hatem Abbas Ghazzawi & Co. (formerly Abbas F. Ghazzawi & Co.) is an independent Saudi Arabian law firm. The firm has played an impressive role in high profile transactions and developed a reputation for providing high quality advice on some of the largest and most complex project-transactions in Saudi Arabia. It remains the first choice Saudi counsel for many foreign companies and international law firms seeking advice on Saudi Arabian law.

Main Areas of Practice:  

Projects & Energy:
Hatem Abbas Ghazzawi & Co. advised The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) in connection with its joint venture with Saudi Aramco for the development, financing and construction of a petrochemicals complex in Jubail (the Sadara Chemicals Project). The plastics and chemicals plant will be one of the largest of its kind world-wide to be built on a green field basis. Hatem Abbas Ghazzawi & Co. also advised Sadara Chemical Company (Sadara) and in June 2013 Sadara signed the finance documents for the US$10.5 billion project financing. This is the main tranche of the financing for the US$20 billion Sadara project. Earlier this year Sadara raised approximately US$2 billion of project financing debt through a sukuk (Islamic bond) issuance. That was the largest Saudi project finance sukuk ever issued and, significantly, was the first time a project bond had been issued in Saudi Arabia before the remainder of project debt had been arranged. The total project financing raised for the Sadara project, including the sukuk, is approximately US$12.5 billion. This was the largest-ever project financing in the petrochemicals sector, as well as one of the largest multi-sourced financings in project finance history. The Sadara project financing was provided by a combination of eight export credit agencies (including a record US$5 billion single investment from US Exim), a large number of commercial banks, Islamic financial institutions, and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. Hatem Abbas Ghazzawi & Co. has represented either the foreign shareholders or the sponsors in numerous major petrochemical projects including the award winning Al Waha Petrochemical project and the Jubail Acrylates project. The firm has furthermore been involved in most private power and water projects in Saudi Arabia including acting for:
•The lenders in the first IPP (SADAF)
•The sponsors in the first IWP (Rabigh)
•The lenders to the second ranked bidder in the Saudi Aramco CHP projects
•The lenders in the first IWPP (Shoaiba) and its subsequent expansion
•The borrower in the Qurayyah IPP, the world’s largest independent power project
•The winning bidder in the Rabigh IWSPP
•The lenders for the Shuqaiq IWPP The firm provided advice in connection with the RAS Az Zawr IWPP, Marafiq’s IWPP in Yanbu and an IWP in King Abdullah Economic City.

Banking & Finance:
The Banking and Finance practice provides advice to arrangers, issuers and placement agents in relation to debt and equity capital markets, collective investment schemes, corporate trustees as well as general securities advice. The firm’s work highlights include advising:
•Sadara and Dow in connection with a bridge financing from the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (press reports have referred to a US$2 billion loan), the first bridge financing provided by the Public Investment Fund
•China Development Bank in relation to a USD$110 million loan to a Saudi transportation company to finance the purchase of 3,000 school buses from a Chinese manufacturer. The loan was covered by Sinosure, the Chinese export credit agency. This was the first involvement of Sinosure in Saudi Arabia.
•RAWEC, the existing utility provider to the Petro- Rabigh petrochemicals complex, in connection with its financing of the expansion of the utilities to the $10 billion second-phase expansion of the petrochemicals complex
•The Etisalat consortium, the second Saudi Arabian telecommunications operator, in connection with the issuance of bank guarantees to the regulator for the first 3 G and second GSM licences worth US$2.8 billion
•Etisalat International in 2004 in connection with an Islamic financing valued at US$2.35 billion, the largest Islamic finance transaction until then 
• The Saudi subsidiary of Chevron Phillips in connec-tion with the US Exim backed US$5.2 billion financing of a petrochemical plant and associated support facilities

Capital Markets:
Hatem Abbas Ghazzawi & Co. has advised:
•Sadara Basic Services Company (the issuer), Sadara and Dow on the initial public offering of a US$2 billion sukuk issuance as part of the financing for the development of one of the world’s largest integrated performance chemicals and plastics complex, at an estimated total cost of US$19.3
•Mobile Telecommunications Company Saudi Arabia (“Zain”) on its US$1.9 billion Saudi IPO which was oversubscribed 283% with more than 8.53 million Saudis subscribing for shares by investing more than SR17.83 billion
•The Royal & Sun Alliance affiliate Al Alamiya Insurance Co. in connection with the initial public offering of 30% of its share capital as part of its licensing and incorporation pursuant to the Control of Cooperative Insurance Companies Regulation of 2003
•Ettihad Etisalat on the issue in the IPO of 20% of the share capital under the new Capital Market Regulation, which was valued at US$266 million and which was 51 times oversubscribed

Corporate & Commercial:
Hatem Abbas Ghazzawi & Co. has represented purchasers in domestic and cross-border transactions in different industries, including the banking, engineering, media, oil services and transport sectors. The firm is currently advising a US mining company in connection with a US$7 billion phosphate project in Saudi Arabia. The firm is currently advising Dow on an on-going basis on all corporate aspects (ranging from company incorporation to employment issues) in connection with its joint venture with Saudi Aramco for the development, financing and construction of an integrated petrochemicals project at Jubail. The firm has also advised:
•Alcoa in connection with its joint venture with Ma’aden for the development of a fully integrated aluminium complex (value: $10.8 billion)
•Arcelor-Mittal in connection with its first manufacturing joint venture in Saudi Arabia (value: US$750 million)
•Together with Goldman Sachs, the regulator in the issuance of the first 3 G and the second GSM licence valued at US$3.45 billion, the first Saudi Arabian privatisation/deregulation where competition to the incumbent service provider is allowed

Areas of Practice

  • Banking & Finance
  • Capital Markets
  • Corporate & Commercial
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Projects & Energy


Banking & Finance - Saudi Arabia

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Being at the forefront of Saudi legal developments, this independent firm takes on premium instructions on local Saudi matters. It is often chosen as local counsel where in-depth knowledge and expertise is warranted, and has an increasing focus on large, complex project financings. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
Quality of service: "Easy to work with. They offer very practical advice and understand what it is to work hard - they are there 24/7 with very impressive execution."

Work highlights Currently advising utility provider RAWEC on the financing of the USD10 billion second-phase expansion of the Petro-Rabigh petrochemicals facility. 

Represented ACWA Power in all stages of bidding, developing and financing of the USD2.85 billion Qurrayah IPP.

Significant clients Sadara Chemical, ACWA Power, Goldman Sachs, RAWEC, Abu Dhabi National Energy Company.

Notable practitioners  

Head of department Ali Abedi commands considerable clout within the Saudi market. Having trained previously at an international law firm, he is qualified in New York, England and Wales, and Saudi Arabia. Sources describe him as "a confident lawyer who really knows the market." 

Capital Markets - Saudi Arabia

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Long-standing experience in understanding the intricacies of the Saudi legal system and its regulations. Also acts for major industrial giants, such as Dow Chemical, showcasing its popularity with international corporations. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Good at listening and understanding the issues." 

Work highlights Advised Sadara Chemical and Dow Chemical on the IPO of a USD2 billion sukuk relating to the financing of an integrated performance chemical and plastics complex.

Notable practitioners  

Lead contact and practice head Asad Abedi is a highly distinguished name in Saudi Arabia. Commentators describe him as "terrific" and "a sophisticated and switched-on" lawyer.

Significant clients Tokio Marine Saudi Arabia, Emaar, Merrill Lynch, Northern Trust.

Corporate/Commercial - Saudi Arabia

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Highly regarded for expertise in projects, joint venture and M&A and for comprehensive knowledge of the domestic market. Advises Saudi and international clients on regulatory and restructuring issues and on investments in the kingdom.

Work highlights Advised Sadara Chemical and Dow Chemical on all Saudi aspects of a joint venture relating to the USD19.3 billion Sadara Complex in Jubail.

Notable practitioners  

Ali Abedi is well regarded for his expertise in project finance and joint ventures. He led the team advising Sadara and Dow on the Sadara Complex joint venture.

Asad Abedi's diverse corporate and commercial practice encompasses joint ventures, restructuring and securities matters.

Andreas Haberbeck is active in commercial dispute resolution and M&A work. Sources enthuse: "His knowledge of the region is superb."

Significant clients Varian Medical Systems, Alcoa, Bechtel, Ferrero.

Dispute Resolution - Saudi Arabia

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for One of the two main stalwarts in the country when it comes to dispute resolution, especially court litigation. The team's knowledge of Saudi local law across all industries is highly sought after by international and local clients alike.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Expertise: "They helped me tremendously with the complexities of the jurisdiction - first-class firm."

Notable practitioners  

Andreas Haberbeck is a well-recognised and respected name in the Saudi law market. Clients and peers rate him highly on disputes. He is described as "very easy to work with, and decisive - he knows how things work in Saudi and gets things done." 

Significant clients The Emaar Economic City, Jones Lang LaSalle, Medtronic, SADAFCO, Speechly Bircham.