We operate panels in many practice areas and in many countries. We don't always have a practice area specialist who knows firms in the country, so that is where guides like this come in handy.
The IFLR1000 is a useful cross reference to refer to ... to make sure a personal referral aligns with some objective rankings from a survey. I would refer to it in my main area, M&A, when looking for a counsel in a country we are new to.
The country-by-country tiered rankings by practice area are a good approach, to get a rough feel if a firm is viewed as active in a practice area.
UK General CounselUS-listed multi-national corporate
I find the IFLR1000 an up-to-date and credible source for selecting and sourcing new legal firms in a new business area or country, and to compare legal firms capabilities in different practices.
I find the tiered rankings particularly useful when benchmarking and comparing between existing legal firms, plus looking at unfamiliar legal practices or locations.
Mohammad AlGhamdiManagerCorporate financingSABIC
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Alem & Associates
Highly regarded by clients, Alem & Associates is recommended for the excellent value it offers. "You get the 90% of the quality of an international law firm for half the price," notes one client. "The work is high quality, they are very diligent, they know their stuff," says another. Practice head Omar El Assir is the lawyer highlighted by peers. "His technical skills are very good, I would give them full marks," says one client adding: "He will turn around something very quickly for you."
The firm is also recommended for work in Saudi where it has an associated office.
DealsAlem & Associates has a speciality in investment funds and capital markets work. By far the firm's largest transaction was its advice to on structuring a hybrid musharaka (partnership finance), istisna'a Ijara (shared risk) SR2.5 billion ($666 million) sukuk (Islamic bond) for one client. Further capital markets transactions include, representing an insurance brokerage firm, Unlimited Insurance Services on the private placement of its insurance company and advising IBL Investment Bank on offering US company Behavioural Recognition Systems' common stocks to qualified investors through a capital increase. Managing partner of the Lebanese office, Omar El Assir, and Eddy El-Maghariki were active on all three deals.
One example of the firm's fund work saw name partner Mohamed Alem lead a team advising Lucid Investment Corporation on the establishment of an open-ended fund in Cyprus, dealing in the sale and purchase of United States' receivables in the health sector. The ongoing transaction is valued at $300 million.
Being on the ground in Saudi Arabia is said to be imperative if you want to secure mandates from local clients. Opening a branch in The Kingdom certainly appears to have reaped dividends for Alem with a number of its M&A deals coming for Saudi clients. El Assir and Maghariki have worked on three deals in the country in last 12 months. An ongoing role sees the pair advising Tadrees Holdings on its $14 million acquisition of Al Manhal Schools. While in 2011 they closed the $11 million acquisition of an equity stake in ACWA, a leading Saudi company specialised in water and power supply for Badad International.
Omar El Assir
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