SAUDI ARABIA

Foreign law firms be allowed to appoint non-Saudi directors conditionally

October 16, 2022
The first condition is that the representation of Saudi partners or shareholders, who are licensed to practice the legal profession, in the board of directors or the council of executives of the firm shall not be less than a quarter of the members with voting in the board.
The first condition is that the representation of Saudi partners or shareholders, who are licensed to practice the legal profession, in the board of directors or the council of executives of the firm shall not be less than a quarter of the members with voting in the board.



Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — Foreign law firms will be allowed to appoint non-Saudi directors provided that they fulfill certain conditions, according to the executive regulations for regulating licensing of foreign law firms in the Kingdom.

The first condition is that the representation of Saudi partners or shareholders, who are licensed to practice the legal profession, in the board of directors or the council of executives of the firm shall not be less than a quarter of the members with voting in the board.

The regulation also stipulates that if the office functions as a professional company with one or more Saudi lawyers who are registered as practicing lawyers, the company must have one of the Saudi partners with a minimum of seven years of experience, and that one of such Saudi partners or shareholders shall be the director of the company.

In order to obtain the license, the regulations stipulate that the foreign law firm should not have implicated in a crime involving moral turpitude or dishonesty through a final judgment, or a final decision in a serious professional violation in any country in which it practices the profession unless at least five years have passed since the expiry of the execution of the judgment or legal decision.

It is required that the country in which the office has representation or partnerships shall be an economically developed country in accordance with the relevant international indicators and standards. Similarly, it is required that the representation or partnership shall be acceptable in the country or region, that such representation or partnership authorizes it to practice the profession in that country or region, and that the office has headquarters in that country or region in which the number of workers engaged in the business of a regular nature is not less than three.

According to the regulation, the foreign law firm must submit the license application electronically, accompanied by authorization for its legal representative to submit an application for a license to practice the profession in the Kingdom, in addition to its licensing documents at the head office and other branches, apart from a license to practice the profession for the partner who represents the office in the Kingdom, and proof of his partnership and previous experience.

The law firm must also submit an acknowledgment that no final judgment or decision has been issued against it or its partner in crimes against honor or trust or serious professional violations. The firm has also to obtain a license from the competent authority to grant licenses for foreign investment in the Kingdom.


October 16, 2022
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