Trowers opts to close Jeddah base just one year after launch

Trowers & Hamlins has closed its office in Jeddah just one year after it opened.

The UK firm confirmed that the office had closed, saying it had opened the base in a bid to get a feel for the market, but found it could sufficiently service the Saudi Arabian market from its Riyadh office.

Trowers also confirmed that its relationship with Feras Alshawaf Law Office, with which it has a cooperation agreement to service the Saudi market in compliance with local Bar rules, is still ongoing.

The firm said that at the most it had had three lawyers in Jeddah at one time, including investment funds lawyer Julien Sweeting, who had been seconded to Alshawaf in Jeddah but who has now returned to the firm’s London base.

A spokesperson for Trowers said: “Jeddah was a serviced office and we opened to test the market as to whether we should open long term. We decided that we could service our [Saudi Arabia' clients from the Riyadh office... Julien has spent three years in [Saudi Arabia] and wanted to return to the UK to concentrate on the UK market.”

Trowers, which has UK offices in London, Exeter and Manchester, only has international offices in the Middle East, where it has a longstanding presence with bases in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Cairo, Dubai and Oman.

For more, see Trowers expands in Mid East with new Saudi arm and partner hires.