Squire Patton Boggs Boosts Islamic Finance, Banking and Financial Regulatory Expertise in Middle East

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    Squire Patton Boggs has appointed banking, Islamic finance and financial services regulatory expert Ahmed Butt as a partner in its Financial Services Practice based in its Riyadh office. Ahmed joins from Simmons & Simmons, where he established that firm’s Riyadh presence, headed its Middle East banking practice and led its Saudi Arabia practice.

    Specializing in both conventional banking and Islamic finance, Ahmed advises lenders and borrowers on syndicated financings with cross-border security, including real estate finance, construction finance, asset finance, trade finance and interbank liquidity loans. He has advised on complex regional debt restructurings impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, global financial crisis and variation in oil price, while also advising on numerous initiatives relating to Saudi Vision 2030. In addition, Ahmed has extensive experience in financial services regulatory compliance matters in the region, advising US and UK asset managers and investment banks that work with Middle East institutional investors, family offices and sovereign wealth funds, while maintaining strong working relationships with the region’s financial regulators and central banks.

    Ahmed was previously a founding member of Hogan Lovells’ Dubai office, also practising in its London office, as part of its transactional banking and Islamic finance teams, and was seconded to Standard Chartered Bank in Dubai as senior legal counsel in its Wholesale Banking and Islamic Banking divisions in 2011.

    “We are delighted to welcome Ahmed as another great addition to the firm,” said Khalid Al-Thebity, Squire Patton Boggs’ Saudi head. “Ahmed is highly regarded in the region for his Islamic finance and broad banking experience. His arrival further strengthens our capabilities for complex financial services transactions and regulatory guidance in the Kingdom, a market of continued strategic investment for the firm.”

    In addition to serving clients from his Riyadh base, Ahmed will also bolster the regional Financial Services Practice, including in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Partner Shibeer Ahmed who leads the practice from Dubai added, “I am delighted to be working with Ahmed again. We have a long history of working together and I know Ahmed will be an invaluable resource for clients as we further expand our conventional and Islamic banking and project finance practice across the region, and in Africa and Southeast Asia.”

    “Our presence in the Middle East is a critical element of our global practice, and we are committed to strategic growth to support our many clients doing business across the region,” said Dubai Managing Partner Campbell Steedman. “Ahmed’s experience and connections spanning Riyadh and Dubai make him a perfect fit for our firm.”

    Commenting on his move, Ahmed Butt said, “Squire Patton Boggs has a sterling reputation and deep relationships across the Middle East as one of the region’s longest-standing international firms. I am excited to be joining a world-class team and look forward to collaborating with my esteemed colleagues here and around the globe.”

    In January, the firm brought on Winston and Strawn’s Dubai office, including its former Middle East managing partner Campbell Steedman, Head of Middle East Finance Shibeer Ahmed and corporate partner Christopher Skipper. In June, construction and arbitration partner Ravinder Bhullar and senior associate Alex Freeman joined the firm’s Dubai office from Dechert.

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