Ahmed el-Gaili is a Latham partner seconded to the Riyadh office and leads the corporate M&A practice. He represents clients on complex cross-border, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, and joint venture transactions locally in Saudi Arabia, as well as in the Middle East, Europe, and the United States. He also advises several governments in the Middle East on large-scale energy projects and energy legislation

Mr. el-Gaili also has substantial experience advising on complex project finance and development matters in the Middle East and the Caspian region, including multisourced financings, such as those involving ECA/multilateral and Islamic finance. He also works with the international dispute resolution teams on matters in the region where his deep understanding in regional legal systems and commercial transactions assists the client’s litigation or settlement efforts.

  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Private equity
  • Project development/financing
  • Energy regulation
  • Corporate restructuring
  • Arbitration

Mr. el-Gaili’s experience includes advising: 

M&A/Private Equity

  •  ADNOC in connection with a potential sale of a stake in one of its affiliates*
  • The Government of Jordan in connection with a potential acquisition of an IPP operator in Jordan*
  • UAE-based Aurora and a SOCAR affiliate on the sale of SOCAR Aurora Terminals (owner of a large oil storage terminal in the UAE) to a private equity buyer*
  • Saudi Aramco in connection with a confidential global joint venture*
  • Saudi-based Arabian Consulting Engineering Centre in connection with a potential joint venture with Bechtel to provide engineering services in Saudi Arabia*
  • A Saudi investor in connection with the formation of a joint venture and negotiation of a shareholders’ agreement relating to construction support services in Saudi Arabia*
  • The oil trading arm of MOO in connection with a potential international trading joint venture with a Chinese company*
  • Helios Towers in connection with the acquisition of an independent tower company in Oman*
  • VimpelCom in connection with the potential sale and leaseback of telecom towers in Pakistan*

Project Development & Finance

  • Saudi Aramco in connection with the project financing of the Port Arthur LNG terminal*
  • Saudi-based bulk chemical storage operator Arabian Chemical Terminals (ACT) on its entry into strategic agreements with Abu Dhabi Ports, the master developer of ports and industrial zones in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, UAE*
  • MOO in connection with the multibillion-dollar development of the Ar-Ratawi Gas Project to be developed by Total*
  • MOO in connection with a potential project financing of an NGL plant at the Basrah Gas Project*
  • MOO in connection with the multibillion-dollar development of the 1,000-kilometer Iraq-Jordan Export Pipeline Project, which will be developed on a BOOT basis —advice includes leading the negotiation of the intergovernmental agreement, the BOOT contract, crude and gas offtake agreements, and project finance bankability considerations*

Dispute Resolution

  •  The Government of Jordan and the National Electric Power Company in connection with a high-profile dispute and arbitration with an IPP operator. Presented in Arabic to a committee led by the Prime Minister on multiple occasions.*
  • MOO in connection with a constitutional dispute with the Kurdistan Regional Government before the Federal Supreme Court in connection with oil exports. Drafted and revised multiple submissions in Arabic.*

Conference Speaker

  •  “Project Finance: Exploring Private Funding Sources in the Light of Iraq’s Reconstruction Donors Countries Conference,” Iraq Petroleum 2018, February 28, 2018
  • “Iraq Petroleum Conference 2017,” May 22-23, 2017

Thought Leadership

  • “Unveiling Arab Constitutions: Against Religious Enshrinement in Iraq and Sudan,” “Sudan’s Peace Agreement: A legal Critique.” 
  • Various op-eds. Under publication: “The Constitutional Relationship between Religion & State in Sudan: Positive Neutrality as an Alternative” — articles on the 2005 Sudanese constitution.
  • Federalism & the Tyranny of Religious Majorities, 45 Harvard International Law Journal, 2004. Paper was required reading for a course at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government for three years. 

*Matter handled while at a previous firm

Bar Qualification

  • New York


  • J.D., Harvard Law School, 2003
    Cum Laude
  • AB, Harvard College, 1998
    Magna Cum Laude

Languages Spoken

  • Arabic
  • English