Harj Rai, Co-Chair of the firm’s Saudi Arabia Practice, represents government and government-related entities, sponsors, and financial institutions in a range of complex corporate and finance transactions, both within the GCC region and internationally.

Drawing on more than 20 years of on-the-ground experience working and living in the Middle East, Mr. Rai helps clients navigate highly strategic and intricate matters spanning project finance, Islamic finance, and bank finance. His work in Islamic finance includes complex Shari’ah-compliant agreements across a spectrum of Islamic structures.

Mr. Rai develops long-lasting relationships with clients to help them navigate every stage of their lifecycle. He brings particular experience in first-of-their-kind, precedent-setting transactions in the Middle East involving diverse industries, including oil and gas, technology, real estate, and telecommunications.

Mr. Rai previously served as Dubai Office Managing Partner and Local Chair of the Finance Department.


  • “Highly experienced in Islamic finance, especially within Saudi Arabia”
    “Particularly adept in murabaha”
    “Well recognised for his strengths in sukuk, alongside his significant practice focus on project finance”
    “Provides fantastic legal counsel”
    “Very capable on the DCM side”
    “Well versed in sukuk issuances and well known for maintaining a substantial portfolio of Saudi-related work”     
    “Widely agreed to be an expert lawyer on debt capital markets in Saudi Arabia, with skills both in sukuk and in conventional issuances”
    “Has notable experience representing issuer clients in the real estate sector”
    “Esteemed for his involvement in Islamic finance mandates”
    “Noted for his particular aptitude in Shari'a-compliant project finance, sukuk and restructurings”
    “One of the smartest lawyers I have worked with”
    Chambers Global 2022
  • Named a Leading Lawyer in Banking, Islamic Finance, Project Finance, and Capital Markets
    IFLR 2020
  • Selected as a Rising Star
    Law360 2016
  • Named among the Top 30 Under 40
    Private Funds Management 2015
  • “A serious name in Saudi”
    “A big Saudi expert in the region”
    “Keen client focus”
    “A solid lawyer, who’s very well versed in Islamic finance”
    “Very good, very effective and extremely competent and pragmatic”
    Chambers Global 2017-2020

Mr. Rai’s experience includes advising:

Project Finance

  • The Public Investment Fund (PIF) with respect to the project financing in connection with the IPC plant project, an Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) and Low Density Poly Ethylene (LDPE) plant with a production capacity of 200,000 metric tons located in Jubail
  • The commercial lenders, The Export-Import Bank of Korea (K-EXIM), and Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (K-SURE) in connection with a US$1.6 billion facility for Saudi Electricity Company to finance a new oil-fired 2,640MW power plant in Jeddah South

Bank Finance

  • Saudi Electricity Company on the largest-ever syndicated loan facility for a borrower
  • The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) on a term loan facility for Maaden Bauxite and Alumina Company, a multi-commodity mining and metals company, to refinance existing debt

Islamic Finance

  • Dar Al-Arkan Sukuk Company in relation to its Trust Certificate Issuance update and drawdown 2019 and in relation to its Trust Certificate Issuance drawdown 2020
  • National Industrialization Company (Tasnee), a Saudi industrial and petrochemical manufacturing company, in relation to a murabaha revolving credit facility
  • The Government of Saudi Arabia in relation to the establishment of its 144A Trust Certificate Issuance Programme and the issuance of US$9 billion — the largest-ever sukuk issuance

Bar Qualification

  • England and Wales (Solicitor)


  • LPC, BPP Law School, 2003
  • BA/MA, Oxford University, 2002

Languages Spoken

  • English