International Financial Law Review (IFLR) named global law firm White & Case LLP "Law Firm of the Year" in its Middle East Awards 2020, announced on October 14. White & Case is the first-ever non-Magic Circle firm to win Law Firm of the Year.
"White & Case was behind some of the most consequential legally innovative work," IFLR reported in its profile of the firm. Based on law firm submissions, independent research and interviews with counsel and clients, the awards recognize "the most innovative cross-border work from across the region" from July 2019 to July 2020, according to IFLR.
White & Case teams were also named "Project Finance Team of the Year," "Equity Team of the Year" and "Pro Bono Team of the Year." In addition, five transactions on which White & Case advised were named "Deals of the Year":
- "Equity Deal of the Year" for White & Case's representation of Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) on its SAR 111.0 billion/US$29.4 billion initial public offering, which is the world's largest initial public offering to date.
- "Project Finance Deal of the Year" for White & Case's representation of Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) in connection with the 200 MIGD reverse osmosis independent water plant project (IWP) located in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, UAE, which will be the largest reverse osmosis desalination plant in the world. The Taweelah IWP also obtained the first sustainable loan qualification for a water desalination project globally.
- "Restructuring Deal of the Year" for White & Case's representation of Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma'aden) in connection with the conversion of project loans to Ma'aden Rolling Company (MRC), a joint venture between Ma'aden and Alcoa Corporation, into new shares in Ma'aden, and the associated restructuring of MRC.
- "Domestic Deal of the Year" for White & Case's representation of Saudi Aramco on its acquisition of a 70 percent equity interest in Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) from the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, for a purchase price of SAR 259.125 billion (US$69.1 billion), which was the world's largest M&A deal in 2019.
- "Debt and Equity-linked Deal of the Year" for White & Case's representation of Trustee on a transformative bank/bond financing (term loan B and pari passu high yield bond) in connection with the acquisition by a CVC Capital Partners-led consortium of a 30 percent stake in GEMS Education.