Monday, April 23, 2018

الفرص والتعاقدات الدفاعية المتاحة في مجال التصنيع العسكري في المملكة العربية السعودية في ضوء رؤية 2030

سأقوم أنا وزميلي جوزيف مارتينز باستعراض الفرص والتعاقدات الدفاعية المتاحة في مجال التصنيع العسكري في المملكة العربية السعودية في ضوء رؤية 2030 وذلك خلال اللقاء الذي سيُعقد يوم الخميس 26 ابريل في مدينة الرياض. فضلاً مشاركتنا هذا النقاش في الجلسة الصباحية. 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Defense Contracting in Saudi Arabia: Opportunities for Military Manufacturing under Vision 2030


My colleague Joseph Martinez and I will be speaking on Thursday, Apr. 26 in Riyadh on Defense Contracting and opportunities for military manufacturing in Saudi Arabia under Vision 2030. Please join us for this breakfast discussion.

Program
Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program 2020 present unprecedented opportunities to military contractors to invest in Saudi Arabia. Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman has committed to make Saudi Arabia, a top-4 military spender globally and the world's second largest importer of military arms, a leader on the world stage and to localize over 50 percent of military equipment spending by 2030. Led by Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman's pioneering vision for a local military manufacturing sector, the Saudi government is actively seeking partnerships with the world's leading defense, security and technology firms. Vision 2030 offers these companies unprecedented investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia.

In navigating what Vision 2030 means for defense contractors, we will explore the following questions:
- What opportunities are available for partnership with Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI), Saudi Arabia's national military industries company created by the Public Investment Fund in 2017?
- What does partnering with Saudi Arabian Military Industries mean for winning contracts from the Royal Saudi Land Forces, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of the Saudi Arabian National Guard and the Ministry of the Interior?
- What rules and regulations will govern joint ventures established between military contractors, Saudi Arabian Military Industries and private defense companies in Saudi Arabia?
- Will foreign defense contractors be granted military manufacturing investment licenses in Saudi Arabia?
- What are the pitfalls to joint ventures and how can they be avoided?
- What strategies and tactics can be implemented to protect sensitive intellectual property and trade secrets when partnering with Saudi JV partners?
- Will the US government relax export controls as US companies seek to transfer knowledge and technology to their Saudi JV partners? Will such knowledge and technology remain secure with Saudi JV partners?
- How will compliance with the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) play out with the Vision 2030 push to transfer sensitive technology to Saudi Arabia?
- What other commercial issues should companies consider when engaging in joint ventures in Saudi Arabia?

Schedule of Events:
7:00 AM - 7:30 AM - Networking Reception
7:30 AM - 9:00 AM - Breakfast and Program

Speakers:
Joseph Martinez
Partner, Dentons - Denver
Joe's practice focuses on all aspects of government contracts, including litigation and compliance counseling with an emphasis on contract and subcontract formation and pricing issues and complex claims litigation. Joe has assisted a number of U.S. Contractors with compliance issues arising from foreign performance, including foreign registration and employment issues, intellectual property and trade secret protection, and foreign military sales and direct commercial sales. Joe is also a member of Dentons' Political Law, Ethics and Disclosure team and assists government contractors in navigating the intersection of law, politics and public policy. Joe received his law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law, his Masters in Public Administration from the University of Colorado School of Public Affairs, and his BA in Political Science from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining Dentons, he was a law clerk for Governor Bill Owens (R-CO) and a legislative intern for US Senator Wayne Allard (R-CO).

John Balouziyeh
Legal Consultant, Dentons - Riyadh
John advises defense companies investing in the Middle East on government contracts and procurement with the Saudi Ministry of Defense, the Royal Saudi Land Forces, the National Guard, the Ministry of Interior and other government bodies. He has advised government contractors on government tenders and procurement with the US Department of Defense and foreign governments throughout the Middle East. In addition to his work at Dentons, he serves as a Judge Advocate in the JAG Corps Army Reserve and as a Department of Defense Liaison with the American Red Cross, where he fields international humanitarian law trainings and develops training materials on the rules of engagement and laws of armed conflict.

Payment:
Members - SR 155 per person
Non-members- SR 175 per person

Registration closes Wednesday, April 25, 2018.
To register: https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07efa43dbod3cb1f36&oseq=&c=&ch=

Riyadh Marriott Hotel
Al Ma'ather Street
Al Wazarat District
Riyadh 11464
Saudi Arabia

For questions, please contact:
Claire Bridge
manager@abgrksa.com
+966-564346587

Friday, October 6, 2017

Dispatch from Moria Refugee Camp: A Crisis within a Crisis


I recently returned from Moria Refugee Camp in Lesvos, Greece, where I served as a project lawyer with European Lawyers in Lesvos, a legal aid organization that serves refugees fleeing war and persecution in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and the broader Middle East and North Africa. The experience of working with refugees, who toiled for weeks or even months to reach the gateway to Europe, was moving on many fronts. These refugees landed on the shores of Lesvos after fleeing from the most atrocious crimes of the twenty-first century, including genocide, torture, sexual slavery and other war crimes.

Some refugees in Moria have lived in tents such as this one for as long as eight or nine months, pending decisions on their asylum applications from the European Asylum Support Office.
While at Moria, I worked with a team of attorneys from France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Spain and the U.K. serving asylum seekers. Throughout the day, we were inundated with inquiries, clients and calls. We saw victims of torture fleeing their countries due to political or religious persecution; unaccompanied minors seeking to be reunited with their families; families that dodged bullets and bombs while fleeing to Turkey; asylum seekers that have been kidnapped and held in ISIS indoctrination camps before being released; Iraqis who have been captured, detained and flagellated by militias because they belonged to the wrong religious sect or ethnic group; Yezidis who have been raped and forced into sexual slavery. These clients come to us with visible scars of war, but their hope for a future is unconquerable.

Photographed (second from the right) with with ELIL’s team of project lawyers
The Zambakari Advisory, LLC, a consulting firm with a focus on the Middle East and Africa, recently published my essay on Moria Refugee Camp, the refugee crisis and ways that you can help. Read it at http://www.zambakari.org/middle-east/dispatch-from-moria-refugee-camp-a-crisis-within-a-crisis. Please share it with friends and colleagues who want to learn what they can do to relieve suffering and restore normalcy to lives impacted by war.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Launch of Audio Book on the Syrian Refugee Crisis


I am excited to announce that my book, Hope and a Future: The Story of Syrian Refugees (Time Books / Jechco Studios, 2017) is now available as an audiobook. The book was produced in collaboration with Gary Roelofs, who put together an amazing and professional production. Gary and I are donating all of our royalties from the project to humanitarian agencies supporting Syrian refugees.

Listen to the audio sample at Audible.com (click “Play Audio Sample”). The book is free with a new Audible subscription! It is also available at Amazon.com.

Don’t have time to read the 200+ page book? You can now listen to the book at any time—while in your car, running errands or at the gym!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

International Arbitration in the Middle East: Developments and Challenges

Dentons’ Middle East Dispute Resolution team recently gathered a group of experts in New York to discuss recent developments and challenges in international arbitration in the Middle East. We discussed the adoption of arbitration legislation across the Arabian Gulf and broader Middle East, and recent court decisions upholding and recognizing foreign arbitral awards. The discussion also focused on how recent court decisions and legislation have fostered an environment of predictability and legal certainty for foreign investors doing business in the region.

I am pleased to report a positive outcome for the event, with participants joining by webinar from Abu Dhabi, Doha, Dubai, Jeddah, Muscat, Riyadh and Washington, DC. I would like to thank the SCCA for helping to host the event and for their assistance in putting together a successful program.

Lawyers, judges and arbitrators joining the panel from Dubai, Riyadh and New York commented on the deep roots of arbitration within Middle Eastern culture and Islamic law, which encourages parties to peacefully resolve their disputes through mediation. Investors seeking a more streamlined method of resolving their disputes can now rest assured that Saudi Arabia and the broader GCC are taking international arbitration very seriously through new legislation and institutional reform. 

The successful event will be followed up with a second event in Riyadh as well as the publication of a series of articles discussing dispute resolution in the Middle East, to be published by the Kluwer Arbitration Blog.

Visit Dentons’ website to read the full press release.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Dentons Wins Award for Our Work with Syrian Refugees

I am honored to announce that my law firm, Dentons, won a third Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) award for our work with Syrian refugees. Our work was recognized by Legal Week at the Corporate Counsel Middle East Awards and awarded the "CSR Initiative of the Year" prize. Partnering with humanitarian organizations since 2014, Dentons has continued to leverage its unrivalled presence in the Middle East to bring much needed legal expertise to Syrian refugees in the greatest humanitarian tragedies of this century.



I would like to thank Dentons attorneys for seeing the law as a calling to serve others.

Here are excerpts from our award submission:

"The Syrian civil war mirrors the worst of man’s cruelty to man. In 2016, the means and methods of warfare, including chlorine gas, incendiary weapons, barrel bombs, sieges and the intentional starvation of civilians—grew more savage and caused unwarranted human suffering.

"As Syria descended into a downward spiral of violence and destruction, Dentons mobilized its resources to bring assistance to Syrian refugees. Leveraging its presence in Istanbul, Beirut and Amman, Dentons served Syrian refugees living in the three countries hit hardest by the crisis—Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. Through partners including the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) and the European Lawyers in Lesvos (ELL), Dentons engaged on all fronts of the refugee crisis—from providing legal aid to refugees to preparing UNHCR resettlement applications, from donating to NGOs to providing humanitarian assistance to refugees.

"Lawyers from our Middle East offices volunteered pro bono legal service to NRC and IRAP, including assistance in interviewing refugees, translating documentation, preparing resettlement applications and providing legal advice on landlord-tenant relations, birth registration, foreigner registration and deportations. Dentons further supported ELL, which hosts a legal aid clinic on the Greek island of Lesvos staffed by lawyers who volunteer two to three weeks in Moria migrant camp. Dentons’ support to ELL encompassed strategic advice, pro bono legal counsel and financial assistance."


I would also like to share the following feedback from our partner organizations:

“Dentons has demonstrated dedication, commitment and outstanding pro-bono support to NRC’s legal work on the Syrian refugee crisis. [O]ur partnership … combines a convincing vision with unparalleled leadership.”

- Abeer Shubassi
Gulf Office Director, Norwegian Refugee Council

“We are thrilled that Dentons is currently taking on [IRAP cases] impacting 44 refugees … in Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq … identified as particularly vulnerable.”

- Stephen Poellot
Legal Director, International Refugee Assistance Project

“[Dentons has] provided us with great support … [M]y colleagues on the island of Lesbos … were very grateful … and their reactions were extremely positive.”

- Dr. Cord Brügmann
CEO, DAV (European Lawyers in Lesvos Coordinator)


Read more at:

https://www.dentons.com/en/whats-different-about-dentons/connecting-you-to-talented-lawyers-around-the-globe/recognition/recognitions/2017/may/dentons-wins-two-legal-week-middle-east-awards


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

تؤكد رؤية 2030 فرص جديدة للشركات الأجنبية

تؤكد رؤية 2030 توليد فرص العمل للمواطنين السعوديين وفرص جديدة للشركات الأجنبية.
أغراض رؤية المملكة العربية السعودية 2030 التالية:
-       العمق العربي والإسلامي
-       القوة الاستثمارية
-       أهمية الموقع الجغرافي الاستراتيجي
ستفتح رؤية 2030 مجالا للقطاع الخاص ليكون شريكا ولينمو الاقتصاد السعودي وليصبح احد أكبر اقتصادات العالم، ويصبح محركا لتوظيف المواطنين ومركز الاستثمار الاجنبي.

 للتفاصيل، أقرأوا مقالنا الذي نشره مجلس السياسة للشرق الأوسط (MEPC): http://www.mepc.org/defense-contracting-saudi-arabia