Zahir Qayum

Legal Director

Al Khobar
T: +966 13 813 9960
F: +966 13 813 9961


Zahir Qayum practices in the area of employment law and has specialised in Saudi labour matters since 2015.

Zahir advises on all aspects of employment law including restructuring and change management processes, employee benefits, expatriation and secondments, workplace investigations, data protection, non-compete restrictions, disposals, mergers and acquisitions, contracting and employment document drafting. He has acted for multinationals, pharmaceuticals, financial institutions, investment banks, and IT companies across the full life cycle of employment to serve as trusted adviser


  • Acting as local employment counsel on muti-jurisdictional M&A transactions
  • Providing employment advice and support to a regional banking corporation on the expansion of its operations into Saudi Arabia
  • Advising multinational corporations on secondment arrnagements in relation to giga projects in Saudi Arabia
  • Advising employers on the Saudisation of roles and professions in various sectors, including retail, IT, construction and marketing
  • Advising a multinational retail company on an investigation into harassment allegations and supporting on subsequent disciplinary proceedings
  • Advising multinationals on Foreign Investment Law requirements and the Anti-Concealment Law regime
  • Advising CMA and SAMA regulated entities on their reporting obligations arising from senior executive remuneration and terminations
  • Advising employers on setting up multi-jurisdictional employments in the GCC and managing concurrent employment rights and liabilities
  • Advising employers on flexible and remote working arrangements in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain
  • Supporting multinational employers in MHRSD labour office mediation and labour court proceedings regarding various matters, including disciplinary terminations, harassment and discrimination complaints, health and safety breaches, and labour law violations
  • Advising employers on employee share option plans, LTIPS and phantom share schemes*
  • Advising a major foreign invested JV on its investigation into quality control failures by senior management in relation to a multi-million dollar contract with Saudi Aramco, including advising on disciplinary actiona and remedial measures*
  • Advising the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) on employee transfers and redundancies arising from the corporatisation of King Khalid International Airport*
  • Acting as trusted adviser to a ‘top 4’ work banking corporation on workplace investigations, senior appointments, and harmonisation of terms and conditions*
  • Acting as local counsel for GlaxoSmithKline on its acquisition of Novartis’ global vaccines business in Saudi Arabia*
  • Advising Boeringher-Ingelheim on the restructuring of its Consumer Healthcare Division in Saudi Arabia*
  • Project managing the audit of the HR function in the KSA, UAE and Israel of a global financial corporation*
  • Acting as local counsel to advise Hercules Offshore on the dismissal and transfer of more than 300 employees following the sale of the company’s Jackup rigs and the liquidation of its Saudi operations*
  • Carrying out an audit review of a pharmaceutical company’s use of agency workers and peripatetic sales teams to ensure compliance with Saudisation and immigration requirements, and advising on remedial actions*
  • Supporting a large pharmaceutical company on employment litigation matters, including a high value claim in relation to bonus and gratuity entitlements for a senior executive employee, claims in relation to redundancies arising from a regional restructure, and dismissals following an investigation into breaches of the company’s conduct and ethics*

*Denotes experience from a previous law firm


  • Administrative restructuring in Saudi Arabia as it continues to focus on Vision 2030, 2 March 2020


  • Law Society of England & Wales


  • Brunel University, England, LL.B (Hons), 1996