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Clifford Chance has expert knowledge of market entry conditions and regulations associated with doing business in Iran, and has developed a reputation for its involvement in the power and energy sector. One key figure is Abu Dhabi-based Richard Parris, who advised power and utility conglomerate Unit Group on the development and construction of six build, own and operate combined-cycle independent power projects. In the regulatory space, counsel Stefan Gentzsch provides clients with ongoing advice regarding Iranian sanctions and their impact on investments and market entry requirements. Robin Abraham, who is based in the firm's Dubai office, acts as Middle East managing partner.

Eversheds Sutherland (France) LLP is instructed in relation to sanctions law, market entries and exits, distribution agreements, tax structuring, joint venture arrangements and arbitration. Key figures in the team include Paris-based David S Sellers and Atousa Mahmoudpour, who heads the Iran desk from the firm's Dubai office. Mahmoudpour was promoted to principal associate in May 2018 and acts for clients in various sectors including the food, shipping, pharmaceuticals and electronics industries. The firm also has experience in the energy, textile, construction and infrastructure industries.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer's Vienna-based practice group has particular expertise in e-commerce and investment structuring, and also advises on Iranian market entry regulations. Practice head Farid Sigari-Majd has been acting for an insurance company in relation to various M&A transactions, while regulatory work has included assisting two car manufacturers with market entry conditions.

The team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP acts primarily for clients in the energy, real estate, telecoms and banking industries. The firm has ‘an exceptional track record’ and is ‘highly familiar with commercial matters relating to the Iranian markets’. Its legal expertise ranges from advising on sanctions and market entry conditions to structuring investments for the Iranian market. Frankfurt-based Thomas Kessler acted for solar energy company Greencells in relation to its entry to the Iranian market, and has subsequently assisted the client with the establishment of a joint venture and the structuring of multiple investments into several solar projects. Additionally, Hilary Lau, who is based in the firm's Hong Kong office, advised the international division of China National Petroleum Corporation on its investment in the South Pars gas project. London-based Reza Dadbakhsh and the ‘impressive, outstanding and experienced’ William Breeze are also contacts in the Iran-facing practice group.

With particular expertise in the oil and gas sector, Linklaters Business Services handles M&A and advises on a host of regulatory issues including sanctions and market entry conditions. Dubai-based Sarosh Mewawalla has particular expertise in project finance and has assisted multiple clients with commercial transactions and acquisitions in the energy and infrastructure sector. In Germany, Hans-Ulrich Wilsing in the DĂŒsseldorf office and Munich-based Timo Engelhardt are key figures for advice on Iranian market regulatory issues.

Pinsent Masons LLP has expertise in the oil and gas sector, where it advises on project finance and regulatory issues concerning project implementation and sanctions. Practice head George Booth, who divides his time between Dubai and London, has been advising various oil companies on their ongoing business activity in Iran. Practising in the firm's London office, senior associate Niazi Kabalan advises international investors on the potential for inbound investment, and senior associate Stacey Keen has experience of export control and other compliance issues in the energy sector.

Stephenson Harwood is noted for its capabilities in litigation and ADR, though banking and sanctions compliance are equally important aspects of the Iran practice. Indeed, a significant proportion of the firm’s clients are linked to the banking and energy industries. Based in the firm's London office, Dan Holland is advising Melli Bank on the procurement of a new core banking system, which will enable the bank to re-engage with the international financial market. The Iran group is jointly led by London-based Sue Millar and Rovine Chandrasekera in the Dubai office.

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