The Legal 500

Iraq

Share this page

Editorial

Iraq’s oil-dependent economy continued to be troubled by low oil prices, with the resulting lack of revenue in government coffers ensuring that most infrastructure projects stayed on hold. Low oil prices also played a part in a quarrel between Iraq and the semiautonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), which saw the KRG ramping up independent sales of oil through the Turkish port at Ceyhan in breach of an agreement struck in December 2014 that gave Iraq’s central government access to revenue from Kurdish oil.

On top of the escalating financial problems, the security situation also worsened, as the Islamic State followed up its capture of Mosul by taking over Ramadi – which lies to the west of Baghdad – in May 2015. Notwithstanding these difficulties – and the ensuing shrinkage in international investment – the mineral-rich region is still regarded as a strong prospect for future opportunities in energy and infrastructure investment.

In addition to the main table of ranked local law firms, this chapter also includes a Foreign firms ranking, which covers international law firms with significant business in or relating to Iraq; as foreign law firms may not practise in Iraq, most of these foreign practices are based in the United Arab Emirates. Coverage of the foreign firms follows that of the locally qualified practices.

At Al Tamimi & Company, Amman-based Khaled Saqqaf leads a team that includes Mohammed Norri in Baghdad and senior associate Haydar Jawad in Erbil. As well as assisting with the reform of various Iraqi government departments, the team has been active in the financial services industry and, for example, advised Noor Islamic Bank on the security for a master murabaha agreement with an oil and gas company.

From its office in Baghdad, Mena Associates in association with Amereller Rechtsanwälte advises on all aspects of commercial and corporate law, with special emphasis on agency and distributorship law and the law on foreign investments. Bawar Bammarny and Tannaz Jourabchi-Eisenhut are key figures in the team.

Praised for its ‘international standards and approach’, Airut Law Offices continued to handle a range of work for Lebanese clients such as Byblos Bank and Tahseen Khayat Group. Serge Airut and Marie Antoinette Airut, both based in Beirut, are advising Firma Medica on the development of a medical city in Erbil. The firm recently added an office in Baghdad to support its well-established offering in Erbil, where partner Tahseen Shekhallah Sheikha is based full-time.

Lauded as ‘providing a level of responsiveness and quality of product which is consistently impressive’, Confluent Law Group enters the ranking for the first time. The sizeable team – which is based in Basra, Baghdad and Erbil – has been busy advising a number of major oil and gas, utility, construction and oil services companies. Greg Englefield heads the team.

Eversheds absorbed Sanad Law Group, giving it offices in Erbil and Baghdad. Amman-based Tawfiq Tabbaa heads the team and is noted as being particularly strong on ‘matters that lack clarity from courts and regulators’. Tabbaa’s team locally includes senior associate Mohamed Al-Khanaty in Baghdad and principal associate Suzan Aziz in Erbil. The team is advising Omniyat Investments and Management in relation to the development of a mixed-use real estate project in Basra and has also been active on behalf of clients such as MOL and Standard Chartered.

At Hannouche Associates, Alain Hannouche has ‘extensive experience in the Iraqi legal market’ and advised an international oil services company on an $11.8m acquisition in Kurdistan. As well as developing its client base, the firm also opened an office in Basra to complement its existing offices in Erbil and Baghdad.

The well-regarded Alaf Attorneys & Consultants, led by founding partner Abdulwahid Alaf, operates out of two offices in Kurdistan, and also has a presence in Baghdad. Alaf’s practice is divided between disputes work and advising international companies on investments in sectors such as telecoms and construction.

Estelle Rami’s team at BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP focuses on assisting foreign investors in Kurdistan. The team has been busy with a range of corporate matters for clients such as Grand Array and Setcore Petroleum Services.

Dler Law Office is particularly known for handling commercial, civil and criminal disputes, but is also active in transactional work, most notably in the oil and gas sector. Erbil-based Dler Saber heads the team.

Firms in the spotlight

Newton Law Group
www.newtonlawllp.com

Newton Law Group is a boutique full-service international law firm providing legal, financial and investment advice to corporations and investors in the Middle East and Africa. Since the establishment of its first office in 1960, the firm has gone through various restructurings and currently employs a sizeable number of internationally-qualified lawyers and multilingual counsels. Newton Law Group has associations with large international and regional law firms for their dealings in Iraq..

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • 27 April 2016: Greatbatch/INTEGER

    Following completion of the acquisition of the Lake Region Medical groupe by Greatbatch, Inc. and the renaming of Lake Region Medical into INTEGER, Greatbatch contributed in multiple capital increases own shares to Swiss-based P Medical Holding AG/INTEGER (Switzerland) GmbH, which were swapped against shares in the Irish-based Lake Region Medical Holdings Limited. The transaction was completed by a down-stream merger of P Medical Holding AG into its subsidiary INTEGER (Switzerland) GmbH.
  • Liability Management Exercise of International Container Terminal Services, Inc. and affiliates

    SyCipLaw acted as Philippine counsel for the dealers, Citigroup Global Markets Limited and Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation in a back-to-back tender offer of perpetual securities and issuance of new perpetual securities.
  • New China Customs Taxation Policy on Cross-Border B2C E-Commerce Imports

    The Ministry of Finance, General Administration of Customs and State Administration of Taxation of China jointly issued a circular (“Joint Circular ”) relating to the taxation policy on the cross-border e-commerce retailing imports, with effect as from April 8, 2016.
  • Philippine Competition Commission Issues Transitory Rules for Mergers and Acquisition

    On February 12, 2016, the recently constituted Philippine Competition Commission (“PCC”), which was created under the Philippine Competition Act (Republic Act 10667 or the “PCA”), issued Memorandum Circular No. 16-001, Series of 2016 (the “Transitory Rules”), which provides for the transitory rules and guidelines relating to mergers and acquisitions that were, or are to be, executed or otherwise implemented after the effectivity of the PCA on August 8, 2015 but before the effectivity of its implementing rules and regulations (the “PCA IRR”). Given the special nature of transactions effected through the Philippine Stock Exchange, the Transitory Rules will not cover such transactions and will be covered by a separate issuance by the PCC.
  • Financing for the Mactan Cebu International Airport

    SyCipLaw acted as Philippine counsel to a syndicate of Philippine banks (composed of BDO Unibank, Inc., Bank of the Philippine Islands, Development Bank of the Philippines, Land Bank of the Philippines, Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company and Philippine National Bank) and Asian Development Bank for the financing of the rehabilitation and development of the Mactan Cebu International Airport that was awarded by the DOTC and the MCIAA under the private-public partnership program of the government to the consortium between Megawide Construction Corporation and GMR Infrastructure. The financing is composed of (1) Php20 Billion (approx. US$446,773,200) commitment of the Philippines syndicate banks and (2) US$75 Million commitment of ADB.
  • Philippine Competition Commission Issues Transitory Rules on PSE-related Mergers and Acquisitions

    On February 16, 2016, the recently constituted Philippine Competition Commission (“PCC”), which was created under the Philippine Competition Act (Republic Act 10667 or the “PCA”), issued Memorandum Circular No. 16-002, Series of 2016 (the “PSE Transitory Rules”), which provides for the transitory rules and guidelines relating to mergers and acquisitions that were, or are to be, executed or otherwise implemented through the Philippine Stock Exchange (“PSE”) and after the effectivity of the PCA on August 8, 2015 but before the effectivity of its implementing rules and regulations (the “PCA IRR”).
  • 2016: Insurance regulation in Asia Pacific – Ten things to know about 20 countries

    SyCipLaw contributed the Philippine Chapter of the 2016: Insurance Regulation in Asia Pacific – Ten things to know about 20 countries published by Norton Rose. The 2016 edition of the summary guide provides an overview and practical checklist of ten common regulatory issues for insurance companies. The Philippine chapter was contributed by SyCipLaw partner Hiyasmin H. Lapitan.
  • Predictive Coding Software in the E-Disclosure Process Approved by English Court

    In the recent case of Pyrrho Investments Limited and another v MWB Property Limited and others [2016] EWHC 256 (Ch), the High Court of England and Wales approved the use of predictive coding software in electronic discovery.
  • Enabling the Business of Agriculture 2016

    SyCipLaw Partners Rose Marie M. King-Dominguez and Franco Aristotle G. Larcina, with support from Senior Associate Ruben P. Acebedo II, participated in the World Bank Group’s Enabling the Business of Agriculture 2016: Comparing regulatory good practices. The report examines regulations that impact private enterprise in the agriculture and agribusiness sectors. The report aims to promote smart regulations that ensure safety and quality control, as well as efficient regulatory processes, that support thriving agribusinesses.
  • April 2016: Mövenpick invests in imported wine wholesaler Cheers in China

    Hospitality and food service industry company Mövenpick invests in Chinese wine wholesaler Cheers by acquiring a strategic stake. Cheers has 30 branch offices in the greater Beijing area and currently generates annual revenues of roughly three million Swiss francs. Mövenpick is a Swiss group of companies with global presence. Its core competency lies in the hospitality business, with a focus on gastronomy, hotels, wine and premium branded products.

Press Releases worldwide

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to