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A leading name for banking and finance, ASAR – Al Ruwayeh & Partners has an extensive track record advising borrowers and lenders on high-value financings. Recent highlights include advising joint lead managers Watani Investments and Kamco Investments on National Bank of Kuwait’s bond issuance, which was the first to be issued under Kuwait’s new capital markets legislation. The firm has also been highly active in debt restructurings, with Sam Habbas singled out for his expertise in this field. Counsel Rob Little is another key name.

Al Markaz Law Firm continues to handle debt restructuring mandates for clients including ADEEM Investment Company. Other highlights included advising BHF Bank on a €3.8m loan to KGL Logistics. Ayman Nada heads the practice.

Alex Saleh leads the team at Al Tamimi & Company, which acts for a range of domestic and international lenders, including Commercial Bank of Kuwait and HSBC Bank Middle East, as well as borrowers. In a standout transaction, Saleh advised Warba Bank on its $66m acquisition of an auto-finance portfolio, which involved an innovative shari’ah-compliant structure.

DLA Piper Kuwait in Association with (NEN) Al-Wagayan, Al Awadhi and Al-Saif acts for international, regional and local entities, and has been especially active in project finance and restructuring transactions. In a key mandate, the firm advised the Ports Development Company on a shari’ah-compliant SAR1bn bridge facility for the expansion of the King Abdullah port in Jeddah. Other clients include Gulf Bank KSC, Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait and the Kuwait Investment Authority. Riyadh-based Terry O’Regan and Nader Al Awadhi head the team alongside Dubai-based partner Peter Somekh.

International Counsel Bureau’s solid banking practice regularly acts for borrowers such as Equate Petrochemical, which it advised on its bridge and long-term financing, worth $6bn and $5bn respectively. Lender-side highlights included advising Arab Banking Corporation and ABC Islamic Bank on a $100m syndicated murabaha financing. William Brown, who recently joined the team from Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, is recommended alongside team head Abdul Rahman Al Haroun.

ALF – Al Osaimi Law Firm’s banking and finance team focuses on power-related financings. Hassan Al-Mousawi and Raghad Al-Khudairi are the names to note.

Abdullah Kh. Al-Ayoub & Associates acts as Kuwait counsel for large banking groups active in the region, including a number of international financial institutions and investment banks. Abdullah Kh. Al-Ayoub and Waleed Abdullah Al-Ayoub lead the team.

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