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Legal market overview
Although the Syrian crisis has hit Lebanon’s economy, it is holding up well compared to other MENA jurisdictions, with the banking and real estate sectors remaining particularly strong. Some Syrian investors are also reportedly moving to Lebanon. As the government makes plans to permit oil and gas exploration, major corporations are preparing for the anticipated tender process, which is expected to lead to major economic and infrastructure changes. New telecoms projects are also underway.
Though the market remains closed to international firms, many have links with domestic practices. Squire Sanders LLP has formally merged with the Saudi Arabian arm of El-Khoury & Partners to form El-Khoury & Partners Legal Counsel in association with Squire Sanders and its ties to the Lebanese operation have been strengthened as a result. London-based Camille Abousleiman remains active following his move to Dechert LLP, and he advised the Lebanese Republic and various investment banks on several issuances under its $22bn global medium term note programme. Abousleiman also advised Bank Audi on a note exchange offer.