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Who Represents Who

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Allen & Overy LLP is a well-established name in the Qatari legal market, best known for handling high-value and complex corporate, capital markets and projects-related matters; the ‘great team’ has expertise spanning a range of sectors. The practice frequently advises local and international clients on domestic and cross-border matters, and is well versed in acting for international corporations, financial institutions and Qatari banks. Recent highlights include advising Investment Holding Group on its QAR498m IPO and listing on the Qatar Stock Exchange; Samer Eido, who ‘knows the market very well’ and is highly regarded for his ‘very commercial approach’ to handling the full spectrum of Qatar-related legal matters, led the advice. Of counsel Anthony Traboulsi is also highly active, and specialises in handling capital markets transactions and M&A.

Dentons’ ‘outstanding’ practice ‘stands out for its business knowledge and professionalism’, with ‘a savvy understanding of the political mechanisms that underpin the country’, allowing the team to provide ‘consistently high-quality, seamless advice across various jurisdictions’. The team provides ‘knowledge, expertise and timely support’ to both local and international clients, with particular experience in legislative and regulatory issues, energy sector-related work and real estate and construction matters. Department head Safwan Moubaydeen is ‘a leader in his field’, ‘has incredibly broad knowledge and experience, and is well recognised for the strength of his commercial practice’. Supporting him is key partner Zaher Nammour, who is ‘an incredible lawyer’ with ‘strong business acumen and in-depth knowledge of the local business environment’. Nammour is advising Castlelake on the sale and leaseback of 21 aircrafts from Qatar Airways; other clients include Muntajat, Ezdan Holding Group and Shapoorji Pallonji Qatar.

As one of the few international firms licensed to practice in Qatar, Simmons & Simmons Middle East LLP is highly regarded as ‘one of the leading firms in the country’, and is recommended for its ‘excellent service’. The firm regularly advises on high-profile local M&A, and is experienced in handling the full range of corporate, commercial, sports law and banking and finance work. Practice head Andrew Wingfield is advising International Bank of Qatar on its proposed three-way merger with Masraf Al Rayan and Barwa Bank, which will result in the third largest Islamic bank in the Middle East with an asset value of $45.6bn and a share capital of $6bn. Other clients include Qatar Petroleum, Qatar Investment Authority, Qatar National Bank and Qatar Islamic Bank.

White & Case LLP has a longstanding presence in the Qatari market and has developed ‘a solid understanding of local business. The ‘very professional team’ has experience across a range of areas, with particular expertise in corporate and M&A work, project development and finance, construction matters and dispute resolution. Michiel Visser recently advised United Arab Shipping on its business combination with Hapag-Lloyd AG in a $13bn deal. Michael Turrini and Julian Bailey are also active, with strong support from associate Charbel Abou Charaf, who has ‘immense experience in drafting complex commercial contracts’.

The Dubai-based Jason Mendens leads the team at Clifford Chance, which specialises in advising local and international clients on corporate and commercial matters. The department has been particularly active in handling outbound M&A work, and is also frequently engaged by clients from the corporate, banking and government sectors. Key clients include Qatar Investment Authority, Qatar Petroleum, Qatar Petrochemical and Qatar Mining. Robin Hickman joined Addleshaw Goddard.

Clyde & Co LLP’s practice ‘deserves strong recognition for its expertise, professionalism and prompt responses’, with a highly regarded team of lawyers who have ‘great in-depth knowledge of various specialised fields’. The firm is especially strong in corporate and commercial matters, M&A, projects and dispute resolution work, with a notable track record in construction and arbitration matters. David Salt co-heads the corporate practice with the ‘extremely knowledgeable’ Lee Keane. Laura Warren leads the projects and construction department.

With a long-established market presence, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP fields a ‘very good’ team, which has experience in a range of practice areas. Managing partner Dani Kabbani is ‘responsive, knowledgeable and practical’, and is recommended for delivering ‘solid, commercial legal advice’ on commercial and corporate transactions, construction matters and project finance in the oil and gas sector. One recent highlight saw the firm appointed by Sidra to review its suite of standard contractual documents. Other clients include RasGas, Doha Bank, Qatar Financial Centre and Qatar National Bank.

The ‘very good’ team at Pinsent Masons LLP specialises in construction, infrastructure and project finance work, and is considered to be ‘very responsive and experienced in construction disputes’. Co-head Peter Blackmore recently advised the Qatari Ministry of Municipality and Environment on drafting new urban planning legislation for the introduction of a reformed planning system as part of the Qatar National Master Plan. Fellow co-head Jonathan Collier is ‘very capable’.

Ian Siddell heads the practice at Baker & McKenzie Limited, which specialises in banking and finance, corporate and commercial, project finance, hotel acquisitions and defence matters. The firm frequently acts for Saudi Binladin Group and recently advised the client on a $1.1bn construction contract for major works in Lusail City; other notable clients include Qatar National Bank, Al Faisal Holding, Barwa Bank and Hamad Bin Khalid Contracting. Basel Barakat is also highly active in Qatar.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s Doha office is headed by Simon Green, who specialises in handling large-scale real estate matters. The team is recommended for having ‘great knowledge’ and providing ‘excellent service’ to clients from an array of industry sectors, including real estate and construction, engineering, hotels and hospitality, banking and government. The firm continues to advise Ooredoo on a $680m LCIA arbitration brought by a minority shareholder in wi-tribe, a joint venture between Ooredoo and A.A. Turki.

K&L Gates has ‘a very sound reputation’, with expertise in major domestic construction projects. The ‘very knowledgeable’ Amjad Hussain is considered by some to be ‘the go-to lawyer’ in Doha, with experience in corporate, commercial and finance matters across the financial services, TMT, infrastructure and administrative sectors. Hussain is advising Masraf Al Rayan on the establishment of its first Exchange Traded Fund, to be managed by Al Rayan Investment.

Squire Patton Boggs has a longstanding presence in the Qatar legal market. Its expertise spans corporate and commercial matters, dispute resolution, construction and infrastructure projects and real estate transactions, as well as regulatory compliance issues. Managing partner Charbel Maakaron has ‘excellent legal expertise’ and has previously advised such clients as Qatar Airways, Hamad International Airport and the Communications Regulatory Authority.

At Addleshaw Goddard, the Qatar practice is best known for its Islamic finance capabilities, in addition to having experience in conventional banking and finance, capital markets, corporate and commercial, construction and projects and dispute resolution matters. Practice head Martin Brown recently advised Tornado on financing and corporate matters; other clients include Masraf Al Rayan, Qatar National Bank, Qatar International Islamic Bank and Qatar Investment and Project Development Holding. Real estate finance specialist Robin Hickman is also highly regarded, and is experienced in complex cross-border financing transactions.

Chadia El Meouchi heads the practice at Badri and Salim El Meouchi Law Firm, which is active in banking and finance, capital markets, corporate and commercial, M&A, dispute resolution, projects, real estate and construction. The firm frequently advises public and private sector clients, and is experienced in handling domestic and cross-border transactions.

DLA Piper is best known for its strength in TMT matters, with specialist expertise in the sports, media and entertainment sectors. Additionally, the firm is experienced in handling the full spectrum of business law, engineering and construction disputes, PPP projects and transport infrastructure matters. Simon Palmer and Brenda Hill lead the practice, which has previously advised Al Jazeera, the Qatar Foundation, Vodafone Qatar, Kahramaa and beIN Sports.

Lalive in Qatar LLC is well versed in providing dispute resolution and arbitration services to local and international clients from a range of industry sectors, including energy, telecoms, construction and infrastructure and transportation. Other areas of expertise include banking and finance, corporate and commercial and IP. Managing partner Fouad El Haddad is the name to note.

The team at Shearman & Sterling LLP specialises in energy project development and finance matters, and is considered by some to be ‘the first choice for energy project transactions’ in Qatar. The practice has expertise in construction arbitration and engineering and construction disputes, and is well regarded for its strength in complex power projects. The ‘very capable, knowledgeableJohn Inglis advised a consortium of international and local banks as lenders to a $3bn independent water project company for the construction of a gas-fired power plant in Qatar.

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Legal Developments in Qatar

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