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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Arab Emirates > Capital markets > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


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Al Tamimi & Company’s ‘very helpful’ team is regularly called on to advise on the local law aspects of national and international deals. In addition to handling multibillion-dollar IPOs, Ahmed Ibrahim advised Al Ramz Capital on a reverse IPO and Ithmaar Holding on a planned listing on the Dubai Financial Market. On the debt front, Jody Waugh acted as DIFC counsel on ACWA Power’s $814m bond issuance via a DIFC special purpose vehicle.

Allen & Overy LLP advises leading banks on billion-dollar sukuk and conventional debt issuances; it also handles ECM matters. On the debt side, the ‘gifted’ Anzal Mohammed advised banks including JPMorgan and National Bank of Abu Dhabi on Etihad Airways’ $3bn bond and $3bn sukuk programme. Also recommended are Bilal Ahmad, who advises banks including HSBC, and Abu Dhabi-based individuals Ibrahim Mubaydeen and Khalid Garousha, who heads the equity capital markets practice.

Clifford Chance’s track record covers both debt and equity capital markets mandates. On the ECM front, Mike Taylor handles a range of Dubai Financial Market--related matters, including potential IPOs and rights issues. Stuart Ure advised the government of Kuwait on the establishment of its GMTN programme and $8bn dual-tranche Rule 144A issuance of notes, which were admitted to trading on the Irish and London stock exchanges. Ure also advised Etihad Airways on its $3bn debut sukuk.

White & Case LLP is praised for its ‘strong industry knowledge’, which covers equity and debt capital markets. Debashis Dey ‘possesses excellent industry knowledge and is very pragmatic and results-oriented’ – he advised Investment Corporation of Dubai on a $1bn issuance of trust certificates. On the ECM side, Abdulwahid Alulama and newly promoted partner Ali Shaikley advised Emirates NBD Capital as bookrunner and listing adviser on ENBD REIT’s IPO on NASDAQ Dubai. Also recommended are counsel Claudio Medeossi, who advises a number of bond trustees, and Sami Al-Louzi, who returned to the firm from Latham & Watkins LLP and divides his time between Dubai and Riyadh.

King & Spalding LLP’s practice handles heavyweight Islamic debt capital markets work alongside conventional mandates. Rizwan Kanji advised Barwa Bank on establishing a $2bn trust certificate programme listed in Dublin. James Stull contributes listed funds expertise. Hamed Afzal is a key senior associate.

Linklaters handles a range of debt capital markets matters, including sukuk and conventional bond issuances for investment banks and issuers. Jonathan Fried heads the team, which advised a consortium of banks including HSBC and National Bank of Abu Dhabi on an issuance of $450m fixed-rate notes by Qatar Re. Issuer clients include National Commercial Bank, which the firm advised on its SAR1.3bn sukuk.

Dentons’ Alex Roussos advises on a range of debt issuances, primarily in the sukuk space. Islamic mandates include advising Africa Finance Corporation on its debut, $150m sukuk. Conventional highlights include, advising Oman Electricity Transmission Company on a $500m Rule 144A note issuance, where the team worked with individuals from the firm’s Muscat and London offices. Senior associate Carina Onzer is also a name of note. Beene Ndulo, formerly a senior associate, is now in-house at the African Development Bank.

Hogan Lovells (Middle East) LLPcombines technical expertise with in-depth local market knowledge’, covering a range of Islamic capital markets mandates. Imran Mufti and Rahail Ali advised Aktif Bank on a $118m sukuk, the first issued on the Irish Stock Exchange’s Global Exchange Market, and acted for the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector as lead arrangers on Senegalese, Togolese and Ivorian sovereign sukuks. Andrew Tarbuck, who ‘really knows his stuff’, is a name of note for ECM matters.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s team in Dubai regularly works closely with its offices in London and New York to advise on significant equity capital markets matters. Nomaan Raja advised the managers on Noor Bank’s $500m sukuk issuance, while Harj Rai advised Riyad Capital as sponsor of Saudi International Petroleum Company’s SAR1bn mudaraba sukuk. Lee Irvine is a key counsel.

Norton Rose Fulbright is a firm ‘clients can always rely on, with very good experience in Islamic structures’. Gregory Man advised the Central Bank of Bahrain on a $1bn Eurobond and $1bn sukuk issuance. Arranger clients include Emirates NBD and Barclays.

At Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla, Mazen Boustany’s work in the equity space includes several proposed IPOs. Will Seivewright is noted for his handling of work concerning listed funds.

Very professional and knowledgeable in the region’, K&L Gates’ funds practice handles, among other work, a range of listed funds matters; in an illustration of this work, Owen Waft advised ENBD REIT on its IPO. In another highlight, Natalie Boyd, who divides her time between London and Dubai, advised Deutsche Bank as trustee on the Salaam III sukuk.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’s Ayman Khaleq advised Dubai World Central Corporation on a privately-placed AED216m istisna sukuk for the purposes of a residential construction project using a Dubai World Central Free Zone-incorporated issuer. Other clients include FWU.

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Legal Developments in United Arab Emirates

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
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