Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

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.
Click here for more details

United Arab Emirates > Employment > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Employment
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Employment clients in United Arab Emirates using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Al Tamimi & Company’s ‘very knowledgeable’ team is noted for its ‘great Arabic-speaking litigation capability’. Head of employment Samir Kantariaprovides appropriate and accurate advice’ – divided by an ethics wall, he and Gordon Barr advised Boehringer Ingelheim and Sanofi, respectively, on the employment aspects of a $25bn asset swap.

Clyde & Co LLPtakes into consideration clients’ business structures, industries and global priorities’. Rebecca Ford advised Sun & Sand Sports on the employment aspects of its purchase of Retailcorp. Also recommended are Sara Khoja, who is ‘particularly valuable on Saudi law issues’ and whose clients include Blackberry, and legal directors Ben Brown and Emma Higham.

Clients are very satisfied with the level of service fromHadef & Partners LLC, which handles onshore and DIFC employment litigation, as well as high-stakes non-contentious work. The firm primarily represents employers but also acts for senior executives. Jamie Liddington (‘very user-friendly and knowledgeable’) represented the former director of insurance company Elseco in a DIFC Court of Appeal case concerning the calculation of penalty payments for failure to pay end-of-service gratuities, which are paid to non-GCC workers instead of pensions. Senior associate Sarah Anderson is also a name of note.

DLA Piper Middle East LLP provides ‘pragmatic, knowledgeable, approachable and timely’ advice on employment matters across the region. The ‘pragmatic and genuineNeil Crossley advised a Russian oil company on the employment aspects of a cross-border restructuring.

Eversheds Sutherland LLP’s Geraldine Ahern advises a range of national and international clients on contentious and non-contentious issues including restructurings, employee terminations and ownership of employee-generated IP.

At K&L GatesNazanin Aleyaseen advises a range of national and international clients on matters ranging from termination disputes though to end-of-service obligations and employee-generated IP matters. Clients include Gehry Technologies and Amadeus IT System.

KBH Kaanuunpunches above its weight compared to some of the bigger firms’. The firm’s head of dispute resolution, Bushra Ahmed (‘a strong advocate and tactically adept’) is representing a former company director in a case regarding penalties for failure to pay end of service gratuities due under DIFC law. DK Singh contributes non-contentious expertise.

Afridi & Angell represents employers and employees in a range of contentious and non-contentious matters. Stuart Walker advises a private client in a case regarding employment status before the Dubai courts, while Charles Laubach handles advisory matters and DIFC employment litigation. Bashir Ahmed advises BGRS on legal issues regarding its employees in the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre.

At Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla senior associate and head of employment Joanna Matthews-Taylor handles the employment aspects of large transactions; recent work includes advising LGT Group Foundation on its purchase of ABN AMRO’s private banking business in the DIFC. Habib Al Mulla is active in employment matters in the local courts. Charlotte Bijlani is now at Watson Farley & Williams.

Squire Patton BoggsSarah Lawrence is ‘a trusted business adviser to her clients – she is particularly responsive, and provides crisp advice’. She advised Rockwell Collins on a post-acquisition workforce rationalisation and local workforce quotas in Saudi Arabia.

Addleshaw Goddard’s Gorvinder Pannu is ‘pragmatic, sensible and responsive with good local knowledge in more than one jurisdiction across the region’. She handles a range of non-contentious work across the GCC region.

At Bird & Bird, Anders Nilsson and counsel Saladin Aljurf advise a range of corporate clients on the employment aspects of setting up businesses in the UAE, as well as some disputes. Clients include Ericsson, for which the firm handles disputes.

Pinsent Masons LLPprovides the assistance needed in a timely manner – it has good knowledge of the national labour law’. Senior associate Luke Tapp is ‘personable, responsive and has a good understanding of what international clients need’. He defended a construction company in an unfair dismissal claim in the UAE courts. Corporate partner Osama Hassan is another name to note.

At Watson Farley & Williams, Suhail Mirza regularly handles non-contentious employment work. Highlights included assisting a Russian oil company with a redundancy programme, as well as advising on compliance investigations and policymaking. Charlotte Bijlani is a new hire from Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla.

Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

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 in United Arab Emirates

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • New Promotion Regime for Domestic Funds

    In late November 2018, the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) announced that they had reached agreement on facilitating the licensing of domestic funds by each authority for promotion across the UAE. 
  • Federal Penal Code Amendments

    In the latest development in an eventful year, Federal Decree-Law 24 of 2018 introduces amendments to the Federal Penal Code, originally enacted as Federal Law 3 of 1987. 
  • New Anti-Money Laundering Law

    The new anti-money laundering ( AML ) law of the UAE took effect at the end of October 2018. Containing features recommended by the Financial Action Task Force ( FATF ), the new law introduces subtle but important changes to the AML landscape in the UAE. 
  • Confidentiality Under Renewed Focus

    The UAE federal government has recently issued a raft of important legislation, addressing and in many ways updating areas of law that are key to businesses in the jurisdiction. Amongst this legislation is Federal Decree-Law 14 of 2018 concerning the central bank and the organisation of financial institutions and activities (the New Banking Law ) and Federal Decree-Law 20 of 2018 concerning anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing (the New AML Law ). Both the New Banking Law and the New AML Law repeal and replace the previous legislation on their respective subjects. Importantly, the New Banking Law and the New AML Law have together enhanced the protection afforded to confidential information under UAE law, in particular where financial and legal service providers and their customers and clients are concerned. 
  • Get 100% Foreign Ownership Today in Dubai

    Freezones have always been the topic of discussion in the U.A.E. Amongst the various benefits, 100% foreign ownership is one of the advantages which is enjoyed the most by investors in these freezone companies. In the below article, our Company Setup Specialist, Neelesh Pillai talks about everything that you need to know about setting up a Freezone branch in Mainland.
  • Overview of the Bankruptcy Proceedings and Preventive Measures in the UAE

    Before the approval of the UAE Federal Decree Law No. 9 of 2016 (the “Bankruptcy Law”) by the UAE Cabinet on 4 September 2016, the bankruptcy proceedings were regulated under the Commercial Code and were limited to court-driven proceeding addressed to liquidate companies rather than assist in restructuring their debts. This new law puts some light on the regulation on how companies should deal with their financial issues. In below article, our Associate from the Dispute Resolution department, Ahmed Salih talks about the bankruptcy proceedings and the preventive measures in the UAE. With over 10 years of experience in the UAE and Sudan , Litigator Ahmed Salih specializes in Commercial Law, Corporate Law, Civil Claims, Labour Disputes, Shari'a Law, personal status cases, Real Estate Claims, and Bankruptcy.
  • Time-bars, time limits and deadlines for legal cases under UAE law

    Under UAE civil law – like in other civil law systems – not all time-bars are mentioned and dealt with in one particular statue. Our Partner, Alessandro Tricoli , and Senior Associate, Shehab Mamdouh explains the different time bars, time limits and deadlines for legal cases under UAE law.
  • Seven Things to Know About Filing a Bankruptcy Petition in the UAE

    The absence of a legal framework for bankruptcy has long been a hindrance to UAE business. In the absence of proper bankruptcy laws, even a bounced cheque could land an entrepreneur in jail. The implementation of the relatively new bankruptcy law in the UAE is a huge step forward in improving the country’s economic and regulatory environment.
  • UAE Shipping Companies Seek VAT Exemption

    The UAE has climbed to sixth place in 2017 from seventh in 2015 on the list of the future leading maritime capitals.
  • Digital Directions

    Digital assets are the foundation of the new economy, and the developments of it continue to hit the headlines regularly. Our Partner & Head of Commercial & Technology, Irina Heaver explains different regulations depending on the nature of the specific assets.  This article was also published in LexisNexis - Middle East. 

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