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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 > Energy and infrastructure > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


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Index of tables

  1. Energy and infrastructure
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Shaun Beaton - Allen & Overy LLP
    • Joss Dare - Ashurst LLP
    • Bimal Desai - Allen & Overy LLP
    • Sarosh Mewawalla - Linklaters
    • Udayan Mukherjee - Dentons
    • Renad Younes - Shearman & Sterling

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Allen & Overy LLP’s practice encompasses renewables and conventional energy mandates, through to large construction projects. Shaun Beaton, who is based in Abu Dhabi, advised Masdar on its successful bid to develop the third phase of the 800MW Mohammed bin Rashid solar park. Bimal Desai handles project finance work; he and senior associate Kyle Nevin advised the government of Dubai on $3bn of conventional and Islamic loans to facilitate development projects at both of Dubai’s airports. Ian Ingram-Johnson advised a consortium of banks on a $10bn financing of a floating LNG vessel to be deployed off the coast of Mozambique. Sachin Karia is also recommended.

Ashurst LLP is ‘very responsive and communicates well’ with clients in the utilities, renewables, transport and hydrocarbons arenas. In Dubai, Joss Dare is advising the High Commission for the Development of Arriyadh on the procurement of an operator for the Riyadh Metro, while David Charlier is advising DEWA on the procurement of a 200MW concentrated solar plant, which will be the fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid solar park. Counsel Yvonne Cross in Dubai is also recommended. Renad Younes joined Shearman & Sterling LLP in February 2019.

Clifford Chance has a particular strength in project financing, covering large real estate developments as well as conventional and renewable energy projects, often in challenging jurisdictions. Richard Parris in Abu Dhabi handles energy and water projects, while Debbie Walker, Robin Abraham and Qudeer Latif are key names in Dubai for project financings, some of which use shari’ah-compliant structures. Andrej Kormuth and Mark Valenzia are key senior associates. Clients include DP World.

White & Case LLP’s practice in Abu Dhabi acts for sponsors, procurers and financiers on energy, water and industrial projects. Antoine Cousin and Abdulwahid Alulama advised DEWA on the development and financing of the 2.4GW Hassayan power station, the first coal-fired plant in the GCC region. Michael Watson, Luke Robottom and Matthew Wood advise ADWEA on the 5.6GW Barakah nuclear power station project in Abu Dhabi.

DLA Piper Middle East LLPperforms consistently well in terms of expertise level, commerciality and depth’. The firm primarily advises procurers of infrastructure developments across the region, ranging from renewable energy through to ports. Keith Bullen and Trevor Butcher advised Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy, Industry and Natural Resources on the first round of its national renewables programme, and acted for Oman Power and Water Procurement Company on three solar projects. Legal director Adam Haque ‘provides consistently strong support’.

Dentonshas a vast depth of industry experience in the GCC region, and always provides innovative solutions and structuring to complex matters’. Udayan Mukherjee advised a joint venture between ADWEA Veolia and BESIX on refinancing two sewage treatment plants in Abu Dhabi. Catherine Beckett also has experience of high-value transactions in the utilities space. In Abu Dhabi, Jon Nash (‘a highly skilled lawyer with extensive experience in the region’) advised Occidental Abu Dhabi on developing offshore gas fields off the coast of Abu Dhabi; he also handles renewable mandates. Engie is a cornerstone client.

Linklaters has strong project finance credentials covering transport, renewables and conventional energy. Sarosh Mewawalla advised the lenders on enhancements to both of Dubai’s airports, as well as the King Abdullah Port in Saudi Arabia. Managing associate Ashley Halewood is also recommended.

Predominantly based in Abu Dhabi, Shearman & Sterling LLP is ‘a first choice for energy projects in the Gulf’. Iain Elder, who divides his time between Abu Dhabi and London, is advising Bapco on its $6bn refinery modernisation plan. Marwan Elaraby and counsel Dan Feldman are also recommended. ADNOC is another longstanding client. Robin Bayley is now with King & Spalding LLP. Renad Younes was a new arrival from Ashurst LLP in February 2019.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP’s Dubai office handles a range of industrial, energy and natural resources matters, often acting for sponsors. Martin Amison advised Bahrain’s Energy and Water Authority on all aspects of the procurement of an integrated water and power plant, including assisting with the project documentation and on the bid evaluation process. Amison also advised Oracle Coalfields on the development of a coal mine in Pakistan. Michael O’Reilly is also recommended.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP handles a range of power and energy work, with particular strength in conventional energy. Chadi Salloum is advising Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Company (ADWEC) on corporate and transactional aspects of the 1.2GW Sweihan solar power plant. Dubai-based Marc Hammerson, working with the firm’s London office, is advising the Palestine Power Generating Company on developing a power plant in Jenin. Shawn Davis joined King & Wood Mallesons.

CMS handles a range of work, including utilities and oil and gas matters. Amir Kordvani and Matthew Culver are advising several European oil companies on proposed petroleum contracts with the National Iranian Oil Company. Nicholas Kramer is advising the government of Ras al-Khaimah on the development of a new wastewater system. Disputes expert Randall Walker relocated from London to Dubai.

Hadef & Partners LLC frequently acts as local counsel on the financing aspects of significant projects. Alan Rodgers and Valeria Lysenko advised the sponsors on local law issues related to the financing of the Hassyan coal project, while the Abu Dhabi-based James Farn advised the sponsors on the Sweihan solar project. In the oil and gas space, the firm’s head of energy Michael Webb (also based in Abu Dhabi) advised China National Petroleum Corporation on its purchase of 8% of the ADCO onshore oil concession.

At Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, Anthony Ellis advised Engie on its successful purchase of a 40% stake in Tabreed. Chris Skordas advised Shapoorji Pallonji on securing finance for the development of a 50MW solar project in Egypt. Caroline Kehoe handles contentious and non-contentious work for Gazprom Neft.

At Hogan Lovells (Middle East) LLP, Christopher Cross is praised for his ‘knowledge of financial documents in the region’; in addition to his workload on industrial and transport developments, Cross advised Kings College Hospital on the financing and construction of hospitals. Sohail Barkatali (who has ‘deep knowledge of doing business in the Middle East’) is advising the lenders to a concentrated solar power plant project.

King & Spalding LLP’s expertise comprises renewables and conventional energy matters, as well as transport and district cooling projects, among others. Tim Burbury led the advice to Dubai World Trade Centre on the procurement of district cooling for the EXPO 2020 site. Leroy Levy is a key contact for Saudi-related work. Other clients include Etihad Rail and Électricité de France. Robin Bayley was a new arrival from Shearman & Sterling LLP in 2019.

Latham & Watkins LLP advises lenders, sponsors and bidders in sectors including conventional energy. Villiers Terblanche and senior associate Derek McKinley advised Utico, the sponsor, on a $150m facility to finance a water plant in Ras al-Khaimah. Terblanche also advised Harbin Electric as preferred bidder on the development of the 1.2GW Hassayan coal-fired power station.

Pinsent Masons LLP handles a range of aviation projects, as well as disputes arising from shipping and infrastructure projects. Sachin Kerur advised Limak on the construction of a new terminal at Kuwait International Airport. Amir Ahmad advised Pakistan GasPort on its LNG import terminal in Karachi. Jed Savager is also a name of note.

In addition to its experience handling project financing and district cooling matters, Afridi & Angell is noted for its particular strength in energy matters related to Pakistan. Masood Afridi advised Hawa Holding on the development of a 50MW wind project in the Jhimpir wind corridor.

Highlights for Bracewell LLP’s Robert Harker included advising a consortium comprising FRV and Arabia Group on its participation in the second round of Jordan’s wind procurement project. Adrian Creed, who has experience of energy and utilities projects, joined from Clyde & Co LLP. Clint Steyn left the firm to become general counsel of Alcazar Energy Partners.

Dechert LLP’s ‘very knowledgeable team’ attracts praise for its ‘high-quality oil and gas work’. Gavin Watson, who is ‘experienced, insightful and highly supportive’, advised Hass Petroleum Group on is sale of a 40% stake to Oman Trading International. Other work concerns power projects and hydrocarbon extraction, often involving challenging jurisdictions.

Eversheds Sutherland LLP’s clients include governments and key energy players. Tim Armsby is advising Martifer on its potential participation in Egypt’s renewables feed-in tariff programme. Gurmeet Kaur is advising the Investment and Development Office of Ras al-Khaimah on a planned rooftop solar project.

Gowling WLG’s ‘professional and commercially wiseJonathan Brufal advises procurers and financiers of projects, often in challenging jurisdictions. He is advising the World Bank on several PPP-related matters in Somalia and Somaliland. Developer-side work includes advising a consortium including Sumitomo on the construction of a water facility in Kuwait.

At Norton Rose Fulbright, the Abu Dhabi-based Paul Mansouri advised DEWA on procurement issues arising from the third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid solar park. Other mandates involve renewables, water and transport infrastructure projects across the Middle East.

Winston & Strawn LLP’s Shibeer Ahmedknows about clients’ needs and uses his expertise to make deals easier to drive forwards’; he advised several banks including Mashreqbank on an AED1.5bn syndicated shari’ah-compliant financing for Tabreed. Of counsel Martin Skehill is a key contact for water and sewage matters.

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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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  • 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

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    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.
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    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.
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