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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 > Offshore > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Offshore
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Philip Ireland - Maples Group
    • Tahir Jawed - Maples Group
    • Daniel Wood - Walkers

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1
    • Manuela Belmontes - Maples Group
    • Ciaran Bohnacker - Walkers
    • Sophie Kassam - Walkers

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Maples Group provides 'responsive and pragmatic' Cayman law advice on a range of finance, funds and capital markets matters. Philip Ireland handles funds work including advising Middle East Venture Partners, which aims to invest in tech start-ups in the Middle East and North Africa. The 'excellent' Manuela Belmontes handles a number of deals with connections to aircraft leasing and the aviation industry more generally, she advised FlyDubai on financing three Boeing 737 airliners, as well as handling sukuk issuances by airlines. Tahir Jawed is the firm's office managing partner; he handles varied sukuk work. Associate Oliver Simpson joined from Conyers's Dubai office when that closed its doors.

Walkers' team is 'hungry and responsive, well plugged-in to the firm's own network and strong in banking, funds and restructuring.' Daniel Wood (for some, 'the top offshore lawyer in the UAE') and Ciaran Bohnacker ('a decent banking lawyer - no-one needs to explain structures to him') advised Veling on an ijara financing of three Airbus A380s used by Emirates. In capital markets work, Bohnacker acted as Cayman counsel on Saudi British Bank's debut, London-listed $2bn sukuk. Turning to M&A, the 'very knowledgeable' Tom Cochrane and Wood advised GFH Financial Group on the Cayman aspects of its purchase of a majority stake in lifestyle app The Entertainer. Wood, Cochrane and Bohnacker acted as BVI counsel to Amazon on its purchase of Terry-Ann Arch is a key senior associate for transactional work. Senior counsel Sophie Kassam is notable for dispute resolution work, being 'unique in having a good knowledge of the Cayman insolvency process'; she worked with the firm's George Town team acting for Saad Investments Company in its defeat of a claim brought by Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi Brothers, which was described as operating 'one of the largest Ponzi schemes in history' by the Cayman courts following a trial with 129 days of hearings.

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