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Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla

Work +971 2 696 1200
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United Arab Emirates

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla

Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla's Gordon Prestige and Sandeep Puri advised a consortium of borrowers including Gransolar and Acciona on the shari’ah-compliant financing of an 800MW solar plant. Prestige also handles other project finance mandates, some of which are for Middle Eastern banks, while Puri's other deals also include Islamic real estate finance, investment fund finance and export credit agency-backed transactions. In addition to banking M&A, Mazen Boustany assisted IndusInd Bank with a loan to Gulf Petrochem Group. Matthew Shanahan, who joined from Clifford Chance in October 2017, is notable for financial services regulatory work.

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Capital markets
Capital markets - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla

Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla's Mazen Boustany, working with the firm's teams in Cairo and London, advised EFG Hermes as sole global coordinator on DIFC-registered company Ades International Holding's IPO on the London Stock Exchange. He also assisted the banks underwriting the IPO of Aster DM Healthcare, and acted for Dar Al Takaful on an AED50m rights issue on the Dubai Financial Market. Matthew Shanahan handles cryptocurrency-related work.

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Commercial, corporate and M&A
Commercial, corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla

Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla acts on a range of cross-border deals, handling regional matters as lead counsel as well as the regional elements of global deals. Working with the firm's teams in Saudi Arabia and Turkey, Pietro de Libero advised BRF on purchasing a majority stake in Banvit and on a subsequent joint venture with an arm of a leading sovereign wealth fund; the deal required competition sign-off in several jurisdictions, including one of the first filings under the UAE's competition law. Melissa Forbes-Miranda and de Libero also assisted Frigoglass with selling its glass bottle manufacturing subsidiary to ATG Investments for $12.5m. Special tax counsel Reggie Mezu, who is qualified as both a solicitor and tax practitioner in England,  joined from tax practice Cragus Group. Will Seivewright is now with DLA Piper Middle East LLP.

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Construction - ranked: tier 4

Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla

At Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla, Andrew Mackenzie, who joined from Hogan Lovells (Middle East) LLP, handles various arbitrations concerning subcontractor disputes, as well as disputes with insurers. Habib Al Mulla is also involved in disputes involving infrastructure projects, including document-heavy arbitrations. Arabtec and Efeco are clients, among others. Charlotte Bijlani is now at Watson Farley & Williams.

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Dispute resolution: arbitration and international litigation
Dispute resolution: arbitration and international litigation - ranked: tier 2

Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla

At Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla, Andrew Mackenzie, who joined from Hogan Lovells (Middle East) LLP, represents United Arab Bank in DIFC litigation attempting to enforce a personal guarantee against a Kuwaiti businessman, who alleges that the document is forged. Mackenzie and Mazen Boustany represent BankMed in a claim concerning a loan. McKenzie also handles arbitrations, including joint venture disputes. Habib Al Mulla  has been appointed by the UAE government to the ICSID panel of arbitrators, and continues to act as counsel.

Next Generation Partners

Matthew Shanahan - Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla

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Dispute resolution: local litigation
Dispute resolution: local litigation - ranked: tier 2

Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla

Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla covers the full range of UAE law litigation, including employment disputes, debt recovery and property litigation. Andrew Mackenzie - a new hire from Hogan Lovells (Middle East) LLP and now heading the arbitration team - is acting for Rotana Media Group in Dubai Court proceedings over its recruitment of broadcaster Olga Fares from MBC in Lebanon. Mohamed El Khatib, who is qualified in Egypt, heads the firm's UAE litigation practice; his workload includes fraud cases and various other civil litigation. Mohammad Al Shraideh has banking litigation expertise and represents HSBC in a case against a solar company in Fujairah to recover over AED100m. Habib Al Mulla is the firm's managing partner and the key UAE-qualified lawyer in the practice; his caseload includes internal investigations work. Tarek Saad is notable for insurance work.

Leading individuals

Habib Al Mulla - Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla

Next Generation Partners

Mohammad Al Shraideh - Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla

Tarek Saad - Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla

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Employment - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla

Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla’s practice, which acts for an impressive roster of multinational clients, houses two distinct advisory and litigation units. Senior associate Joanna Matthews-Taylor heads the department and advised Suez on the local employment aspects of its $3.4bn global acquisition of GE Water & Process Technologies.

Next Generation Partners

Joanna Matthews-Taylor - Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla

In 2018, Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla boosted its practice with the hire of new IP head David Harper from Cedar White Bradley. The team, which advises on transactional, advisory and contentious matters, acts for a diverse range of regional and multinational clients, with strong showings in the tourism, TMT and healthcare sectors.

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Islamic finance
Islamic finance - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla

Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla's Gordon Prestige handles murabaha work for banks, as does Sandeep Puri, whose work also includes real estate finance. The pair advised a consortium of borrowers on the shari'ah-compliant financing of an 800MW solar plant.

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Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 2

Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla

Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla handles a mix of investment, development and leasing matters — it also houses specialist litigation expertise. Group head Steven Henderson advised NCB Capital on the disposal of an office building to Aldar Properties. Counsel Wael El Tounsy, who leads the real estate litigation practice, and senior associate Keri Watkins are also recommended.

Leading individuals

Steven Henderson - Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla

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Shipping - ranked: tier 2

Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla

In 2018, Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla boosted its team with the hire of UK-qualified senior associate Kirsty Cattanach, who is particularly well versed in dry shipping issues. Maritime and insurance specialist Tarek Saad leads a group that acts on a mix of litigation, casualty and transactional matters.

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United Arab Emirates

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Legal Developments by:
Baker McKenzie LLP

  • The New Turkish Code of Obligations: Important Changes for Leases of Residential & Business Premises

    For decades, the primary Turkish laws governing leases of residential and business premises have been the Law on Leasing Real Property dated May 27, 1955 (the “Lease Law”) and the Turkish Code of Obligations No. 818 dated April 22, 1926 (the “Obligations Code”). Both of these laws, however, will be repealed and replaced with the new Turkish Code of Obligations No. 6098 dated January 11, 2011 (the “New Obligations Code”), which will enter into force on July 7, 2012.
    - Esin Attorney Partnership

Legal Developments in United Arab Emirates

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Regulatory Authorities of UAE Economic Substance Regulations announced

    Further to our previous inBrief dated 7 July 2019, which disucssed UAE Cabinet Resolution 31 of 2019 Concerning Economic Substance Regulations (the UAE Economic Substance Regulations or the Regulations), and inBrief dated 10 October 2019, which discussed the Guidance on UAE Economic Substance Regulations issued by the UAE Ministry of Finance, Cabinet Decision No. 58 of 2019 has now designated the regulatory authorities (the Regulatory Authorities) to regulate compliance with the UAE Economic Substance Regulations. 
  • Emirates Development Bank appointed to maintain Register of Finance Leases

    Pursuant to UAE Federal Cabinet Resolution No. 56 of 2019, Emirates Development Bank has been appointed to maintain the register of finance lease contracts created pursuant to UAE Federal Law No. 8 of 2018 on Finance Lease (the Finance Lease Law or the Law). 
  • UAE Ministry of Finance Issues Guidance on Economic Substance Regulations

    A previous inBrief dated 7 July 2019 discussed UAE Cabinet Resolution 31 of 2019 Concerning Economic Substance Regulations (the UAE Economic Substance Regulations or the Regulations).
  • Gulf Tanker Attacks: Implications on Costs

    Tanker attacks have a long history indicating that it could be a powerful weapon in international conflict, which can significantly destabilize an economy. During the Iraq-Iran War in the 1980s, oil terminals and tankers were under severe attacks, which directly affected the economies of both nations, in addition to the safety of maritime traffic.
  • Funding Your Start-Up In The UAE

    Funding options for start-ups in the UAE are on the rise. Traditionally, most start-ups in the UAE have tended to be bootstrapped or financed by conventional lenders such as banks and financial institutions. However, over the last few years, business incubators and accelerators have flourished in the UAE, creating a conducive and cost-effective environment for entrepreneurship in the UAE. This has led to a gradual upsurge in activities in the angel investment, crowdfunding, private equity, and venture capital space. Notably, the technology space has seen a boost as the UAE government has announced various initiatives for entrepreneurs and has been actively promoting the fintech space.
  • UPDATE: Medical Liability Law in the UAE

    Doctors in the UAE face considerable legal risk when treating patients. Thus, it’s important for casualties as well as medical practitioners to know their rights and get their cases evaluated by legal experts.
  • The New DIFC Employment Law- What Has Changed?

    DIFC Employment Law no. 2 of 2019 (“New Law ”) has recently been enacted which repeals and replaces the DIFC Law no. 4/2005 as amended by DIFC Law no. 3 of 2012 (“Previous Law ”). There has been an ongoing debate about the implemented changes introduced by the New Law. Some changes have been enacted to protect the employers, such as the limitation of liability period of 6 months and the provisions which allow employees to waive their rights under the New Law subject to agreements put in writing. Other changes have been enacted to protect the employees, such as provisions for non-discrimination and non-victimization, the penalties imposed by the DIFC for employer’s non-compliance, and forbidding the employer to retain the employee’s original passport (although the latter was always the legal position in the UAE).
  • UPDATE: New DIFC Wills and Probate Rules

    The DIFC Wills and Probate Registry (WPR) has been established as an official mechanism for non-Muslims to register their wills and have it enforced through the DIFC Courts. Previously there was a lot of uncertainty with regards to the registration of wills of non-Muslims since Shari’a principles govern inheritance throughout the UAE. If an expatriate living in the UAE dies without having a will in place, Shari’a principles will most likely apply, and family members may be forced into an heirship regime without fully understanding the consequences. The best way to ensure certainty over your assets upon death is to register a will with the DIFC WPR. Although the Registry has its own complex rules and laws that would be applicable, it provides a relative freedom of disposition of assets upon death. The DIFC WPR has gone through a number of changes since its establishment in 2015 and has consistently strived to better protect testators and their assets. The DIFC WPR’s jurisdiction has now officially expanded to include assets outside of Dubai.
  • Right of Set off under the UAE Civil Transaction Law No. 5 of 1985 and the view from the DIFC

    In a 2018 judgment the DIFC, discussed and decided upon the concept of set-off under the UAE Civil Transaction Law No. 5 of 1985 (the “Civil Code”).

    Since a very long time, FIDIC (The International Federation of Consulting Engineers) is commonly used a standard for international construction and engineering contracts and is very frequently used in UAE. It mainly governs the construction works within the country and in GCC.