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Shearman & Sterling LLP

Work +971 2 410 8100
Fax +971 2 626 8933

United Arab Emirates

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 3

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Shearman & Sterling LLP is particularly known for its track record in project finance mandates, although is also handles a broader range of transactions. Iain Elder, who divides his time between Abu Dhabi and London, advised Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, as part of a consortium of lenders, on a combined heat and power project in Saudi Arabia financed through conventional and ijara tranches; he is also advising The Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) on its $6bn refinery renovation plan. Also recommended are Robin Bayley in Abu Dhabi, who is noted for his projects expertise, and Iain Goalen, who divides his time between Dubai and London and handles real estate and asset finance matters, among others.

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Commercial, corporate and M&A
Commercial, corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 2

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Shearman & Sterling LLP’s team in Abu Dhabi has ‘strong industry knowledge and business acumen’. The firm has a particular strength in energy-related work, but also handles a broader range of mandates. Marwan Elaraby heads the practice. Two new names in the Abu Dhabi office are Rodney Cannon, who joined in February 2017 from his role as group general counsel of Mubadala, and Matthew Powell, who relocated from London and is ‘responsive, commercial and to-the-point’. James Comyn joined Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP.

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Construction - ranked: tier 3

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Shearman & Sterling LLP’s Alex Bevan is ‘a top class advocate and team leader’. In an illustration of Bevan’s track record in heavyweight construction arbitrations, he is representing Areva in a dispute regarding a nuclear power project in Finland.

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Energy and infrastructure
Energy and infrastructure - ranked: tier 2

Shearman & Sterling LLP

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

Next generation lawyers

Dan Feldman - Shearman & Sterling LLP

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United Arab Emirates: Dispute resolution

Arbitration and international litigation
Dispute resolution: arbitration and international litigation - ranked: tier 5

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Shearman & Sterling LLP’s Alex Bevan, working with the firm’s other offices, handles construction disputes concerning projects ranging from hospitals and offshore vessels through to airports and nuclear power stations.

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Further information on Shearman & Sterling LLP

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Shearman & Sterling LLP in other jurisdictions.

United Arab Emirates

Offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai



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Saudi Arabia

Offices in Riyadh, Al-Khobar, and Jeddah

United States

Offices in Washington DC, New York, San Francisco, Menlo Park, and Austin

Legal Developments in United Arab Emirates

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Cautious Optimism on 100 per cent Foreign Ownership

    Recent media reports have suggested that 100 per cent foreign ownership of companies in the UAE will now be permitted. The reports are based on a government press release regarding a UAE Federal Cabinet (Cabinet) meeting held on 20 May 2018.
  • Thoughts on the Extradition Rules under the UAE Laws

    This article assesses the feasibilities and outline of the process of extradition in the UAE. The article also reviews how extradition succeeds through judicial collaboration internationally.
  • Arbitration Article Series V: Challenging an Arbitration

    In this case the losing party will file an annulment case. However, it may be possible to argue that the parties have accepted the tribunal’s jurisdiction, or have waived any right to object, or have lost that right by not objecting at the first opportunity.
  • Investors win Dh84m claim against developer in Dubai

    A Dubai developer has been ordered to pay three men Dh84m after they failed to deliver villas the men had purchased from a housing project near Dubai Land.
  • The Public-Private Partnership Law Review 3rd Edition

    The Philippine chapter of The Public-Private Partnership Law Review 3 rd edition was contributed by SyCipLaw partners Marievic G. Ramos-Añonuevo and Arlene M. Maneja . The chapter includes information on public-private partnerships (PPPs) in the Philippines, including general framework, bidding and award procedure, contractual arrangements, financing, and recent developments and decisions.
  • Arbitration Article Series IV: Enforcing Arbitration Awards

    In this case the losing party will file an annulment case. However, it may be possible to argue that the parties have accepted the tribunal’s jurisdiction, or have waived any right to object, or have lost that right by not objecting at the first opportunity.
  • Arbitration Article Series I: Rise of Arbitration

    The UAE has rapidly emerged as a leading financial centre, attracting large global investors and businesses. As international developers and contractors continue to invest in construction projects, there has been an increasing trend in the use of arbitration in Dubai. The arbitration process is the preferred method to resolve disputes by commercial companies. As the certified language of arbitration proceedings is in English, a specialist tribunal can be appointed as opposed to the more broad UAE courts, and arbitration is generally more cost-effective and less time-consuming. This has led businesses and investors in the UAE to ensure that arbitration clauses or agreements are inserted into their contracts. Furthermore, the downturn in economic conditions in the real estate market over the past few years has led to an increase in disputes in general, and parties are more likely to issue court proceedings than to try to recover their losses through other ventures.
  • Arbitration Article Series II: Appointing Arbitrators

    An arbitrator can be appointed directly by name (this is not the common method used), through the court or through the arbitration centre. If you agree for the court or arbitration centre to appoint an arbitrator you need to make an application. The arbitration provisions of the Civil Procedure Code contain mandatory provisions concerning the appointment of an arbitrator. There must be an odd number of arbitrators, although there is no limit set on the number of arbitrators.
  • Arbitration Article Series III: Terms of References

    Parties wanting to enforce an award under the New York Convention must satisfy the requirements of the UAE Civil Code. In practice, enforcing arbitration awards can be a lengthy and unpredictable process. It is common for the UAE courts to require the foreign award to satisfy the rules and procedures of the UAE, and they may refuse to enforce it if there is a violation of local laws. One potential difficulty arises in convincing the UAE court that it did not have jurisdiction to hear the dispute in the first place (irrespective of the arbitration agreement between the parties). The UAE courts normally have a fairly broad jurisdiction over disputes including, for example, claims connected to money or assets within the UAE and claims arising out of contracts executed or to be performed in the UAE, as well as claims over foreigners who are resident in the UAE. Therefore, it is difficult to prove that the UAE court did not have jurisdiction over the order.
  • An Introduction to Corporate Guarantee

    In the UAE, the risk management activities inherent in running a corporate or investment banking business remain of crucial importance, not least because of the strong local characteristic of “name lending”, by which is meant lending or providing other banking facilities to family or other private businesses, primarily on the strength of the “name” or “names” of the proprietors standing behind the business, rather than on the strength of the asset quality and underlying credit of the particular business. Of course, in practice, there is commercial overlap between the proprietors and the companies which they own, but the credit analyses can break down where poor banking practices and procedures result in poorly constructed legal documentation and gaps in guarantee and security support documents.