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Clifford Chance

Work +971 2 419 2500

United Arab Emirates

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance has ‘a strong team of legal experts, which displays commercial savviness, ensuring that the most commercial and legally sound solution is achieved’. Managing partner Robin Abraham is ‘a deal-maker, combining his legal expertise with a commercial approach’. Peter Avery acted for Emirates National Oil Company on its $1.5bn syndicated facility provided by local, regional and international banks for the expansion of an oil refinery. The ‘knowledgeable’ Antony Single, Islamic finance specialist Qudeer Latif and Mohamed Hamra-Krouha, who splits time between Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia, are also key names to note.

Leading individuals

Peter Avery - Clifford Chance

Robin Abraham - Clifford Chance

Next generation lawyers

Andrej Kormuth - Clifford Chance

Mark Valenzia - Clifford Chance

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Commercial, corporate and M&A
Commercial, corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance frequently handles complex cross-border corporate and M&A mandates, such as Mohammed Al-Shukairy advised Qatar National Bank on its $2.7bn proposed acquisition of Finansbank; he also led a multi-jurisdictional team acting on the joint venture between Mubadala and Trafigura. Mike Taylor recently assisted Jezeera Airways with its $507m sale of 15 aircraft to Investec Bank and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises. James McCarthy and Abu Dhabi-based Rupert Harper are also recommended.

Leading individuals

Mike Taylor - Clifford Chance

Mohammed Al-Shukairy - Clifford Chance

Next generation lawyers

Andrew Steele - Clifford Chance

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Construction - ranked: tier 2

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance often acts for procurers and project companies in non-contentious matters pertaining to major energy and infrastructure projects. Katie Joukadjian has ‘a calm disposition and analytical approach’. James Abbott handles contentious matters. Practice head Sandy Hall relocated to the London office, but continues to lead on large transactions, particularly in the oil and gas industry. Clients can rely on Hall to ‘steer them through complex procurement and technology licensing issues, providing robust but commercially oriented advice’.

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Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance provides ‘a highly efficient and result-oriented service’. It is acting for a multinational in a series of disputes arising out of the liquidation of a bank. Counsel Matthew Shanahan has extensive expertise in advising financial institutions on regulatory issues. Practice head James Abbott is ‘practical and pragmatic’. Graham Lovett joined Gibson Dunn in January 2016.

Next generation lawyers

Matthew Shanahan - Clifford Chance

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Energy and infrastructure
Energy and infrastructure - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance’s highlights included acting for Kuwait National Petroleum Company on the conventional and Islamic financing of a multibillion-dollar clean fuels project and advising National Bank of Abu Dhabi on the term loan facility for the expansion of Fujairah Oil Terminal. Key contacts include practice head Richard Parris, project finance experts Peter Avery and Mohamed Hamra-Krouha; construction specialist Sandy Hall remains involved in the practice, but recently relocated to London.

Leading individuals

Mohamed Hamra-Krouha - Clifford Chance

Peter Avery - Clifford Chance

Next generation lawyers

Andrej Kormuth - Clifford Chance

Mark Valenzia - Clifford Chance

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Islamic finance
Islamic finance - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance handles cross-border Islamic finance matters, including sovereign sukuk issuances. Global head of Islamic finance Qudeer Latif advised the mandated lead arrangers on the AED1.8bn financing of the IMG World of Adventures project. In another highlight, a multi-jurisdictional team acted for Kuwait National Petroleum Company on the conventional and Islamic financing of its Clean Fuel Project. Stuart Ure specialises in structured finance and Islamic debt capital markets. Rising star Ahmed Choudhry recently joined from Dentons.

Leading individuals

Qudeer Latif - Clifford Chance

Next generation lawyers

Ahmed Choudhry - Clifford Chance

Shauaib Mirza - Clifford Chance

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Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 3

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance frequently advises on the real estate aspects of sizeable corporate and financing transactions. Tariq Imam has notable experience in hospitality developments. Clients include Aldar Properties, Dubai Holdings and Investment Corporation of Dubai.

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United Arab Emirates: Capital markets

Capital markets: debt - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance’s breadth and depth of expertise enables it to handle a range of first-of-its-kind DCM transactions. The ‘commercially minded and knowledgeable’ Stuart Ure assisted National Bank of Abu Dhabi with the establishment of a US commercial paper programme.

Leading individuals

Stuart Ure - Clifford Chance

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Capital markets: equity - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance has ‘one of the best ECM practices in the Middle East’. In 2015, the team acted for Saudi Ground Services on its SAR2.8bn IPO. On the underwriter side, it advised SambaCapital and lead manager Investment Management Company on the secondary sale of ordinary shares in Middle East Healthcare Company through an IPO on the Saudi stock exchange. Mike Taylor is the key contact, regularly working with the firm’s Riyadh office.

Leading individuals

Mike Taylor - Clifford Chance

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Further information on Clifford Chance LLP

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Saudi Arabia

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United States

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Legal Developments by:
Clifford Chance LLP

Legal Developments in United Arab Emirates

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • 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.
  • An Introduction to Personal Guarantee

    The economic boom in UAE has resulted in huge developments and a considerable increase in trade. This in turn has led to a rise in transactions which require a fast debt recovery mechanism. According to common practice in the UAE, the most secure and quickest method is the post-dated -  and in some cases undated – cheque. This is often requested by creditors (financial institutions) and sellers, mostly in real estate transactions and trade. The rationale is mostly economic to individuals who are issuing the cheque, and how does personal guarantee play a role? In this Article, we attempt to analyze and overview UAE laws on Personal guarantee.