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DLA Piper Middle East LLP

Work +971 2 494 1500
Fax +971 2 494 1501

United Arab Emirates

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper Middle East LLP

DLA Piper Middle East LLP is ‘very good, with excellent turnaround times’. In the project finance space, Debbie Barbour and Trevor Butcher advised Ports Development Company, the owner and developer of the King Abdullah Port project, on a SAR2.7bn facility, while newly promoted partner Keith Bullen advised Saudi Electricity Company on the financing of the Fadhili combined heat and power facility. James Iremonger, who ‘goes the extra mile to get the job done’, is noted for his restructuring expertise – he is advising the liquidators of OW Bunker. Senior legal consultant Hamed Fathinejad, who is noted for handling Iran-related work, is ‘helpful in difficult and complex negotiations’.

Next generation lawyers

Hamed Fathinejad - DLA Piper Middle East LLP

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

DLA Piper Middle East LLP

The ‘responsive’ practice at DLA Piper Middle East LLP is praised for its ‘business acumen and industry knowledge’, with notable strength in health and technology, among other sectors. Ben Gillespie, who heads the firm’s Middle East corporate practice, handled the regional aspects of NTT Data’s purchase of Dell Systems, and led advice to MS Pharma regarding its sale of shares to the EBRD and IFC. Also recommended are legal director Richard Hughes, who is ‘a great source of local knowledge’, and fellow legal director Thérèse Abou-Zeid. Other clients include Lockheed Martin.

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Construction - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper Middle East LLP

DLA Piper Middle East LLP’s construction team is noted for providing advice that is ‘very good and strategically sound’. Duncan Pickering and Trevor Butcher’s transactional highlights include advising Gulf Related on negotiations with contractors for the AED1bn Al Maryah Central development. Henry Quinlan is representing Hircon International in a dispute with contractor Dubai Civil Engineering pertaining to a residential skyscraper and concerning issues of delay, variations and defects. Daniel Jude, the ‘strategic and commercial’ Simon Palmer and ‘hardworking and diligent’ Suzannah Newboult (who was promoted to partner in 2017) also handle construction and engineering disputes.

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Employment - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper Middle East LLP

DLA Piper Middle East LLP provides ‘pragmatic, knowledgeable, approachable and timely’ advice on employment matters across the region. The ‘pragmatic and genuineNeil Crossley advised a Russian oil company on the employment aspects of a cross-border restructuring.

Leading individuals

Neil Crossley - DLA Piper Middle East LLP

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Energy and infrastructure
Energy and infrastructure - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper Middle East LLP

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’.

Next generation lawyers

Adam Haque - DLA Piper Middle East LLP

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper Middle East LLP

DLA Piper Middle East LLP’s IP practice handles a variety of contentious and non-contentious work. Paul Allen advised a car manufacturer on the introduction of a new brand into the Middle East market. Other clients include Reckitt Benckiser.

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Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper Middle East LLP

DLA Piper Middle East LLP is noted for its ‘excellent service, commendable response times and strong industry knowledge’. In Dubai, practice head Tom O’Grady and legal director Helen Tapadar Hangari advised Al Asseel Developments on condominium arrangements for 500 serviced apartments in the Address Jumeirah Gate development. Duncan Pickering, who is based in Abu Dhabi, has ‘vast experience in real estate transactions and is very approachable’.

Leading individuals

Tom O’Grady - DLA Piper Middle East LLP

Next generation lawyers

Helen Tapadar Hangari - DLA Piper Middle East LLP

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TMT - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper Middle East LLP

DLA Piper Middle East LLPunderstands the sector extremely well, balancing legal and commercial outcomes’. The firm covers outsourcing mandates, regional regulatory matters and technology-rich transactions. Paul Allen advised Emirates on a $300m outsourcing to IBM of its customer reservation and booking system. Legal director Jamie Ryderproduces consistently high-quality work: he is a very strong negotiator with amazing energy reserves’. Also recommended are Richard Hughes and regulatory specialist Eamon Holley.

Leading individuals

Paul Allen - DLA Piper Middle East LLP

Next generation lawyers

Eamon Holley - DLA Piper Middle East LLP

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United Arab Emirates: Dispute resolution

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

DLA Piper Middle East LLP

DLA Piper Middle East LLP’s ‘responsive’ disputes practice includes Henry Quinlan, who led a team that successfully defended Niranjan Hiranandani in a long-running multi-jurisdictional case brought by Hirco, culminating in a Singapore arbitral award in 2016. Wissam Dagher, who made partner in May 2017, is a name of note for matters that cross over with local court litigation. Also recommended are Ramsey Jurdi, who is noted for US regulatory and sanctions matters, and Adam Vause, who is representing Credit Suisse in a trade finance dispute.

Leading individuals

Henry Quinlan - DLA Piper Middle East LLP

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Further information on DLA Piper LLP (US)

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about DLA Piper LLP (US) in other jurisdictions.

United Arab Emirates

Offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi


Offices in Luanda


Offices in Buenos Aires


Offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, and Brisbane


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Offices in Antwerp and Brussels


Offices in Bujumbura


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Czech Republic

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Hong Kong

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Latin America: International firms


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North West

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New Zealand

Offices in Auckland and Wellington


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Asia Pacific: Regional International Arbitration


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Offices in Moscow, Moscow, and St Petersburg

South Africa

Offices in Johannesburg


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South Korea

Offices in Seoul


Offices in Bratislava


Offices in Dakar

Saudi Arabia

Offices in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Al-Khobar


Offices in Bangkok


Offices in Kiev


Offices in Kampala

United States

Offices in San Francisco, Seattle, Silicon Valley, San Diego (Downtown), Boston, Los Angeles, Tampa, Chicago, Baltimore, Washington DC, New York, Philadelphia, Dallas, Las Vegas, Raleigh, Austin, Houston, Reston, Virginia, Minneapolis, Atlanta, La Jolla, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Diego (Golden Triangle), Los Angeles, Orlando, New Jersey, Maryland, Miami, and Wilmington


West Midlands

Offices in Birmingham

Yorkshire and the Humber

Offices in Leeds and Sheffield


Offices in Lusaka

Legal Developments by:
DLA Piper LLP (US)

  • Sentencing guidelines for corporate manslaughter

    In February 2010 the Sentencing Guidelines Council (the SGC) issued definitive guidelines to courts on imposing appropriate sentences for corporate manslaughter and health and safety offences causing death. The SGC states that fines imposed on companies found guilty of corporate manslaughter should not fall below £500,000, while fines in respect of health and safety offences that are a significant cause of death should be at least £100,000. Crucially, the SGC declined to provide for a fixed link between the imposed fine and the turnover or profitability of the offending company.

    - DLA Piper UK 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
  • New Promotion Regime for Domestic Funds

    In late November 2018, the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) announced that they had reached agreement on facilitating the licensing of domestic funds by each authority for promotion across the UAE. 
  • Federal Penal Code Amendments

    In the latest development in an eventful year, Federal Decree-Law 24 of 2018 introduces amendments to the Federal Penal Code, originally enacted as Federal Law 3 of 1987. 
  • 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

    The UAE federal government has recently issued a raft of important legislation, addressing and in many ways updating areas of law that are key to businesses in the jurisdiction. Amongst this legislation is Federal Decree-Law 14 of 2018 concerning the central bank and the organisation of financial institutions and activities (the New Banking Law ) and Federal Decree-Law 20 of 2018 concerning anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing (the New AML Law ). Both the New Banking Law and the New AML Law repeal and replace the previous legislation on their respective subjects. Importantly, the New Banking Law and the New AML Law have together enhanced the protection afforded to confidential information under UAE law, in particular where financial and legal service providers and their customers and clients are concerned. 
  • Get 100% Foreign Ownership Today in Dubai

    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.
  • Overview of the Bankruptcy Proceedings and Preventive Measures in the UAE

    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.
  • Time-bars, time limits and deadlines for legal cases under UAE law

    Under UAE civil law – like in other civil law systems – not all time-bars are mentioned and dealt with in one particular statue. Our Partner, Alessandro Tricoli , and Senior Associate, Shehab Mamdouh explains the different time bars, time limits and deadlines for legal cases under UAE law.
  • Seven Things to Know About Filing a Bankruptcy Petition in the UAE

    The absence of a legal framework for bankruptcy has long been a hindrance to UAE business. In the absence of proper bankruptcy laws, even a bounced cheque could land an entrepreneur in jail. The implementation of the relatively new bankruptcy law in the UAE is a huge step forward in improving the country’s economic and regulatory environment.
  • UAE Shipping Companies Seek VAT Exemption

    The UAE has climbed to sixth place in 2017 from seventh in 2015 on the list of the future leading maritime capitals.
  • Digital Directions

    Digital assets are the foundation of the new economy, and the developments of it continue to hit the headlines regularly. Our Partner & Head of Commercial & Technology, Irina Heaver explains different regulations depending on the nature of the specific assets.  This article was also published in LexisNexis - Middle East.