Leading firms in Iraq

Led by Khaled Saqqaf (Jordan) and Mohammed Norri (Iraq), the Iraq team at Al Tamimi & Company is widely known for its expertise in construction and project development. It regularly advises on residential and mixed-use developments and also handles work in the utilities, infrastructure, energy and leisure sectors. Much of its workload is international in scope and involves frequent interactions with the government in relation to the negotiation and implementation of deliverables. A recent highlight is its advice to the Export-Import Bank of China on a multimillion-dollar EPC contract with the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity. Commercial banking specialist Jawad Khalaf is also noted. The firm maintains offices in Baghdad, Erbil and Basra.

Practice head(s):

Khaled Saqqaf; Mohammed Norri

Other key lawyers:

Jawad Khalaf

Key clients

Sinosure

China Export Import Bank

CH2m Hill

Silicon Valley Bank SVB

Standard Chartered Bank

Fresenius Medical Care Middle East FZ-LLC

Oren Hydrocarbons Middle East FZCO

Invest Bank

J.P. Morgan Chase Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising an oil and gas company on the acquisition of two operating drilling rigs in Iraq.
  • Advising the Export-Import Bank of China, as the lender, on the seller factoring finance of an EPC contract entered into with the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity.
  • Assisting Fresenius Medical Care Middle East with regular due diligence and risk analysis in relation to contracting parties for the purposes of the import and distribution of drugs and pharmaceuticals products into Iraq.

Confluent Law Group

The team at Confluent Law Group has been operational for nearly two decades and is recognised for its work in both Federal Iraq and Kurdistan. Led by the 'sensible, experienced and calm' Greg Englefield, it also includes the 'fantastic' Tom Calvert and senior associate Tom Nolda. The group handles domestic Chinese investment (notably the firm has Chinese language capacities) and oil matters for 'supermajor' companies. Clients include international corporate and local players.

Practice head(s):

Greg Englefield

Other key lawyers:

Tom Calvert; Tom Nolda; Alan Wahid

Testimonials

This is the highest quality team I have come across advising on Iraqi issues. The key differentiator is that it has the quality control of an international law firm with solid local knowledge. The team is dependable from top to bottom‘.

I do quite a bit of work in Iraq (oil and gas, project development and M&A and ongoing support for operating companies) for major energy companies. I could not do this properly without the support of Confluent, who I have been working with for over 10 years. They are head and shoulders above other firms in Iraq and Kurdistan. Their strengths are technical excellence, commercial mindset, responsiveness, deep understanding of the oil and gas market, practical understanding of administrative and regulatory approach, how long things will take and how to get things done‘.

Iraq has few law firms that can provide legal advice in a format that international buyers of legal services are used to. Confluent offers that advice‘.

Greg Englefield (partner) is a sensible, experienced and calm head on any manner of problem. Tom Nolda (senior associate) is a very smart operator and is good at linking related issues together to provide a complete risk picture‘.

Greg Englefield and Tom Nolda provide high quality advice in what is a difficult jurisdiction for many‘.

Tom Calvert and Tom Nolda are fantastic for oil and gas support, working with Alan Wahid. The Iraqi advocates are fantastic also‘.

Work highlights

  • Advised a Chinese company operating in the oil and gas sector on investing in assets in Iraq, including all M&A requirements.
  • Advising a major credit agency on the Iraqi aspects of financing an oil and gas sector project in Iraq.
  • Acted for international banks on a series of government-backed financings mainly in the power and energy sectors in 2019 and 2020.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is particularly well known for its role in advising international oil companies in Iraq. Led by Nick Oury in Dubai and Craig Shepherd in Tokyo, it handles substantial infrastructure projects and is particularly adept at helping clients navigate regulatory issues. In addition, it represents parties in disputes related to the power and water sectors, construction, oil and gas infrastructure, EPC contracts, off-take agreements and concessions for built assets.

Practice head(s):

Craig Shepherd; Nick Oury

Key clients

Leighton Offshore

China ZhenHua Oil Company

INPEX

Chevron

LS Industrial Systems

Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS)

BP

Mitsui

CNPC International

Sumitomo

Work highlights

  • Acting for Leighton Offshore on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious matters arising out of EPC contracts with the Basra Oil Company.

Sanad Law Group in association with Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

At Sanad Law Group in association with Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLPTawfiq Tabbaa, who is based in Amman, and Baghdad-based duo Salam Zuhair and Mozahem Khalaf head the team. Acting for major international oil companies, services firms and contractors, it also has a substantial footprint in the telecoms, banking and defence sectors. A recent highlight concerns its advisory work for Gazprom Neft Middle East on corporate, labour and tax matters impacting its operations in Kurdistan. Clients can also benefit from its expertise in regulatory compliance, regional investment, M&A and general commercial law.

Practice head(s):

Tawfiq Tabbaa; Salam Zuhair; Mozahem Khalaf

Key clients

Gazprom Neft Badra

Gazprom Neft Middle East

Capital Bank / National Bank of Iraq

G4S

China Petroleum Engineering & Construction Corporation (CPECC)

Pernod Ricard

The Industrialization & Energy Services Company (TAQA)

Textron

Shell

DAI

Citibank

Stephenson Harwood

The Dubai-based offering at Stephenson Harwood is particularly well known for advising on market entry, IPOs and IPP projects that impact the power sector. The team also handle asset and structured finance issues where Nijoe Joseph maintains a focus on the trade, maritime and aviation sectors. The team is led by Salem Chalabi.

Vinson & Elkins LLP

The team at Vinson & Elkins LLP advises on energy and infrastructure projects and also handles M&A transactions and foreign investments. It also handles white-collar criminal law and qui tam actions on behalf of the government. The key names are Ahmed T. El-Gaili in Dubai, who advises on private equity issues and joint ventures; London-based Christopher Strong, who is a projects specialist experienced in natural resource cases; and James Loftis, who is a Houston based arbitration practitioner who handles international commercial disputes.

Baker Botts L.L.P.

The Iraq team at Baker Botts L.L.P. is known for assisting with upstream and downstream assets in the oil and gas sectors. London-based Mark Rowley advises clients on transactions and project development, areas in which he also covers LNG-related matters. Another key contact is senior counsel John Vincent Lonsberg, who is experienced in the negotiation of strategic alliances in the aerospace, petrochemical and high-technology industries.

Hannouche Associates

The team at Hannouche Associates is led by 'driving forceAlain Hannouche and and acts for a client base including multinationals and regional players. The firm has expertise in litigation, finance, labour relations and tax, areas in which it advises on key aspects of law and regulations in both Federal Iraq and Kurdistan. The team is also called upon to provide expert opinions in foreign courts. Associate Amanda Mezher has specialisms in IP and energy. The group has offices in Baghdad, Erbil and Basra.

Practice head(s):

Alain Hannouche

Other key lawyers:

Amanda Mezher

Testimonials

We have been working with them for the last 5 years and they always exceed our expectation in delivery and what is required from them.

The team has vast experience in all aspects of Iraqi law, a fact which makes their support invaluable for us.

They are professional, accurate and knowledgeable.

We are grateful to Hannouche Associates beyond what words can describe. Beyond their able counsel & sound advice, the Hannouche Team can think creatively (not just reactively) when facing enormous challenges.

Alain Hannouche is the partner we work with, he is one of the most business-oriented people we work with in Iraq among all our service providers, with an unparalleled knowledge of the Iraqi market.

Alain Hannouche is always there when you need him, never says no to anything, there is nothing that he cannot solve.

Alain Hannouche is the driving force behind the firm and makes a very effective point man. He has a deft diplomatic touch particularly when dealing with a charged situation.

Key clients

Chevron

Deloitte

Nestlé

Sanofi

Schneider Electric

B.L. Harbert International

Atlas Copco

Arcelor Mittal

Diageo

Bank Audi

Mena Associates in association with Amereller Rechtsanwälte

Mena Associates in association with Amereller Rechtsanwälte handles notable mandates in the oil and gas sector. Energy expert Ahmed Al Janabi leads a practice which also advises on employment law and commercial matters. Hadeel Al Janabi is the name to note for cases cutting across multiple jurisdictions.

Newton Law Group

Newton Law Group has offices in Baghdad, Erbil and Basra and works for clients in sectors including telecoms, oil and gas, retail and financial services. Halim Gebeili specialises in work with an international nexus and is known for energy and defence matters, associate Rovan Salah has expertise in IP and corporate issues and Yarob Jumaily is best known for contentious matters.

Airut Law Offices

The Iraq team at Airut Law Offices advises on banking, insolvency, corporate, and tax-related matters. It handles M&A, financial structuring and project management, areas in which it acts for clients in the  hospitality, media, pharmaceutical and real estate sectors. Marie Antoinette Airut, Charles Airut, Tahseen Shekha and Serge Airut are key names.

Al Jad Law Firm (in association with CMS)

Al Jad Law Firm (in association with CMS) has an established track record in domestic litigation and is known for advising a number of major energy companies in Iraq. Malek Takieddine leads the practice and assists with issues relating to energy, projects and consumer products (both domestically as well as in Lebanon). Matthew Culver  is an oil and gas expert and Randall Walker  handles disputes in sectors such as natural resources, construction and infrastructure. Senior associate Lama Abou Ali is another key contact.

Akin Gump LLP

Based in London, the team at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is led by Julian Nichol, an expert in global power generation project finance. The group is known for working on a broad spectrum of matters in Iraq and Kurdistan and has consolidated relationships with key government officials in Erbil, Baghdad and Basra. Defence and energy constitute are sector strengths. Hamish Lal (who splits his time between London and Abu Dhabi) is a key contact for arbitration and international disputes.

Practice head(s):

Julian Nichol

Other key lawyers:

Hamish Lal

Key clients

Constellis Holdings, LLC

Projects International Engineering & Construction Ltd (PIEC)

Perella Weinberg UK Partners LLP

HOPU Investments

Al Muhamoon Al Mutahidoon

The team at AL-Muhamoon Al-Mutahidoon has recently handled banking ad finance matters, consultancy assignments for loan restructuring (notably those linked to Turkish investment) and work for the Ministry of Health. Its recent work includes advising China Energy on arbitration agreements. Hiba Basim Khaza’al and Muqdad Sami Alwan Al-Juboori are key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Muqdad Sami Alwan Al-Juboori; Hadeel Adnan Anwar Al-Ani; Pierre Fournol; Othman Ayad Khalaf; Hisham Abdul Jabbar Abdullah; Hiba Basim Khaza’al

Key clients

Harbin Electric International Company, Ltd.

China Energy Co., Ltd.

MEAB bank SAL/Iraq

WORLD BANK Group

Bank Audi/Iraq branches

TBEA Co., ltd.

Juan Co., ltd.

Stephenson Harwood Middle East LLP

BOZTEPE MÜHENDİSLİK İNŞAAT SANAYİ VE TİCARET LİMİTED ŞİRKETİ)

ER Yapi Insaat San. VE. TIC. A.S

KLT ULUSLARARASI İNŞAAT

Leda Yapi ve Proje Taahhüt ltd.şti

Rawaat Al Binaa Al Hadeeth for Trade and General Contracting Co., ltd.

Work highlights

  • Represent Meab Bank SAL/Iraq in three cases before the Iraqi courts in disputes against the State Company for Agriculture Supplies/Ministry of Agriculture claiming the release of letters of guarantee amounts deposited with Meab Bank pertaining to two supply contracts concluded between the State Company for Agriculture Supplies and two supply companies.
  • Advising Harbin Electric International Company on registering an entity in Iraq.