Firms in the Spotlight Banking, finance and capital markets

Hamdan Law Firm

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The Hamdan Law Firm was founded in 1961 by Ahmad Hamdan and offers a full range of legal services. It is one of the oldest law firms in Lebanon and is today managed by Abdel Ghani Hamdan.

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Banking, finance and capital markets in Lebanon

Abou Jaoude & Associates Law Firm

Abou Jaoude & Associates Law Firm fields a stellar banking and finance practice with outstanding finance, combined with capital markets experience. In addition to representing local and foreign banks (including advising the Central Bank of Lebanon on the first ever critical capital controls legislation), it also advises a broad range of clients on domestic and international extensions of credit and syndicated facilities. Carlos Abou JaoudeSouraya Machnouk  and Eddy Maghariki are the recommended team heads and Rita Papadopoulou heads the capital markets and structured products practice.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Abou Jaoude; Rita Papadopoulou; Eddy Maghariki

Other key lawyers:

Souraya Machnouk

Testimonials

‘The team assists us by providing valuable and practical advice as well as having a hands-on approach and proactivity in dealing with the bottlenecks.’

‘Proactive and have a solution-driven mindset.’

Key clients

Deutsche Bank

Credit Suisse

Central Bank of Lebanon (BDL)

Audi Bank

Bankmed Group

Intercontinental Bank of Lebanon

Fransabank Group

FFA Private Bank

Saradar Bank

Ernst & Young

Deloitte

Commercial International Bank (CIB)

Afrasia Bank

AstroBank

BLC Bank

Arab Finance Corporation (AFC)

The Luxury Fund (TLF)

Online Money Transfer – Western Union

Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP)

Capital Trust Group – The EuroMena Funds

Elie Saab Group

Libanpost

Plus Properties Group

Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor

Work highlights

  • Advised the Central Bank of Lebanon on the first-ever critical capital controls legislation.
  • Advised Deutsche Bank on a $350M structured repo transactions with Société Générale de Banque au Liban.
  • Advised Elie Saab on a cross-border LMA facility in a major multi-bank refinancing transaction in Lebanon’s fashion industry.

Alem & Associates

Banks, financial institutions and insurance companies turn to Alem & Associates for assistance with structured, acquisition and project finance. Team leader Mohamed Alem is the name to note for banking, finance and capital markets expertise.

Practice head(s):

Mohamed Alem

Badri and Salim El Meouchi LLP

Badri and Salim El Meouchi LLP is well known for its PPP and project financing capabilities. The firm has quickly adapted to the current circumstances in Lebanon and supports international as well as domestic clients with  issues such as recapitalization and foreign exchange matters. Managing partner Chadia El Meouchi shares the banking and finance lead with Carine Farran, who expertly advises on financing instruments and funds matters as well as capital markets. The strong team also includes top banking expert Salim El Meouchi and Walid Honein, who concentrates on project finance.

Practice head(s):

Chadia El Meouchi; Carine Farran

Other key lawyers:

Salim El Meouchi; Walid Honein; Samia El Meouchi

Testimonials

‘BSM is one of the most established, most respected law firms in the region. The width and breadth of their experience in bank finance work is impressive.’

‘Chadia El Meouchi is certainly one of the leading lawyers in Lebanon and the Middle East. Very client-focused with an exceptional legal skill set, Chadia constantly delivers a flawless work product. She is our counsel of choice for Lebanon.’

Key clients

Banque Misr Liban

GazpromBank

Holdal Group

Saint-Gobain Middle East

Construction Development Company International

Projects Development Company

Intel

Fransabank

Audi Saradar Private Bank

Macquarie Airfinance

PriceWaterhouseCoopers

Chedid Law Offices in association with Dentons

With its international connections and cross-border capabilities, Chedid Law Offices in association with Dentons is well placed to undertake the representation of banks and non-financial institutions in debt financing transactions as well as financing restructurings and related regulatory assistance. Elias Chedid, who is also the managing partner of the firm, leads the banking and finance group with his international expertise. Capital markets work, regulatory banking questions and financial transactions are frequently handled by senior associate Georgette Salamé.

Practice head(s):

Elias Chedid

Other key lawyers:

Georgette Salamé

Testimonials

‘At Chedid Law, lawyers listen to their clients.’

‘Elias Chedid seeks meaningful feedback from his clients and acts on it. He is not simply a good lawyer present at a meeting, he is a great lawyer with a real presence in the meeting. He is innovative, has the capacity to take unusual but calculated risks that pay off. He has a spark that makes him willing to try something new whilst having the ability to join the dots between two different ideas or specialist areas of expertise or industries. He can and did achieve extraordinarily results for his clients.’

Abouhamad, Merheb, Chamoun, Chedid

On top of a specialism in bank mergers, Abouhamad, Merheb, Chamoun, Chedid is adept at handling credit facility agreements, corporate guarantees and regulatory matters. Antoine J. Merheb is the name to note.

Other key lawyers:

Antoine J. Merheb

Abousleiman & Partners

In addition to traditional banking and finance services, Abousleiman & Partners guides its clients through the new economic and financial framework in Lebanon, and is contributing to the re-examination of the banking sector in Lebanon regarding the reforms that are being envisaged. The firm is also active in capital markets, where it assists Lebanese banks with the offering of financial instruments and advises on tender offers to purchase existing outstanding securities. The group is jointly led by Randa Abousleiman and of counsel Marie-Jo Tabet, who specializes in investment fund work. Senior associate Patrick Obeid is particularly adept in advising on the restructuring of syndicated loans.

Practice head(s):

Randa Abousleiman; Marie-Jo Tabet

Other key lawyers:

Patrick Obeid

Testimonials

‘Abousleiman & Partners is among the best in the market with incredible responsiveness, very good market and industry knowledge, and to the point, commercially oriented advice.’

‘Randa Abousleiman is undoubtedly one of the best lawyers not only in Lebanon but in the Middle-East. Her legal and market knowledge is unparalleled. Extremely responsive and very client focused, she does make a difference on every matter we have worked with her on. ’

Key clients

Cigna International

American University of Beirut

Vantage Drilling

Qatar First Bank SAL

Credit Suisse

Fransabank Group

First National Bank Group

Obegi Consumer Products Group

IBL Group

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

BLC Bank SAL

JP Morgan

Morgan Stanley

Heineken International Beer B.V. and Brasserie Almaza SAL

Schindler Lebanon (an international global mobility provider)

The Council for the Development and Reconstruction

Blom Bank S.A.L.

Qatar National Bank S.A.L.

Arab Lebanese Insurance Group S.A.L.

The World Bank

Work highlights

  • Assisted Banque Audi SAL with enhancing its Tier 1 Capital by obtaining from its shareholders (common shares) cash contributions allocated to capital in United States Dollars, convertible into common shares
  • Advised Vantage Drilling Africa in the context of the drilling services to be conducted in the first exploratory oil and gas well in the Lebanese Maritimes waters
  • Advising General Engineering Technologies Group on the restructuring of its group from a legal and fiscal standpoint in order to achieve consolidation of the business and a more efficient business line stream. It entails the establishment of new holding companies and the transfer of certain shares.

El-Aref International Law Office

El-Aref International Law Office is a first choice for development banks as well as international banks looking to finance projects and transactions in the Middle East and beyond. Practice leader Aref El-Aref and his group not only assist lenders, but also borrowers, sponsors and other financing sources. His experience further entails advice on capital markets and regulatory securities matters. Associate Samantha Doumit handles questions surrounding banking and finance regulations including Central Bank regulations. The firm is well familiar with a wide range of debt products, asset-backed loans and secured and unsecured financing transactions.

Practice head(s):

Aref El-Aref

Other key lawyers:

Samantha Doumit

Testimonials

‘The team is knowledgeable with a solid background in project financing and good connections in the industry. ’

‘A sharp eye and attention to details as well as good with assessment skills in terms of possible arising obstacles and preventive measures. Ability to work in international and multidisciplinary contexts.’

‘Very good knowledge with a high level of customer engagement and relationship. ’

‘The team has substantial knowledge in Corporate Finance, Litigation, FI, M&A and Islamic Finance. They are working with local and international customers from Europe, ME and Africa.’

‘They continuously beat deadlines given to them. They are good negotiators that find creative solutions to issues. They are excellent problem solvers, tireless workers and are great at drafting. They always show a clear commitment to meet the clients requirements.’

‘Aref El-Aref is an excellent lawyer. He is brutally honest and does his best to help us out with any of our needs. He is a tireless worker that consistently delivers much more than is expected. In Lebanon, I have not met a better firm.’

Key clients

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

PROPARCO

Societe Generale

Saudi Fransi Bank

Qatar National Bank

Qatar Islamic Bank SAQ

Arab Finance House

TCQ Power Ltd.

Primesouth

Menatech Energy Ltd

STX Heavy Industries Ltd

First Bank of Nigeria

Work highlights

  • Advised Primesouth on an Export Credit Financing with China Ex-im Bank and Sinosure
  • Advised CEC Africa (Sierra Leone) Limited on a subordinated Development Loan Facility with a Fuel Supplier for the development of Fuel Terminal in Sierra Leone
  • Advised First Bank of Nigeria Ltd. on large term loan financing to a Borrower for energy project with Ministry of Works and Energy in Nigeria

Obeid Law Firm

Obeid Law Firm  assists clients with complex and innovative banking and finance mandates including those with cross-border elements. It is also expert in Islamic finance-related disputes, and frequently works with its litigators on international matters for both domestic and international clients. It is advising on Lebanese banking law in respect of the highly publicized case of Khalife vs Blom Bank which is pending before the English courts. More broadly, it also assists clients on credit export financing, restructuring and funds matters. Ziad Obeid and Marie Hayek co-head the practice.

Practice head(s):

 Ziad Obeid; Marie Hayek

Other key lawyers:

Louis-Philippe Lapicerella; Claude Comair

Hamdan Law Firm

Hamdan Law Firm traditionally entertains strong working relationships with private individuals throughout the GCC area. This is especially evident in the firm's banking and finance practice, where team, lead Abdel Ghani Hamdan, regularly advises foreign individuals on investments in Lebanon. The department also provides assistances to international banks in connection with credit facilities, interest rates, and bonds including Eurobonds.

Practice head(s):

Abdel Ghani Hamdan

Key clients

Ford

BBC World service Group

Volvo Car Corporation

Azadea Group

QNB Bank

Jaguar

Machrek Bank

World Claim Global Claim Management

Aimee

Crème 21

Gamma Solar Holding

Beit Misk Lebanon

PSG Academy Lebanon

Midea Commercial Agency Lebanon

Irish Technology Limited

Platinum Technologies Worldwide Limited

Tripoli Port Lebanon

IQ Option Europe Ltd.

SAAS Lawyers | Avocats

SAAS Lawyers | Avocats advises international as well as domestic financial institutions and demonstrate an excellent skill set in insurance law. The department surrounding Marwan Sakr and Abdo Abi Najem negotiates financing agreements, advises on financing instruments and is also well equipped to handle contentious work.

Practice head(s):

Marwan Sakr; Abdo Abi Najem

Key clients

Arope Insurance

Blom Bank France SA

Nest Investments Holding

Booz Allen Hamilton

Responsability Investments AG

The Lebanese Association for Development – Al Majmoua

Association of Insurance Companies of Lebanon

Chamoun Family Trust

Work highlights

  • Representing Nest Investments Holding in litigation related to money laundering, bank secrecy, banking regulation, Lebanese Central Bank relations and bank managers and auditors’ liability
  • Advising Al Majmoua on closing financing agreements with international financing entities
  • Advising Arope Insurance on reinsurance and financial products with affiliated banks and the obtention of regulated regulatory approvals