Next Generation Partners

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 remain market leaders in the banking space and has an excellent reputation handling large capital markets transactions and financings. The experienced practice is regularly instructed by local and international banks and financial instructions on multi-million-dollar bond issuances, investment agreements, and syndicated loans. Managing partner Carlos Abou Jaoude leads the team with Souraya Machnouk.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Abou Jaoude

 

Other key lawyers:

Souraya Machnouk

Key clients

Credit Suisse

Central Bank of Lebanon

Special Investigation Commission

Bank for International Settlements

American Express (Amex)

First Abu Dhabi Bank

Arab Bank PLC

Banque Saudi FransiCommercial International Bank (CIB)

Bankmed Group

IBL Bank

FFA Private Bank

Saradar Bank

Arab Finance Corporation (AFC)

BLC Bank

Fransabank Group

The Luxury Fund (TLF)

Western Union

AstroBank

Ernst & Young LLP

Deloitte LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised leading Lebanese bank IBL on the first-of-its kind $100m issuance of subordinated bonds with a unique interest payment structure in the context of new highly complex capital adequacy regulations to tackle Lebanon’s unprecedented banking crisis.
  • Advised the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) on highly complex FX and fixed-term deposits transactions with the Central Bank of Lebanon (BDL) governed by the BIS’ global general terms of business for banking customers.
  • Advised American Express (Amex) on complex transactions under their card-member agreements with Lebanese counterparties involving the repayment of amounts in “fresh”/“local” US Dollars and Lebanese pounds amidst Lebanon’s financial crisis.

Alem & Associates

Housed in Beirut with offices in Dubai and Riyadh, the banking team at Alem & Associates handle domestic and international transactions for clients, and holds various banks and investment funds as key clients. Senior partner Mohamed Y Alem  leads the practice and advises on high-value insolvency related work and complex compliance matters. The key contact in Saudi Arabia for capital markets transaction and private equity is Omar El Assir .

Practice head(s):

Mohamed Y. Alem

Other key lawyers:

Omar El Assir

Testimonials

‘They have a high level of skill. We met A&A because of several insurance claims, and we found a very high level of professionalism starting from the first approach to the file, arriving at the closure. They employ specialized lawyers for each step of the job. So, they can arrange a specific team as per the problem they are handling.’

‘Each one we met has a highly professional approach.’

Key clients

Lucid Investment Bank

Societe Generale Private Banking

Nomura International Plc

JP Morgan

Goldman Sachs

Badri and Salim El Meouchi LLP

At Badri and Salim El Meouchi LLP, the banking practice is skilled in various forms of financings, particularly across the projects and PPP areas. The team is frequently the firm of choice as Lebanese counsel alongside international law firms on large infrastructure projects including the Khalde expressway deal. Managing partner Chadia El Meouchi  oversees the team alongside Carine Farran who specializes in cross-border transactions for banks and investment funds. Other key players include Salim El Meouchi  and Walid Honein  who is recommended for project finance.

Practice head(s):

Chadia El Meouchi; Carine Farran

Other key lawyers:

Salim El Meouchi; Walid Honein

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

Work highlights

  • Advising the EBRD, as lead Lebanese legal counsel working along an international lead consultant, in the two PPP projects: Okaibe – Khalde expressway and the development of the Kleiat airport.
  • Led on the global and China structuring of Leaplearner, an education technology company, closed a $5.5m fundraising from investors in China, Lebanon, Singapore and the United States.
  • Advised on the expansion and development of Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport.

Chedid Law Offices in association with Dentons

At Chedid Law Offices in association with Dentons, the team is able to leverage its international offices to handle large cross-border banking mandates and capital markets transactions under the leadership of managing partner Elias Chedid. The team advises investment funds and large regional banks on refinancing matters, foreign exchange issues, and regulatory work. Senior associate Georgette Salamé is a noted practitioner and is recommended for private equity work.

Practice head(s):

Elias Chedid

Other key lawyers:

Georgette Salamé

Abousleiman & Partners

Abousleiman & Partners has a strong capital markets practice with strength in handling regional and local IPOs. Led by Randa Abousleiman and Counsel Marie-Jo Tabet, the team acts for Lebanese banks, issuers, and investment funds across the banking landscape in Beirut and the Middle East. Energy and real estate are key areas of activity. The team faced one departure with experienced senior associate Patrick Obeid leaving for Meysan Partners.

Practice head(s):

Randa Abousleiman; Marie-Jo Tabet

El-Aref International Law Office

At El-Aref International Law Office, the group is highlighted for its project finance experience, particularly across large infrastructure projects in the Middle East and North Africa region. The group handles financing transactions, regulatory securities work, and capital markets under the leadership of practice head Aref El-Aref . Senior associate Joanne Khneisser is a key contact and supports acquisition finance deals. International banks and developers form the client roster.

Practice head(s):

Aref El-Aref

Other key lawyers:

Joanne Khneisser

Testimonials

‘The team is very professional and punctual. They accommodate our needs even in difficult circumstances.’

‘Strengths – the level of honesty of the team, their understanding of the background as well as depth of knowledge.’

‘The team is knowledgeable with deep understanding of the law (Commercial, Corporate Finance and Litigation). We started working in 2017 with Aref and we are confident that his legal opinion and review of documentation are up to international standards. Furthermore, he has a large base of partners around the world that helped us in other transactions out side Lebanon’

‘I can confirm that El Aref Law Firm, the teams and individual lawyers have abilities, capabilities, knowledge and the expertise to provide  to the point,  clear legal opinions. We are very satisfied with the service provided.’

‘The El Aref team are hard workers, they are always dedicated to providing the client with all their requirements before any deadlines. Aref, in particular, is an extremely hard worker. Their billing system is great. The company truly believes in gender diversity and are very well respected by their peers.’

‘Aref EL Aref, is a fantastic lawyer, a tireless worker, a creative problem solver and a bona fide nice guy. He is by far the best lawyer in the country.’

Obeid & Partners

Obeid & Partners has a focus on cross-border transactions, particularly amidst the ongoing financial crisis in Lebanon. Jointly managed by Ziad Obeid  and Marie Hayek who holds various international brands as key clients, the practice advises large regional banks on various securitization matters, restructurings, and export finance transactions. Islamic finance related litigations remains a specialty for the team.

Practice head(s):

Ziad Obeid; Marie Hayek

Abouhamad, Merheb, Chamoun, Chedid

Led by Antoine Merheb, the group at Abouhamad, Merheb, Chamoun, Chedid specialise in bank mergers and advises leading Lebanese banks. Investment and regulatory matters also feature in the workload. Nassib J Chedid  is also a key contact.

Practice head(s):

Antoine Merheb

Other key lawyers:

Nassib Chedid

Airut Law Offices

At Airut Law Offices, the banking team is jointly managed by Charles Airut and Serge Airut, and has a focus on multi-purpose financings for large manufacturing clients. The team works cross-border across the Middle East and the Balkans on transactional work. A number of new associates joined the firm including from MENA City Lawyers and PwC LLP.

Practice head(s):

Charles Airut; Serge Aurit

Key clients

Kingdom Holding (Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bin AbdelAziz)

Movenpick Hotel Beirut

Bahaa Rafic Hariri Group N ABC Mall N Four Seasons Hotel Beirut N Bank of Beirut SAL N IBL Bank SAL

Credit Libanais SAL

Lebanese American University (LAU)

Lebanese American University Medical Center – Rizk Hospital (LAUMC-RH)

Algorithm SAL

Societe Moderne Libanaise pour le Commerce SAL (Bottler N of Pepsi, Lipton Ice Tea)

Cookpad Inc.

Tahseen Khayat Group

BNK Holding (Bader Nasser Al Kharafi)

Biomass SAL

Philip Morris International (PMI)

Midis Group

BMB International

Etablissements Khalil Fattal et Fils SAL

Hakawati Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised the borrower F&B Venture Holding SAL (owner of Taanayel Les Fermes and Bonjus) on negotiations and reviewing the term-loans agreements and securities documentatioN.
  • Advising Garnet Publishing Limited with Astro Bank Cyprus for being granted credit facilitiesas well as addressing compliance matters.

Hamdan Law Firm

At Hamdan Law Firm, the banking team operates across the GCC region and advises on both domestic and international financings for clients. The team handles transactional work, foreign investments and bonds, particularly Eurobonds. Practice head Abdel Ghani Hamdan is the contact for inbound investments matters.

Practice head(s):

Abdel Ghani Hamdan

Testimonials

‘Very responsive and commercial approach.’

‘Abdel Ghani Hamdan is my main point of contact, and takes a very practical approach to business matters.’

SAAS Lawyers | Avocats

SAAS Lawyers | Avocats advises regional banks and international financial institutions on banking-related litigation and compliance. Overseen by Abdo Abi Najem  and arbitration expert Marwan Sakr, the team stands out for its work on contentious cases and sector strength in insurance.

Practice head(s):

Abdo Abi Najem

Other key lawyers:

Marwan Sakr