Abou Jaoude & Associates Law Firm is well placed to handle large cross-border transactions and complex restructurings for large multinationals. The team is known for its pharmaceutical sector work headed by Simon El Kai, and counts Moderna as a key client amidst the ongoing- Covid-19 crisis in Lebanon; El Kai also heads up the corporate offering. Souraya Machnouk leads the M&A team at the firm. Managing partner Carlos Abou Jaoude and Ibrahim Barraj are likewise recommended.
Firms in the Spotlight Commercial, corporate and M&A
Commercial, corporate and M&A in Lebanon
Other key lawyers:
Chevron (Al Khalij)
Elie Saab Group
Fadaat Media Group
Doctors without Borders
- Advised renowned businessman Carlos Ghosn on the multi-million acquisition of an equity stake in the“Save-Our-Startups” Fund (SOS Fund) which aims to invest in 13 pioneer tech start-ups operating out of Lebanon through a highly complex structure involving 4 distinct dual- currency financing rounds of “fresh” and “local” US Dollars among the participating investors.
- Advised Moderna on the regulatory framework governing the distribution of their Covid-19 vaccine in Lebanon, including advertising, registration, labelling and pharmacovigilance under complex healthcare sector regulations.
- Advised Benta on the multi-million cross-border acquisition of a pharmaceutical plant in France involving a highly complex government-supported reorganization plan.
Alem & Associates brings together a cross-border team spanning Riyadh and Dubai to advise on corporate transactions and M&A. Overseen by senior partner Mohamed Alem, the group is active in advising on the corporate structures of project developments and PPP projects. Managing partner Rola Tabsh who also serves as a member of the Lebanese Parliament, is also a key member of the team handling international transactions, particularly in the real estate and construction area.
Mohamed Y. Alem; Rola Tabsh
‘The team is very coherent and diversified in specialities yet at the same time when you have many different activities at one time you still feel you are dealing with one team’
‘They take each case at heart and you truly feel that you are in safe hands whilst at the same time you have a very strong force behind you’
Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe Limited
Uber Netherlands BV
Beirut Chamber of Commerce
Lebanese Economic Organizations
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Lebanese Association for Certified Public Accountants
Radian Oil & Gas Services Company
Public Health Invesment Ltd
General Electric Company
GLB Invest SAL Offshore
Booz Allen Hamilton Lebanon SARL
- Advising stakeholders through a grant from EBRD on the legal and regulatory requirements for designing, building and operating a 300MW solar farm in the Tufail area in the Bekaa Valley.
At Badri and Salim El Meouchi LLP, the well-regarded banking group is jointly managed by Chadia El Meouchi and Carine Farran from Beirut, and handles an assortment of transactions and corporate advisory work. Main strengths for the team include advising foreign clients on entry into the Lebanese markets, commercial contracts, and investments. Salim Meouchi remains the preeminent practitioner in the team.
Chadia El Meouchi; Carine Farran
Other key lawyers:
‘Amazing customer service and reactivity. Quick to understand our needs and extremely efficient and clear in their advice. They have taken gender equality to a whole other level and this is testimony to great leadership and an amazing culture. Offering pro-bono services to non-profits despite the economic crisis shows their engagement in their community and a culture that is quite unique.’
‘Chadia Meouchi (Managing Partner) and Carine Farran (Deputy Managing Partner) must be the most knowledgeable and professional lawyers I’ve ever worked with during my 24 years of experience working in the US, Europe, Asia and now Lebanon. They are always go above and beyond what we ask of them. It is very rare for lawyers not to be focused on billing time and to be so generous with their time and advice, even when they are completely overworked.’
Banque Misr Liban
Saint-Gobain Middle East
Construction Development Company International
Projects Development Company
Audi Saradar Private Bank
- Advised on the expansion and development of Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport.
- Advising the EBRD, as lead Lebanese legal counsel working along an international lead consultant, in the context of two PPP projects.
- Advised on the global and China structuring of Leaplearner, an education technology company.
Despite market challenges, Chedid Law Offices in association with Dentons remains a solid firm and is instructed by telecoms giants on various corporate mandates including commercial contracts, market entry, and transactional work. Practice head Elias Chedid retains his sector strength in the energy, technology, and media areas and is noted for his strategic advice. He is supported by senior associate Georgette Salamé. Anti-corruption matters are dealt with by seasoned practitioner Raymond Chedid.
Other key lawyers:
Georgette Salamé; Raymond Chedid.
Highlighted for its international transactional strength, the corporate team at El-Aref International Law Office advises global giants, investment banks, and public sector clients on large M&A matters in the Lebanese market. Under the leadership of Aref El-Aref who is a ‘fantastic lawyer’ according to clients, the team is often co-counsel alongside international law firms on multi-million dollar acquisitions and joint venture matters. Associate Nathalie Awada has experience handling cross-border mergers across Europe and the Middle East.
Aref El Aref
Other key lawyers:
‘Highly approachable, client/customer centric, and solution driven.’
‘We have instructed the firm since 1997 and we feel safe when we assign them a case, project or transaction. The results we’ve got are amazing and the most important, is the value of money, it is really reasonable compared with other firms in the region.’
‘Aref El Aref, Katia Daou and Mohamed Ramadan are the three individuals that I’ve dealt with. They are available 24/7 and we feel the personal touch in their dedicated work; they are very qualified and have great knowledge in terms of International Standards. In short such talented , precise and reliable people are stand outs and our work is in safe hands.’
‘EL Aref Law firm is very dedicated to deliver the best product. They are professional and knowledgeable. They are committed to excellence, have the ability to adapt, are very resourceful and well-connected within the industry.’
‘The team is very knowledgeable and have expertise with clear and simplified legal opinion. Lawyers are ready to support, explain and clarify the legal opinion or legal advisory work. They have a clear focus on customer service and quality of service. They are flexible on fees and payments.’
‘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.’
Rotana Audio Visual, LLC.
World Fuel Services Corporation
- Advised Rotana in connection with the sale of minority stake to Warner Music.
- Advised TCQ Power on private placement investment by Fuel Supplier in project equity interest in a power generation project in Sub-Saharan Africa.
- Advised sponsor Primesouth on sale of equity stake and Project interests related to power generation projects in the Middle East.
Abousleiman & Partners
At Abousleiman & Partners, the practice is active in handling corporate transactions across the GCC region and beyond for several domestic and foreign clients. Practice head Randa Abousleiman remains the key name. Ghina El-Zibawi who was noted for her banking expertise has now left the firm for a senior legal counsel position with Majid Al Futtaim.
Randa Abousleiman; Marie-Jo Tabet
American University of Beirut
Qatar First Bank SAL
First National Bank Group
Obegi Consumer Products Group
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
BLC Bank SAL
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
- Advised on the acquisition by MERIT of 100% of the Lebanese nut-retailing company, the Rifai Group, a market leader in the nuts and appetizers business.
- Advised on the acquisition by Rentokil of Boecker World Holding, a Middle-East environmental health business.
Managing partner Ziad El-Khoury oversees the corporate team atEl-Khoury & Partners Legal Counsel (EKP) which handles cross-border regional transactions for both local and foreign investor clients. Major corporations, particularly in the pharmaceutical sector, instruct the firm on regional expansion and market entry matters. Bassem Chalhoub is the name for corporate restructuring matters. In Saudi Arabia, the main contact remains Wissam Hassem who co-heads the practice. The team has strengthened its capacity with several partner hires including Scott Hutton from Squire Patton Boggs.
Ziad El-Khoury; Wissam Hachem
Other key lawyers:
‘Hadi Melki did a fantastic job!’
‘Intelligent diligence, attention to details and sound advise based on profound knowledge of both global and domestic markets.’
‘Pleasant, professional, cultured and patient with excellent grasp of industry nuances’
‘The team at EKP is extremely knowledgeable in many areas of the law. They are always available to assist us with a legal opinion whether it is commercial, workplace, governance, government or other areas of the law. They have high availability and always reply to enquiries in a timely manner.’
‘The most important aspect of dealing with EKP, other than their legal experience, is their availability. They are always a phone call away and happy to give opinion on the fly when needed. A special mention to Ziad El Khoury and Bassem Chalhoub who are extremely dedicated to our business and have assisted us in many of our legal needs over the last few years.’
M&C Saatchi MENA
Mideast Data Systems (MDS) Group
Skin Society SAL
G Management SAL
Health Essentials SAL
Posh Investment Holdings (Lebanon) PTE. Ltd
- Advising M&C Saatchi MENA on various growth initiatives across the ME region, restructuring of the Saatchi and related Quantum Groups in regions.
- Advising Mideast Data Systems (MDS) Group on corporate and tax structure, compliance and policies, and various commercial projects in KSA.
- Assisting the founders of Skin Society SAL by incorporating the company and advising on the most efficient corporate and tax structure in order to carry out their business in Lebanon.
HNS LEGAL was established in summer 2022 following a merger between Hayat Law and NSP Legal. Key names on the corporate side include Ali El Maoula, Joseph Nasrallah and Jad Skaff, who splits his time between Lebanon and the UAE. Nassim Riachi is a key contact for commercial work and Mia Chbeir is the name for franchising agreements. The group has sector strength in TMT and advises on local investment work, day-to-day regulatory work, and corporate finance matters for clients in the energy and media industries.
Ali El Maoula; Joseph Nasrallah; Jad Skaff
Other key lawyers:
Nassim Riachi; Mia Chbeir
‘Jad Skaff leads a very capable team in Lebanon. He has a deep understanding of the local legal market and custom. He is able to provide insightful advice beyond the black letter of the law, therefore informing strategies in a meaningful way that truly adds value. He is responsive, detailed and pragmatic’.
‘Jad Skaff is a very capable partner in the practice. Clients like him, he is an excellent local counsel and we feel we gain a deeper understanding of local legal practices and customs – including how courts approach matters and apply the law.’
‘International law firm experience helps the firm understand how to deal with complex matters and simple things which can be a struggle in this market such as sticking to deadlines. The partners have done a tremendous job in navigating a very difficult situation in Lebanon to be able to deliver their services seamlessly.’
‘Jad Skaff stands out as a voice of knowledge and experience in transactional work in Lebanon and consistently delivers.’
‘Professional and efficient. Jad Skaff and Joseph Nassrallah, Innovative thinking and accrued experience’
‘The team of the firm is very much integrated under the supervision of the partner Joseph Nasrallah. The firm is very reliable and provides its services in an efficient and timely way. Speediness and quality are definitely something that distinguishes the firm compared to the other ones in the region. NSP Legal meets Western standards.’
‘Joseph Nasrallah is an outstanding lawyer with strong commercial ability and communication skills. When he is on a deal you definitely feel accompanied and on the safe side.’
‘The team is made up of highly professional and courteous people who take the time to understand the business before offering their valued advice. The personal care given to us as a firm has been exceptional and we truly value all the advice that they provide us, let alone the regular legal work.’
‘We work very closely with Jad Skaff who gives us all the attention we need, despite his role as a Partner. We value the kindness and true commitment to our business and his experience allows for us to grow with the firm together. He stood by us in difficult times and we appreciate all the flexibility he offered.’
‘Hayat Law’s main strength lies in its partners, especially the Managing Partner, Ali El Maoula (as explained below).
‘Hayat has recently upgraded it’s tech capabilities. This allowed us to have good virtual contact and meetings without any glitches or issues. In terms of diversity, Hayat Law’s team is composed of a majority of accomplished female associates. Overall the team is diverse on all levels, including gender, legal and social backgrounds’
‘Ali el Maoula, Managing Partner at Hayat is outstanding. Mr. Maoula prioritizes the quality of the product delivered by the firm. Him and his team of associates always showed to be on top of the matters assigned to them.
Mr. Maoula has also proven to be a very strong legal strategist, with creative and innovative legal approaches.’
‘Hayat Law’s practice is unique thanks to the exceptional level of professionalism and dedication it never fails to deliver, which is exactly what a client looks for in a law firm. This firm, as opposed to other Lebanese Law firms, was particularly able, during the pandemic to maintain the same level of excellence even though the whole country was on lock-down. This was facilitated by the fact that their system, library and archives are on online easily accessible and secure platforms.’
‘I mostly work with Me Ali el Maoula. His integrity and hard focused work are the main assets the firm’s values rely on . His advising style is extremely direct and client oriented, with a peculiar attention to details.’
National Aviation Services Group
Tech Hub SAL
BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP
AdDelshaw Goddard (Middle East) LLP
Coty Middle East FZCO
P.O. Tech: Paths of Technology
Initiativez Management Consultants
Tri-Sat Communication Company
- Advised a leading Dubai-based consumer goods company on a $14bn corporate restructuring and intra-group transition.
- Advised Al Kabida/Sama, a leading broadcast company, on the launch of “Sama Flix”, a new Lebanese IPTV platform, which involves the delivery of television content over the internet.
- Retained by Bitar Group, a large Lebanese holding company to manage several corporate and restructuring projects, as well as develop a new commercial and sales platform in Dubai, as part of its international expansion.
Highlighted as ‘exceptional’, the well-established corporate practice at Law Offices of Naoum Farah handles commercial transactions, and restructurings for national clients, with specialty in terrestrial and TV broadcasting issues. Managing partner Naoum Farah is the name for M&A and is supported by overall head of the corporate group; Marie José Chemaly. Employment matters also feature in the caseload including advising on staff reorganizations and individual contracts. Yara Wakim is the expert on hospitality law.
Naoum Farah; Marie José Chemaly; Yara Wakim
‘Very good knowledge of both, the Lebanese different laws & the international laws for matters relating to commercial activities.’
‘Availability & quick advice on important matters by Naoum Farah and Yara Wakim.’
‘One of the better legal practice in Lebanon, clients are treated not as cash machine. communication with the client is exceptional complicated legal issue are clearly explained in terms that are understood.’
‘I have only has to deal with Naoum Farah and Yara Wakeem and both were exceptional.’
‘Naoum Farah is very responsive and experience in commercial matters.’
IBL Bank (Intercontinental Bank of Lebanon sal)
Mr. Yordan Obegi (Obegi group )
Bellevue Medical Center (BMC)” Hospital
G. Bazerji et Fils (GBF) sal (Nabil Bazerji)
Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International sal (LBCI)
G.A. Bazerji & Sons SAL (GABS) (Nabil Bazerji)
T.G.F Holding sal
TGF (Toufic Gargour and Fils) sal
GHSA (GARGOUR HOLDINGS S.A.) Luxembourg
Joseph Khoury Holding sal
SOFIDAL Holding sal (Assad Dagher)
Burotec (Michel Nadim)
Georges Hakim Group
- advises one of the major shareholders in a large business family group (Obegi group) in various sectors (industrial, banking, food and design) on several legal matters.
- Advising on the restructuring and reorganization of Sofidal Holding established in Lebanon, Europe and Africa.
- Advised Lebanese bank IBL Bank on all legal matters related to its activity.
Obeid & Partners routinely advises both large Lebanese clients and blue-chip companies on a range of transactional matters and acquisitions. The team is active in the healthcare and technology sector and is singled out for its expertise in insurance and re-insurance work. Practice head Ziad Obeid in Beirut manages the team alongside Counsel Marie Hayek who splits her time between Beirut and Paris, and is often co-counsel with international law firms. The team is supported by a handful of experienced associates. Zeina Obeid is also a noted practitioner.
Marie Hayek; Ziad Obeid
Other key lawyers:
- Advising on the largest global coffee alliance between STARBUCKS and NESPRESSO.
- Advising ASTELLAS PHARMA, a major Japanese pharmaceutical company, regarding the structure of its operations in Lebanon.
- On the instructions of KPMG International, the firm has advised on the acquisition of a Lebanese business comprising of a PCC and an offshore joint stock company.
The corporate finance team at Eptalex – Aziz Torbey Law Firm focuses on restructurings, financings, and commercial contracts and is led by managing partner Ramy Torbey and Marie Maalouly Torbey . The firm has been involved in a number of high-profile matters across the banking and insurance sectors for a ready stream of clients, particularly amidst the current financial crisis. Aline Tanielian is also a key contact for arbitration work.
Ramy Torbey; Marie Torbey; Aline Tanielian
‘The team is young, entrepreneurial and has wide presence in the market. Ramy is a close friend and a strong lawyer’
- Assisting the majority shareholder in a major Lebanese financial institutions in recapitalizing their share capital in the bank by 20% in accordance with Circular 532 of Lebanon’s Central Bank (Banque Du Liban).
- Advised on the reinsurance coverage of one of the world’s leading hotel chains’ damages following the Beirut August 4th blast for an initial claim of approximately $100m.
At Hamdan Law Firm, the corporate practice group is jointly managed by Abdel Ghani Hamdan (who is based between Beirut and Paris) and managing partner Ahmad Hamdan, and advises investors, banks, and large companies on contractual obligations, project developments, and foreign investment. GCC high-net-worth individuals also instruct the team on various contentious issues. Valérie Gouttebaron is the key name for French clients.
Abdel Ghani Hamdan; Ahmad Hamdan
Other key lawyers:
MENA City Lawyers
MENA City Lawyers’ corporate practice group advises both domestic and foreign clients on all matters related to sales and purchases. The team is led by a trio of partners including Fady Jamaleddine , Mirvat Mostafa , and Corinne Baaklini who is noted for franchising and distribution work. Other key areas of work include commercial contracts and joint venture agreements.
Fady Jamaleddine; Mirvat Mostafa; Corinne Baaklini
Obeid & Medawar Law Firm LLP
Obeid & Medawar Law Firm LLP handles region wide transactions across the UAE and Saudi Arabia for an assortment of blue-chip companies. Amer F. Obeid has experience in emerging markets and advises investors, banks, and insurance companies across Lebanon. Co-head of the group Rachad A. Medawar advises on mergers with a specialty on tax law. The firm opened a new office in Dubai which has bolstered its regional presence.
Amer Obeid; Rachad Medawar
‘Rachad Medawar’s competence is one of the best I’ve come across in the field. He was very fast in turning around on several items in our work. Communication and responsiveness were beyond my expectations.’
‘Obeid & Medawar has the most qualified team in town. They are very professional and very experiencedLawyer:Amer Obeid is the best deal maker in town, he always puts his clients interest as a top priority. Ms. Zeina Azzi is an excellent and brilliant young lawyer. She is very devoted to her clients.’
‘Respond quickly to email and always ready to address our legal queries swiftly. They handle the corporate finance in a good manner when it comes to M&A and have a permanent presence in the UAE.’
‘The firm culture is very strong, and through their international expansion and relocation of some of the senior staff, the dedication and attention remained intact.’
‘Amer Obeid’s continuous drive and interest in expending his knowledge.’
Add Mind SA
Advanced Lines Group
AEM Holding SAL
Aton Capital Markets Limited (ADGM)
B.O.T Bridge Outsource Transform SAL
Beyond your limits events LLC
Beyond your luck Offshore SAL
Blink Experience LLC
Chez Sami SAL Holding
Clap Milano SA (Italy)
Clinique du Levant SAL
Crown Services SAL
Crystal Mountain SAL
Cumberland Insurance and Reinsurance SAL
Ebtikar Venture Capital (ADGM)
Em Sherif SAL
Em Sherif Cafe SAL
Em Sherif By the Sea SAL
French Consulate in Lebanon
General TV Production FZ LLC
Global Blue SAL
Hussein Madi Foundation
INEVERT GLOBAL LTD
Inventis Services SAL
Inventis Corporation Offshore SAL
Jordan Company for Lottery Development and Management
Lavajet Holding Ltd – ADGM
Lavajet KSA LLC
Legacy Line Family office
M Group SAL
Maram Foundation (Lie.)
Maria Group SAL
Megastores of Lebanon SAL – Virgin Megastores
Menzies Middle East and Africa Offshore SAL
Middle East Venture Fund L.P or MEVF I
Middle East Venture Partners or MEVP
Nebula X Gaming SAL
Nebula X Gaming Ltd (UK)
Sauce Capital Investments SPV LTD
Societe de Gestion Des Restaurants SAL
Team Nine Boats
The Building Block Equity Fund Sicar
The Health Bank DMCC
The Impact Fund by MEVP
The Summit Lounge SAL
Total Care Lebanon SAL
Two Floors Restaurants and Café LLC
Yap Holding Limited (UAE+ UAE Freezones)
Zaarour Club SAL
- Advised and assisted Lavajet Group, on the restructuring of their branches in different territories: Lebanon, UAE, KSA, Qatar, Oman, Morocco.
- Advised the Jordan Company for Lottery Development and Management in negotiating the terms of the concession agreement with the government with regards to the implementation and creation and sale of the lottery business in Jordan.
- Advised Nebula X Gaming a Limited (UK) on day-to-day support to the client with regards to structuring, funding, incorporation and set-up of one of the most promising e-gaming platforms in the region.