Firms To Watch: Real estate and construction (including projects)

Hage-Chahine Law Firm focuses on contentious construction matters and acts for developers, property owners and investors. The practice frequently works cross-border across the Middle East and Europe on the enforcement of arbitral awards.
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Firms in the Spotlight Real estate and construction (including projects)

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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Real estate and construction (including projects) in Lebanon

Abou Jaoude & Associates Law Firm

The projects team at Abou Jaoude & Associates Law Firm is active in the oil and gas, and renewable energy sectors particularly electricity, and handles a steady stream of procurement matters for clients. The team under the leadership of managing partner Carlos Abou Jaoude and partner Souraya Machnouk, also advises on energy contracts, project financings, and PPP projects. Regulatory work also features in the workload.

Key clients

Debbas Group

Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor A/S

Vestas

Indra Group

René Mouawad Foundation (RMF)

Expertise France

B.B. Energy Group

Laceco Architects & Engineers

Batimat Group

Benta Power Tech

Plus Properties Group

FFA Real Estate Sal

Mores SARLY

Libanpost

Malia Group

Work highlights

  • Advised leading Spanish energy group INDRA in consortium with Lebanese group IPENGPRO on a major project tendered by Electricité du Liban for the construction of a Monitoring Center for Lebanon involving a Central Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) System, Meter Data Management (MDM) systems, and Billing and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems.
  • Advised French public agency in consortium with the prominent René Mouawad Foundation (RMF) on the pioneer “Minjara project” in the context of the EU-financed Private Sector Development (PSD) Programme, consisting in establishing a first-of-its-kind platform and legal structure to support the wood processing and furniture sector in Tripoli-Lebanon.
  • Advised major energy group Debbas on the $200m renewal and extension of the DSP Contract with the Lebanese Government.

Alem & Associates

Alem & Associates handle real estate related transactions across the Middle East, underpinned by its regional presence across Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The team acts for international investors, contractors, and developers on large-scale project work, and is led by senior partner Mohamed Alem  and Rola Tabsh . On the construction side, companies instruct the team on various complex financing projects across the Gulf. Rana Kahwagi advises on contentious real estate and construction matters.

Practice head(s):

Mohamed Y. Alem; Rola Tabsh

Other key lawyers:

Rana Kahwagi

Key clients

Rikaz Properties

HAKA Group

Lucid Investment Bank

Legacy One

Badri and Salim El Meouchi LLP

At Badri and Salim El Meouchi LLP, the team remains active in PPPs and renewable energy projects, particularly solar and wind power across Lebanon. Under the leadership of Chadia El Meouchi  and Carine Farran, the group is handling several infrastructure projects including the Khalde expressway. Walid Honein  has project finance expertise and is based between Beirut and Doha. Oil and gas transactions also feature in the caseload.

Practice head(s):

Chadia El Meouchi; Carine Farran

Other key lawyers:

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 EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) as a part of an international consortium in the context of the pre-feasibility study for PPP project for the commercial development of the Kleiat airport that is currently used for military purposes.

El-Aref International Law Office

El-Aref International Law Office has a well rated real estate and projects practice and is highlighted for its international offering across the Middle East and Africa. Spearheaded by Aref El-Aref from Beirut, the group has considerable strength in project developments in the energy sector, PPPs and renewable energy transactions. Traditional oil and gas, solar, and wind also feature in the caseload. The team is instructed by an array of developers and sponsors on project management. Joanne Khneisser advises on project financing.

Practice head(s):

Aref El-Aref

Other key lawyers:

Joanne Khneisser

Testimonials

‘The El Aref team are hard workers, that are always dedicated to provide 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.’

Work highlights

  • Advised CEC Africa (Sierra Leone) Limited on EPC Contract with KEPCO Engineering and Construction Company for the development of power generation project in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Advised ICARDA on the EPC Contract for the design, procurement, construction, supply, delivery, erection, commissioning, renovation and testing of the Terbol Station in Zahle, Lebanon.
  • Advised Primesouth on EPC Contracts for projects related to energy efficiency improvement in Uzbekistan.

Obeid & Partners

Obeid & Partners is singled out for its strength in construction law, and regularly advises both Lebanese and international investors on high-end PPP projects. The team leverages its expertise in engineering law to advise on complex construction projects, design, and contractual work, and is overseen by practice head Ziad Obeid . Co-head Zeina Obeid is the name for contentious real estate work, and handles arbitrations relating to commercial property disputes. The team has seen increased activity in the power generation, electricity, and infrastructure areas. Gerhardt Will who was formerly General Counsel at Areva SA joined the Paris office, strengthening the firms position as projects expert in the EMEA region.

Practice head(s):

Ziad Obeid; Zeina Obeid

Other key lawyers:

Gerhardt Will

Boustany Law Offices

Boustany Law Offices handle energy projects, particularly natural resources and electricity matters, as well as oil and gas work. Managing partner Philippe Boustany  leads the group alongside energy law expert Lara Karam Boustany.

Practice head(s):

Philippe Boustany; Lara Karam Boustany

El-Khoury & Partners Legal Counsel (EKP)

Housed in Beirut with a regional presence across Riyadh and Dubai, the real estate practice at El-Khoury & Partners Legal Counsel (EKP) has a focus on the entire lifecycle of PPP projects, including its financings and operation. Overseen by Hadi Melki, the group’s sector strength remains in energy, social infrastructure, waste-to energy, and water. Associate Sahar Saad has over a decade of experience working in the Middle East and is recommended for projects and public sector work. The team also advises on regulatory matters. Scott Hutton in Dubai is also a noted practitioner.

Practice head(s):

Hadi Melki

Other key lawyers:

Sahar Saad; Scott Hutton

Testimonials

‘ Strong content knowledge and very collaborative approach. Team is very flexible and available at all times during the course of the engagement and built strong trust with 3rd party client’

‘A responsive, knowledgeable and commercial team. Clear and vital insights into the local market and a pleasure to deal with.’

‘We have worked with Hadi Melki for a some time now. He is always extremely responsive, knowledgeable about our industry, commercial in approach and most importantly for us, Hadi provides us with vital insights into the local market and what we need to operate there.’

‘Great team and professional and prompt support extended to me personally from EKP.’

‘What makes EKP stands out from the crowd is the quality of services they provide’

‘EKP service is comparable to international law firms; it has deep knowledge of middle eastern markets and has affordable rates compared to European or US peers’

‘Hadi Melki – Partner: very knowledgeable in PPP projects

‘The team’s strength is in its ability to provide tailored legal advice for their clients goals and prospects in the global market.’

‘Mr. Hadi Melki, has been one of the key partners at EKP Legal that has provided great legal advice for our endeavors in KSA and in the global market.’

Key clients

Motor Vehicle Inspection Technology

Saudi Fal Company

Work highlights

  • Advising Motor Vehicle Inspection Technology (MVI) on the negotiation of a Joint Venture Agreement with an Indian based company for the design, finance, construction, operation and maintenance of vehicles inspection stations in India.
  • Advising an international consortium Saudi Fal Company in connection with the bid, award and implementation of a project with the Government of Lebanon to operate transfer vehicles inspection stations in Lebanon.