Next Generation Partners

Islamic finance in London

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP‘s strong team in London forms an integral part of the firm’s global Islamic finance practice, which has practitioners spread across its European, Middle East and Asia offices. Cutting across banking, project finance, funds and tax, the scope of the work is broad and regularly includes advice to Islamic banks, export credit agencies and corporate borrowers. Jamie Durham regularly advises on sukuk capital markets transactions, often working alongside the firm’s Dubai and Abu Dhabi offices.

Other key lawyers:

Jamie Durham

Work highlights


    Benefitting from ‘a deep knowledge of Islamic finance’ out of London, as well as from its Middle East offices, Ashurst is ‘excellent at bringing together cross-border and cross-discliplinary teams to deliver a seamless service to clients’, including banks (both conventional and Islamic), funds and government institutions. The scope of the work is broad and includes Sharia-compliant capital markets and structured financing transactions, as well as a considerable amount of Islamic finance-related structures underpinning project finance mandates. Team head Conor Funston is ‘able to interpret and apply Sharia principles in a very commercial way’, including in accordance with the market he is operating in, and is also effective at adapting structures rapidly to changing regulations. As well as his regular transactional work, which includes a considerable amount of Islamic finance-related debt capital markets mandates, Funston also handles big-ticket ad-hoc projects, including his advice to the Bank of England on the establishment of its Alternative Liquidity Facility (which has taken deposits from participating UK-based Islamic banks for the first time). 

    Practice head(s):

    Conor Funston



    They have a deep knowledge of Islamic finance. Many other firms dabble – they have a dedicated team of experts.’

    The firm is excellent at bringing together cross-border and cross-discliplinary teams in a way to deliver a seamless service to the client.’

    ‘Conor Funston stands out. He has a truly impressive knowledge of Sharia structures and is able to interpret and apply Sharia principles in a very commercial way. He is also impressive at adapting structures quickly to changing regulations.’

    Key clients

    Bank of England

    BNP Paribas

    Goldman Sachs


    Nomura International PLC

    National Center for Privatization and PPP

    DP World

    Tokeny Luxembourg


    Vision Invest

    Red Sea Gateway Terminal Company Limited

    Al Mutlaq Group

    Gulf International Bank

    Al Rajhi Bank

    Saudi British Bank

    Saudi National Bank

    Alinma Bank

    ACWA Power

    Work highlights

    • Advised the Bank of England on the establishment of its Alternative Liquidity Facility for UK-based Islamic banks.
    • Advised a private equity firm on the establishment of a major Sharia-compliant European focused fund.
    • Advised a leading international bank on the structuring and private placement of Sharia-compliant structured products.


    Acting on its own, as well as frequently in conjunction with lawyers based out of the firm’s Dubai and Abu Dhabi offices, Dentons provides a strong service to both conventional and Islamic banks, primarily in relation to capital markets mandates. Team head Matthew Sapte has vast transactional experience, both in terms of sukuk bond issuances, as well as in relation to derivates and structured products – where his expertise is regularly sought after by banks developing templates and structured products. Yusuf Battiwala joined Norton Rose Fulbright in March 2022.

    Practice head(s):

    Matthew Sapte

    Other key lawyers:

    Paul Holland; Alex Tostevin

    Key clients


    Emirates NBD Capital

    Emirates Islamic Bank

    Dubai Islamic Bank

    Arab Banking Corporation

    Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank

    First Abu Dhabi Bank

    Leonteq Securities AG

    Foot Anstey

    Foot Anstey‘s standalone five-partner South West-based practice provides ‘a holistic and commercial approach’ to banks, investors and corporates seeking to utilise a variety of Islamic finance structures. Key to the firm’s success has been ‘level headed and calm’ team head Imam Qazi who has built an ‘amazing team up from scratch’, and leads from the front by dint of the ‘wealth of experience‘ he has gained over the years handling a tremendous flow of work primarily in the real estate sector, one of the core areas of focus for the firm as a whole. The ‘incredibly smart and commercial’ Zahir Nayani has also played a key role in shaping the firm’s success in the market; as well as expertly handling Sharia compliant real estate finance products, he has also managed and executed several major LIBOR-transition projects for Islamic banks. Other key individuals include London-based consultant Michael Evans, who specialises in advising on the tax-related aspects of Islamic financial structures for high-net-worth-individuals and banks; Exeter-based head of retail financial services, Alan Hughes, who is adept at advising Islamic banks and fintech startups on the regulatory implications of any new products; and managing associate Lingxi Wang, who handles a significant amount of Islamic finance-related work for East Asian clients. All named practitioners are based in Bristol unless otherwise indicated.

    Practice head(s):

    Imam Qazi

    Other key lawyers:

    Zahir Nayani; Alan Hughes; Michael Evans; Karl Bradford; Nick Loewendahl; Lingxi Wang; Kate Heard; Laura Auterio


    The team provides a holistic and commercial approach which is of great value.’

    ‘The team has a comprehensive understanding of Islamic finance and structures.’

    ‘The team is very knowledgeable and provides good practical advice and guidance.’

    A very experienced team that provides an unbelievable service. They have always shown an exemplary level of service and dedication, more importantly understanding the business needs from all sides.’

    Imam Qazi has built an amazing team from scratch and this is demonstrated by the fact that they have retained their core staff over a number of years ensuring continuity.’

    Imam Qazi is very level headed and calm. He has a wealth of experience and knowledge gained in Islamic finance through the multiple transactions he has been a part of.’

    Zahir Nayani is an incredibly smart lawyer with a close eye on the commercial aspects of legal decision making.’

    Zahir Nayani and Kate Heard are very approachable, responsive and knowledgeable.’

    Key clients

    Gatehouse Bank

    QIB (UK) plc

    Bank of London and the Middle East

    ABC International Bank plc

    Nester Holdings Ltd

    Black Sand Real Estate W.L.L

    JHA Investments Limited

    Ahli United Bank (UK) plc

    Sidra Capital

    Greenridge Investment Management

    Riyad Bank

    Work highlights

    • Advised Sidra Capital on the £46.3m acquisition of Pemberton House (the European HQ of Coca-Cola) with Islamic financing from the National Bank of Kuwait.
    • Instructed by Nester to advise on the first Peer2Peer Islamic fintech property transaction in the UK.
    • Advised Riyad Bank (London Branch) on the £17.5m Islamic refinancing to Capital Trust Group of a multi-let Grade A office asset with ancillary data centre in Harlow.

    Norton Rose Fulbright

    Led from London by the ‘fantasticFarmida Bi, and also able to leverage significant resources from the firm’s Middle East offices, Norton Rose Fulbright has ‘great and broad experience’ across a range of Islamic finance techniques, often utilised to fund Sharia-compliant transactions in core areas of sector strength for the firm, including energy and transport. A ‘true specialist’ who is ‘very well-connected’, Bi is a popular choice among a number of high profile corporates, banks and sovereigns, including Pakistan’s Ministry of Finance – which she continues to advise on all its sukuk issuances. In addition, Bi, who was also recently named the firm’s global chair, has been at the forefront of efforts to utilise Islamic finance as a means of unlocking funding for ESG initiatives designed to promote the UN's Social Development Goals. Counsel Andrew Coote also continues to gain a strong name for himself in the market and regularly provides key support to Bi on mandates handled by the team. The arrival in March 2022 of Yusuf Battiwala from Dentons further strengthened the team.

    Practice head(s):

    Farmida Bi

    Other key lawyers:

    Andrew Coote; Mark Brighouse


    ‘A wonderfully supportive team with great and broad experience in advising across a wide range of Islamic financing opportunities.’

    The fantastic Farmida Bi is a true specialist.’

    ‘Farmida Bi is very well-connected.’

    ‘I found the team to be diligent, efficient and expert in their field.’

    ‘All the team members of NRF were outstanding.’

    ‘It was a pleasure working with NRF, who played an essential part. The joined-up nature of the advice and the hands-on commitment to completing this project on time was evident throughout and we look forward to continuing to work with the NRF team in the future as our pro bono partner.’

    ‘Farmida Bi has shown energy, commitment and compassion.’

    Key clients

    ACWA Power Development

    Bank ABC

    Bank of London and the Middle East

    Bank of New York Mellon

    Credit Suisse AG

    Government of Pakistan, Ministry of Finance

    Islamic Development Bank

    Save the Children UK

    Work highlights

    • Advising Saudi energy company ACWA Power on its $500m debut sukuk.
    • Advising the Pakistan Ministry of Finance on the establishment of its sukuk programme and issuance of $1bn sukuk.
    • Advising Save the Children UK (on a pro bono basis) on an innovative fundraising policy that will allow it to receive Zakat.

    Mayer Brown International LLP

    While Mayer Brown International LLP does handle some fairly commoditised work in the space, including advice on sukuk issuances and murabaha financings, its sweet-spot lies in its structuring of complex and highly bespoke Sharia-compliant structures and products for a range of clients, including asset managers and banks. In this regard, ‘exceptional’ team head Barry Cosgrave, who divides his time between London and Dubai, takes the lead on the most significant mandates (often working alongside practitioners from throughout the firm’s global network), including work for conventional funds to establish mechanisms to raise money from Islamic investors. As part of his broader corporate restructuring credentials, Cosgrave is also well placed to advise stakeholders on the unravelling of debt, including both conventional and Islamic finance structures. Christopher Street is another key member of the team, and has developed particular expertise advising Middle Eastern banks on Islamic financing structures to facilitate transactions within the aviation sector.

    Practice head(s):

    Barry Cosgrave

    Other key lawyers:

    Christopher Street; Hannah Davies


    Barry Cosgrave – exceptional delivery of Islamic finance understanding into the private equity arena.’

    Key clients

    Gatehouse Bank

    Sidra Capital


    Milbank‘s ‘clever, hardworking and knowledgeable’ team is well versed across the spectrum of Islamic finance structures, which it deploys to good effect on behalf of funds and banks engaged in work across firmwide sector and practice area strengths, including project finance, asset finance and restructuring. In this regard, the team, which is headed by John Dewar, is very effective at knitting together both conventional and Islamic finance structures to satisfy all stakeholders on a deal. Dewar recently had a key role in relation to the firm’s work for the senior creditors on the $11bn restructuring and debt reprofiling of the Sadara Chemical Company – the first ever rescheduling of a project financing involving export credit agencies, Islamic banks and sukuk bondholders, and the largest Sharia-compliant restructuring in Saudi history and the wider Middle East. Special counsel Munib Hussain provides ‘practical legal solutions‘ in the project finance space, and also regularly provides Islamic finance input when the firm’s market leading aviation finance practice requires input necessitating Sharia-compliant structures.

    Practice head(s):

    John Dewar

    Other key lawyers:

    Munib Hussain


    ‘The lawyers are clever, hardworking and knowledgeable. Their lawyers are diverse, use the latest technology and ensuring that all parties collaborate in order to get the deal across the finish line.’

    ‘John Dewar and Munib Hussain provide clear and concise advice and communications, and always have practical legal solutions to any issues.’

    ‘They (i) deliver on or before agreed timing; (ii) provide clear and concise advice and communications; and (iii) always have practical legal solutions to any issues.’

    Key clients

    NCB Capital

    Al Rajhi Bank

    Alinma Bank

    Riyad Bank

    HSBC Saudi Arabia

    MUFG (Malaysia)

    National Bank of Kuwait

    Islamic Development Bank

    Abu Dhabi Pension Fund

    Emirates Islamic Bank


    Work highlights

    • Advised Islamic banks, Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and Japan Bank for International Cooperation, as the lenders, on the $5.2bn financial completion of the Rabigh Phase 2 Project.
    • Advising the senior creditors on the $11bn restructuring and debt reprofiling of the Sadara Chemical Company.

    Shakespeare Martineau LLP

    Led from Birmingham by Mohammed Saqub, Shakespeare Martineau LLP‘s ‘very approachable’ team provides a ‘great customer service’ to a strong and loyal roster of UK and Middle Eastern wholly Sharia-compliant banks, as well as conventional banks with an Islamic window. Although the scope of the offering is broad, a significant proportion of the work relates to commercial and retail real estate mandates, with work ranging from advice on Islamic mortgages to complex commercial and development facilities. As well as transactional work, the firm’s depth of knowledge within the space is also acknowledged by the UK government, which has recently sought guidance as to the impact changes in legislation will have on Islamic finance transactions.

    Practice head(s):

    Mohammed Saqub

    Other key lawyers:

    Andrew Stevens; Nick Sanderson; Afreen Mehdi Cole; Hannah Pickering


    ‘The team is focused and always on the ball.’

    ‘The team provides great customer service and is very approachable.’

    Key clients

    Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank PJSC


    Al Rayan Bank plc

    Gatehouse Bank plc

    Habib Bank AG Zurich (Islamic and conventional)

    Islamic Development Bank

    Masraf Al Rayan


    Qatar Islamic Bank PLC



    Work highlights

    • Assisted the UK subsidiary of a Swiss bank with setting up an Islamic finance practice.
    • Instructed by a multi-national development bank to assist with the development of bespoke Islamic banking documentation for a non-bank home purchase plan provider.

    Trowers & Hamlins LLP

    Acting on its own, as well as frequently in conjunction with lawyers based out of the firm’s strong Middle Eastern hub, Trowers & Hamlins LLP is a compelling proposition to stakeholders utilising a wide range of Sharia-compliant structures on both inbound and outbound investments. A significant amount of the work handled out of London relates to property finance, with Neill Gibson particularly adept at devising often innovative structures to facilitate Islamic investors wishing to invest in UK and European real estate. The team is also well placed to leverage the firm’s overarching private wealth offering, and is regularly engaged by Islamic family offices and high-net-worth-individuals on their investment strategies – much of which are structured utilising Islamic financing. Corporate partner Adya Habboush is regularly engaged in this type of work, as well as having significant expertise establishing Sharia-compliant offshore funds.

    Other key lawyers:

    Ayda Habboush; Neill Gibson; Susan Jarvis; Katharine Lewis; Helen Fysh; Moad Giebaly; Jonathan Grosvenor; Salman Ahmed

    Key clients

    Lembaga Tabung Haji

    90 North Real Estate Partners

    Gatehouse Bank PLC

    Apache Capital Partners LLP

    Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB)

    Kuwait Finance House

    Warba Bank KSCP

    Rasameel Investment Company KSCC

    Dimah Capital Investment Company KSCC

    Dubai Islamic Bank

    First Energy Bank

    Rasmala Investment Bank

    SEDCO Capital

    A’ayan Real Estate Company

    Arbah Capital

    Sidra Capital

    Sohar Islamic

    Oman Takaful Insurance Company

    Meethaq Islamic Banking, bank muscat S.A.O.G. (Meethaq)

    Al Muzn

    Sanvira Carbon SFZ LLC

    Work highlights

    • Advised Alizz Islamic Bank and Ubhar Capital on their roles as the issue managers on the issuance of unsecured subordinated perpetual sukuk certificates by Sukuk Trust, the special purpose company established by Oman International Development and Investment Company.  
    • Advised Sohar Islamic, Sohar International Bank on its role as the sole dealer and issue manager in relation to the establishment by Takaful Oman Insurance of its debut sukuk certificate issuance programme.
    • Advised Warba Bank KSCC on a joint venture UK inward investment with Cortland for the purchase, funding and operating of a Build to Rent, forward purchase project in Manchester Greengate.

    White & Case LLP

    Benefitting from a ‘depth of experience and knowledge in Islamic finance’ gained from its London, Middle East and Asia offices, White & Case LLP is a ‘trusted partner’ for a varied client base including lenders, corporates, funds and sovereign governments engaged in complex multi-jurisdictional transactions. Splitting his time between London and Dubai, Debashis Dey is global head of the practice and ‘provides a lot of helpful technical and market practice advice’, particularly in the context of Sharia-compliant capital markets transactions for both issuers and underwriters. Ingrid York is also an integral member of the team, who as part of her overarching structured finance and derivatives experience regularly handles Sharia-compliant work for banks, sponsors and corporates requiring trading and hedging documentation.

    Practice head(s):

    Debashis Dey

    Other key lawyers:

    Ingrid York


    The team has a depth of experience and knowledge in Islamic finance. A safe pair of hands and a trusted partner.’

    Debashis Dey has years of experience of GCC sukuk and provides a lot of helpful technical and market practice advice.’

    ‘Agility in communication and quick turnarounds. Delivering under very tight timelines.’


    Key clients

    The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited

    Saudi Aramco

    SNB Capital Company


    BNY Mellon Corporate Trustee Services Limited

    Arabian Centres Company

    Al Rajhi Capital Company

    Saudi Real Estate Refinance Company

    Work highlights

    • Advised Al Rajhi Capital Company, as sole lead manager and bookrunner, on the issuance of $1.7bn  3.5% fixed rate resettable additional tier 1 capital sukuk by Al Rajhi Banking and Investment Corporation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
    • Advised Saudi Aramco on the establishment of a Rule 144A/Reg S Trust Certificate Issuance Programme relating to certificates to be listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange, and a triple tranche issuance of trust certificates in the total principal amount of $6bn.
    • Advised SNB Capital Company on the establishment of its debut $1.3bn Short-Term Certificate Issuance Programme and the inaugural Saudi Riyal denominated issuance thereunder.

    Clyde & Co

    With a dedicated presence in situ in London, and also able to leverage substantial resources in Dubai, Clyde & Co is well positioned to advise on UK-based Islamic finance transactions, as well as to service Asian and Middle Eastern clients investing into the UK market. Legal director Robert Davy is the main contact in London, and is able to draw upon a raft of experience in private practice, as well as in previous roles at conventional and Sharia-compliant financial institutions. Davy regularly works alongside Dubai-based global head of Islamic finance Adil Hussain, particularly in the context of UK real estate Islamic finance. The arrival in October 2021 of senior associate Ben Neville from Foot Anstey further strengthened the firm’s offering from London in light of his conventional and Islamic finance real estate-related expertise.

    Practice head(s):

    Adil Hussain

    Other key lawyers:

    Robert Davy

    Key clients

    Bidaya Home Finance Company

    Bank ABC

    Mizuho Bank

    British Arab Commercial Bank



    Riyad Capital

    Investra Capital

    Bidaya Home Finance Company

    Al Hail Holding Limited

    Bank of London and The Middle East plc

    Dubai Islamic Bank

    Select Group

    NEO Merchants Capital

    Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD)

    FIM Partners


    Qatar National Bank

    Dukhan Bank

    Work highlights

    • Instructed as sole adviser and transaction counsel for the establishment of a SAR1bn sukuk programme and the first issuance under it.

    Druces LLP

    ‘Always attentive to the needs of its clients’, the ‘experienced, friendly and approachable‘ team at Druces LLP advises both conventional and Sharia-compliant financial institutions, corporate counterparties, and investors on transactions structured in a Sharia-compliant manner. Christopher Axford is regularly engaged in murabaha financings, as well as an increasing amount of sukuk issuances. A significant amount of this financing work relates to inbound property investments made by Middle East investors, an area that real estate specialist Suzanne Middleton Lindsley regularly works on in harness with Axford. Dual UK and Australia-qualified Antony Cotton co-heads the team alongside Axford.

    Practice head(s):

    Antony Cotton; Chris Axford

    Other key lawyers:

    Suzanne Middleton Lindsley; Claire Rigby; Rebecca Pinder


    The very experienced, friendly and approachable team is always at the end of the phone to help with advice on structuring both at an early stage to aid client negotiations and right the way through the life cycle of the deal.’

    They are excellent communicators and always attentive to the needs of their clients.’ 

    Their attention to detail is excellent and they provide the advice that we need to make the correct decisions.’

    ‘Senior and partner level advice available at all times.’

    ‘The individuals are very easy to engage with and consistently provide a good service.’

    ‘Personable and understanding of what is required.’

    Key clients

    Bank of London and The Middle East plc

    British Arab Commercial Bank plc

    WIDR Group

    Astute Capital plc

    UV Cap3 Plc

    Propiteer Capital plc

    Work highlights

    • Advised the Bank of London and The Middle East on a number of commodity murabaha transactions ranging from £10m to £30m in value.
    • Advised Propiteer Capital on a new $200m sukuk issuance.
    • Advised Urban Village Cap3 on a new £50m sukuk issuance.

    Fladgate LLP

    Sitting within Fladgate LLP‘s overarching funds, finance and regulatory practice, the Islamic finance team has significant expertise advising lenders and borrowers on a variety of Sharia-compliant products, including commodity murabaha and ijara lease structures. Drawing upon the firm’s established private client credentials, the team, which is led by Ella Leonard, also regularly advises Middle East and Asia-based family offices on loan facilities for residential and high value commercial property acquisitions in London. Charles Proctor and Seetal Modi are other names to note.

    Practice head(s):

    Ella Leonard

    Other key lawyers:

    Charles Proctor; Seetal Modi

    Key clients

    Tadhamon Capital B.S.C.

    BloomSmith Finance Ltd

    Gatehouse Bank

    Work highlights

    • Advised Tadhamon Capital on its £100m murabaha lending platform and related structure.
    • Assisting BloomSmith Finance with the continued expansion of its VAT lending business, and also advised the client on the negotiation of a £10m credit facility with Shawbrook Bank to assist with the expansion of the client’s lending activities.
    • Advising Gatehouse Bank on the preparation of various commodity murabaha agreements to fund the purchase of commercial properties.

    Keystone Law

    At Keystone Law, Fara Mohammad is the main contact for Islamic finance mandates, where she is able to leverage her ‘in depth understanding of the different Sharia structures’ to good effect for financial institutions, companies, investors and individuals.

    Other key lawyers:

    Fara Mohammad; Martin Brown


    Fara Mohammad has in depth understanding of the different Sharia structures.’

    ‘Harmonious and diversified team.’