Al Tamimi & Company In Association with Adv. Mohammed Al Marri’s full-service banking practice has a strong track record acting for leading Qatari and global financial institutions. Led by Doha managing partner Matthew Heaton, the team acts for clients such as Société Générale and Goldman Sachs on a broad cross-section of financing transactions, bonds issuances and corporate lending matters. It works with Rafiq Jaffer in Dubai, who has specialist expertise in Islamic finance. Senior associate Muhammad Mitha supports practice head Heaton on both borrower and lender-side mandates and he is also active in sukuk issuances.
Banking, finance and capital markets in Qatar
Other key lawyers:
‘Al Tamimi are up there with the international law firms in Qatar. They can provide complex work at a good rate to the clients and have commercial sense. Their leading partners have been on the ground in Qatar for years.’
‘Matthew is a solid lawyer, great to work with.’
HSBC Bank Middle East
Ahli United Bank
Intesa Sanpaolo SpA
CQUR Bank LLC
Simmons & Simmons Middle East
Simmons & Simmons Middle East is a leading adviser to Qatari and international banks, public and private companies, as well as multinationals. With practice head Andrew Wingfield at the helm in Doha, the team has a first-rate reputation in high-profile and cross-border finance transactions (including debt capital markets transactions) and regulatory issues. It works closely with Dubai-based partner Lee Irvine, who heads up the capital markets practice in the Middle East. The group in Doha also includes managing associate Maha Lawson, who is described by one client as ‘exceptional’. Elias Matni joined K&L Gates.
Other key lawyers:
‘Maha Lawson is exceptional. A real star.’
Al Khalij Commercial Bank (al khaliji)
Qatar National Bank (Q.P.S.C.) (No.1 Qatar bank)
The Commercial Bank (No.2 Qatar bank)
Ahli Bank Q.P.S.C.
Dukhan Bank Q.P.S.C.
Qatar Islamic Bank (Q.P.S.C.)
- Assisted the dealers in relation to the update of the Qatar National Bank of its $22.5bn EMTN Programme and also advised on a number of notes issuances under the Programme.
- Advised on the Qatar law aspects for Ahli Bank Q.P.S.C. of its inaugural $300m additional Tier 1 Capital Securities offering.
- Advised the joint lead managers in relation to the English law and Qatar law aspects of the $500m Perpetual Additional Tier 1 Capital Securities offering by The Commercial Bank (P.S.Q.C.).
Addleshaw Goddard has an excellent track record handling big-ticket financings for a roster of high-calibre clients that includes names such as Qatar National Bank. Practice head Robin Hickman, who divides time between Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, has expertise in both conventional and shari’ah-compliant finance matters, including debt restructurings and real estate finance transactions. The group’s Islamic finance practice is skilled in istina ijara and musharaka financings, as well as other bespoke Islamic structures. Elsewhere, debt capital markets transactions are another key workstream for the firm. Managing associate Kate Chapman and counsel Alan MacRitchie are other core members of the team.
Other key lawyers:
Kate Chapman; Alan MacRitchie
‘AG, through Alan MacRitchie, is well-placed to assist with great knowledge of local and English law. Our transactions are predominantly English law or local law. I feel very confident when Alan is engaged in our transactions. Sensible commercial approach with great legal knowledge and contacts for dealing with local issues.’
‘What I value most is the mix of English and Qatar law expertise that Alan brings to our high-value transactions. Alan also has a high appreciation of the commercial realties that underpin these transactions. This is essential in this market to getting transactions to financial close as quickly and as seamlessly as possible.’
‘Proactive, knowldegable, helpful. Local connectivity in an emerging legal and regulatory environment.’
‘The team in Qatar is approachable, friendly and well regarded in the market for banking and finance.’
‘Alan MacRitchie – very knowledgeable, helpful, approachable and amusing. Good to deal with and goes the extra mile to deliver.’
Qatar National Bank
Abu Issa Holding W.L.L.
The Commercial Bank (P.S.Q.C.)
Power International Holdings
Qatar Islamic Bank
Qatar Electricity and Water Company
Baker & McKenzie Limited
Baker & McKenzie Limited has an ‘excellent’ reputation in the banking market in Qatar. It has a strong pedigree for handling major finance transactions spanning areas such as project finance, Islamic finance and acquisition finance. The firm is particularly highlighted for its prominence in some of the most notable infrastructure finance transactions seen in the local market. Clients instructing the firm include banks and financial institutions, private equity funds, sponsors and companies. Practice head Ian Siddell has notable experience of ECA-backed and multi-sourced financings. Other key figures in the team are the ‘consistently superb’ Basel Barakat and Mohsin Iqbal. They work closely with Gavin Witcombe, who heads up the firm's construction practice.
Other key lawyers:
Basel Barakat; Mohsin Iqbal
‘Baker & McKenzie team is overall highly professional, hardworking and capable, with excellent work quality, attention to detail and prompt response times.’
‘Basel Barakat leads our group’s account and transactions with the firm. Our experience in dealing with him is consistently superb and first rate. In terms of strengths, his work is always thorough and of the highest quality, his advice is clear and concise, he has very deep knowledge of Saudi Arabian laws and practices, understands our needs and offers practical and pragmatic advice and is always available to address our requirements.’
‘The firm and its partners do a good job of advising clients on the balance between the commercial and legal aspects of any matter.’
‘I have found Mohsin to be very responsive, appreciative of client/transaction deadlines, as well as being very proactive with his advice to clients on striking a balance between the commercial & legal aspects of any matter.’
‘Depth of experience across the Middle East, which is very useful.’
‘Ian Siddell – Very approachable, easy to chat to, knowledgeable in his sector and responsive.’
Saudi BinLadin Group Company Limited
The Commercial Bank (P.S.Q.C)
Qatar National Bank (Q.P.S.C)
DBS Bank Ltd (DIFC Branch)
- Advising Ooredoo Group in connection with the update of their GMTN programme listed on Euronext Dublin, and $1bn issuance of notes thereunder.
- Advising Gulf Marketing Group (GMG), a leading family-owned retail company in the Middle East, on the acquisition of Royal Sporting House’s (RSH) sports retail business, from Dubai-based conglomerate Al Futtaim Group.
- Advising a major Middle Eastern conglomerate in connection with a multibillion divestment of its assets in Qatar, including the transfer of its shares in multiple Qatari companies and the assignment of its interests in several major projects in Qatar.
Dentons is highlighted for its ‘sound knowledge of the Qatari market’, having operated in the jurisdiction for more than a decade. It is particularly singled out for its strength in the aviation sector; jointly led by Doha managing partner Safwan Moubaydeen and Zaher Nammour, the group handles aircraft financings and leasings for major national aviation companies. Elsewhere, other recent work included project finance transactions, bilateral loans and murabaha agreements.
Safwan Moubaydeen; Zaher Nammour
‘Dentons is one of the most staffed international firm in Qatar. Partners have always been very responsive. They are reasonable, listen to our expectations and needs and correct the advice accordingly.’
‘The English law quality expertise in the country is unique and assist in local deals as well. It is definitely a firm to go to.’
‘Zaher Nammour is the partner that we use, who is very knowledgeable and commercial, which is not usual in this type of jurisdiction.’
‘Sound knowledge of current developments in the Qatari market. Zaher Nammour is very responsive and tailors his advice to the client’s needs.’
Axia Power Holdings B.V.
Qatar Aviation Lease Company
- Acting as local counsel for Castlelake in connection with aircraft sale and leaseback transactions, including providing advice on issues of enforcement of security, registration and ownership rights and local aviation law regulations.
- Acted as Qatari legal adviser in relation to advising and assisting Qatar Aviation Lease Company (QALC) as lessee on the refinancing of aircrafts.
- Acting for Axia Power Holdings B.V. as local lenders counsel in respect of the 800MW PV Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Independent Power Project (IPP) in Al Kharsaa, Qatar.
Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP demonstrates strong capabilities acting for borrowers and lenders on a myriad of complex shari’ah-compliant and conventional finance transactions. Its work in this space spans areas such as real estate finance, project finance, syndicated and bilateral loans, acquisition finance, trade finance and asset finance. Elsewhere, capital markets transactions are another key driver of mandates, as are fund structurings. Doha managing partner Dani Kabbani has been active in the local market for 25 years. Dubai-based partner Clint Dempsey is the overall head of the banking practice in the Middle East.
Other key lawyers:
- Advising Investment House (IH) on new acquisitions relating to its private equity fund, targeting Qatari investors in the alternative asset class of commercial shipping.
- Advising QInvest on a structured real estate acquisition for the purpose of acquiring six buildings from a Qatari listed entity.
- Advising IH on five series of issuance of a Shariah Global Certificate Programme involving a Shariah structured real estate acquisition of income generated offices in Europe.
Sultan Al-Abdulla & Partners is highly reputed for its work on complex conventional and Islamic finance transactions. The team in Doha, which is jointly led by Salman Mahmood and William Cattan, is also active in compliance work. It is often engaged as local counsel by major international law firms, and is highlighted for its strength in the oil and gas sector.
Salman Mahmood; William Cattan
‘To date their advice has proven accurate and complete, allowing us to move the matter forward. Their diversity makes them a one stop shop for all domestic issues. Their billing is transparent, competitive and consistent which eliminates unnecessary administration.’
‘Our main point of contact is Salman Mahmood, who always ensures that our queries are fully addressed, either by himself or a suitable colleague. Partners clearly and completely responded to several rounds of queries.’
Al Khaliji Commercial Bank
- Acted as a local counsel whereby SAP advised on various regulatory and compliance matters under Qatar law, conducted due diligence and reviewed transaction agreements in the merger transaction of Al-Khaliji Commercial Bank P.Q.S.C.a with another local listed bank, Masraf Al- Rayyan.
- Advised a Russian bank in respect of its entering into an International Swaps and Derivatives Association Master Swap Agreement and a Collateral Security Agreement with a local bank established in the Qatar Financial Center.