Next Generation Partners

Firms To Watch: Banking and finance: Financial services regulation

KARM Legal Consultants was launched in 2018 by Kokila Alagh, a founding member of the MENA Fintech Association. The firm is an active player in the fintech regulatory space and works with regulators and policymakers on emerging technologies such as cryptocurrency.

Banking and finance: Financial services regulation in United Arab Emirates

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance has a dedicated financial services and regulatory practice that covers the full spectrum of banking and finance matters, as well as having a strong focus on fintech-related matters. The practice also has a financial products group that combines the team's expertise in derivative products with its in-depth knowledge of Islamic structures and financial market regulations. Practice head Qudeer Latif advises on the full range of Islamic financing and related financial regulatory matters. Other individuals to note include Cheuk-Yin Cheung and Jack Hardman.

Practice head(s):

Qudeer Latif

Other key lawyers:

Cheuk Yin Cheung; Jack Hardman

Testimonials

‘Reliable legal expertise and knowledge combined with commercial and practical knowledge.’

Demonstrate excellent knowledge and expertise on regulatory issues, proactive in finding commercial and legal solutions rather than providing mere legal advice.’

Highly recommend Jack Hardman.’

Key clients

International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc.

Arab Monetary Fund

Union National Bank / ADCB

Citigroup

Adyen

HSBC

DP World

Emirates NBD

Abu Dhabi Finance

First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP has a full-service financial regulatory advisory practice, with particular expertise advising banks and payment service providers. Other key areas of focus include advising on matters related to funds and asset management, insurance, wealth products and services. Tom Bicknell heads the firm's Middle East financial regulatory practice; he has a broad advisory practice that covers global financial regulations, financial products, blockchain and fintech. Changes in the team include the departure of Marie Chowdhry to an in-house position.

Practice head(s):

Tom Bicknell

Key clients

0rigin

3iQ

HubPay

Chintai

Coface Group

H Capital

RL 360

Work highlights

  • Advised ADGM-based HubPay on its licensing and ongoing activities under applicable payments rules across the market.
  • Advised 3iQ on the listing of its flagship product on Nasdaq Dubai including product structuring, disclosure preparation and regulatory approval to the listing and new offering.
  • Advised RL360 on its regional compliance framework capturing its regulatory position across all aspects of its activities in the region.

Al Tamimi & Company

Al Tamimi & Company has a strong financial regulatory advisory offering and  financial institutions, alternative finance providers and payment service providers are among its key clients. Divya Abrol Gambhir leads the UAE financial regulatory practice and is typically instructed on matters involving establishment and licensing, acquisitions, regulatory compliance and investigations. Jody Waugh has an established presence in the region and works closely with a number of regulators, banks and financial institutions.

Practice head(s):

Jody Waugh

Other key lawyers:

Divya Abrol Gambhir; Mamoon Khan; Ali Awad; Sarah El Serafy; Ashish Banga

Testimonials

‘Their advice is very practical and solution oriented. They are well balanced in their approach and provide workable solutions rather than acting as a roadblock.’

‘Jody Waugh – quality of advice, understanding of business and depth of knowledge.’

Key clients

UAE Central Bank

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP has an experienced financial regulatory practice that covers both advisory and contentious matters. The practice also advises a number of local regulators, funds and private equity clients. Key changes to the team in 2021 include Dubai-based Stefan Mrozinski‘s promotion to counsel. Former practice head Adrianus Schoorl left in May 2022 to join fintech company Wizz Finanancial as general counsel.

Other key lawyers:

Stefan Mrozinski

Key clients

Goldman Sachs / European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Eversheds Sutherland LLP

Eversheds Sutherland LLP assists clients in the public and private sector with a range of regulatory investigations, from employee misconduct to criminal investigations. Rebecca Copley heads the practice and has expertise in dealing with regulators on cases with allegations of non-compliance. Clint Dempsey is another point of contact and heads the banking and finance practice. On the junior end, associate Gillian Flannighan is noted and is praised for her 'brilliant work-ethic'.

Practice head(s):

Rebecca Copley

Other key lawyers:

Clint Dempsey; Gillian Flannighan

Testimonials

‘The Eversheds team has an excellent practice acting for both banks and individuals. They are particularly well-known for enforcement of securitised borrowing in the Middle East, negotiating complex jurisdictional challenges with aplomb.’

Gillian Flannighan is an associate to watch for the future: a brilliant work-ethic and highly intelligent.’

Key clients

Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC

Hadef & Partners

Hadef & Partners has a broad range of financial services regulatory expertise that covers onshore UAE, DIFC and ADGM corporate structures, insolvency, security laws and compliance regulations. The team works closely with key financial authorities and market operators including the UAE Central Bank and the Financial Regulatory Services Authority. Practice head James Farn  has in-depth knowledge of insolvency and restructuring law and Alan Rodgers has expertise in project finance and Islamic debt restructurings.

Practice head(s):

James Farn; Alan Rodgers

Key clients

KBBO Group

Drake & Scull International P.J.S.C.

Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADEX)

Work highlights

  • Advising a large diversified investment group headquartered in the UAE that operates in four principal sectors (healthcare, food, retail, and education) on its ongoing financial restructuring.
  • Advising a global industry leader that delivers state-of-the-art projects and solutions across its high-performance sectors, on its current financial restructuring.
  • Advising a large Fintech Company that provides online financial services and payment solution services on the financial regulatory regime and framework across all 3 financial jurisdictions in UAE.

Simmons & Simmons Middle East

At Simmons & Simmons Middle East, Muneer Khan has expertise advising on anti-money laundering, compliance, anti-bribery and sanctions issues. Clients include asset management companies.

Practice head(s):

Muneer Khan