Firms To Watch: Commercial, corporate and M&A

With offices in Dubai, Riyadh and Beirut, boutique firm Tribonian Law Advisors is home to a number of partners with previous history of working at international firms. Work undertaken includes M&A, private equity, deals, restructuring and corporate finance.
ADG Legal acts for corporates, SMEs, family-owned businesses and high-net-worth individuals on a wide range of corporate and commercial matters. Mohammed Al Dahbashi heads the team from Dubai.
Charles Russell Speechlys LLP‘s commercial, corporate and M&A group advises on a wide range of matters, though it is noted for its specialised and industry-focused expertise in the media, entertainment, sport and event industries. William Reichert  and Mark Hill are the key names to note.
Gowling WLG‘s corporate, commercial and M&A practice has key sector specialisms in the areas of technology and intellectual property.
Hourani & Partners is particularly adept at advising clients on applications for foreign ownership, in addition to handling acquisitions in the region for buyers and sellers.
The corporate practice at Kennedys advises on a range of matters, including M&A deals and corporate restructurings. Sean Angle recently joined from Stephenson Harwood to head the Dubai office.
Mahmood Hussain Law Firm has a niche corporate and commercial practice that focuses on commercial agencies, franchising and distribution.
Taylor Wessing (Middle East) LLP‘s international corporate practice focuses on cross-border M&A, capital markets, and corporate restructuring matters. Abdullah Mutawi recently joined from Al Tamimi & Company, and jointly heads the group alongside Ronald Graham and Adnan Chida.

Firms in the Spotlight Commercial, corporate and M&A

ADG Legal

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Commercial disputes across the globe are becoming increasingly onerous to navigate. International business expansions and cross-border transactions carry risks of complexity, increased corporate scrutiny, and changing geopolitical and regulatory environments. Whilst clients look to proactively mitigate their risks, the attending stakes can be significant for businesses with potential global impact.

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We are experienced in all aspects of commercial and corporate transactions in accordance with local, regional laws. Our corporate department advises individuals, corporates, government entities and other institutions on various types of transactions and corporate related matters.  Our corporate services and advisory team provide full legal services for businesses that are both located onshore and …

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Commercial, corporate and M&A in United Arab Emirates

Al Tamimi & Company

Al Tamimi & Company has an established presence in the UAE,  as well as strong cross-border capabilities. The full-service offering covers corporate structuring work, commercial arrangements, M&A transactions, and establishment and ongoing administration of entities, both onshore and in free zones. Managing partner Samer Qudah leads the team and has extensive experience advising on structuring and restructuring matters for clients in the UAE and across the wider Middle East region. Richard Catling is noted for his broad expertise in corporate transactions, as is senior associate Anna Robinson. Andrea Tithecott leads on the firm’s commercial work and heads the regulatory practice. Nick Watson, who was previously at Trowers & Hamlins LLP, has recently joined the firm's Dubai office as the regional head of the corporate commercial practice.

Practice head(s):

Samer Qudah

Other key lawyers:

Richard Catling; Andrea Tithecott; Rasha al Ardah; Gulsun Ozmen; Izabella Szadkowska; Noff Al-Khafaji; Nick Watson


‘Al Tamimi team are the gold standard. They are extremely dependable in their understanding of the legal framework and the solutions they provide.’

‘Samer Qudah and Rasha al Ardah are absolutely the best lawyers I have met anywhere in the world. Both are extremely responsive, thorough and accurate.’

‘A solid knowledge of the local laws coupled with a practical approach when providing legal advice, providing a good insight into the realities of how laws and regulations are actually implemented by courts and authorities on the ground. They also act expeditiously when there is an urgency in a legal matter.’

Key clients

Queens Gambit Growth Capital

Team Nigma Group

Emirates School Establishment

Ava Risk Group

Panarae FZ-LLC

Brookfield Asset Management Private Institutional Capital Adviser (Canada) LP

Global Infrastructure Management LLC

NH Investment & Securities Co. Ltd

Ontario Teachers Pension Plan

Raffles Infra Holdings Limited


Galaxy Pipeline Assets Bidco Limited

Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC

The Future Investment Initiative Institute

Global Ventures

BLME Holdings plc

Gate Capital

Damac Properties Dubai Co PJSC

Chongqing Terminus Technologies Co. Ltd

Yas Marina Circuit

RCS Sport S.p.A.

Reed Exhibitions FZ-LLC

Riot Games Limited

Wanbao Mining (Hong Kong) Limited

Anglo Arabian Healthcare Investments LLC

Yusuf Bin Ahmed Kanoo (Holdings) Co WLL

Work highlights

  • Represented Queens Gambit Growth Capital on its USD 1.5 billion business combination with SWVL, a tech-driven transportation service that uses fixed schedules and locations for pickups and drop-offs.
  • Advised the promoter group on the disposal of a majority interest in the newly incorporated Abu Dubai Global Markets holdco of the business of Team Nigma, which is a franchised e-sports team, for a transaction value of USD 10.2m.
  • Advised DSOA and DAFZA on drafting the Dubai Law No. 16 of 2021 on the establishment of the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority.

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP is a recognised market leader, with the team regularly advising regional and international clients on large-scale transactions across the UAE and wider Middle East region. Practice head David Foster has extensive experience advising a variety of clients on domestic and cross-border M&A transactions, as does Khalid Garousha. Abu Dhabi-based Ibrahim Mubaydeen and Nicholas Stuart have significant expertise across a broad range of corporate transactions, as does Ben Ward and Zeid Qursha, both of whom are based in Dubai. Judith Kim specialises in commercial contracting and project development in the oil and gas sector and senior associate Emma Ghaffari focuses on transactions in the private equity space.

Practice head(s):

David Foster

Other key lawyers:

Khalid Garousha; Ibrahim Mubaydeen; Nicholas Stuart; Ben Ward; Zeid Qursha; Judith Kim; Emma Ghaffari; Christian Parker


‘The Allen & Overy M&A team in Dubai is technically strong, super-responsive, and able to work across geographies and effectively manage local counsel for cross-border transactions.’

‘Zeid Qursha is everything a client wants in a partner. He is pro-active, knowledgeable, confident, polite, and can effectively marshal internal and external resources.’

David Foster is very accessible, with an ability to explain complex issues in an easy to understand manner. A highly effective and respected negotiator.’

Work highlights

  • Advised CDPQ on an investment of USD5bn in three of DP World’s flagship UAE assets.
  • Advised Mubadala on the sale of 67% of the shares in Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) to Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (TAQA).
  • Advised Hassana Investment Company in connection with the acquisition by a consortium comprising BlackRock Real Assets and Hassana of a 49% interest in Saudi Aramco’s gas pipeline network

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance has a preeminent corporate and M&A practice, with specialist partners based across Abu Dhabi and Dubai. It primarily advises sovereign wealth funds, government-related entities, financial institutions and corporates active in a broad spectrum of sectors. The group is co-headed by Mohammed Al-Shukairy, who has extensive experience advising on major M&A deals, and Mike Taylor, who primarily focuses on transactions in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Jason Mendens is experienced with transactions in the GCC and Africa and Deniz Taz specialises in cross-border M&A and restructurings. Counsel Daniel Boyle has a track record advising private equity and corporate clients. Jack Hardman was recently promoted to partner.

Practice head(s):

Mohammed Al-Shukairy; Mike Taylor

Other key lawyers:

Jason Mendens; Deniz Tas; Daniel Boyle; Jack Hardman

Key clients

Mubadala Investment Company PJSC

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC

DP World

Saudi Aramco

Aldar Properties PJSC

Emirates NBD Bank PJSC

Abu Dhabi Finance

Abu Dhabi Retirement Pensions & Benefits Fund


Bahrain Petroleum Company B.S.C.

Work highlights

  • Advised Hassana Investment Company, the investment arm of the Government of Saudi Arabia, on its US$15.5 billion co-investment with Mubadala and other investors in Saudi Aramco’s Gas Pipelines.
  • Advised DP World on the sale of a minority stake in its strategic UAE assets to CDPQ for US$5 billion.
  • Advised TAQA on its acquisition of a controlling stake in Masdar.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP’s M&A offering is well regarded, with a number of dedicated specialists based in the region. It advises clients active in a wide range of sectors, though it has particular expertise in the technology, real estate, infrastructure, and energy sectors, as well as acting for sovereign wealth and private equity funds. Abdulwahid Alulama specialises in cross-border transactions, corporate governance, and commercial deals. Sami Al-Louzi is noted for his expertise acting on M&A transactions in the UAE and Saudi Arabia markets. Steven Worthington has significant experience advising corporate and financial sponsor clients. Marcus Booth heads the firm’s private equity offering. Ali Shaikley left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Abdulwahid Alulama; Marcus Booth; Steven Worthington; Sami Al-Louzi

Other key lawyers:

Sonia Abdul-Rahman; Stefan Mrozinski; Anisah Giansiracusa


‘Very competent team. Always available and very user friendly.’

‘Very innovative billing structure to align interests with the client.’

‘Strong global network as a firm to be able to bring subject matter experts during the transaction.’

‘Anisah Giansiracusa – very competent and user friendly. Takes the lead on calls and negotiations, and always well prepared.’

Key clients

Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners

Abu Dhabi Financial Group

Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company

Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority

ADES International Holding Limited

Agthia Group PJSC

AlKhabeer Capital

Alpha Bank S.A.


Arabian Contracting Services Company JSC

Basalt Infrastructure Partners

CI Capital Holding S.A.E

DP World


Emirates NBD Capital



European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

GFH Financial Group

Goldman Sachs

GSO Capital Partners

International Holdings Company PJSC

J.P. Morgan Securities plc

Kentech Corporate Holdings Limited

Kuwait Food Company

Ma’arif Holding Company for Education and Training

Majid Al Futtaim Holding

Mubadala Investment Company

National Bonds Corporation

Oak Hill Advisors

Paradise Capital

Ports Customs and Free Zones Corporation

RIMCO Investments

Rothschild & Co.

Saudi Arabian Oil Company

SHUAA Capital

Strategic Value Partners

United Arab Chemical Carriers Limited


Arkan Building Materials

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority PJSC

Work highlights

  • Advised on the sale by Hassan El Ali of 100% of the shares of ZMI Holdings to ADNOC, the Abu Dhabi government’s energy and petrochemicals holding company. The transaction is valued at approximately $1.5 billion.
  • Advised Yellow Door Energy on the sale of a majority stake to UK private equity firm Actis.
  • Advised DP World on its US$1.2 billion acquisition of syncreon, a US-based logistics provider with a global presence through 91 sites in 19 countries and revenue of US$1.1 billion.

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP has particular expertise in the healthcare, education and technology sectors. It handles a broad range of mandates, with particular strength advising on commercial contracts. Practice head Naji Hawayek has extensive experience acting on M&A deals in the region. Ben Smith specialises in foreign direct investment into the UAE and Stephen McKenna focuses on M&As and joint ventures. Ross Barfoot is noted for his expertise in corporate education matters, whilst Roshanak Bassiri Gharb has strength in regulatory issues as well as public and marine M&A mandates. In June 2023, Nora Al Muhamad and Darren Harris joined from PwC.

Practice head(s):

Naji Hawayek

Other key lawyers:

Ben Smith; Stephen McKenna; Ross Barfoot; Roshanak Bassiri Gharb; Philip O’Riordan; Abhimanyu Jalan; Jonathan Silver; Nora Al Muhamad; Darren Harris


‘The team is very knowledgeable, clear when introducing or explaining concepts, and thorough in providing all possible legal actions.’

‘Naji Hawayek is an excellent lawyer, works as a true partner and advisor with extensive knowledge and strategic advisory. He is also very well-connected and maintains a good network of likeminded people.’

‘Darren Harris is an experienced transactional lawyer who is a pleasure to work with. He is able to strongly advocate his clients’ positions whilst still taking a commercial approach.’

Key clients

Eradah Capital LLC

Abu Dhabi Health Services Company PJSC

RSA Insurance Group Ltd

Intact Financial Corporation

Egis Projects S.A.

The National Investor

Al Najah Education LLC

Mapei SPA

Babilou Investment LLC

Knuru Capital Limited

Select Investments Limited

Shuaa Capital

VTTI Terminal Support Services B.V.

Arata International FZCO

British Business Group Abu Dhabi

Deloitte LLP

Reigate Grammar School

DLA Piper

DLA Piper handles a full range of strategic transactions for financial institutions, global enterprises, and emerging start-ups, with particular expertise in the technology and healthcare and life sciences sectors. Will Seivewright, who has significant experience advising on public and private M&A transactions, co-heads the team alongside Jamie Ryder, who also heads the IP and technology practice and has strong experience in the media, sports and entertainment space. Richard Hughes and Thérèse Abou-Zeid are noted for their strength advising on multi-jurisdictional M&A deals across the GCC region.

Practice head(s):

Will Seivewright; Jamie Ryder

Other key lawyers:

Richard Hughes; Thérèse Abou-Zeid


‘Pragmatic, responsive, competent.’

Key clients

ADNOC Global Distribution Company LLC

Stillfront Group AB

Work highlights

  • Advising ADNOC on the acquisition of 16 retail fuel stations in the Central Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at a purchase price up to USD 8 million.
  • Acted for Stillfront on its acquisition of 100% of the share capital in Jawaker FZ LLC, an online gaming business based in the UAE with operations in Jordan. The total upfront consideration was USD 205 million, on a cash and debt-free basis, part of which was paid to the sellers in shares issued by Stillfront.

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP has an active corporate and commercial practice, and is particularly well regarded in the consumer goods and retail transactions space. The group is co-led by Omar Momany, who focuses on public and private M&A, corporate restructuring and disputes, and joint ventures, alongside Osama Audi, who advises on M&A, venture capital and investment fund matters. Hani Naja has been engaged in various corporate structuring matters and Adnan Doha has broad corporate expertise across a range of sectors. Abeer Jarrar focuses on equity capital markets and M&A transactions.

Practice head(s):

Omar Momany; Osama Audi

Other key lawyers:

Hani Naja; Adnan Doha; Abeer Jarrar; Borys Dackiw


‘Adnan Doha gave practical, sensible legal advice that took into account key commercial considerations. The drafting was clear, concise and pitched at precisely the right level for this deal.’

‘Strong knowledge coupled with a pragmatic commercial approach.’

Key clients

Ripples Capital Limited

AirCarbon Pte. Ltd.

Mohamad Bin Salman Foundation


Spitaleri Group

Saudi Venture Capital

Tanmiah Food Company

Dar Al Takaful PJSC

Wipro Limited

Al Muqarram Group of Companies

Getz Bros & Co (BVI) Inc.

AP Ventures Limited

Gulf Insurance Group K.S.C.P.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company

Allegion Investments (UK) Limited

Gulf Marketing Group

Seddiqi Holding

Taaleem Education


Emaar Group

Emirates National Oil Company

Sayacorp Capital

UltraTech Cement Limited

Esterad Investment Company BSC

Work highlights

  • Advised Ripples Capital Limited, the world’s leading cloud kitchen company, on the USD 415 million Series C venture capital round led by SoftBank, the largest-ever venture financing round in the Middle East and the first investment by SoftBank in a Middle-East based start-up.
  • Advised Gulf Marketing Group, a leading family-owned retail company in the Middle East, on the acquisition of the Geant, Monoprix and Franprix franchise from Dubai Holding and Meraas.
  • Advising Saudi-listed poultry giant, Tanmiah Food Company, on the sale of a significant interest in two businesses to US-listed global proteins giant, Tyson Foods. In addition to the acquisition and joint venture agreements, the transaction included a suite of commercial agreements relating to the businesses.

Hadef & Partners LLC

Hadef & Partners LLC advises on a full spectrum of corporate and commercial matters. Ahmad Sergieh and Yasser Omar head the corporate teams in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, respectively, and both have significant experience advising on cross-border transactions. Managing partner Sadiq Jafar specialises in inward investment, joint ventures, and M&A matters. Victoria Woods leads the commercial group, and is particularly active in the retail, leisure and hospitality and digital media sectors, while James Dunne rounds off the leadership team. Patrick Tweedale is also noted for his M&A expertise.

Practice head(s):

Ahmad Sergieh; Yasser Omar; Victoria Woods; Sadiq Jafar; James Dunne

Other key lawyers:

Patrick Tweedale; Paul Wynne


‘Hadef & Partners is a professional firm to deal with on the other side of transactions, and practical and commercial in negotiations.’

‘Patrick Tweedale is an excellent transactional lawyer. His technical legal skills combined with a commercial approach to getting deals done make him highly recommended.’

‘Hadef & Partners is a business partner to clients rather than a service provider. They understand clients’ businesses very well and they appreciate the business relationship.’

Key clients

Abu Dhabi Ports Company PJSC

Q Holding PJSC

Abu Dhabi Department of Government Support

Saadiyat Development and Investment Company


Ethmar Holdings

Alpha Dhabi Holding PJSC

Multiply Group PJSC

Response Plus Holding PJSC

United Fidelity Insurance Company PJSC

Ras Al Khaimah Cement Investment Company PJSC

International Holding Company

National Takaful

Impala Terminals Group S.à r.l.

Prometheus Group

Ahmad Tabari

The Farjam Collection Ltd.

Invictus Investment Co PLC

King & Spalding LLP

The corporate, finance and investments group at King & Spalding LLP has broad sector expertise across the UAE and Saudi Arabia, including in the energy and infrastructure, food and beverage, and healthcare sectors. Nabil Issa leads the team, and has particular expertise acting for Saudi governmental and quasi-governmental clients. James Stull offers funds and asset management expertise, whilst Macky O’Sullivan, who was recently promoted to partner, is particularly active in the venture capital space. Simon Rahimzada departed to Ashurst LLP in late 2022.

Practice head(s):

Nabil Issa

Other key lawyers:

James Stull; Macky O’Sullivan

Key clients


The Western Union Company


Saudi Investment Recycling Company

General Dynamics

EWTP Arabia

iKcon Holdco Limited

Global Ventures Ltd

Riyad Capital


Bateel Group

Mizuho Gulf Capital Partners

Saudi Power Procurement Company

Abu Dhabi Capital Group

Gulf Investment Corporation

GIC Singapore

L Catterton


Middle East Paper Company

Select Investment

Saur SAS

Besix Group

Gulf Islamic Investment Company

GLD Partners

Penny Software

Rua Growth Fund

Azmeel Contracting Company

Nazer Group Company Limited

Shorooq VC Partners Ltd

Impact Capital Company

Wadi Makkah


Derayah Financial

Al Faris Food Industries Ltd and Al Faris Trading Limited

Seedra Investment Company


Al Dobowi

Foundation Holding

Flat 6 Labs

Dar Al Arkan

Quara Holding


Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP has a well-regarded corporate practice, with the team regularly advising on both the buy and sell side of M&A transactions. Its expertise spans a broad range of sectors, though it is particularly active in the technology, healthcare and energy industries. Practice head Chris Lester  has extensive experience advising on public and private M&A transactions across the wider Middle East region. Eyad Latif was recently promoted to partner and specialises in cross-border M&A. Omar Maayeh focuses on corporate transactions in the technology venture capital space.

Practice head(s):

Chris Lester

Other key lawyers:

Eyad Latif; Omar Maayeh


‘Eyad Latif and Omar Maayeh’s knowledge of law in this region is impeccable. They offer practical solutions and play a spot on advisory roles for several VC funds.’

‘Eyad Latif and Omar Maayeh are quick, detail-oriented, and very practical in their approach. They are excellent advisors.’

‘The Latham & Watkins team is highly skilled and professional. They deliver the required work in a timely manner. The work can be easily provided to the client from several departments without any complications.’

‘The team are always present when needed and they always make the time to understand the client’s needs and adhere to them.’

‘Eyad Latif and Omar Maayeh provide high-level advice and engagement in the work required at any given time.’

Key clients


Silver Lake Partners


SIG Combibloc





Sequoia Capital


Linklaters’ UAE corporate team is well versed in handling M&A and corporate transactions for an impressive client base, which includes large corporates, financial sponsors, and government-related entities. The group is co-led by Nicholas Edwards and Scott Campbell from Abu Dhabi and Dubai, respectively. Edwards focuses on advising regional and international clients on cross-border M&A transactions in the energy and infrastructure sectors and Campbell has a track record handling complex M&A and equities deals in the region.

Practice head(s):

Nicholas Edwards; Scott Campbell

Key clients

DP World Limited

SHUAA Capital

Emirates Telecommunications Group Company PJSC

Meraas Holding LLC

Emaar Properties

Emaar Malls

The Mawarid Investment Group

Bytedance Pte. Ltd.


SABIC Agri-Nutrients Company

BRF Foods GmbH


Mobile Telecommunications Company Saudi Arabia

Saudi Electricity Company

Ahli United Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Emaar Properties PJSC, the largest integrated and diversified real estate company in the MENA region, on its statutory merger with Emaar Malls PJSC.
  • Advised Meraas Leisure and Entertainment LLC on its acquisition of 100% of DXB Entertainment PJSC, which involved the first-ever all-cash tender offer in the UAE and successful completion of the first-ever ‘squeeze out’ process in the UAE.
  • Advised SHUAA Capital PSC on the sale of its indirect 20% shareholding in Mirfa International Power and Water Company to a subsidiary of Sojitz Corporation.


Akin has a dedicated corporate practice, with the team advising a number of sovereign wealth funds, financial institutions, and investors. It is noted for its strength in sovereign investment-related mandates, and is particularly active in the TMT, leisure and tourism, and defence sectors. Wael Jabsheh leads the group and has extensive experience in the region advising on domestic and cross-border M&A, joint ventures, and private equity matters. Associate Mazen Baddar has broad corporate and commercial transactional expertise.

Practice head(s):

Wael Jabsheh

Other key lawyers:

Mazen Baddar


‘The team is highly professional with in-depth knowledge in the subject matters, and delivers on time with high quality.’

‘The team understands the client’s business, thinks strategically, and addresses issues from a practical point of view.’

Baker Botts L.L.P.

The corporate team at Baker Botts L.L.P. is recognised for its strength in advising overseas investors seeking to expand into the UAE and wider Middle East region. It also has particular expertise in the franchising space, with the team advising on a number of high-profile corporations. The group is co-headed by Haitham Hawashin, who has extensive experience in cross-border public and private M&A deals, and Mark Bisch, who focuses on joint ventures, contracting, corporate governance, and regulatory compliance matters.

Practice head(s):

Mark Bisch; Haitham Hawashin

Other key lawyers:

Hassan Elsayed; Stephen Matthews; Shakir Mabrur


‘The Baker Botts team has the mentality of helping clients solve problems, whether through pure legal analysis and more often than not, business guidance. They don’t just look at issues through the legal lens, but offer a comprehensive view of overall risk to your business.’

‘Mark Bisch stands out because of his dedication to being a sounding board and sparring partner for the client. His responsiveness is astounding.’

‘Hassan Elsayed has very deep knowledge and understanding of local law, and the practical viewpoint for how to actually get things done.’

‘Very good team, always available, and very diversified resources.’

‘Haitham Hawashin and Shakir Mabrur are excellent in supporting clients. They are very professional and look to the best of the interest of their client.

‘What makes this practice unique is the combination of Mark Bisch and Hassan Elsayed who have been practicing together in Dubai since the mid-1990s. They have seen it all in Dubai and they are able to provide extremely practical, relevant, local practice advice.’

‘Very personalised approach with a lot of attention to the client experience.’

‘Very proactive approach to instructions, dealt with very swiftly and concisely. Particularly good experience with Mark Bisch.’

Key clients

Derayah Financial

Eshraq Investments


McDermott International

Shuaa Capital psc

Black & Veatch

Oxford Nanopore Technologies

Yas Holding LLC

GFH Financial Group BSC

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton showcases strong multi-jurisdictional M&A expertise, with the team regularly advising sovereign wealth funds and pension funds, as well as international corporates and investors, on M&A transactions in the UAE and the wider MENA region. Gamal Abouali specialises in M&A, capital market transactions and projects and Chris Macbeth has a broad commercial practice that covers cross-border M&A and private equity-related matters. Lynn Ammar was promoted to partner in January 2022.

Other key lawyers:

Gamal Abouali; Chris Macbeth; Lynn Ammar; George Taylor


‘There is a solid level of consistency of the legal service (both in terms of quality of advice and the collaboration) across different offices and jurisdictions. The engagement with the key partners is always proactive and personal.’

‘The firm is very innovative as demonstrated by ClearyX, the firm’s platform for AI and data-driven legal services.’

‘Chris Macbeth is an exceptional corporate partner.’

Key clients



Ministry of Oil, Republic of Iraq

Fertiglobe plc


Work highlights

  • Advised OCI N.V. and its subsidiary OCI Intermediate B.V. in the sale of a 15% stake in OCI’s methanol business to ADQ and Alpha Dhabi Holding for a total consideration of $375 million.
  • Advised the investment funds managed by affiliates of Brookfield Business Partners in the acquisition of 60% of Magnati, the payment solutions business of First Abu Dhabi Bank.
  • Advised the Ministry of Oil of the Republic of Iraq and two Iraqi state-owned companies on the gas growth integrated project with TotalEnergies, which involved total investments announced at $27 billion.


Dentons has a substantive corporate offering that is particularly active in the energy, defence, TMT, real estate, and healthcare sectors. With the firm’s wider regional network, as well as strong local and international expertise, it is also able to assist in cross-border transactional matters. Practice head Iain Black has significant experience acting on M&A and joint venture mandates in the region. Catherine Beckett has a broad practice, covering M&A transactions alongside equity capital markets and business establishment matters.

Practice head(s):

Iain Black


‘The team is very responsive and always provides the full picture with respect to a certain matter. Their attitude is very professional.’

Key clients

National Central Cooling Company

Alamar Foods DMCC


Children’s National Medical Centre

Delta Partners




Gulf Capital

MENA Infrastructure Fund

Redington International

Sharjah Islamic Bank

Sweetheart Kitchen


Delivery Hero

Work highlights

  • Advising Tabreed in relation to its new joint venture with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group.
  • Advising Tabreed on the purchase of the shareholding of Mubadala Infrastructure Partners Limited in the Maryah Island district cooling facilities in Abu Dhabi.
  • Advising Delivery Hero on their participation in Dubai-based buy-now pay later platform Tabby’s series B investment round.

Eversheds Sutherland LLP

Eversheds Sutherland LLP handles a broad range of corporate and commercial transactions for both public and private sector clients. Zeid Hanania leads the corporate arm of the group, and is particularly active in private equity, M&A and joint venture mandates. Steve Jennings is also noted for his experience in these areas. Geraldine Ahern leads the commercial side and has significant expertise advising on contractual structuring matters, distribution and franchising arrangements, and drafting bespoke commercial contracts.

Practice head(s):

Zeid Hanania; Geraldine Ahern

Other key lawyers:

Steve Jennings


‘The Eversheds corporate team is a hardworking one with talented individuals.’

‘Zeid Hanania is very strong with an excellent technical background, strong connections in the region and, crucially, bilingual for the Middle East.’

‘Steve Jennings is an upcoming star who is very responsive, diligent and focused.’

Key clients

VFS Group

Savola Group

Gulf Capital

Olive Rock Partners

Levant Capital

Al Faisaliah Group

Arabian International Healthcare Holding Co.


Savola Foods Company

Cedar White Bradley



Cotecna Inspection SA

Work highlights

  • Advised Savola Food Company on the US$260m of leading snacks manufacturer Bayara Holding from Levant Capital and other shareholders.
  • Advised Air Products on the acquisition of hydrogen assets in the UAE and Bahrain from Air Liquide.
  • Advised Arabian International Healthcare Holding Company on its strategic acquisition of a controlling stake in Innovative Care Company.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has an active corporate M&A practice in the UAE and wider Middle East region. Its client base includes international investors, sovereign wealth funds, and state-owned entities, and it is particularly active in the areas of energy and infrastructure, pharmaceuticals and healthcare, and TMT. Practice head Chris Walters is regularly instructed on multi-jurisdictional M&A transactions, joint ventures and investments. Senior associate Anna Szyndler is noted for her broad corporate expertise.

Practice head(s):

Chris Walters

Other key lawyers:

Anna Szyndler; Andrew El-Khoury

Key clients

Lagardère Travel Retail


International Holding Company



Provis Real Estate

Work highlights

  • Advised Lagardère Travel Retail on its acquisition of a majority share and controlling interest in HWH’s food and beverage operations at Dubai airport, by way of a share deal.
  • Advised Aramex PJSC, a leading global provider of comprehensive logistics and transportation solutions, on its sale of a leading records and information management provider in the MENA region, Information Fort, to Iron Mountain Limited.
  • Advised IHC in connection with its acquisition of 75% of Abu Dhabi Vegetable Oil Company.

Norton Rose Fulbright

The corporate, M&A, and securities practice at Norton Rose Fulbright  is headed by Adjou Ait Ben Idir, who has significant experience advising local and international clients on inbound and outbound cross-border transactions. Zubair Mir, who recently joined from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, and Kayaan Unwalla have additional expertise advising sovereign wealth fund and government entities on international investments and M&A transactions. Counsel Shahrzad Askarpour is noted for her experience advising on multi-jurisdictional M&A mandates.

Practice head(s):

Adjou Ait Ben Idir

Other key lawyers:

Zubair Mir;  Kayaan Unwalla; Shahrzad Askarpour; Jonathan Burton


‘Norton Rose stands out because their partners and the team are very responsive. They listen to the clients and understand the clients’ needs and the commercial rationale behind it.’

‘They provide clients with information and judgement that help the client make the decision. It is not common to see such a good business sense for the entire team including both partners and senior associates.’

‘Jonathan Burton’s availability, legal knowledge and commercial sense are impressive. He is a good resource in Middle East, both in the legal industry or in the financial industry.’

‘Adjou Ait Ben Idir is highly knowledgeable, well-respected in the local market, and effective at getting deals over the line.’

Key clients

Royal Group

International Holding Company

Total SA



Oman International

Public Investment Fund

Saudia Airlines

Pure Health



First Gulf Bank

Asteco Property Management

Public Investment Fund





Work highlights

  • Advised Abu Dhabi listed, International Holding Company on its USD 2 billion investment into Adani Group.
  • Advising Bybit on its entry into the UAE market, including setting up of new locations for its technology and software business, investment arm and establishment of headquarters in the UAE free zones DWTC and DIFC.
  • Advised Africa Transformation & Industrialization Fund Limited Partnership on the purchase of shares held by OLAM International LTD in Arise Integrated Industrial Platforms, Arise Infrastructure Service and Gabon Special Economic Zone Infrastructures SA.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s corporate offering is particularly active in the healthcare and life sciences sector, as well as in the energy and infrastructure sectors. Mohammad Tbaishat heads the team from Dubai, with significant expertise advising on M&A, private equity matters and joint ventures. Senior associate Christopher Neal focuses on advising multinational clients on their operations in the UAE and wider GCC region, whilst Alexandra Aikman is noted for her role in developing the firm’s commercial practice.

Practice head(s):

Mohammad Tbaishat

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Neal; Alexandra Aikman; Nathalia Elhage; Kate Iliff


‘A preferred choice of practitioners in the UAE. General all-round capacity to deal with multifaceted issues in corporate, funding, and litigation matters.’

Key clients

NMC Healthcare LTD

Speedy Hire PLC

Lion Group

Advanced Technology and Development

Sanabil Investments

National Center for Privatization

Work highlights

  • Advising the NMC Healthcare in respect of it USD 7.1 billion restructuring, allowing the NMC group (being the largest private healthcare group in the UAE) to forgo bankruptcy and continue operating
  • Advising Sanabil Investments on a number of investments in the region, including e-commerce market place Sary and fintech company Tamara.
  • Advising NASDAQ-listed Lion Group in relation to its indirect acquisition of a UAE crypto-trading business.

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard handles a broad spectrum of corporate and commercial transactions. Practice head Andrew Johnston specialises in cross-border M&A, joint venture, and private equity mandates. Lowri Llwyd has particular expertise in the retail, TMT, and education sectors, and Owen Richards regularly acts on M&A and investment mandates within the MENA region. Hardeep Plahe and Fraser Dawson recently joined from Gibson Dunn; they have expertise across a broad range of corporate transactions, while Ibrahim Siddiki is likewise a new name, having arrived in March 2023 from Bracewell LLP.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Johnston

Other key lawyers:

Lowri Llwyd; Owen Richards; Fraser Dawson; James Whittam; Mhairi Cruickshank; Ibrahim Siddiki


‘They work great as a team, with good partner support and a great junior team.’

‘Fraser Dawson has proven to be a strong engagement partner, and Andrew Johnston is always a strong leader.’

‘Impeccable delivery with exceptional service.’

‘Lowri Llwyd gives exceptional legal advice and is a fantastic commercial partner. She has also built a team of knowledgeable associates who are great to work with and anticipate our needs.’

‘James Whittam and Mhairi Cruickshank are both really strong in delivering well thought out drafts of the legal docs.’

‘The AG team give outstanding legal advice, but more than that they provide exceptional commercial advice with a deep understanding of local laws and practices.’

‘Always pragmatic, practical and responsive, with good commercial understanding of clients’ businesses.’

‘The team at Addleshaw Goddard is very responsive and know how to adapt quickly to each matter. They are excellent negotiators and know how to get to their target while letting go just a little.’

Key clients

3S Investment Limited

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company for Distribution PJSC

ADS Securities LLC


United Projects for Aviation Services Company

Al Boom Marine

Scope Investment

AJWGK Limited

HLD Group

Al Futtaim Group

Altro Limited

Aldar Properties

Amiga Group EMEA Ltd

AJWGK Limited

ARY Digital

ASCA Capital


Schneider Electric

Bios Middle East

Blue Ocean Terminals Limited

British American Tobacco Middle East

Carlyle Group

Carus Animal Health

Cavendish Maxwell Real Estate Valuation Services LLC

CedarBridge Capital Partners

Cobham Satcom

Coffee Planet LLC

Cognita Limited

Coty Inc.

Coty Middle East FZCO

Dassault Aviation


DP World

Dubai Multi Commodities Centre

El Grocer Limited

Element Materials Technology

Emirates Flight Catering

Emirates Integrated Technology Company

Estée Lauder Middle East

Exterran Corporation


Finasi Group

Fircroft Engineering Services

G4S plc

GEMS Education

Global Hotel Alliance

Great Lakes Africa Energy

Guggenheim KBBO Partners Limited

Gulf Capital

Hawk Limited

Hoare Lea


InfraCo Africa

J.K. Cement Works (Fujairah) FZC

John and Maura Kent

Kasamar Holdings

Kids First Group

Klinger Ltd

Knoma LTD

Kraft Heinz MEA LLC

Max’s Group

Mizuho Gulf Capital Partners

Moorfields Eye Hospital

Multiplex Construction

Newsgroup International

Carma International

Oman Flour Mills

Owners of Seashell Nursery

Phanes Group

Phenna Group

Polyeco Waste Management

Green Evolution

Reckitt Benckiser

Rhipe Limited


RJ O’Brien

Sami Alom

Chat Time Café LLC

Earnest Insurance LLC

Signify International B.V

Sovereign Group LTD

TA Associates

Talria Limited

The Carlyle Group and Ideal Holding Limited

The Shareholders of International Electromechanical Services Co. L.L.C

Total Processing

Traffic Digital Group

Val Morgan Australia Pty Ltd

Viking International Limited

Al Waha Land L.L.C.

WSP Opus


Work highlights

  • Advised Cognita Limited, a global private schools group, on the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Horizon International School LLC and the entire issued share capital of International Management Ventures LLC, which operates Ranches Primary School and Ranches Nursery.
  • Advised DP World on Canadian investment group CDPQ’s USD 5 billion investment in three of its flagship UAE assets, Jebel Ali Port, Jebel Ali Free Zone and National Industries Park, and in relation to its joint venture with British International Investment (formerly CDC Group) to invest in origin and destination ports, inland container depots, economic zones and other logistics assets across Africa.
  • Advised Waha Land L.L.C. on its on-going disposal of 17 leased warehouse buildings at the Al Markaz Industrial Development to Peninsula Real Estate Management for AED555 million.

Afridi & Angell

The corporate and commercial team at Afridi & Angell is experienced in M&A, joint ventures, restructuring, and commercial contracts. Bashir Ahmed, who has extensive experience advising on cross-border corporate transactional and competition matters, co-leads the group with Charles Laubach, who has particular strength in government procurement matters. Danielle Lobo is noted for her experience in M&A and private equity transactions and Abdus Samad focuses on transactional and corporate advisory matters.

Practice head(s):

Bashir Ahmed; Charles Laubach

Other key lawyers:

Danielle Lobo; Abdus Samad


‘Very good impression of the firm. It gives clients’ strategic approaches, and short, quick answers.’

‘Charles Laubach is experienced, mature, and gives strategic answers.’

Ashurst LLP

Ashurst LLP’s corporate transactions and international projects group acts on both sell-side and buy-side transactions and has strong capabilities in joint venture work. The team is co-led by Simon Fraser, who has extensive experience advising on cross-border and domestic M&A transactions, alongside David Charlier, managing partner of the firm’s Middle East offering. Stuart James has particular expertise advising on corporate and general commercial transactions in the energy and infrastructure sectors, and Simon Rahimzada joined the firm in late 2022 from King & Spalding LLP.

Practice head(s):

Simon Fraser; David Charlier

Other key lawyers:

Stuart James; Simon Rahimzada


‘Simon Fraser is a key name of note.’

Key clients

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company


ADES Investments Holding Ltd

Geltec Inc. Pte. Ltd.

Kuwait Petrochemical Company

Petrochemicals Industries Company K.S.C

Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners

American Securities

Abu Dhabi Pension Fund





Venice Energy

Work highlights

  • Advised a regional investor on its initial bid to acquire an interest in an entity holding rights to Saudi Aramco’s gas pipeline system within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (overall transaction value exceeding US$15.5bn).
  • Advised ADES Investments on the US$516m takeover of the DIFC domiciled and London listed ADES International by a consortium entity jointly owned by ADES Investments, The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and Zamil Investments.
  • Advised ADNOC in connection with its acquisition of a significant interest in Masdar, which involved conducting legal due diligence on Masdar’s portfolio of clean energy projects and investments across more than 15 jurisdictions.

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird has particular expertise advising clients in technology-related sectors, as well as handling franchising and licensing agreements on the commercial side. It is also sought out by UAE government entities. Anders Nilsson heads the corporate and aviation practice from Abu Dhabi and Melissa Murray heads the commercial side from Dubai. Johannes Eisser specialises in M&A and joint venture transactions. Senior associate Surabhi Singhi is noted for her experience advising on corporate and regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):

Anders Nilsson; Melissa Murray

Other key lawyers:

Johannes Eisser; Surabhi Singhi; Eleonore Mayer


‘The knowledge of M&A law is second-to-none.’

‘A very calm and composed team. Innovative in its legal thinking, and very responsive.’

‘Johannes Eisser is a heavyweight M&A lawyer – methodical and composed, willing to go the extra mile and keep a calm head when timelines and pressure were exerted from other stakeholders.’

‘Johannes Eisser has a natural ability to break down complex legal issues and explain them to the layman.’

‘Strong knowledge and availability.’

‘Melissa Murray is very knowledgeable in franchising and business laws in multiple countries in the Middle East. She oversees and utilizes skilled associates to help provide us with effective and cost-efficient service.’

Key clients

Jebel Ali School


Florin Court Capital


Darden Restaurants

Hustle n’ Flow

Mondofix Inc.

Sirius Aviation Capital

Takura AB

The Grooming Company

Dubai Cultiv8

Circle K Procurement and Brands Limited

Smoke’s Poutinerie International, Inc.

InterOil Group

Work highlights

  • Assisted Jebel Ali School, a leading British curriculum school in Dubai, in a AED234 million transaction involving the transfer of the school and its operations to a subsidiary of Taaleem Holdings PSC.
  • Assisted UK based hedge fund Florin Court Capital in setting up a fund management entity and a feeder fund structure in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), including day to day corporate and regulatory advice.


CMS has a substantial corporate and commercial practice, with particular sector expertise in the areas TMT, hospitality and leisure, and energy and infrastructure. John O’Connor heads the team; he has a track record advising on domestic and cross-border M&A transactions. Patrik Daintry focuses on international M&A, PE and joint venture transactions. Graham Conlon recently joined the Dubai team, and is well-regarded for his M&A expertise.

Practice head(s):

John O’Connor

Other key lawyers:

Patrik Daintry; Graham Conlon

Key clients

Aldar Properties PJSC

Investment Corporation of Dubai






Dubai Electricity & Water Authority

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (TAQA)



Weir Group

Hambro Perks/Oryx

Corinthia Hotels

Oman Hotel Tourism Company

Intercontinental Hotel Group


Al Dahra Group

Work highlights

  • Advising Aldar Properties on its $136m acquisition of Abu Dhabi Business Hub, a leading logistics business hub based in Abu Dhabi.
  • Advising Weir Group on their $120 million acquisition of Motion Metrics, a global AI business active in the mining sector.
  • Advising Gupshup, a leading conversational messaging platform, on its $100 million acquisition of Knowlarity Communications.

Dechert LLP

The corporate and securities team at Dechert LLP advises regional and international clients on the full investment life cycle, and has particular expertise handling corporate and financing transactions, as well as inbound and outbound M&A matters across the MENA region. Philip Dowsett leads the group, and has significant experience acting for private equity firms and sovereign wealth funds on M&A deals. Previous practice head Chris Sioufi left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Philip Dowsett


‘Very responsive, good commercial advice. Helpful with introductions.’

‘Good commitment and advice. They’re always there for their clients.’

Key clients

Amanat Holdings

Malabar Investments PLC

Tabby Inc

Alameda Group


Optilan Group

The Giving Movement



Gibson Dunn

Gibson Dunn has an active M&A offering, with the team advising a number of financial sponsors on the buy-side and sell-side of M&A transactions. It also has expertise in restructuring matters. Hanna Chalhoub was recently promoted to partner, and is noted for his know-how in cross-border transactions, covering acquisitions, dispositions, and joint ventures. Marwan Elaraby, Renad Younes, and Jade Chu have recently joined from Shearman & Sterling LLP.

Other key lawyers:

Hanna Chalhoub; Marwan Elaraby; Renad Younes; Jade Chu

Key clients

Abudawood Group

Agility Public Warehousing Company


Emirates NBD PJSC


Fajr Capital Limited

FTI Consulting Inc.

Forum Energy Technologies


Jadwa Investment Company

Kuwait Food Company (Americana) KSCC

Kuwait Investment Authority

Mumtalakat Bahrain Holding Company



The corporate offering at HFW is co-led by Rula Dajani Abuljebain and Richard Lucas from Dubai and Abu Dhabi, respectively. It has particular expertise in international trade and commercial contracts, primarily acting for clients in the maritime, commodities, energy, and transport sectors. Tania De Swart has significant corporate and commercial experience and Vince Gordon is increasingly involved in corporate regulatory matters. Alexa Reid left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Rula Dajani Abuljebain; Richard Lucas

Other key lawyers:

Tania De Swart; Vince Gordon; Jemima McDonald

Key clients

Lancaster6 DMCC

Force 10 Limited

Aquarius Global Limited

Aspen Medical

Emirates Business Group


Harris Corporation

Flight Centre Travel Group

Etihad Rail Company PJSC

Bahrain Airport Services

James Fisher & Sons plc

Aditya Birla Group

DOW Chemicals

Chedid Capital Holdings

Munich Re

Al Futtaim Willis

PPG Industries


Alstom Transport

Andritz AG

Hartree Partners

DP World

P&O Maritime

Work highlights

  • Advised the Aditya Birla Group, an Indian multinational US$46bn conglomerate, on its proposed investment in Zand Bank, the UAE’s first digital bank.
  • Advising Force 10 on all its joint venture and supply arrangements with Abu Dhabi’s EDGE Group.
  • Advising Tribe Infrastructure Group, headquartered in the ADGM, Abu Dhabi on their corporate structure, regulatory issues and shareholder arrangements.

Hogan Lovells (United Arab Emirates) LLP

Hogan Lovells (United Arab Emirates) LLP has a full-service corporate offering, with the team advising on agency and distribution arrangements, regulatory issues, and compliance mandates. Imtiaz Shah leads the team from Dubai, with extensive experience acting on M&A transactions in the Middle East, particularly in the luxury retail space. Charles Fuller advises PE funds, financial institutions, corporations and sovereign wealth funds on a broad range of corporate transactions.

Practice head(s):

Imtiaz Shah

Other key lawyers:

Charles Fuller


‘The relationship driven approach of the practice and the culture that has been built around this philosophy make the team unique.’

‘A solution-oriented practice. The team always takes a problem-solving approach to legal matters rather than creating legal complexity.’

‘Imtiaz Shah stands out due to his deep understanding of both the commercial and legal aspects of M&A transactions and a thoroughly professional yet relationship driven approach towards his legal practice.’

Key clients

HRH Prince Alwaleed & Rotana Music

AS Group

Lockheed Martin

Caretech Plc

International Finance Corporation

ExxonMobil Corporation

Gulf Investment Corporation

Jabreen Capital


Work highlights

  • Advised HRH Prince Alwaleed’s Rotana Music in connection with the Warner Music Group’s agreement to buy a minority stake in the Rotana Music Group.
  • Advised the AS Group on its acquisition of DMETCO-Bayti.
  • Advised Kook Cloud Kitchen Company on their Series A funding round.

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP’s corporate offering primarily centres on the energy sector, advising clients on M&A transactions, commercial contracts, project financing and development, corporate restructuring, and regulatory and compliance matters. Managing partner Patricia Tiller leads the team from Dubai, specialising in commercial projects. David Pang has significant experience advising on cross-border M&A deals and private equity investments and Martin A. Skehill focuses on project finance, infrastructure development and government-related commercial work.

Practice head(s):

Patricia Tiller

Other key lawyers:

David Pang; Martin A. Skehill


‘Patricia Tiller is notable.’

‘Its reaction and service is good.’

Key clients

Emirates Global Aluminium PJSC


Al-Waha Petroleum Company Limited

ENOC Link L.L.C.

Hoover Ferguson Group

Emirates National Oil Company LLC

Beema Insurance Services LLC

Endemaj Funds LLC

Everbridge Europe Limited

Disruptive Art Production LLC

Gerab National Enterprises

Middlesex University Law School

Work highlights

  • Advising Petromal on various aspects of its joint venture with Israel’s Europe-Asia Pipeline Company, a joint venture entered into through a Petromal subsidiary known as MED-RED Land Bridge Ltd.
  • Advised Emirates Global Aluminium PJSC in connection with ongoing commercial matters under some of the largest commodities sales agreements in the UAE.
  • Advising Beema Insurance Services LLC on various corporate and commercial legal matters.

Ibrahim & Partners

Ibrahim & Partners advises on a wide variety of public and private M&A transactions, including those involving joint stock companies and UAE companies with international operations. Managing partner Ahmed Ibrahim co-leads the team from Dubai alongside Malack El Masry, who has extensive experience in the region advising on M&A deals, as well as a broad range of corporate, commercial, and structuring expertise.

Practice head(s):

Malack El Masry; Ahmed Ibrahim

Other key lawyers:

Mohamed Madi


‘Malack El Masry is knowledgeable not only about relevant local laws, but also about the local players involved, and takes a commercial approach.’

Key clients

Amanat Holdings PJSC

Dar Al Takaful

BH Mubasher PrJSC

Al Ramz Corporation PJSC

Dubai Holding Group LLC


VPS Health Group

Wilo Middle East FZE

Work highlights

  • Advised Dar Al Takaful PJSC on a merger transaction that is the first of its kind as the first merger in the insurance sector of the UAE. It is also the first merger across the two emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
  • Advised Allianz Marine Logistics and Services Ltd on one of the largest merger and acquisition deals in the maritime offshore sector in the Middle East in recent years, with the acquisition of Allianz Marine by Shuaa PJSC through an acquisition finance by the National Bank of Fujairah.
  • Advising Corys Environmental Investments on a joint venture with Cafu App DMCC (Dubai Branch).

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has an active corporate and commercial practice, with a key focus on the defence and aviation, technology, healthcare, and energy and infrastructure sectors. Mark Gilligan leads the team from Abu Dhabi, with significant experience advising both private and institutional clients. Richard Knott specialises in transactional capital deployment and formation matters, whilst senior associate Joanna Maria El Khoury focuses on corporate mandates.

Practice head(s):

Mark Gilligan

Other key lawyers:

Richard Knott; Joanna Maria El Khoury


‘Richard Knott is a superstar quite frankly. Always keeps his eyes on the ball and is very approachable.’

Key clients

Fasset Holdings Limited

Mizuho Gulf Capital Partners Ltd.

Shuaa Capital

Trillium Flow Technologies

TVM Capital Healthcare Partners Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Trillium Flow Technologies, a global designer, manufacturer, and aftermarket services provider of engineered valves and pumps used in critical infrastructure, energy, and broader industrial applications, on the acquisition of Termomeccanica Pompe, an Italian-based global manufacturer and seller of industrial centrifugal pumps and supplier of related parts.
  • Advised Shuaa Capital on the acquisition of a majority interest in, the Middle East fintech company focused on personal finance, wealth management and insurance businesses.

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Shearman & Sterling LLP is recognised for its expertise in the energy sector, specifically oil and gas. It handles a range of matters, including minority investments, acquisitions of controlling stakes or entire companies, and joint ventures, acting primarily for companies, financial institutions and governments. Andrew Steele has particular expertise in the financial services, energy, and natural resources sectors. Marwan Elaraby, Renad Younes, and Jade Chu recently departed the firm. Since publication, Kasia Lebiecki left the firm.

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Steele

Key clients

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company

The Saudi Arabian Industrial Investments Company

NEOM Company



The Dow Chemical Company

SUEZ, Itochu Corporation and Five Capital Fund I

Baker Hughes

Qatar Investment Authority


Mitsui & Co., Ltd

Ripplewood Advisors

Squire Patton Boggs

The corporate team at Squire Patton Boggs has broad expertise across a range of sectors, and is particularly experienced in handling cross-border M&A, joint ventures, privatisations, and restructurings. Matthew Powell heads the team, and is noted for his regional M&A market expertise.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Powell

Key clients

DP World



Taiba Investments

Petro Rabigh

Saudi Arabian Industrial Investments

Ministry of Minerals and Industrial Resources, Saudi Arabia

Emirates Cable TV and Multimedia LLC

Octagon Dynamics General Trading Company LLC

Shard Capital

Work highlights

  • Advising Emirates-based multinational telecommunications services provider Etisalat (now known as e&) on its proposed increase in its stake in Mobily, the Saudi Arabian telecommunications services company, by way of a partial tender offer. This is the first-ever proposed takeover under the KSA M&A regulations.
  • Advised EVision on its acquisition and subscription, as part of a consortium with ADQ, to acquire 57% in Playco, the holding company for StarzPlay Arabia, the leading regional streaming and on demand television service provider.
  • Advised Saudi Investment Recycling Company on its recently announced transaction with United Lube Oil Company to acquire 51% of Oil Collection For Waste Transfer Company Limited.


AMERELLER advises international companies on a range of matters in the MENA region, including cross-border M&A with a focus on foreign inbound investments, joint ventures, and restructuring mandates. It has particular expertise in the automotive, manufacturing, and healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. The team is led by Jochen Murach, Christopher Gunson, Babak Namazi, and Jonathan Noble.

Practice head(s):

Jochen Murach; Christopher Gunson; Babak Namazi; Jonathan Noble

Other key lawyers:

Amer Jamoukha


‘Amereller is an international experienced law firm but with a focused and boutique feel to it. They take time to understand clients’ businesses and prioritise communication.’

‘Jochen Murach is an exceptional lawyer and a trusted advisor. He is experienced, pragmatic, and efficient.’

‘The firm’s focus on the Middle East is a unique selling point. The team combines its knowledge of how to serve European clients with its experience in dealing with parties and courts in the Middle East.’

‘The number and locations of the firm’s offices are equally impressive as is the network of contacts throughout the region with other lawyers and decision makers.’

‘Diverse team from different nationalities and backgrounds which helps to resolve regional matters with confidence. People are helpful and have strong analytical ability, they easily understand the business needs and look from different angles. Professional team.’

‘Strong understanding of clients’ businesses and needs, and providing risk-based assessments, make Jochen Murach different from his competitors.’

‘One of the aspects that makes them a valuable law service provider is the breadth and depth of experience that they have. This consistently results in creative and easy-to-implement solutions.’

‘Jonathan Noble is tremendously talented but is also wonderful to deal with. He possesses great creativity and a solutions-orientated way of working.’

Key clients

Kurita Water Industries Ltd.

Kurita Europe Gmbh

Kurita Middle East FZE

Marubeni Corporation

Klampfer Holding GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advised Kurita Europe GmbH, part of Kurita Water Industries Group, on its joint venture with AquaChemie in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
  • Represented Marubeni Corporation in the demobilization and decommissioning of the Taweelah A2 Power and Water Plant.

Anjarwalla Collins & Haidermota (AC&H)

Anjarwalla Collins & Haidermota (AC&H) has expertise in African and Southwest Asia cross-border corporate mandates, covering a full range of M&A transactions. Managing partner Atiq S. Anjarwalla leads the group and is particularly active in advising UAE clients investing in African markets. Adil Shafi is also noted for his expertise in corporate and securities transactions.

Practice head(s):

Atiq S. Anjarwalla

Other key lawyers:

Adil Shafi

Key clients

CPAS Management DWC-LLC

The Alliance Group, Africa

Minti Motorsport Limited

Betika Group

Atlas Group Limited

Skylines Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for a privately owned group of companies that operates in the business and financial technology space across UAE and Pakistan, in connection with the acquisition of the entire shareholding of a hospitality technology company in the United Kingdom.
  • Acting for a large pharmaceutical group with operations in South and Central Asia, Uzbekistan, and East Africa in connection with the redomiciliation of their holding company from Seychelles to Dubai, UAE.
  • Acting for a privately owned group of companies, which operates in the business and financial technology space across the UAE and Pakistan, in connection with advising and assisting with its Series A fundraising exercise.


Managing partner Marco De Leo heads BonelliErede’s Middle East offering and has particular expertise handling corporate and commercial transactions, including M&A and joint ventures, in the luxury sector. Beyond that, the practice also advises clients active in a range of other sectors, including energy, shipping, healthcare, and construction.

Practice head(s):

Marco De Leo

Key clients

International materials Inc.

Hitachi Rail STS S.p.A.

Luxottica Group

Essilor Luxottica Group

Work highlights

  • Assisting Hitachi Rail STS S.p.A. in the management of the systems and integration contract for stage two of the UAE’s national railway network awarded by Etihad Rail.
  • Advising International Material Inc. in connection with the activity of its branch in the UAE, including acting on the entire restructuring of operations and maintenance in the international material business.
  • Assisting Luxottica Italy and Luxottica Middle East in connection with their day-to-date general corporate, commercial and contractual matters in the GCC.

Bracewell LLP

Bracewell LLP has particular expertise in joint venture and shareholder arrangements, commercial contracts, and corporate structuring mandates. It is particularly active in the defence, automotive, recruitment, manufacturing, and energy sectors. Christopher R. Williams leads the team and has extensive experience advising on corporate and M&A transactions across the Middle East. Kasia Lebiecki was a new arrival in September 2023.

Practice head(s):

Christopher R. Williams

Other key lawyers:

Amelia Bowring; Kasia Lebiecki


‘The ability to pull together a diverse team from different backgrounds and experiences, especially combining both KSA and UAE knowledge, is impressive.’

‘Their in-depth regional and commercial knowledge means clients can get a turnkey solution to GCC legal problems from professionals that bring together a wealth of experience from different countries, but with a local focus.’

‘Christopher Williams is an extraordinary partner that always has time to speak to clients and provide valuable advice that is always in the best interest of the client.’

‘Ameila Bowring is a fantastic associate. She’s been extremely helpful on a number of issues over the last year.’

Key clients

General Motors

Vertex Aerospace


Pilot Chemical


Dover Corporation

Khalid Yousuf Al Marzouq & Sons Group of Companies

Blu Stone Management

Alcazar Energy Partners

Amerapex Corporation

Allied Telesis

RP International

Cielo Talent

Cornerstone Partners

Brunswick Corporation

Dynatrace Middle East

Servita Consulting

United Service Organizations

Work highlights

  • Advising General Motors on all commercial, corporate and employment mandates during the course of the past 12 months.
  • Acting for KMGC with respect to its Venice subsidiary, which supports a number of international defence contractors regarding their operations in Kuwait.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

The corporate and commercial team at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner handles a full range of matters across various sectors, though it is particularly active in the corporate real estate, technology and venture capital, defence and cyber-security sectors. David Nunn serves as the key contact, following the departure of Greg Nixon.

Practice head(s):

David Nunn


‘The quality of service and timeliness of execution is peerless.’

‘The level of responsiveness is very high, even outside of working days and hours.’

‘The corporate and commercial team at BCLP understand their client and in particular the issues facing in-house counsel. Their lawyers are friendly, knowledgeable and helpful.’

Key clients

Al Fardan Exchange

Binghatti Beverages Manufacturing LLC

Yokwe Technologies Group Limited

Kuwait Projects Company

Premier United Hospitality LLC

Dubai International Financial Centre Authority

Expo 2020 Authority


Carpenter Technology


The Emirates Credit Information Company Limited

Masdar Green REIT (CEIC) Limited

Gregory & Jones Consulting Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for the Binghatti Group on the c.$60m sale of its UAE beverage production business to the Saudi publicly listed entity, Almarai.
  • Advising Masdar Green REIT (CEIC) Limited in relation to the acquisition of seven separate income-generative real estate assets from Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company and associated debt financing relating to the same.
  • Advising the Dubai International Financial Centre in relation to its corporate joint venture with a prominent UAE-based real estate developer for the development of ‘DIFC 2.0’, a mixed-use complex in a prime location in Dubai’s financial district.

BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP

BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP advises on a full range of corporate mandates, including purchases, spin-offs, and disposals of companies. It also handles M&A transactions, particularly relating to TMT, and it regularly acts alongside international counsel on cross-jurisdictional matters, offering local expertise. Jimmy Haoula, Rima Mrad, and Michael Kortbawi co-head the team.

Practice head(s):

Jimmy Haoula; Rima Mrad; Michael Kortbawi

Other key lawyers:

Nadim Bardawil; Lara Barbary; Mohammed Al Ahdal


‘The partners and associates are swift in their answers and are available to provide instant support.’

‘Rima Mrad is an excellent lawyer. She answers on the spot and provides innovative solutions. She has knowledge in a variety of business sectors and law specialties.’

‘The team is diverse and very knowledgeable. They are available at all times and responsive, and always have a pragmatic approach.’

Key clients

Meta (Facebook)

Delivery Hero/Talabat

Voltas Ltd

Halliburton Worldwide Limited


Total Energies

Novo Cinemas

HCL Technologies

Cashew Payments

Kids First Group

Kalera AS



Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait

Weatherford International

RAK Ceramics


Work highlights

  • Acted as DIFC counsel for UOG, a large shipping company, in the acquisition of a DIFC holding company, United Arab Chemical Carriers, which manages and owns a large fleet of ships and cargo vessels.
  • Assisting Total Energies to facilitate their desired corporate structure, including advising them on all legal matters related to restructuring and providing a clear insight leading to the best decisions, exploring new deal options, and sustaining deal focus.
  • Provided Meta with a legal analysis that breaks down the degree of risk posed to the Facebook platform for violations of advertising guidelines under applicable laws in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP has expertise in the logistics, infrastructure, TMT, financial services, and hospitality sectors. It advises on a range of corporate matters, including distressed M&A work. Practice head Jeremy Miocevic specialises in mid-cap private equity, M&A, and strategic corporate issues. Ibrahim Elsadig and Paul Bugingo provide cross-border know-how relating to the GCC region and Africa, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Miocevic

Other key lawyers:

Ibrahim Elsadig; Paul Bugingo


‘Personal touch to the service.’

‘Ibrahim Elsadiq has always been a great guide in finding a legal solution with a commercial outlook.’

‘Longevity in the region of the partners has been key to maintaining an excellent working relationship.’

‘Jeremy Miocevic is a stand-out lawyer who can blend the law as written, with a practical application in local markets, across a wide variety of sectors.’

‘The team is very responsive and does everything to find a solution to all the cases. They approach each case not with standard solutions, but rather a tailored approach.’

‘The team always provides justified responses with clear explanations.’

‘Jeremy Miocevic and his team are knowledgeable and very familiar with the region’s laws.’   

Key clients

Software AG

Al Mulla Capital Ltd

Sayacorp Capital Ltd

Daman Investments



Gulf Commercial Corporation International

Binladin Contracting Group

Calatrava Middle East

Work highlights

  • Advising on the port concession and joint venture between the State of Puntland and DP World for the management of a port in the State of Puntland.
  • Advising on matters relating to the establishment of a sovereign wealth fund for Mozambique, which will be one of the largest funds in Africa.
  • Advising on the restructuring of Knauf entities in the Gulf Region (UAE, KSA and Oman), and providing a streamlined corporate structure with tax efficiency.

Galadari, Advocates & Legal Consultants

Galadari, Advocates & Legal Consultants advises on the full lifecycle of commercial and corporate mandates across a variety of sectors, including banking and finance, insurance, and energy. The team is co-headed by Ziad Galadari, who has significant expertise in development projects across the Middle East, and Fadi Hassoun, who specialises in corporate finance and structuring matters. Ken Dixon left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Ziad Galadari; Fadi Hassoun

Other key lawyers:

Manish Narayan

Key clients

Hector VN Solution FZC

EVAI Ratings and Research DMCC

ATC Tires Pvt Ltd. India

Bhatia Brothers Group of Companies


Energy Drilling

Government of Ajman

Dubai Properties Group


Federal Customs Authority


Action Group


Planet Pharmacy

Gulf Explosives

Umm al Quwain Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation

Government of Umm Al Quwain

Dubai Holding and subsidiaries


Gulf Explosives

Shuaa Capital

Abu Dhabi financial Group

Unicredit SpA

Dubai Airports

Work highlights

  • Advised the Government of Umm Al Quwain on the structuring of a transaction, issues pertaining to developmental rights on the land in question, and the negotiation of a project.
  • Advised a European international online marketplace dealing with virtual assets on the different options available for setting up a crypto entity in one of the leading freezones in the UAE, ADGM and are currently guiding them in the process of regulatory approvals.
  • Advised Action Group on the acquisition of the majority shareholding of a free zone establishment based in Hamriyah Free Zone carrying out oilfield equipment supply and maintenance services to Action Group.

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown advises clients across a broad range of work, including cross-border transactions for clients moving into, out of, and within the Middle East. The group is co-headed by Tom Thraya and Jad Taha, both of whom have significant expertise in the Middle East acting for domestic and international clients on a range of corporate and commercial matters.

Practice head(s):

Tom Thraya; Jad Taha


‘High level of engagement and clarity of pricing.’

Key clients


CNPC International

Danaher Corporation

Eastman Chemicals

Qatar Petroleum

Saudi Telecom

Lockheed Martin

Cruise Automation

First Abu Dhabi Bank

Commercial Bank of Dubai


MAG Group FZ

Underwriters Laboratories

Caesars Entertainment

Jensen Hughes

Publicis Groupe

Lotus Motors

RJ O’Brien Capital Limited

Gemcorp Holdings Limited (UK)

Capri-Sun Beverages

Anchorage Investments

Allied Power


Deutsche Telekom

Baxter International


Triple Five Group (555)

Beckman Coulter

Ingram Printing Group

Woods Bagot

SinoEnergy Capital Holding Limited

Prince Saud Bin Majid Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

Bin Butti International Holdings

Saudi Arabia Ministry of Communications & Information Technology

Mensheng Financial Leasing

Jana Capital

TAJ Group/Beside General Trading

Fendi SA



Work highlights

  • Representing Anchorage Investments in all legal aspects relating to developing its state-of-the-art Anchor Benitoite Project in Suez, Egypt.
  • Advising on Cruise Automation’s strategic alliance with the government of Dubai (Roads and Transport Authority) to provide and operate a fleet of autonomous ride-hailing services in the Emirates.
  • Representing Saudi Telecom (Bahrain) on a significant joint venture with Alcazar Capital for the development, construction and operation of a data centre in Bahrain.

PwC Legal Middle East

PwC Legal Middle East has a dedicated M&A and restructuring team that serves clients active in a broad range of sectors, though most notably in the retail, manufacturing, digital, financial services, and energy space.

Other key lawyers:

Gemma Kotak


‘The lawyers took a collaborative approach in what were quite complex transactions involving multiple jurisdictions.’

‘Their people are great to work with and they have an excellent office set up for hosting negotiations.’

‘Gemma Kotak is a highly organised and impressive junior lawyer.’

Key clients



Oasis Capital and Investment LLC

Al Bwardy

Organic Food & Café

Al Futtaim

Clariba Solutions

PwC Middle East

Mapfre Asistencia Compañia Internacional De Seguros y Reaseguros, S.A.

Etive Consulting

Work highlights

  • Advised the management team of Gymnation, the largest chain of gyms in the UAE, on the management buy-out of Gymnation.
  • Advised the sellers of the Al Shirawi US Chillers Group, the largest independent global chiller and energy solutions provider in the Middle East, on the disposal of their shares in USCS to Dalkia, EDF.
  • Advised the legal team of Albwardy Investment LLC on the restructuring of their corporate structure, with a focus on succession planning and optimising the business for future structuring deals.

Reed Smith

Reed Smith's corporate group is led by Adela Mues, who has significant transactional and regulatory expertise in the Middle East. The practice also has broad corporate expertise, covering matters relating to acquisitions, joint ventures and private equity investments, as well as fund formation, corporate restructuring, and the formation of regulated entities.

Practice head(s):

Adela Mues

Other key lawyers:

Sachin Kerur; Zahir Sabur


‘Very proactive and approachable team.’

‘Sachin Kerur and Zahir Sabur are fully aware of the laws in the jurisdiction.’

SCHLÜTER GRAF Legal Consultants

Boutique law firm SCHLÜTER GRAF Legal Consultants specialises in corporate and commercial matters, advising on a full spectrum of mandates, with particular expertise in the infrastructure, projects, and construction space. Andrés Ring, who has significant experience advising on joint ventures, M&A, and restructuring matters, jointly leads the team alongside Christoph Keimer.

Practice head(s):

Andres Ring; Christoph Keimer

Other key lawyers:

Mahmoud Shahawy; Usama Munir


‘Very client-focused team, with a wealth of knowledge and hands on approach. Very reasonable billing, great value for money.’

‘Andres Ring stands out with in-depth knowledge of the laws in the Middle East. He is well connected and able to deliver with his team on the spot.’

‘What makes Schlueter Graf’s practice unique is its people. The team at Schlueter Graf is diverse, and they intently listen to the client’s needs and provide tailor-made solutions.’

‘The team shows empathy to the client’s need and are also available on an urgent basis if required, which is highly commendable in this competitive market.’

‘The team and the lawyers at Schlueter Graf are well versed in their practice of law and are equipped with the skillset to provide tailor-made solutions on various aspects of corporate and commercial laws.’

‘Usama Munir has the ability to deliver quality work products in line with the practical and legal aspects efficiently.’ 

Key clients

Republic of Colombia

Power Mech Projects Limited



Gulf Drug LLC

Unilever Gulf FZE

Schenker Middle East FZE

Baenninger Trading LLC

Beumer Group Middle East FZE

Puma Middle East FZ LLC

Work highlights

  • Advising the Republic of Colombia on the planning and construction stage of its pavilion at the World Expo 2020 Dubai.
  • Advising Unilever Gulf FZE on corporate and commercial laws in the Gulf region.
  • Advising Power Mech Projects Limited on a project worth USD 15 million for erection, installation, testing, pre-commissioning & commissioning of two units at a 750MW power plant.

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood handles a broad range of international inbound and outbound cross-border transactions, with expertise across a wide variety of sectors. Rania Tadros serves as managing partner, while practice co-leads Diwakar Agarwal and Sandeep Dhama have significant experience advising on M&A transactions and joint ventures in the region. Melissa Forbes-Miranda is the third co-head, with 15 years of experience in M&A, FDI and joint ventures, and the practice is also home to senior associate Toufic Safie who is particularly active in the finance, construction, shipping, technology and tourism sectors.

Practice head(s):

Sandeep Dhama; Melissa Forbes-Miranda; Diwakar Agarwal

Other key lawyers:

Toufic Safie; Rania Tadros


‘Sandeep Dhama has been a vital part of the formation of our company, diligent and aware of potential roadblocks. He is astute, calm and we are grateful for the leadership.’

Key clients

Al Dahra Group

Inspired Education

FENIX Networks

Knowcross Limited

Madison Pacific Trust Limited

S&P Global Platts

Lexim Trading DMCC

Work highlights

  • Advising an Abu Dhabi quasi-governmental owned entity, on a transaction valued at AED6 billion, in respect of the sale of 50% of its stake in a group agriculture business to a sovereign wealth fund.
  • Advised Madison Pacific Trust Limited, on the enforcement sale of a 51% stake in HG Storage International Limited to Tristar Transport (L.L.C.).
  • Advising S&P Global Platts on its acquisition of two Middle Eastern flagship energy conferences (Middle East Petroleum & Gas Conference and the Fujairah Bunkering & Fuel Oil Forum) from Singapore-based Conference Connection.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Trowers & Hamlins LLP is particularly active in mid-market M&A work across a variety of sectors. Bill Jefferies leads the team from Dubai, and has extensive expertise advising on PE and M&A mandates, and Stephen Sullivan leads the corporate transactions team in Abu Dhabi. Also noted is Saleem Adam, who specialises in TMT-related commercial transactions.

Practice head(s):

Bill Jefferies

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Sullivan; Saleem Adam; Nick Green


‘Trowers & Hamlins keeps an eye on clients’ specific requirements, and remains in accordance with the applicable laws from the context setting and until the final advisory is issued.’

‘The team consists of high-quality professionals with a wide range of multiple subject matter experts, which is an astounding fact about the firm.’

‘The team have a good knowledge base, subject matter awareness, and their prompt responses helps clients’ to achieve goals efficiently.’

‘Trowers & Hamlins has ensured that advice is given from a perspective where the client can take a decision. They ensure that businesses who don’t understand the law or its implications very well are able to take decisions in the fast changing business landscape.’

‘They have been quick to acknowledge and give timelines which they adhere to. This gives visibility and understanding to businesses on how to set cadence for things related to these questions.’

‘Saleem Adam understands clients’ requirements from day one.’

Key clients

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company

Al Waha Venture Capital Fund of Funds 1

Emirates Global Aluminium

Warba Bank KSCC

Addition L.P.

Watar Partners

Amodoria DMCC

Al Kifah Holding Company

SmartShift Logistics Solutions Private Limited

Waha Capital PJSC

Hyatt International

Waha Capital PJSC

Various G42 subsidiary entities

Athena Holding Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisted Warba Bank KSCC in respect of a joint venture and inward investment project with Cortland LLC. The joint venture in this instance was structured as an English Limited Partnership.
  • Advising Watar Partners International Limited (as investment manager) and WP PCC (as investment company) in relation to their asset management and investment activities.