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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Arab Emirates > Employment > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Employment
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Al Tamimi & Company’s ‘very knowledgeable’ team is noted for its ‘great Arabic-speaking litigation capability’. Head of employment Samir Kantariaprovides appropriate and accurate advice’ – divided by an ethics wall, he and Gordon Barr advised Boehringer Ingelheim and Sanofi, respectively, on the employment aspects of a $25bn asset swap.

Clyde & Co LLPtakes into consideration clients’ business structures, industries and global priorities’. Rebecca Ford advised Sun & Sand Sports on the employment aspects of its purchase of Retailcorp. Also recommended are Sara Khoja, who is ‘particularly valuable on Saudi law issues’ and whose clients include Blackberry, and legal directors Ben Brown and Emma Higham.

Clients are very satisfied with the level of service fromHadef & Partners LLC, which handles onshore and DIFC employment litigation, as well as high-stakes non-contentious work. The firm primarily represents employers but also acts for senior executives. Jamie Liddington (‘very user-friendly and knowledgeable’) represented the former director of insurance company Elseco in a DIFC Court of Appeal case concerning the calculation of penalty payments for failure to pay end-of-service gratuities, which are paid to non-GCC workers instead of pensions. Senior associate Sarah Anderson is also a name of note.

DLA Piper Middle East LLP provides ‘pragmatic, knowledgeable, approachable and timely’ advice on employment matters across the region. The ‘pragmatic and genuineNeil Crossley advised a Russian oil company on the employment aspects of a cross-border restructuring.

Eversheds Sutherland LLP’s Geraldine Ahern advises a range of national and international clients on contentious and non-contentious issues including restructurings, employee terminations and ownership of employee-generated IP.

At K&L GatesNazanin Aleyaseen advises a range of national and international clients on matters ranging from termination disputes though to end-of-service obligations and employee-generated IP matters. Clients include Gehry Technologies and Amadeus IT System.

KBH Kaanuunpunches above its weight compared to some of the bigger firms’. The firm’s head of dispute resolution, Bushra Ahmed (‘a strong advocate and tactically adept’) is representing a former company director in a case regarding penalties for failure to pay end of service gratuities due under DIFC law. DK Singh contributes non-contentious expertise.

Afridi & Angell represents employers and employees in a range of contentious and non-contentious matters. Stuart Walker advises a private client in a case regarding employment status before the Dubai courts, while Charles Laubach handles advisory matters and DIFC employment litigation. Bashir Ahmed advises BGRS on legal issues regarding its employees in the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre.

At Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla senior associate and head of employment Joanna Matthews-Taylor handles the employment aspects of large transactions; recent work includes advising LGT Group Foundation on its purchase of ABN AMRO’s private banking business in the DIFC. Habib Al Mulla is active in employment matters in the local courts. Charlotte Bijlani is now at Watson Farley & Williams.

Squire Patton BoggsSarah Lawrence is ‘a trusted business adviser to her clients – she is particularly responsive, and provides crisp advice’. She advised Rockwell Collins on a post-acquisition workforce rationalisation and local workforce quotas in Saudi Arabia.

Addleshaw Goddard’s Gorvinder Pannu is ‘pragmatic, sensible and responsive with good local knowledge in more than one jurisdiction across the region’. She handles a range of non-contentious work across the GCC region.

At Bird & Bird, Anders Nilsson and counsel Saladin Aljurf advise a range of corporate clients on the employment aspects of setting up businesses in the UAE, as well as some disputes. Clients include Ericsson, for which the firm handles disputes.

Pinsent Masons LLPprovides the assistance needed in a timely manner – it has good knowledge of the national labour law’. Senior associate Luke Tapp is ‘personable, responsive and has a good understanding of what international clients need’. He defended a construction company in an unfair dismissal claim in the UAE courts. Corporate partner Osama Hassan is another name to note.

At Watson Farley & Williams, Suhail Mirza regularly handles non-contentious employment work. Highlights included assisting a Russian oil company with a redundancy programme, as well as advising on compliance investigations and policymaking. Charlotte Bijlani is a new hire from Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla.

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