Offshore in United Arab Emirates

Maples Group

Maples Group's practice provides BVI and Cayman offshore advice on a range of non-contentious matters. Both he and Philip Ireland handle the offshore elements of strategic and private equity M&A deals, as well as real estate investments which often necessitate shari'ah-complaint structures. Manuela Belmontes and of counsel Guriminder Sanghera have expertise in Islamic capital markets, and securitisation work, often connected to aviation. Ireland also has been active on funds mandates, including restructures of funds and formation of ones investing in unusual assets. Oliver Simpson is a name to note at associate level. Since publication Tahir Jawed left the firm.

Other key lawyers:

Philip Ireland; Manuela Belmontes; Gurminder Sanghera; Oliver Simpson

Key clients

Standard Chartered



Warba Bank

International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Dubai Islamic Bank

Saudi Telecom




Work highlights

  • Acted as BVI counsel to Careem on its merger with Uber.
  • Advised GEMS on an investment in it by CVC Capital Partners.
  • Advised Warba Bank on a joint investment with Henley Managers in Dublin Airport Park.


Office managing partner Daniel Wood spearheads a Walkers group covering both contentious and non-contentious work. Ciaran Bohnacker, head of the banking and finance part of the practice, is active in a range of lending work including sukuk issuances, asset finance and more general facilities. Wood and Tom Cochrane are kept busy handling corporate work including matters spanning from investments in early-stage companies to big-ticket private equity investments in established companies. Barnaby Gowrie heads a litigation practice active in Cayman cases, which was bolstered by the recruitment of senior associate Carly Kilshaw; she previously held an in-house role at Emirates. Fellow senior associate Luke Petith is also a name to note in the litigation team, and in the transactional practice Johanna Hendry has experience on the ground in Jersey.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Wood

Other key lawyers:

Ciaran Bohnacker; Tom Cochrane; Barnaby Gowrie; Carly Kilshaw; Johanna Hendry; Terri-Ann Arch; Luke Petith


‘Walkers on the ground presence in the UAE is extremely helpful and ensures you get real-time responses to queries. They are my go-top firm – I find them prompt and commercial – you always get a straight answer. ’

‘I work closely with Ciaran Bohnacker on general finance and restructuring transactions – he is pragmatic and solutions-driven. Jo Hendry is helpful and responsive – again, pragmatic and prompt advice. Terri-Ann Arch is also great in the aviation/structured finance space.

‘Barnaby Gowrie has spent a lot of time in Cayman so he fully understands the Courts and the way the Island works. They have a good bench in terms of the associates etc. who deliver quality work. ’

‘Barnaby Gowrie is one of the best insolvency and litigation lawyers in the offshore market. Generally the smartest guy in the room but very easy to work with and a great team player. He has an excellent strategic mind and is always identify and solving problems which are three or four steps ahead.’

‘The team is very responsive and client focussed. They have depth of expertise on the ground in the UAE, including in relation to restructuring and insolvency, but can easily access help from elsewhere in their network if needed.’

‘Ciaran Bohnacker is my main contact there although I work with several of the team. Ciaran never lets us down – responsive, thorough and practical. On some transactions where we have worked together it feels like we are in the same firm.’

‘A very responsive and helpful team. Good knowledge of the local market. ’

‘Ciaran Bohnacker is very responsive and inspires confidence. ’

‘Tom Cochrane is extremely knowledgeable and always provides solutions that work best for our business.

Luke Petith is responsive, pragmatic and incisive.

‘Walkers has a strong investment funds practice covering typical offshore jurisdictions such as Cayman Islands, BVI and, more recently, Jersey. They are responsive and give practical advice. I use Walkers the most frequently for offshore legal issues.’

‘Dan Wood is the leading offshore funds lawyer based in the region. He is an excellent lawyer and leads a very good team. He is extremely responsive and takes ownership of matters.

Tom Cochrane has excellent experience, is always available and gives practical, commercial advice.

Key clients

GFH Financial Group


Standard Chartered Bank

Gulf Capital

The Port Fund

Mass Global

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank

The Public Institution for Social Security (Kuwait)

International Airfinance Corporation

Emirates NBD

Work highlights

  • Acted as Cayman Islands counsel to GFH Financial Group on a $300m Sukuk listed on Nasdaq Dubai.
  • Acted as BVI counsel to Ripples Capital Limited, trading as Kitopi, in relation to its series B financing round.
  • Acting as Cayman Islands counsel for Mass Global Energy in respect of its application for the appointment of provisional liquidators.