TMT in United Arab Emirates

DLA Piper Middle East LLP

A ‘class act’, DLA Piper Middle East LLP’s ‘strong regional offering’ and ‘well-established practice’ mark it as top tier for TMT. Group head Paul Allen, ‘a leader in technology law’, advised Dubai Holdings on the outsourcing of its ICT infrastructure network. Newly made-up partner Jamie Ryder, ‘an outstanding media lawyer’, advised Saudi Telecom Company on its $1.8bn purchase of the worldwide broadcast rights for the Saudi Professional League and other matches. Eamon Holley, who was promoted to the partnership in May 2019, is noted for regulatory matters. Legal director Emily Southon, who joined in 2018 from Barclays, is a fintech specialist.

Al Tamimi & Company

The ‘experienced team’ at Al Tamimi & Company is ‘strong across all three TMT disciplines’. Senior associate Fiona Robertson is 'a leader in media law in the region’ and advised Image Nation on the production of three films. Other clients include Al Yah Satellite Communications and Shock FM. Former department lead Nick O’Connell relocated to Riyadh; he was replaced by Martin Hayward, who joined from Ciena, where he was Middle East regional counsel. He was followed by Abdullah Mutawi , who joined from Baker Botts L.L.P. in February 2019.

Allen & Overy LLP

At the forefront of premium TMT work’, Allen & Overy LLP’s practice draws upon its market leading M&A and finance teams to offer a strong combination of regulatory and transactional expertise. Group head Tom Butcher is ‘smart, knowledgeable and commercial’; he advised Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi on an IT outsourcing to IBM. Google, Dubizzle and Careem are also clients.

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP covers the full scope of TMT matters but is best known for its technology expertise. Abu Dhabi-based department lead Dino Wilkinson is ‘excellent’ and advised Miral Asset Management on data protection issues concerning a new digital connectivity project. In Dubai, Joycia Young is recommended for media and data protection matters.

Dentons

Dentons finds favour for its ‘excellent regional regulatory and legal contacts’ and its ‘strong understanding of client needs’. Kelly Tymburski, noted for her ‘big-picture perspective’, advises SAS Middle East on technology projects and commercial matters.

Simmons & Simmons Middle East

Simmons & Simmons Middle East is commended for its ‘excellent turnaround times, technical capabilities and comprehensive advice’. Group head Raza Rizvi (‘insightful and knowledgeable’) runs the gamut of commercial, regulatory and transactional work, with fintech standing out as a sweet spot.

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird boosted its Middle East TMT offering with the relocation of sector specialist David Bintliff from London to Dubai; he advises Airbnb on commercial matters across the EMEA region. Ericsson is also on the group’s books.

Hadef & Partners LLC

Hadef & Partners LLC’s TMT group, which specialises in regulatory and commercial matters, routinely advises on technology agreements, service contracts, outsourcings and licensing matters. Commercial head Victoria Woods is the key contact.

Latham & Watkins LLP

The technology transactions group at Latham & Watkins LLP is ‘very strong in fintech’ — it also shines in the government, start-up, healthcare and retail sectors. Brian Meenagh (‘well respected in the market’) counts Emirates Digital Wallet, Noon.com and VentureSouq as clients.

The Bench

A good firm with good lawyers’, The Bench earns praise for its ‘strong client care’. The group handles an array of outsourcing, data protection, M&A and sports law matters for clients including Alfan and Amadeus. Joby Beretta and senior consultant Chris Appleby are recommended.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Trowers & Hamlins LLP houses a broad TMT practice, which is noted for fintech, outsourcing, regulatory and commercial matters. Group head Saleem Adam advised longstanding client Noor Bank on its new mobile payment solution for Emaar Properties.

Baker Botts L.L.P.

The group at Baker Botts L.L.P. is particularly strong in TMT transactions and it acted on a steady stream of financings and M&A matters over the past year. Stephen Matthews, who splits his time between Dubai and Riyadh, is also noted. Abdullah Mutawi joined Al Tamimi & Company in February 2019.

CMS

In 2017, CMS launched its TMT practice with the hire of legal director Rob Flaws from DLA Piper Middle East LLP, who brings to bear a strong record in IT, telecoms, data protection, IP and media law. Flaws advised Emirates on its arrangements with IBM for the management of its IT infrastructure.

Eversheds Sutherland LLP

Eversheds Sutherland LLP, which has close links with major regional and multinational technology and media companies, handles a range of regulatory, commercial and contentious matters. In Dubai, global TMT co-head Nasser Ali Khasawneh is noted for his ‘strong IT expertise’. Commercial head Geraldine Ahern is a key contact in Abu Dhabi.

therightslawyers

TMT boutique therightslawyers has experience across a broad scope of music and entertainment, publishing, event management and film production matters. Mark Hill is the key contact.