BonelliErede > Dubai, United Arab Emirates > Firm Profile

1404 Index Tower
PO Box 506828
United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 5

BonelliErede provides corporate and commercial transactional support to clients across the UAE and GCC in a range of sectors from luxury goods and shipping, to energy and healthcare. Managing partner Marco De Leo heads the practice and has expertise in corporate litigation, M&A and joint ventures, particularly cross-border transactions involving countries in Africa.

Practice head(s):

Marco De Leo


‘Great skills and availability.’

Key clients

Vertiv Group


International Materials Inc.

Luxottica Group

Hitachi Rail STS

Work highlights

  • Assisted Hitachi Rail STS S.p.A. with the management of the systems and integration contract for Stage Two of the UAE’s national railway network awarded by Etihad Rail.
  • Advised Luxottica Middle East on the contractual relationship with its distributor Magrabi group for the GCC for Luxottica’s products.
  • Advising International Material Inc. on the activity of its branch in the UAE, including assisting the client in restructuring its judicial presence in the UAE.

BonelliErede is one of the largest independent law firms in Italy, with offices in Milan, Rome, Genoa, Brussels, London, Cairo (in cooperation with Bahaa-Eldin Law Office), Addis Ababa (in cooperation with Tameru Wondm Agegnehu Law Office), and Dubai.

In addition, thanks to a cooperation agreement with Zahaf & Partners, the firm is also present in Tripoli.

It offers a full range of commercial legal services, combining business acumen with academic excellence. BonelliErede is not only a leading law firm in Italy but also a successful international law firm.

BonelliErede has been developing its Africa and Middle East practice for a few years now: a strategic hub able to capture, support and safeguard investments in the regions and maximise value for international investors, local businesses and governments.

The Dubai office, in the heart of the international financial centre, opened at the end of 2017. Dubai plays a key role as a conduit between Europe, Asia and Africa. And the firm’s office there is a perfect bridge between Africa and the Middle East – boosting the firm’s ability to navigate international clients looking to invest in this wider region and local players interested in diversifying through expansion in Europe or Africa.

The firm’s local service offering is centred around corporate/M&A, project finance and PPP, international arbitration, international taxation and compliance. The main sectors served by the local team, besides the long-established oil and gas industry, are industrial goods, consumer goods (with a focus on luxury), shipping, healthcare and life sciences, construction, arts and cultural property, and private equity.

The Dubai office is managed by Marco De Leo (managing partner of BonelliErede Middle East LLP).

Marco De Leo, Managing
Best Friends network
International Offices : Addis Ababa, Brussels, Cairo, Genoa, London, Milan, Rome

Since the firm’s founding, BonelliErede has always had the interest of its people at heart, regardless of one’s gender, ethnicity, religion, etc. In BonelliErede, 43% of professionals are women and in 2021 women made up 50% of new joiners at the firm. Also in 2021, the partners approved the introduction of pink quotas within the Board of Directors which will ensure the presence of at least one woman on the Board. Today, the Board is made up of 9 professionals of which 3 are women.

BonelliErede has also established a Diversity & Inclusion committee with the aim to make the firm a better and more inclusive place to work. In 2019, the firm launched a new parental policy for everyone across EMEA through its livebetter program. The policy harmonised the maternity/paternity leave policies for all soon-to-be parents to allow them to spend some quality time with their newborns.

BonelliErede puts its skills and expertise at the service of the community. It invests time, energy and resources in the world’s most precious asset: children. The firm believes that supporting children means being by their side at all stages of their childhood – so that each can have the opportunity to become a free-thinking, educated, financially independent adult with access to healthcare.

The UN sets out 17 sustainable development goals in its 2030 agenda – a universal call to action to protect the planet and the well-being of its inhabitants. BonelliErede has chosen 6 to pursue through partnerships and initiatives: no poverty, good health and well-being, quality education, decent work and economic growth, sustainable cities and communities and responsible consumption and production.

Besides Dubai, BonelliErede has strategic outposts in Cairo (Egypt), in cooperation with Bahaa Eldin law Office, and Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), in cooperation with Tameru Wondm Agegnehu Law Office.

Cairo and Addis Ababa were the first outposts established, back in 2016, and are the hub for BonelliErede’s development in Africa. The Dubai office was opened in 2017 to serve the entire Gulf area and support international investment in Africa.

Beyond Egypt, Ethiopia and the UAE, the firm continues to strengthen its network of highly reputed African and Middle Eastern law firms to respond to its clients’ needs across the regions.