Sam Habbas > ASAR – Al Ruwayeh & Partners > Manama, Bahrain > Lawyer Profile

ASAR – Al Ruwayeh & Partners
11th Floor, Al Rossais Tower
Building No. 283, Road No. 1704
Diplomatic Area 317

Work Department

Aviation; Banking & Finance; Corporate; Mergers & Acquisitions; PPP & PFI Projects; Private Client Services; Private Equity; Oil & Gas


Co-Founder & Senior Partner


Sam is the Senior Partner at ASAR. He established ASAR’s international division in 1988, providing strategic direction and developing it into the leading legal practice it is today. As an accomplished corporate lawyer, Sam has extensive corporate and commercial law experience and both advises, and acts as lead counsel to, a host of local and foreign multinational clients on a wide range of commercial, banking and finance, aviation finance, mergers and acquisitions, oil and gas, energy projects and infrastructure projects and multi-jurisdictional corporate transactions.

Sam also leads ASAR’s specialist private clients practice and advises leading family offices and ultra-high net worth individuals in relation to their personal, business and philanthropic affairs. He also advises family offices on their governance and succession matters. Sam has been instrumental in the establishment of new family offices as well as providing ongoing strategic advice to families with long established family offices.

Professional Experience

Private Client Transactions: Sam has led on a multitude of private client transactions on behalf of various family offices, ultra-high net worth individuals and families in connection with the accumulation, management, transfer and protection of personal wealth. Private client transactions attended to by Sam include, among others: Family governance and inter-generational wealth transfers: advising family businesses on long term family governance structures, including the setup of family councils/boards and family constitutions; Specialized assets and collectibles: negotiating the acquisition and/or sale of high value moveable and real estate assets and unique collectibles (e.g., art, artefacts and luxury assets), planning for the succession and preservation of collectibles; Philanthropy: arranging the structuring of philanthropic and charitable endeavors, including the structuring and establishment of trusts and legal entities; and Family disputes and arrangements: disputes involving family originated businesses and pre-dispute assistance, such as family settlements.
USD3.4-billion Acquisition of Kuwait Food Company (Americana): Advised the purchaser of a 93.4% stake in Kuwait Food Company (Americana), a then Kuwaiti listed entity. This was a complex public acquisition transaction with a record-breaking deal value of approximately USD-3.4-billion. The transaction set several precedents and landmarks in addition to winning the prestigious IFLR M&A Deal of the Year Award for 2017.
ECA Financing: Advising a syndicate of lenders consisting of seven export credit agencies in relation to the financing of Kuwait National Petroleum Company Clean Fuels Project. The overall cost of the project is KWD3.4-billion (USD11.35-billion), and is part of the Kuwait’s KWD30-billion (USD100-billion) economic development plan.
Az Zour North Phase 1 – Independent Water and Power Producer (IWPP) Project: Advised the government of Kuwait on the groundbreaking Az Zour North Phase 1 IWPP PPP Project. This power and water desalination plant is now fully operational and will ultimately supply 1,500 megawatts (MW) of electricity and 102 million gallons of water per day. Having reached financial close in December 2013 with both public and private stakeholders on board, the Al-Zour North Phase 1 IWPP is the first project to be successfully procured by the Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects (KAPP), the main body responsible for implementing projects on a PPP basis and the Ministry of Electricity and Water under Kuwait’s IWPP PPP Law.


English and Arabic


Juris Doctorate, Boston College Law School, Massachusetts USA
Bachelor of Arts, University Of Santa Clara, California USA

Lawyer Rankings

Kuwait > Banking and finance

(Hall of Fame)

Sam HabbasASAR – Al Ruwayeh & Partners

ASAR – Al Ruwayeh & Partners‘ banking and finance practice ‘stands out as a beacon of excellence in Kuwait‘, and the team’s ‘unwavering dedication and meticulous approach have cemented their reputation as the crème de la crème‘. The sizeable group is home to senior partner Sam Habbas, Rob Little, Ibrahim Sattout, Ezekiel Tuma and John Cunha; the quintet’s expertise spans bilateral and syndicated financing, private equity matters, project finance, trade finance and Islamic finance. Tuma has particular expertise in handling acquisition financing and restructuring mandates, and Little is singled out for his strength in assisting with securities and Sukuk transactions. In the capital markets space, Cunha is instructed by issuers, arrangers and underwriters on debt capital markets transactions.

Kuwait > Commercial, corporate and M&A

(Hall of Fame)

Sam HabbasASAR – Al Ruwayeh & Partners

ASAR – Al Ruwayeh & Partners‘ corporate practice is home to a team of ‘seasoned professionals with deep knowledge of the local market‘. The group stands out for its strength in handling M&A transactions and corporate governance matters. Rob Little and Sam Habbas have extensive experience in M&A and restructuring, and Paul Day advises domestic and international clients on franchise and distribution matters and establishing operations in Kuwait. Recent instructions include John Cunha and Luis Cunha advising Saudi Arabian company Jadwa Investment on its acquisition of a 35%  stake in the Gissah Perfumes Company. Ezekiel Tuma is well versed in handling commercial and corporate transactions in Kuwait, and Ibrahim Sattout stands out for providing ‘excellent, clear and useful advice‘.