ASAR - Al Ruwayeh & Partners > Kuwait City, Kuwait > Firm Profile

ASAR - Al Ruwayeh & Partners
Levels 36, 37 (main reception) & 38 Assima Tower
Othman Bin Affan St

Kuwait > Banking and finance Tier 1

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.

Practice head(s):

Sam Habbas; Rob Little; Ibrahim Sattout; Ezekiel Tuma; John Cunha


‘Great technical ability and good problem solvers.’

‘Rob Little and John Cunha are excellent technically and always willing to find practical solutions to a given problem.’

‘ASAR have been working on capital markets transactions for many years. They are very familiar with the bond and loan products. They respect timetables and are always available to assist.’

‘Very professional, knowledgeable, experienced, and dependable.’

‘The firm’s banking and finance practice stands out as a beacon of excellence in Kuwait, consistently setting the gold standard for legal advisory services. Their unwavering dedication and meticulous approach have cemented their reputation as the crème de la crème among Kuwait’s legal advisors. The team is not only revered by their clients but is also held in high esteem by regulators, showcasing the breadth and depth of their influence in the industry. They have played a pivotal role in shaping the legal ecosystem for bonds and sukuk in Kuwait, further establishing them as the preferred legal firm for the finance and banking sector.’

‘In my interactions with Robert Little and John Cunha, their profound expertise and commitment have always been evident. They are not only at the top of their game but also command immense respect from regulators and peers alike. Robert’s precision and comprehensive knowledge, complemented by John’s strategic insights, make them an unbeatable duo. Their ability to stay ahead of the curve, anticipate challenges, and devise proactive solutions has made them invaluable partners. Their seminal role in establishing the legal framework for bonds and Sukuk, combined with their unmatched track record, cements their position as leaders and the go-to legal advisors in the finance and banking industry.’

Key clients

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC

Ahli United Bank B.S.C.


Emirates NBD Bank PJSC

HSBC Bank Middle East Limited

Kuwait Finance House

National Bank of Kuwait

First Abu Dhabi Bank

Standard Chartered

Warba Bank

Gulf Bank

Arab Banking Corporation (B.S.C.)

JPMorgan Chase Bank

Gulf Investment Corporation

Macquarie Air Finance Group Limited

Boubyan Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising Kuwait Projects Company (Holding) K.S.C.P. as issuer and Kamco Investment Company K.S.C.(Public) and Gulf Bank K.S.C.P. as joint lead managers on a KD165,000,000 bonds (due December 2028).
  • Acting as counsel to KIPCO on a landmark issuance of KD103 million by Kuwait Projects Company Sukuk Limited.
  • Advised a consortium of banks on arranging financing for Burgan Bank K.S.C.P. worth $800,000,000.

Kuwait > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 1

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'.

Practice head(s):

Sam Habbas; Rob Little; Paul Day; Ibrahim Sattout; Ezekiel Tuma

Other key lawyers:


‘ASAR is the largest, best resourced firm in Kuwait. It is able to provide the resources needed to deal with complex cases on time and in full.’

‘They are seasoned professionals with deep knowledge of the local market, a good commercial sense, ability to communicate with non-legal professionals, and a great sense of customer service.’

‘Sam Habbas is a stand out partner.’

‘Ibrahim Sattout is exceptionally responsive and provides excellent, clear and useful advice.’

‘Always available. Pragmatic and commercial advice.’

‘Excellent firm in Kuwait with strong, deep client relationships.’

‘Luis Cunha is a very strong corporate lawyer with a strong understanding of transactional challenges and a very astute business sense. He is always amiable and professional and very easy to work with.’

‘ASAR has impressed me with regard to both their local market knowledge and also their commercial nous. They have been effective in helping us to understand the intricacies of Kuwaiti law while also matching those requirements to our commercial needs. They have also worked to achieve tight deadlines when needed.’

Key clients

Americana Restaurants


Sama Educational Company

Kuwait Cement Co.


General Electric

Gulf Bank

Johnson & Johnson

British Petroleum

Taken Seat Holding Co.

National Bank of Kuwait

Jadwa Investments Group

Kuwait Danish Dairy

Air Liquide

Al Rashed Holdings


Al Dhow Engineering

Al Rifai Group

Alkhorayef Petroleum

Jubail Energy Services

Atos Information Technology


JebCo International

Kuwait International Bank

Mustafa Karam Motors

National Industries Group

Reckitt Benckiser

Rimini Street


Sumitomo Mitsui



Work highlights

  • Advised ALAFCO Aviation Lease and Finance Company KSCP on the acquisition of a portfolio of assets worth US$ 2.21 billion by Macquarie Airfinance Group.
  • Advised Ahli United Bank B.S.C on a cross-border sale of the client’s entire share capital to Kuwait Finance House K.S.C.P.

Kuwait > Dispute resolution Tier 1

Led by Ahmed Barakat, ASAR - Al Ruwayeh & Partners‘ full-service litigation and arbitration practice has a solid track record in advising on banking, construction, insurance, tax and employment sector disputes. The team is well versed in representing multinational clients before the Kuwaiti courts and in international arbitration. Ahmed Zakaria and senior associate Adnan Jaafar ‘know their market and their advice extends beyond the borders of their jurisdiction’. Hisham Al Qura’an is a prominent commercial litigator. Ramy Shehata fields expertise in tax and banking disputes.

Practice head(s):

Ahmed Barakat

Other key lawyers:

Ahmed Zakaria; Hisham Al Qura’an; Adnan Jaafar; Ramy Shehata


‘Ahmed Barakat – the Dean of the litigation Bar in Kuwait.’

‘Diligent and hard working lawyers.’

‘I was impressed by the excellent service provided by ASAR. The team working on the assignment were hands-on from the beginning of the assignment till the end. ’

‘Extremely professional team.’

‘ASAR’s team stand out in Kuwait due to their strong knowledge of the legal framework in Kuwait and practices of Kuwaiti courts. They go out of their way and provide out of the box ideas.’

‘Highly efficient and professional practice. One of the most proactive teams we have engaged in the Gulf Region. Flexible and very knowledgeable about their market.’

‘Ahmed Barakat and Adnan Gaafar have fresh ideas. They are clear on what will and will not be possible and give excellent advice. They know their market and their advice extends beyond the borders of their jurisdiction.’

‘Ramy Shehata provides meticulous guidance.’

Key clients

SK Ecoplant

JCB Sales Limited

International Air Transport Association (IATA)

Grey Wolf Middle East DMCC

R+V Versicherung AG

NBK Capital

Nordic Global

Clyde & Co


HSBC Middle East

Work highlights

  • Represented the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in a high-value insurance claim brought against Kuwaiti insurance companies.
  • Representing a Korean construction company in litigation against a multi-governmental entity.
  • Acted for a multinational pharmaceutical company in a dispute with its local distributor concerning outstanding payments.

Kuwait > Privatisation and projects Tier 1

The ‘knowledgeable and professional' team at ASAR - Al Ruwayeh & Partners is 'extremely proficient in PPP', and is sought after for handling infrastructure matters and sizeable development projects. The client base includes the Kuwait government, banks, contractors and state-owned energy companies. Practice co-heads Ibrahim Sattout and Akusa Batwala 'are innovative in their approach to finding solutions to complex problems' and continue to advise on some of Kuwait’s largest PPP projects concerning ports, transportation, utilities, power plants and industrial zones.

Practice head(s):

Ibrahim Sattout; Akusa Batwala


‘Knowledgeable and professional; extremely proficient in PPP.’

‘The ASAR team gives very practical advice. They do not focus solely on the law but also in finding pragmatic solutions to complex problems. Individuals have deep sector and industry knowledge expertise through practicing in Kuwait for many years.’

‘Ibrahim Sattout and Akusa Batwala are fantastic. They are a real advantage to have on your side and are innovative in their approach to finding solutions to complex problems.’

Key clients

WTE Wassertechnik GmbH

Suez Environment

RWE Generation SE

Al Argan International Real Estate Company

JGC Corporation

Injazzat Real Estate Development Company K.S.C

Al-Dhow Engineering General Trading & Contracting Co. W.L.L

National Bank of Kuwait

Suez International

Work highlights

  • Advising a Kuwaiti oil company on the structuring of its renewable energy project.
  • Advising a consortium of banks on the funding for a real estate development company in connection with the planning, development, completion, operation, maintenance, utilisation and investment of certain causeway sites.
  • Advised a consortium of companies with regard to the development, ownership, financing, procurement, construction, testing, commissioning, operation, maintenance and transfer of the Az Zour North phases 2 and 3 IWPP and Al Khairan phase 1 IWPP projects.

Kuwait > Intellectual property Tier 2

Kuwait > Oil and gas Tier 2

ASAR – Al Ruwayeh & Partners is Kuwait’s preeminent Tier 1 corporate law firm, boasting a formidable network throughout the MENA region. Celebrated for its leading corporate, commercial, and dispute resolution practices, ASAR excels in a comprehensive suite of legal services. These include corporate and commercial transactions, banking and finance, capital markets, mergers & acquisitions, privatizations, IPOs, franchising, construction, government projects, PPPs, securities, taxation, commercial litigation, and arbitration. With mastery across over 30 practice areas, ASAR delivers a seamless, integrated approach to clients’ complex legal needs.

The firm serves a distinguished clientele of multinational corporations, financial institutions, industrial powerhouses, governments, and private clients, both domestically and internationally. Leveraging over 40 years of experience in Kuwait and almost 20 years in Bahrain, ASAR is the trusted choice for top international law firms seeking specialized local counsel on diverse projects. Their client roster includes prominent Kuwaiti public and private-sector entities, as well as major US, UK, European, and Asian organizations operating within Kuwait and the broader GCC region. ASAR also maintains a distinguished private clients & family office practice, providing bespoke guidance to ultra-high net worth individuals and family offices.

With offices in Kuwait and Bahrain and robust partnerships with firms in over 100 jurisdictions globally, ASAR – Al Ruwayeh & Partners is poised to guide clients through the complexities of the region’s legal landscape.

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior Partner Sam Habbas +965 229 22700
Managing Partner Ahmed Barakat +965 229 22700
Counsel Rob Little +965 229 22700
Partner Paul Day +965 229 22700
Partner Ibrahim Sattout +965 229 22700
Partner Ezekiel Tuma +965 229 22700
Partner David Walker +965 229 22700
Partner John Cunha +965 229 22700
Partner Hisham Al Qura’an +965 229 22700
Lawyers : 33
Partners : 19

At ASAR, we champion diversity and inclusion as integral elements of our organizational ethos, recognizing their pivotal roles in fostering both the professional and personal advancement of our employees. Embracing a culture of inclusivity, we are dedicated to cultivating an environment where all individuals can thrive.

Our commitment to gender equality is unwavering, as evidenced by our concerted efforts to empower our female lawyers and staff across all levels of the firm. We take immense pride in providing them with the support and resources necessary to realize their professional aspirations fully.

With a team comprising 81 talented individuals hailing from 18 different countries, our diversity is not just a statistic; it’s a testament to our global perspective and rich tapestry of experiences. Notably, 28 percent of our workforce comprises female members, reflecting our ongoing commitment to gender parity and inclusivity.

We remain steadfast in our dedication to corporate social responsibility, which serves as the cornerstone of our organizational values. In line with this ethos, we have proudly aligned ourselves with the United Nations Global Compact initiative, marking a significant milestone as the first law firm in Kuwait to do so. Through this partnership, we are committed to integrating sustainable and responsible business practices into our operations, furthering our mission to drive positive change within our community and beyond.