Firm Profile > Hadef & Partners > Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Hadef & Partners
United Arab Emirates

Dispute resolution: arbitration and international litigation Tier 1

Hadef & Partners LLC has a strong arbitration and free zone litigation practice as part of its broader, integrated disputes offering. Adrian Chadwick is the key name at the firm for litigation before the DIFC Courts, handling matters ranging from the most complex debt recovery cases through to civil fraud. Walid Azzam is a notable name for cross-border cases as well, including arbitrations and the enforcement of arbitral awards. Omar Al Heloo handles Arabic-language arbitrations. Australian-qualified Pashto speaker Zarghona Fazal is a notable senior associate.

Practice head(s):

Abdulrahman Juma; Salih Ahnaish


‘The team is responsive, understands the underlying commercial objectives and works closely with clients to address critical issues.’

‘Hadef’s arbitration team is outstanding because of its in-depth study of cases and suggestion of solutions.’

‘Walid Azzam provides outstanding support and advice’.

‘Zarghona Fazal is a committed lawyer.’

Dispute resolution: local litigation Tier 1

Hadef & Partners LLC covers the full range of litigation matters across Dubai and Abu Dhabi, both sourcing its own work and handling referrals from foreign law firms. Abdulrahman Juma heads the team in Dubai; he is active in a range of litigation covering matters from insurance through to customs duty disputes civil fraud, an area in which Mohammed Al Dhaheri also advises. Walid Azzam, who is admitted in Massachusetts, is another key partner, and is particularly active in matters involving international arbitration. Omar Al Shaikh and Omar Al Heloo are key names. Salih Ahnaish, a senior figure in the firm, spearheads the team's Abu Dhabi presence.

Practice head(s):

Abdulrahman Juma; Salih Ahnaish


‘The local litigation team has members that can apply analytical and strategic thinking to the case and meaningful reporting. The local litigation members respond well to knowledgeable and demanding clients.’

‘Walid Azzam is reliable and easy to deal with.’

Key clients

IDBI Bank Limited (DIFC Branch)

Caterpillar Financial Services (Dubai) Limited

Limor Investments

Real estate Tier 1

Hadef & Partners LLC ' real estate team is a 'well-oiled machine'; it combines 'true international standards and in-depth local knowledge'. Its clients include leading property developers in the UAE and broader region. Recent work highlights include its advice to Danube Properties Development on its latest real estate development, Danube Lawnz, a mixed-use community development comprising four low rise buildings of over 1,000 apartments and 32 commercial units; Ashraf Sayed led the team. Michael Lunjevich heads the commercial and property practice in Dubai. Other key practitioners in the sizeable team include head of property regulatory Philip Sequeira and Basil Siddiqi, who heads the real estate and construction practice in Abu Dhabi.

Practice head(s):

Michael Lunjevich; Basil Siddiqi; Ashraf Sayed


The team is a well-oiled machine with the partner leading the team ably.

The combination of true international standards mixed with in-depth local knowledge and expertise make Hadef & Partners unique in the UAE market.

Ashraf Sayed is an encyclopedia, not only on legal matters but also on commercial aspects. His drafting and negotiation skills are truly magical and he is a true role model to in-house legal professionals.

The individuals that I deal with at Hadef think commercially as well as legally.

Key clients

Danube Properties Development LLC

Waterfront Market LLC

Jubail Island Master Community

Abu Dhabi Co-operative Society

Marina Arcade Real Estate LLC

MAG Property Development LLC

Lootah Real Estate Development LLC

Souq Extra LLC

Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 2

Hadef & Partners LLC fields a strong team of corporate and commercial law experts in its UAE offices. The group has recently advised its clients on sales, disposals, restructurings, joint ventures and succession and estate planning matters. Sameer Huda heads the corporate, M&A and private equity teams in Dubai and Yasser Omar is the head of corporate in Abu Dhabi. The 'extremely knowledgeable' Victoria Woods heads the commercial practice. Ahmad Sergieh heads the corporate structuring practice and is also recommended. Patrick Tweedale joined from Dentons and associate Brigid Moore joined from Mason Hayes & Curran in Dublin.

Practice head(s):

Sameer Huda; Yasser Omar; Michael Lunjevich


The team has deep knowledge about the laws and regulations of the country. Moreover, they know the norm and practice of the authorities. They met all deadlines with reasonable fees.

Ahmad Sergieh is efficient, proactive and understands the business needs.

Victoria Woods is extremely knowledgeable, commercial and astute.

Key clients

Ferrero Group

Carnival Group

Saudi German Hospitals Group

Construction Tier 2

Hadef & Partners LLC's construction disputes practice handles a range of matters concerning large buildings, with a particular focus on representing subcontractors in significant disputes, with many instructions coming from MEP contractors in particular; however, many mandates also come from local employers. The team handles some transactional work concerning high-profile projects. John Smy and Matthew Page are key names in Dubai, as is Paul Suckling, who joined at the start of 2019 from the in-house team at TAV Construction. Oliver Dupenois is a notable senior associate.

Practice head(s):

John Smy


‘The team has a deep understanding of the particular features, needs and sensitivities of clients working in the construction industry in the region.’

‘The construction team at Hadef is highly experienced and has an excellent grasp and understanding of technical issues. Matthew Page, John Smy and Paul Suckling are all highly professional and a credit to the firm.’

‘John Smy is exceptionally experienced in big-value disputes. He is  unflappable even in the most trying circumstances, cheerful, calm and very client friendly. The attention to detail and preparation for hearings is magnificently impressive.’

‘What is extremely valuable is the Arabic-speaking lawyers that form part of the Hadef outfit. That is a unique selling point that they bring to the table.’

Key clients

Star Cement Co LLC

Employment Tier 2

Hadef & Partners LLC has seen significant personnel change, and is now led by Rachel Hill, who is supported by a number of experienced associates, including Aisha Khokhar and Rami Omar. The team stands out for its contentious employment law expertise, though it also advises on non-contentious employment and immigration issues. Clients include household name multinationals from numerous sectors, and the team also has experience acting for claimant employees.

Practice head(s):

Rachel Hill; Yasser Omar

Key clients

Google LLC

Adidas Emerging Markets LLC

Atlas Mara Management Services Limited

Intellectual property Tier 2

Hadef & Partners LLC stands out in trade mark and brand protection and is noted for its 'very responsive, professional and personalised approach'. James Dunne is the name to note in this space; he is 'intelligent, efficient, commercially savvy and provides exceptional service'. Victoria Woods heads the commercial practice and advises on distribution, franchise, agency, outsourcing and licensing agreements. The team is also a popular choice for IP enforcement, where it has IP litigators with rights of audience before the UAE courts.

Practice head(s):

James Dunne; Victoria Woods


The Hadef team are experienced in trade mark law and practice across the whole Middle East region, and so, are able to provide an efficient and comprehensive service. The quality of the work is very high.

I have had nothing but friendly, prompt and thorough service from this team.

A very responsive, professional and personalised approach to trade mark registration and associated strategic matters.

Led by the highly responsive James Dunne, Hadef & Partners LLC are well placed to assist with intellectual property requirements in the UAE.

James Dunne has co-ordinated trade mark protection in the region for many key clients and I have complete peace of mind that the work is handled at a superior service level. James keeps me informed at every step of the way—the clarity of communication is a particular strength.

James Dunne understands the importance of having a client service focus. I have been happy to recommend James to many of my colleagues around the world.

James Dunne is very well regarded in the intellectual property space. James is intelligent, efficient, commercially savvy and provides exceptional service. I would highly recommend James to anyone needing advice in the IP field.

In James Dunne, Hadef has not only found an experienced specialist but also someone who appears to be very passionate about his practice area.

I have dealt with James Dunne extensively, and find him and his team very efficient and responsive.

James Dunne leads a highly knowledgeable and efficient team.

Shipping Tier 2

At Hadef & Partners LLC, Adrian Chadwick and Omar Al Shaikh are key names for DIFC and onshore court litigation respectively. The practice handles contentious shipping work, with a particular specialism in litigated rather than arbitrated disputes. Wesley Wood is a notable senior associate. Chadwick also accepts appointments as an arbitrator.


The team provides clear and concise advice with a commercial angle.’

The firm has good local contacts.’

Adrian Chadwick is a very good and experienced shipping lawyer.

Key clients

IDBI Bank Limited

Banking and finance: Corporate finance (including Islamic lending) Tier 3

The 'well-resourced' banking team at Hadef & Partners LLC focuses on UAE-based financings, handling a range of acquisition, asset and structured finance and debt capital markets transactions for lenders and borrowers. Insolvency and restructuring also feature in the team's workload. Alan Rodgers and James Farn are the department co-heads, and Sundus Khan - who joined from United Bank - is a key associate in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Alan Rodgers; James Farn


A good well-resourced UAE banking practice.

Alan Rodgers is a highly experienced banking lawyer with a long track record in the UAE.

Key clients

Insurance House P.S.C.

Souq Extra LLC

International Capital Trading

Al Hilal Bank P.J.S.C. (AHB)

Banking and finance: Financial services regulation Tier 3

Hadef & Partners LLC' wide-ranging banking and finance practice covers regulatory work, and the team also works alongside the firm's government relation department. In addition to banks, the team advises insurers, asset managers, commodities traders and governments, among others. Faraj Ahnish, Alan Rodgers and James Farn are the names to note.

Infrastructure and projects (including project finance) Tier 3

The banking and finance transactional team at Hadef & Partners LLC advises financiers, bidders and sponsors on power and water projects in the UAE, and has also been involved in PPPs in various sectors in the market. In team changes, experienced associate Sundus Khan joined from an in-house position at United Bank Limited, while Valeria Lysenko left. Alan Rodgers and James Farn are the practice heads.

Practice head(s):

Alan Rodgers; James Farn

Key clients

China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC)

Gulf Total Tractabel Power Co (GTTP) (A1)

Emirates CMS Power Company (A2)

Ruwais Power Co (Shuweihat 2)

Sweihan PV Power Co (Sweihan PV)

Asia Gulf Power Holding

Asia Gulf Power Services

Taweelah Power Company PJSC

Taweelah Shared Facilities Company LLC

Gulf Suez Tractabel

Marubeni corporation (Axia Power Holdings BV)

ACWA Power

TMT Tier 3

Hadef & Partners LLC maintains a busy practice, acting for TMT-sector clients in addition to a range of companies operating in the retail, education and healthcare sectors. The team has recently advised a number of clients on ICT-related matters and data protection issues. Key practitioners in the sizeable team include commercial practice head Victoria Woods and brand protection and trade marks specialist James Dunne.

Practice head(s):

Victoria Woods; James Dunne; Michael Lunjevich

The firm: Hadef & Partners is a leading independent UAE law firm, with over 90 lawyers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Just as the UAE has developed since its formation in 1971, so has the firm. Founded in 1980 by Dr Hadef Al Dhaheri, who served as Minister of Justice (2008-2014), the firm has become an internationally respected, full-service business law firm supporting local, regional and international clients and government entities. Hadef & Partners acts for clients from leading regional and international companies, government entitiesa and institutional organisations to prestigious family business conglomerates.

With almost four decades of experience, Hadef & Partners understands the laws, traditions, opportunities and challenges of the region. The firm’s lawyers come from a diverse range of Western and Middle Eastern backgrounds. This market-leading team of advocates has rights of audience in all UAE courts and tribunals. As a result of the quality and diversity of these lawyers Hadef & Partners continues to be entrusted to advise on the most pioneering, complex and strategic projects and transactions in the UAE.

Hadef & Partners’ objective is to remain the law firm of choice in the UAE. To achieve this, the firm’s lawyers continue to deliver high quality legal advice and exceptional client service. This singular goal guides the firm’s strategy and leads to sustained growth year on year

Areas of practice: Hadef & Partners has substantial experience in key practice areas. The firm enjoys a full-service reputation and is often the first port of call for UAE-specific matters from multinational clients and global law firms.

The market-leading dispute resolution practice has extensive experience of national, cross-border and international litigation and arbitration, as well as other forms of investigations and alternative dispute resolution. The firm advises on the full range of disputes including commercial, corporate criminal, employment, engineering and construction and property matters. Hadef & Partners’ advocates have full rights of audience before the various UAE courts and tribunals and the firm’s registered DIFC practitioners are well-versed in the rules and regulations of the DIFC courts.

The firm’s highly reputed property practice advises a full range of sectors on all aspects of property law, and the entire real estate life cycle including project and corporate structuring, land and real estate acquisition, asset management, disposals, disputes and leasing.

All aspects of corporate, financial, banking, regulatory and general transactional work are covered by Hadef & Partners’ corporate team including inward investment, mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital, corporate structuring and restructuring, joint ventures, corporate reorganisations and initial public offerings.

The firm’s dedicated commercial team has an extensive practice encompassing the complete range of strategic business and commercial contracts advice, together with specialised expertise in agency, distribution, franchising, sale of goods and services, licensing, services agreements, hospitality management, consultancy, e-commerce, competition, consumer protection and data security.

Hadef & Partners’ engineering and construction team provides a significant level of legal specialism to the engineering and construction sector, by offering industry clients a comprehensive advice service for both procurement and resolving disputes. Clients of the practice encompass the entire development spectrum of developers, financiers, contractors, major sub-contractors and project consultants.

Hadef & Partners’ employment, banking and maritime teams all have many years of specialist UAE and industry knowledge together with extensive international experience in their respective fields, thereby providing clients with a full-service approach to managing their legal affairs in the UAE.

Department Name Email Telephone
Banking and finance Alan Rodgers
Commercial Victoria Woods
Commercial Michael Lunjevich
Corporate Sameer Huda
Data protection Victoria Woods
Dispute resolution Abdulrahman Juma
Dispute resolution Adrian Chadwick
Employment Jamie Liddington
Engineering and construction John Smy
Government regulation Sadiq Jafar
Information and communications technology Victoria Woods
Intellectual property Victoria Woods
Maritime, transport and trade Adrian Chadwick
Projects, energy and infrastructure Alan Rodgers
Property Michael Lunjevich
Number of lawyers : 93
at this office : 59
International Bar Association
Other offices : Abu Dhabi