The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon
Work +971 4 422 8410

The firm: Mahmood Hussain Advocates and Legal Consultancy (MHLF) was founded in September 2012 by Mr Mahmood Hussain. Since then, the firm has grown to be one of UAE’s leading legal service providers and an active boutique firm with international exposure and expertise that focuses on select clients and quality mandates.

The firm is renowned for providing solution-oriented and value-adding services to its clients with strong knowledge and understanding of it's clients' business and commercial needs. This success is attributed to the nationally and internationally-trained team of regional and global lawyers. MHLF is supported with strategic and planning expertise which is essential for conflict resolution, corporate, policies development and legislative services.

The firm is now well established and recognized as an arbitration and conflict resolution expert in commercial and corporate matters and stands out for providing comprehensive legal solutions for complex legal challenges.

The team is dedicated and has extensive knowledge on UAE laws. MHLF lawyers also have the skills to blend international best practices into their services, which helps meet the region’s unique needs.

The firm specializes in providing advice on mergers and acquisitions, complex business transactions which include, but are not limited to, private equity deals, corporate governance, and legal structuring.

Over the years, MHLF has nurtured and grown a client base that includes high-net-worth individuals, major corporations, LLCs, family-owned businesses, private and public stock companies, and governmental and semi-governmental bodies.

As a member of Worldwide Lawyers Association (WLA), MHLF assists clients in various jurisdictions including Morocco, Iran, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Tunisia, Turkey, Oman, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, Egypt, Tunisia, Panama, Romania, Kuwait, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

The uniqueness of MHLF's legal experts can be seen in their focus on client satisfaction. As a UAE-based law firm equipped with international highly regarded lawyers, registered by different legal bodies such as England & Wales Courts, Indian Bar association, French, Lebanese and other jurisdictions, the firm today celebrates its diversity not only on ethnic backgrounds but also the ability to access different legal systems with the capability to maintain more than ten different languages and dialogues so to assure that MHLF's clients are served by international standards with local knowledge.

We ensure that we exceed client expectation. Our team of lawyers and staff  provide expert solutions that fulfill clients' goals. The team is available when and where needed  to offer expert legal representation.

 Overview: Mahmood Hussain Advocates and Legal Consultancy (MHLF) has over the years become known for providing high-end solutions to legal problems. The firm ensures that all clients, whether local or regional, achieve desired results.

We are equipped to provide the most dynamic, skilled and effective Litigation and Arbitration experts in different fields, however, our lawyers and staff have unprecedented experience in negotiations, dealing with legal issues and litigation. We do this by first mastering our client’s business and their working environment.

This enables us to partner with the client in pursuing the best strategic actions which will steer them away from all legal challenges encountered during business operations.

Our Mission: To promote the firm's sustainable growth through its internationally recognized brand, and provide effective  and efficient legal services whilst serving its clients with the best global practices and helping them achieve their interests and aspirations.

Our Vision: To become a UAE tier 1 law firm providing efficient and dynamic legal services, and practical conflict resolution solutions, for its clients by 2021. Thus, our focus is in building a customized and personalized service, while at the same time adhering to the company’s core values of integrity, honor, objectivity, credibility, and impartiality and these will remain our concrete base.

MHLF is part of the UAE global success and international business platform and we adopt the highest level of professionalism. We ensure our clients’ needs are met and preserve their valued secrets. We are all about transparent communication and ensuring clients are informed about developments throughout their cases as these arise. This allows us to come up with the best available strategies.

Our team is adaptable, hardworking, tenacious, and committed to developing legal strategies to help our clients win. We adapt to challenges regardless of the case complexity, the adversary, or legal issue involved.

MHLF has a long-standing reputation of having talented lawyers ready to provide the best legal advice.

Our clients understand that no matter the problem, MHLF will tailor a solution that speaks to their specific need(s).

Facts and Numbers: MHLF has over time evolved to become one of UAE’s most sort after legal service providers.

Starting with only three employees, the firm now has a total of 35 employees. It has 21 lawyers and six partners. The growth of MHLF's team is noticed in the very specialized and non- traditional areas such as fine art laws, media and intellectual property, fintech and finance, smart innovation, family offices and trust with a focus in the development of legislative frameworks services. However, its expertise within conflict resolution services, employment, corporate and commercial, such as M&A and hospitality, keep the firm top of its peers in the UAE local firm matrix.

The Global Gender Gap Report 2017, ranks the UAE as the second highest Arab country to offer women the same rights as men. Women today represent 46.6% of the labour force in the UAE. At MHLF, we believe in giving women the same opportunities as men. Out of the 21 lawyers and partners in our firm eight are female (38%) and 13 are male (62%).

Services: MHLF is committed to consistently providing exceptional legal services. We dedicate ourselves to representing our clients' best interests as efficiently and effectively as possible.

MHLF represents clients across a wide range of practice areas. These include:

  • Arbitration
  •  Litigation
  • Corporate commercial law
  • Construction and engineering
  • Franchise and company set up
  • Family and personal status
  • Employment and labour law
  • Intellectual property
  • Banking and finance
  • Insurance

 Areas of Expertise: Arbitration: By becoming a global community, UAE has opened its doors to a host of people from different nationalities willing to open businesses, as well as live or work here. We are agile and seek to avoid disputes by proactively anticipating conflict areas before a client experiences them. However, when disputes happen, our team of dedicated lawyers move to neutralize any conflicting situation(s).

With a distinct team of qualified civil law and common law lawyers and attorneys, our arbitration practice provides operative and tailor made expertise to clients. Drawing upon the resources of our network, we deploy teams that are adaptable to the specific requirements of the dispute, in terms of both geographic as well as industry specific expertise.

Our objective is to resolve disputes to our clients’ satisfaction as cost effectively and efficiently as possible. We have the niche to develop and implement innovative commercial solutions for a favorable outcome for our clients in a broad swathe of high-profile cases.

The firm specializes in multiple forms of dispute resolution, with a particular focus on international arbitration, enforcement and cross-border disputes under various legal systems, and has expert knowledge in investment arbitration, energy arbitration, litigation funding and claim assignment methods.

We regularly act on behalf of clients in diverse disputes, both as Counsel and Arbitrators including, but not limited to, M&A disputes, corporate, construction, infrastructure, hospitality, insurance, IP, pharmaceutical, banking and finance, international contracts, trading, and the telecommunications sector. Our renowned Real Estate Litigation practice is known for representing reputable developers, contractors, investors, and subcontractors in the UAE. Our lawyers are knowledgeable in arbitration law in the UAE and all major legal systems and have merged with the highly valued culture at the courts. We have time and time again proved to be effective at handling arbitration cases. We have structured negotiation techniques that enable both parties to commit, communicate, and negotiate effectively.

Our experience extends to the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC), DIFC-LCIA, ADGM, ADCCAD, CRCICA and the International Chambers of Commerce (ICC). Our team is efficient in handling arbitrations in global languages such as English, Arabic and French.

Our expertise can be seen in the high value and complex arbitrations we have handled. We have also worked as co-counsel alongside some distinguished international firms to provide expert advice on UAE law. We have niche expertise in UAE/GCC laws governed arbitrations, handled in close coordination with a local civil law team. This separates us from many firms that do not have litigation functions and have to outsource (coordination problems), therefore lacking early involvement in the arbitration and throughout the process until enforcement.

Some of our lawyers have been appointed as Tribunal Chairman, UAE legal experts and Sole Arbitrators. Treaty planning regarding investment protection mechanisms in multiple jurisdictions and related DR procedures is another area of expertise.

Litigation: It can be tough to navigate the local litigation system in the UAE courts. To be effective and manage all processes and proceedings seamlessly, you need an advocate who can effortlessly navigate the corridors of justice.

Mahmood Hussain Advocates and Legal Consultancy (MHLF) offers litigation services to both local and international clients. In fact, litigation has been the cornerstone of the company since its inception.

Our litigators find the most cost-effective and pragmatic solution for clients in litigation cases. We always get the best possible results whether the case ends at an early settlement or after going through a lengthy trial.

All aspects of litigation are covered including financial, transport, banking, commercial, employment, construction, and more. Our clients range from individuals, government bodies, and international corporations.

Our experience and expertise allows us to handle both local and international litigation disputes.

At MHLF, we ensure a client’s needs and legal battles are won through the integration of intimate legal knowledge and meeting litigation demands. We go above and beyond to ensure that an individual or company’s legal exposure is limited after an incident.

We offer a wide range of services including contract suits, recovery of damages, intercorporate and insurance disputes, international trade disputes, and intellectual property rights. Our litigation practice includes:

  • Consultation and advice on private settlements
  • Legal proceedings in all local and international UAE courts
  • Civil judgement, executions and funds recovery
  • Drafting legal notices, court proceedings, and settlement agreements
  • Civil claims filing
  • Drafting dispute resolution clauses for commercial contracts and private agreements
  • Representing our clients in criminal matters before the police department, local authority or public prosecution
  • Imposing travel bans
  • All and any other procedures and functions required to ensure our client gets a favorable ruling.

Our extensive knowledge allows us to find innovative solutions to the most challenging situations. We provide legal advice to clients whether they are the accused party or are the victim. We ensure that you exercise your right to legal advice and defend you to the best of our ability.

Corporate Commercial: Mahmood Hussain Advocates and Legal Consultancy (MHLF) has over the years steadily grown its client base, locally and internationally. We handle cases for startups, SMEs, corporations, and multinationals.

The UAE has always been an oil economy. Over the years, however, it has transformed into an ambitious economy that is driving diversification and innovation. Millions of people are travelling to invest and spend in the UAE.

The logical operational costs, international outlook, excellent infrastructure, and new liberal government policies are making it an attraction for investors from all over the world. Now the UAE has started delving into other sectors including banking, media, information technology, hospitality, and more.

But even as investors open these businesses in the region, they are required to comply with various legal procedures and processes. MHLF provides these businesses with commercial and corporate advisory services that ensure they operate smoothly. At MHLF we do understand that UAE in general, and Dubai in specific, is a regional hub for Mena, Sub Continents and Africa and Markets for many international commercial exchanges and it is the main office of many international brands therefore MHLF is also established to carter for such needs in different markets with its international affiliations.

Our areas of expertise in the corporate arena include corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring and investments, private equity, and joint ventures and public companies.

Our advisory services range from the UAE market entry strategies, the best finance options, structuring of owned investments, regulatory, and legal issues impacting the business, and many more.

Our expertise in corporate governance has seen us offer high-value complex advisory services. Our team is made up of highly trained experts with years of experience handling:

  • The development of corporate governance policies,
  • The mapping of best practices for both local and international clients,
  • Reviewing of existing policies,
  • Audits and external controls
  • Drafting and implementing appropriate processes for whistleblowing

MHLF’s team of highly skilled lawyers offers specialized services to cross-disciplinary sectors including family businesses, banks, private, and public companies. We also provide tailored manuals that cater to specific needs.

Mergers and acquisitions is another area our lawyers have repeatedly excelled at. We handle the expectations of our domestic and cross-border clients flawlessly. We offer legal consultations, merger facilitations, transactions, joint ventures, business disposals, strategic alliances, and acquisitions.

Our corporate restructuring expertise allows us to help our clients revamp their company structure. We make it easy for companies to transition and plan for new strategies within the stipulated UAE legal framework.

The team at MHLF have detailed knowledge of regional regulations and laws. We ensure our clients are not only aware, but also operate, their businesses within the confines of these laws.

It’s the wish of every investor to ensure that their investments are safe and profitable. The competitive market in the UAE requires one to be extra vigilant. You must constantly modify and analyze risks, capital gains, and your investment portfolio.

We strive to make sure that your organization is set for easy facilitation of investment, private equity, or requirements of joint ventures. Our understanding of the region’s legal issues and expert execution makes us the most reliable choice to keep you and your organization competitive.

Construction and Engineering: Over the last few years, the UAE engineering and construction industry has been a key economic driver as the country is always seeking to improve its infrastructure.

Mahmood Hussain Advocates and Legal Consultancy (MHLF) offers the construction and engineering sector clients comprehensive services for their dispute resolution and procurement issues.

Our understanding of the law in this jurisdiction puts us at the forefront of meeting their needs and interests. Due to the sector’s diversity, our multilingual experienced lawyers have helped us meet these expectations.

Some of the clients we have successfully represented include developers, contractors, financiers, project consultants, and major sub-contractors.

We assist them in all contract interpretation and procedure aspects throughout the course of the project. These include:

  • Structuring and financing the project
  • Drafting contracts
  • Advising as the project continues
  • Project completion advice
  • Termination advise that extends to litigation and dispute resolution.

MHLF prides itself in unparalleled expertise in the areas of environmental, civil engineering, development, infrastructure, and regeneration litigation. We deal with both complex and high-profile deals.

Some of the projects we have worked on include:

  • Infrastructure projects including roads, dams, railways, water and sewerage systems and harbors
  • Residential developments especial high rises
  • Retail and factory developments
  • Education facilities,
  • Hospitals and healthcare institutions

Franchise & Company Set-Up: The vibrant business environment in the UAE, tourists seeking to buy from familiar brands, and the multicultural population makes the UAE a fertile franchising ground.

The prospect of expanding businesses drives brand owners to the UAE while the local community benefits from operating their own business.

The commercial agencies lawThis is a law considered in the case of franchise arrangements. For a contract to apply;

  • A UAE national must be the owner of the company or be an entity owned entirely by UAE nationals.
  • Exclusivity of the relationship is a must either to the territory or a specific product.
  • The relationship between the two parties must be registered.

Franchises are a common phenomenon in the UAE since it provides a good market for investors willing to test their products in a diverse population. Some of the common international brands include restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, restaurants, food and beverage companies, ice cream shops, cloth designers, etc. The businesses are branded with international trademarks and provide international quality products.

The legal team at Mahmood Hussain Advocates and Legal Consultancy believe that franchising will continue to be a huge investment opportunity. It will benefit both the local investors and global investors as they seek to expand their markets.

The Mahmood Hussain Advocates and Legal Consultancy has a dedicated franchise team uniquely positioned to help you make your business dream a reality. We guide you from the structuring to managing and growing the franchise.

The MHLF team has years of experience and understands the legal issues associated with owning a franchise and the relationship that ensues between the two parties.

We build long-term relationships with our franchise clients in the quest to ensure we deliver innovative and creative legal services throughout every growth stage.

Family & Personal Status: With a multitude of citizens from different nationalities and a huge expat population, we ensure that clients know their rights. We provide advice that ensures a smooth transaction in case of estate disposals or divorce.

If you are considering getting a divorce or dealing with family matters, then Mahmood Hussain Advocates and Legal Consultancy is your answer. We listen to you and then provide you with advice on how to solve the issue.

We try to ensure that all family disputes are handled either via mediation, negotiation, litigation, or collaboration. We handle cases with children with utmost care.

Hiring the team at MHLF ensures we can find all assets and income which one of the partners may be trying to hide. We listen to and decide on child support and visitation rights. If the talks fail, then we help you get to trial.

Family matters can be very sensitive such that leaked information can tun into huge scandals and front-page news on local dailies. To avoid this, cases are handled both intelligently and discretely. Our personalized services ensure that the client’s privacy is protected.

Employment & Labour Law: The UAE, and especially Dubai, has one of the highest number of foreign and professional skilled workers who come in search of career activities.

Our firm represents both the employers and employees in a bid to ensure they both minimize litigation risks. We seek to find ways to solve these matters cost-effectively using arbitration, and mediation.

The Mahmood Hussain Advocates and Legal Consultancy has experience and expertise in handling cases related to contracts, workplace disputes, unfair or wrongful termination, employee incentives, protecting client information, regulatory issues, employee data protection, and discrimination.

We provide personal solutions to unique situations. This allows us to customize our services to meet the needs of our clients.

Intellectual Property: Intellectual property needs to be protected when one is starting a business venture. It’s an essential part of the company which gives it a competitive edge in the industry. Protecting it keeps away people who may want to imitate it.

Mahmood Hussain Advocates and Legal Consultancy seeks to protect both contentious and non- contentious intellectual properties. We take time to advise clients on the best way to handle their intellectual property.

Our team enrolls the use of our prefilling services to ensure that the organization’s trademark is registered to provide one with a genuine start to business. We cover many types of business including online business and commercial arrangements.

MHLF ensures that the invention or creation of a design, idea or patent goes under legal protection from imitators. This can be ideas for your corporation, literacy work or artistic work. We provide the owner with intellectual property services that include registration amendments, renewal, patent protection, trademarks, copyright, enforcement and litigation, portfolio management, and industrial design.

Should an infringement occur, the team at MHLF uses its expertise and skills to enforce the rights against copiers and counterfeiters of the brand. They are experienced and know the relevant ministries to approach and the criminal courts to file the case under.

The breadth of knowledge our team has on the intellectual property law allows us to provide practical and well-informed advice on the specific intellectual property laws, regulations and international standards and requirements.

Banking and finance: UAE has a dynamic investment in banking and finance. Our team of lawyers at Mahmood Hussain Advocates and Legal Consultancy provides advisory services to financial institutions, banks and other players including real estates, stocks, gas, and oil. With our help, clients can navigate through the many issues facing the banking industry today.

MHLF lawyers advise borrowers and lenders on different aspects of negotiating, structuring, and documenting their transactions.

Our services also extend to individuals and corporate entities with investments or who are looking to invest. We provide them with a legal perspective to make wise decisions.

Our lawyers are experts in asset finance, Islamic banking, project finance, restructuring, insolvency, finance litigation, and structured finance. Our experience acting on behalf of multiple sectors helps us anticipate and address requirements needed by different parties in a transaction.

Mahmood Hussain Advocates and Legal Consultancy assists institutions, both local and international, in transactions including financial leasing, bond issues, debt syndication, the sale of foreign securities, general compliance advice, and infrastructure project financing.

Insurance: Insurance companies aim to make profit and sometimes disputes arise when it comes to paying. Handling of this type of dispute requires a neutral entity who is aware of the law and who knows how commercial disputes can affect companies.

Our insurance lawyers at Mahmood Hussain Advocates and Legal Consultancy, have the experience, skills, and expertise required to cost-effectively and quickly solve these complex disputes.

MHLF offers the policyholder legal solutions to help them claim their insurance. We have experience challenging different kinds of insurance disputes including property, automotive, short/long term disability, business owners, marine insurance claims, and health or life claims.

Why Us ?

Since 2012, Mahmood Hussain Advocates and Legal Consultancy is recognized for offering specialized, personal and efficient services.

We are adaptable in an increasingly fast-changing environment and a world that is interconnected. Our proven experience helps us align our services to your business strategy.

At MHLF, we boast a diverse team who delivers a broader perspective to problem-solving. Driven by passion and professionalism, the team strives to keep the clients' needs and interests at the forefront of every activity undertaken. We are there to ensure your company thrives in this fast-changing UAE economic environment.

We have a huge network and local know-how to ensure that the client consistently gets the best. We provide the client with a wide selection of solution secure business investments. We want to be able to handle problems even before they occur.

We respond to projects differently depending on their requirements using all available resources to finish the work with speed.

We have unparalleled local know-how and a huge network of resources and people to help us provide only the best for our clients.

At Mahmood Hussain Advocates and Legal Consultancy, you get the best in legal consultancy. Our deep knowledge of the law, vast experience, a huge area of expertise, acceptance to all UAE courts and exceptional service makes us the best choice anytime you need the services of a lawyer.

For Legal consultancy, seek MHLF. We are the best law firm in the UAE to meet all your needs.

Achievements and awards: Mr Mahmood Hussain, Founding Partner, Mahmood Hussain Law Firm

Best Young Arbitrators below 40, Gold category - Mr Mahmood Hussain.

Accredited as the international Arbitrator at DIAC - Mr Mahmood Hussain.

Accredited as the Abu Dhabi Commercial conciliation and arbitration center

MHLF ranked: tier 3 in Dispute Resolution (Local Court Litigation) byThe Legal 500

Mr Mahmood Hussain was described as responsive, knowledgeable and a problem solver, based from the research conducted by The Legal 500 in the MENA region.

Our Core Values: Integrity: We strive to provide our clients with honest moral principles.

Honor: We regard our clients with respect and keep them informed with great communication on the issue pertaining to their cases.

Objectivity: We carry out our duties with the client in mind. We want to achieve the best result for our clients so that they can streamline their business and remain competitive. We do not let emotion or personal feeling dictate our working environment.

Credibility and impartiality: We objectively strategize and make decisions that are objective based for our clients.

Selected case studies: Some of our key transactions include:

  • Successful negotiation and settlement of a US$230m dispute for a contractor. The dispute was in relation to a 5.7m UAE project.
  • Represented one of the leading MENA construction group in several cases worth over hundreds of millions.
  • Working with insufficient records and messy audit reports, the firm was able to award judgment against an AED390m dispute.
  • Nullified an arbitration award that obliged the client to pay AED91m.
  • Transaction council for the ILFS as it goes into a joint venture with the investment company, to create the first ever PPP in UAE
  • Gave advisory services on the multi-sports high-end facility and UAE’s infrastructure city.
  • Oversaw the joint venture between a UAE based company and a Japanese government managed fund.
  • Successfully represented and obtained favorable Award under the DIAC rules for an Australian company against a local contractor to the tune of AED3.8m.
  • Successfully obtained and ratified an arbitral award for one of the most respectable conglomerates in the construction industry in the UAE amounting to approx. AED400m.
  • Successfully nullified an arbitral award amounting to AED300m for a local construction entity.
  • Successfully represented and got favorable award to the tune of US$1.2m for our client who is an International Logistics Provider against an Indian man-power provider, followed by enforcement proceedings in India.
  • Successfully settled an arbitration under the DIAC rules for a disputed amount of US$4m for International Trade & Commodities Firm against a South African Meat Provider.
  • Successfully represented and were awarded US$38m under the ICC rules for a client who is a Media Group against a regional distributor.
  • Procured favorable award amounting to AED90m for a UAE master developer against a local developer under the ADCCAC.
  • Advised regarding conflict of laws and jurisdiction matters (between DIFC Courts and Onshore Courts) and enforcement foreign judgment procedures regarding a GBÂŁ500m dispute before the JJC.
  • Number of lawyers: 14
  • Languages
  • English
  • Arabic

Above material supplied by Mahmood Hussain Advocates & Legal Consultancy.

Legal Developments in United Arab Emirates

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to