Firm Profile > El-Khoury & Partners Legal Counsel (EKP) > Beirut, Lebanon

El-Khoury & Partners Legal Counsel (EKP)
Sami Solh Avenue - Badaro Circles Tower - 1st Floor

Dispute resolution Tier 1

El-Khoury & Partners Legal Counsel (EKP)'s disputes team has recently been strengthened by the arrival of Georges Okais, who brings a unique perspective when acting before government authorities having previously served as a judge in the Lebanese courts. The team is a key name for cross-border disputes, with Hadi Melki recently acting for China National Chemical Engineering in an $8m dispute involving the construction of a labour camp in Saudi Arabia. Also recommended is senior associate Bassem Chalhoub, who is very experienced in commercial and employment litigation.

Practice head(s):


‘Wissam Hachem and Ziad El Khoury personally are involved at every step and follow through until issues are resolved.’

Key clients

China National Chemical Engineering

Elekta Limited



Pharmacie le Gabriel

Saudi Arabian Airlines

Sinopec International Petroleum Service Corporation

Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 2

El-Khoury & Partners Legal Counsel (EKP) is uniquely structured as a regional law firm with offices in Beirut, Dubai and Riyadh, and often handles mandates where the jurisdictions intersect. In recent work, the team advised product distribution company Slid on multi-jurisdictional corporate and commercial matters. Practice head Ziad El-KhouryWissam Hassem and senior associate Bassem Chalhoub are recommended.

Real estate and construction (including projects) Tier 2

El-Khoury & Partners Legal Counsel (EKP)'s team is led by Ziad El-Khoury, who has a unique blend of local and international expertise having previously worked as managing partner for Holman Fenwick Willan LLP's Beirut office prior to their separation. He recently advised the local industrial and trading company Matco Marketing & Trading Sarl on building a plant for the manufacturing of cosmetic products through a joint venture with a leading Italian industrial group. Hadi Melki is another name of note and regularly assists with energy and infrastructure projects, often through a public-private-partnership.

Practice head(s):


‘The stand out partners are Ziad EL Khoury and Hady Melki. They are always available and deliver ahead of time.’

With offices in Beirut, Dubai and Riyadh, EKP has been serving the Middle East for over 15 years, combining best practice knowledge with deep expertise in local Middle East markets.

EKP was founded in 2003 and merged with Squire Sanders in 2018 after years of close collaboration. The firm then demerged from Squire Sanders and merged with HFW in 2016. In 2019, EKP demerged from HFW after realizing that the real need in the Middle East region is shifting towards quality local firms. Therefore, most EKP partners have more than 15 years hands-on experience serving at large international law firms, placing EKP in a unique professional bridging position between east and west.

EKP’s new strategy aims at solidifying its commitment to supporting the development of the Middle East region. In line with this new direction, EKP has recently announced a number of growth initiatives: (i) the launch of its new office in Dubai; (ii) the appointment of 3 new partners; and (iii) the inauguration of its new offices in Beirut.

EKP represents a diverse mix of regional and international clients from Fortune 500 clients to privately held enterprises, and from emerging companies to mature conglomerates, as well as public entities and governmental bodies across the Middle East, and covers a wide range of sectors such as: projects, PPPs, infrastructure, TMT, healthcare, construction, aviation, shipping, banking and financial services, capital markets, start-ups, oil and gas, insurance, automotive, leisure, hospitality, sports, entertainment, fashion, retail and others.

EKP’s expertise spans across the following core practice areas:

Commercial, corporate and M&A

EKP experienced team of corporate lawyers understands the intricacies of doing business under local legal regimes and can easily identify potential risks, recommend ways to address them and finalize transaction documentation accordingly. This includes advising local and foreign investors on M&A, joint ventures and corporate structuring and set-up from negotiations to completion. EKP also provides advice on all forms of commercial contracts and arrangements to support its clients’ day to day and strategic business activities. EKP has extensive experience working with major players involved in a variety of business sectors. For example EKP advised Gulf Union Cooperative Insurance Company in relation to its proposed merger with Ahlia Cooperative Insurance Company being the first merger among two insurance listed companies in the Saudi market and is now advising Walaa Cooperative Insurance Company in relation to its merger with Metlife AIG ANB this being the second merger of its kind in that market; EKP is also currently advising Middle East Financial Investment Company (MEFIC) on the acquisition of a healthcare group of companies in Saudi Arabia.

Projects and regulatory 

EKP is one of the rare regional firms with hands-on experience in projects in the Middle East, advising government procuring entities and project sponsors on limited or non-recourse financing projects. EKP is the go-to firm for PPP projects with more than 15 projects executed or under execution totaling more than $35bn in value. EKP will support you throughout the project’s lifecycle, starting from the initial bid to operation and handover. EKP’s expertise in executed projects spreads across various sectors including city development, social infrastructure, healthcare, water and power, transportation, waste-to-energy and telecoms. For example, EKP advised a Lebanese Municipality in assessing the legal feasibility, designing the contractual and commercial structure and procuring a US$300 million waste to energy facility in an urban area, to be operated in accordance with European technical and environmental standards and based on a DBFOT contract and a power purchase agreement to sell energy generated to the Lebanese government; EKP has also advised a GCC PPP unit in connection with more than 10 projects covering various sectors including power, renewable energy, water, waste and social infrastructure.

Dispute resolution

EKP qualified lawyers have rights of audience before the local courts of all jurisdictions in which they operate. EKP’s strong track record on many of the leading litigation and arbitration cases across the region demonstrates the team’s ability and commitment to the success of their clients. EKP has been traditionally involved in dispute resolution covering several sectors and is well-recognized in representing clients in cross border disputes. For example, EKP represents Saudi Arabian Airlines in dozens of cases ranging from cargo, ground handling services and passengers’ claims and cases.

Legislation and governments 

EKP has a significant track record of regulatory and policy projects and regularly contributes to the development and drafting of laws, regulations and policies across the Middle East region. Involvement includes conduct a baseline gap analysis to assess the current legal and regulatory situation; perform local, regional and international benchmarking to identify best practices and measures to be considered; advise on local legislation and regulation, interface with concerned stakeholders to further understand the practical aspects of the existing baseline. For example, EKP recently advised the Saudi Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs (MOMRA) on the update and adoption of a national spatial strategy and the issuance of a new urban planning act including the assessment of the various laws, regulations and practices currently constituting the Saudi planning system, the conduct of an international benchmarking exercise on best practices and the analysis of planning strategies and measures required for the Kingdom to reach the objectives of Vision 2030 and international conventions.


Working on behalf of governments, regulatory bodies and telecommunications operators in the region, EKP has built a well-deserved reputation in successfully helping clients across all parts of the information and communication technology (ICT) industry. EKP has substantial knowledge in the area of telecoms rules and regulations, including licensing, access, interconnection, numbering, spectrum, tariffs and competition. EKP offers a unique combination of deep legal, policy and technical expertise. Whether the matter involves regulatory, corporate or dispute resolution work, EKP can address such complex challenges in an integrated, strategic and commercially efficient manner.


EKP has been active in the insurance market over the past decade and has gained significant market share through its impressive portfolio of insurance clients in the region. The firm is well versed in providing advice on all aspects of insurance and reinsurance operations, as well as on matters pertaining to sanctions and contemporary issues.

Capital markets

The team has extensive capital markets experience and can support and guide you through the legal and practical issues when coming to the market or subsequently looking to raise equity capital to support and finance the future growth of the business. The firm also has considerable experience in debt capital issuances, including acting for investment banks and issuers in a broad range of debt offerings on several stock exchanges.

Real estate and construction

The real estate sector in the Middle East has proven to be a rewarding area for investment. However, the reward does not shield inherent risks and challenges. This is why local knowledge and expertise in pertinent areas of the law are essential. EKP lawyers have a wide local experience cemented with years of international practice and have been instrumental in numerous real estate finance, private equity and development transactions in the Middle East.

Family business, wealth management and succession planning

EKP will help you structure your assets and ownership interests to ensure security, longevity, financial stability and governance and succession issues for family businesses. The team counsels on the full spectrum of family law matters including marriage and prenuptial/postnuptial agreements, divorce, custody, abduction and relocation, maintenance, surrogacy and settlement agreements. EKP has been actively involved in the development of inheritance may it be Sharia or other succession planning throughout the region. For example, EKP advised a family-owned commercial group comprised of 21 corporations on the restructuring, succession plan and governance scheme for the group; and assisted a major family-owned group of companies in the restructuring and corporate governance of the group which consisted of 36 business entities covering different activities.

Labour and employment 

EKP’s employment expertise covers all aspects of employment arrangements, including drafting employment and consultancy agreements and updating staff handbooks and policies; advising on bonus schemes, stock option plans, end of service gratuity, pensions and other benefits; advising on disciplinary and grievance proceedings; handling both small- and large-scale redundancies; negotiating and drafting severance packages; and assisting in litigation before various courts and employment tribunals. EKP also advises on employment aspects of mergers and acquisitions, as well as restructurings and reorganizations including transfer of employers from public to private sectors.

Learn more at


Department Name Email Telephone
Projects and regulatory Ziad El-Khoury 00961 1 387 778
Projects and regulatory Hadi Melki 00961 1 387 778
Legislation and governments Hadi Melki 00961 1 387 778
Legislation and governments Georges Okais 00961 1 387 778
Dispute resolution Georges Okais 00961 1 387 778
Commercial, corporate and M&A Ziad El-Khoury 00961 1 387 778
TMT Ziad El-Khoury 00961 1 387 778
TMT Hadi Melki 00961 1 387 778
Family Business, succession planning and wealth management, Ziad El-Khoury 00961 1 387 778
Insurance Wissam Hachem 00966 11 276 7372
Labour and employment Hadi Melki 00961 1 387 778
Capital markets Ziad El-Khoury 00961 1 387 778
Real estate and construction Ziad El-Khoury 00961 1 387 778
Partners : 7
Lawyers : 31
Paralegals : 5
Chief Operating Officer : 1
Beirut Bar Association
IBA (International Bar Association)
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts
England & Wales Law Society
Egyptian Bar Association
Saudi Bar Association
Other offices : Riyadh
Other offices : Dubai