Firm Profile > Simmons & Simmons Middle East > Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Simmons & Simmons Middle East
United Arab Emirates

Dispute resolution: compliance and investigations Tier 1

At Simmons & Simmons Middle East, Payam Beheshti and Muneer Khan advise well-known clients on some of the most challenging cross-border internal investigations stemming from the region into fraud and forgery, sexual misconduct and data abuse. Many instructions involve some crossover with financial services regulation.

Practice head(s):

Payam Beheshti; Muneer Khan 

Investment fund formation and management Tier 2

Muneer Khan and James Coleman jointly head the asset management and investment fund group at Simmons & Simmons Middle East, which has broad expertise in close-ended and open-ended structures (conventional and Islamic). Leading asset managers also seek the team's advice on regulatory matters, and the team has additional expertise in asset management-related litigation.

Practice head(s):

Muneer Khan; James Coleman

Key clients

Abu Dhabi Financial Group

SEDCO Capital

Gulf Capital


BECO Capital

NCB Capital


TMT Tier 2

Under the leadership of the highly regarded Raza Rizvi, the well-established TMT practice at Simmons & Simmons Middle East has a broad offering that covers all aspects of commercial, regulatory and transactional matters. The team was further bolstered in 2019 by the hire of managing associate Nick Roudev from Allen & Overy LLP in London. Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du) is a key client; recently, the team has assisted it with its work as master systems integrator on the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority’s new “Smart District”, on various digitisation initiatives and on compliance with GDPR.

Practice head(s):

Raza Rizvi

Key clients

Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du)

MyList Ltd


EA Sports

Qatar Islamic Bank

Mercury Payments Services


Intigral (subsidiary of Saudi Telecom)

Capital markets Tier 3

The debt capital markets practice at Simmons & Simmons Middle East advises sovereigns, quasi-sovereigns, financial institutions and public and private companies on large-scale and complex transactions. Lee Irvine has quickly established a strong practice since joining the firm in 2018; recent highlights include his advice to Emirates Strategic Investment Group on the establishment of a $1bn sukuk issuance programme and its debut $600m sukuk thereunder; the sukuk was listed on the LSE’s International Securities Market.

Practice head(s):

Muneer Khan; Lee Irvine

Key clients

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank

Barclays Bank Plc

Bnp Paribas

Citigroup Global Markets Limited

Deutsche Bank Ag, London Branch

Ing Bank N.V.

J.P. Morgan Securities Plc

Merrill Lynch International

Morgan Stanley & Co.

Standard Chartered Bank

Dispute resolution: arbitration and international litigation Tier 3

Simmons & Simmons Middle East handles a range of disputes work, both in the DIFC courts and international arbitration, with a focus on representing banks. Payam Beheshti is a notable name for that, alongside acting in a number of cases involving allegations of mis-selling (often crossing over with his DFSA regulatory expertise) and cross-border debt recoveries.


‘They work very effectively across their offices, and are able to adjust their approach depending on the client requirements of the matter. They earn the confidence and respect of senior stakeholders.’

‘Payam Beheshti is very practical – he is strong on the strategy but equally willing to get in to the detail. He is also very personable and builds strong relationships.’

Key clients

Standard Chartered

Intellectual property Tier 3

The TMT department at Simmons & Simmons Middle East, led by Raza Rizvi, advises on a range of IP, technology, commercial and regulatory matters. In recent work, Rizvi and a cross-office team of lawyers in the UK and UAE advised biopharmaceutical company Celgene on its IP strategy for market protection of major pharmaceutical products with US and European patent protection and certain limited protections in the UAE and the Middle East.

Practice head(s):

Raza Rizvi

Key clients






Emirates Digital Wallet




Construction Tier 4

Simmons & Simmons Middle East's David Risbridger represents subcontractors, including MEP contractors and civil works contractors, on a range of projects across the region. Harriet Jenkins is a notable managing associate.

Banking and finance: Corporate finance (including Islamic lending) Tier 5

Simmons & Simmons Middle East complements its transactional banking practice with expertise in funds, financial crime and financial services regulation. Practice head Muneer Khan specialises in Islamic finance. Ahmed Butt is another key practitioner; he splits his time between the Dubai and Riyadh offices.


Great regional presence and knowledge.

Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 5

At Simmons & Simmons Middle East, 'there is always a high level of partner involvement'. The corporate and commercial team advises clients on acquisitions, disposals, mergers and reorganisations, with an emphasis on fintech, private equity and venture capital deals. Paul Bugingo is a name to note for corporate transactions in Africa. Practice head James Coleman receives strong praise.

Practice head(s):

James Coleman


A fantastic network and deep knowledge of the business and political landscape across the continent.

Ability to act as trusted advisors with all types of clients from large multinationals to local governments in frontier markets, still providing the same quality of service.

There is always a high level of partner involvement, and the associates are strong as well, which makes for a powerful combination in advising us.

James Coleman has been very helpful to us in particular at the partner level, and Alexandra Wilson is also strong at the associate level.

James Coleman is very diligent, always calm and composed. I like to work with him.

Paul Bugingo remains without a doubt the secret weapon in their African Network.

Key clients

Government of the Republic of Somaliland


Gulf Capital




Iron Mountain


Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du)

The smartest business solutions come when we work together – international, but operating as one integrated team.

Collaborative, agile and partner-led: that’s Simmons & Simmons. A law firm that challenges, creates new possibilities and offers opinion not just option. A law firm that acts as your business partner and works with you, not for you.

We focus on four highly regulated sectors (asset management and investment funds, financial institutions, healthcare and life sciences and technology, media and telecommunications) – using our specialist skills to understand your business, and the forces at play around it. All grounded in exceptional knowledge of the legal detail.

This is how we consistently deliver smarter, more efficient ways to tackle our clients’ most complex challenges.