Charles Russell Speechlys LLP > Manama, Bahrain > Firm Profile

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP
Floor 24 Bahrain World Trade Centre
East Tower, Isa Al Kabeer Avenue
Kingdom of Bahrain

Bahrain > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 1

At Charles Russell Speechlys LLP, the corporate and commercial team excels in undertaking work connected with the telecoms, media and entertainment sectors, including M&A and commercial contracts. The practice is jointly led by Dubai-based practitioners Mark Hill (who also manages the firms IP and TMT practice in the Middle East) and William Reichert . In the Manama office, Jonathan Fisher advises on reorganisations, management buyouts and shareholders agreements.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


Very responsive with a good understanding of the commercial drivers. Good practice advice.’

Key clients

Arab Shipbuilding and Repair Yard Company (ASRY)

Ahlan Technologies SPC

DXC Technology

Saudi Arabian Baytur Construction Co

DANAT – Bahrain Institute for Pearls & Gemstones

Nadeen School W.L.L.

Messe Frankfurt

Work highlights

  • Assisted Arab Shipbuilding and Repair Yard Company (ASRY) with preparing a joint venture shareholders’ agreement and various other documentation in connection with a large-scale joint venture entity which will operate in the oil and gas sector in the GCC.
  • Assisted Ahlan Technologies SPC with preparing a suite of commercial, IP and data protection documentation in connection with the roll-out of an e-commerce solution for food ordering and deliveries from restaurant outlets throughout Bahrain.
  • Assisted DXC Technology with drafting a share transfer agreement, as well as various board resolutions and other ancillary documentation that needed to be filed with MOICT to reflect the transfer of shares.

Bahrain > Dispute resolution Tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has a well-established litigation practice with core strengths in cross-border matters concerning banking and finance, real estate and construction, aviation and telecommunications. Patrick Gearon is the overall head of the dispute resolution practice in the Middle East. He works with Paula Boast, who heads up the construction group and is active in related disputes. Other names to note at the firm are Thanos Karvelis, who has over 20 years of litigation and arbitration experience, and Gareth Mills. The team has seen an increase in instructions from the aviation sector, including from leading clients such as Etihad Airways.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Gearon; Paula Boast

Other key lawyers:

Thanos Karvelis; Simone Sancandi; Gareth Mills; Thomas Catto; Georgina Munnik


‘The CRS dispute resolution is the go-to practice in Bahrain. They are extremely well versed on Bahraini legal matters and have unrivalled experience in the market. There is no other firm to go to in Bahrain.’

‘Gareth Mills is a stand out lawyer in Bahrain. Intelligent, quick and a focused problem solver. He is very good with his clients – personable, engaging and interesting. He has been very collaborative on matters we have worked together on.’

Personal contact is by far the most unique practice that we appreciate from CRS. Advice is often given FOC and there is no 9 to 5 approach, which often suits the local Bahraini clients. Value the trust and openness.’

‘Patrick Gearon. Always available, very quick and very knowledgeable. Nothing is too much trouble.’

‘Proactive and very commercial in their approach. Partner led interaction and partners always available to deal with matters.’

Key clients

Central Bank of Bahrain

Gulf Air B.S.C. (c)

The Estate of Behrooz Toorani

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority Bahrain

Alaa Industrial Equipment Factory Co

WS Atkins & Partners Overseas and WS Atkins International Limited (“Atkins”)

Energy Central Company (“Energy Central”)

Arabian International Contractors

Diyar Al Muharraq WLL

Etihad Airways

Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited

Al Najjar

Cebarco Bahrain W.L.L.

NASS Contracting Co W.L.L.

NASS Industrial Services

NASS Scafform


NASS Dredging

Work highlights

  • Appointed by the CBB as External Administrator of Awal Bank B.S.C. (in administration) in 2009 and, in this capacity, advise on the region’s largest administration involving multibillion dollar claims and assets across a number of jurisdictions (including Bahrain, UK, Switzerland, USA, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Cayman Islands).
  • Acted for investment bank client Bahrain Middle East Bank B.S.C. in a highly complex arbitration case against another investment bank known as Venture Capital Bank B.S.C. (C).
  • Advising a Chinese/Saudi/Bahraini consortium in relation to the design, construction and operation of an IWPP independent water and power plant in the Kingdom of Bahrain including ongoing contract administration, construction phase advisory and claims/ dispute services.

Bahrain > Real estate and construction Tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's team has ‘great industry knowledge’ and dominates the Bahraini real estate market with expertise in industrial projects, developments, and investment acquisitions. Practice head Paula Boast handles both contentious and non-contentious construction projects, with notable expertise in matters concerning ports, airports and highways. She is supported by experienced associates Jodie Martyndale-Howard and Reem Al MahroosSimon Green in Dubai is a key regional contact. The team also advises high-net worth families in the GCC region on property investments in the UK.

Practice head(s):

Paula Boast


‘The team is very responsive and has great industry knowledge. You feel like they are working with others that have the same issues as you and have encountered your concerns before, which is very comforting.’

‘Paula and Jodie on the construction side are a great team and have great industry knowledge. They always provide commercially-minded advice.’

Reem is very responsive and has very relevant experience with real estate and hotels.’

Key clients

Esterad Amwaj Co W.L.L

Bahrain Marina Development Company

TERNA Bahrain

Bin Faqeeh Real Estate Investment Company W.L.L

Noor Enterprises

Eagle Hills Diyar Company W.L.L

Katara Project

Kasada Hospitality

Channex Communities

Diyar Al Muharraq W.L.L

Ministry of Tourism (Oman)

Town Center Real Estate Development W.L.L

NASS Contracting Co W.L.L.

NASS Industrial Services

NASS Scafform


NASS Dredging

Al Sahel Resort

Haya Power & Desalination Company

Cebarco Bahrain W.L.L.

Eagle Hills International Properties LLC

Nadeen School W.L.L

Bareeq AlRetaj

Bahrain Real Estate Investment Company (Edamah)

Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company

Sevens Holding S.P.C.

Work highlights

  • Advising a Chinese/ Saudi/ Bahraini consortium in relation to the design, construction and operation of an IWPP independent water and power plant in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
  • Advised various clients on some of the most iconic new and existing hotels located in the Middle East, Africa, UK, Europe and the Caribbean, including the iconic AlBustan Palace Ritz Carlton Resort in the Sultanate of Oman.
  • Engaged by Esterad following its acquisition of the long-stalled major Amwaj Gateway project in Bahrain. Esterad acquired the project at auction in June 2019 for $39m.

Qatar > Projects, real estate and construction

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP regularly handles large-scale mega-projects in Qatar for developers and employers.  The head of the regional construction group is Paula Boast in Bahrain, who leads on high-value contentious and non-contentious work (ADR) in the oil and gas sector. Senior associate Niel Coertse in Doha advises contractors and consultants across the GCC region on mixed-use developments, as well as infrastructure (road and railways) related disputes. Simon Green, who divides time between Dubai and Hong Kong, is also involved in Qatari work.

Practice head(s):

Simon Green; Paula Boast; Thanos Karvelis


‘The CRS team is very knowledgeable in relation to major events/projects and this is where we are able to obtain the most value from CRS. The team members are very personable and always on hand when required. We rely on the team to provide support on projects and ad hoc matters.’

Key clients

Energy City Qatar

GEK Terna Group

Katara Project

Madina Group WLL

Manateq Economic Zones Company QSC (Manateq)

Nass Scafform

Nixon Hire Middle East (Transport)

Work highlights

  • Advising a Qatari contractor in respect of claims made by a subcontractor in an ICC arbitration amounting to $24m, excluding counterclaims which amount to approximately $20m.
  • Developed a standalone UK residential property and projects investment practice whereby we advise purchasers/property investors and project clients based in Qatar inward to the UK.
  • Represented an international contractor in an ICC arbitration relation to a claim brought against it by a sub-contractor which arose out of the development of a world-renowned international airport.

United Arab Emirates > Dispute resolution: arbitration and international litigation

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP demonstrates expertise in local and international arbitration and litigation. Practice head Patrick Gearon specialises in dispute resolution and has a particular focus on banking, insolvency and professional negligence disputes. Ghassan El Daye heads the firm’s Arabic litigation offering and focuses on banking, commercial and real estate matters. Peter Smith is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Gearon

Other key lawyers:

Ghassan El Daye; Peter Smith; Sara Sheffield


Patrick Gearon – Knowledgeable, always available and nothing is too much trouble.

Quick and very commercial in their approach.

Partner-led advice.

Rates are flexible depending on business need which is also appreciated.

My experience working with Peter Smith was unique in the balanced approach he developed and provided.’

‘Peter leveraged his standard pleasant and incisive working style and rapidly developed a depth of knowledge about a difficult (and somewhat unusual) type of matter.’

‘Peter Smith – combination of (a) a very strong generalist base of knowledge and conducive, flexible working style and (b) ability to rapidly pick up and ‘make his own’ the nuances of an unusual matter.’

‘Excellent legal team.’

Key clients

Gulf Air

Millennium Hotels Group

Al Soor Investments LLC

Sari Investments LLC

Al Baraka Investments LLC

IGPL General Trading LLC


Vassil Bojkov

FAL Oil Company Limited

Charles Russell Speechlys is a law firm headquartered in London with 11 offices located in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Hong Kong. We have an unusually broad range of skills and experience across the full spectrum of business and personal needs. This gives us a wider perspective, clear insight and a strongly commercial long-term view. We use this approach to secure the growth of our clients as they move confidently into the future.

Charles Russell Speechlys has a dedicated Middle East team based in our three offices in Doha, Manama and Dubai. Our work for clients in the region primarily covers the following key areas:

  • Corporate / commercial
  • Real estate, hotels and hospitality
  • Construction, engineering and projects
  • Litigation and dispute resolution
  • Intellectual property
  • Private wealth
  • Sports
  • Art

With a team of bilingual locally and internationally qualified lawyers, we are able to service clients in the region efficiently and understand their local business culture and best practices. All of the partners in our Middle East offices have many years of regional Middle East experience, in Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and other parts of the Middle East and North Africa.

The Manama office opened in 2006 in response to client demand, and we have since grown to become one of the largest international law firms in the Kingdom. The firm has won Bahrain Law Firm of the Year for two consecutive years in 2018 and 2019.

We are located in the iconic Bahrain World Trade Centre from where we offer advice on corporate and commercial matters, litigation and dispute resolution, real estate and construction, intellectual property and technology, media and telecommunications as well as providing advice to private individuals.

We are strongly committed to Bahrain. Our strategy since the outset has been to develop our business in the Middle East with a combination of Bahraini and International lawyers. We have introduced a unique, innovative programme to train local Bahraini law graduates and help them to dual qualify as English solicitors. To date, we have helped 8 Bahraini qualified lawyers become dual qualified English solicitors and go on to practice in our Bahrain and London offices. We strongly believe that our growth is a product of our programme of having dual qualified, bilingual lawyers that know and understand the culture in which our clients operate.

Head of Middle East practice, Litigation, Commercial & Dispute Resolution Patrick 17 133200
Paula Boast photo Paula BoastPartner
Patrick Gearon photo Patrick GearonPartner, Head of the Middle East Practice and Head of the Middle…
Gareth Mills photo Gareth MillsPartner
Fee earners : 10
English (fluent)

Charles Russell Speechlys welcomes new Family team in Hong Kong

Charles Russell Speechlys is delighted to welcome a new Family team in Hong Kong, including the hire of Lisa Wong as Partner, as it continues to strengthen its offering in the region.