Bird & Bird > Dubai, United Arab Emirates > Firm Profile

Bird & Bird
PO BOX 507110
United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates > Intellectual property Tier 2

Bird & Bird's trade mark, design and patents practice in Dubai is led by Melissa Murray who has extensive experience advising clients on trademark protection, franchising and commercial licensing. Murray is supported by legal director Renée Nugent, who focuses on trademarks and assists clients with worldwide portfolio management and enforcement matters

Practice head(s):

Melissa Murray

Other key lawyers:


‘Eager, responsive and dedicated!’

‘Global capabilities delivered well through a local office.’

‘Renee Nugent – highly capable and pragmatic.’

‘On IP-related matters Bird & Bird provide us with a collaborative approach which makes them a true adjunct to our own in-house team.’

‘The willingness of our lead partner, Melissa Murray, to provide informal advice and discussion around issues means that we never feel that everything is ‘on the clock’.’

‘Tailored training for our business has been a genuine added-value proposition.’

‘Melissa Murray is responsive and instinctively knows where our pressure points may lie. She is well-connected and ready to think of pragmatic solutions to a given scenario.’

‘Renée Nugent is especially stand-out, in taking the time to consider other issues than the ones just at hand, but also looks at the overall business and adjacent things that can be optimized. She simply goes above and beyond.’

United Arab Emirates > TMT Tier 2

Bird & Bird advises government agencies and international clients on a broad range of commercial, projects and regulatory-related matters in the field of TMT. Dubai-based David Bintliff heads the TMT practice and is a go-to adviser for digital transformation.

Practice head(s):

David Bintliff

United Arab Emirates > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 4

Bird & Bird has a broad corporate and M&A offering with particular expertise in cross-border joint ventures in the healthcare and TMT sectors. UAE managing partner Anders Nilsson heads the firm's corporate and aviation practices and advises on the full range of public and private M&A. On the commercial side, IP practice head Melissa Murray is the primary point of contact; Murray specialises in franchising, distribution and supply agreements.

Practice head(s):

Anders Nilsson; Melissa Murray

Other key lawyers:

Johannes Eisser; Eddie Chiu; Surabhi Singhi


Very professional and experts in their field. Always supportive and available for their clients. They are very pro-active compared to any other law firm.’

Eddie Chiu is the legal advisor we worked with and he is very knowledgeable, very responsive and always available. Our need was about franchise law and Eddie Chiu is an expert in this field, for any territory. He was involved during the meetings with our clients and delivered a great job.’

Good working knowledge of local requirements and reasonable value. Very responsive and easy to work with.’

Our key relationship is with associate Surabhi Singhi who again has excellent knowledge of local process, is very responsive and is a stand-out associate for us in the region.’

Practical advice, managed timeline well. Well-rounded team.’

Anders Nilsson gave us practical advice with a strong commercial awareness.’

A very responsive, collaborative team with real technology experience. Above all, they understand the client’s business and commercial drivers.’

Melissa Murray is an excellent IP lawyer and really goes out of her way to understand commercial drivers. Johannes Eisser appreciates the details and intricacies of a deal and goes the extra mile to service the client. Always calm and collected.’

Key clients

Athena FZE

Rackspace Limited

Marafie Works Group for Foodstuff & Restaurants

Aeon Luxe DMCC

Saudi Economic and Development Holding Company (SEDCO)

T3 Technology Ltd

Work highlights

  • Assisted Athena FZE with the transfer of certain games of the client and the business in relation thereto to a US mobile marketing firm.
  • Advised Rackspace Limited on setting up a physical presence in the region and helped incorporate a branch in Dubai.
  • Advised a European listed healthcare company on partnering with a UAE entity to establish stem cell treatment centres through a joint venture entity in the UAE.

United Arab Emirates > Dispute resolution: arbitration and international litigation Tier 4

Bird & Bird advises on a broad range of disputes and arbitration cases and has experience advising clients in the telecoms, energy, banking and hospitality sectors. Practice head Lucas Pitts has particular expertise in matters involving contentious insolvency, finance and fraud.

Practice head(s):

Lucas Pitts


Exceptional team, always available and knowledgeable. Very supportive.  Felt a true partnership working together.’

Genuinely worked with us, felt like one of us, and did everything possible to help us manage through the situation, and to understand options and process.’

‘Lucas Pitts is head and shoulders above others I have conducted such business with.  Fantastic in every way, and a consummate professional.’

Lucas Pitts is responsive to queries, makes himself available when required, and applies sound commercial reasoning to his advice. His input is valued by both in-house counsel and the wider business team. Providing reassurance and navigation through sometimes complex cross border issues.’

I cannot recommend more highly the Bird and Bird Team but particularly Lucas Pitts. Lucas and team are diligent professionals and always on the end of the phone day or night. The support we have been given is truly unprecedented.’

‘The eye for detail and knowledge of the law is also second to none as well as practical and pragmatic.’

Lucas Pitts -smart, knowledgeable and with a fine eye to the law. He gives practical and pragmatic advice. His support has been unwavering and we owe him and Bird & Bird a huge debt of gratitude.’

Key clients

National Petroleum Construction Company

Skelmore Hospitality Group

Abdulla Saeed Al Jaberi

Jebel Ali School

Al Falah Group

Stormharbour Securties LP

Work highlights

  • Acting for NPCC in its enforcement of an ICC award obtained against AFCONS Infrastructure Limited in India.
  • Representing Skelmore Hospitality Group LLC in proceedings in relation to a previous claim made by Rosewood Hotel in Abu Dhabi.
  • Acting for Abdulla Saeed Aljaberi in a dispute over the ownership of corporate bonds worth EUR 70 million and allegations that the obtained possession of them were through fraudulent means.

United Arab Emirates > Employment Tier 4

Bird & Bird‘s UAE employment practice is fully integrated with its dispute resolution, intellectual property and data privacy services. Johannes Eisser is the primary point of contact and focuses his practice on advising employers. Managing partner Anders Nilsson is another key individual to mention. Senior associate Surabhi Singhi is ‘commercial and technically able‘, particularly in relation to employment aspects of corporate transactions.

Practice head(s):

Johannes Eisser

Other key lawyers:

Anders Nilsson; Surabhi Singhi


‘Good knowledge of local processes, very responsive and easy to deal with.’

‘Our relationship person is Surabhi Singhi who is a stand-out associate for us being very responsive, commercial and technically able.’

Key clients

Rackspace Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Rackspace Limited, a multinational company engaged in providing cloud management services on a range of operational and employment matters.

United Arab Emirates > Banking and finance: Corporate finance (including Islamic lending) Tier 5

Bird & Bird has in-depth Islamic finance expertise with a particular focus on aviation finance. The practice is led by Gregory Man, whose arrival in late 2020 from Norton Rose Fulbright has bolstered the firm’s finance and regulatory capabilities in the UAE. Legal director Ganna Vlasenko is another key name to note and has expertise across debt and equity capital markets, structured finance and securities regulation.

Practice head(s):

Gregory Man

Other key lawyers:

The firm: Bird & Bird is an international law firm, with a long-established reputation for having a rare and invaluable grasp of strategic commercial issues. The firm combines exceptional legal expertise with deep industry knowledge and refreshingly creative thinking, to help clients operating at the forefront of their industries to achieve their commercial goals.

The local team has an in-depth understanding of the laws, business practices and customs of the region, and its core industries. Through its offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, our full-service UAE practice provides innovative corporate and commercial advice to local, regional and international clients in all areas of business law, with a focus on sectors and industries that are important to the development of the region..

Areas of practice: In the UAE, the firm focuses on the following key sectors:

Aerospace, defence and security: providing advice on all elements of ADS including on systems integration, defence contracting and procurement, international co-operation and competition, corporate, partnering, alliances and strategic partnerships, PFI, equipment leasing and receivables financing, technology, export control and customs, IPR, risk allocation, employment and immigration.

Aviation: advising airlines, lessors, financiers, aircraft manufacturers, groundhandlers, airports, MROs, freight forwarders, insurers, tour operators and travel agents around the world. It provides advice on aircraft sale and purchase, aircraft finance and leasing, dispute resolution, aviation commercial agreements, and aviation competition and regulation.

Education: advising schools, examination boards, professional training bodies and universities on franchising, licences, joint ventures, strategic alliances, co-operation and management agreements.

Fashion and retail: advising clients on trade marks and intellectual property, franchising, licensing, distribution, agency, and multi-channel and hybrid structures.

Food and beverage: advising on a full range of areas, including branding, labelling, health claims, fair trade and patents on novel foods.

Life sciences and healthcare: its focus on e-health projects, strategic partnerships, outsourcing and large-scale IT is complemented by the e-commerce, data protection compliance and regulatory work that it undertakes for clients.

Hospitality and tourism: advising major stakeholders in the hotels and leisure industry, across a wide range of transactions including acquisitions and disposals, operating leases, management and franchise agreements, and brand management, among others.

Real estate: advising clients on REITs and infrastructure, real estate development and financing, hotel acquisitions, operations and franchising, strata ownership, retail leasing, mall development and management, joint ventures, and commercial agencies.

Media and entertainment: advising clients from across the media spectrum on a wide range of issues, including exploitation across all forms of digital media, such as user-generated content exploitation.

Sports: advising national and international sports governing bodies, event organisers and sponsors on issues including exploitation of commercial rights, brand management, regulatory and disciplinary issues.

Technology and communications: advising on matters ranging from smaller innovative projects to the largest and most complex transactions of recent years. It advises clients on agile development methodologies, big data, cloud services, cyber and IT security, M2M, smart metering, mobile payments and apps, next generation genomics, open source and open data, robotics and software patentability, spectrum auctions, sharing and trading, and 3D printing.

Managing partner Anders Nilsson
Head of Commercial, corporate and M&A Anders Nilsson
Restructuring and insolvency Anders Nilsson
Head of Intellectual Property Melissa Murray
Franchising, licensing and multi-channel strategies Melissa Murray
Commercial Melissa Murray
Regulatory and administrative (public) Melissa Murray
Public sector Melissa Murray
Head of TMT David Bintliff
Privacy and data protection David Bintliff
Commercial David Bintliff
Head of Employment Johannes Eisser
Commercial, corporate and M&A Johannes Eisser
Head of Dispute Resolution Lucas Pitts
Head of Banking and finance (including Islamic finance) Gregory Man
David Bintliff photoMr David BintliffDavid is head of our technology & communications and media, entertainment &…
Kimia Kalantarian photo Kimia KalantarianKimia is an Associate in the firm’s Litigation department and advises clients…
Gregory Man photoMr Gregory ManGreg is the head of our Finance & Financial Regulation team in…
Melissa Murray photoMs Melissa MurrayMelissa is the head of the Intellectual Property Group for the Middle…
Renée Nugent photoMs Renée NugentRenee is a Legal Director in the Intellectual Property Group based in…
Lucas Pitts photoMr Lucas PittsLucas heads the Dispute Resolution Group for the Middle East and is…
Surabhi Singhi photoMs Surabhi SinghiSurabhi is a senior associate in our Corporate Group (including Employment), based…
Number of lawyers : 1,400
at this office : 18
South African
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