Firm Profile > Watson Farley & Williams > Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Watson Farley & Williams
United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates > Shipping Tier 2

Andrew Baird, managing partner of Watson Farley & Williams' Dubai office, and Michael Savva have a focus on advising banks from the region and beyond on conventional and Shari'ah-complaint finance facilities in the shipping industry, covering both new vessel mortgages and refinancings of existing facilities. Charlotte Knight is a key associate in the practice. On the contentious side, Charlotte Bijlani handles a broader range of dispute resolution work with many instructions coming in the maritime space.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Baird

Other key lawyers:

Michael Savva; Charlotte Knight; Charlotte Bijlani

Key clients

National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia

Standard Chartered Bank

Ahli United Bank

National Chemical Carriers Ltd. Co. of Saudi Arabia

Northern Shipping Funds

MUR Shipping

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

Charlotte Bijlani at Watson Farley & Williams handles a range of arbitration covering shipping, trade finance, commodities and finance, with a number of instructions coming from Russian parties.

Practice head(s):

Charlotte Bijlani

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Whitfield


‘A very friendly team – very hard working and dedicated beyond imagination.’

‘Professional and dedicated.’

‘Charlotte Bijlani leads a team which is extremely robust. Good practical and realistic advice is given. Included within the team are Russian speakers which enables them to deal with cases for clients from the CIS with they are ideally placed to do out of Dubai. This is the best firm in Dubai that I have worked with.’

‘Charlotte Bijlani is very forthright in her opinions, giving the client very realistic advice. Adds real value and does not simply delegate everything to counsel. She gets things done. Thomas Whitfield is super efficient, appears at times not to sleep. Completely unfazed by time differences. Ideal support for counsel in a hearing.’

‘Charlotte Bijlani combines a fierce intellect with an excellent understanding of the legal politics of the Gulf region and a strategic wisdom that maintains her focus on the client’s objectives.’

Key clients

Sahara International Petrochemical Company

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

Watson Farley & Williams has a 'very commercial' banking and finance team that offers 'excellent advice', particularly in the energy, transport and real estate sectors. It frequently advises on complex cross-border transactions. Andrew Baird, who is 'exceptional', specialises in cross-border asset and project finance. Oliver Tebbit and Michael Savva are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Baird; Oliver Tebbit; Michael Savva

Other key lawyers:

Charlotte Knight


‘Very commercial. Quick to respond. Excellent advice and subject knowledge.’

‘Andrew Baird is exceptional. Charlotte Knight is extremely dedicated and knowledgeable with a great future. One to watch.’

‘The team, both the partner and associate, had been extremely hands on and proactive.’

‘Very responsive especially when you needed their help and reliable deliverability.’

Key clients

Invicta Finance

JP Morgan Securities PLC

Standard Chartered Bank

Ahli United Bank

Bank of London and the Middle East

Gulf Bank KSCP

Deutsche Bank (Suisse) SA

BNP Paribas (Suisse)

Northern Shipping Funds

Siraj Power

Dedicated to client care, industry focus and investment in our people
We are an international law firm advising on complex transactions and disputes through local knowledge and an integrated international network.  We have a strong sector focus, combining our technical excellence with deep industry knowledge across energy, transport and real estate.

Our business exists to help our clients achieve their goals, partnering with them to meet the challenges they face today and will face tomorrow.

Our values rest on developing deep and long-lasting relationships externally and internally through respect, sharing, communication and integrity.

We strive for excellence in all that we do and view investment in our people as key to achieving our business goals and values.

Our teams are integrated across legal disciplines and offices delivering consistently high levels of service locally and in combination across borders.

History: Sector focus has been at the heart of our strategy since we opened for business in 1982.  Having started life as an asset finance boutique focusing on the maritime and aviation industries, our Transport focus quickly expanded to other supply-chain led industries, most notably, Renewable and Conventional Energy and Real Estate and associate infrastructure across these industries.

Through our offices around the world, we provide a full suite of services within our core sectors enabling us to deliver exceptional value to our clients.


  • Founded 1982
  • 170+ Partners
  • 550+ Lawyers
  • 17 Offices
Photo Name Position Profile
 Charlotte Bijlani photo Charlotte Bijlani Charlotte is an experienced dispute resolution lawyer with full rights of audience…