Addleshaw Goddard > Dubai, United Arab Emirates > Firm Profile

Addleshaw Goddard
United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates > Construction Tier 2

Addleshaw Goddard's UAE construction practice is 'highly responsive' and 'commercially minded' and showcases considerable expertise in the transport and infrastructure sectors. Stephen Burke co-heads the practice and is praised for his 'excellent technical expertise'. Bevan Farmer heads the practice alongside Burke and specialises in construction and engineering disputes. Managing associates Luke Johnson and James Macdonald are also noted; both have expertise in international arbitration.

Practice head(s):

Bevan Farmer; Stephen Burke

Other key lawyers:

James Macdonald; Luke Johnson; Charlotte Davis


‘The team as a whole was skilled, well managed and had the ability to get things done within very tight timelines and demands. Their approach as disputes lawyers on the matter we worked on together was logically, strategically and tactically spot on.’

‘Stephen Burke was the lead counsel in charge of the matter I was working on. He is very focused on the client’s needs and concerns, gives sound legal advice in relation to complex contractual dispute matters, and is always looking for a strategy that is in the best interests of the client. His advocacy skills in the hearing were outstanding.’

‘Highly responsive, commercially minded and flexible in their approach.’

‘Stephen Burke – very client service focused, excellent technical expertise and generally a pleasure to work with.’

‘Very collaborative working approach, developing strong client relationships. Responsive, competitive and keeping on top of relevant legal developments.’

‘Our dealings are with a team led by Stephen Burke, although the majority of the communication is with Stephen himself. He is a superb lawyer. Not only does he have an outstanding knowledge of the law, he is tactically astute and dives into the detail of his cases. His hearing skills are first rate. His cross examination of witnesses is of the very highest calibre. I have witnessed him (very professionally) dismantle factual and expert witnesses on several occasions. He seems to live and breathe the cases which is extremely reassuring for clients’

‘Stephen Burke, who leads the disputes practice in the Middle East, is one of the most talented advocates I have worked with. He is an excellent, natural cross-examiner. His analytical skills are excellent, enabling him to boil down complex concepts into their essential terms. The office services are state of the art, fully capable of operating on all technology platforms.’

‘Stephen Burke is the best or one of the best advocates in the region. He has huge experience in construction disputes. Stephen’s team is excellent. James Macdonald and Charlotte Davis are tireless in their dedication to the client.’

Key clients

Samsung Engineering Company Limited

Arabtec Construction LLC

Dubai RTA

WS Atkins & Partners Overseas

Work highlights

  • Acted for SECL in its ICSID investor-state dispute against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), brought under the Bilateral Investment Treaty between the Republic of Korea and the KSA arising out of an EPC contract in respect of the Yanbu III Power and Seawater Desalination Plant Project, a 3100-MW thermal power plant.

United Arab Emirates > Real estate Tier 2

Addleshaw Goddard‘s Jeremy Scott is praised for his 'innovative' and 'responsive' approach. He has particular expertise advising developers, hotel conglomerates, funds and real estate companies on mixed-use developments.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Scott


‘We have great experience with this team, closing a large transaction.’

‘Jeremy Scott – innovative, responsive, knowledgeable and delivers.’

‘Jeremy Scott – very responsive, thoughtful in his analysis and thorough. Good understanding of local environment and stakeholders.’

Key clients


Diamond Developers

Khazaen Economic City

Palma Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisted Cognita with acquiring Horizon English School from Al Najah Education.
  • Acted for Diamond Developers in its capacity as a development manager for a large mixed-use, luxury tourism location in Oman.

United Arab Emirates > Dispute resolution: arbitration and international litigation Tier 3

Addleshaw Goddard‘s commercial disputes team demonstrates strong expertise in the financial services, oil and gas, telecoms and technology sectors. The practice has been significantly bolstered by the arrival of Shane Jury from Gibson Dunn in 2021. Stephen Burke and Bevan Farmer co-head the firm’s construction disputes practice. Managing associate Antonia Grieve-Yates is also noted and has extensive financial services litigation experience. Paul Hughes and Khurram Khan left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Shane Jury

Other key lawyers:


‘We have been particularly impressed by not only the breadth of knowledge of the team, but that they are responsive, thorough and demonstrate forward thinking, something which is particularly valuable especially in the more complex and multi-faceted disputes.’

‘Shane Jury has made an immediate impression on the team. The depth and breadth of his knowledge of DIFC law and process is impressive, but that his knowledge extends well into local law matters is particularly valuable.’

‘Shane Jury is extremely personable and easy to work with, and a safe pair of hands to direct our matters.

‘This is a young and dynamic team. There are no passengers. The partners are completely engaged and on top of the issues. There is real contribution from the whole team. They have produced some very high profile work.’ 

‘Shane Jury has a genuinely great reputation in the local market. He is always thoroughly engaged on his cases and could stand up and argue them better than most barristers. He is also a real pleasure to deal with – endlessly enthusiastic.’

‘Shane Jury really relishes cases and it rubs off on everyone else.’

Antonia Grieve-Yates: Dependable in hard fought litigation.’

Key clients

Ebrahim Al-Jassim (Founder of the Hungerstation app in KSA)

Samsung Engineering Company Limited

Al Tazeen General Trading LLC and Al Tasnim Enterprises LLC

Work highlights

  • Represented SECL in its ICSID investor-state dispute against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), brought under the Bilateral Investment Treaty between the Republic of Korea and the KSA.
  • Acting for Al Tazeen General Trading LLC and Al Tasnim Enterprises LLC in respect of their dispute with Renoir Consulting Singapore PTE LTD before the DIFC Courts.
  • Acting for Asif Mahmood, a successful entrepreneur in the GCC, in pursuing a damages claim against The Big Bus Company Limited.

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

Regional managing partner Andrew Johnston heads Addleshaw Goddard‘s Middle East corporate practice and advises a wide variety of corporates and financial sponsors. Lowri Llwyd specialises in cross-border M&A, private equity and joint ventures. Owen Richards is a key contact for outbound investment mandates. Managing associate Luke Aylett is 'thorough and highly responsive'. Fraser Dawson was a new arrival in January 2022.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Johnston


‘Luke Aylett ticks all the boxes. He clearly gets the commercials, has the legal experience to implement them and handles the client very professionally. His manner and expertise breed enormous confidence.’

Luke Aylett – thorough and highly responsive.’

‘Lowri Lloyd – always available and finds a workable solution. Proactive and commercial minded.’

‘We have worked with AG on a couple of acquisitions this year and what makes them stand out is the approach of their team.’

‘They have great sector and regulatory knowledge, the team is very approachable and feel like an extension of our own in-house M&A team.’

‘They are commercial in their approach and are solutions focused.’

‘Their reports are clear and easy to read and tell me exactly what I want to know. They are also extremely responsive, available day and night in order to get a transaction over the line.’

‘Lowri Llwyd is fantastic, very client focused and able to explain complex legal problems and the solution in a clear and efficient way. She has excellent sector and regional knowledge.’

Key clients

ADNOC Distribution

du (Emirates Integrated Technology Company)

Cognita Limited (Cognita)

Reckitt PLC (formerly Reckitt Benckiser)

G4S Secure Solutions

Ideal Holding Limited

Phenna Group

Janus Continental Group

Polyeco Group

Elite Cargo

Coty (Middle East) FZCO

ResMed UK Ltd

3S Investment Limited (3S)

Agility/United Projects for Aviation Services Company

Al Futtaim Group

Aldar Properties – Provis

AJWGK Limited / HLD Group

AVEVA / Schneider Electric

Bios Middle East

Blue Ocean Terminals Limited

CedarBridge Capital Partners

Coffee Planet LLC

Coty Inc.

Coty Middle East FZCO

Dassault Aviation


Element Materials Technology

Emirates Flight Catering

Equitativa Group (the fund manager of, amongst other funds, the DIFC listed Emirates REIT)

Emirates Integrated Technology Company (du)

Exterran Corporation

Finasi Group

Fircroft Engineering Services

G4S plc

GEMS Education

GHA Loyalty DMCC

Guggenheim KBBO Partners Limited

Gulf Capital

Hawk Limited

Hoare Lea

J.K. Cement Works (Fujairah) FZC

John and Maura Kent

Kalera Inc

Kasamar Holdings

Kids First Group

Max’s Group

Mizuho Gulf Capital Partners

Multiplex Construction

Newsgroup International

Owners of Seashell Nursery

Phenna Group

Phanes Group

Polyeco Waste Management / Green Evolution

Reckitt Benckiser

RJ O’ Brien

Signify International B.V

TA Associates

Talria Limited/Dr. Nasir

The Carlyle Group and Ideal Holding Limited

The Shareholders of International Electromechanical Services Co. L.L.C

Traffic Digital Group

Val Morgan Australia Pty

Viking International Limited

WSP Opus

YUM! Restaurants International

Work highlights

  • Advising du on its AED 800 million sale of its 26% interest in Khazna Data Center Limited to Technology Holding Company LLC (a subsidiary of Mubadala).
  • Advising Cognita on its successful bid for the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Horizons English School LLC, from two onshore corporate sellers within the Al Najah Education Group.
  • Advising Ideal Holdings Limited on the sale of a 20% interest in the Nabil Foods Group to Agthia Group.

United Arab Emirates > Employment Tier 4

Addleshaw Goddard‘s Ben Brown is the firm’s go to contact for employment matters in the UAE. He advises clients in a broad range of sectors from technology and transport, to financial services and real estate. Gorvinder Pannu is another key individual to note and has an experienced cross-border employment practice.

Practice head(s):

Ben Brown; Gorvinder Pannu


The employment partner Ben Brown, who I have been dealing with, combines excellent legal knowledge with very good responsiveness. He doesn’t hesitate to use outside council if it is either more cost effective or better from a point of view of legal knowledge.’

Ben Brown has a passion for his particular legal speciality or practice area which is employment law. He masters excellence as an expert, which fosters a high level of commitment to his work. He also understands his clients’ objectives, and advocate on that basis (not on the law in isolation).

Key clients

British Airways






Schneider Electric Software

The Industrial Group

Ethos Energy

Work highlights

  • Representing The Industrial Group in the longest running employment dispute in the DIFC Courts: The Industrial Group Ltd v Abdelazim El Shikh El Fadil Hamid (CFI-029-2018).
  • Advising British Airways on a reorganisation of its employment resources in Kuwait, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman following the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Advised AVEVA Plc on an investigation into numerous whistleblowing allegations made by a former employee.

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

Addleshaw Goddard advises both borrowers and lenders on a broad range of debt restructuring transactions. Robin Hickman has extensive experience in the region and has a strong finance and restructuring practice. Changes in the team include the promotion of Philip Chalmers to managing associate, and the arrival of Victoria Mesquita, who strengthens the practice's ability to service instructions concerning Islamic finance.

Practice head(s):

Robin Hickman

Key clients


Mashreqbank PSC

Standard Chartered Bank

First Abu Dhabi Bank

JP Morgan


National Bank of Fujairah

Emirates NBD Bank

Dubai Islamic Bank

Commercial Bank of Dubai

Work highlights

  • Advised Mashreqbank PSC who, through its Islamic finance division Mashreq Al Islami, provided $260m Islamic facilities to the Sharjah National Oil Corporation (SNOC).
  • Acting for the steering committee of creditors (on behalf of 38 banks) in respect of the multi-billion-dollar restructuring of KBBO, a UAE investment group in healthcare, consumer products and payment systems.
  • Acting for the steering committee of creditors (on behalf of 26 banks) in respect of the $1.3bn restructuring of Finablr Plc, the formerly LSE-listed holding company which controls payments companies UAE Exchange and Travelex.

North West > Real estate > Construction

The construction and engineering team at Addleshaw Goddard has considerable expertise in contracts for engineering schemes and infrastructure - including energy and utilities - regeneration, and development. National practice head Nancy McGuire leads on non-contentious matters with a specialism in non-procurement strategies and the delivery of complex infrastructure projects. Paul O’Kane has expertise in risk and contentious matters, and practicing arbitrator Andrew Greaves assists with transport matters with a focus on the Middle Eastern market. Jonathan Tattersall  continues to handle energy and infrastructure disputes, often supported by legal director Philip Withey who regularly advises on domestic PFI and foreign PPP disputes.

Practice head(s):

Nancy McGuire

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Tattersall; Andrew Greaves; Paul O’Kane; Philip Withey


‘The team always provides high quality and commercial advice when needed.’

‘Nancy McGuire takes a pragmatic approach when providing construction advice and knows how to get straight to the issue at hand.’

‘A very strong team with experience domestically and internationally. Considerable experience of PFI projects, disputes arising out of the Middle East and UK litigation/adjudication. Very user friendly, approachable and down-to-earth. A pleasure to work with.’

‘Jonathan Tattersall always plays it with a straight bat, commercial, knowledgeable and a great leader of his team.’

‘Philip Withey – a very solid lawyer, user friendly, approachable and pragmatic.’

‘Clear, considered advice to clients. Attentive to people’s needs and put the client first. Very important’

‘Andrew Greaves is excellent.’

Key clients



West Midland Combined Authority

Moda Living

Allied London

Tritax Symmetry group companies (separate group company for each development)

Alumno Group

Vita Group

DunnCox (Jamaican law firm acting for Mexican client)

MB Bermondsey (Guernsey) Limited

UK Parliament

Falkland Islands Government (FIG)

Liverpool John Moores University

Select Property Group


Far East Consortium

Manchester Metropolitan University

Manhattan Loft Corporation

Watkin Jones Plc

Work highlights

  • Advising Bruntwood on its £1.5 billion development of an innovation district – ID Manchester, is spread across four million square feet.
  • Advising Moda Living and Far East Corporation (FEC) on residential schemes both within the PRS sector and for private sale.
  • Advising Allied London on its re-development of the London Road Fire Station in Manchester and also in relation to its £1 billion development within central Manchester at St John’s.

Qatar > Banking, finance and capital markets

Addleshaw Goddard has an excellent track record handling big-ticket financings for a roster of high-calibre clients that includes names such as Qatar National Bank. Practice head Robin Hickman, who divides time between Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, has expertise in both conventional and shari’ah-compliant finance matters, including debt restructurings and real estate finance transactions. The group’s Islamic finance practice is skilled in istina ijara and musharaka financings, as well as other bespoke Islamic structures. Elsewhere, debt capital markets transactions are another key workstream for the firm. Managing associate Kate Chapman and counsel Alan MacRitchie are other core members of the team.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘AG, through Alan MacRitchie, is well-placed to assist with great knowledge of local and English law. Our transactions are predominantly English law or local law. I feel very confident when Alan is engaged in our transactions. Sensible commercial approach with great legal knowledge and contacts for dealing with local issues.’

‘What I value most is the mix of English and Qatar law expertise that Alan brings to our high-value transactions. Alan also has a high appreciation of the commercial realties that underpin these transactions. This is essential in this market to getting transactions to financial close as quickly and as seamlessly as possible.’

‘Proactive, knowldegable, helpful. Local connectivity in an emerging legal and regulatory environment.’

‘The team in Qatar is approachable, friendly and well regarded in the market for banking and finance.’

‘Alan MacRitchie – very knowledgeable, helpful, approachable and amusing. Good to deal with and goes the extra mile to deliver.’

Key clients

Qatar National Bank

Abu Issa Holding W.L.L.

The Commercial Bank (P.S.Q.C.)

Power International Holdings

Qatar Islamic Bank

Al Khaliji

Doha Bank

Qatar Electricity and Water Company

The firm: Addleshaw Goddard is committed to delivering outstanding value and to doing all it can to help clients succeed in their ambitions. By understanding what really matters to clients, spending time in their markets and through finding new and better ways to deliver and price its services, clients report time and again that the firm’s investment in them, allied with first-rate technical expertise, sets Addleshaw Goddard apart. Addleshaw Goddard is also recognised for its differentiated approach to attracting, retaining and developing great people. The firm offers a full range of commercial legal services from its offices in the UK, Dubai, Hong Kong, Oman, Qatar and Singapore. As part of an increasing focus on the Asia Pacific region, the firm also has a formal alliance with Tokyo-based Hashidate Law office.

The firm’s network of preferred firms is extensive and covers all major jurisdictions and regions, in particular Europe, North America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Brazil, India, South East Asia, Korea and China.

The firm’s preferred firms are all well regarded in their home jurisdictions, and are all significant, independent, commercial law firms capable of delivering a quality of service commensurate with Addleshaw Goddard. Addleshaw Goddard enjoys close but non-exclusive relationships of mutual trust and commitment with these firms, supported by a high level of personal contact through regular meetings both in the UK and overseas.

Working independently, and also alongside the preferred firms, Addleshaw Goddard has built up a wealth of insight and specialist expertise in all the major jurisdictions. The firm draws this knowledge together through multidisciplinary international groups. The Africa, India, Korea and Malaysia business groups are highly regarded.

The firm’s client portfolio is testament to its strength and range of expertise, including financial institutions, public sector bodies, successful businesses and private individuals. It is a leading advisor to FTSE 100 companies, and a market leader across the firm’s operating divisions – commercial services, corporate, finance and projects, litigation and real estate – as well as in its four chosen sectors: financial services, government, energy and infrastructure, retail and consumer, and property.

The Dubai office has a stellar portfolio of commercial clients and high net worth individuals operating throughout the region across a diverse range of sectors, including projects, construction, banking, finance, private equity, corporate, commercial, intellectual property, IT, retail, education, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and FMCG.

Areas of practice: The Dubai office is a hub for continued investment and activities in the GCC. The firm’s absolute commitment to developing long-term relationships, coupled with deep experience of doing business in this region across a range of legal disciplines, means that the firm has the right experience and credentials to support the opportunity and growth anticipated in years to come, wherever it may occur.

The firm’s growing capability on the ground in Dubai, combined with well established preferred firm relationships with indigenous Middle Eastern law firms, provides access to in-depth local knowledge and full-service legal expertise that clients find reassuring.

Banking Robin Hickman
Islamic finance Robin Hickman
Commercial services Andrew Johnston
Commercial services Darren Harris
Construction Andrew Greaves
Construction Bevan Farmer
Corporate Andrew Johnston
Corporate Darren Harris
Employment Gorvinder Pannu
Energy Andrew Greaves
Healthcare Andrew Johnston
International arbitration Andrew Greaves
Litigation Andrew Greaves
M&A Andrew Johnston
M&A Darren Harris
Private client Andrew Johnston
Private client Darren Harris
Private equity Andrew Johnston
Private equity Darren Harris
Projects Andrew Greaves
Projects Bevan Farmer
Real estate Louise Vun
Number of lawyers : 800+
at this office : 19
The firm's lawyers are fluent in languages spoken across Europe
the GCC
Africa and Asia
Contact : Andrew Greaves
Other offices : Doha
Other offices : Hong Kong
Other offices : Leeds
Other offices : London
Other offices : Manchester
Other offices : Muscat
Other offices : Singapore