Firm Profile > Latham & Watkins LLP > Dubai , United Arab Emirates

Latham & Watkins LLP
PO BOX 506698, DUBAI
United Arab Emirates

Islamic finance Tier 1

At Latham & Watkins LLP, Nomaan Raja advises Dana Gas on restructuring its sukuk programme, creating one with a wakala structure to replace a previous one that spawned litigation in several jurisdictions over its validity. He also advised Standard Chartered among other investment banks on Noor Bank's $500m sukuk issuance. On the lending side, Harj Rai and Craig Nethercott advised a syndicate of banks including Al Rajhi Bank on a loan to Zain Saudi Arabia.

Capital markets Tier 2

At Latham & Watkins LLP, Nomaan Raja advised Nogaholding on creating a $3bn GMTN programme, and the subsequent issue of $2bn of notes due in 2027. He also assisted JP Morgan with Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank's issuance of Formosa bonds due in 2047. Islamic financing highlights include advice to Standard Chartered on Noor Bank issuing a five-year sukuk totalling $500m, for which there were orders of $1.07bn. Also in the sukuk space, Harj Rai assisted NCB Capital Company with Maaden Phosphate Company's issuance of a SAR3.5bn sukuk. Craig Nethercott, who divides his time between London and Dubai, is another notable name, as is Basil Al-Jafari, who was recently promoted to counsel. Nethercott worked with Raja on several issuances of Saudi Arabian sovereign notes. One notable restructuring highlight is that of the Dana Gas sukuk, replacing the existing one, which is subject to high-profile litigation, with a new one using a more Islamically-conservative wakala structure.

Leading individuals

Energy and infrastructure Tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP' Villiers Terblanche advises Harbin Electric as a member of a consortium that has preferred bidder status for the Hassayan coal-fired power station project. Counsel Derek McKinley is assisting a consortium of sponsors with creating a waste-to-energy plant in Kuwait, the first in the country to be created via a public-private partnership.

Banking and finance Tier 3

At Latham & Watkins LLP, counsel Aly Kassam, a new hire from Gibson Dunn, advised The First Group on borrowing AED300m in a shari'ah-compliant refinancing transaction provided by Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank; he also assisted Emirates Hospitals Group with borrowing $300m from, inter alia, Credit Suisse. Harj Rai worked with the firm's London office in advising Citibank on a $2.6bn syndicated, unsecured one-year loan to Saudi Electricity Company, and also acted for Standard Chartered on amending a term loan provided to Emaar. Nomaan Raja has restructuring expertise, and advises Adeem Investment Solutions in this arena.

Next Generation Partners

TMT Tier 3

The technology transactions group at Latham & Watkins LLP is ‘very strong in fintech’ — it also shines in the government, start-up, healthcare and retail sectors. Brian Meenagh (‘well respected in the market’) counts Emirates Digital Wallet, and VentureSouq as clients.

Leading individuals

Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 4

At Latham & Watkins LLP, Christopher Lester handles work for key institutional investors from the region, including deals crossing over into Saudi Arabia. Villiers Terblanche also has a track record of handling medical-related deals, frequently with infrastructure elements. Eyad Latif is a key associate. Sami Al-Louzi is now at White & Case LLP.

The firm

Latham & Watkins is a leading international law firm serving multinational companies, state-owned enterprises, investment banks, private equity funds, venture capital firms, sovereign wealth funds, governments and other organisations. The firm’s global platform spans Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the US, and consists of internationally recognised practices across a wide spectrum of transactional, litigation, corporate and regulatory areas. Latham lawyers offer unrivalled legal resources and strategic commercial thinking to provide clients with innovative solutions to complex business and legal matters.

Latham lawyers have been advising some of the most active strategic and financial dealmakers in the Middle East for over 20 years. The firm’s Middle East offices in Dubai and Riyadh are staffed with approximately 30 English, US and regionally qualified lawyers with Arabic, English, French and other language capabilities. The Middle East practice combines regional knowledge and experience with an international network of offices to provide comprehensive service to clients with interests in the Middle East, Africa, Turkey, South Asia and beyond.

Latham established an on-the-ground presence in Dubai in 2008 and has witnessed the rapid growth of this dynamic city, as well as its recent economic challenges. Latham’s Dubai team has a commitment to continue growing and serving their clients in the UAE and the GCC, as well as those located internationally with interests across the region.

Areas of practice

With 20 lawyers located in its Dubai office, Latham has a team highly experienced in banking and finance, project development and finance, capital markets, investment funds, Islamic finance, private equity, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property and technology transactions across industries such as education, energy, power, oil and gas, financial services, government entities, healthcare, infrastructure, mining and metals, construction, retail, and telecommunications.

Latham & Watkins is one of the few firms to have full English and US securities capabilities on the ground in the Middle East. Latham is a leader when it comes to debt and equity capital markets offerings in the Middle East and other emerging markets. Over the past decade, Latham has been the top law firm in global project bonds – ranked by value of bonds issued and by number of offerings. In addition, its lawyers have advised financial institutions, regional government agencies and corporate clients on many high-profile capital markets transactions and a wide range of GCC regulatory matters.

Latham’s M&A and private equity team has the in-depth knowledge and resources necessary to structure and execute complex transactions involving cross-border legal regimes throughout the GCC and the globe.

The firms’ lawyers are involved in some of the largest debt restructurings in the Middle East. Latham lawyers are members of the Hawkamah task force on MENA insolvency and creditor rights reform, as well as the Hawkamah task force on reforming corporate governance standards in Islamic financial institutions. The Legal 500 EMEA 2016 ranks Latham Tier 1 for banking and finance, and energy and infrastructure.

The firms’ award-winning global Islamic finance lawyers advise clients on the development of groundbreaking transactions in numerous jurisdictions, such as the first Islamic bank in the UAE to acquire conventional banking assets which were converted to Shari’ah-compliant financial products. The Legal 500 EMEA 2015 ranks Latham Tier 2 for Islamic finance.

Department Name Email Telephone
Capital markets
Intellectual property
Mergers and acquisitions/ private equity
Joint ventures and strategic investments
Fund formation
Technology transactions
Litigation and disputes
Venture capital
Banking and finance
Islamic finance
Project development and finance
Restructuring and insolvency
Structured/leveraged finance
Photo Name Position Profile
 Christian Adams  photo Christian Adams
 Sami E Al-Louzi  photo Sami E Al-Louzi
 Mohsin K Iqbal  photo Mohsin K Iqbal
 Lee Irvine  photo Lee Irvine
 Christopher Lester  photo Christopher Lester
 Harj Rai  photo Harj Rai
 Nomaan A Raja  photo Nomaan A Raja
 Villiers Terblanche  photo Villiers Terblanche
Number of lawyers : 2,600+
at this office : 20
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