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

Latham & Watkins LLP
ICD Brookfield Place, Level 16
Dubai International Financial Centre
PO BOX 506698, DUBAI
United Arab Emirates

Capital markets Tier 1

While of late Nomaan Raja's representation of the investment banks in the Saudi Aramco IPO has rightly attracted a lot of attention, Latham & Watkins LLP is also particularly active in debt capital markets as well. Raja and Basil Al-Jafari advise a range of issuers and investment banks on sukuk structures, as well as dollar-denominated high-yield debt.

Practice head(s):

Nomaan Raja

Other key lawyers:

Harj Rai; Basil Al-Jafari

Key clients

Dar Al-Arkan Real Estate Development Company

The Government of Dubai

Dana Gas PJSC

Emirates Telecommunications Group Company PJSC (Etisalat)

Pearl Petroleum Co. Ltd.

Emirates Airlines

Qatar National Bank (Q.P.S.C.)

Samba Capital & Investment Management Company

Tadawul Real Estate Company

Banking and finance: Corporate finance (including Islamic lending) Tier 3

Latham & Watkins LLP demonstrates strong capabilities in commercial lending, restructuring and refinancing, derivatives, project finance (including project bonds), real estate finance and property development, as well as Shari’ah-compliant Islamic financing. Practice head Villiers Terblanche assists lenders and sponsors with matters ranging from regulatory issues to EPC contracts. Harj Rai is another key individual. The team is praised for its 'quality, knowledge, solution orientation'.

Practice head(s):

Villiers Terblanche

Other key lawyers:

Harj Rai; Craig Nethercot; Chirag Sanghrajka; Peter Norris

Testimonials

‘Quality, knowledge, solution orientation, creativity, communication skills, responsiveness, helpfulness of the lawyers is exceptional and unique.’

‘Craig Nethercot, Chirag Sanghrajka and Peter Norris are exceptional lawyers. They are willing to help clients think issues through and not necessarily on a paid basis. Their counsel in negotiating and structuring strategies is always extremely helpful.’

Key clients

Public Investment Fund

Tasnee

HSBC

Citibank

Etisalat

Standard Chartered Bank

Credit Suisse

Acciona Agua

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia acting through the Ministry of Finance

Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 3

Christopher Lester chairs the Dubai corporate practice at Latham & Watkins LLP, which handles heavyweight deals, including a number of mandates for sovereign wealth funds and in the banking industry. Omar M. Elsayed has been active in Saudi privatizations, among other matters, and Villiers Terblanche's work has included health projects of late. Eyad Latif is a notable counsel.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Lester

Other key lawyers:

Omar M. Elsayed; Villiers Terblanche; Eyad Latif

Testimonials

‘Transaction oriented, innovative in their approach and solution provided in a complex situation.’

‘Deal-oriented, innovative in how to approach problem, availability, flexibility.’

‘We frequently engage the Dubai team for their quality of work, familiarity with venture capital financing rounds and flexibility/speed of service. We have been impressed with the team’s responsiveness as well as their willingness to advise on incidental/miscellaneous queries that may come up in the ordinary course of business when we are not directly engaged with them on a given matter.’

‘We have found their quality of work to be exceptional. Familiarity with the venture capital industry and VC terms/financing structures is a definite strength for the team and sets them apart from the majority of firms operating in the Middle East. For this reason, we have recommended the team to several of our portfolio companies who now use them frequently for a variety of corporate and commercial matters.’

Key clients

Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA)

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC)

Air Products

Mubadala Healthcare and China UAE Fund

Riyad Bank

Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Certain Shareholders of Careem

Swvl

Bayzat

Kitopi

Infrastructure and projects (including project finance) Tier 3

Latham & Watkins LLP has a track record advising on matters relating to the transport, healthcare, power, water and education sectors. The team handles all aspects of a project’s development, financing, and operation and has significant experience assisting with EPC projects, PPP structures and various large-scale infrastructure projects. Villiers Terblanche heads the project development and finance practice; his clients include lenders, sponsors and governments. Craig Nethercott is also noted and has a strong background in project finance. Another notable individual is Derek McKinley who is 'really good in negotiations'. 

Practice head(s):

Villiers Terblanche

Other key lawyers:

Craig Nethercott; Derek McKinley

Testimonials

‘Compared to other firms we used, L&W seemed to get things done with a minimum of fuss. On setting up our contracts with suppliers they moved quickly and efficiently to the required position.’

‘Though based in Dubai, and we are based in the UK, Derek McKinley consistently delivered what was asked of him in support of our projects.’

‘They handle a lot of infrastructure and project finance projects, so they are well aware of the market practice especially for 2030 vision.’

‘I deal with Derek McKinley most of the time and he is really good in negotiations. what makes him stand out is that whenever I deal with complex counterparts I always prefer Derek to lead the negotiations. I worked with different international law firms and partners, Derek supersedes most of them when it comes to negotiations.’

Key clients

Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani)

Air Products

Acciona Agua

Abu Dhabi Health Services Co. (SEHA)

Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C.

Greenbrier Companies Inc.

National Center for Privatisations & PPPs

Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA)

TMT Tier 3

Latham & Watkins LLP's Brian Meenagh focuses on advising on technology transactions covering heavyweight outsourcing transactions, often concerning government projects across the region and international fintech platforms. Technical aspects of regional megaprojects are also a notable area of activity.

Practice head(s):

Brian Meenagh

Key clients

Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA)

Banque Saudi Fransi

Sehati

Newbridge Fintech

STC Ventures

Swvl

Tendrd

Bayzat

Kitopi

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
Outsourcing
Number of lawyers : 2,600+
at this office : 20
Arabic
English
French
Punjabi
Spanish
Urdu
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