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

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

United Arab Emirates > Capital markets Tier 1

Latham & Watkins LLP has a 'top-tier' practice that specialises in debt and equity capital markets, derivatives and structured finance, securitisation, corporate trust and agency and high-yield bonds. The team has a 'strong knowledge base', particularly when executing 144A transactions and advising on issuances by sovereigns and quasi-sovereigns. Practice head and managing partner Nomaan Raja is a 'trusted advisor' and his market knowledge is 'second to none'. Counsel Basil Al-Jafari is another key name to note.

Practice head(s):

Nomaan Raja

Other key lawyers:

Harj Rai; Basil Al-Jafari


‘We have worked with the L&W partners and the associates from different jurisdictions and found them to be highly competent, thorough and professional. I have worked with Nomaan Raja in particular on a number of capital market transactions in Oman and I have always found him to be solution-oriented, sharp who cuts through to the crux of the matter and directly addresses key issues of concern to a client.’

‘Latham & Watkins now have a top tier debt capital markets practice in the Middle East. They are working on a growing number of complex DCM transactions in the region. Whilst this is a partner-led practice they have a strong team of associates.’

‘Nomaan Raja is a trusted advisor for us in the region. His depth of knowledge and understanding of the market are second to none. He is visible on transactions and always available to offer support first hand.’

‘Very strong knowledge base and high quality work. One of the best in the business’

‘The team delivers a top notch work product. They are always available for the client and provide clear guidance in the process.’

‘The individuals that we worked with, specifically Nomaan Raja and Basil Al Jafari are very professional, and go above and beyond what was required to help us achieve our target in a very tight timeline and under a lot of pressure. They were always available whenever needed and were willing to go the extra mile for us in every aspects of the deal, and always found solutions for us for any issues arising.’

‘Nomaan Raja and Basil Al Jafari are an excellent team. They are very user friendly and efficient.’

Key clients

Government of Dubai

Global Infrastructure Partners

The Oil & Gas Holding Company B.S.C. (c) (nogaholding)

Liquid Telecommunications

J.P. Morgan

Morgan Stanley


Goldman Sachs International


NCB Capital

First Abu Dhabi Bank

Credit Agricole CIB

Standard Chartered Bank

BNP Paribas

Mizhuo Securities


SMBC Nikko

BofA Securities


Work highlights

  • Advised the Saudi Aramco Dealers in relation to the establishment of a Trust Certificate Issuance Programme by Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) and its inaugural US$6 billion issuance thereunder.
  • Advised the arrangers and dealers on the establishment of a Euro Medium Term Note programme by Abu Dhabi Ports Company PJSC (AD Ports), and the joint lead managers in relation to the issuance by AD Ports of $1bn 2.5% notes due 2031 (the Notes) thereunder.
  • Advised the Government of Dubai, acting through the Department of Finance, on the issuance of $1bn Trust Certificates due 2030 under its $6bn Trust Certificate Issuance Programme and $1bn Notes due 2050 under its $5bn Euro Medium Term Note Programme.

United Arab Emirates > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP has an active domestic and cross-border M&A practice and advises on both the buy and sell side of transactions. The team has dedicated specialists across a range of sectors, from healthcare and technology, through to energy and natural resources. Practice head Christopher Lester is praised for his 'solution-oriented' approach. Counsel Eyad Latif is well regarded for advising clients in the healthcare and education sectors.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Lester

Other key lawyers:


‘Great team of experts for the region, for us a one stop shop.’

‘Chris Lester is a great partner of the firm and uses his associates wisely. Like the rest of the team, he is solution orientated, not ego driven at all and very helpful.’

‘The most responsive legal team we have ever worked with.’

‘Very quick turn around and diligent work.’

‘They truly understand the VC space and the requirements, which is a major plus.’

‘Eyad Latif – Extremely knowledgeable and diligent; very trustworthy and completely adapted to our firm’s needs and approach.’

Key clients

SIG Combibloc

EIG Partners

Public Investment Fund

Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA)

Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia




Work highlights

  • Advised Silver Lake Partners on its investment in G42, an Abu Dhabi-based artificial intelligence and cloud computing company.
  • Advised EIG on its precedent-setting acquisition of a 49% equity stake in Aramco Oil Pipelines Company.
  • Advised SEHA on the launch of Union71, a new laboratory testing company for healthcare providers in the UAE.

United Arab Emirates > Banking and finance: Corporate finance (including Islamic lending) Tier 3

Latham & Watkins LLP has a strong client base that includes financial institutions, government-related entities, private equity firms and funds. The practice has a broad range of expertise and is led by Villiers Terblanche, who specialises in complex infrastructure transactions and regulatory reform projects. Chirag Sanghrajka has extensive experience advising clients on all phases of development and financing of energy, telecoms and infrastructure projects. Key changes to the team include the return of Christian Adams from an in-house position, bolstering the firm's finance and restructuring capabilities in the UAE.

Practice head(s):

Villiers Terblanche

Other key lawyers:


‘Their key strengths are being: solution orientated, knowledgeable, responsive, helpful, able to think out of the box.’

‘Their exceptional level of responsiveness with tailored solutions and consistently high-quality work product despite time differences, pandemic-related constraints and tight turnaround times.’

‘Appreciated working with Chirag Sanghrajka. His professional candid demeanour is assuring and he strikes one as being extremely competent, efficient and effective in his field of expertise and this is well reflected in the services received. When engaging with him protracted interactions are not needed as his depth of subject matter knowledge and prior relevant experience allow him to quickly grasp the issues and propose a feasible solution.’

Key clients

Public Investment Fund

Global Infrastructure Partners

Saudi Ports Authority


Jabal Omar Development Company


The Mauritius Commercial Bank Limited


Riyad Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised the Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on its landmark $15bn multi-currency revolving credit facility.
  • Advised the EBRD, the OPEC Fund, the AfDB, and Arab Bank on a $114m financing package, also involving financing from the Green Climate Fund, for the construction of ACWA Power Kom Ombo solar power plant in the Aswan Province, Egypt.
  • Advised a consortium on bridge financing in connection with a minority investment agreement with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) for the consortium to invest in select ADNOC gas pipeline assets.

United Arab Emirates > Infrastructure and projects (including project finance) Tier 3

Latham & Watkins LLP's team is led by Villiers Terblanche, who specialises in advising sponsors, investors and host governments on complex multi-sourced financings. Chirag Sanghrajka is another project finance expert with expertise advising clients in the energy, infrastructure and natural resources space. Craig Nethercott and Derek McKinley are other key individuals.

Practice head(s):

Villiers Terblanche


‘The Latham & Watkins team has been outstanding regarding a number of large industrial projects (many of which were project financed), especially in the US, Middle East and Asia. They know all the players and enjoy a stellar reputation in the geographies in which we have worked with them.’

‘Every L&W team we worked with, regardless of geography, were always well prepared and incredibly responsive. For any project in the Middle East, the first attorney we call is Villiers Terblanche, a partner in L&W’s Dubai office.’

‘The team are first class in all respects. They know the law back to front, are fully commercial and very engaging. They have a deep bench of talent and are always forward thinking.’

‘Chirag Sanghrajka is the best lawyer I have worked with. He has an unlimited legal and commercial skill-set which is invaluable in the cutting edge renewable projects he has assisted me with. The wider team, led by Craig Nethercott is also excellent. I always feel they make time for me.’

Key clients

Public Investment Fund

Global Infrastructure Partners

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

OPEC Fund for International Development

African Development Bank (AfDB)

Arab Bank

The Oil & Gas Holding Company B.S.C. (c) (nogaholding)

Saudi Ports Authority

Air Products


Work highlights

  • Advised the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Saudi Arabia, in relation to the development and project financing of the 1.5-GW Sudair Solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in Saudi Arabia.
  • Advised the consortium on the bridge financing in connection with a minority investment agreement with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the state-owned oil company of the UAE, for the consortium to invest in select ADNOC gas pipeline assets valued at $20.7bn.
  • Advised the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund), the African Development Bank (AfDB), and Arab Bank on a $114m financing package, also involving financing from the Green Climate Fund (GCF), for the construction of ACWA Power Kom Ombo solar power plant.

United Arab Emirates > TMT Tier 3

Latham & Watkins LLP advises on a range of TMT matters, from data privacy and cybersecurity, through to telecoms infrastructure and fintech. Practice head Brian Meenagh is praised by clients for his 'pragmatism'; he advises on fintech, outsourcing, cloud computing, digital and telecoms technology.

Practice head(s):

Brian Meenagh

Other key lawyers:

Alexander Hendry


‘Brian Meenagh brings hands on pragmatism to any negotiation. The depth of his experience both on vendor and customer side smooths negotiations and brings common sense to the negotiating table.’

‘Alex Hendry is an upcoming star of the practice in Dubai.’

‘Latham & Watkin’s depth of experience in the TMT space across the MENA region makes them a cut above everyone else in the market.’

‘LW enjoys an unparalleled depth of experience advising international and regional enterprises as well as regulators and governments on the entire spectrum of TMT subject matter.’

‘In addition to being a subject matter expert, Brian Meenagh’s cool, calm and collected demeanor makes him particularly well suited as a source of level headed advice in the most sensitive and pressing of situations.’

Key clients

Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA)

Saudi Arabian Football Federation

Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia

Air Products & Chemicals

Ernst & Young


Swvl, Inc.

Sary Yes

Sanabil Direct Investments Company



Newbridge Fintech

STC Ventures





Work highlights

  • Advising AMC on the authorisation by MTS for CargoX to be the Blockchain Document Transfer (BDT) gateway for Egypt’s Advance Cargo Information System (ACI), by registering and transferring the shipping documents with Ethereum technology.
  • Advising the Saudi Arabian Football Federation on all aspects of its bid to host the 2027 Asian Cup and associated commercial arrangements.
  • Advised Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC) on the procurement of a cloud-based SaaS enterprise resource planning and project management solution in collaboration with Kahua.

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.

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
Number of lawyers : 2,600+
at this office : 20
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