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Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Work +971 4 312 1800
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United Arab Emirates

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 4

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

At Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, Victoria Mesquita Wlazlo advised Al Ahli Holding Group on an AED 1.25bn shari'ah-compliant project finance deal, structured as a wakala and an instisna, for the expansion of the Dubai Outlet Mall among other purposes. She also also assisted Abour Energy Company with the Islamic financing of a 50MW wind farm in Jordan's Tafilah Governorate. Bank-side work includes advising Dubai Islamic Bank on an AED378m fleet of Islamic facilities to Reem Integrated Healthcare Holdings. Ayman Khaleq is also a key contact; his varied practice includes restructuring work.

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Capital markets
Capital markets - ranked: tier 4

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP's Ayman Khaleq advised TVM on a tender offer for the purchase of an Egyptian-listed company. Other highlights concern the private placement of notes, and shares, as well as sukuks, many of them involving Channel Island structures. Philip Dowsett is now with Dechert LLP.

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Commercial, corporate and M&A
Commercial, corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 4

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is 'impressive - clients have a genuine trust-based relationship and partnership with the firm'. Ayman Khaleq is 'the go-to guy: he is very business minded and provides great legal advice'; he advised the founders of VPS Healthcare on purchasing a controlling interest in Amanat Holdings. The team assisted Hedi Mlouka, the owner of Frontier Investment Management, with the sale of 50% of the business to EFG Hermes. Wamda MENA Ventures is a repeat client for venture capital investments. Other clients include FWU, which the firm advised on purchasing a Pakistani business. Philip Dowsett is now with Dechert LLP. Chadi Salloum was a new arrival from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in 2019.

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Dispute resolution: arbitration and international litigation
Dispute resolution: arbitration and international litigation - ranked: tier 5

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP's Rebecca Kelly advises on fraud cases and internal investigations. Clients come from sectors including fast-moving consumer goods, construction and energy.

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Investment funds
Investment funds - ranked: tier 1

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP 'knows its stuff and works well as a team'. 'Great relationship builder' Ayman Khaleq 'possesses great knowledge of fund structuring that makes matters efficient'; he advised NBK Capital Partners on forming a shari'ah-compliant real estate fund. Separately, he assisted Greenstone Equity Partners with securing a new licence to act as a placement agent. The group advised Sico Trucial on creating a new fund investing in American real estate assets. Other areas of work include advice to sovereign wealth funds on their LP commitments. Philip Dowsett joined Dechert LLP.

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Islamic finance
Islamic finance - ranked: tier 2

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP's Victoria Mesquita Wlazlo advised Al Ahli Holding Group on the project financing of an expansion of Dubai Outlet Mall. Ayman Khaleq has, among other matters, expertise in shari'ah-compliant aviation and project finance as well as investment funds.

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Further information on Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

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United Arab Emirates

Offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi


Offices in Beijing and Shanghai


Offices in Frankfurt


Offices in Paris

Hong Kong

Offices in Hong Kong

Latin America: International firms


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Offices in Almaty and Astana


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United States

Offices in Wilmington, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington DC, Princeton, Pittsburgh, New York, Miami, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, Orange County, Hartford, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, and Century City

Legal Developments in United Arab Emirates

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Regulatory Authorities of UAE Economic Substance Regulations announced

    Further to our previous inBrief dated 7 July 2019, which disucssed UAE Cabinet Resolution 31 of 2019 Concerning Economic Substance Regulations (the UAE Economic Substance Regulations or the Regulations), and inBrief dated 10 October 2019, which discussed the Guidance on UAE Economic Substance Regulations issued by the UAE Ministry of Finance, Cabinet Decision No. 58 of 2019 has now designated the regulatory authorities (the Regulatory Authorities) to regulate compliance with the UAE Economic Substance Regulations. 
  • Emirates Development Bank appointed to maintain Register of Finance Leases

    Pursuant to UAE Federal Cabinet Resolution No. 56 of 2019, Emirates Development Bank has been appointed to maintain the register of finance lease contracts created pursuant to UAE Federal Law No. 8 of 2018 on Finance Lease (the Finance Lease Law or the Law). 
  • UAE Ministry of Finance Issues Guidance on Economic Substance Regulations

    A previous inBrief dated 7 July 2019 discussed UAE Cabinet Resolution 31 of 2019 Concerning Economic Substance Regulations (the UAE Economic Substance Regulations or the Regulations).
  • Gulf Tanker Attacks: Implications on Costs

    Tanker attacks have a long history indicating that it could be a powerful weapon in international conflict, which can significantly destabilize an economy. During the Iraq-Iran War in the 1980s, oil terminals and tankers were under severe attacks, which directly affected the economies of both nations, in addition to the safety of maritime traffic.
  • Funding Your Start-Up In The UAE

    Funding options for start-ups in the UAE are on the rise. Traditionally, most start-ups in the UAE have tended to be bootstrapped or financed by conventional lenders such as banks and financial institutions. However, over the last few years, business incubators and accelerators have flourished in the UAE, creating a conducive and cost-effective environment for entrepreneurship in the UAE. This has led to a gradual upsurge in activities in the angel investment, crowdfunding, private equity, and venture capital space. Notably, the technology space has seen a boost as the UAE government has announced various initiatives for entrepreneurs and has been actively promoting the fintech space.
  • UPDATE: Medical Liability Law in the UAE

    Doctors in the UAE face considerable legal risk when treating patients. Thus, it’s important for casualties as well as medical practitioners to know their rights and get their cases evaluated by legal experts.
  • The New DIFC Employment Law- What Has Changed?

    DIFC Employment Law no. 2 of 2019 (“New Law ”) has recently been enacted which repeals and replaces the DIFC Law no. 4/2005 as amended by DIFC Law no. 3 of 2012 (“Previous Law ”). There has been an ongoing debate about the implemented changes introduced by the New Law. Some changes have been enacted to protect the employers, such as the limitation of liability period of 6 months and the provisions which allow employees to waive their rights under the New Law subject to agreements put in writing. Other changes have been enacted to protect the employees, such as provisions for non-discrimination and non-victimization, the penalties imposed by the DIFC for employer’s non-compliance, and forbidding the employer to retain the employee’s original passport (although the latter was always the legal position in the UAE).
  • UPDATE: New DIFC Wills and Probate Rules

    The DIFC Wills and Probate Registry (WPR) has been established as an official mechanism for non-Muslims to register their wills and have it enforced through the DIFC Courts. Previously there was a lot of uncertainty with regards to the registration of wills of non-Muslims since Shari’a principles govern inheritance throughout the UAE. If an expatriate living in the UAE dies without having a will in place, Shari’a principles will most likely apply, and family members may be forced into an heirship regime without fully understanding the consequences. The best way to ensure certainty over your assets upon death is to register a will with the DIFC WPR. Although the Registry has its own complex rules and laws that would be applicable, it provides a relative freedom of disposition of assets upon death. The DIFC WPR has gone through a number of changes since its establishment in 2015 and has consistently strived to better protect testators and their assets. The DIFC WPR’s jurisdiction has now officially expanded to include assets outside of Dubai.
  • Right of Set off under the UAE Civil Transaction Law No. 5 of 1985 and the view from the DIFC

    In a 2018 judgment the DIFC, discussed and decided upon the concept of set-off under the UAE Civil Transaction Law No. 5 of 1985 (the “Civil Code”).

    Since a very long time, FIDIC (The International Federation of Consulting Engineers) is commonly used a standard for international construction and engineering contracts and is very frequently used in UAE. It mainly governs the construction works within the country and in GCC.