White & Case LLP > Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates > Firm Profile

White & Case LLP
16th Floor, Al Sila Tower, Abu Dhabi Global Market Square
PO Box # 128616, Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates > Banking and finance: Corporate finance (including Islamic lending) Tier 1

White & Case LLP handles a broad range of mandates within project finance, development finance and corporate finance. The firm advises clients in both the private and public sectors including banks, asset managers, brokers, insurers, fintech entrepreneurs and sovereign wealth funds. Claire Matheson Kirton leads the leveraged finance group and works closely with some of the leading banks in the region. Alexander Malahias in Abu Dhabi is a key name to note within the firm’s project finance offering. William Watson was promoted to partner in the debt finance practice in 2021.

Practice head(s):

Claire Matheson Kirton; Alexander Malahias; William Watson

Key clients

The Red Sea Development Company

Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC)

Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco)

Saudi Power Procurement Company (SPPC)

Fawaz Abdulaziz Al Hokair Co.

Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC)

Gargash Enterprises

Emaar

Metro Jeddah Company (MJC)

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank

First Abu Dhabi Bank

HSBC

National Commercial Bank

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

First Abu Dhabi Bank

Gulf International Bank

J.P. Morgan

Citigroup

Goldman Sachs International

Deutsche Bank

Emirates NBD

Societe Generale

Dubai Islamic Bank

IHS Towers Limited

Dar Al-Handasah Consultants

Work highlights

  • Advised The Red Sea Development Company on the signing of key finance documents for Phase One of The Red Sea Project, the revolutionary tourism giga project currently under development on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia.
  • Advised EWEC in connection with the PV2 IPP involving the development of a 2GW solar project, together with a grid station and associated facilities in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, UAE.
  • Advised Fawaz Abdulaziz Al Hokair Co., a leading diversified fashion, beauty, and food retailer in Saudi Arabia, with international operations across 13 countries, in connection with its $800m refinancing.

United Arab Emirates > Capital markets Tier 1

White & Case LLP has a full-service practice that includes specialists that have 'fantastic' sector knowledge. The firm's debt capital markets offering covers Islamic finance, project bonds, securitisation, green and sustainable bonds. Debashis Dey has an 'encyclopaedic' knowledge of shariah-compliant structures and is 'excellent in the sukuk space'. Ali Shaikley has advised on a number of high-value equity capital markets transactions and has been particularly active in the SPAC space. Sami Al-Louzi specialises in ECM transactions in Saudi Arabia and Abdulwahid Alulama is the team's UAE regulatory specialist. Claudio Medeossi and Xuan Jin are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Debashis Dey; Sami Al-Louzi; Ali Shaikley; Abdulwahid Alulama

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The people are familiar with the sector and our company, making transactions with them easy. Also, their sector knowledge is fantastic, particularly for sukuk.’

‘Debashis Dey is excellent in the sukuk space. His knowledge of sharia-compliant structures is encyclopedic. Xuan Jin is excellent at executing transactions and making himself available.’

Extremely knowledgeable of both debt & equity capital markets.’

Key clients

Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco)

J.P. Morgan

Citi

HSBC Saudi Arabia

Goldman Sachs

Saudi Real Estate Refinance Company

DP World

Bank of America

Deutsche Bank

Natixis

First Abu Dhabi Bank

Standard Chartered Bank

Jefferies

ENBD REIT Plc

BNY Mellon Corporate Trustee Services Limited

Emirates NBD Capital Limited

Pareto Securities

Investcorp Holdings

Republic of Indonesia

Rothschild & Co.

Arabian Centres Company

Work highlights

  • Represented a syndicate of 13 banks on the offering of $1.5bn Regulation S reset subordinated perpetual Sukuk certificates on behalf of DP World PLC (now DP World Ltd.)
  • Represented Investment Corporation of Dubai on ICD Funding Ltd.’s issuance of $600m 3.223% notes due 2026 under its $2.5bn euro medium-term note programme, unconditionally and irrevocably guaranteed by Investment Corporation of Dubai.

United Arab Emirates > Oil, gas and natural resources Tier 1

White & Case LLP has a broad offering and operates particularly closely in the Saudi Arabian oil, gas and natural resources markets. Michael Watson has relocated to London but remains active in the market and is an expert in all downstream-related transactions. The firm has a sizeable practice that includes project finance specialists Antoine Cousin and Adam Pierson.

Practice head(s):

Antoine Cousin; Alexander Malahias; Adam Pierson; Yasser Riad; Michael Turrini; Michael Watson

Other key lawyers:

Jennifer Riddle; Claire Janvier

Testimonials

‘White & Case’s oil and gas team in UAE is the preeminent team in the market. Their ability to seamlessly weave together the deal structure for major projects is unmatched.’

‘When your counterparty looks past their attorneys and across the table and to ask your lawyers to develop a solution, you know you’ve chosen wisely. In complicated petrochemical joint ventures, this W&C team is able to cut through the fog and see the commercial target and obstacles.’

‘Michael Watson and Claire Janvier stand head and shoulders above all other attorneys when it comes to petrochemical projects. The maxim “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link” does not apply to this duo, for if they have a weakness, it is unknown to me. Claire and Michael seamlessly work together to develop a work product that far exceeds expectations, but do so in a manner that meets all timetables and keeps bills low.’

Key clients

Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco)

Ma’aden

United Arab Chemical Carriers Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented Saudi Aramco in its $12.4bn sale of a 49% equity stake in Aramco Oil Pipelines Company to a consortium led by EIG Global Energy Partners.
  • Represented Saudi Arabian Oil Company in its $69.1bn acquisition of a 70% stake in Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), from the Public Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • Represented United Arab Chemical Carriers Limited (UACC) in the sale and reverse triangular merger of UACC with United Overseas Group.

United Arab Emirates > Banking and finance: Financial services regulation Tier 2

White & Case LLP has an experienced financial regulatory practice that covers both advisory and contentious matters. The practice also advises a number of local regulators, funds and private equity clients. Key changes to the team in 2021 include Dubai-based Stefan Mrozinski‘s promotion to counsel. Former practice head Adrianus Schoorl left in May 2022 to join fintech company Wizz Finanancial as general counsel.

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Goldman Sachs / European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

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

White & Case LLP displays extensive cross-border expertise and is able to seamlessly advise on transactions with UK, US and UAE legal elements. Regional sovereign wealth funds, governmental and blue-chip UAE corporate clients make up the firm’s client base. Ali Shaikley and Sami Al-Louzi advise on a broad range of cross-border M&A and equity capital markets transactions, particularly in Saudi Arabia where the latter has an established presence. Marcus Booth  heads the firm’s private equity offering and UAE-qualified lawyer Abdulwahid Alulama has a broad commercial law and M&A practice. Steven Worthington is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Sami E. Al-Louzi; Abdulwahid Alulama; Marcus Booth; Ali Shaikley; Steven Worthington

Other key lawyers:

Vasi Papadopoulos

Testimonials

‘The team combines the best of London skills with the flexibility and innovative approach that you would typically find in a smaller Law firm. You are getting a high calibre team with all the commercial experience you would need.’

‘Marcus Booth is outstanding – you know you are in the hands of a trusted adviser. The fact that the law is right is a given – he combines this with charm and a cut through no-nonsense approach to reach commercial decisions that everyone can live by.’

‘Marcus Booth does not create needless deal friction (and therefore costs) that you find some partners create in their wake. A top professional that is liked by clients and opposing counsel and their clients too.’

‘The team is very knowledgeable and diverse. They are always available and try to come up with commercial solutions to problems. Also, the international network of the firm means that global solutions are offered.’

‘Ali Shaikley is my main contact. Despite being an international lawyer, he is very locally aware and this mix of international and local is what makes the difference.’

‘The team has been incredibly responsive, very professional and extremely competent. They are also business minded and creative with solutions to get the deal done.’

Key clients

Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners

Abu Dhabi Financial Group

Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar)

Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority

ADES International Holding Limited

Agthia Group PJSC

AlKhabeer Capital

Alpha Bank S.A.

Amazon

Arabian Contracting Services Company JSC

Basalt Infrastructure Partners

CI Capital Holding S.A.E

DP World

EFG-Hermes

Emirates NBD Capital

ENBD REIT Plc

Etisalat

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

GFH Financial Group

Goldman Sachs

GSO Capital Partners

International Holdings Company PJSC

J.P. Morgan Securities plc

Kentech Corporate Holdings Limited

Kuwait Food Company (Americana)

Ma’arif Holding Company for Education and Training

Majid Al Futtaim Holding

Mubadala Investment Company

Mumzworld

National Bonds Corporation

Oak Hill Advisors

Paradise Capital

Ports Customs and Free Zones Corporation

RIMCO Investments

Rothschild & Co.

Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco)

SHUAA Capital

Strategic Value Partners

United Arab Chemical Carriers Limited

UTICO FZC

York Capital Management

Work highlights

  • Advised J.P. Morgan Securities plc, financial advisor to Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (“TAQA”), on its $20bn acquisition of a majority stake in the water and electricity generation, transmission, and distribution assets of Abu Dhabi Power Corporation PJSC (ADPower).
  • Advised Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) on its $69.1bn acquisition of a 70% stake in Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC).
  • Advised Saudi Aramco on its $12.4bn sale of a 49% equity stake in Aramco Oil Pipelines Company to a consortium led by EIG Global Energy Partners.

United Arab Emirates > Construction Tier 2

White & Case LLP has a broad contentious and non-contentious construction offering with expertise across all major sectors including transport infrastructure, power, oil and gas, metals and mining and petrochemicals. Michael Turrini heads the practice and has extensive experience working in the UAE and wider Middle East region. Ibaad Hakim has a strong focus on the oil and gas, infrastructure and power sectors. Counsel Habeeb Rahman is also noted and has a strong focus on transactional construction, procurement and technology licensing work.

Practice head(s):

Michael Turrini

Other key lawyers:

Ibaad Hakim; Habeeb Rahman; Sarah Hudson

Testimonials

‘Extremely reliable and efficient in their work. Team members were always available at short notice to help us. The W&C team members took an interest and showed care when working with us with translates to a good working relationship.’

Able to mobilise strong teams to manage some of the regions largest disputes on some of the regions largest projects.

‘Habeeb Rahman worked closely with us and was of tremendous help. Habeeb prepares diligently for all meetings and is willing to negotiate tooth and nail when required while also giving sound and realistic advise to us. His dedication to work and general approachability are key strengths.’

‘White & Case has demonstrated a strong experience in construction disputes and international arbitration, has a good solid team and a surprising know-how of the construction business. They do their work very efficiently, they review all correspondences and not just depend on our in-house claims. etc.. in conclusion very pleased with their works.’

What separates this practice from the others is simple – Michael Turrini. Mr. Turrini’s practical and thorough.’

I got the job done within the timeframe and budget and with high quality.’

Key clients

Emirates Water & Electricity Company

Saudi Aramco

Etihad Rail

The Red Sea Development Company

Saudi Power Procurement Company (SPPC)

USAID / the Jordanian Ministry of Water and Irrigation

Work highlights

  • Advised EWEC in connection with the Fujairah F3 IPP involving the development of the Fujairah F3 power generation plant having a net capacity of 2400MW together with a grid station and associated facilities.
  • Advised EWEC in connection with the PV2 IPP involving the development of a 2GW solar project, the world’s largest single-site solar power plant, together with a grid station and associated facilities in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, UAE.
  • Advised The Red Sea Development Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, The Public Investment Fund, on the construction aspects of the Phase One of The Red Sea Project, the revolutionary tourism giga project currently under development on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia.

United Arab Emirates > Infrastructure and projects (including project finance) Tier 2

White & Case LLP's Antoine Cousin specialises in advising sponsors, lenders and governments on energy and infrastructure projects, PPPs and joint ventures. Adam Pierson has a strong background advising Saudi clients and Yasser Riad in the project development and finance group has a particular focus on water desalination and renewable energy work. Alexander Malahias  is praised for his 'unprecedented client engagement'. At the associate level, Jennifer Riddle's support on deals has been 'instrumental'.

Practice head(s):

Antoine Cousin; Alexander Malahias; Adam Pierson; Yasser Riad

Other key lawyers:

Jenny Riddle; Khawla Alatiyat

Testimonials

‘W&C have the best team on the ground in Abu Dhabi and probably the UAE for infrastructure and project finance.’

‘They are well geared and as far as I can see have been the most successful law firm in developing local talent.’

‘Yasser Riad on projects and all round for his relaxed style, sector knowledge and ability to consistently deliver.’

‘Jenny Riddle for PF, her practical approach is appreciated.’

Jennifer Riddle’s role in the deal was instrumental. Jenny had great knowledge in the field of project finance with the greatest drafting skills we have seen in the market.’

Khawla Alatiyat for projects, Khawla is not only an excellent transaction lawyer but a problem solver, she has been indispensable to the sector in recent years. A leader for the future.’

‘The W&C infrastructure team is my go-to team of fixers.’

‘Adam Pierson’s ability to understand a complicated scenario and craft a nuanced, commercially-oriented solution is unparalleled. I don’t know what Adam advertises as his area of expertise, however, if I were to name one it would be “fixer.”’

Key clients

The Red Sea Development Company

Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC)

Abu Dhabi Department of Energy

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (TAQA)‎

Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar)

Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco)

Saudi Power Procurement Company (SPPC)

Water & Electricity Company of Saudi Arabia (WEC)

National Water Company (NWC)

Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC)

Metro Jeddah Company (MJC)

USAID / Ministry of Water and Irrigation of Jordan

Work highlights

  • Represented The Red Sea Development Company on the signing of key finance documents for Phase One of The Red Sea Project, the revolutionary tourism giga project currently under development on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia.
  • Advised EWEC on the PV2 IPP involving the development of a 2GW solar project, together with a grid station and associated facilities in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, UAE.
  • Advised EWEC on the Fujairah F3 IPP involving the development of the Fujairah F3 power generation plant having a net capacity of 2400MW together with a grid station and associated facilities.

United Arab Emirates > Real estate Tier 3

White & Case LLP's Louise Vun specialises in real estate and hospitality and acts for government entities, international and domestic corporates, hotel and resort owners and private equity firms. Recent work includes advice on mixed-use developments, jointly owned property developments and gated communities.

Practice head(s):

Louise Vun

Key clients

The Red Sea Development Company

Work highlights

  • Represented The Red Sea Development Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, The Public Investment Fund, on the signing of key finance documents for Phase One of The Red Sea Project.

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