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White & Case LLP

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United Arab Emirates

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP handles work including project finance and bank lending for highly prestigious regional clients. Clare Matheson Kirton  advised a consortium of lenders led by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti and Standard Chartered on a $300m loan to Meydan Group for financing its Meydan One project, in a transaction insured by Italy's export credit agency Sace. On the borrower side, she also advised Etihad Airways on borrowing $300m from Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Emirates NBD via a commodity murabaha. Antoine Cousin also has project finance expertise, and is advising Saudi National Commercial Bank on a proposed financing of a PPP-procured airport project surrounding Ta'if Regional Airport in Saudi Arabia, located 70km from Mecca. Other clients include Nomura and, on the borrower side, Emaar. Matthew Wood is now at Ashurst LLP.

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Capital markets
Capital markets - ranked: tier 1

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP's 'knowledgeable team' was bolstered by the arrival of Sean Johnson, who rejoined the Dubai office from New York. He, Matthew Wood and Michael Watson advised Emirates Sembcorp on issuing $400m of bonds to refinance a 760MW, 600,000m3/day energy and desalination plant. The trio also assisted Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline LLP, a subsidiary of Adnoc, with issuing $3bn of senior secured bonds connected to the Habshan-Fujairah pipeline project. Sukuk specialist Debashis Dey advised cornerstone client Saudi Aramco on its debut sukuk issuance programme, of which SAR11.25bn was issued, and also acted for the government of Dubai on an update to its $6bn trust certificate issuance programme. In other work, Dey advised the arrangers and dealers on Saudi Arabia's update to its $12.5bn GMTN programme. Sami Al-Louzi, who joined from Latham & Watkins LLP, handles work including advice to investment banks.

Leading individuals

Debashis Dey - White & Case LLP

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Commercial, corporate and M&A
Commercial, corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 2

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP handles heavyweight deals and in particular is instructed by businesses with connections to several GCC governments. Michael Watson advised Saudi Aramco, a cornerstone client of the firm, on purchasing a 50% stake in a Petronas refinery and petrochemicals business in Johor and assisted Adnoc with a partnership with Baker Hughes, which involved the latter purchasing 5% of Adnoc Drilling for $550m and Adnoc becoming the exclusive user of Baker Hughes' services in the UAE. Sami Al-Louzi, who returned to the firm in 2017 from Latham & Watkins LLP, worked with Ali Shaikley in advising NMC Health on the acquisitions of majority stakes in Cosmesurge and Al Salam Medical Group for $207m. Abdulwahid Alulama is another key contact; he acts for Mubadala and Etisalat, as well as a number of key family-owned businesses. Marcus Booth relocated to Dubai from London in September 2018.

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Construction - ranked: tier 2

White & Case LLP

At White & Case LLP in Abu Dhabi, Michael Turrini acts both for governments and main contractors on large projects such as airports and major power infrastructure. Luke Robottom advises procurers of projects, including advising the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy on developing its request for proposals for the Taweelah Reverse Osmosis desalination plant.

Leading individuals

Michael Turrini - White & Case LLP

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Energy and infrastructure
Energy and infrastructure - ranked: tier 1

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP has 'a solid team at both partner and associate level'. Michael Watson, who handles water, education and energy projects, is 'unfailingly reliable, responsive and knowledgeable about the downstream oil and gas industry, having worked on some of its largest deals in the past few years'. Capital markets issuances for project finance are an area of expertise - Sean Johnson and Watson are advising a subsidiary of Adnoc on issuing bonds to generate revenue from its mid-stream infrastructure and to purchase the Habshan-Fujairah pipeline, which provides an alternative route for crude oil to the Strait of Hormuz. Saudi Aramco is a cornerstone client - Antoine Cousin advises it on the Fadhili co-generation project.

Leading individuals

Michael Watson - White & Case LLP

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Islamic finance
Islamic finance - ranked: tier 3

White & Case LLP

Work for sovereign issuers is a key area for White & Case LLP: Debashis Dey worked with the firm's London office and Saudi affiliate on Saudi Arabia's debut sovereign sukuk, which raised $9bn. Dey also advised the Investment Corporation of Dubai on the issuance of a $1bn sukuk. Also on the issuer side, Clare Matheson Kirton assisted Etihad with a $300m syndicated commodity murabaha.

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