Firm Profile > Clifford Chance > Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Clifford Chance
SECTOR W-14/02, PO BOX 26492
United Arab Emirates

Banking and finance: Corporate finance (including Islamic lending) Tier 1

With broad strength in conventional and Islamic finance, Clifford Chance has a buoyant banking practice in the UAE - where it works out of its Dubai and Abu Dhabi offices - and advises clients in the Middle East and North Africa. A team led by Graham Brewer acted as English and UAE counsel for First Abu Dhabi Bank and the other mandated lead arrangers on a $6.5bn refinancing for Emirates Global Aluminium; the deal closed in 2019, with a narrow window to close both the Islamic and conventional tranches of the transaction simultaneously. The firm also stands out for its dedicated Africa-focused practice; banking partners Edmund Boyo and Mohamed Hamra-Krouha are among the key contacts in this space. Qudeer Latif heads the global Islamic finance practice; the sizeable team also includes Peter Avery and Robin Abraham.

Practice head(s):

Richard Parris; Qudeer Latif; Peter Avery

Key clients

Dubai Holding


First Abu Dhabi Bank

Meydan Group

Mobile Telecommunications Company Saudi Arabia

HSBC Bank Middle East Limited


Dangote Cement Plc

NPS Bahrain for Oil and Gas Wells Services W.L.L.

Deutsche Bank Luxembourg S.A.

Standard Chartered Bank

Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector

Banking and finance: Financial services regulation Tier 1

The financial services regulatory lawyers at Clifford Chance are 'experts in their field'; able to advise across the gamut of financial regulation in the UAE, the lawyers assist financial institutions across their full life cycle. The firm also stands out for its fintech regulatory expertise and has been involved in major fintech transactions in the market. The 'responsive and commercially minded' Jack Hardman 'provides genuinely insightful views'; he was promoted to counsel in 2019. Counsel Cheuk Yin Cheung heads the financial products group in the Middle East, and James Abbott is a key name for financial services litigation.

Practice head(s):

Cheuk Yin Cheung; Jack Hardman


Clifford Chance’s UAE FSR team provides pragmatic, commercial and timely advice in a generally easily digestible manner.

We have benefitted enormously from the unique practice of Clifford Chance Dubai. They have helped us with their thought leadership skills.

Provides legal advice that is sophisticated and actionable in a fast growing fintech environment.

The team are experts in their field, and when providing advice and guidance strike a good balance of detail and technicality while keeping it practical with some real life examples and answering our questions.

Jack Hardman and Rafe Khokhar: What makes them stand out is their positive attitude and readiness to find solutions.

Jack Hardman is responsive and commercially minded.

Jack Hardman has real depth of knowledge and practical experience in this area and is able to provide genuinely insightful views.

Key clients

Emaar Properties PJSC

Arab Monetary Fund

Wethaq (Capital Markets) Limited

Union National Bank / ADCB

International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc.

Capital markets Tier 1

Clifford Chance has a highly regarded capital markets team in the UAE. Mike Taylor heads the ECM practice, which has taken roles on numerous precedent-setting equity offerings in the market and also has a solid track record handling London premium listings of UAE-based companies. In a recent example, the team advised a syndicate of banks (including Citigroup, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and others) on the IPO of shares in Dubai-based company Network International in London. On the debt side, the team has recently handled conventional bonds, sukuk, sovereign issues, commercial paper and securitisations, among other transactions. Stuart Ure leads the DCM practice.

Practice head(s):

Mike Taylor; Stuart Ure

Key clients

Citigroup Global Markets Limited

Australian Postal Corporation

J.P Morgan

Goldman Sachs


Morgan Stanley

NBD Capital

DP World PLC

HSBC Bank plc

Standard Chartered Bank

Emirates NBD Bank PJSC

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank / Union National Bank

First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC

The Government of Sharjah, acting through the Sharjah Finance Department

The Sultanate of Oman, acting through the Ministry of Finance

Emirates Development Bank

Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 1

The highly regarded corporate and M&A practice at Clifford Chance continues to be instructed on the largest and most complex deals taking place in the UAE and the wider region. Highlights included advising Dubai World on the £322m sale of the holding company of P&O Ferries and P&O Ferrymasters (together P&O Ferries) to DP World; a team of London and Dubai-based lawyers, including lead partner James McCarthy, led on the transaction. The firm also has a strong track record for corporate transactions in the financial services sector. Mohammed Al-Shukairy became regional managing partner in May 2019. Jason Mendens and Mike Taylor are other leading practitioners in the department. Rupert Harper left for Covington & Burling LLP.

Practice head(s):

Mohammed Al-Shukairy; James McCarthy; Jason Mendens

Key clients



Saudi British Bank

Emirates NBD

Sahara Petrochemicals Company

Mitsui & Co., Ltd.


Mubadala Infrastructure Partners

Airport International Group

Dubai World

Australia Post

Construction Tier 2

At Clifford Chance, Paul Coates handles the contentious side of the construction practice - his work includes disputes concerning major natural resources-related projects. Counsel Inaamul Laher in Abu Dhabi heads a front-end practice, and in this space Tim Steadman, a consultant, is also active.

Dispute resolution: arbitration and international litigation Tier 2

Clifford Chance's James Abbott acts for banks and accountancy firms in banking and professional regulatory matters, both handling advocacy himself and instructing top-flight London silks. Alongisde work of such a nature, Paul Coates also has technology and engineering disputes expertise, including IT services. Senior associate Arun Wisweswaran is an active name below partner level.

Practice head(s):

James Abbott


‘The sheer strength and depth of James Abbott’s team is hard to match. He himself has appeared in a large number of the leading cases in the DIFC.’

‘Paul Coates is incisive and quickly masters complex legal and factual issues, and especially skilled in analysing complex fund management structures. A delight to work with.’

Infrastructure and projects (including project finance) Tier 2

The highly regarded energy and infrastructure practice at Clifford Chance is 'commercially focused', 'pragmatic' and 'very knowledgeable'. The sizeable team is split between the Abu Dhabi and Dubai offices, from where it handles projects in the UAE and across the Middle East, with strong expertise in renewable and conventional energy and water projects. The team was busy throughout 2018 and 2019. In one highlight, Richard Parris and Peter Avery advised Daehan Wind Power Company PSC on $70m term-loan facilities from IFC- and K-Sure-backed senior lenders for the construction, operation and maintenance of a 51.75MW wind power plant in Jordan. Robin Abraham is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Richard Parris; Mohamed Hamra-Krouha


CC’s team is very knowledgeable, practical and very well aware of the business / financial implications of the matter they are advising on.

Hands-on, commercially focused, get-the-deal-done approach. Pragmatic.

Mohamed Krouha runs the process very efficiently and is not afraid to get his boots dirty when the heat is on during the closing process.

Abimbola Lawore (senior associate): knowledgeable and a pragmatic approach.

Peter Avery, Yiting Xu and Richard Paris are outstanding lawyers. They are extremely responsive, highly experienced, problem solvers and business orientated (and not legalistic).

Key clients

Sharjah Water and Electricity Authority

AMEA Jordan Solar

Standard Chartered Bank

Daehan Wind Power Company PSC

Kuwait Integrated Petroleum Industries Company


Marubeni Corporation

Jinko Solar


Qatar > Foreign firms Tier 3

Clifford Chance has a strong track record in advising on M&A and joint ventures. Practice head Jason Mendens is based in Abu Dhabi and advises on corporate and M&A and energy and infrastructure projects.

The firm: Clifford Chance is one of the world’s pre-eminent law firms, with significant depth and range of resources across five continents. As a single, fully integrated, global partnership, it prides itself on its approachable, collegial and team-based way of working. The firm always strives to exceed the expectations of its clients, which include corporates from all the commercial and industrial sectors, governments, regulators, trade bodies and not-for-profit organisations. It provides them with the highest quality advice and legal insight, which combines the firm’s global standards with in-depth local expertise.

Types of work undertaken:

Capital markets: the capital markets practice concentrates on securities transactions and other products sold into the capital markets. The practice is founded on a full-service US and UK securities law capability, complemented by local securities law expertise in each of the key financial centres. It provides practical, integrated legal advice covering the full spectrum of global capital raising activities including public and private domestic and international offerings of traditional debt and equity securities as well as convertible and other derivative and structured securities.

Corporate: the corporate practice handles some of the world’s largest and most complex M&A transactions. It combines global transaction capability with a full service of English, US and civil law expertise in the key financial centres across Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific. In addition to mainstream M&A, the firm also encompasses leading specialist practices in: commercial contracts, competition and antitrust, communications, energy, healthcare, financial institutions, funds, investment banking, insurance, media and technology, and private equity.

Finance: Clifford Chance’s finance practice is the leading international finance practice of any law firm. The practice provides highly commercial and practical advice across the full spectrum of financial products including syndicated lending and leveraged and acquisition finance, asset finance, derivative products, project finance, financial regulatory, insolvency, restructuring and structured finance.

Litigation, dispute resolution and risk management: the firm has experience in virtually all segments of the business and financial markets across multiple jurisdictions. The lawyers work with clients to resolve disputes efficiently and effectively – whether through arbitration, litigation or other techniques.

Real estate: Clifford Chance’s leading real estate practice offers UK, European, Asian and US real estate capability. The practice advises the real estate industry’s leading players on the entire property ‘life-cycle’ from the initial acquisition, development, leasing, joint venturing and financing through to the final exit, as well as tax structuring, PFI/PPP, corporate outsourcing, planning, environment and litigation.

Tax, pensions, employment and incentives: Clifford Chance has one of the world’s largest international tax groups within a single law firm. The firm is uniquely placed to provide leading edge advice to clients, and the practice is structured on an integrated global basis. Local tax groups within the practice work closely with areas such as securitisation, securities, M&A, corporate restructuring, private equity, real estate and funds.

The pan-European VAT group advises on all areas of VAT and has particular strength advising on novel and complex issues in the structured finance, financial services, corporate finance and real estate sectors.

The team of experienced employment, employee benefits, ERISA, immigration and pensions specialists work with clients from a wide range of sectors to address local and cross-border issues.

International offices:Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Bangkok, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Casablanca, Dubai, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Jakarta*, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Munich, New York, Paris, Perth, Prague, Rome, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Warsaw, Washington, D.C., Riyadh**

*Linda Widyati & Partners in association with Clifford Chance

**Clifford Chance has a co-operation agreement with Abuhimed Alsheikh Alhagbani Law Firm in Riyadh

Number of partners : 550
Number of other fee-earners : 3,300

Advice To My Younger Self: Reflections of Successful Women Lawyers

Women lawyers open up about their careers and defining choices

Advice To My Younger Self: Reflections of Successful Women Lawyers is published by The Legal 500‘s GC Magazine in collaboration with Clifford Chance. Now in its second release, the book is a practical resource for anyone interested in charting a successful career path at a law firm or by moving in-house. It features interviews with 20 women partners, alumnae and in-house counsel, with additional contributions from members of Clifford Chance’s senior management and US-based recruiting team. Visit our website to learn more about practical tips for building your career.

RISING LAWYERS open up about their priorities and strategies for success

Their Voices: Insights from Today’s Rising Lawyers by The Legal 500‘s GC Magazine in collaboration with Clifford Chance. Geared primarily for students and junior lawyers, the book is a practical resource for those considering law school or just beginning a legal career. Twenty junior lawyers offer diverse perspectives on what inspires them about the law, and the strategies that are helping them stay in touch with their priorities and define the future of their careers. Their Voices also provides insights for senior lawyers as they mentor the next generation of leaders.