Clifford Chance > Dubai, United Arab Emirates > Firm Profile

Clifford Chance
United Arab Emirates

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

Clifford Chance has a ‘deep partner and associate bench‘ in its corporate finance and Islamic finance practice. The team is capable of fully resourcing complex financings and has been active in all the key Islamic finance centres across London, the Middle East and Asia. Qudeer Latif heads the global Islamic finance practice and has extensive experience advising on Islamic financial services and products, from sukuk and financial regulation to project and infrastructure finance. Mohamed Hamra-Krouha and Richard Parris are key names to note in the firm’s project finance group. Stuart Ure and Graham Brewer are also noted. Changes in the team include Nicola Reader‘s promotion to partner in 2021.

Practice head(s):

Qudeer Latif

Other key lawyers:


A deep partner and associate bench with a second to none reputation in the market.’

Stuart Ure, Graham Brewer, Nicola Reader, Qudeer Latif – all of whom have been in the region and with Clifford Chance for over a decade. They display in-depth market knowledge and take a pragmatic/commercial approach to transactions.’

Key clients

Government of Maldives

Islamic Corporation For The Development Of The Private Sector

Standard Chartered Bank


Mobile Telecommunications Company K.S.C.P.

HM Treasury

DP World

Emirates NBD

Dubai Islamic Bank

Boubyan Bank K.S.C.P.

First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC

Work highlights

  • Advised the Joint Lead Managers in connection with the Arabian Centres Sukuk II Limited issue of $650m Trust Certificates due 2026 with Arabian Centres Company (“ACC”) acting as Obligor.
  • Advised Emirates NBD and Dubai Islamic Bank as arrangers on certain amendments and restructuring to the 2014 financing in respect of Dubai Parks and Resorts (Bollywood Park, Dubai Parks Hotel, Legoland Park and Motiongate Park).
  • Advised the Government of the Maldives on the establishment of its Reg S/144a $1bn sukuk programme and debut issuance of $200m thereunder.

United Arab Emirates > Banking and finance: Financial services regulation Tier 1

Clifford Chance has a dedicated financial services and regulatory practice that covers the full spectrum of banking and finance matters, as well as having a strong focus on fintech-related matters. The practice also has a financial products group that combines the team's expertise in derivative products with its in-depth knowledge of Islamic structures and financial market regulations. Practice head Qudeer Latif advises on the full range of Islamic financing and related financial regulatory matters. Other individuals to note include Cheuk-Yin Cheung and Jack Hardman.

Practice head(s):

Qudeer Latif

Other key lawyers:

Cheuk Yin Cheung; Jack Hardman


‘Reliable legal expertise and knowledge combined with commercial and practical knowledge.’

Demonstrate excellent knowledge and expertise on regulatory issues, proactive in finding commercial and legal solutions rather than providing mere legal advice.’

Highly recommend Jack Hardman.’

Key clients

International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc.

Arab Monetary Fund

Union National Bank / ADCB




DP World

Emirates NBD

Abu Dhabi Finance

First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC

United Arab Emirates > Capital markets Tier 1

Clifford Chance‘s equity capital markets practice has expertise in all forms of equity offerings and listings. The equity team is led by Mike Taylor who has extensive experience advising on high-profile IPOs and public takeovers, with particular expertise in the telecoms sector. Stuart Ure heads the debt capital markets practice and specialises in structured finance and conventional and Islamic debt capital markets across the GCC. The practice advises on the full spectrum of DCM work, from conventional bonds and sukuk, to structured notes and securitisations. Cheuk-Yin Cheung leads the structured products practice.

Practice head(s):

Mike Taylor; Stuart Ure

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

DP World PLC

Etihad Airways P.J.S.C

Ahli Bank Q.P.S.C.

Government of the Emirate of Sharjah

UK Government (HM Treasury and Debt Management Office)

Government of the Maldives

EQUATE Petrochemical Company K.S.C.C. (EQUATE)

Dubai Aerospace

National Commercial Bank

Futures Industry Association

First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC

Merrill Lynch International

Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC

EFG Hermes UAE Limited

HSBC Bank Middle East Limited

International Company for Water and Power Projects (ACWA Power)

Work highlights

  • Advised the joint global coordinators and the joint bookrunners in connection with Mubadala-owned, Al Yah Satellite Communications Company PJSC (Yahsat) landmark IPO and listing on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX).

United Arab Emirates > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 1

Clifford Chance has a 'high degree of expertise' and 'strong capabilities in M&A and debt restructuring'. The practice advises sovereign wealth funds, government-related entities, corporates and financial institutions and investors on a wide variety of transactions. Mike Taylor heads the practice alongside regional managing partner Mohammed Al-Shukairy. Cross-border M&A, joint ventures and capital raisings are key areas of work for Jason Mendens and Deniz Tas. Counsel Daniel Boyle is also noted and has expertise in the banking, retail and infrastructure sectors.

Practice head(s):

Mohammed Al-Shukairy; Mike Taylor

Other key lawyers:

James McCarthy; Jason Mendens; Deniz Tas; Daniel Boyle; Rizwan Butt; Jack Hardman


Strong capabilities in M&A and debt restructuring and very good support from partners, as well as associate teams. Partner availability always excellent.’

‘Strong regional experience and cohesive team. Good local partner in Saudi Arabia, with strong connections.’

‘Mike Taylor is an experienced partner who’s seen a lot in the region and is alive to potential issues and local contingencies.’

‘Rizwan Butt is hard and was very knowledgeable on all legal documentation, responsive and precise.’

‘Jack Hardman has a strong knowledge of local regulators and was very helpful in helping think through the transaction structure and constraints likely to be faced by each buyer.’

‘Excellent knowledge and experience in all sectors of corporate work in both KSA and UAE’

‘High degree of expertise, state-of-the-art technology and capable of handling complex transactions’

Key clients

Mubadala Investment Company PJSC

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (TAQA)

DP World

Port & Free Zone World FZE

Abu Dhabi Retirement Pensions & Benefits Fund

Aldar Properties PJSC

Emirates NBD Bank PJSC

CVC Advisers Company (Luxembourg) S.à r.l.

Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc

Abu Dhabi Finance PJSC

Al Jaber Group LLC


Al Khaliji Commercial Bank QSC


A.P. Møller

Work highlights

  • Advising Al Khaliji Commercial Bank on its proposed merger with Masraf Al Rayan.
  • Advising DP World on its proposed acquisition (by way of scheme of arrangement) of JSE-listed Imperial Logistics, a logistics and market access solutions provider with operations across Africa and Europe.
  • Advising AXA and its joint venture partner in the Gulf region, the Kanoo Group, on the sale of their insurance operations in the Gulf region to Gulf Insurance Group (“GIG”) for an aggregate sale price of $475m.

United Arab Emirates > Infrastructure and projects (including project finance) Tier 1

Clifford Chance is a ‘premier adviser in the international projects space‘ and the projects and infrastructure team is praised by clients for its ‘pragmatic, problem-solving‘ approach. Richard Parris specialises in project finance, energy and infrastructure and has been particularly active in the petrochemicals sector in Saudi Arabia. Mohamed Hamra-Krouha co-heads the practice alongside Parris and advises sponsors, financiers and governments on projects and project financings.

Practice head(s):

Richard Parris; Mohamed Hamra-Krouha

Other key lawyers:

Robin Abraham; Inaamul Laher; Peter Avery


‘The team has long and extensive experience in government and PPP projects as well as project finance whether in Kuwait or the GCC region. They also build on their wide and intense experience worldwide.’

‘The team members are pragmatic, problem solving oriented with a commercial approach to complicated legal issues.’

‘The firm is recognised by the market and its competitors as one of the premier advisers in the international projects space.’

‘The firm brings a team of multi disciplinary lawyers, well-equipped to deal with transactions across multiple sectors in all the key jurisdictions.’

‘The integrated global network provides full service capabilities to clients in key markets.’

‘Clients have access to a dedicated team of lawyers with the right balance of specific experience, industry knowledge and legal skills to deliver the best advice for each project and have a proven track record of providing a seamless service across multiple time zones and locations.’

‘Peter Avery is a key leader.’

Key clients

Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corporation

Alinma Bank

AMEA Power

Mizuho Bank, Ltd.

Japan Bank for International Cooperation

Red Sea Development Company (a subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund)

Qiddiya Investment Company (a subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund)


United Arab Emirates > Construction Tier 2

Clifford Chance advises developers, lenders and contractors on projects in the oil and gas, power, water and wastewater, real estate and infrastructure sectors. The team is praised for its 'technical knowledge' and 'commercial acumen' and is led by Inaamul Laher, who has particular expertise in greenfield renewable projects. Paul Coats is noted and advises on international commercial and investment treaty arbitrations.

Practice head(s):

Inaamul Laher

Other key lawyers:

Tim Steadman; Paul Coates; Richard Parris


‘The Abu Dhabi team has served our Group of companies well, in particular with the larger more complex EPC projects. It makes a big difference being able to trust a law firm to run the legal support for a major project with minimal supervision, as is the case with CC.’

‘Inaamul Laher is an excellent lawyer. He completely understands what our companies need to achieve and how to manage negotiations efficiently and effectively to get us there.’

‘CC has a strong construction practice and has dealt with our matters conscientiously. They are experienced in the field and have deep knowledge about the industry.’

‘What makes CC stand out is that beyond their legal and technical knowledge, they have a deep knowledge of the construction sector and have strong commercial acumen.’

‘Paul Coates is extremely bright and confident (and competent). At the same time he and his team have a very good client manner. In addition Paul has excellent judgement in terms of case strategy: winning and anticipating problems. He is a huge pleasure to work with and I believe that the clients we have worked with find the same.’

Key clients

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC)

AMEA Power


Abu Dhabi Polymers Co. Ltd (Borouge)

Marubeni Corporation


Public Investment Fund

Work highlights

  • Advising EDF Renouvables and JinkoPower on all aspects of the development, construction, operation and financing of a major 2GW solar PV mega-project in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
  • Advising Abu Dhabi Polymers Co Ltd (Borouge) the developer (a JV company between ADNOC and Borealis) on the process licensing, front-end engineering and design and construction of a major petrochemical complex in Abu Dhabi.
  • Advising New Jeddah Downtown Company, subsidiary of The Public Investment Fund (PIF), on the redevelopment of Jeddah’s waterfront corniche, creating a unique tourist, residential and commercial destination, to become the “New Jeddah Downtown”.

United Arab Emirates > Dispute resolution: arbitration and international litigation Tier 2

Clifford Chance is a ‘trusted‘ adviser to corporate entities, financial institutions and investors, major oil companies and governments on litigation, international arbitration and investigations. James Abbott heads the firm’s dispute resolution offering in the Middle East and has extensive experience representing international banks and financial institutions in cross-border dispute resolution and arbitration proceedings. Paul Coates handles international commercial and investment treaty arbitrations, with a particular focus on disputes involving construction and oil and gas projects. Senior associate Arun Visweswaran has a similar practice and is a qualified engineer.

Practice head(s):

James Abbott

Other key lawyers:

Paul Coates; Arun Visweswaran; Bethany Lightley-Hunt


‘Clifford Chance are a trusted counsel and law firm to work with; they know how to build up a trusted relationship with their clients; and know how to give the merits and disadvantages on risks and matters in a manner that allows the client to take the informed decision.’

‘James Abbott and his team / Bethany Lightley-Hunt are very helpful and supportive. They can simplify a complicated matter in a way that is reader friendly and know how to pin-point to their client what is of risk and requires close attention.’

‘Great team with an in-depth understanding of our company’s needs.’

‘We are especially impressed with Paul Coates and Arun Visweswaran for their dedication to our matters.’

‘Excellent English law and DIFC experience, team has strong local ties and highly responsive.’

‘James Abbott – highly experienced litigator with good commercial / negotiation approach.’

Arun Visweswaran – detailed and highly responsive approach, very pro-active.’

United Arab Emirates > Real estate Tier 3

Clifford Chance has an active real estate practice that handles construction developments, real estate portfolios, REITs and hotel financings. Tariq Imam has a broad real estate transactional practice and advises clients in the financial services, healthcare, transport, hotels and leisure sectors.

Practice head(s):

Tariq Imam


Clifford Chance Real Estate (Dubai Office) have genuine expertise in UAE real estate law.

Given their previous experience in dealing with the local authorities, they are able to provide useful insight and guidance.’

Top-notch team of lawyers.’

‘They have assisted us with several large matters and have handled them efficiently and effectively.

The team has broad experience in the real estate sector.

We are especially impressed with Tariq Imam, with his deep understanding of the industry and for his commercial acumen in dealing with our matters.

Knowledge of both the international and local legal environments.

Key clients

Aldar Properties PJSC

DP World

Emaar Properties PJSC

Meydan Group

Nakheel PJSC

The Red Sea Development Company (a PIF company)

Qiddiya Investment Company (a PIF company)

King Abdullah Financial District Management and Development Company (a PIF company)

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company

Majid Al Futtaim Properties LLC

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank

Emirates Global Aluminium

Standard Chartered Bank

Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone Authority (RAKEZ)

Ascorp Holdings PSC

Nord Anglia Education

Dubai Maritime City LLC

First Abu Dhabi Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising Aldar Properties PJSC on the divestment of two district cooling assets on Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island to National Central Cooling Company PJSC (Tabreed) for a total consideration of AED 963 million (approximately $263m).
  • Advised KAFD (a PIF company) on its high-profile sale of the tallest tower in Riyadh’s new financial district, the King Abdullah Financial District, to Riyad Bank.
  • Advised The Red Sea Development Company on all real estate, construction, operation and maintenance aspects of the utilities required for a luxury tourism development in Saudi Arabia.

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

Robin Abraham photo Robin AbrahamRobin Abraham is the Managing Partner of Clifford Chance’s Middle East Region…
Peter Avery photo Peter AveryPeter Avery specialises in finance and banking law. His areas of practice…
Mike Taylor photo Mike TaylorMike Taylor has over 15 years’ international and regional experience advising on…
Number of partners : 550
Number of other fee-earners : 3,300

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