Dechert LLP > Dubai, United Arab Emirates > Firm Profile

Dechert LLP
804 South Tower, Emirates Financial Tower
Al Sukook Road, DIFC
PO Box 506675
United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates > Investment fund formation and management Tier 1

Dechert LLP advises through the entire life cycle of funds and the firm's Islamic-compliant funds capability is one its core strengths. The team has actively been advising on technology focused funds, as well as advising on a growing number of real estate investment trusts. Phillip Sacks has a 'deep understanding' on structuring and establishing conventional and Shari'ah-compliant investment funds. Philip Dowsett is a key member of the practice and has a strong background in public funds, private equity and venture capital. On the junior end, senior associate Dounia Mansour and Ed Brown are both recommended.

Practice head(s):

Phillip Sacks


‘Very professional team, experienced in bespoke set- up of OEIC (PCC) complex structure.’

‘Phillip Sacks and Dounia Mansour are extremely professional and client oriented.’

‘Specialism in fund creation and in depth understanding of the nuances around the DIFC regulations.’

‘Phillip Sacks is the best in the region offering advice across the spectrum of investment fund options and Ed Brown works seamlessly alongside covering regulation.’

‘The team seems to be virtually ubiquitous in the market and seems to be the go-to team in the region. They have an unrivalled depth and breadth of experience and are highly regarded amongst their peers.’

‘Phillip Sacks is very hands-on and is always client-facing. He is very ably supported by Dounia Mansour and the rest of the team.’

‘Leading firm for establishing investment funds, highly qualified professionals that can address complex structures and related issues.’

‘Phillip Sacks is a leading investment funds lawyer in the region. He has worked on numerous private equity and hedge fund transactions in many jurisdictions. Clients appreciate his expertise, responsiveness, and deep understanding.’

Key clients

AGC Equity Partners Limited

Azimut (DIFC) Limited

Jadwa Investment Company

SEE Capital

AGC Equity Partners Limited

Frontier Investment Management Partners Limited

Nuwa Capital

Wamda Capital

Iris Capital


Work highlights

  • Advising Nuwa Capital on the structuring and formation of the Nuwa Venture Fund I, a DIFC-domiciled venture capital fund.
  • Advising Azimut (DIFC) Limited in relation to the establishment of three open-ended public funds in the DIFC, including an umbrella fund set-up as a protected cell company.
  • Advising Azimut (DIFC) Limited on the set up of two DIFC exempt funds, one of which was one of the first funds to be passported using the SCA, DIFC and ADGM mutual recognition passporting regime.

United Arab Emirates > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 3

Dechert LLP has a ‘business oriented‘ and ‘professional’ practice that advises across the full investment life cycle. The practice is led by managing partner Chris Sioufi who is a ‘great lawyer‘ and specialises in M&A, private equity, funds and structured finance matters. Philip Dowsett is another key individual to note and has a similar practice. Rodolphe Pellerin is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Chris Sioufi

Other key lawyers:

Philip Dowsett; Rodolphe Pellerin


‘I have worked with the M&A team at Dechert on a number of occasions and they are always very professional and very much “on the ball”. They are clearly very experienced M&A lawyers and clients respond very well to them.’

‘Chris Sioufi and Rodolphe Pellerin – Available, business oriented and competent lawyers.’

‘Chris Sioufi is a great lawyer, one of the best I worked with in the MENA region.’

‘Rodolphe Pellerin is an excellent professional and hard worker.’

Key clients

Amanat Holdings PJSC

Yas Holding

Malabar Gold and Diamonds



Alameda Healthcare Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Amanat Holdings on the $232m acquisition of 100% of the share capital in CMRC Limited and a secured term loan.
  • Advised Yas Holding on the acquisition of a majority stake in Geltec Healthcare FZE.
  • Advised Malabar Gold and Diamonds on its transfer of incorporation to the DIFC and private listing on NasdaqDubai.

Established in 2012, Dechert’s Dubai office is the firm’s first office in the Middle East. Our lawyers have a strong heritage of working with clients throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

We advise clients on matters of local law and regulation in both the United Arab Emirates and the Dubai International Financial Centre, and assist regional and international clients on their transactions and projects throughout the MENA region, particularly in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Our market-leading capital markets lawyers pioneered capital markets transactions in the region, and we advise on both equity and debt transactions.

We conduct business in Arabic and English with equal dexterity. Our team includes Middle Eastern, English, U.S. and Canadian-qualified lawyers.

Office Managing Partner Chris 4 425 6330
Number of lawyers : Approximately 1000 worldwide
Other offices : Austin
Other offices : Beijing
Other offices : Boston
Other offices : Brussels
Other offices : Charlotte
Other offices : Chicago
Other offices : Dublin
Other offices : Frankfurt
Other offices : Hong Kong
Other offices : London
Other offices : Los Angeles
Other offices : Luxembourg
Other offices : Moscow
Other offices : Munich
Other offices : New York
Other offices : Paris
Other offices : Philadelphia
Other offices : San Francisco
Other offices : Silicon Valley
Other offices : Singapore
Other offices : Washington, D.C.

Dechert has a multinational identity that is fundamentally diverse. The firm’s commitments to diversity and inclusion are not simply words written on a website – they are guiding principles that all those at Dechert should live by every day. The numbers speak for themselves – 43% of our Policy Committee (the senior management team) are women or diverse partners, 62% of the lawyers promoted to partner in January 2021 are women or diverse, and 77% of the most recent incoming class – Dechert’s future – are women or diverse.

The following are just some of the key measures that Dechert has undertaken to improve diversity and inclusion at the firm.

Affinity Groups
To effect change, affinity groups identify and address diversity and inclusion-related issues, and create new and recurring programming focused on the attainment of professional and business development skills. They offer enhanced mentoring opportunities, retreats and educational workshop for diverse attorneys. Our affinity groups include:

  • Asian Affinity Group
  • Black Lawyers Alliance
  • Dechert’s Family Network
  • Global Women’s Initiative
  • Latino Affinity Group
  • LGBTQ Affinity Group
  • Dechert Heroes (Veterans Affinity Group)

Aspiring Solicitors
Dechert is an Affiliate Partner of Aspiring Solicitors (AS). 2020/2021 marks the fifth successful year of Dechert’s sponsorship of the organization’s national Commercial Awareness Competition, with the winners offered a vacation scheme and opportunity to interview for a training contract at Dechert.

Diversity and Inclusion Week
As part of the firm’s inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Week (July 20-24, 2020), Dechert hosted journalist and filmmaker Afua Hirsch for a provocative conversation about race, identity and belonging, as well as how what we learn (or don’t learn) about our history has an impact on racism and inequality today.

The firm also held fast-paced virtual quizzes focused on diversity, inclusion and world culture, with a charitable donation made to the winning teams’ chosen charities focused on social justice.

Diversity Champions
Recognizing the individuals who serve as role models for the inclusive, open culture we value, Dechert offers the Diversity Champions award. In 2020, our people submitted 100 nominations. Four Diversity Champions were recognized at our annual all-hands event, with honorees each awarded a bonus.

Global Women’s Initiative
Members of Dechert’s Global Women’s Initiative (GWI) meet regularly with firm leadership to identify and implement initiatives that promote opportunities for women to advance and lead throughout the firm. Individual offices provide additional formal and informal support for women lawyers.

GWI initiatives include formal and informal mentoring, development training, meetings and events for summer associates, internal and external networking, special interest events, and leadership training. The GWI launched the Sponsorship and Sustained Support (SASS) program for senior women associates to help navigate the path to partnership.

Inclusive Leadership
Commitment to diversity and inclusion stems from the top. Our partners have been participating in quarterly, interactive sessions on inclusive leadership since 2018. Topics include affinity bias, attribution bias, covering, in and out groups, priming, unconscious bias, and inclusive leadership in times of crisis. Interactive sessions include dramatizations that prompt conversations long after the programming ends.

This program continues today, with the February 2021 session focused on actionable allyship. Inclusive leadership training has also been expanded to associates and business service professionals.

TESTIMONIAL: “Dechert consistently provides differentiating legal advice, particularly on large, complex transactions.”

TESTIMONIAL: “The firm did a great job throughout the entire process. They have been proactive and delivered quality advice. As always, a pleasure working with such a great team.”

COMPANY/FIRM: Credit Suisse
TESTIMONIAL: “We continually have the highest degree of confidence in the work product and coverage of the Dechert team, and they are always a pleasure to work with.”

COMPANY/FIRM: Saint-Gobain
TESTIMONIAL: “Saint-Gobain frequently turns to Dechert to defend the company in its most consequential, high-stakes litigation in the United States. Their sophistication, depth of experience, and legal creativity – especially in the area of complex mass tort litigation, is simply unrivalled. When the case is unprecedented and alleged to be perilous, there is no better partner to have in the trenches than Dechert.”