Firm Profile > DLA Piper Middle East LLP > Dubai, United Arab Emirates

DLA Piper Middle East LLP
United Arab Emirates

Construction Tier 1

DLA Piper Middle East LLP has expertise in Dubai covering both front- and back-end construction, including showpiece projects both in the UAE and elsewhere in the GCC region. Trevor Butcher heads the non-contentious side of the practice and Simon Palmer the contentious team, which also includes Suzannah Newboult and Daniel Jude. Its broad range of clients include employers, MEP subcontractors and European and Korean main contractors.

Practice head(s):

Simon Palmer; Trevor Butcher


‘DLA Piper has a very strong construction team. It understands the real issues relating to construction projects, and also has a very good understanding of local practices in the market, which is very useful when it comes to dealing with local subcontractors.’

‘The gathering of information from across the legal team appeared clear and allows expert witnesses to do their job more efficiently and address the issues appropriately.’

‘Simon Palmer projects confidence and is a pleasure to work with and rely on – he ensures that the team is aware of where things stand in terms of the process, allowing the ability to plan and deliver when required.’

‘Suzannah Newboult is a pleasure to work with – she really wants to fully understand the detail of often highly complex technical matters and has an ability to drive to the crux of a matter like a good barrister.’

‘Trevor Butcher is commercially savvy, astute and knows how to guide you not just on the right path, but the best path.’

Key clients

Gulf Related

Air Arabia

DAS Real Estate

Sharjah Environment Company (“Bee’ah”)

Consolidated Contractors Group SAL (CCC)

Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (“RTA”)


Saudi Airlines Cargo Company

Dispute resolution: arbitration and international litigation Tier 1

DLA Piper Middle East LLP's Henry Quinlan  is the key contact for arbitration work from the Middle East and beyond, covering a mixture of commercial disputes including matters involving allegations of fraud. DIFC courts litigation is another area of expertise. Wissam Dagher is a notable name for Arabic-language disputes, including working alongside UAE advocates.

Practice head(s):

Henry Quinlan


‘The firm works well together towards a common goal under clear direction from the partners. There always appeared to be good relationships between the partners right down to the trainees. The information gathering and development of the information from across the legal team is clear.’

‘Henry Quinlan is absolutely outstanding when it comes to strategy of how to proceed in a matter based on the facts – he has a very reasonable assessment of anticipated risks and outcomes.’

Key clients

Das Real Estate

Hircon International LLC

ETI Specialized Resolution Company Limited

Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile (“SQM”)

Credit Suisse AG

Stumpf Energy Limited

Dispute resolution: compliance and investigations Tier 1

DLA Piper Middle East LLP has expertise in dealing with corruption investigations from authorities on both sides of the Atlantic. Adam Vause , co-head of the firm's global investigations group, brings experience from an in-house role at the UK Serious Fraud Office advising on both Bribery Act and US FCPA issues. In addition, US-qualified Ramsey Jurdi has experience on OFAC sanctions matters, including Russia-related issues, as well as handling corruption internal investigations. Clients include local and international banks and pharmaceuticals companies, as well as in some cases senior executives of large businesses. Laura Shingler is another name to note.

Real estate Tier 1

The dedicated real estate team at DLA Piper Middle East LLP has established a strong position in the market and is noted for its 'profound market insight and experience'. In recent developments, senior associate Nicola de Sylva, who has in-house and private practice experience, was a new arrival in Abu Dhabi. The 'very professional' Duncan Pickering leads the 'very prompt, cooperative and knowledgeable' team, which also includes senior associate Sean Cope.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Pickering


The Dubai real estate practice of DLA has a profound market insight and experience. They perfectly understand our business and our needs.

DLA Piper has the expertise and experience to provide exceptional legal services in different areas. Their lawyers/partners are highly experienced and very responsive.

DLA Piper’s international networks provides legal support to us operating in international locations.

DLA Piper’s real estate team are very prompt, cooperative and knowledgeable. The team have a very good insight on the international real estate market.

They are flexible and understanding when dealing with their clients. The team knows how to manage expectation and meet their clients’ needs.

Tom O’Grady and senior associate Sean Cope have excellent drafting skills. Tom knows perfectly the Dubai market and is able to perfectly explain clearly the complex local rules. A great business-oriented advisor!

Sean Cope is definitely a star! He is an interesting mixture of calmness, patience, and a pool of real estate knowledge. Our real estate team loves working with him.

I have found Duncan Pickering very professional, with exceptional knowledge pertaining to land development/real estate.

Key clients

Miral Asset Management

Gulf Related

Gulf Resources Development & Investment

GFH Financial Group BSC

Al Safar Group

Priory Education Services

Marriott International

Paramount Hotels & Resorts

SBE Hotel Management LLC

ESOL Education

TMT Tier 1

The 'very thoughtful and creative' TMT team at DLA Piper Middle East LLP has 'stellar expertise'. It is regularly instructed on large-scale deals in the market, and it continues to add major new clients to its established client base. The department has seen consistent growth in the past few years. Recent internal developments include the promotion of Eamon Holley to partner in 2019; his areas of expertise include IT and telecoms, data protection and digital transformation. Key partner Jamie Ryder has been advising Expo 2020 Dubai on commercial sponsorship and associated agreements, including its Premier Partnership, Official Partner and Official Provider arrangements. Paul Allen heads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Paul Allen


TMT group has stellar expertise. They can approach issues, problems, transactions, structures in many different ways and are very thoughtful and creative. Very client friendly and client focused.

The DLA Piper team possesses an exceptional world-class knowledge of sports audio-visual rights acquisition and distribution matters.

Very knowledgeable attorneys, particularly senior attorneys/partners.

The team stands out for the quality of the advice given, and how they balance it out with a pragmatic approach that reflects the needs of the business. This makes DLA Piper a real value add to an in-house legal team.

Jamie Ryder’s engagement, resourcing, efficiency, work value and communication is beyond what I have seen by a law firm in my 30 years of work with firms.

Jamie Ryder has unrivalled knowledge of sports and media rights. He provided timely and insightful counsel and guidance.

Eamon Holley stands out in terms of partner availability/engagement, quality of advice and matter management.

Key clients

Expo 2020 Dubai



du (Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company)

Vodafone Group Enterprises

Saudi Telecom Company





Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 2

DLA Piper Middle East LLP was bolstered by the arrival of highly regarded partner Will Seivewright from Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla in 2019; Seivewright now heads the corporate practice, which also saw internal growth with the promotion of Thérèse Abou-Zeid to partner, also in 2019. The firm has extensive on-the-ground presence across the GCC region, in addition to its broad international platform. Richard Hughes and senior associate Natalia Tombs are also noted. Ben Gillespie splits his time between Dubai and London.

Practice head(s):

Will Seivewright


DLA Piper Corporate team is very cooperative and responsive. I can contact them at anytime and they would be available. They understand the nature of their clients very well.

The team is highly experienced and excels in giving pragmatic advice without complicating the issues.

Will Seivewright is outstanding. He gets what foreign investors’ concerns are and goes straight to the crux of the issue.

Natalia Tombs is very sharp and has high attention to detail. She is very prompt and her work is of high quality.

The team here really enjoy working with Richard Hughes.

Key clients

GFH Financial Group


Kerzner International


Orchidia Pharmaceutical Industries

Emirates Healthcare


Emirates Hospitals Group



Employment Tier 2

DLA Piper Middle East LLP's employment team saw organic growth with the promotion of Iain Skinner to partner in May 2019. The team continues to work with its household name global clients and has also recently won a number of new clients, including in the tech, pharmaceutical and financial services sectors. It has recently seen high levels of large employment claims involving management-level employees. Neil Crossley heads the practice, which also includes rising star Patricia Wardrop.

Practice head(s):

Neil Crossley


The employment team provides insightful, commercially-focused and pragmatic advice.

Patricia Wardrop is excellent, detail oriented and strategic.

Neil Crossley is very commercial, personable and much loved by my HR team, who regularly request training sessions with him directly.

Key clients

British Airways


Reckitt Benckiser



Emirates NBD

Infrastructure and projects (including project finance) Tier 2

DLA Piper Middle East LLP has been involved in landmark water and power projects in the Middle East, and is also well versed in transport-sector projects. The team has established itself as a strong firm for government procurers in the region; in one example, it advised Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources on the 300MW Sakaka Solar PV project, which was part of the first round of Saudi Arabia's National Renewable Energy Program. More recently, the team has grown its client base of project developers and lenders, thanks in large part to the arrival of Robert Harker in 2018. The firm's expertise in construction and engineering disputes is another draw. Trevor Butcher heads the regional finance and projects practice, of which Keith Bullen and senior legal consultants Mona Hammadi, Adam Haque and Leonard Ryan are key members.

Practice head(s):

Trevor Butcher


DLA piper team is always present and on the spot. They know the regional desalination market and their players perfectly.

Trevor Butcher – great overview and insight. Details as well as strategy.

Adam Haque – all details, diligent work, knows and delivers interfaces to financial and technical advisors perfectly.

Key clients

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources (“MEIM”)

Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP)

Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC)

Bank ABC, National Bank of Kuwait, National Bank of Bahrain, Mashreq Bank and Ahli United Bank.

Marubeni Corporation (Marubeni).

Rural Areas Electricity Company (Tanweer)

Saudi Airlines Cargo Company (SACC)

Intellectual property Tier 2

DLA Piper Middle East LLP has an impressive TMT and IP practice in the UAE. The firm has an extensive presence in the region through its multiple offices, and is well versed in multi-jurisdictional matters. Its expertise covers trade mark registration and enforcement, copyright infringement, franchising and licensing, and it has recently advised a number of companies on IP portfolio management. Paul Allen heads the IPT practice in the Middle East; Jamie Ryder is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Paul Allen


Understands my business and provides on-point advice.’

Key clients

FGE International B.V.


Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company PJSC (“du”).

Reckitt Benckiser

Paramount Pictures

The Football Association Premier League Limited

Expo 2020 Dubai

Banking and finance: Corporate finance (including Islamic lending) Tier 3

The 'dynamic and experienced team' at DLA Piper Middle East LLP covers Islamic finance, project finance, real estate finance, restructuring and insolvency, among other areas, and has experience acting for banks, corporates and project sponsors. The firm has also established a notable fintech practice, drawing on experts in banking, corporate, IP and tax law. Key practitioners in the sizeable finance team include Islamic finance expert Paul McViety, restructuring specialists Peter Somekh and James Iremonger and project finance partner Robert Harker.

Practice head(s):

Peter Somekh; Trevor Butcher; Paul McViety


DLA Piper’s credentials are good and they comply with high expectations.

Our experience with DLA is positive: they are a dynamic and experienced team and they comprehend the principles of the project team, covering all the specifics that add value to the business and legal strategy.

I have worked with Robert Harker and Adam Haque. We liked the way they explained the local law requirements; they outlined in clear language the steps that needed to be taken.

As a team, they were, in my opinion, reassuring, articulate, knowable and effective.

Key clients

Bank of London Middle East (BLME)

Emirates NBD

Gulf Finance House


Port Development Company (PDC)

Siemens (AG)

ING Bank N.V.

Marubeni Corporation

Alvarez & Marsal

Global Co-Chairs: Roger Meltzer and Andrew Darwin
Co-Chief Executive Officers: Simon Levine and Cameron Jay Rains
Number of partners: 1,500
Number of lawyers: 5,000
Languages: The firm speaks over 60 languages
Offices: Lawyers located in more than 60 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.

Please see for further information about the firm.

Photo Name Position Profile
 Thérèse Abou-Zeid  photo Thérèse Abou-Zeid
Mr Paul Allen  photo Mr Paul Allen
Mr Sean Cope  photo Mr Sean Cope
Mr Neil Crossley  photo Mr Neil Crossley
 Mona Hammadi  photo Mona Hammadi
 Adam Haque photo Adam Haque
Mr Eamon Holley  photo Mr Eamon Holley
Mr Henry Quinlan  photo Mr Henry Quinlan
Mr Jamie Ryder  photo Mr Jamie Ryder
 Natalia Tombs  photo Natalia Tombs
Mr Adam Vause  photo Mr Adam Vause

At DLA Piper we are firmly committed to diversity and inclusion. For us, diversity isn’t just about visible differences, it’s the unique blend of talents, skills, experiences and perspectives that makes each of us an individual and we know it’s crucial to have a culture and environment where those differences are genuinely valued. As a global business law firm, with a diverse client base, we know that our clients expect our people to represent the communities in which we work and value our ability to advise them on both local and global cultures and markets. We believe that our approach to diversity and inclusion enables us to attract the best talent, build the most effective teams and deliver the highest level of client service.

For more information on our specific D&I initiatives please see