DLA Piper > Dubai, United Arab Emirates > Firm Profile

DLA Piper
LEVEL 9, STANDARD CHARTERED TOWER
DOWNTOWN, PO BOX 121662
DUBAI
United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates > Construction Tier 1

DLA Piper advises on the full project life cycle and has a ‘very strong construction disputes‘ practice. Key clients for the firm include real estate investors and developers, main contractors and project finance sponsors. Practice head Trevor Butcher has extensive experience advising on front-end construction projects, including power, water and infrastructure. Suzannah Newboult takes the lead on many of the firm’s construction and engineering disputes. Daniel Jude and Wissam Dagher are other key names to note within the firm’s contentious offering. Legal director Hasan Rahman heads the firm’s front-end construction practice in Abu Dhabi. Legal director Alex Freeman was a new arrival from Squire Patton Boggs in October 2021. Andrew Mackenzie was a new arrival in February 2022.

Practice head(s):

Trevor Butcher

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The Team that I dealt with were all over the details of the matter and so when issues or queries presented themselves, there was almost an instant response without the need to go and find something out.’

‘Suzannah Newboult – Knew exactly what to do at any given moment – walked all over the opposition (in a nice way).’

‘Very strong construction disputes practice. Lots of big hitters in the UAE team.’

‘Peter Anagostou – very intelligent, future partner’

‘Hasan Rahman is a well rounded lawyer that always make himself available to attend its clients needs.’

‘Wissam Dagher: Great communication. Great legal expertise. Can often find a solution to an issue that is not always obvious. Good commercial acumen.’

They have a seamless connection between great international industry expertise and local law with their local law firm relationship. Their written communication of progress is good. Their Partner engagement is truly 24/7.

Key clients

Gulf Related

Saudi Airlines Cargo Company

Bee’ah (Sharjah Environment Co. LLC)

Air Products and Chemicals, Inc

The International Company for Water & Power Projects (ACWA)

Al Mutlaq Real Estate Investment Company

Work highlights

  • Drafting and negotiating the EPC and FM contracts for the development, design, construction, ownership, operation, maintenance, insurance and transfer of the King Salman Energy Park.
  • Advising Bee’ah in relation to the construction and export credit financing of its state-of-the-art eco-friendly new headquarters building in Sharjah.
  • Advising the lenders to ACWA Power on the EPC and O&M aspects of The Red Sea Project’s Utility Assets and Infrastructure PPP.

United Arab Emirates > Dispute resolution: arbitration and international litigation Tier 1

DLA Piper has an 'excellent' litigation offering which is led by international arbitration specialist Henry Quinlan. Adam Vause co-chairs the firm's global investigations group and advises clients on fraud, asset tracing and compliance matters. Suzannah Newboult and Daniel Jude are key points of contact for construction-related disputes. Wissam Dagher and senior associate Ahmed Hammadi are also recommended by clients and are 'enthusiastic and dynamic lawyers' with expertise in cross-border disputes including onshore and offshore litigation. Andrew Mackenzie was a new arrival in February 2022.

Practice head(s):

Henry Quinlan

Testimonials

‘Excellent litigation team, both for civil cases and criminal cases in Dubai. They provide sound advice on the litigation strategy and deliver excellent results.’

‘Wissam Dagher and Ahmed Hammadi are enthusiastic and dynamic lawyers with a solid knowledge of the court system in UAE and a capacity to handle multiple cases. They also keep us abreast of the progress of the case on a regular basis, with regular complete reporting and follow up.’

Key clients

ETI Specialized Finance Company LLC

Ecobank Nigeria Limited

EBI SA

Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile

United Arab Emirates > Dispute resolution: compliance and investigations Tier 1

DLA Piper‘s dedicated corporate investigations and compliance practice is co-led by Adam Vause who advises financial institutions and major corporates on a range of issues including fraud, asset tracing and compliance. Ramsey Jurdi is the go-to contact for economic sanctions and related investigations involving Russia and Iran. Legal director Laura Shingler is also noted and specialises in anti-bribery, corruption and corporate crime.

Practice head(s):

Henry Quinlan; Adam Vause

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Ramsey Jurdi is an exceptional specialist in sanctions and U.S. export control matters who may clear up any compliance or sanction-risk matter.’

‘DLA Piper provides swift, practically oriented and comprehensible advise.’

‘Understanding of key solutions for automatization in this sphere.’

‘Members of the team have detailed and practically oriented expertise in the sphere of compliance.’

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

DLA Piper are active across the GCC and have a strong focus on PPPs in the water storage and treatment space. Trevor Butcher heads the firm's Middle East finance and projects practice and has extensive experience advising on privately financed schemes in the utilities sector. Keith Bullen and Robert Harker have a strong project financing practice and advise sponsors and lenders. Other key names to mention include legal director Adam Haque and senior associate Mona Hammadi.

Practice head(s):

Trevor Butcher

Key clients

Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC)

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

Rural Areas Electricity Company (Tanweer)

Haya Water

Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP)

Bahrain Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications (MTT)

Standard Chartered Bank

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Al Kifah Holding Company

Al Fouzan Group

Arab Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Saudi Water Partnership Company on the procurement of the following desalination plants in Saudi Arabia: Yanbu 4 IWP, Rabigh 3 IWP, Shuqaiq 3 IWP, Jubail 3A and 3B IWPs.
  • Advised Saudi Water Partnership Company on the procurement of the following sewage treatment plants: Buraydah 2 ISTP, Tabuk ISTP and Madinah ISTP.
  • Advised Saudi Water Partnership Company on the procurement of six water storage projects in Jeddah with an aggregate capital cost of $2.25bn.

United Arab Emirates > Real estate Tier 1

The UAE real estate team at DLA Piper has a broad offering and has been active in urban regeneration projects, mixed-used developments, and data centres developments. Duncan Pickering has a ‘high level of expertise‘ in hotel development projects, particularly in Saudi Arabia. Senior associate Sean Cope and legal director Nicola De Sylva are other key individuals to note.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Pickering

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The law firm is well rounded and provides for a full array of services. The real estate team and construction work in close collaboration which enables the client to get the utmost level of expertise.’

‘Duncan Pickering has a high level of expertise and always fights for his client’s interests in negotiations.’

Key clients

Gulf Related

Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (“DMCC”)

Salboukh Residential Compound Company (“SRCC”)

ORPEA

Work highlights

  • Advising Gulf Related on the development and leasing of The Galleria, a $1bn, 3.1 million square foot mixed-use development in Abu Dhabi.
  • Advising DMCC on a number of real estate mandates in respect of various property and leasing transactions.
  • Advising SRCC, a joint venture between Gulf Capital and Gulf Related, on the development, management and leasing of the Antara Residential Compound, Riyadh.

United Arab Emirates > TMT Tier 1

DLA Piper has an active presence in the technology, fintech, telecoms, media, sports and entertainment sectors and advises clients on contentious and non-contentious issues. Paul Allen is as the global co-chair of the intellectual property and technology practice. Jamie Ryder heads the intellectual property and technology practice in the Middle East; he has particular expertise advising major broadcasters, media organisations and international film studios. Eamon Holley and legal director Rami Zayat are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Paul Allen; Jamie Ryder

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team has excellent up to date knowledge on legislative position and legislative developments in GCC region.’

The team brought clarity and thorough insight into working within the Gulf region.’

‘Always willing to discuss matters and find pragmatic solutions.

Eamon Holley is a committed and highly professional legal expert in his field.

‘Eamon Holley: very knowledgeable in respect of telecoms and data protection law in the GCC states; excellent at understanding and providing contractual scenarios; excellent at making complex contractual set ups accessible using diagrams; creative thinking in relation to technical regulatory and contract issues; extremely responsive. flexible; easy to deal with; great contacts in GCC region.’

Key clients

Etihad

Gulf Finance House

OSN

Arab Bank

Zip Co

Work highlights

  • Advised a Middle East utilities company on its strategic investment in a global leader in operational technology and internet of things security solutions.
  • Advised digital retail finance and payments company Zip Co on its strategic investment in Spotii, a buy now, pay later (BNPL) interest-free payments platform.

United Arab Emirates > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 2

DLA Piper has a broad commercial, corporate and M&A offering with particular expertise across the technology, healthcare and life sciences sectors. Key areas of focus include M&A, joint ventures, corporate restructurings, private equity and venture capital transactions. Will Sievewright heads the firm’s Middle East corporate practice. Thérèse Abou-Zeid is an ‘excellent and dynamic lawyer‘ with an extensive cross-border M&A practice, particularly in the life sciences and healthcare sectors. Richard Hughes also has a strong cross-border M&A practice that covers the GCC and Africa. Senior associate Natalia Tombs is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Will Seivewright

Testimonials

‘Will Seivewright – responsive, clear and concise, commercially minded, and pleasant to deal with.’

‘They are an excellent support for our corporate transactions and helped us solve several matters.’

‘They are an excellent partner, trying to understand our business and needs and seeking practical solutions.’

‘The client service is excellent with transparency and visibility over the fees.’

‘Thérèse Abu-Zeid is an excellent and dynamic lawyer and a problem solver.’

‘Richard Hughes is an excellent common law lawyer who brought us his expertise and negotiation skills in M&A.’

‘I would like to point out the outstanding legal support received at all times by Thérèse Abou-Zeid having a deep knowledge of corporate law. She has been giving support even during PTO times.’

‘Thérèse Abou-Zeid: Good knowledge. Great lawyer. Stands her ground.’

Key clients

Zip Co

NMC Healthcare

ADNOC

Etihad

INTL FCStone, Inc.

Pfizer

Essilor

Work highlights

  • Advised leading digital retail finance and payments company Zip Co Ltd on the conditional acquisition of the remaining 78% of Spotii a buy now, pay later (BNPL) payments platform.
  • Advising ADNOC on the acquisition of 16 retail fuel stations in the Central Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and on the acquisition of four retail fuel stations across the Eastern and Central Provinces of the Kingdom.
  • Advised Etihad on the sale of its 40% stake in Air Seychelles to the government of the Seychelles which now owns the entire airline.

United Arab Emirates > Employment Tier 2

DLA Piper‘s Neil Crossley acts as the regional head of employment in the Middle East. Clients praise the team for its ‘depth of knowledge‘ in local law proceedings and cultural nuances. Crossley is ‘solutions focused‘ and has particular expertise in handling cross-border compliance investigations, sensitive workplace issues and changes in management. Iain Skinner is another key individual and has expertise advising clients in the technology, energy and life sciences sectors. Associate Nadia Akhter is also notable.

Practice head(s):

Neil Crossley

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team are very knowledgeable not only of local law/legal proceedings but also of cultural nuances and considerations that non-local firms would not be familiar with, and this brings great benefit. They also take the time to understand our organisation, values, and what’s important to us and make recommendations aligned with this, whilst also considering the local legal landscape and risk. They are always positive and solutions focussed rather than simply setting out the legal risks and constraints.’

‘Neil is a great partner to our organisation – he’s part of our extended team. He understand our organisation and what’s important to us and always considers this when providing advice and recommendations. He’s solutions focussed, pragmatic, and makes sensible and reasonable recommendations. He is also great fun to work with.’

‘The team provides valuable insights into common and best practices in comparison to minimum legal requirements.’

It is a pleasure to work with Iain and Nadia as they are very professional, prompt in responding, and provide valuable insights into common and best practices.’

‘DLA Piper’s employment practice stands out due to two criteria: depth of knowledge and insights in the region based on practice where they are able to advise not just legal requirements. Secondly, they are able to provide operational advice on how to implement changes bringing in an outside perspective and anecdotes as to what other clients have done in the region.’

‘Neil is very easy to work with and just gets it when it comes to what our overall requirements are as a client.’

Work highlights

  • Advised a global IT and telecoms client in respect of investigation and disciplinary issues relating to an online harassment case.
  • Advised a client in the energy sector in relation to the demerging of two business divisions across a dozen of Middle East and regional territories including Saudi and UAE as well as advising on several hundred staff in advance of potential spin off in the business.
  • Advised two global consultancy firms across all areas of employment law and compliance including design of contracts and policies and mobility and benefits.

United Arab Emirates > Intellectual property Tier 2

Paul Allen  at DLA Piper was promoted to global co-chair of the intellectual property and technology practice in 2021. His primary focus is advising clients on technology, outsourcing and digital transformation programmes. Jamie Ryder heads the intellectual property and technology practice in the Middle East; his key clients include local and international broadcasters and media organisations. Emily Southon left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Paul Allen; Jamie Ryder

United Arab Emirates > Banking and finance: Corporate finance (including Islamic lending) Tier 3

DLA Piper advises on both conventional and Islamic finance for clients on the borrower and lender side. Key areas of focus include real estate finance, asset and project finance, sukuks, restructuring and insolvency. Paul McViety heads the firm’s UAE banking and finance practice and is the head of Islamic finance practice for the region. Managing partner Peter Somekh advises on a range of finance and restructuring mandates. Head of finance, projects and restructuring James Iremonger is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Peter Somekh; James Iremonger; Paul McViety

Other key lawyers:

Robert Harker; Richard Dassin

Testimonials

‘The practice always tries to find structural solutions on our Islamic financing structures. They are very customer friendly.’

‘Great banking & finance practice & great value. Their advice is always clear and concise.’

‘Paul McViety and Richard Dassin are excellent lawyers within this field.’

‘Quick turnaround, competitive pricing, always available and consistently delivering output to a high standard.’

‘Rob Harker is a very practical and sensible practitioner who is always available for clients.’

Key clients

Alvarez & Marsal, the liquidators of Joannou & Paraskevaides (Overseas) Limited

Kuwait Finance House (Bahrain) B.S.C. (KFH)

Emirates Islamic Bank

Boubyan Bank KSCP

Bahrain > Banking and finance (including Islamic finance)

DLA Piper Middle East LLP fields a sizeable banking team in Manama, which advises borrowers and lenders on the gamut of conventional and Islamic financing matters. Practice head Mohamed Toorani, who made partner in May 2021, handles a range of domestic and cross-border transactions for clients such as Gulf International Bank. His team works with Paul McViety, who is a key contact in Dubai, and leads the firm’s Islamic finance practice. McViety is also active in a myriad of other conventional financing transactions. At associate level, Jenan Benahi is recommended.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

The DLA team has shown professional and innovative approach in term of collaboration, diversity and people behaviours.’

The fee flexibility combined with excellent services and closed relationships during the pandemic are uniquely shown for client. Clients engage with well-equipped professional knowledge of the financial industry and Islamic finance products in particular.’

The team was very helpful and with the right expertise for the case we had. When needed, partners from UAE came to Bahrain and met with with our legal team.’

Key clients

Bahrain Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications (MTT)

Venture Capital Bank

GFH Financial Group

Mashreq Bank

Kuwait Investment Authority

NCB

Al Salam Bank

Gulf International Bank

Rain Financial

Arab Bank

Environmental Chemical Corporation

Kuwait Finance House

Bahrain Islamic Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising the Bahraini Ministry for Transport and Telecommunications on the procurement of a 109km above ground metro line PPP project.
  • Advised KFH on a deal involving major banks in  Bahrain providing murabaha facilities to Eskan Bank BSC.

Qatar > Dispute resolution

DLA Piper‘s practice in Qatar is part of a wider litigation, arbitration and investigations offering in the Middle East, which is led out of the Dubai office by Henry Quinlan. George Vlavianos, who is the managing partner in the Doha office, specialises in energy and construction sector disputes and regularly advises contractors on project-related issues. Mediation and ADR proceedings are also a specialty of the team. Legal director Hasan El-Shafiey acts for contractors, government entities and local clients on commercial arbitration matters.

Practice head(s):

George Vlavianos

Other key lawyers:

Hasan El-Shafiey; Mapanza Nkwilimba; Muhammad El Gawhary

Testimonials

‘DLA Piper has an extremely well-rounded and diverse practice with the ability to call on resources worldwide.’

‘The overall impression of the firm is positive. As main strengths I can record their capability to understand and summarize a huge amount of information in a relatively short time. They are able to formulate also commercial strategies and not only legal advice.’

‘I have dealt mainly with George Vlavianos and Mapanza Nkwilimba. George is very professional and highly prepared. He is able to analyze arguments quickly but deeply starting from the various elements provided and ending with a structured viable commercial/legal strategy.’

‘George Vlavianos is extremely good at managing arbitrations.’

Saudi Arabia > Banking and finance

With offices in Riyadh and Al Khobar, the banking team at Alshahrani Almansour (in collaboration with DLA Piper) is active in project finance work, and advises both lenders and borrowers on landmark projects across Saudi Arabia and the GCC region. The team is led by Paul Latto and Dubai-based James Iremonger who is the overall head of Middle East group. The team is well equipped to handle both conventional and Islamic finance and is increasingly active in the fintech space. Energy specialist Keith Bullen handles a significant amount of solar and wind PPP projects in Saudi Arabia and has over a decade of expertise operating across the region.

Practice head(s):

Paul Latto; James Iremonger

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Sadara Chemical Company

Standard Chartered Bank

Creditors‘ Coordinating Committee for Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi Brothers & Company

Japan Bank for International Cooperation

Work highlights

  • Advising Sadara in relation to the restructuring of $9.2bn worth of conventional and Islamic financing facilities (including Sukuk related facilities), which were initially utilised in 2013 for the development, design, construction, financing, ownership, operation and marketing of a world scale integrated chemicals complex located within Al Jubail Industrial City.
  • Advising Japan Bank for International Cooperation on a significant facility to Saudi Electricity Company.

Saudi Arabia > Projects and energy

Alshahrani Almansour (in collaboration with DLA Piper) has a solid track record acting in landmark projects across the GCC region and is instructed by various government entities on water and power as well as renewable energy projects. The team is led by Trevor Butcher  in Dubai who is the overall head of the finance and projects practice in the Middle East. Keith Bullen has notable expertise in PPP projects.

Practice head(s):

Trevor Butcher

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Saudi Water Partnership Company

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources

Work highlights

  • Advised Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources (“MEIM”) on the procurement of 1,500MW of renewable energy across 6 sites in Round 2 of the NREP and a further 1,200MW of renewable energy across 4 sites in Round 3 of the NREP.
  • Advised Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC) (Previously Water & Electricity Company) on the first standalone desalination plants in Saudi Arabia to be procured on an IWP basis; The Rabigh 3 IWP.
  • Advised Saudi Water Partnership Company on the procurement of the: 150,000 cm/d Buraydah 2 ISTP.

Saudi Arabia > Commercial, corporate and M&A

Alshahrani Almansour (in collaboration with DLA Piper) handles high-value mergers, divestments, and complex restructurings. The team leverages its global footprint to handle cross-border mandates for clients operating in the healthcare, oil and gas, and hospitality sectors. Will Seivewright in Dubai is the overall head of the Middle East practice with Tim Sunar in Al-KHobar leading the Saudi team. Richard Hughes focuses on cross-border M&A matters whilst Paul Latto is the name for restructurings and regulatory advice for private clients.

Practice head(s):

Will Seivewright; Tim Sunar

Other key lawyers:

Richard Hughes; Paul Latto

Key clients

Zip Co

ADNOC Global Distribution Company LLC (“ADNOC”)

Work highlights

  • Advised Zip Co Ltd on the conditional acquisition of the remaining 78% of Spotii a buy now, pay later (BNPL) payments platform.

Saudi Arabia > Dispute resolution

Alshahrani Almansour (in collaboration with DLA Piper)’s dispute resolution team is overseen by regional partner Henry Quinlan in Dubai.  The team has extensive experience in international arbitrations, acting under ICC, LCIA, and UNCITRAL rules. Riyadh-based Saad Almansour is noted for real estate litigation and is supported by core members of the group based in Dubai including Suzannah Newboult and Wissam Dagher.

Practice head(s):

Henry Quinlan

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team is very fluent in English, so there is no need for western lawyers to aid in the communication. Almansour’s team is responsive and works efficiently.’

‘Mr. Saad Al Mansour has good communication skills with his partner DLA team and with the client.’

‘Long-standing relationship with Alshahrani Almansour over the years translates into a much deeper understanding of our business and as a result, we receive quality and practical advice from him and his team.’

‘Mohammed Al AlShahrani is knowledgeable and responsive to our Saudi team for their dispute resolution needs.’

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 https://www.dlapiper.com for further information about the firm.


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 www.dlapiper.com


DLA Piper is a recommended firm in the Green Guide EMEA 2022. Learn more about this recognition.