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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance
Expertise & Experience

Expertise & Experience

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We offer our clients a full range of services from preparing standard form documentation of murabaha and mudaraba arrangements to structuring ground-breaking solutions to clients seeking a real alternative to conventional financing arrangements.

The wide range of clients who have benefited from our substantial experience of working with many different Shari'a committees include Islamic and international banks, corporates, boutique investment houses and funds, central banks, regulators, and government agencies.

Our Islamic finance lawyers frequently work with other finance and industry specialists, and are amongst the thought-leaders in the field who are regularly invited to speak at industry seminars and events. In addition, legal teams can be seamlessly pooled from across the Clifford Chance network of international offices and our local law specialists to achieve globally integrated solutions on transactions involving a package of Islamic and conventional financing.

Project finance

Our Islamic finance experts have consistently advised on a number of the largest and most high-profile Islamic project financings, particularly in the Middle East, which is globally recognised as the driving force for developing the Islamic finance market.

Our ability to provide award-winning, innovative solutions to project transactions makes us the legal counsel of choice to a range of clients, including the financiers, project companies and governmental institutions who are at the forefront of development in an emerging market.

Some examples of our recent transactions which are setting new standards for Shari'a compliant project financing structures across the world are:

  • Advising Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) in respect of the first phase of financing for its multi-billion dollar Clean Fuels Project. The facilities, provided by local banks and lasting for 10 years, comprise both conventional and Islamic tranches together worth 1.2 billion dinars (US$3.98 billion) and were arranged by National Bank of Kuwait and Kuwait Finance House.
  • Advising the banks on amending and restating the original AED1.2 billion murabaha financing to IMG Theme Park LLC for the construction of a theme park to increase the facility to AED1.8 billion and to add an Ijara tranche to the structure.
  • Advising a syndicate of Shari'a compliant banks in Saudi Arabia on upsizing a SAR2 billion multi tranche facility to SAR8 billion, for a mixed use hotel, retail and residential construction project at Jabal Omar mountain in the holy city of Makkah.
  • Advising Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Banque Audi, Banque Misr, as senior mandated lead arrangers, and the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector, as mezzanine mandated lead arranger on an Islamic shari’a compliant financial package of around EGP1.8 billion extended to Al Sharkeya Sugar Manufacturing for the construction of a sugar production facility in Al Sharkeya Governorate, Egypt.

Acquisition and Leveraged Finance/Asset Finance

The combination of our globally established acquisition and leverage finance practice and our in-depth understanding of Islamic finance principles allows us to tailor innovative solutions to our clients' needs.

Recent examples of our bespoke solutions include:

  • Advising Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank and Commercial Bank of Dubai on a US$425 million Islamic financing and leasing (ijara) to Emirates for two aircraft, including Emirates' 50th Airbus A380.
  • Advising the Joint Structuring Agents, the Joint Lead Managers and the Delegate on the issuance of sukuk in the principal amount of US$913,026,000 with a tenor of 10 years, the world’s first sukuk financing supported by ECGD and the largest ever capital markets offering in the aviation space with an Export Credit Agency guarantee, and the first time that a sukuk has been used to pre-fund the acquisition of aircraft.
  • Advising Deutsche Bank on the partial refinancing of the US$1.41 billion acquisition by Egyptian Urea and Petrochemicals Company S.A.E. of Egyptian Fertilizers Company S.A.E.
  • Advising Investment Dar as consortium member in the landmark £479 million acquisition of Aston Martin, introducing the first murabaha facility to be used to finance the acquisition of a company in the United Kingdom.

Real Estate Finance

Our Islamic finance experts are proficient in advising on Shari'a compliant real estate finance structures and, through the Clifford Chance network of international offices and local law specialists, have the capacity to advise clients regardless of geographical location.

Examples of our recent advice include:

  • Advising Arab National Bank, Samba Financial Group and ABC Islamic Bank (EC) in connection with a SAR1.88 million (US$500 million) limited recourse financing provided to Al-Bait for Construction and Building Company Limited in respect of the Abraj Al-Bait shopping centre in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
  • Advising a private individual on a GBP110 million Shari'a compliant financing relating to the acquisition of a luxury residential apartment in central London, the largest single residential property acquisition in the UK.
  • Advising Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank PJSC on a £200 million Shari'a compliant real estate financing for Qatar First Bank LLC and Zamil Gulf Holdings BSC in connection with a residential development in central London.
  • Advising on the US$2.5 billion syndicated funding for the purchase of London's Chelsea Barracks, a 5.2 hectares (12.8 acres) area in the City of Westminster. This was believed to be the largest ever Islamic financing of a UK or European property.
  • Advising a syndicate of Shari’a compliant banks in Saudi on a SAR5 billion multi-tranche financing for a mixed use hotel, retail and residential construction project at Jabal Omar mountain in the holy city of Makkah.

Corporate Finance

Our industry experience, relationships with our clients, and familiarity with regional business practices ensure that we achieve the commercially optimum financing package on a transaction whilst balancing the requirements of the financiers' Shari'a committees. The number of continuing relationships that our clients choose to maintain with us long after a transaction is completed is a testament to our success at merging our legal expertise with our clients' business needs.

Some highlights of our recent world wide transactions include:

  • Advising the mandated lead arrangers, Banque Saudi Fransi, Riyad Bank, The Saudi British Bank and the Samba Financial Group in relation to a SAR1 billion murabaha facility agreement with Ma’aden Infrastructure Company.
  • Advising the mandated lead arrangers on a US$4.7 billion syndicated conventional and islamic facility agreement for refinancing existing indebtedness of Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA).
  • Advising global port operator, DP World, on the negotiation of its US$3 billion multicurrency syndicated term and revolving conventional and murabaha facilities for general corporate purposes.
  • Advising the financiers in relation to US$400 million bridge facility to be provided to PT Garuda Indonesia (Persero) TBK. This was the first time the airline capacity structure has been used for a financing in Indonesia.

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