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    Middle East regional coverage

    United Arab Emirates

    A sizeable team with a proven track record

    We've advised clients in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for over 40 years, significantly longer than many other international law firms. We have in-house Arabic capability, and, in contrast to many other firms, we can advise on both English and UAE law.

    Our offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai are permanently staffed by over 80 lawyers. We base lawyers in the UAE, rather than bringing in out-of-region lawyers to resource complex transactions, because we believe that clients get the best results from teams who are familiar with the region's laws, languages, and business processes.

    The size of our UAE team and our close links with the firm's other Middle East offices mean that we can quickly put together strong in-region teams who can work efficiently on complex domestic, regional, and international deals. These teams are used to working together and with specialist lawyers from the firm's international network.

    We advise many financial institutions, corporations and government entities on regional matters and regularly deliver complex regional and international transactions.

      Middle East regional coverage

      Saudi Arabia

      A continuous commitment that delivers results for clients

      Clifford Chance is one of the world's leading international law firms and has been advising in Saudi Arabia for over 40 years.

      Clifford Chance has a cooperation agreement with Abuhimed Alsheikh Alhagbani Law Firm (AS&H) and works closely with AS&H on a number of complex and innovative mandates covering a wide range of practices. 

      Abuhimed Alsheikh Alhagbani Law Firm (AS&H) is one of the largest law firms in Saudi Arabia with 37 permanently based Saudi and foreign lawyers who are specialists across a range of practice areas including Corporate, Banking & Finance, Debt and Equity Capital Markets, Antitrust, Regulatory, Public Policy and Legislations, Litigation & Dispute Resolution and Real Estate.

      We offer our clients access to a team of forward-thinking legal experts with considerable insight of the local Saudi market

      Our team has amassed a wealth of experience in Saudi Arabia and has led the market in developing many of the features of existing market practice. We are trusted by and regularly advise key Saudi Ministries and Government Entities as well as a wide range of government owned and privately held Saudi and international businesses, listed companies and financial Institutions.

      Our involvement with most of the relevant government consultation programmes and our relationships with key individuals, enables us to help you get your deals done quickly.

      We have a positive working relationship with the Capital Market Authority (CMA) and the Ministry of Commerce and Investment (MOCI). We have been closely involved with the CMA and the Saudi Stock Exchange in revising the Listing Rules and proposing the new Offering Rules and are therefore familiar with the new regulations that are likely to come into force during this transaction. We are also currently drafting the new insolvency law with MOCI in Saudi Arabia.

      We offer our clients access to the brightest minds and best in class support across:

      • corporate / M&A
      • finance
      • equity and debt capital markets
      • anti-trust and competition
      • privatisations
      • financial services
      • real estate and construction
      • legislative drafting, regulatory, public policy
      • dispute resolution legal services.

      Stable and committed to Saudi Arabia

      Our team has had a long term presence in the market:

      • In 2016 Clifford Chance established a co-operation agreement with Abuhimed Alsheikh Alhagbani Law Firm (AS&H) in Saudi Arabia
      • 2014 – 2016 as Clifford Chance Law Firm in Saudi Arabia
      • 1998 – 2014 as Al-Jadaan & Partners Law Firm in co-operation with Clifford Chance

      Read our press release to learn more about our co-operation with AS&H.

      Market-leading experience and excellent client service

      Our cutting edge work and commitment to our clients has been consistently recognised by all the major legal directories and commentaries and we have won more awards than any other Saudi law firm.

      We are consistently ranked Tier One for each of our practice areas by Chambers Global, IFLR1000 and Legal 500 and our team has won the prestigious Saudi Arabian Law Firm of the Year at the IFLR Middle East Awards 11 times, more than any other law firm. 

      We use the experience we've gained on complex, fast-paced transactions to make sure that clients get the highest standards of service from a team that fits their needs. We build tailored teams that combine local and regional know-how with specialist contributions from the firm's formidable resources – over 3,400 lawyers across our international network.

      This level of experience means that we're comfortable with new ideas and the art of the possible. We help clients reach their commercial goals.

        Middle East regional coverage


        Building on proven success

        We have worked with international and domestic clients in Qatar for over 25 years and in the Middle East for nearly 40 years. Our clients include Qatari corporates, financial institutions, government agencies and international companies who do business in Qatar.

        In Qatar we have a long track record of high profile work and longstanding client relationships. Several of these relationships are with Qatari-state entities who we have advised on a range of banking, finance, and capital markets matters for over 20 years.

        Recent client work has built on our existing relationships and helped us develop new ones. Examples include advising Qatar National Bank, Qatar's largest financial institution, on its USD$1.97 billion acquisition of Société Générale’s majority stake in its Egyptian subsidiary in 2012; the QAR3.7 billion Qatari riyal (USD$1 billion) financing of the Doha Festival City development, the largest-ever private sector financing in Qatar.

        Delivering results across and beyond the Middle East

        We've invested to build our presence in the Middle East and the wider MENA region and our lawyers are permanently based in the region – we believe that clients get the best advice from lawyers who understand local and regional markets, business practices, and regulations.

        We regularly work with colleagues in other offices in key financial markets across the Clifford Chance network. This means that our lawyers know how to work effectively in extended teams, have first-hand experience of the practicalities of Middle East markets, and are used to complex deals and innovative ideas.

          Middle East regional coverage


          Our Israel team comprises Clifford Chance lawyers from around the globe with extensive experience and understanding of working in Israel and many of them speak fluent Hebrew.

          Global reach

          We add significant value to our clients' Israel related transactions through the breadth and strength of our international network. We have offices in every major financial centre in the world helping our Israeli clients access funding and capital markets across the globe. Our pre-eminent financial practice evidences the strong relationships we have with the world's banks and financial institutions and our M&A teams and legal specialists deploy swift and efficient Israeli-related transactions focused on deal certainty and delivering value.

          Tech focused

          Recognising Israel's strength in innovation and technology, our Israel team members are also active participants in our global Tech group. This international group of over 400 specialists advise on tech-focused or tech-rich investments, transactions and disputes. Our Israeli group advises clients on tech-rich projects across multiple sectors and industries including fintech, life sciences, communications, media, technology, transport and infrastructure, consumer goods and proptech.


          We are well connected to the Israel legal market through the most prominent law firms in Israel.  We work with Israeli related organisations and policy bodies on developing legal best practice, including the development of a structured finance market in Israel. We also have well-developed relationships with government ministries, including the State of Israel's Ministry of Finance.

          Middle East regional coverage


          We are a market-leading international law firm in the Middle East, with over 30 Tier One directory rankings achieved in the region in 2018, and more award winning first-of-a-kind deals than any other firm. We work with clients throughout the Middle East and North Africa and have offices in Abu Dhabi, Casablanca, Dubai, Istanbul and Riyadh*.

          A market-leading international law firm

          We opened our first Middle East office in 1975. Today we have offices in Abu Dhabi, Casablanca, Dubai, Istanbul and Riyadh*.

          Our teams' outstanding work and our close working relationships with clients have won us International Law Firm of the Year at both the IFLR Middle East Awards and Middle East Corporate Counsel Awards in 2016. We are consistently awarded Tier One rankings in the Middle East categories of the Chambers Global, Legal 500 and IFLR directories.

          We advise regional and international clients on their business interests across the Middle East and North Africa. When we advise clients who want to build or expand their international business we work closely with colleagues from our international network.

          An in-region team with an impressive track record

          We base our lawyers – over 95 of them – in the region. We've found that clients get the best results when their team is familiar with the region's languages, cultures, laws and business processes. So we've built an on-the-ground team with sophisticated capabilities and a wide range of expertise. We regularly work on intra-region and outbound transactions and our track-record shows that we have one of the strongest teams in the region.

          Our teams regularly advise on the region's most cutting edge and high profile matters including advising on:

          • the landmark privatisations of five of Saudi Arabia's international airports
          • the largest sukuk issuance for the Sultanate of Oman, marking its return to international debt capital markets
          • the world's largest ECA financing for corporate purposes, advising Kuwait National Petroleum Company on the KNPC Clean Fuels Project
          • the first ever statutory merger of two UAE public companies
          • one of the largest ever public takeovers to be successfully implemented in the Middle East; Mannai and EFG Hermes on their recommended cash offer for Damas International Limited
          • the GBP£117 million IPO of NMC Health, the first premium listed, FTSE-index eligible equity-raising by an Abu Dhabi business on the London Stock Exchange
          • the first takeover bid for a listed company in Saudi Arabia, Almarai Company on its USD$250 million bid to acquire Hail Agriculture Development Company
          • the first restructuring in Dubai involving a filing under Decree 57 and also the first time a court-based process has been used to rescue a major UAE business in financial difficulty – the award-winning Drydocks World restructuring and subsequently, the landmark restructuring of Drydocks World’s USD$2.2 billion of syndicated debt
          • the successful landmark restructuring of Nakheel's conventional and Islamic liabilities of over USD$35 billion in 2011, including the legal separation of the Nakheel group from the rest of the Dubai World group which took Nakheel out of the jurisdiction of the Dubai Special Tribunal
            Restructuring Deal of the Year – ALB Middle East Law Awards 2013; Restructuring Deal of the Year, IFLR Middle East Law Awards 2012
          • the largest EUR denominated loan for a Middle East borrower, Aabar EUR€3.6 billion facility
          • the award-winning Emirates Airline's USD$913 million sukuk, marking a world's first for utilising UKEF-backed sukuk for aircraft financing
          • five ground breaking multi-billion Euro IPP power projects in Iran

          * Clifford Chance co-operates with AS&H in Saudi Arabia. 

          Recent highlights

          Recent assignments (deals and other client work)

          • the landmark privatisations by Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) of five of Saudi Arabia's international airports. The deals are the first to be signed as part of Saudi Arabia's reinvigorated plan to privatise its international and domestic airports by 2020
          • DP World on the acquisition of Economic Zones World from Port and Free Zone World for USD$2.6 billion
          • the landmark acquisition by Dubai Aerospace Enterprise of 80% of Jordan Aircraft Maintenance Limited (Joramco) from the Abraaj Group
          • the multi-billion dollar auction sale of Al Khair National for Stocks and Real Estate's (Al Kharafi family) majority stake in Americana, the Middle East's leading food and beverage business comprising franchises such as KFC, Pizza Hut, TGI Friday, Costa Coffee and Krispy Kreme
          • Saudi Public Investment Fund on the acquisition of a significant minority stake in Posco Engineering & Construction Co Ltd for USD$1.1 billion
          • the sale of the National Titanium Dioxide Company's domestic and international titanium dioxide to Tronox Limited, in return for USD$1.673 billion cash and 24% of the shareholding in Tronox
          • Citi on the sale of its consumer banking business in Egypt to Commercial Bank International (CIB)
          • Saudi Ground Services, the only ground handling services provider that operates across all the airports in KSA, on its SAR2.82 billion IPO (US$752 million) on the Saudi stock exchange
          • the world's largest ECA financing for corporate purposes, advising Kuwait National Petroleum Company on a USD$6.25 billion export credit agency financing for the KNPC Clean Fuels Project
          • Dubai World in its successful negotiations with 130 lenders for the extension of more than USD$14.6 billion of debt facilities
          • on domestic murabaha (Saudi riyal) and international conventional (dollar) USD$4.7 billion facilities in aggregate to Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Company Limited (YASREF)
          • Ras Markaz Crude Oil Park in Oman, to be one of the world's largest crude storage and export facilities when completed
          • a range of renewables projects including the Fujeij IPP and Tafila wind IPP in Jordan, the Gulf of Suez wind IPP and Benban solar PV projects in Egypt and the Sweihan solar PV IPP and DEWA solar IPP projects in the UAE
          • the largest sukuk issuance for the Sultanate of Oman, marking its return to international debt capital markets
          • the establishment of the State of Kuwait's GMTN programme and debut dual-tranche USD$8 billion issuance
          • Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation's (APICORP) USD$3 billion issuance
          • International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank, USD$100 million sukuk issuance
          • DP World on the establishment of their Islamic sukuk USD$3 billion issuance programme 

          Awards and milestones

          • International Law Firm of the Year
          • IFLR Middle East Awards 2016, 2014, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2007
          • Regional M&A Law Firm of the Year; Financial Services M&A Law Firm of the Year
            Mergermarket Middle Eastern M&A Awards 2017
          • International Law Firm of the Year
            Corporate Counsel Middle East Awards 2016, 2014
          • Islamic Finance Deal of the Year
            ALB Malaysia Awards 2017
          • Middle East Ranked #1 by value and volume
            Airfinance Journal Awards 2017
          • Best Law Firm in Energy & Natural Resources
            IFN Law Awards 2017
          • Debt Market Deal Of The Year
            ALB SE Asia Awards 2017
          • Middle East and Africa Resource Deal of the Year
            Renewables Deal of the Year
            Petchem Deal of the Year
            PFI Awards 2017
          • Wind Deal of the Year
            Project Bond Deal of the Year
            Petrochemicals Deal of the Year
            MENA Midstream Oil & Gas Deal of the Year
            MENA Downstream Oil & Gas Deal of the Year
            IJGlobal Awards 2017
          • Egypt Deal of the Year
            Oman Deal of the Year
            Hybrids Deal of the Year
            IPO Deal of the Year
            Real Estate Deal of the Year
            IFN Awards 2017
          • Wind Deal of the Year
            IJGlobal Awards 2018
          • Petrochemicals Deal of the Year
            IJGlobal Awards 2018
          • TMT M&A Legal Advisor of the Year & Industrials and Chemicals M&A Legal Advisor of the Year
            Mergermarket Awards 2018

          Directory listings and client comments

          Directory listings

          Legal 500: UAE, 2018

          • Tier One in Banking & Finance
          • Tier One in Capital Markets
          • Tier Two in Construction
          • Tier One in Corporate/M&A
          • Tier One in Dispute Resolution
          • Tier One in Projects and Energy/Infrastructure
          • Tier One in Islamic Finance

          Chambers Global: Middle East, 2018

          • Tier One in Capital Markets
          • Tier One in Corporate/M & A
          • Tier One in Islamic Finance
          • Tier One in Projects & Energy
          • Tier Two in Dispute Resolution
          • Tier Three in Investment Funds

          Chambers Global: Middle East, 2017

          • Tier One in Capital Markets
          • Tier One in Corporate/M & A
          • Tier One in Islamic Finance
          • Tier One in Projects & Energy
          • Tier Two in Dispute Resolution
          • Tier Three in Investment Funds

          Client comments

          • "Clients appreciate the firm's 'sound legal advice' and 'innovative legal solutions', which they applaud for being both 'commercial and practical'."
            Chambers Global: Middle East, 2018
          • "Acclaimed capital markets practice regularly instructed on sovereign issuances and other high-profile transactions."
            Chambers Global: Middle East, 2018
          • "They are very constructive and demonstrate an impressive level of competency."
            Chambers Global: Middle East, 2018
          • "Service-minded, well informed and highly skilled."
            Chambers Global: Middle East, 2018
          • "Clients appreciate the team's deep experience and praise its "commercially adaptive" lawyers."
            Chambers Global: Middle East, 2018
          • "A client praised the firm for 'just being pragmatic – finding good solutions, not being dogmatic in black letters, proposing solutions, and being commercial in its outlook'."
            Chambers Global: Middle East, 2018
          • "Full spectrum capabilities and very proactive and client-driven approach."
            Chambers Global: Middle East, 2017
          • "Outstanding team and a strong choice for large transactions."
            Chambers Global: Middle East, 2017
          • "Confirmed leader in the market with an enviable reputation."
            Chambers Global: Middle East, 2017
          • "Pitches its advice at the right level."
            Chambers Global: Middle East, 2017
          • "They have a very, very strong reputation in the market and the work product supports this."
            Chambers Global: Middle East, 2017
          • "They give you the reach on multi-jurisdictional deals."
            Chambers Global: Middle East, 2017
          • "Strikes the right balance between commercial savviness and excellence in terms of legal work."
            Chambers Global: Middle East, 2017
          • "They have strength and depth, and we always find we have lots of people we can call upon to give quality advice."
            Chambers Global: Middle East, 2017
          • "They are very good at making sure you have the right person working on each particular matter."
            Chambers Global: Middle East, 2017