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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance

Middle East

We are a market-leading international law firm in the Middle East, with over 25 Tier One directory rankings achieved in the region in 2020, 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 has earned us the most Tier One rankings across the Chambers Global, The Legal 500 and IFLR directories than any other law firm in the Middle East.

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 largest ever M&A transaction in the Middle East 
  • the first ever public company statutory merger in Qatar
  • the project financing for the world's largest solar power project
  • the first ever statutory merger of two UAE public companies
  • 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 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 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

*including the AS&H team 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

  • Ranked 1st for M&A in the Middle East and Africa, by value
    Mergermarket, 2020
  • Sustainable Finance Deal of the Year
    Niche Market Deal of the Year
    Quasi-Sovereign Debt Deal of the Year
    Syndicated Loan Deal of the Year
    Structured Loan Deal of the Year
    Bonds, Loans & Sukuk Middle East Awards 2020
  • Real Estate Deal of the Year
    Hybrid Deal of the Year
    Project & Infrastructure Finance Deal of the Year
    Sovereign Deal of the Year
    Social Impact SRI/ESG Deal of the Year
    Trade Finance Deal of the Year
    Cross-border Deal of the Year
    Best Country Deal of the Year – UAE
    Best Country Deal of the Year – Saudi Arabia
    Best Country Deal of the Year – Bahrain
    Best Country Deal of the Year – Pakistan
    Best Country Deal of the Year – Turkey
    IFN Deals of the Year 2019
  • UAE Corporate Law Firm of the Year
    Chambers Middle East Awards 2019
  • M&A Team of the Year
    Domestic Deal of the Year
    Equity Deal of the Year
    IFLR Middle East Awards 2019

Directory and client comments

Directory Highlights

 

Client Comments

  • "Much admired by the market for its seamless interdisciplinary approach and cross-border depth, with the capacity to work alongside the firm’s other departments and offices with ease."
    Chambers Global, 2020
  • Clifford Chance is a powerhouse across the financial and corporate sphere with highly rated partners and a deep bench in almost all areas. One of the world’s pre-eminent law firms, the firm has a significant depth and range of resources across five continents. 
    IFLR, 2020
  • "The highly regarded corporate and M&A practice at Clifford Chance continues to be instructed on the largest and most complex deals taking place in the UAE and the wider region." 
    The Legal 500, 2020

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