Clifford Chance

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    Middle East regional coverage

    Qatar

    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 US$1.97 billion acquisition of Société Générale’s majority stake in its Egyptian subsidiary in 2012; the QAR3.7 billion Qatari riyal (US$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

      Saudi Arabia

      A continuous commitment that delivers results for clients

      Clifford Chance has been advising clients in Saudi Arabia for over 40 years.  On 6 November 2016, we entered into a co-operation arrangement with the newly established Abuhimed Alsheikh Alhagbani Law Firm (AS&H) to deliver world class legal services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The new co-operation replaces the stand-alone Clifford Chance Law Firm that was established in 2013.

      AS&H has been formed by three past and present members of Clifford Chance's talented and widely recognised cohort of senior Saudi lawyers: Majid Al-Sheikh and Mansoor Al-Hagbani, along with Dr. Fahad Abuhimed, most recently a deputy minister at the Ministry of Commerce and Investment. Dr. Fahad is an alumnus of Al-Jadaan & Partners Law Firm, Clifford Chance's former Saudi association firm, and previously spent a year on secondment to Clifford Chance.

      AS&H in co-operation with Clifford Chance, offers Saudi and international clients 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 and dispute resolution.

      With six partners including those seconded from Clifford Chance, the new co-operation has more partners than any other law firm in the Kingdom, offering clients the greatest depth of top Saudi and internationally qualified foreign lawyers as well as continuity and stability.

      Importantly, the size of our partnership enables us to provide specialist capability in areas valued by our clients and which are aligned with the Saudi Transformation Programme.

      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 for the past 11 years, since the inception of the awards. 

      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

        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

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        We are a market-leading international law firm in the Middle East, with over 30 Tier One directory rankings achieved in the region in 2017, 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 110 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
          Corporate Counsel Middle East Awards 2016, 2014
        • 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
        • Islamic Finance Deal of the Year
          ALB Malaysia Awards 2017
        • Deal of the Year; UAE Deal of the Year; Saudi Arabia Deal of the Year
          IFN Awards 2016
        • Best Islamic law firm
          The Asset Triple A Islamic Awards 2016
        • Middle East Pharma, Medical & Biotech M&A Legal Advisor of the Year and Middle East Financial Services M&A Legal Advisor of the Year
          Mergermarket Middle Eastern M&A Awards 2016
        • Middle East Deal of the Year
          Airfinance Journal Awards 2016
        • Innovation in Islamic Finance
          Euromoney Awards 2016

        Directory listings and client comments

        Directory listings

        Chambers Global: Middle East, 2017

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

        Chambers Global: Middle East, 2016

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

        Client comments

        • "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
        • "Their response was amazing. They engaged teams all over the world, and made sure people could achieve the results in time."
          Chambers Global: Middle East, 2016
        • "The lawyers do not just look at legal aspects of transactions but look at operational aspects too."
          Chambers Global: Middle East, 2016
        • "Great people, great support and great service."
          Chambers Global: Middle East, 2016
        • "We get very, very useful advice from them through their knowledge of regional precedents – they did a very good job."
          Chambers Global: Middle East, 2016
        • "Excellent drafting and negotiations support, availability and responsiveness."
          Chambers Global: Middle East, 2016
        • "Prolific activity in the Islamic finance sphere and the depth of its practice."
          Chambers Global: Middle East, 2016