Where bright
minds meet

Middle East

Our work

We regularly work on intra-regional and outbound transactions, and our track record shows that we have one of the strongest teams in the region.

Our partners and lawyers advise on international, regional and domestic matters under English, UAE and Saudi law. We also have Arabic-speaking lawyers for those transactions requiring Arabic language capability.

Enhancing market standards is as important to us as it is to our clients. We also play an active role in the business community, investing time in thought leadership, developing legal frameworks, creating new products and commenting on draft regulations.

Corporate, M&A, ECM and Private Funds

We are regarded as the market-leading corporate practice in the region. We apply our significant regional, European and international experience to a broad range of corporate, commercial and regulatory activities including mergers, acquisitions and disposals (both public and private), joint ventures, equity capital markets, corporate restructurings, private equity, funds and regulatory matters. We have an excellent understanding of the business and legal environment of a wide range of sectors, and offer expertise based on our involvement in headline transactions.

Banking, Finance and Projects

We have the leading finance practice in the region and have the depth and breadth to manage large-scale, single jurisdiction and cross-border transactions. Our clients include arrangers, lenders, debt and equity financiers, borrowers, project sponsors, export credit agencies and international financial organisations.

We advise on the full range of banking transactions across all sectors. Our projects team has expertise in all aspects of project development and finance, and we advise on all aspects of asset finance.

Real Estate

Our Real Estate practice combines the experience and discipline of a major international law firm with a detailed knowledge of legal requirements in the region. The team advises on the entire range of property matters including initial financing, acquisition, development, construction, infrastructure (including Private Finance Initiatives (PFI)/Public Private Partnerships (PPP), leasing and joint ventures.

We act for a broad spectrum of clients in the hotel sector, including owners, operators, financial institutions and developers, and on large mixed-use developments. We also advise on real estate finance transactions of all kinds and the establishment of regional and international real estate and infrastructure development funds, advising both managers and investors.

Construction

Our Middle East construction specialises in the procurement of major regional and international developments. The team is familiar with the full spectrum of construction documentation; from building contracts and consultant appointments to EPC contracts and technology licences.

We differentiate ourselves from our competitors by offering a dedicated team of regional construction lawyers who focus exclusively on construction law and the construction industry and who are genuinely passionate about helping our clients realise their projects.

Islamic Finance

As a leader in the growing Islamic Finance field, we help devise and deliver financing solutions specific to the needs of our clients and which offer Islamic investors the opportunity to invest in accordance with the principles and values of Islam.

We are at the cutting edge of drafting and structuring Islamic hedging transactions and developing innovative structures that use traditional Islamic products, such as the murabaha, wa'ad, salam and arbun, to generate similar economic profiles to conventional derivatives but in a Shari'a compliant manner. We advise banks on Shari'a compliant structured products, including securities programmes.

Debt Capital Markets and Structured Products

We offer our clients recognised expertise and experience across the complete range of capital markets products. As the first firm to commit to building a full capital markets execution capability in the Middle East, our market-leading team is active in structuring and executing a broad range of high-value conventional and Islamic-compliant capital markets transactions.

We are involved in the majority of the market’s ground-breaking deals, working closely with our clients to structure and manage innovative debt financing transactions. Our clients include arrangers, underwriters, dealers, issuers, originators (both regulated and unregulated) and financial advisers.

Litigation, Dispute Resolution and Arbitration

Our Dispute Resolution practice has in-depth knowledge of the various legal systems in the region and their cultural, commercial and regulatory standards. We advise and act for a wide range of clients from individuals, through to corporates, financial institutions and governments. Our commercial approach to dispute resolution reflects a practical understanding of our clients’ business problems. We sit on the DIFC Court Users Committee, and were the first law firm to be registered to issue and conduct proceedings before the DIFC Courts. Our lawyers have rights of audience before the DIFC Courts.

Financial Services Regulatory

We advise on the scope and application of regulation, and assist firms in their dealings with regulators. We also advise firms on risk management, particularly in the context of derivatives and similar financial products.

We advise on the development and offering of financial products, and assist regulatory and governmental bodies with the drafting and interpretation of regulatory rules. We maintain close contact with regulators across the region.

An insight into our work

Here Thierry Schoen, an M&A partner in Paris, talks about his role in the financial rescue of Peugeot by Dongfeng Motor Group. The deal was multi-faceted and required expertise from Clifford Chance offices around the world including lawyers from China, the U.S. and Australia.

Innovation & Best Delivery

Our clients' evolving needs means that we continuously challenge ourselves to deliver a service that is ever more robust, consistent, efficient and innovative both now and into the future.

By using the firm's extensive knowledge capability and smart technology our aim is to transform legal services globally. Our best delivery and innovation teams are growing and evolving to meet this challenge.

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Balanced Contribution

This year we have launched a year-long trial across the Clifford Chance Middle East offices to understand the impact of removing utilisation from its assessment of lawyer contribution and performance. The pilot programme, which will include all lawyers (except partners) in the firm's Dubai and Abu Dhabi offices is designed to provide robust data and insights that will help us better understand how shifting the actual and perceived emphasis away from utilisation might deliver better outcomes for its clients, lawyers, and for the firm itself.

"The world we are working in is changing fast. Our people and our clients have different expectations than they had of us in the past. This pilot is an acknowledgement of that change, and an explicit attempt to try to find a new model that is fit for the future"

Mo Al-Shukairy, Regional Managing Partner for Clifford Chance in the Middle East

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