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Middle East

HFW providing legal advice in the Middle East

HFW has been active in the Middle East and GCC region for over 25 years. With offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Riyadh and Kuwait City, we are able to combine local and regional experience with global coverage, to advise on contentious (including local litigation) and non-contentious matters, for domestic, regional and international clients.

What we do in the Middle East

Our Middle East team, many of whom are fluent in Arabic, have a strong understanding of, and established working relationships with, governmental departments/regulatory bodies, agencies and locally qualified lawyers across the region, enabling us to provide seamless support on multi-jurisdictional matters throughout the Middle East. A number of partners in other HFW offices also have a great deal of experience in the region. We can advise on:

  • Aviation
  • Capital markets
  • Commercial
  • Compliance and regulatory
  • Construction and real estate
  • Corporate and M&A
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Employment and Labour Law
  • Energy and resources
  • Family business and wealth management
  • Foreign direct investment
  • Insurance and reinsurance
  • International trade
  • Ports and terminals
  • Projects and infrastructure
  • Real estate
  • Ship finance
  • Shipping litigation
  • Telecommunications

Our lawyers also have extensive experience of working in other jurisdictions in the region where we don't have offices, including in Oman, Qatar, Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Turkey.

Our experience in the Middle East

We pride ourselves on our in-depth industry knowledge and legal expertise in the Middle East.

Some examples of our experience in the Middle East include:

  • Advised in relation to the proposed secured financing of 10 VLCCs with a syndicate of Omani banks.
  • Acted for long-term client Stanford Marine Group , in connection with a highly innovative, five year US$175m senior secured club facility, negotiated with Standard Chartered Bank and Noor Islamic Bank (as arrangers for a syndicate that also includes Barwa Bank, Mubadala GE Capital PJSC and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank). The loan includes both dual currency tranches as well as conventional and Islamic (Shariah compliant) Murabaha tranches.
  • Advised on a $1bn 8-year project for the conversion of two ULCC's to FSO's in a Middle East field, through tender process, contract and covering issues arising during construction, installation and delivery as well as delay and termination issues.
  • Advised a leading yacht builder, acting as the proposed minority shareholders and managers of a new JV company to be established in Saudi Arabia with Saudi partners, including reviewing and advising on the underlying shareholder and corporate documentation and ancillary tax advice.
  • Acting for salvors in relation to the MT STOLT VALOR, a chemical tanker which was ripped apart by a large explosion and fire in the Northern Gulf. The matter involves complex issues relating to port of refuge.
  • Acted for a JV local/international contractor and its directors/owners in a dispute arising from the sale of a development site by a Dubai government owned property developer. Claims exceed AED300m.
  • Acted for major insurer, in conjunction with Kuwaiti counsel, in relation to liability claims in excess of US$25m arising our of a warehouse fire in Kuwait.
  • Acting for Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank in relation to defaulting loans made to corporate entities within the Saad and Al-Gosaibi conglomerates. A large and complex matter involving more than 118 local, national and international banks, with proceedings having commenced in multiple jurisdictions, including England, the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

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