financial services

Investment Funds: Middle East

Navigating complexities, seizing opportunities in MENA

Drawing on its extensive experience serving the Middle East’s largest sponsors and investors, Dechert’s MENA investment funds team advises on the legal, regulatory, compliance, registration and distribution aspects of setting up funds, investment structures and investment products across the region and beyond.

An integral part of Dechert’s global funds practice, our MENA team has handled open- and closed-ended public and private equity funds, real estate funds, Shari’ah-compliant funds, venture capital funds, hedge funds, country-specific funds, debt securities funds, leasing funds, mezzanine funds, feeder funds, aviation funds, trade finance, energy funds, infrastructure funds and fund of funds.

These are some of our key strengths:

  • Regional and global reach – Extensive knowledge of Middle Eastern funds regimes, including the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Abu Dhabi Global Market (AGDM), as well as the structuring, operation and regulation of European, U.S. and offshore funds.
  • Depth in Saudi Law – Offering clients additional capability in Saudi Arabia thanks to locations in Riyadh and Jeddah via Dechert’s association with the Law Firm of Hassan Mahassni.
  • Dubai International Financial Centre – The undisputed leader in this area, having advised on more DIFC funds than any other law firm, including many market firsts and Qualified Investor Funds (QIFs). We also have significant experience in setting up licensed management and advisory firms in the DIFC.
  • Abu Dhabi Global Market – We have worked extensively on establishing investment funds and licensed entities in the ADGM.
  • Shari’ah funds – Maintaining a strong Islamic-compliant funds capability that extends across several product variations, including an innovative Shari’ah-compliant credit fund.

Our MENA practice has been recognized for excellence by leading publications. Chambers Global 2017 – Middle East noted that the practice has been “Recognised for its knowledge of DIFC funds and regularly advises clients on DIFC regimes such as the Qualified Investor Fund. Dechert has experience advising on fund establishment and structuring in connection with hedge, real estate and private equity funds” and added that we have “detailed knowledge of the key issues and are very commercial”. For its part, Legal 500 EMEA 2017 ranked Dechert as a leading firm for investment funds in the UAE.

Global funds platform, expansive resources

Our Dubai-based investment funds team works with colleagues who are part of Dechert’s extensive global investment fund platform, allowing for efficient handling of cross-border matters. Thus, beyond our critical core capabilities, we are able to draw on our global experience to guide clients to the most efficient structures and to the choicest jurisdictions, both in the MENA region or in other locations such as Ireland, Luxembourg, the U.S., Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands (BVI), the Cayman Islands, the Channel Islands and Mauritius.

We also provide clients with exclusive resources to assist them in their strategic decision making. Dechert’s “World Compass”, our in-house 24/7 resource, offers guidance on marketing investment funds and managed accounts as well as shareholder reporting thresholds in 100+ jurisdictions, while “World Passport” offers UCITS and AIF fund registration and advice on distribution globally.