Middle East

Finding Innovative Solutions for Valued Clients

Dechert lawyers have a strong history of working with clients in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Our practitioners pioneered the development of capital markets in the region and maintain an enviable position as market leaders. With the support of the extensive global resources of an international law firm, we advise local, regional and international clients on all matters of law and regulation, applying a creative, results-oriented approach to any type of project or transaction.

Resolving Complex Issues in the Middle East

Handling complex matters efficiently in the MENA region requires not only an in-depth understanding of the law, but also a thorough knowledge of regulatory and administrative practices and an appreciation of political and cultural sensitivities in the immediate region and beyond.

Working from Dubai and London, our team includes Middle Eastern, English, U.S. and Canadian-qualified lawyers who conduct business in Arabic and English with equal dexterity. In addition, Dechert has in Jeddah an association with The Law Firm of Hassan Mahassni, one of the premier law firms in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, founded in 1970.

Areas of Focus

International Capital Markets

We execute complex, market-leading, cross-border financial transactions throughout the region, where we have a significant history and have been instrumental in the development of the capital markets. We regularly represent the full spectrum of offering participants in public and private debt, equity, equity-linked and other securities offerings. Notably, the team has advised in connection with more than 100 sovereign debt issuances, as well as on many transactions in the region that were the firsts of their kind.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Dechert represents buyers, sellers, lenders, advisers and financial intermediaries in complex commercial transactions throughout the MENA region. We focus on structuring successful deals, advising on all related regulatory and tax matters and protecting clients’ interests throughout all phases of a transaction.

Private Equity

Dechert has one of the leading private equity, fund formation and alternative investment practices in the world. Our cross-functional team advises on all phases of the investment life cycle. We structure funds for cost, tax efficiency and good governance and execute fund investments that maximize value. We place particular emphasis on providing structures for and accomplishing successful exits, whether by trade sale, secondary buyout, market flotation or refinancing.

Investment Funds

An integral part of Dechert’s global funds practice, our Middle East team advises on all the legal, regulatory, compliance, registration and distribution aspects of setting up funds, investment structures and investment products in the MENA region. Our work is underpinned by an intimate knowledge of the region’s largest sponsors and investors.

Islamic Finance

Dechert lawyers have extensive experience in all forms of Islamic finance products. We have had extensive dealings with Islamic scholars and financial institutions’ Shari’a supervisory boards. We have represented regional and international banks in structuring sophisticated Shari’a-compliant finance and investment products for both the institutional and retail markets.

Banking and Finance

Our lawyers act as transaction counsel to various lenders and borrowers in connection with loan and syndicated loan facilities and other financing transactions. We also advise various export credit agencies on a transactional basis.

Energy and Natural Resources

Our energy team draws on considerable experience in the oil, gas, petrochemicals, power generation and water industries as we advise on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and complex regulatory issues, as well as environmental and health and safety law. We focus on finding commercially driven solutions to the range of operational, organizational, regulatory and financing issues that face our clients.

Infrastructure and Project Finance

Dechert lawyers regularly structure and close some of the most innovative project finance transactions in the MENA region. We advise clients on the development, financing, construction, operation and acquisition of the biggest capital-intensive projects and facilities, from refineries, steel mills and petrochemicals plants to ports, toll roads, mining projects, paper mills and airports.

International Litigation and Arbitration

Our MENA dispute resolution team is coordinated by some of Dechert’s most experienced partners from our Dubai, London, Paris and Washington, D.C. offices, as well as by highly-accomplished lawyers from the Law Firm of Hassan Mahassni in Jeddah. We handle our clients’ most challenging and important litigation, arbitration, mediation and dispute resolution matters. Our team’s recent achievements include cases in the energy, telecommunications, banking and construction sectors, as well as representing a number of sovereign entities.

Corporate Investigations

We are frequently asked to conduct internal investigations on behalf of corporations, boards of directors and audit committees into issues related to corporate governance, alleged breaches of securities laws and criminal activity. With a client’s reputation and access to capital at stake, our approach remains sensitive to investors, the media and the public.

Regulatory Compliance and Public Policy

We provide comprehensive regulatory advice to clients operating in the financial services, insurance and banking industries in the MENA region. We advise clients on obtaining licenses for investment banking, asset management and fund administration activities, including Shari’a-compliant licenses, in most jurisdictions in the region.