Middle East

Our Middle East team serves the needs of clients from across the region, predominantly in the Gulf Co-operation Council countries of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman, but also in Lebanon and Egypt.

Our clients range from high net worth individuals, international construction and engineering companies, owner-managed and family businesses to major Sovereign Wealth Funds. We also have close associations with local law firms, especially in the Gulf Co-operation Council countries.

Our expertise covers a wide range of transactional matters, both in the UK and cross-border, but with a particular emphasis on commercial, corporate and property investment issues. We also advise on various aspects of Islamic finance and, in particular, on establishing compliant structures and working with financial institutions that specialise in this area.

We have advised on a number of construction, energy, infrastructure, oil and gas projects throughout the Middle East and North Africa and are currently instructed on various international arbitrations under the LCIA Rules relating to substantial oil refinery construction works in the region. We have also been involved in DIFC, UNCITRAL, ICC and ICSID arbitrations in the Middle East.

If you have any questions or queries please call Ella on +44 (0)20 3036 7328 or email eleonard@fladgate.com

If you have any questions or queries please call Sunil on +44 (0)20 3036 7396 or email ssheth@fladgate.com

If you have any questions or queries please call David on +44 (0)20 3036 7333 or email dweare@fladgate.com

“They’re good: there are things that they are very well placed to advise on. They can also pull together other advisers and elements, which is key for us”.

Chambers UK
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This firm has extensive experience in both onshore and offshore jurisdictions, and has also developed expertise in alternative investments and unregulated funds. Clients find that it offers a committed, personalised service: “They come across as something of a ‘boutique’ firm and one which is very loyal to long-standing clients.” Co-head of the firm’s investment group, Ella Leonard has a background in corporate law ensuring that she is able to advise clients on corporate structuring as well as M&A work. She also has expertise in Islamic finance law, often working with Middle Eastern clients. Clients find that “she is excellent and has good market and regional knowledge”.

Chambers UK

Fladgate LLP has core strength in property (development, investment and funding) and is also notable as a leading choice for lower-value M&A. It has a growing international client base, with nearly a third of its income deriving from non-UK clients investing in the UK.

Legal 500

This London-based firm is active on a range of domestic and international matters. The group offers “a high-quality and well-rounded service, complete with extensive direct contact with partners”, and clients applaud the lawyers’ dedication to understanding and fulfilling their specific needs.

Chambers UK

Fladgate LLP’s ‘excellent partner-led litigation team’ wins plaudits for its ‘great commercial approach and solid judgement’, and is ‘a strong contender in the civil fraud market’. The firm is noted for its strong international focus with multiple foreign desks; examples include advising PCP Capital Partners in alleged fraudulent misrepresentations made by Barclays, into which the client had invested £3bn in Middle Eastern money. Simon Ekins heads the practice, and Sophia Purkis ‘fights tenaciously for her clients’ and has a long track record of successes.

Legal 500

Matthew Bennett heads the department at Fladgate LLP, and advises UK and foreign nationals and their families on the management of their wealth and personal affairs with an emphasis on tax efficiency. Helena Luckhurst advises British and overseas families and entrepreneurs who want to protect their wealth and successfully pass it down to the next generation. The firm provides the full range of personal tax services to its clients, from completing personal tax returns to negotiating with HMRC, and regularly advises internationally mobile individuals (especially sportspeople and entertainers).

Legal 500

Highlights included advising a Middle Eastern family on the restructuring of its London property portfolio (worth approximately £150m) in light of the anticipated changes to the taxation of non-domiciled residents.

Legal 500

  • £100m fund – established for Saudi family office to invest through Shari’ah compliant structures in UK commercial property assets.
  • High net worth Middle Eastern investor – acquisition of a portfolio of 60 residential properties in the UK for c£25m.
  • International bank – US$85m Shari’ah compliant financing of major residential and commercial properties in London.
  • Air Royale International – various matters, including a local representation and agency agreement and amendments to their standard terms of business in line with UK law.
  • International drinks manufacturer – £100m increase in capital into the Middle East operation of an international fizzy drinks manufacturer.
  • International group led by a Saudi investor – acquisition of an offshore company structure for approx £140m where the sole asset was a derelict Knightsbridge hotel.
  • Middle Eastern family trust – structuring and acquisition of property portfolios with an aggregate value of £200m+.
  • Private investor group – series of major acquisitions of a number of Middle Eastern infrastructure companies (value £100m+), including related tax structuring.
  • Middle Eastern claimant – US$35m claim against a Swiss bank.
  • Taj Dubai Hotel – acting for an investment fund in relation to the purchase of the Taj Dubai Hotel in the Burj Khalifa district, Dubai; the financing of the construction of the hotel by a consortium of UAE banks; and its operation and management arrangements with Taj Group.
  • Kuwaiti investor – acquisition of a legal services outsourcing business.
  • Saudi family office – advising on its UK property portfolio.
  • Jindal Steel & Power Limited – ongoing arbitration relating to the sale of 12 river barges and ongoing litigation for its UAE subsidiary concerning an Omani gas plant.