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Abu Dhabi

Etihad Towers
21st Floor, Office Tower 3
Corniche Road
P.O. Box 2948
Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates
T: +971 2 410 8100

Shearman & Sterling is proud to have worked alongside its clients and partners in the Middle East for the past five decades. As one of the first global firms to establish a presence in the region with our office in Abu Dhabi, we maintain a distinguished record in providing strategic counsel and innovative commercial solutions to local and international clients. With over 20 lawyers on the ground, our team works closely with colleagues throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas, providing comprehensive legal services to clients engaged in complex transactions and disputes in the Middle East and around the globe.

What Do We Offer Clients?

Clients come to us for our first-rate experience in the oil and gas, power and infrastructure sectors, our solutions to increasingly complex financial regulatory issues, as well as our skills in cross-border investments and joint ventures. An overview of our services is detailed below.

  • Financial Institutions Advisory & Financial Regulatory – we advise financial institutions and other financial market participants on a range of complex regulatory compliance issues. We have worked closely with governments to draft new laws and regulations in the Middle East, most recently advising Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) on its establishment as an international financial centre in the United Arab Emirates. We also advised the United Arab Emirates government on reforming its financial regulatory framework, which we were awarded “Regulatory Team of the Year” for at the 2012 Legal Business Awards.

  • Project Development & Finance – we advised The Dow Chemical Company in connection with its joint venture with Saudi Aramco (Sadara) to construct, finance, own and operate a US$20 billion petrochemicals production complex in Saudi Arabia. Described as “the largest industrial project in history,” Sadara is one of the most complex project financings ever undertaken in this sector.

  • Oil & Gas – we are recognized as a market-leading oil and gas legal adviser in the Middle East, having advised on major transactions such as the granting of the new ADCO concession to Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, Total and Inpex; and on all aspects of the Dolphin gas production and pipeline project to bring gas from Qatar to the UAE.

  • Construction – we advise on many large-scale and complex engineering and construction projects throughout the region, including advising the Abu Dhabi Airports Company on the development of the Abu Dhabi International Airport; and advising one of the contractors for the Abu Dhabi Louvre.

  • Mergers & Acquisitions – we have advised on some of the most high-profile transactions in the region, including

    ADNOC on the award of a 10% interest in the Abu Dhabi onshore oil concession to BP Abu Dhabi, in exchange for which Abu Dhabi took a 2% interest in BP plc and Gulf Capital on an investment in a Gulf-based auction business.

  • Joint ventures – we advised Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corp Limited 50:50 in its joint venture with BSkyB to establish an Arabic language news channel under the Sky News brand, based in Abu Dhabi; and Alcoa in its joint venture with Ma’aden, the state-run Saudi Arabian mining company, to build a US$10.8 billion aluminum complex in Saudi Arabia.

  • Bank Finance & Restructuring – our team advises on some of the largest syndicated loan financings for governmental borrowers and on complex restructurings, such as the restructuring of Zabeel Investments, a quasi-governmental Dubai real estate and investment holding company and the restructuring of a major Kuwaiti investment holding company.

  • Islamic (Shari’ah-compliant) Financing – we have advised on cutting-edge transactions such as the first power project in the Middle East that included financing from Islamic banks and the largest ever oil and gas Islamic financing. The firm has especially been at the forefront of advising on the development of Shari’ah-compliant project financings, particularly in relation to non-recourse Shari’ah finance structures used to finance major infrastructure projects in the GCC.

  • International Arbitration – we regularly advise on major international arbitrations, which includes securing a legal victory for The Dow Chemical Company in a record ICC arbitral award of US$2.1 billion.

  • Capital Markets – we advised Dolphin Energy Limited on its bond offerings in a combined amount of US$1.3 billion. The firm also advised Dolphin Energy on its earlier US$4.1 billion bond and loan refinancing, a landmark oil and gas financing deal for the Gulf region.
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Key Contacts

  • Middle East
    T: +971 2 410 8123 Abu Dhabi
    T: +971 2 410 8123 Dubai
    M: +971 50 446 8184
  • Abu Dhabi
    T: +971 2 410 8121 Abu Dhabi
    T: +971 4 401 9224 Dubai
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