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Abu Dhabi Global Market and Dubai International Financial Centre

Shearman & Sterling advises clients on the laws of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) in the United Arab Emirates. As one of the first global law firms to establish a presence in the Middle East in 1975, and having advised ADGM in drafting the innovative new laws for the financial center, we are uniquely placed to advise clients on the region's legal framework.

We advise our clients on a broad range of topics including:

  • Establishment of new businesses and companies in the region
  • Company incorporation and obtaining a commercial license
  • Establishments of new funds
  • Applications for regulatory authorization, including making and steering such applications and related advice
  • Application of the approved persons regimes to individuals
  • Conduct of business requirements such as client classification, dealing rules and conflicts of interest
  • Financial crime issues, including market abuse, anti-money laundering and sanctions
  • Listing of securities, capital markets, corporate finance and corporate transactions
  • Ongoing regulatory compliance
  • Compliance procedures
  • Operation and establishment of exchanges, clearing houses and settlement systems
  • Anti-money laundering requirements
  • Marketing issues, including on a cross-border or visiting basis
  • Local restrictions on deposit taking in Dirham, FX and onshore insurance
  • Regulatory capital requirements
  • Funds regulation
  • Islamic finance and conduct of Islamic business through financial institutions or Islamic windows
  • The scope of Regulated Activities, including the scope of regulatory permissions and exemptions in the context of new and existing businesses
  • Investigations and enforcement
  • Data protection
  • Leases, land law and property transactions
  • Arbitration and litigation
  • Legal opinions
  • Employment and compensation issues
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