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News Nov 17, 2015

Shearman & Sterling Plays Key Role in Drafting the Legislative Framework for Financial Services in Abu Dhabi Global Market

Shearman & Sterling has continued its work with Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the new international financial centre in the UAE that officially opened for business on 21st October.  The firm has been involved in drafting ADGM’s Financial Services and Markets Regulations and Financial Services Regulatory Authority Rules that established the legislative and regulatory framework for financial services in ADGM.  The firm has also been involved in drafting ADGM’s legislation governing matters such as companies, insolvency, interpretation, commercial licensing, arbitration, courts, employment, limited liability partnerships, real property and strata title.  

Shearman & Sterling’s work with ADGM is illustrative of the complex high profile work the firm is carrying out in the Middle East. It also marks another significant milestone for Shearman & Sterling’s business in the region, having recently celebrated 40 years in Abu Dhabi, opened a new office in Dubai and partnered with Abdulaziz Alassaf & Partners in Saudi Arabia.  

“It is an honour to have supported ADGM in its efforts as it seeks to become one of the world’s leading international financial centres, and we are delighted to see it open for business,” said Barney Reynolds, head of Shearman & Sterling’s global Financial Institutions Advisory & Financial Regulatory Group. “It was crucial that the financial services legislation we drafted reflected some of the well-known developments in financial services legislation that have been adopted globally, including Basel III, the European Market Infrastructure Regulation and the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation. This will be a key attraction for global financial institutions as they look to establish themselves in ADGM.”  

Financial institutions and individuals wanting to set up in ADGM, a common law jurisdiction, can now apply for the appropriate financial services licences, under an internationally recognisable legislative and regulatory framework, that facilitates their local, regional and international expansion. The new financial regulations and rules framework is comprehensive in scope, spanning a variety of regulated financial services, including, asset management, banking and insurance businesses. The regulations also include requirements to safeguard the interests of the marketplace, market infrastructure system, market conduct rules, and ADGM’s enforcement powers and disciplinary actions.  

For businesses interested in establishing themselves in ADGM, Shearman & Sterling is able to advise companies on the relevant ADGM’s legislation. The firm continues to advise ADGM on its legislative framework.  

The multi-practice, pan regional team working on the project is led by Barney Reynolds, head of Shearman & Sterling’s global Financial Institutions Advisory & Financial Regulatory Group.  Lawyers from our corporate, finance, antitrust, regulatory, funds, litigation and property teams were involved, including partners John Adams, Clifford Atkins, Thomas Donegan, Marwan Elaraby, John Opar, Jo Rickard; counsel Azad Ali, Matthew Powell, Michael Scargill, Robert Sein and Sam Whitaker; and associates Aatif Ahmad, Matthew Anson, Thomas Barker, Tom Berisford, James Campbell, Aysuria Chang, Simon Cohen, Vikki Fabien, Nina Garnham, Oliver Linch, Edward Miles, Alex Rosenthal, Michèle Smith, Simon Thexton, Amy Watt and trainee solicitors Ruba Ameen, Daniel Frost, Christopher Hobson and Wilfred Odgers.