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One of the first global law firms to establish a presence in the Middle East, Shearman & Sterling has extensive regional experience and an integrated global network of offices providing top-tier legal services. We have represented clients on groundbreaking deals and precedent-setting projects that have led to the emergence of the region as a dynamic financial center. We have also represented clients on some of the most complex disputes arising out of construction and development projects, investments, acquisitions and joint ventures.

We provide exceptional service to both regionally based clients and foreign investors seeking opportunities in the Middle East, including multinational companies, government ministries, state-owned companies, banks, contractors, investment agencies and financial sponsors. These clients turn to us because of our distinguished record in M&A, project development, finance, financial regulation, capital markets, private equity and dispute resolution, as well as our deep experience in the construction, energy and infrastructure industries.

A pioneer in the field of financing in the region, we have advised on two of the largest project bond financings in the Middle East and on groundbreaking Shari’ah-compliant financings, 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. Our track record also includes successfully representing Dow Chemical in an ICC arbitration arising from the failed joint venture with Petrochemical Industries of Kuwait, in which a $2.47 billion award was rendered in Dow’s favor — the largest commercial arbitration award ever.

In addition, we have worked closely with governments to draft new laws and regulations. We also worked with the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in 1971 to create the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), helping them establish a new era in Abu Dhabi’s economy. We established an office in Abu Dhabi in 1975 to assist our clients in transforming Abu Dhabi into one of the world’s most important energy centers. More recently, we have been advising Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) on its establishment as an international financial center in the United Arab Emirates and the UAE government on reforming its financial regulatory framework.

With the success of our longstanding presence in Abu Dhabi, we opened an office in the Dubai International Financial Centre in 2015. From our hubs in the UAE, we continue to represent clients on some of the region’s largest projects, premium domestic and foreign investment transactions, and major international arbitrations.

The economies of the Middle East have continued to diversify in recent years, especially in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. To support the Kingdom and its domestic clients, Shearman & Sterling formed an association with Dr. Sultan Almasoud & Partners in Saudi Arabia in 2015 to create a top-tier Saudi law practice with offices in Riyadh, Jeddah and Al-Khobar. The association harnesses the firm’s global network with Dr. Sultan Almasoud & Partners’ Saudi experience to provide legal support on local and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, private equity, capital markets, corporate reorganizations, foreign investments, project development, dispute resolution and regulatory matters.


Banking & Finance

  • Abu Dhabi Global Market | (ADGM) on its establishment as an international financial centre.
  • The borrower | on a SAR 500 million secured commodity murabaha facility in Saudi Arabia.
  • The issuer | on a SAR 1.5 billion local currency Sukuk issuance in Saudi Arabia using super-prime real estate assets.
  • Ewan Al-Maali Real Estate Development Fund | (acting through its fund manager Swicorp JSC) on a SAR 76,265,000 murabaha financing to fund a real estate project in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.
  • A financial institution | on the murabaha refinancing of a US$185 million equity bridge facility, guaranteed by Engie, Gulf Investment Corporation and ACWA Power, in connection with the Marafiq project in Saudi Arabia.
  • Millennium Offshore Services Superholdings, LLC | on the refinancing of its existing high yield bond, term loan and revolving credit facility which was funded by a US$385 million murabaha facility provided by Qatar Islamic Bank Q.S.C. and a conventional term loan and revolving credit facility provided by ABN AMRO BANK N.V.
  • A syndicate of 21 international financial institutions | which provided a US$2.5 billion 3-year corporate multi-currency revolving credit facility to Mubadala.
  • GlobalFoundries Inc., | an entity indirectly wholly owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi, on the $1.6 billion export credit agency financing made available to it by US Ex-Im and a syndicate of banks led by Société Générale and insured by Atradius Dutch State Business.

Capital Markets

  • The initial purchasers | on Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline LLC’s inaugural US$3.037 billion bond offering.
  • The initial purchasers | in connection with the Republic of Iraq’s US$1 billion offering of its 6.752% bonds due 2023. This landmark offering is Iraq's inaugural independent international bond offering.
  • The underwriters | in connection with the US$814 million bond offering by ACWA Power Management and Investments One Limited. The bond structure is first-in-kind in Saudi Arabia.
  • Takween Advanced Industries Company | on its rights issue on the Saudi Stock Exchange. This landmark offering was the second-largest rights issue under the tradable rights framework introduced in the Kingdom in 2012.
  • Raydan Cuisines & Restaurants Company | on its IPO on the Parallel Market of the Saudi Stock Exchange.
  • Finance parties | on the commercial consolidation and refinancing of the Fujairah F1 IWPP in the UAE, involving US Rule 144A/Regulation S market offerings.
  • The underwriters | on the initial public offering and London Stock Exchange listing of Egyptian company Integrated Diagnostics Holdings plc.
  • The underwriters | on the initial public offering and listing on the Egyptian Exchange of Cleopatra Hospital Company S.A.E.
  • Emaar Misr | as issuer on its EGP2.8 billion (approximately US$300 million) initial public offering and listing of shares on the Egyptian Exchange. This represents the largest initial public offering on the Egyptian Exchange since 2008.
  • The underwriters | on the initial public offering and listings on the Egyptian Exchange and London Stock Exchange of Edita Food Industries S.A.E.

International Arbitration

  • Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) | on the establishment of the ADGM Arbitration Centre and on its agreement to host the first representative office of the ICC Court of Arbitration in the Middle East.
  • Two international construction contractors | as Respondents in ICC arbitration brought by a Middle Eastern State entity arising out of the development of a world-class medical facility in the Middle East. Law of the Claimant's State, London seat. $3 billion at stake.
  • An international consortium of contractors | as Claimants in an ICC arbitration against a Middle Eastern State arising out of the design and construction of an airport. Law of the Middle Eastern State. Close to $1 billion at stake.
  • A major Asian conglomerate | in a dispute with a Middle Eastern LNG producer regarding our client’s potential liability related to a gas pipeline failure.
  • Egyptian State-owned companies Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) and Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC), as well as the Arab Republic of Egypt, | in four arbitrations seated, respectively, in Geneva, Cairo, The Hague and Washington, DC. The arbitrations involve claims in excess of $8 billion and arose from the termination of an English law gas supply agreement relating to the export of Egyptian gas to Israel.
  • The Dow Chemical Company | in an ICC arbitration in London against Kuwaiti Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC) arising out of the failure of the latter to close a large joint venture transaction governed by English law. Dow was awarded more than $2.47 billion.
  • EGAS | in an ICC arbitration in Paris initiated by Spanish Egyptian Gas Company S.A.E. (SEGAS) and in two CRCICA arbitrations initiated by Union Fenosa Gas (UFG). The arbitrations, which involve claims in excess of $3 billion, arose under a tolling agreement governed by English law and a related long-term gas supply agreement governed by Egyptian law. In a precedent-setting award on the English law of assignment, the ICC Tribunal dismissed all claims against EGAS.
  • A Middle Eastern businessman | in an ICC arbitration in Geneva related to the dissolution of a long-standing family partnership governed by Kuwaiti law. Over $2.3 billion are at stake.

Mergers & Acquisitions and Private Equity

  • ADNOC | on the sale of their onshore oil concessions to BP (10%, in exchange for which the Abu Dhabi Government took a 2% equity stake in BP); CEFC (4%) and CNPC (8%).
  • EFG Hermes UAE Limited, | a wholly owned subsidiary of EFG Hermes Holding S.A.E, on its agreements to acquire a 50 percent stake in Frontier Investment Management (FIM).
  • EFG Hermes | on the sale of its 40% stake in Credit Libanais for $310 million.
  • EFG Hermes Private Equity | on the equity financing of the acquisition by Vortex, its renewable energy platform, of a 49% stake in an operational 664 MW portfolio of European wind assets.
  • The Dow Chemical Company | on the sale of its ownership interest in MEGlobal to EQUATE Petrochemical Company K.S.C. for $1.5 billion in pre-tax proceeds, representing a significant step in Dow’s optimization of its Kuwaiti joint ventures.
  • Gulf Capital | on an investment in a Gulf-based auction business.
  • Engie Dubai | on the sale of its stakes in Paiton (Indonesian power assets) to Nebras Power and Mitsui for approximately $1.5 billion and in Meenakshi (Indian power assets) for an undisclosed sum.
  • EFG Hermes | on its joint venture with TNB International to purchase 365 MW of UK solar assets from TerraForm Power for £470 million.
  • Kuwait Food Company (Americana) | on the acquisition of a Dubai based food processing company.
  • A prominent Saudi Arabian Family Office | on its minority investment in a large Dubai-based real estate venture.

Project Development & Finance

  • A State Authority in the MENA region | on the financing of a $25 billion nuclear new build project and negotiating the EPC, Fuel Supply, O&M, and Radioactive Waste Treatment Contracts.
  • The Dow Chemical Company | on its $20 billion joint venture with Saudi Aramco to develop and finance the Sadara Integrated Chemicals Project in Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia.
  • Bahrain Petroleum Company B.S.C. (BAPCO) | on the development and financing of its $6 billion refinery upgrade and modernisation program in Bahrain.
  • Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) | on the €300 million financing for the largest wind farm in the Republic of Serbia.
  • Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) | and Bee'ah on the development and financing of the Sharjah Multi-fuel Waste-to-Energy project in the Emirate of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.
  • The lenders to Engie | on the $2.1 billion development and financing of the combined heat and power facility at the Fadhili Gas Complex in Saudi Arabia, the largest project of its type in the GCC and the largest co-production project with separate off-takers to be developed globally as an IPP.
  • SACE and the commercial lenders | on the $1.2 billion financing of a refinery upgrade project in Egypt.
  • The lenders | on the development and financing of the $870 million, 1.17 GW Sweihan Solar PV IPP near Sweihan in Abu Dhabi. This will be the largest solar PV project in the world.
  • The lenders | on the development and financing of the 2,400 MW Hassyan coal-fired IPP in Dubai. This represents the first coal-fired power plant in the GCC region.
  • K-SURE and the commercial lenders | on the $1 billion financing for the development of an LNG receiving and regasification terminal in Bahrain.
  • A consortium of international and local banks | as lenders to the $3 billion Facility D IWPP in Qatar. This will be one of the largest power and water facilities in the Middle East.
  • The lenders | on the engineering, procurement, construction, operation, development, financing and design of the 200 MW (260MWp) Saih al Dahal independent power generation plant in Dubai using solar photovoltaic (PV) technology. This represents the first private sector solar project in Dubai.