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Bracewell & Giuliani has long been one of the most active and respected firms in the Middle East and Africa (M.E.A.) region, providing a full suite of legal services to multinational and regional corporations, governmental entities, financial institutions, not-for-profit organizations, and private individuals doing business throughout the M.E.A. region. Our clients represent a wide range of industries, including automotive, energy, retail, consumer goods, defense, oilfield services, media, publishing, hospitality, and recruitment.
With the firm’s Dubai office as a hub, we regularly advise clients throughout the M.E.A. region and have been engaged by clients on projects in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Egypt, South Sudan, North Sudan, Lebanon, Libya, Jordan, Algeria, Tunisia, Turkey, and Syria. For our clients in the M.E.A. region, we also provide comprehensive advice on out-bound transactions into the U.S., the United Kingdom, Latin America, and Asia.
Local Knowledge and Relationships
Our attorneys have a clear understanding of the local laws, cultural sensitivities, and complex geopolitical realities of the M.E.A. region. This knowledge has been developed through our experience as legal and business advisors to our clients and through our attorneys’ roles and relationships with key government and regulatory bodies throughout the M.E.A. region. For example, one of our senior partners sits on the board of directors of the Dubai Financial Services Authority, and another sits on the advisory board to the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority.
Our ability to service clients throughout the M.E.A. region has been augmented by the development of close and longstanding relationships with a network of independent local law firms, carefully selected for their commitment to outstanding client service, which allows us to serve clients effectively even in jurisdictions where we have no local office.
A number of our attorneys are fluent in the key languages spoken in the M.E.A. region, including Arabic, French and Portuguese.
Civil and Common Law Advisory Capability
The M.E.A. region includes both common law and civil law jurisdictions. Our attorneys working in the M.E.A. region are qualified under both common and civil law jurisdictions, providing an ability to service clients throughout the region. Our practice team is able to provide seamless advice on M.E.A regional, U.S. and English law.
Practice Strengths in the M.E.A. Region
Corporate and Commercial
Attorneys in our Dubai office represent clients on a wide range of general corporate, contract, and commercial trading matters. Our attorneys provide sophisticated assistance in the areas of business formation and corporate structuring, tax structuring, business licensing and regulatory compliance, and labor and employment matters. We have experience in all types of product distribution arrangements across the M.E.A. region, including agency agreements, distribution agreements and franchise agreements.
M & A and Private Equity
In addition to general corporate and commercial matters, our M.E.A. practice team is experienced in the full range of complex business transactional matters, including mergers, asset and stock acquisitions, divestitures, shareholder buyouts, joint ventures, and minority investments. Our M.E.A. practice team advises on a variety of private equity matters, including fund formation, portfolio acquisitions and divestitures and minority investments in growth companies.
Bracewell’s Dubai office is an integral part of the firm's well-established global energy and finance practices. Our Dubai-based attorneys, together with attorneys from across our broader network, advise domestic and international borrowers and lenders in a wide variety of sectors on complex secured and unsecured banking and financing transactions throughout the M.E.A. region.We participate in the negotiation and drafting of all transaction documentation required, from the initial structuring stages to a successful financial close. We help our clients engaging in secured lending transactions to navigate the pitfalls of structuring deals and devising robust collateral security packages.
Bracewell delivers sophisticated regulatory and transactional guidance to clients engaged in the exploration, production, and delivery of traditional and alternative fuels. Our attorneys advise and structure oilfield service and production companies, providing experienced counsel for virtually any issue in the energy chain, whether upstream, midstream or downstream.We provide advice on the full range of operational contracts in the energy sector based on our current market knowledge. We also advise on LNG, renewable energy, and power generation projects (including nuclear). In short, “We Know EnergySM.”
The following are just a few of the many transactions and matters on which the firm has assisted clients in the M.E.A. region.
- Representing Apache Corp. in connection with the purchase of BP plc's oil concession in the Western Desert of Egypt.
- Advising a leading international private equity fund on certain regulatory aspects of the formation of its MENA fund in the DIFC.
- Advising a Qatari based client on the proposed acquisition of an engineering business in the United States.
- Advising an international solar energy business on the proposed acquisition of various solar park assets in the U.A.E.
- Advising management on the disposal of the U.A.E. business of an international recruitment and executive headhunting business.
- Representing an equity group in acquiring an interest in the Egypt-Israel pipeline.
- Trakya Elektrik in matters with United States Ex-Im Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation for its build-own-transfer project in Turkey.
- BTEC Turbines in contract negotiations with Kuwait Ministry of Energy for new power plant construction.
- Advising various North American clients on the structuring of joint ventures in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar.
- Advising numerous North American and European entities in respect of the establishment of distribution, agency and franchise arrangements throughout the M.E.A. region.
- Advising an international motor manufacturer on the renegotiation of its Middle East and Levant dealer network arrangements, acquisition of a major parts and distribution warehouse facility and on various corporate and financing matters.
- Advising clients on various labor and employment issues in the United Arab Emirates including drafting of employment and director service contracts, employment policies and procedures and advising on disciplinary, redundancy and termination issues including but not limited to the enforcement of restrictive covenants and non-compete provisions.
- Advising with respect to the application of the takeover bid and related disclosure rules of the Nasdaq Dubai.