Top 10 Influential Debt Capital Market Lawyers in Middle East, 2023

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The realm of Capital Markets: Debt is home to some of the most proficient legal practitioners in the Middle East. Given the dynamic economic climate in the region, these experts play a crucial role in structuring, negotiating and executing a wide range of debt transactions. From advising on large-scale debt issues to structuring complex hybrid capital matters, the mastery they exhibit invariably facilitates confidence and reliability among their clients.

These erudite professionals are proficient in handling both conventional and Islamic transactions and are especially recognized for their prowess in managing Tier 1 issuances and sukuk – a sharia-compliant bond-like instrument. They have deep-rooted relationships with financers, multinational corporations and government entities and are proficient at supporting clients through both domestic and cross-border transactions.

We take a closer look at some of these prominent lawyers who are reshaping the debt market narrative in the Middle East, offering an insight into their careers and notable achievements.

Jonathan A Fried


Jonathan Fried has carved out a prolific career in debt practice with significant experience across the Middle East. Particularly skilled in Tier 1 issuances, Fried has built an impressive portfolio of clients including multinational corporations and government entities. He has a vast array of expertise in handling sukuk and hybrid capital matters. Currently based in Dubai, he continues to make remarkable contributions to the field.

Stuart Ure

Clifford Chance LLP

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Stuart Ure is a Dubai-based highly acclaimed DCM lawyer with extensive experience across the Middle East. Known for his proficiency in both conventional and Islamic transactions, Ure has grown to be a prominent name in the realm of Tier 1 issuances, sukuk and high-yield products, primarily in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Bilal Ahmad

Allen & Overy LLP

Residing in Dubai, Bilal Ahmad has emerged as an eminent sukuk lawyer. Ahmad frequently acts for financial institutions, chiefly in their capacity as arrangers and dealers, on both domestic and international transactions. Alongside this, Ahmad is also proficient in conventional debt capital markets.

Debashis Dey

White & Case LLP

Debashis Dey has developed an extensive practice across the Middle East focusing primarily on the UAE and Saudi Arabia. He is admired for his strengths in sukuk, where he usually acts for lead managers on sovereign issuances. Dey splits his time between Dubai and London, thereby expanding his international client reach.

Lee Irvine

Simmons & Simmons

Lee Irvine is widely recognized for his prowess in the debt practice spanning across the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Equally adept at managing both conventional and Shari’a-compliant issuances, Irvine regularly represents financial institutions from his base in Dubai.

Nomaan Raja

Latham & Watkins LLP

Nomaan Raja, a seasoned debt lawyer based in Dubai, has earned acclaim for his work in sukuk and sovereign issuances, especially within the UAE and Saudi Arabia. He also showcases strong expertise in high-yield bond offerings.

Anzal Mohammed

Allen & Overy LLP

Dubai-based Anzal Mohammed has forged a formidable reputation in both conventional and Shari’a-compliant debt capital markets. Mohammed stands out for acting on sukuk and Tier 1 issuances, typically representing managers, arrangers and dealers.

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Gregory Man

Bird & Bird (MEA) LLP

Based in Dubai, Gregory Man is the head of the Middle East finance and financial regulation practice at Bird & Bird. Proficient at acting for issuers, arrangers and lead managers, Man is most active on matters originating from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, covering both sukuk and conventional debt issuances.

Basil Al-Jafari

Latham & Watkins LLP

Emerging as an increasingly prominent partner, Dubai-based Basil Al-Jafari assists a broad range of financial institutions, governments and corporate clients on various debt capital markets transactions. His spectrum includes handling Shari’a-compliant and hybrid issuances.

Alex Roussos


Highly proficient in conventional, Islamic and hybrid debt capital markets with a focus on sukuk, Alex Roussos provides expert counsel to banks across the Middle East region. Based in Dubai, Roussos also extends his advice to issuers in oil and gas sectors and power sectors.

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