Top 10 Most Influential Corporate/M&A Lawyers in Dubai in 2023

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The world of corporate and mergers & acquisitions (M&A) is a dynamic field, constantly evolving and changing. Dubai, in particular, is a prominent hub for M&A transactions, attracting a multitude of international law firms and boasting a wealth of talented lawyers. In this arena, several Dubai-based lawyers have marked their presence with their exceptional skills, expertise, and deep understanding of both the regional and international law landscape.

From private equity transactions to high-value project finance mandates, these lawyers navigate the intricate world of business law with dedication and integrity. Their clients range from major global investment banks and oil companies to various sectors such as aviation, construction, healthcare, education, retail, and more. It is their knowledge and experience that sets the groundwork for successful business partnerships and ventures.

The following is a catalogue of some of the most proficient lawyers in the industry working in Dubai, each well-respected for their remarkable achievements in the field of M&A.

Marwan Elaraby

Marwan Elaraby is a lawyer at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. One of the most prominent figures in the arena of M&A, Elaraby maintains a robust Egyptian practice that covers private equity, M&A and capital markets transactions. He has represented global investment banks as well as major regional oil companies. He recently shifted to Gibson Dunn in Dubai after leaving Shearman & Sterling.

Matthew Powell

Working from Squire Patton Boggs’ offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Matthew Powell is a lead lawyer active in M&A and joint venture agreements in the energy and primary materials sectors.

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Andrew Johnston

Andrew Johnston is Addleshaw Goddard’s regional managing partner and is renowned for his capabilities in international M&A and private equity transactions, as well as joint ventures. His expertise covers the food and beverage, education, hospitality and retail sectors.

Richard Hughes

Richard Hughes, a lawyer at DLA Piper Middle East LLP, has an impressive transactional and commercial advisory practice. He assists clients across various sectors on both domestic and cross-border mandates, with clients typically hailing from the aviation, construction, and healthcare sectors.

Mohammed Al-Shukairy

Mohammed Al-Shukairy, the regional managing partner at Clifford Chance LLP, is a top-tier lawyer in the sphere of international M&A, regularly involved in high-profile transactions across the Middle East.

David Foster

David Foster, a lawyer at Allen & Overy LLP, is a leading authority in cross-border M&A throughout the region, also demonstrating expertise in joint ventures and strategic investments. He is the firm’s Middle East head of corporate.

Rupert Harper

Rupert Harper of Covington & Burling is a seasoned lawyer who advises on acquisitions and sales as well as corporate structuring matters, both within the UAE and across the region. He also specializes in private equity and strategic investment mandates.

Zeid Hanania

Zeid Hanania of Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP – Dubai, has extensive experience in handling transactions in the power, technology and retail sectors, besides advising on cross-border acquisitions, private equity investments and joint ventures.

Haitham Hawashin

Haitham Hawashin, a lawyer at Baker Botts L.L.P., is well versed in handling M&A transactions involving major regional financial institutions. He also regularly acts for private equity clients and is skilled in cross-border securities offerings.

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Naji Hawayek

Naji Hawayek, managing Middle East head of corporate at Clyde & Co LLP, often acts for clients in the education, construction and healthcare sectors, exhibiting proficiency in domestic and cross-border M&A transactions.

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