Middle East Practice

  • Holland & Knight's Middle East Team represents clients in a wide range of activities, including banking and finance (conventional and Islamic Finance and Islamic Law), construction, regulatory advice, hospitality, health care, energy, joint ventures, corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, communications, transportation, and international trade and security matters.
  • In order to effectively counsel clients in the greater Middle East and around the globe, we draw upon our international reach, regional experience and close working relationships with other local law firms.
  • Our clients include multinational, U.S. and local private companies; investors; sovereign governments; and government agencies.

Holland & Knight has extensive experience providing legal counsel to clients in the Middle East region. Our firm includes lawyers who represent multinational companies and contractors doing business in the greater Middle East, India and Africa, as well as Middle Eastern companies conducting business in the United States and worldwide.

Global Resources

Our Middle East Team offers access to the resources of our international firm with more than 1,000 lawyers and professionals, in the U.S. and Latin America as well as established relationships with law firms around the globe. Holland & Knight's broad range and depth of legal services enables us to offer seamless, comprehensive representation in the Middle East region. We are well-positioned to help clients in the Middle East identify and maximize business opportunities, avoid risks and solve problems effectively when they arise.

Services

Companies looking to establish a foothold in the region or local entities in need of counsel rely on our team in areas that include:

  • Banking and Finance
  • Wealth Planning and Preservation
  • Regulatory Issues
  • Construction and Infrastructure Development
  • Corporate Services
  • Energy/Oil and Gas Law
  • Aviation
  • Hospitality Industry
  • Insurance
  • International and Cross Border Transactions
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Litigation and Arbitration
  • Maritime
  • Nonprofit and Tax-Exempt Organizations
  • Public Project Tenders
  • Real Estate (including residential and planned development)
  • Technology
  • Transportation (air, rail and sea) and Global Logistics
  • Environment
  • Healthcare and Life Sciences
  • U.S. Public Policy and Regulation

The Advantage of Hands-On Experience

Our breadth of experience enables our clients to rely on us for all their legal needs ranging from straightforward transactions to complex, multifaceted matters in a broad scope of industries. Whether our clients are providing medical services, developing commercial satellite imaging, executing complex transactions, or seeking to be compliant with international and local country laws and regulations, our lawyers have the knowledge and know-how to provide comprehensive guidance.

Our Middle East Team represents foreign banks establishing operations in the United States and foreign banks entering the Middle East and Africa. We assist U.S. companies and their foreign affiliates to proactively develop effective anti-corruption compliance programs. Clients turn to us for guidance on international taxation and insurance issues as well as regulatory and compliance matters associated with their U.S. activities. Depending on the needs of each client, we can work closely with lawyers throughout Holland & Knight who regularly handle anti-money laundering compliance and U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) matters.

We represent clients on regional maritime matters, utilizing the experience and knowledge of one the largest and most geographically diverse international maritime practices of any U.S.-based law firm. Our portfolio also includes transactions that involve all modes of transportation, including public-private partnership (PPP) projects in the UAE and Africa. In addition, we assist clients in a variety of project and equipment financing matters.

Our Middle East Team also draws on more than 75 years of aviation law experience when advising international airlines, including Middle Eastern-based airlines and related entities, on regulatory matters. In addition, our Corporate Services Team handles all matters pertaining to the establishment and operation of businesses in the region. We also provide clients guidance on the raising of capital, listing on regional securities exchanges, local licensing, and labor and employment matters.

Our lawyers counsel leading international and regional clients on regulatory matters from the appropriate country perspective to establish local operations and the export of sophisticated dual-use technologies from the U.S. to support operations in the Middle East. We also advise U.S. clients on licensing for permissible transactions with Iran and Sudan, such as the sale of agricultural products, and sanctions on Iran and Syria.

We counsel security-related clients in connection with bidding on security services for the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of State, and various Middle Eastern and African national and regional governments. In addition, our lawyers work with international security firms that want to establish local operations and U.S. contractors doing business in the region.

Representative Matters

The following are some engagements handled by members of our Middle East Team:

  • advising a global energy supplier on the development of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) distribution network to supply oil and gas exploration, as well as on production operations, truck and bus fleets
  • providing counsel in contract negotiations involving a US$2.3 billion medical center project in Qatar
  • negotiating contracts for the design and construction of a hotel and tower for a 48-story, mixed-use development consisting of a 300-room luxury hotel and 360 residential apartments; the contract value was approximately AED$2 billion
  • advising U.S. and Middle Eastern clients on U.S. and international sanctions and export controls against governments in the region; this includes counseling members of the energy, agriculture, banking, construction, shipping and aviation sectors on options that are available to them when sanctions directly affect their businesses
  • advising a leading UAE leasing company on the finance of 11 aircraft engines in a transaction worth US$169 million
  • advising a major private aircraft owner based in Abu Dhabi in the sale, purchase and registration of 18 aircraft (fixed wing and rotary wing) in a transaction worth more than US$220 million
  • serving as counsel to a government in the region on a free trade agreement with the U.S.
  • representing a luxury hotel and resort company with the development of branded hotel condo residences in Fujairah, UAE, and in the drafting of affiliation and management agreements for a five-star hotel in Abu Dhabi
  • representing a leading U.S. not-for-profit healthcare system in its affiliation with an agency that provided healthcare consulting services in the region, including the development of Dubai's international healthcare program
  • representing a U.S. military entity in government contract matters related to the procurement of high-tech aircraft, satellite, and other equipment and systems
  • advising a Middle Eastern airline in regulatory, commercial and compliance matters, including in alliance negotiations, handling enforcement queries raised by U.S. authorities, assisting with opening new gateways in the U.S., reviewing commercial agreements, and providing export control and trade sanctions guidance
  • advising a ship owner on the Somali pirate hijacking of a very large crude carrier (VLCC), including compliance with a U.S. presidential executive order and disputes arising under relevant charter parties
  • representing an electric utility offtaker for a 32 MW photovoltaic solar generation project, including in the procurement, EPC contracting, performance warranty and financing aspects of the undertaking
  • advising the leasing arm of a leading UAE bank on the lease finance and construction transaction of a derrick lay vessel worth more than US$110 million
  • representing a leading international hotelier in connection with the development, management and branding of villas and residences in a large mixed-use project in Dubai
  • assisting a global LNG shipping and marketing company with the development of a new offshore LNG marine terminal
  • advising a global insurer in establishing insurance operations in the United Arab Emirates, and counseled a UAE insurer on the creation of homeowners' insurance policies in the region
  • counseling a Dubai-based ground service provider in complying with U.S. sanctions and export control regulations

Full Access to Dispute Resolution Services

In addition to developing the strong industry and government relationships that help us protect our clients' interests, our Middle East Team also maintains close working relationships with leading local arbitrators and litigators who are trained in Shari'ah law and can provide dispute resolution services when the need arises.