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Bracewell has a long and active history of working with clients throughout the Middle East, providing legal services to multinational and regional businesses, governmental entities, financial institutions, not-for-profit organizations, and private individuals, drawn from the energy, defense, automotive, manufacturing, retail, finance, and professional services sectors.

With the firm’s Dubai office acting as the hub for the firm’s activities across the Middle East, our attorneys have experience working on a range of energy, corporate, commercial, project, construction, and financing matters throughout the region, with experience advising on engagements in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Iraq (including the Kurdistan region), Yemen, and Afghanistan.

Local Knowledge and Relationships

Our attorneys have a clear understanding of the local laws, cultural sensitivities and complex geopolitical realities of the Middle East 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 Middle East. For example, one of our senior partners sits on the board of directors of the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), and another sits on the advisory board to the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (ESCA).

Our ability to service clients throughout the Middle East 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, allowing us to serve clients effectively, even in jurisdictions where we have no local office.

Practice Strengths in the Middle East

Corporate and Commercial
Attorneys in our Dubai office represent clients throughout the Middle East on a wide range of corporate and commercial matters including M&A and private equity transactions (buy side and sell side), joint ventures, and complex commercial contracts with particular experience advising and structuring distribution, agency and franchise arrangements.

Our attorneys also provide assistance in the areas of business formation and corporate structuring, business licensing and regulatory compliance (including areas such as sanctions, FCPA and U.K. Bribery Act compliance), labor and employment matters, and managing client litigation (commercial, employment and criminal) in the U.A.E. and elsewhere in the Middle East “hand in hand” with local litigation counsel.

The 2014 edition of Legal 500 commented that Bracewell’s Dubai based corporate and commercial practice had “embraced the region and understands the culture, and the business practices, well,” whilst our corporate and commercial attorneys have been noted as being “responsive and business-savvy.

Attorneys in our Dubai office advise on all manner of corporate, finance, regulatory, and project related matters in the energy sector (including oil, gas, power projects, and renewables) throughout the Middle East.

Our attorneys deliver sophisticated regulatory and transactional guidance to clients engaged in the exploration, production, and delivery of traditional and alternative fuels. We have further experience advising oilfield service and production companies, providing industry specific and commercial counsel to our clients for virtually any issue in the energy chain, whether upstream, midstream or downstream.

Our power experience in the Middle East includes advising on the development, financing and the acquisition of interests in power projects. We have specific regional experience in conventional IPP projects, renewable energy projects, and integrated water and power projects (IWPPs).

Our attorneys regularly act for a variety of sponsors and lenders in respect of all aspects of power projects and also work on all related EPC work connected to such projects.

Oil and Gas, and Petrochemicals
Our oil and gas experience in the Middle East ranges from upstream exploration and development through to downstream activities and also includes LNG and gas transportation projects in the midstream sector in the Middle East.

We have experience advising clients within the Middle East as well as advising Middle East clients on investments globally in oil and gas, and petrochemicals. Our petrochemicals experience includes advising on projects from the FEED phase, through financial completion to construction, and throughout operation. In short, “We Know Energy®.”

Representative Engagements

The following are examples of the many transactions and matters on which Bracewell has been engaged by its clients in the Middle East.

Corporate and Commercial

  • Advising General Motors on the renegotiation of: (a) its vehicle dealer network agreements throughout the Middle East and; (b) its Middle East supply chain services agreement
  • Advising the U.A.E. Securities and Commodities Authority on the revisions of its rules regulating the issuance of debt securities
  • Advising a leading international defence and aerospace contractor in respect of its corporate structuring, contracting (including complex direct commercial sale and foreign military sale agreements) and labor and employment matters throughout the Middle East, Africa and Asia; and
  • Advising Afghanistan International Bank in respect of various corporate matters


  • Advising a U.A.E. based natural gas, LPG & SNG transmission and distribution business in respect of various gas supply and infrastructure concession matters in the U.A.E.
  • Advising a bidder on its bid for the Facility D independent power and water project in Qatar
  • Advising Genel Energy on its Kurdistan assets
  • Advised Sumitomo and Qatar Electricity & Water Company consortium on its bid for the Mirfa independent power and water project in Abu Dhabi
  • Advised DNO International ASA in connection with the establishment of a joint venture company with the Yemen Government, to act as operator in respect of an upstream oil asset in Yemen. This joint venture company is required under the terms of Yemeni production sharing contracts and, once established, will be the first of its kind in Yemen