Partners

Charles S Laubach

Partner, Dubai Office

Mr Laubach has been practicing as a legal consultant in the UAE since 1986. He advises on general corporate matters, contracts and government procurements, project finance, employment, and international trade controls. Mr Laubach has been involved in numerous high monetary value financing and re-financing transactions. In addition, he provides specialised expertise regarding US, UN and other sanc

Mr Laubach has been practicing as a legal consultant in the UAE since 1986. He advises on general corporate matters, contracts and government procurements, project finance, employment, and international trade controls.

Mr Laubach has been involved in numerous high monetary value financing and re-financing transactions. In addition, he provides specialised expertise regarding US, UN and other sanctions, boycotts and controls affecting exports to, investments in and transactions with certain designated countries and with regard to the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other bribery prohibitions.

Since the late 1990s, Mr Laubach has been the author of the standard industry UAE law opinions on the various financial agreements used by the ICMA and the SLRC, enabling ICMA and SLRC members to enter into complex financial transactions with counterparties in the UAE.  

Mr Laubach is well versed in all aspects of UAE and DIFC employment matters and assists clients in preparing employment documentation, and advises on compensation schemes, incentive schemes, confidentiality and non-compete clauses, and workforce reduction programmes. He assists with the employment aspects of mergers, acquisitions and other corporate restructurings, and handles contentious matters. 

Voted as 'External Counsel of the Year 2013' in Asian MENA Counsel's Corporate Asia & Middle East In-house Community Survey.

Head of department Charles Laubach 'brings a wealth of experience' when representing clients. He is active in a broad range of corporate restructurings and acquisitions. - Chambers Global 

Charles Laubach is ‘a great all-rounder’ who is ‘one of those guys that you call up, give him three minutes, and he’s already getting things done.’  - Chambers Global 

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • Corporate and Commercial
  • Infrastructure and Project Finance
  • Construction
  • Employment
  • Military Procurement and Offset Projects
  • International Trade Controls and Sanctions

QUALIFICATIONS AND ADMISSIONS

  • Pennsylvania Bar
  • District of Columbia Bar

EDUCATION

  • MA, Islamic Studies University of Pennsylvania, 1985
  • JD, University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1984
  • MA, University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies, 1981
  • BA, Dartmouth College, 1979

LANGUAGES

  • English
  • French
  • Arabic
  • Urdu

PUBLICATIONS

 

Bashir Ahmed

Managing Partner

Mr Ahmed is managing partner of Afridi & Angell. He was elected managing partner in 2016 and is the fourth managing partner in the firm's over 40 years' history. He joined Afridi & Angell in 1988 and became a partner in 1993. Mr Ahmed advises clients on cross-border, general corporate and commercial, private equity, banking, licensing and maritime matters.  He

Mr Ahmed is managing partner of Afridi & Angell. He was elected managing partner in 2016 and is the fourth managing partner in the firm's over 40 years' history. He joined Afridi & Angell in 1988 and became a partner in 1993.

Mr Ahmed advises clients on cross-border, general corporate and commercial, private equity, banking, licensing and maritime matters. 

He has extensive experience in domestic and cross-border acquisitions where he advises buyers and sellers on the due diligence process, the deal structuring, and drafting of agreements in connections with acquiring and divesting of share interest in the UAE. He also advises international and domestic banks on a wide range of matters including loan and credit facilities, syndications and regulatory matters. He was seconded to the regional office of an international bank for a period of 18 months, and acted as counsel for the Middle East and South Asia operations.

His martime practice involves advising ship owners and P&I Clubs, dry docks and a number of ship repair companies on shipbuilding contracts, arrest of vessels, cargo claims, as well as advising on disputes. He represents a number of banks on ship financing transactions.      

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • Banking and Financial Services
  • Corporate and Commercial
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Private Equity, Acquisitions
  • Maritime, Shipping and Transport
  • Infrastructure and Project Finance

QUALIFICATIONS AND ADMISSIONS

  • New York State Bar
  • Lahore High Court Bar Association

EDUCATION

  • LLM, Punjab University Law College in Lahore, Pakistan, 1986
  • BA, Jurisprudence, Oxford University, 1983

LANGUAGES

  • English

PUBLICATIONS

 

Masood K Afridi

Partner, Dubai Office

Mr Afridi's practice focuses primarily on infrastructure and project finance. For several years, he has been a front-runner in Pakistan's energy sector, and has participated in the development of numerous thermal and hydel power projects in the country. He has also been nominated from time to time to resolve other global issues with the power purchaser on behalf of the industry.  

Mr Afridi's practice focuses primarily on infrastructure and project finance. For several years, he has been a front-runner in Pakistan's energy sector, and has participated in the development of numerous thermal and hydel power projects in the country. He has also been nominated from time to time to resolve other global issues with the power purchaser on behalf of the industry.   

Acting in the capacity of Project Developer’s Lead Counsel, Mr Afridi has concluded transactions with a cumulative value of over US$4 billion spread over several project finance transactions. As lead counsel, he advised on the first ever private sector hydel power plant in Pakistan and the first ever in the Kashmir region. It was also the first to be jointly financed in the private sector by the Asian Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank. 

Mr Afridi joined Afridi & Angell in 1993 and became a partner in 1996. Prior to that, he was an associate with Sidley & Austin in New York. At Fordham University, he received the Edward J Hawke Prize for graduating with the highest grade point average in his class.

Masood Afridi is recommended for 'his vast knowledge and expertise in private power projects and BOO/BOT contracts.' - Legal 500 2011

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • Infrastructure and Project Finance
  • Banking and Financial Services
  • Corporate and Commercial
  • Private Equtiy, Acquisitions Energy

QUALIFICATIONS AND ADMISSIONS

  • New York State Bar
  • Pakistan Bar Association

EDUCATION

  • LLM, International Business and Trade Law, Fordham University, 1990
  • LLB, University of Bristol

LANGUAGES

  • English
  • Urdu
  • French

PUBLICATIONS

 

Haider K Afridi

Partner, Dubai Office

Mr Afridi has extensive experience in dispute resolution and has represented clients in both institutional and ad hoc arbitration proceedings, as well as instructing and managing local counsel on matters before the UAE Courts. He has been involved in substantial claims in the construction, real estate, and financial services sectors. He is also involved in the corporate and commercial practice of

Mr Afridi has extensive experience in dispute resolution and has represented clients in both institutional and ad hoc arbitration proceedings, as well as instructing and managing local counsel on matters before the UAE Courts. He has been involved in substantial claims in the construction, real estate, and financial services sectors. He is also involved in the corporate and commercial practice of the firm and has experience in advising developers, financiers and government agencies on power generation and other infrastructure projects. 

Mr Afridi also regularly assists clients in structuring joint ventures, franchises and distributorships. 

He joined Afridi & Angell in 1991 and became partner in 1997.

Representative Cases - Contentious

  • Represented a client in a multi-million dollar shareholder dispute under Mauritian law which was the subject of arbitration proceedings with its seat in Dubai. The proceedings were conducted under the UNCITRAL Rules issues of foreign law, enforceability and the supervisory jurisdiction of the Dubai Courts. 
  • Represented a Dubai-based property developer in a DIAC arbitration in a construction dispute against a contractor in an established Dubai community. In addition to the arbitration proceedings, advised in local courts litigation surrounding issues such as jurisdiction of local courts in the presence of an arbitration agreement, and attachment of performance securities by the local courts. 
  • Represented a Dubai-based property developer in a DIAC arbitration proceeding based on breach of commercial property sale and purchase contract. Award issued upholding defence and award of legal costs. 
  • Acted for a major Kuwaiti property developer in a multi-million dirham dispute relating to the termination of a services agreement with a service provider in respect of one of Abu Dhabi’s largest mall development projects. 
  • Represented a client in ICC arbitration proceedings in Abu Dhabi relating to a multi-million dollar contractual claim involving allegations of fraud and dishonesty. 
  • Represented Deyaar Development before the DIFC courts, Taaleem PJSC (Taaleem) v (1) National Bonds Corporation PJSC (NBC) (2) Deyaar Development PJSC (Deyaar)
  • Represented a shareholder in multijurisdictional claims brought against a private equity investment group. Claims pursued in UAE, England, United States and Singapore. 
  • Represented a foreign bank in pursuing persons involved in a major fraud; assets received in the UAE and foreign jurisdictions.

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • Dispute Resolution
  • International Arbitration
  • Corporate and Commercial
  • Joint Ventures
  • Franchises
  • Distributorships

QUALIFICATIONS AND ADMISSIONS

  • NWFP Bar Council, Pakistan

EDUCATION

  • LL.M., Fordham University School of Law, New York, 1991
  • Bachelor of Law, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK, 1988

LANGUAGES

  • English
  • Urdu

 

Shahram Safai

Partner, Dubai Office

Mr Safai is a partner at Afridi & Angell and his practice consists of corporate law, real estate law and disputes.  Mr Safai also advises on private equity and venture capital transactions, as well as advising clients on assessing and managing transactional risks. Mr Safai heads the firm’s Iran team, real estate team and venture capital team and he has been highly sought after b

Mr Safai is a partner at Afridi & Angell and his practice consists of corporate law, real estate law and disputes.  Mr Safai also advises on private equity and venture capital transactions, as well as advising clients on assessing and managing transactional risks. Mr Safai heads the firm’s Iran team, real estate team and venture capital team and he has been highly sought after by boards and shareholders for strategic legal advice.  He is active in lobbying for and providing constructive feedback to government organizations regarding regional laws and regulations pertaining to venture capital investment, corporate governance and real estate.

Mr Safai also advises clients with respect to investments, joint ventures and doing business in Iran. Such advice involves franchise and agency matters, build operate transfer transactions, regulatory & legal compliance and strategies, foreign investment protection regimes, sanctions and anti-money laundering implications.

Recent work includes:

  • Structured and drafted agreements for the AED525 million sale of the Automall development in Motor City, Dubai consisting of 450,000 square feet of leasable space and 150 stores.
  • Advice upon and drafting of documentation for the sale of AED2.2 billion of real estate by a prominent developer to a financial institution.
  • Advice and representation of clients with respect to doing business in Iran, including drafting, negotiations, representation before ministries and implementation of distribution agreements, joint venture agreements, financing agreements and other matters.  
  • Strategic, legal and operational advice for a multibillion dollar financial free zone in the region.
  • Representation of a corporate client in arbitration involving a high value real estate investment. 
  • Advice and drafting of documentation regarding the purchase of property in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
  • Design and formation of a bespoke venture capital fund focused on the Middle East.

Mr Safai is also a registered professional engineer and he has previously worked as a design engineer, a hydroelectric dam manager in charge of biologists, technicians, electricians and mechanics, as well as a construction engineer. He also worked for a global oil & gas company, supervising the pressure testing of gas wells. He is a regular speaker at seminars on legal developments and current issues in real estate and construction law. At the invitation of the Government of Dubai, Mr. Safai lectures on legal matters at the Land Department.

Prior to joining Afridi & Angell Mr Safai was an associate at Cooley Godward in Palo Alto, California practicing venture capital law.  

Mr Safai is well recognised by the leading international legal industry publications such as Chambers Global and Legal 500 EMEA.  He has been recognised as a ‘Leader in their Field’ of practice (Chambers Global 2013, 2012, 2011).

Mr Safai is described as 'quick, responsive and forthright' and 'he is a well-known figure in the UAE real estate sector.' - Chambers Global 2013

Clients highlight his ability to deliver tailor-made advice. - Chambers Global 2012

Mr Safai is also described as 'a cut above the rest with thorough knowledge, sharp analytical prowess, understanding of the industry, good relationships with government authorities and the best of communication skills.' - Legal 500 2011

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • Real Estate
  • Venture Capital
  • Corporate
  • Litigation, Arbitration

QUALIFICATIONS AND ADMISSIONS

  • State Bar of California
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Law Society of England and Wales
  • International Bar Association
  • Association of Professional Engineers of British Columbia

EDUCATION

  • Juris Doctor, University of British Columbia, 1998
  • Master of Business Administration, 2002 
  • Bachelor of Engineering, University of British Columbia, 1992

LANGUAGES

  • English
  • Farsi

PUBLICATIONS

PRESENTATIONS AND SEMINARS

  • Speaker, Contracts 101, workshop by Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, 19 April 2017, Dubai
  • Speaker, An overview of Iran's legal framework for international investors; understanding the remaining sanctions, Iran Business Symposium, 21 February 2017, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Speaker, Doing Business in the Middle East, training session at Sinopec International (Middle East) FZE, 28 December 2016, Dubai 
  • Speaker, Impact of the Trump presidency on Iran, Economist Corporate Network CEO Lunch, 13 December 2016, Dubai 
  • Speaker, Iran: Managing the Opportunities within, jointly organised roundtable with Control Risks, 7 December 2017 
    Speaker, Latest Developments in Dubai Rental Market, organised by the Dubai Chamber, 24 November 2016  
    Speaker, Talking Term Sheets, The Entrepreneur Day by DSOA, 17 November 2016, Dubai 
    Speaker and panelist, Frontier Markets – Opportunities & Challenges Doing business in Africa & Iran, STEP Arabia, 7 November 2016, Dubai  
    Panelist, Doing Business in Iran, Deloitte and Odgers Berndtson Economic Diner, 21 September 2016, Dubai
  • Speaker, Iran: Managing the Opportunities within, jointly organised roundtable with Control Risks, 7 December 2016, Dubai 
  • Speaker, Latest Developments in Dubai Rental Market, organised by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, 24 November 2016, Dubai  
  • Speaker, Talking Term Sheets, The Entrepreneur Day by DSOA, 17 November 2016, Dubai 
  • Speaker and panelist, Frontier Markets – Opportunities & Challenges Doing business in Africa & Iran, STEP Arabia, 7 November 2016, Dubai  
  • Speaker, Doing Business in Iran, delivered to a number of professional services firms in North America, October 2016
  • Panelist, Doing Business in Iran, Deloitte and Odgers Berndtson Economic Dinner, 21 September 2016, Dubai
  • Speaker and panelist, Spotlight on Construction and Liability: Challenges and Fiduciary Duties, MEREIA Conference, 24 May 2016, Dubai
  • Speaker, Term Sheets Made Simple, Womena Angel Series Workshop, 23 April 2016, Dubai 
  • Speaker, Real Estate in Dubai, a presentation to students from Kingston University, 5 April 2016, Dubai Land Department and Dubai Real Estate Institute
  • Speaker, The control of transactions: how is the transparency of real estate owners ensured?, Structuring real estate ownership in Dubai, 2 March 2016, Dubai
  • Panelist, Setting Up an Entity & Opening Bank Accounts: Onshore, Free Zone & Offshore, Dubai Forward, 17 February 2016, Dubai
  • Chairman and Speaker, Doing Business in Dubai, and what you need to know about the UAE and Dubai, Dubai Forward, 15 February 2016, Dubai
  • Speaker, Managing the transition to DIFC wills: what is the impact on existing and common succession instruments/techniques?, Optimal Successions in Dubai & the UAE, 24 November 2015, Dubai
  • Speaker, Dubai Land Department and succession issues/transfer of property, Optimal Successions in Dubai & the UAE, 23 November 2015, Dubai
  • Panelist, MENA M&A Landscape: trends, challenges and winning strategies, The American Lawyer’s Global M&A Playbook, 28 October 2015, New York
  • Speaker, Construction / Real Estate Sector / UAE Forecasts – Opportunity – Challenge – Risks / Land Department & RERA Functioning – Settlement of Disputes, ICC Forum 2015, 22 April 2015, Dubai
  • Panelist, Operating in Dubai: what are the best options for your strategy?, Dubai Forward: The 2nd annual strategic conference on Dubai as a financial & wealth management centre, 23 & 24 February 2015, Dubai
  • Speaker, Real Estate in Dubai – The Amazing Decade, a presentation to a delegation from Singapore, 25 February 2015, Dubai Land Department
  • Speaker, Hello Tomorrow – where science and technology meet entrepreneurship to build our tomorrow, 18 February 2015, Hult International Business School, Dubai
  • Speaker, Legal Aspects of VC: The VC Term Sheet in Focus, Dubai Silicon Oasis, 9 February 2015
  • Speaker, Offshore Companies – where to create an offshore company to hold real estate in the UAE?, Optimal Succession in Dubai & the UAE, 24 & 25 November 2014, Dubai
  • Speaker, Real Estate in the UAE – The Amazing Decade (an Information Exchange organised by The American Business Council of Dubai & Northern Emirates), 19 November 2014
  • Panelist, Dispute Resolution in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Association of Corporate Counsel Annual Meeting 2014, 28-31 October 2014, New Orleans
  • Chairman and Speaker, Spotlight on Construction – Challenges and Fiduciary Duties, Afridi & Angell client seminar (in conjunction with Snag & Inspect), 21 January 2014, Dubai
  • Panelist, Corporate finance: 2014 and beyond, 2013 ACT Middle East Annual Conference, Driving Growth, Building Futures, 26-27 November 2013, DIFC, Dubai
  • Speaker, Construction Law in the UAE: Issues and Practical Solutions, Afridi & Angell client seminar, 28 March 2012 (Dubai), 11 April 2012 (Abu Dhabi)
  • Speaker, JOP Law and Steps to Forming OAs, Middle East Association Managers Conference, 8-9 December 2010, Dubai
  • Speaker, Strata Law Compliance Seminar Part II, Afridi & Angell client seminar, 29 September 2010, Dubai
  • Speaker, Strata Law Compliance Seminar, Afridi & Angell client seminar, 4 August 2010, Dubai
  • Speaker, Property Registration in Dubai: Past, Present and Future, Presentation to the Dubai Land Department, January 2010, Dubai