Stanley Andrew Lee Schama

Lee is a barrister from the UK who specialises in complex and high value disputes and his practice extends across a broad range of commercial law, both in advice and advocacy. His work is principally focused on:


  • international and multi-jurisdictional banking disputes


  • corporate and personal insolvency


  • money laundering and asset tracing


  • commercial and white collar crime


  • general commercial disputes involving breach of contract, breach of trust, negligence and aspects of residential and commercial property law.


Lee’s practice also encompasses several niche areas including defamation, aviation, competition, intellectual property and trademark infringement, and taxation.

Stephanie Nazareth

Stephanie joined Afridi & Angell in 2023. She advises clients in domestic and cross border transactions in connection with acquisitions, divestitures, mergers and corporate restructuring matters. She has extensive experience in drafting and negotiating various legal documents including sale and purchase agreements, joint venture agreements, shareholder agreements, escrow agreements, corporate guarantees and non-disclosure agreements.


Prior to joining Afridi & Angell, Stephanie was an associate at a leading law firm in Mumbai. She has extensive knowledge and experience in relation to general corporate, mergers and acquisitions and private equity laws and practices in India.


UAE experience:


  • Advising a construction engineering company on its joint venture with a local engineering and construction company in Abu Dhabi.


  • Advising multiple foreign companies on the establishment and incorporation of special purpose vehicles/holding companies in the Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM).


  • Advising a foreign company on restructuring and transfer of  interests in group companies located in the UAE free zones.


India experience


  • Representing an investment advisory firm on its fund raising through the issuance of optionally convertible redeemable preference shares.


  • Representing a private equity fund on its minority investment in a pharmaceutical and biotechnology company.


  • Represented Reliance Retail Ventures Limited along with its wholly owned subsidiary, Reliance Retail and Fashion Lifestyle Limited, on acquisition of the entire retail & wholesale, logistics and warehousing business of the Future Group. Assisted in due diligence of Future Consumer Limited and assisted in review of disclosure letter under the transaction documents.


  • Representing Vopak India B.V. on its acquisition of 49 per cent shareholding in a pan-India joint venture entity with Aegis Logistics Limited which created one of the largest independent tank storage companies for LPG and chemicals.

Ramesh Fernando

Ramesh has considerable experience in litigation and dispute resolution, with extensive abilities in contract negotiations and large-scale disputes. Ramesh has also advised and drafted legal opinions and agreements for large multi-national corporations and other non-governmental entities and investors when retained to advise on potential legal issues, regulatory steps, and changes to applicable legislation.


Prior to joining Afridi & Angell in 2022, Ramesh practiced law in Sri Lanka as an Attorney-at-Law / Legal Counsel in the Chambers of Mr. Geoffrey Alagaratnam, President’s Counsel, during which time Ramesh was involved in several landmark pro bono public interest litigation cases before the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal. These included cases filed against public authorities for gross negligence in failing to prevent the Easter Sunday bombings of April 2019, as well as the petition challenging the President’s unconstitutional exercise of power in pardoning former Sergeant Sunil Ratnayake.


Ramesh was also the Research Assistant to the Commercial Law Reforms Sub-Committee of the Ministry of Justice Sri Lanka which was tasked with advising the Minister of Justice on commercial law reforms and drafting several pieces of legislation including a new Arbitration Act and a Mediation Act.


From 2017 till 2022, Ramesh lectured on company law at the Royal Institute of Colombo.

Vaishali Dhanawat

Vaishali’s practice focuses on general corporate private equity and mergers and acquisitions.


Vaishali has successfully advised and acted on a wide range of domestic and cross-border transactions across key industry sectors such as renewable energy, infrastructure, hospitals, information technology and e-commerce. Vaishali has also advised clients on the regulatory framework in India involving the exchange control and securities laws.


Representative transactional experience includes:


  • Advising DEG, FMO, ADB and Proparco on their investment of up to USD 100 million in a company engaged in renewable energy sector.
  • Advising Mahogany Singapore Company Pte. Limited on its primary investment in TVS Supply Chain Solutions Limited.
  • Advising Cisco in relation to its acquisition of two Indian information technology companies in India.
  • Advising on Sequoia’s investment as part of a Series C funding round of USD 110 million into a company engaged in the business of providing online search related services in the automobile sector.
  • Advising on Sequoia’s primary and secondary investment of up to USD 380 million into a company engaged in the business of providing baby products and cosmetic products.
  • Advising a Saudi-based company on 100 per cent acquisition of a company engaged in manufacturing wind turbine generators.
  • Advising an alternative investment fund on its primary investment in a company engaged in news, news aggregation and digital media marketing.
  • Advising a venture capitalist firm in the acquisition of 40 per cent stake in an artificial intelligence platform and information technology company.


Prior to joining Afridi & Angell in 2022, Vaishali was an associate at two leading law firms (AZB & Partners and Khaitan & Co) in India

Ananya Pandit

Ananya joined Afridi & Angell in 2023. Her practice includes banking and finance, and general corporate and commercial matters. Ananya advises companies and financial institutions on a range of local and cross-border financing and commercial transactions.


Prior to joining Afridi and Angell, Ananya worked as associate at Cyril Amarchand and Mangaldas, Mumbai (a leading law firm in India) and as a senior legal manager (in-house lawyer) at ICICI Bank (Mumbai).


Some of Ananya’s notable matters include:


  • Advised a Spanish bank on a USD 150 million term loan facility, including structuring and registering various UAE security.


  • Advised a local bank on a USD 20 million ship financing facility.


  • Advised a Russian bank on a EUR 2.62 billion term loan facility, including structuring and registration of various UAE security in multiple freezones.


  • Advised a Russian bank on a EUR 5.77 billion, term loan facility including structuring and registration of various UAE security in multiple freezones.


  • Advised a leading UAE airline company on a term loan facility of USD 27.2 million.


  • Advised a syndicate of international banks on a USD 830 million financing comprising term loan, cap ex and revolving facility, including structuring and registering the UAE securities.


  • Advising a Russian bank on the structuring and registration of the UAE security package for an overseas financing.


  • Advised a European bank on an export credit support financing to a leading UAE company.


  • Advised ICICI Bank on granting financial assistance ranging between INR 6 million to INR 2 billion to large Indian and global conglomerates.


  • Advised a fortune 500 company and a leading financial institution on granting term loans and working capital loans.


  • Advised a startup company on issuance of convertible notes.

Mohannad Elshaikh

Mohannad has considerable experience in all aspects of civil and commercial litigation, with extensive abilities to conduct legal research and analysis as well as drafting court submissions. He represents clients’ interests while maintaining the quality and integrity of a professional independent legal counsel.


Prior to joining Afridi & Angell in 2022, Mohannad gained both in-house and private practice experience in the UAE which provided him with a diversified legal experience and an in depth understanding of the legal system and business culture. He has a solid common law background and experience which he gained while practicing as an associate at a law firm in Khartoum. He had rights of audience before all Sudanese courts.


Mohannad taught law at the Faculty of Law, University of Khartoum, where he used to serve as a commercial law lecturer for six years, delivering courses on commercial law, IP law and agency law.


Mohannad’s dedication and commitment to enhance the rule of law in his community gave him the opportunity to participate in the prestigious ILFA (International lawyers for Africa) program to better contribute to building legal excellence in his home country and across Africa for years to come.

Ayush Sharma

Ayush is a corporate lawyer based in Afridi & Angell’s Dubai office specialising in M&A, private equity, corporate and commercial transactions and advisory matters.


He has over seven years’ experience in handling high deal values and often works in complex M&A, and private equity transactions across various jurisdictions.


Representative transactional experience includes:


  • Advised a Swedish foundation asset management company in its USD 590 million global acquisition of industrial process systems business from a multinational company headquartered in Stockholm.


  • Advised an Indian based fund in its USD 235 million acquisition of thetravel business process management arm of an Indian conglomerate.


  • Advised a global private equity firm in its USD 105 million investment in a non-banking financial company in India.


  • Advised one of India’s largest healthcare start-ups in its USD 53 million fund raised from various foreign investors.


  • Advised an Indian company engaged in the on-demand car rental business in its USD 25 million fund raised from automotive manufacturing companies in South Korea.


  • Advised an Indian company in its overseas investment in an ed-tech company in England and Wales.


  • Advised an Indian company in its overseas investment by way of promissory notes in a company incorporated in Delaware.


Prior to joining Afridi & Angell, Ayush worked at Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, New Delhi, for over seven years.

Sonia Guimaraes Bessa

Sonia joined Afridi & Angell in 2017. Her practice encompasses a broad range of services, including, private client work, dispute resolution and business set up in the UAE.


Sonia has regularly advised Brazilian and South American businesses on various aspects of doing business in the UAE.


Sonia has been registered as Wills Draftsman with the DIFC Wills Service Centre since 2018. Sonia advises clients on inheritance laws and the enforceability of Wills.


Sonia also has experience and assists in a variety of contentious matters involving arbitration (DIFC-LCIA, DIAC and ad hoc) as well as court litigation before the UAE onshore courts and the DIFC courts.


Prior to joining Afridi & Angell, Sonia gained in-depth experience working as a consultant in the litigation department for a well-known UAE law firm. Before that, she worked for a number of years as Attorney-Corporate for Schlumberger Oilfield Services, in Dubai.


Representative Transactions


Foreign investment and business set up:


  • Advised a Brazilian poultry business on requirements for establishing a commercial farm in the UAE.


  • Advised a large South American gemstone company on sale of goods in the UAE.


  • Advised a South American fruit and vegetable conglomerate on export of product to the UAE.


  • Advised a South American based design-studio, interior design and furniture manufacturers on options on setting up and selling products in the UAE.


  • Undertook due diligence on a large commodity trade transaction, advised and alerted first time Brazilian exporters on an attempt to defraud them.


  • Regular participant in Latin American and APEX-BRASIL forums.


Private client/wills and estate planning:


  • Coordination and consultation with the Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi Judicial Department and Ras Al Khaimah Courts and other relevant governmental and municipal authorities to identify and assess issues relating to making wills for non-Muslims.


  • Advising a Dubai based European couple on issues of distribution of worldwide assets; drafted and registered Mirror Wills.


  • Advising an Abu Dhabi based North American couple on matters relating to guardianship laws; distribution of assets; executorship and registration of individual and Mirror Wills in the DIFC.


  • Advised client on status of Dubai Notary Will in conjunction with DIFC Will; effect of revocation clauses; and deregistration of Dubai Notary Will.


  • Advising clients from different countries (including, France, Germany, Japan, Belgium, United States, India) on the registration of DIFC Wills.


  • Consulted with and gave recommendations to the DIFC Wills Registry on public awareness of the Wills Service.


Dispute resolution:


  • Lead role in defence of first ever personal injury claim brought before the DIFC Court.


  • Assisted in preparations and attended hearings for applications for discharge of DIFC court freezing orders/injunctions.


  • Assisted in a high-value dispute under DIAC arbitration rules involving claims for prolongation and variations under contract for the construction of a hotel project.


  • Assisted lead counsel in DIFC-LCIA arbitration involving disputes arising from the termination of an international automobile dealership.


  • Assisted and directed strategy in Dubai Court litigation involving claims arising from the sale of a residential building tower in the Dubai Marina.


  • Advised and assisted foreign counsel in respect of dispute over ownership of Intellectual Property rights involving multiple jurisdictions.


  • Advised a Turkish contractor in respect of dispute with a Saudi joint venture partner involving construction of a factory in Iraq.


  • Acted as a volunteer pro bono consultant on criminal cases involving foreign national defendants prosecuted in Dubai.

Aleefa Ahmed

Aleefa supports lawyers on a wide range of corporate, commercial, dispute resolution, and real estate matters. She primarily assists the dispute resolution team in legal research, document classification, document management and drafting with a special focus on the DIFC Courts.


Aleefa has gained a broad range of dispute resolution experience through her internships at leading law firms in Mumbai, the DIFC and at the High Courts and trial courts of India, not for profit organisations and through her internship at Afridi & Angell.


Prior to joining Afridi & Angell, Aleefa worked with a law firm in the UAE, assisting on corporate and maritime litigation matters.

Suditi Surana

Suditi is an experienced lawyer in corporate transactions, including public and private M&A, private equity, joint ventures, corporate governance and corporate re-organisations with a special focus on cross-border transactions.


Suditi advises clients operating in various sectors such as insurance, mutual funds, asset management, financial services, healthcare, food and beverage, trading and manufacturing as well as fintech, IT and data driven businesses.


Representative transactional experience includes:


  • Advised a Japanese conglomerate on the acquisition of a 22 per cent stake in an Indian listed company.


  • Advised a multinational entity on the acquisition of an Indian listed conglomerate’s retail, wholesale business, logistics and warehousing business.


  • Advised an Indian company on the acquisition of a 100 per cent stake in a listed cement company.


  • Advised an Indian promoter group in relation to an acquisition of 21 per cent by an international private equity fund.


  • Advised a Spanish fashion house in relation to the formation of a 50-50 joint venture with an Indian garment manufacturing entity.


  • Advised an Indian listed financial services entity on various secondary acquisitions of companies engaged in IT services and financial management.


  • Advised an Indian promoter group on its exit from its mutual fund joint venture with an American financial services conglomerate.


  • Advised the Indian branch of a South African bank on slump sale of its microfinance business to an Indian microfinance institution.


Prior to joining Afridi & Angell, Suditi worked for 6 years at the Mumbai office of Khaitan & Co.