Mevan Bandara

Mevan is a litigator and practices in the firm’s dispute resolution practice. He advises and represents clients in arbitration, DIFC Court litigation and on-shore litigation matters. In addition to advising client on regular commercial/contractual disputes, Mevan regularly acts for clients in high-value construction disputes and also advises on bankruptcy and restructure, maritime and shipping, insurance, employment, banking disputes and investment disputes. Mevan also assists clients in structuring joint ventures, franchises, distributorship and registered agencies. Much of his work has a cross boarder element, and he has represented clients in arbitrations seated in London, Dubai, Singapore and Sri Lanka. Mevan is a Legal 500 recognised practitioner. Clients’ comments include: “Mevan Bandara is charming, massively hard-working, and very clever.”

 

Prior to joining Afridi & Angell in 2016, Mevan was in the private bar of Sri Lanka and was employed as a Counsel at one of the leading law firms in Sri Lanka, whilst simultaneously practicing in the Law Chambers of Mr Justice Prasanna Jayawardena, President’s Counsel. He was also a visiting lecturer in Business Law at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka and an examiner at the Sri Lanka Law College.

Rahat Dar

Rahat joined Afridi & Angell in 2011. His practice includes banking and finance, M&A and general corporate matters. Rahat has advised companies and financial institutions on a range of financing transactions, including conventional and Islamic finance. He has extensive experience in working with bank Shari’a and Fatwa supervisory boards, and independent Shari’a scholars, in structuring a variety of Islamic financing transactions (including, Istisna’a, Ijara, Murabaha, Musharaka and Mudaraba). Rahat has also advised local and overseas companies on a range of corporate and capital markets transactions, including cross-border acquisitions, disposals, joint ventures, distribution and IPOs.

 

Prior to joining Afridi & Angell, Rahat was a corporate associate in the London offices of Hogan Lovells and Dorsey & Whitney, where he advised on a wide range of international mergers and acquisitions, IPOs and secondary offerings in the US and UK (AIM and the Official List).

Haider K Afridi

Haider 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. Haider also sits as arbitrator and has experience in adjudicating disputes in a variety of sectors, including construction disputes, shareholders disputes and disputes arising out of hotel management and franchising agreements. He is regularly involved with arbitrations under various institutional rules, including the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce, Dubai International Arbitration Centre, the DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre and the Abu Dhabi Commercial Conciliation and Arbitration Centre. 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.

 

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

 

He joined Afridi & Angell in 1991 and became a Partner in 1997.

Masood K Afridi

Masood’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.

 

Acting in the capacity of Project Developer’s Lead Counsel, Masood 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.

 

Masood joined Afridi & Angell in 1993 and became a partner in 1996. Prior to that, he was an associate with Sidley & Austin in New York.

Charles Laubach

Charles 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.

 

Charles 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.

 

Charles has an active project’s and project finance practice, dating back to the beginnings of the privatization of Abu Dhabi’s power and water sector in the 1990s, with the Taweelah A-1 and Taweelah A-2 projects, and including the first Sharia-compliant asset-backed securitization in the UAE. He also advises international defense contractors on legal matters in the UAE involving negotiation and performance of contracts with the General Headquarters of the UAE Armed Forces, compliance with the “Khalifa Directive” and other integrity obligations, establishment of local offices for the support of programs with the GHQ and other customers, and assistance with offset programs, relying on experience gained since the creation of the UAE’s offset program in 1990.

 

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

 

Charles 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.

Abdus Samad

Abdus Samad is a corporate lawyer based in Afridi & Angell’s Dubai office. He specialises in M&A and corporate transactions and has extensive knowledge and experience in cross-border matters, including complex acquisitions and divestures for a broad range of public and private sector clients.

 

Abdus is ranked as a “Next Generation Partner” for commercial, corporate, and M&A in Legal 500 EMEA.

 

Abdus has led on a wide range of M&A transactions. These include:

 

· Advising the purchaser on all aspects of its acquisition of the freight forwarding business of a leading logistics services provider. This deal was structured as an asset purchase and accordingly required complex completion arrangements with regards to the relevant UAE assets and employees. It also concerned the acquisition of assets in over 11 foreign jurisdictions.

 

· Advising the vendor in the sale of three related schools in the Emirate of Sharjah for USD 100 million. The deal included a leasing arrangement pursuant to which the vendor will continue to own the property on which the schools are built and will lease the property to the purchaser.

 

· Advising Siemens AG and Alstom S.A on all UAE competition aspects of the abortive merger of Alstom S.A with Siemens AG’s mobility division. This is widely considered to be amongst the first merger clearance requests to be submitted in the UAE.

 

· Advised London Stock Exchange Group plc on all UAE competition and merger control aspects of its USD 27 billion all-share acquisition of Refinitiv.

 

· Advising the vendors on the sale of an 80 per cent stake in a Dubai-based school to a GCC private equity firm for AED 200 million.

Saurbh Kothari

Saurbh joined the firm in 2008. He advises both local and international clients on a broad range of corporate and commercial, mergers and acquisitions, and employment matters.

 

Saurbh’ s practice includes:

 

  • Advising on all aspects of the purchase and sale of businesses, including due diligence, structuring of the transaction, negotiation and documentation of the deal;

 

  • preparing a broad range of commercial agreements;

 

  • advising on a wide variety of UAE corporate and commercial legal issues;

 

  • advising on the structuring and establishment of businesses in the UAE; and

 

  • advising on UAE employment matters, including within the UAE’s various free zones.

 

Representative transactional experience includes:

 

  • Advising a buyer in the acquisition of 60 per cent shares and investment in a UAE based aluminium extrusion company for AED 80 million.

 

  • Advising the sellers in the sale of 100 per cent shares of a UAE based carton boxes and packaging manufacturing company for approximately AED 50 million.

 

  • Advising a U.S. food manufacturing and distribution company on a joint venture with a UAE based food manufacturing and distribution company for setting up regional food processing and distribution plants.

 

  • Advised the insolvency administrator of a German listed company on the restructuring of the said company’s UAE operations and asset sale to a Spanish multinational financial services company.

 

  • Acting as local counsel for a Saudi Arabian multinational listed company in relation to due diligence over the UAE entities in the business of baking products manufacturing.

 

  • Advising the sellers in the sale of shares of UAE entities in the water purification and bottling business for approximately AED 160 million.

 

  • Acting as local counsel in relation to the sale of shares of UAE entities in the packaging materials business for approximately US$199.70 million.

 

  • Advising a UAE entity on a joint venture for the setup of restaurants in Dubai with an initial investment of approximately AED 29 million.

Danielle Lobo

Danielle practices corporate and commercial law and has considerable experience in a wide range of corporate matters including acquisitions and disposals, investments, joint ventures, restructurings, and reorganisations.

Danielle joined Afridi & Angell in 2010. Prior to joining the firm, she trained at and was a solicitor with a global firm in Scotland.

 

Danielle has been ranked as “Next Generation Partner” for commercial, corporate and M&A, in Legal 500 EMEA. She has also been recognised as a “MENA Super 50 Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters’ Asian Legal Business and has won the award for “Private Practitioner of the Year, India and Middle East” at the ALB Women In Law Awards 2021.

 

Her notable transactional experience includes:

 

UK experience

 

· Acting for an American based packaging solutions group with revenue of over US$6.6 billion on its global reorganisation and capital reduction programme involving multiple foreign jurisdictions;

 

· acting for the vendors on the US$275 million disposal of MTEM Limited to Petroleum Geo-Services AS which was later shortlisted for “UK Deal of the Year” at the European Venture Capital Awards;

 

· advising Moody’s Corporation on its European group reorganisation and debt restructuring;

 

· acting for Poyry Energy AG on the cross-border acquisition of IGL Consultants Limited; and

 

· acting for the Capita Group on numerous business sales.

 

UAE experience

 

  • Acted as UAE counsel for Kathrein, a worldwide leader in professional antenna systems, in the sale of its antenna and filter products business to Ericsson. The transaction involved over 17 jurisdictions;

 

  • acted as lead counsel for Al Kabeer Group on the sale of a 51 per cent interest in the group to Savola Group;

 

  • advised Dubai Investment Industries on the sale of its 100% stake in Marmum Dairy Farm and its distribution unit United Sales Partners LLC;

 

  • advised Horizon Hospitality on the acquisition of Karam Café in Dubai consisting of 12 restaurants and one catering kitchen. Advised on all aspects of the acquisition including structuring, due diligence, transactional documents, and execution;

 

  • acting on behalf of the vendors in the disposal of the Fitness First clubs in the UAE, Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar to the Landmark Group;

 

  • acting for Country Hill International LLC on its acquisition of La Maison Nordique Foodstuff Trading LLC;

 

  • acting on behalf of management in relation to the sale of an interest in a Jebel Ali Free Zone company to a leading IT and software development company;

 

  • acting as local counsel in relation to the transfer of the business and assets of the Philips television division involving 26 jurisdictions into a joint venture group to be operated by Philips and TPV;

 

  • acting for CER in relation to the disposal of a 20.1% interest in a project company in Pakistan which operates a 551 MW combine cycle gas turbine; and

 

  • acting for Dubai Investments Industries on a joint venture with Dach Advisory Group to operate the Dubai campus of Modul University, Vienna.

Chatura Randeniya

Chatura’s practice focuses primarily on dispute resolution. He advises and represents clients in arbitration, and has represented clients in DIAC, ADCCAC, ICC, and ad hoc arbitrations. In addition to representing clients in arbitration, he sits as an arbitrator. Chatura also works with local advocates on matters before the UAE Federal Courts, including the Federal Supreme Court in matters of national security, as well as the Courts of Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah.

 

Chatura regularly acts for clients in high-value construction disputes. He also advises on maritime and shipping disputes, banking disputes, employment disputes, as well as disputes relating to commercial transactions. Much of his work has strong cross-border elements. He is a regular speaker at workshops and conferences on dispute resolution in the UAE. He is also known for pro bono work involving young families and children.

 

Prior to joining Afridi & Angell in 2008, Chatura was in the private bar of Sri Lanka practicing in the Law Chambers of Dr. Harsha Cabral, President’s Counsel.  He was also a visiting lecturer in law at the Faculties of Law and Management at the University of Colombo.

 

Chatura has been ranked as dispute resolution practitioner in both Chambers Global (‘Band 5’) and in Legal 500 EMEA (‘Next Generation Partner’). Clients’ comments include: “he is very knowledgeable and effective and with him handling a matter I have every assurance that the job will get done and typically he exceeds expectations“, “he is one of the brightest and most innovative lawyers I have met in the UAE. His ability to manage complex disputes across several jurisdictions and to navigate the local courts and dispute resolution mechanisms of the local jurisdiction are rare“, “extremely knowledgeable on local and international law“, “a very able lawyer with excellent analytical skills and very quick to see the weaknesses in the opposition’s case” and is “practical in his advice and attentive to new laws and legal angles.”

Stuart Walker

Stuart’s primary practice includes financial services regulation, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions and employment matters. He leads the field in advising parties during Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) investigations and, where necessary, negotiating settlements on their behalf. Stuart was instructed by the first authorised firm to be fined by the DFSA and has since gone on to advise in connection with a significant number of DFSA investigations.

 

Stuart is a regular contributor to Euromoney’s Global Banking & Financial Policy Review. He is the co-author of the UAE chapter, Financial Services Regulation in the Middle East, Oxford University Press (2008). He has contributed articles to various publications including the International Financial Law Reviews and Lawyer Monthly.

 

Stuart joined Afridi & Angell in 2003 and became a partner in 2008. Prior to joining the firm Stuart was a solicitor in the banking department of Lovells in London. He lived and worked in London, Hong Kong, New York and Dubai. Prior to qualifying as a lawyer, he wrote for and edited various trade journals and other publications.