People

“Afridi delivers international quality advice on local law matters. The team meets deadlines and bring a commercial understanding to their work product. They are also responsive and personable in their dealings.” - Legal 500 EMEA

Areas of Expertise

  • Banking and Finance
  • Bankruptcy and Insolvency
  • Compliance
  • Competition and Antitrust
  • Construction
  • Corporate and Commercial
  • Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Energy
  • Healthcare
  • Industrial and Manufacturing
  • Infrastructure and Projects
  • International Trade Controls and Sanctions
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Military Procurements and Offsets
  • Restructuring
  • Tax
  • Transport

Qualifications

  • Professional
  • Pennsylvania Bar
  • District of Columbia Bar
  • Languages
  • English
  • Arabic
  • French
  • Urdu
  • Academic
  • M.A., Islamic Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 1985
  • J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1984
  • M.A., University of London, School of African and Oriental Studies, 1981
  • B.A., Dartmouth College, 1979
Speaking Engagements
  • Panelist, Bounced Checks, webinar organised by the AmCham Abu Dhabi’s Legal Affairs Committee, 5 October 2020
  • Moderator and panelist, Commercial Agency Agreements in the UAE, Bahrain and KSA, webinar organised by Lex Mundi as part of the 2020 Middle East & Africa Regional Webinar Forum, 22 September 2020
  • Speaker, Doing Business in the UAE, a Lex Mundi webinar hosted by S. Horowitz & Co. in collaboration with Afridi & Angell, 8 September 2020
  • Speaker, Electronic Transactions Law: An Introduction to E-Signatures, online training organised by LexisNexis Middle East, 24 August 2020
  • Moderator, Targeted Economic Support Scheme (TESS), webinar organised by the AmCham Abu Dhabi’s Legal Affairs Committee, 18 August 2020
  • Speaker, Insolvency in the GCC: A comparative analysis, webinar organised by LexisNexis Middle East, 20 July 2020
  • Moderator, Managing Tax Disputes in the UAE, webinar organised by the AmCham Abu Dhabi’s Legal Affairs Committee, 14 July 2020
  • Moderator, The legal system of the UAE – Confronting new challenges to the development of the rule of law, webinar organised by the AmCham Abu Dhabi’s Legal Affairs Committee, 30 June 2020
  • Speaker, The UAE Real Estate and Labour Markets: Current Situation and a Post COVID-19 Outlook, Industry Breakfast Webinar organised by the Canadian Business Council Dubai, 17 May 2020
  • Panelist, Virtual chat with Afridi & Angell: answers to COVID-19 related questions on employment, risk management & disputes among others, webinar organised in collaboration with the Association of Corporate Counsel, 23 April 2020, Dubai
  • Speaker, COVID-19 & Employment: What you need to know now and what to anticipate in the near- and long-term, webinar organised by The Oath as part of the GC Talk Series, Dubai, 20 April 2020
  • Moderator, Covid-19: Keeping Your Business Afloat & Compliant, webinar organised by AmCham Abu Dhabi, 9 April 2020
  • Speaker, UAE Labour and Employment Law: Recent Developments, In-House Congress Dubai 2020, Address Dubai Mall, Dubai, 3 March 2020
  • Speaker, Key M&A Trends and Challenges in the United Arab Emirates, In-House Congress Abu Dhabi 2019, Rosewood Abu Dhabi, 20 November 2019
  • Speaker, Post Summer Regional Update, seminar organised by Afridi & Angell in collaboration with the Association of Corporate Counsel Middle East, the Canadian Business Council, and the Capital Club Dubai, Dubai, 16 September 2019
  • Speaker, Doing the right thing – anti-bribery training, workshop for NGK, Dubai, 14 May 2019
  • Speaker, Overview of the UAE and DIFC Companies Law, workshop organised by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Dubai, 16 April 2019
  • Speaker, UAE Employment Law Workshop, workshop for Tabreed, Abu Dhabi, 18 March 2019
  • Moderator, How Your Law Firm Can Help You Avoid Complex Debt Recovery Proceedings, Lex Mundi Africa and Middle East Regional Forum, Dubai, 26-28 February 2019
  • Speaker, Anti-Corruption Roundtable, anti-bribery workshop organised by TRACE Anti-Bribery Compliance Solutions, Dubai, 25 February 2019
  • Speaker, UAE Labour Law: Challenges and Practical Considerations, In-House Congress Abu Dhabi 2018, Rosewood Abu Dhabi, 21 November 2018
  • Speaker, Post Summer Regional Update, seminar organised by Afridi & Angell in collaboration with the Association of Corporate Counsel Middle East, Dubai, 26 September 2018
  • Speaker, Key Aspects of the Employment Relationship, workshop organised by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Dubai, 8 May 2018
  • Speaker, The UAE’s Anti-Corruption Framework and Increased Focus on Compliance, anti-bribery workshop organised by TRACE Anti-Bribery Compliance Solutions, Dubai, 1 March 2018
  • Panelist, Managing Litigation and Enforcement Risks, seminar organised by Afridi & Angell in conjunction with Jenner & Block, Dubai, 7 November 2017
  • Speaker, UAE Labour Law: Challenges and Practical Considerations, seminar organised by The Oath as part of the GC Talk Series, Dubai, 18 October 2017
  • Speaker, Anti-Corruption Compliance in the United Arab Emirates, workshop for Al Masaood Oil & Gas, Abu Dhabi, 15 June 2017
  • Speaker, New UAE Commercial Companies Law: key features, changes and compliance, workshop organised by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Dubai, 22 May 2017
  • Panelist at the Regulatory & Financial Crime Conference organised by Deloitte and DIFC, FATF Preparedness:  what it takes to become a full-time FATF member?, Dubai, 2 March 2017
  • Speaker, Foreign tax crimes & UAE professionals (Academy & Finance conference), Extraterritorial effect in the UAE of the national rules against tax evasion, Dubai, 16 May 2016
  • Speaker, Webinar with Steptoe & Johnson, and Federal Publications Seminars, The US Contractor’s Guide to Doing Business in the UAE, 22 March 2016
  • Speaker, American Conference Institute’s Seventh Middle East Summit on Anti-Corruption, Minimising Compliance Risks in Mergers & Acquisitions: The Top 10 Pitfalls that Acquirers Make During Pre-Acquisition Due Diligence and Integration, Dubai, 21-22 March 2016
  • Speaker, Anti Money Laundering Obligations in the UAE: the recent changes (Academy & Finance conference), Mobilising and Empowering the Regulatory Authorities, Dubai, 15-16 November 2015
  • Panelist, Anti Money Laundering Obligations in the UAE: the recent changes (Academy & Finance conference), Clarifying the Sanctions and the Liabilities: administrative sanctions & penal sanctions, Dubai, 15-16 November 2015
  • Speaker, American Conference Institute’s Sixth Middle East Summit on Anti-Corruption, Convergence of Compliance – Linking Economic Sanctions, Trade and AML Controls with Your Anti-Corruption Protocol, Dubai, 24-26 February 2015
  • Panelist at a seminar on the Civil Code organised by Lexis Middle East and the Dubai Chamber, Civil Transactions: Challenges & Opportunities, December 2014
  • Panelist, American Conference Institute’s Inaugural Global Anti-Corruption Regulatory and Enforcement Update, Increased Legislative Activity in the UAE and Saudi Arabia: How to be Proactive Amid Evolving Regulatory Changes, Washington, DC, 14 July 2014
  • Panelist, International Law Office (ILO) Global Counsel Congress, Live Q&A: managing the Challenges of New Markets, New York, 12 June 2014
  • Panelist, IBA/ICC Conference on working in government, private sector or private practice – challenges and opportunities for legal professionals, Compensation and Job Satisfaction, Dubai, 4-5 March 2014
  • Panelist, American Conference Institute Fifth Middle East Summit on Anti-Corruption, Components of a Robust Anti-Fraud Framework, Dubai, 26-27 February 2014
  • Panelist, Corporate Counsel Forum Middle East, Preparing for New Challenges – Growing Markets, Growing Risks, Dubai, 16 May 2013
  • Panelist, Lexis Nexis Conference: The Legal and Regulatory Framework for Doing Business in the Middle East, 10-11 October 2012
  • Panelist, American Conference Institute Anti-Corruption Enforcement and Compliance Conference, Abu Dhabi, 30-31 January 2012
  • Panelist, IBA Annual Conference, International Projects Group panel, Dubai 2011
  • Panelist, Corporate Counsel Forum, Middle East 2011, Dubai, 18 May 2011
  • Moderator and presenter, American Conference Institute Abu Dhabi Summit on Anti-Corruption Enforcement and Compliance, 13-14 December 2010
  • Panelist, Annual Meeting of the Association of Corporate Counsel, San Antonio, Texas, October 2010
  • Panelist, IBA Conference, The New World Economy: Key Labour, Employment and Human Resources Challenges faced by Business with a Global Workforce, Delhi, India, 18-19 February 2010
  • Panelist, the American Conference Institute Anti-Corruption Enforcement and Compliance Conference, Dubai, October 2009
  • Ius Laboris Annual Congress, Cyprus, May 2009
  • Littler Mendelson Employer Executive Conference, Phoenix, United States, April 2009
Awards and Testimonials

“Charles Laubach, Partner. Well known and well regarded. Deep experience over many years in the UAE. Is able to advise on current developments with context and understanding and put things in perspective. This is very important in this market where regulatory practice is always evolving.”

Legal 500 EMEA 2021 

 

“Deep knowledge of local legal systems with strong international exposure.”

Chambers Global 2021 

 

Clients appreciate his “quick and precise guidance,” with one source noting that “his main strengths are his experience and strategic approach.”

Chambers Global 2021 

 

“Very objective and direct – he’s confident in his advice, and that instils great confidence in the client.”

Chambers Global 2020 

 

“Very affable and pleasant.”

Chambers Global 2020 

 

“There’s a practicality about him I like,” further describing him as “high quality and very trustworthy.”

Chambers Global 2020 

 

“I wish I had ten more just like him.”

Chambers Global 2019 

 

“Very much an elder statesman in the community,” said one of his peers, going on to add: “He is a very good technical lawyer and knows the law very well.” One client remarked on his “excellent handling of matters” and that it is “an added bonus that he speaks Arabic.”

Chambers Global 2019 

 

“Very easy to work with” and a lawyer who offers “concise and to-the-point legal advice,” when needed. Another source added: “He is extremely knowledgeable about local issues in the UAE.”

Chambers Global 2018 

 

“Brings a wealth of experience.

Chambers Global 2014

 

Has been exposed to virtually all legal issues in the region“, and as such has developed a strong reputation for “always knowing the answer and delivering advice that is consistently on point, practical and commercially oriented.”

Legal 500 EMEA 2014

 

The “practical and prompt” Charles Laubach acts on a range of commercial issues, and is valued for his “rare blend of intelligence and efficiency.”

Chambers Global: The Client’s Guide 2008

 

“Forthright and reliable.”

Chambers Global – The Client’s Guide 2007

 

Lexology Legal Influencer for Employment – Asia-Pacific, Q2 2020

 Lexology

 

Commended External Counsel of the Year 2017

 In-House Community

 

External Counsel of the Year 2013

Asian-MENA Counsel Representing Corporate Asia & Middle East In-House Community Survey

 

Consistently recognised as one of the “Leaders in their Field,” Corporate/Commercial (United Arab Emirates)

Chambers Global

About

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.