Doing Business In Qatar

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Company Details

Samer Eido
Office Managing Partner.

Allen & Overy LLP
23rd Floor, Tornado Tower
Al Funduq Street
West Bay
PO Box 24205
Doha
Qatar

Tel +974 4419 4444
Fax +974 4419 4599

samer.eido@allenovery.com 

www.allenovery.com

Our firm profile

Allen & Overy is one of the largest international law firms with approximately 5,000 staff including some 500 partners worldwide. Since opening its first office in London in 1930, Allen & Overy has grown into a global organisation with 46 offices across the Middle East, Europe, Asia Pacific, the US and Latin America. We have had a reputable presence in the Middle East for over 30 years with established offices in Doha, Abu Dhabi and Dubai together with a successful associated office in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, staffed with over 100 lawyers in total.

Over 50% of our turnover is generated outside the UK, and two-thirds of our work is multi-jurisdictional, involving offices in two or more countries. Strikingly, nearly 20% of our work involves offices in five or more countries, demonstrating our ability to work across borders and provide a global response to our clients' needs.

With broad international cover and deep local roots, we are present in those locations which are the source or destination of major international capital flows, and in the financial centres that handle those flows. Combining within one practice a leading local law, international law and US law practice, our lawyers are qualified to practice in 34 countries and speak 40 languages between them, ensuring our clients receive consistency of quality wherever they work with us.

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Allen & Overy in Qatar

With over 30 years of experience working on major transactions with high profile clients in the Middle East, Allen & Overy can offer a professional, comprehensive and efficient legal service to help our clients achieve their commercial objectives.  We pride ourselves on combining international commercial experience with local expertise and have established ourselves as a major force in project transactions across the region. 

Allen & Overy has been active in the Qatari market since the 1970s. Since then, Qatar has increased in importance, both as an integral part of the GCC markets and as a launch pad for investment in other parts of the world.

We opened our office in Doha in February 2010, having obtained a licence to practice from the Qatar Financial Centre. The decision to open an office in Qatar followed requests from a number of our Qatar-based institutional clients and a growing interest in Qatar from clients across our international network. Our Doha office is valued top tier in Chambers Global Legal 500 and IFLR1000. 

Our Doha office focuses on all aspect of commercial law.  In particular the office advises on corporate law, including domestic and regional M&A, joint ventures both within and outside Qatar, other outward investments by Qatari clients, inward investment by international clients and commercial arrangements (such as agency arrangements) for international clients conducting business within Qatar. Due to the manner in which Qatar's foreign investor laws are structured we have particular expertise in advising on joint ventures to conduct business in Qatar between international clients and Qatar-based entities.  We advise on all aspects of finance, including bank finance for both borrowers, Qatar-based lenders and international banks, debt capital markets for issuers and managers and all aspects of Islamic financing (including Sukuks).  Other areas of expertise include domestic and international real estate, Qatari regulatory advice and collective investment schemes.  We have also advised on a number of high profile disputes and arbitration matters for Qatari institutions.

The office is permanently staffed by a group of partners and other lawyers with strong international and local experience and includes Arabic speaking lawyers.

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What we offer

A global legal service, with local expertise, experience and international transaction management skills to ensure a coordinated, consistent legal service and high quality standards.

Wide-ranging and in-depth experience - a presence in the Middle East for over 30 years with extensive experience of the markets most complex and high-profile transactions across the spectrum of legal services.

Quality people - our lawyers are among the region's most experienced and highly regarded, delivering advice to the highest international standards.

Strong relationships with local law firms, key government agencies and regulatory bodies in all Middle Eastern jurisdictions.

International reach, with 46 offices in the world's key jurisdictions and centres of international capital flows.

Comprehensive, innovative advice delivered by a team of commercially minded expert lawyers.

A relationship focus - we understand the importance of getting to know you and your team, and your business goals and values. We work in partnership with our clients and aim to develop long-term relationships with them.
 

Our practice areas

Allen & Overy is well known for its market-leading practice across the Middle East. We have one of the largest practices in the region and as a result we have the resources and expertise to deal with the most complex transactions across our practice areas.

Corporate and M&A

We have a reputation for combining the highest quality technical expertise with commercial pragmatism. The Qatar office complements this expertise and pragmatism with its knowledge, understanding and experience of both regional and international market trends. We have a reputation for getting to the heart of the most complex issues, focusing on bid strategy, structuring issues and minimising execution risks.

Real Estate and Construction

Our legal expertise and knowledge of the global real estate and construction market provide a tangible competitive edge for our clients, whether they are raising finance, acquiring or disposing of real estate, involved in construction projects or investing in funds. We are committed to understanding their strategic drives and the way their businesses operate, which will lead to cost efficiencies for them.

Banking and Finance

We are at the heart of the world's banking and financial markets. Our practice involves us advising on global transactions and working with leading Qatari and international banks.

Investment Funds

Our regional Investment Funds Group has established and advised on some of the largest and most complicated fund structures in the MENA region, delivering innovative and practical solutions on a wide range of issues. We will continue to work with the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) in helping to establish Qatar as one of the main regional centres for fund and asset management.

Arbitration and Litigation

We have extensive experience advising throughout the region, including on several cases connected with Qatar, and have handled a wide range of disputes across a broad spectrum of industry sectors including construction, projects, oil and gas, power, water, engineering and professional services, finance and derivative products. Our Middle East team is also ranked in the top tier (Chambers & Partners) for dispute resolution in the Middle East.

Projects

We are the market leader in projects and have played an important role in some of the major projects in infrastructure (roads, bridges) and energy (renewables, oil and gas) taking place in Qatar and across the region. We advise a wide range of clients both in the public and the private sectors, including governments, sovereign wealth funds, sponsors, financiers, ECAs and project companies.

Capital Markets

Our extensive experience has enabled us to position ourselves as leaders in the regional market. Financial institutions often call upon us first to advise them on the whole range of services regarding equity and debt issues, MTN programmes, derivatives and other aspects of capital markets. We advise underwriters, issuers, selling shareholders and rating agencies.

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Helping you do business in Qatar

International companies considering establishing a presence or acquiring an interest in a business in the State of Qatar should be aware of a number of important considerations that will have an impact on the manner in which they invest.

We have recently produced an easy to read specialist guide for international companies considering establishing a presence in the GCC or investing in Qatar.  In this guide we have provided a comprehensive overview of key considerations including:

- the different options for 'onshore' and 'offshore' establishment, including the various forms of corporate vehicle available;

- foreign ownership restrictions;

- licensing requirements; and

- incorporation timings.

To receive a copy of the latest guide please email elizabeth.murrin@allenovery.com or contact Samer Eido, via the contact information above.

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