Rising Stars

Firms To Watch: Employment

With activity in construction, development, and infrastructure projects, DWF Middle East LLP is a key port of call for architects and designers, contractors, as well as public sector entities. New arrivals to the team include Paul Suckling who has over three decades of experience in the sector and Oliver Dupenois who is well-regarded for his broad arbitration capabilities. The pair joined the practice from Horizons & Co in August 2023.

Employment in United Arab Emirates

Al Tamimi & Company

With ‘high knowledge and experience’, Al Tamimi & Company is a key port of call for various multinationals and public sector entities. The practice’s broad caseload spans day-to-day employee relations, employment litigation, as well as transactional work. Samir Kantaria oversees the team and is a strong choice for blue chip clients, while Gordon Barr is experienced in advising financial institutions. Co-lead of the education team Ivor McGettigan handles disciplinary proceedings for a breadth of UAE-based schools.

Responsables de la pratique:

Samir Kantaria

Autres avocats clés:

Gordon Barr; Ivor McGettigan; Sabrina Saxena

Les références

‘High knowledge and experience, the team is easy to reach and no matter who I contact, someone will get back to me.’

‘I appreciate the quality of advice and responsiveness.’

‘Exceptional local experience of laws and practice.’

Principaux clients


Walt Disney




DP World


General Electrics


JP Morgan

Principaux dossiers

Clyde & Co LLP

Noted for its expertise in the employment aspects of corporate transactions, Clyde & Co LLP’s full-service offering encompasses bonus schemes, breaches of employment contracts, recruitment, and contract structuring. Praised for her ‘pragmatic and commercially orientated’ advice, Sara Khoja often handles matters concerning senior employees. Former legal director Samantha Ellaby departed the practice for an in-house role in September 2023. Rebecca Ford left the practice in February 2024.

Responsables de la pratique:

Sara Khoja

Les références

‘Sara Khoja is one of the few employment lawyers in region with a real depth of knowledge and experience. As a consequence, her advice is always pragmatic and commercially orientated and she identifies issues that others don’t.’

‘Very professional, highly qualified, and extremely supportive.’

Principaux clients


Blackberry FZ-LLC and Midis

Commerzbank AG

Willis North America Inc.


Hexagon PPM Middle East FZ LLC

Shelf Drilling

Principaux dossiers

Pinsent Masons LLP

Lauded as ‘experts within the field’, Pinsent Masons LLP boasts a strong roster of academic establishments, infrastructure, and Middle East-based business clients. The ‘responsive, commercial, and helpful’ practice has also recently been engaged in an assortment of high-profile employment investigations. The ‘phenomenalLuke Tapp leads the team and handles a breadth of non-contentious matters including employee transfers, restructuring, and senior executive terminations and exit strategies. Ruth Stephen and Michael Chattle are knowledgeable of employee regulations in free zones, while Lujain Assaf is experienced in annual leave entitlement, breach of contract, and bonus payment arbitration.

Responsables de la pratique:

Luke Tapp

Autres avocats clés:

Ruth Stephen; Michael Chattle; Lujain Assaf

Les références

‘The team is very responsive and provides information in a timely manner. We go to the team because they are experts within the field and are known in the market as one of the go-to law firms for employment related advice.’

‘Pinsent Masons’ team is very responsive. They are our No.1 firm in relation to employment queries and have accommodated several of our requests over the years. High-quality advice along with practical solutions.’

‘The team took the time to explain and work with clients for the best outcome. Collaborative and tech focused.’

Principaux clients

Dubai Multi Commodities Center freezone Authority (“DMCC”)

Costa Coffee

international Management Group (“IMG”)

Underwriters Laboratories LLC (“UL LLC”)

National Oilwell Varco (“NOV”)

University of Birmingham

Reed & McKay

Tata Consultancy Services

Creative Zone


Investment Corporation Dubai

Emirates NBD


Ethos Energy

MTN Group

Arcadis Group

Principaux dossiers

  • Assisted an infrastructure client with a employment dismissal.
  • Advised a construction company on a large-scale team move from their business to a competitor, together with alleged fraud and embezzlement by the business’ former General Manager.
  • Represented a telecoms company in defending all employment law claims filed by a former senior employee in the DIFC Court.

Afridi & Angell

Particularly active in company restructurings, team moves, and whistleblowing regulations, Afridi & Angell is noted for its capabilities in UAE labour law mandates. The practice is principally focused on employer side representation and is led by ‘seasoned professional and problem solverCharles Laubach, who is proficient in compensation schemes, the employment aspects of M&A, and workforce reduction programmes. Stuart Walker advises multinational entities on their UAE branch establishment and is a key contact for corporate and financial services clients. Sulakshana Senanayake is well-regarded for his experience in DIFC court litigation.

Responsables de la pratique:

Charles Laubach

Autres avocats clés:

Stuart Walker; Sulakshana Senanayake

Les références

‘The commitment and the qualification of the team makes it stand out.’

‘The team provided practical advice about operating in Dubai/UAE.’

‘Charles Laubach is a seasoned professional and problem solver.’

Principaux clients


ABB Industries

Kuoni Travel Group

American School of Dubai

Dubai Electricity & Water Authority


Mai Dubai

Tonic International


Al Batha Group

Principaux dossiers

  • Advising a key employee allegedly accused of wrongdoing (in a whistleblowing case) in negotiations with their employer.
  • Advising the New York-based hiring employer on the DIFC aspects of a global team move involving hundreds of employees in multiple jurisdictions.


A strong choice for a litany of international corporates, Dentons is noted for its ‘global footprint and local knowledge’. Offering clients ‘first rate advice’, Shiraz Sethi leads the department and handles employment recruitment, terminations, and workplace investigations across the energy, insurance, and technology sectors. Chris Brennan represents corporates and individuals in criminal prosecution, and leads the firm’s compliance and investigations team. Ali Al Assaad frequently handles the drafting and negotiations of employment offers and contracts.

Responsables de la pratique:

Shiraz Sethi

Autres avocats clés:

Chris Brennan; Ali Al Assaad

Les références

‘The team remains our first port of call for any employment or restructuring matters. Its global footprint and local knowledge makes it the perfect legal partners in dealing with employment matters and wider commercial matters.’

‘The team is fast, precise, and very thorough in its advice.’

‘The attorneys have a very good understanding of corporate needs but are also very good in combining these with the necessities of local laws and customs.’

Principaux clients





Emerging Markets Property Group (EMPG) Holding Limited



Deloitte LLP Dubai





Wizz Air

Seara Arabia Food Industry

AT Kearney

Astound Commerce


Grant Thornton



Al Futtaim


DP World






Malvyn Group

Mizuho Bank




Principaux dossiers

  • Assisted JAFZA on the review of its entire employment eco-system including all template employment contracts, JAFZA Rules, policies and procedures relating to employment.
  • Advised Mizuho on the transfer of the its team members from their Moscow office in light of its closure due to the Ukraine/Russia conflict.
  • Assisted Nike with the review of various policies and documentation relating to diversity and inclusion.

DLA Piper

At the forefront of federal labour law mandates, DLA Piper is commended for its ‘expertise and experience to handle complex matters’. The team, which is chosen counsel for blue-chip construction, energy, and technology clients, is proficient in employee benefits, data privacy, and global mobility. Practice head Iain Skinner is well equipped to handle executive terminations, exit strategies, as well as confidentiality, free zone, and onshore UAE labour disputes. Nadia Akhter is adept in the employment aspects of M&A transactions and regulatory investigations concerning employee data privacy and employment litigation.

Responsables de la pratique:

Iain Skinner

Autres avocats clés:

Nadia Akhter

Les références

‘The team make every effort to understand your business and its needs. The team consistently maintains a quick turnaround time and ensure you feel supported throughout. ’

‘The team is very equipped, having the expertise and experience to handle complex matters. ’

‘We closely work with Iain Skinner in all employment matters, and he is able to cater to our requests mostly that come with very short notice. Since they understand our business, they provide all possible options for addressing the matter best, ensuring all parties are satisfied. ’

Principaux clients

Lindamood -Bell Learning Processes DMCC

Principaux dossiers

  • Advising a multinational technology company on restrictive covenants following a senior employee’s resignation to join a competitor.
  • Advising a retail brand on a global restructure, including workforce reduction and the harmonisation of employment terms.
  • Assisting a multinational technology company with conducting an investigation into racism and bullying of staff members.

Eversheds Sutherland LLP

Eversheds Sutherland LLP handles the full-range of non-contentious employment mandates, notably business expansion, crisis management, internal investigations, and high-level senior level exits. On the contentious side, the practice is well regarded for its arbitrary dismissal and end of service gratuity entitlement capabilities. Geraldine Ahern is knowledgeable of employment contracts, international labour law issues, and the reviewing of employment handbooks. Lisa Bryson often advises clients on diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as restrictive covenants.

Responsables de la pratique:

Geraldine Ahern; Lisa Bryson

Les références

‘The Eversheds team in the UAE has good knowledge of the local legislations whilst being able to provide a European view on employment law and HR matters.’

‘Very responsive with precise and practical advice.’

Principaux clients


Syniverse Technologies

Factset (UAE) Limited

Plumiri Wealth (Dubai) Limited




Seadrill Limited


New York University Abu Dhabi

Principaux dossiers

Hadef & Partners LLC

Praised as ‘practical, responsive, and straightforward when it comes to contentious situations’, Hadef & Partners LLC is proficient in employment investigations arising from employee fraud. Litigation specialist Rachel Hill often advises clients on the implications of the UAE labour law, while Taher Abdeen Ibrahim is skilled at labour and local immigration disputes before various federal courts. Suzanne Gingles is frequently engaged in UAE employment compliance.

Responsables de la pratique:

Rachel Hill

Autres avocats clés:

Taher Abdeen Ibrahim; Suzanne Gingles

Les références

‘Rachel Hill and the team standout as practical, responsive, and straightforward when it comes to contentious situations.’

‘I’ve always found Rachel Hill and her wider team very responsive when we’ve required advice, which they give pragmatically.’

‘They provide legal advice that is commercially appropriate and relevant.’

Principaux clients

Adidas Emerging Markets LLC

Bloomberg LP


Google FZ LLC

Visa International SA

Wipro Ltd

Publicis Groupe SA

The Giving Movement


Principaux dossiers

  • Advised Adidas on the termination of employees.
  • Advised Google on termination procedures and arbitrary dismissal entitlements.
  • Advised Visa on all employment matters from investigations, policy, and terminations.

KBH Limited

Offering clients ‘an exceptional blend of legal expertise, innovative solutions, and a strategic vision’, KBH Limited is well versed in employment contractual disputes. The team is also further praised for its ‘track record of remarkable success in complex cases’ and is led by ‘seasoned litigatorBushra Ahmed. Kamila Sielski is experienced in representing various employment clients before the DIF courts, while Helen Dent is also a key member of the team.

Responsables de la pratique:

Bushra Ahmed

Autres avocats clés:

Kamila Sielski; Helen Dent

Les références

‘KBH is a truly unique legal practice, offering an exceptional blend of legal expertise, innovative solutions, and a strategic vision.’

‘It has a track record of remarkable successes in complex cases. The team also has a strong commitment to workplace diversity and the development of their team members. KBH’s unwavering dedication to client-centricity and professional growth makes it a top choice for referrals and clients seeking excellence and success.’

‘Bushra Ahmed is a seasoned litigator known for her strategic vision and in-depth understanding of complex legal matters. Her leadership has been pivotal in securing significant victories in employment law cases which have set new legal precedents.’

Principaux clients

Paramjit Kahlon

Principaux dossiers

  • Represented Paramjit Kahlon in an employment dispute.

Squire Patton Boggs

Often handling preeminent workplace investigations, Squire Patton Boggs specialises in employment privacy and data protection compliance. With a global offering, the practice is also well-equipped to handle a breadth of litigation before Oman, Saudi, and UAE Labour Courts. Praised for her ‘deep knowledge of local laws and practices’, Sarah Lawrence advises clients on workforce training, workplace behavioural and harassment issues, as well as workplace investigations. Habib Saeed handles settlement agreements, senior executive terminations, and the employment aspects of corporate M&A transactions. Ayah Abdin is proficient in employee transfers, as well as the review of contracts and handbooks.

Responsables de la pratique:

Sarah Lawrence

Autres avocats clés:

Habib Saeed; Ayah Abdin

Les références

‘The advice of this team has been instrumental in our growth and expansion over the last decade, and we cannot recommend the team enough for its commercial and strategic support.’

‘Sarah Lawrence provides rapid, accurate, and commercial answers that get to the point immediately. Sarah always puts the right priority level on instructions.’

‘Sarah Lawrence has deep knowledge of local laws and practices coupled with expertise in handling complex and sensitive employment matters.’

Principaux clients









City Football Group

Warner Media

McDonald’s Corporation

Boston Consulting Group, Inc. (BCG)

Principaux dossiers

  • Advising a multinational telecoms company on a highly confidential and sensitive workplace investigation as a result of an internal compliance complaint raised against an employee in the client’s senior leadership team.
  • Advising Raytheon Technologies on all labour and employment matters across the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe and Latin America.
  • Advised City Football Group on employment issues arising from the relocation and engagement of a number of executives in the UAE including issues of dual employment rights.

Stephenson Harwood Middle East LLP

A ‘very cohesive and responsive team’, Stephenson Harwood Middle East LLP collaborates with the firm’s international network on cross-border business restructurings, incentives arrangements, and employment litigation. Kiersten Lucas is particularly skilled at internal investigations, restrictive covenants, as well as the employment aspects of international data protection and privacy. Emily Aryeetey advises DFSA-regulated employers on financial services regulations, Laura Anderson is well versed in immigration matters, and Youssab Rafla is noted for his wrongful termination capabilities.

Responsables de la pratique:

Kiersten Lucas; Emily Aryeetey

Autres avocats clés:

Laura Anderson; Youssab Rafla

Les références

‘As in prior years, this continues to be a strongly cohesive and professional team which works in total and complete collaboration with each other – this being a key ingredient to ensure our company (as clients) get the most integrated outcome possible.’

‘The employment team at SH is a very cohesive and responsive.’

‘Kiersten Lucas and her team are highly competent, experts in their field, professional, and they have the unique ability to ensure there is a practical and reasonable approach to the work they do.’

Principaux clients

A. T. Kearney

VEOLIA Water Technologies and Solutions

Western Bulk Middle East DMCC

Access Hire

Accord Healthcare MENA DMCC

Adenza Group Inc


AES International

Al Tayer Group

Amplify Marketing Agency DMCC

Arcus Infrastructure Partners

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP.

Atlas Mara Banking Group

Bank of China

Cleartrip Inc

Edenhurst Capital Limited

Fun Fashion FZCO

Galderma International SAS / Galderma Middle East FZ LLC

Hamburg Sud

Hanover Communications Middle East

Inspired Education Group

Interoperability Middle East Technology LLC

Kaya Skin Clinic

LGT Group

Loro Piana SpA

M&C Saatchi

Maviga DMCC (part of ED&F Man Group)

Mizuho Group

National Oilwell Varco

Peacock Group Holdings

Robert Walters

Sentinel Commodities DMCC

Shalina Resources

Simcorp Limited

TMF Group

Trident Trust (I.O.M) Limited

TSA Group

Uberbinder, Inc / Uberbinder Limited

United Insurance Brokers (UIB) (DIFC) Ltd

Principaux dossiers

  • Advising Al Tayer Group on Middle East employment law and litigation.
  • Advised VEOLIA Water Technologies and Solutions on UAE employment matters.
  • Advised SimCorp on employment and employment-linked matters arising in the UAE and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Addleshaw Goddard

The team at Addleshaw Goddard is a key port of call for financial and professional services clients on employment disputes. ‘Exceptional lawyerBen Brown co-leads the team, and he is ‘extremely knowledgeable, responsive, and receives great support from David True'. Also co-lead of the practice, Gorvinder Pannu specialises in union legislation and industrial action.

Responsables de la pratique:

Ben Brown; Gorvinder Pannu

Autres avocats clés:

David True

Les références

‘Extremely hardworking, outstanding, diligent, and cautious of the deadlines.’

‘The practice delivers great value advice and support to our institution across the entire spectrum of employment matters. A deep engagement/commitment to each matter.’

‘An incredibly strong global practice, with commercial nous.’

Principaux clients

Standard Chartered Bank

The Industrial Group



Kuiper Group





Estee Lauder

Principaux dossiers

  • Defending Standard Chartered Bank against claims for victimisation, harassment, and discrimination brought against it in the DIFC Courts by an ex-compliance officer.
  • Acting for The Industrial Group in the DIFC Court of Appeal against claims for malicious prosecution and outstanding entitlements.
  • Advising Grohe on claims brought against it for moral damages as well as outstanding contractual and statutory entitlements.

Baker McKenzie LLP

Leveraging support from the firm’s offices across the Middle East, Baker McKenzie LLP's UAE presence has a strong record before free zone authorities, tribunals as well as various UAE courts. Praised for its ‘expertise of the local market’, the practice is also geared to handle employment mandates pertaining to transactions. Joanna Matthews-Taylor leads the team and is proficient in compliance as well as workplace investigations. Aqsa Khan-Sadiq, Mark Tedeschi, and Sami Nasr are further key team members.

Responsables de la pratique:

Joanna Matthews-Taylor

Autres avocats clés:

Aqsa Khan-Sadiq; Mark Tedeschi; Sami Nasr

Les références

‘Expertise of the local market and an understanding of the nuances of immigration rules and requirements which ties in very closely with labour law.’

‘Joanna Matthews Taylor has expertise of specific freezones, and her knowledge of Emiratization has been crucial.’

Principaux clients


Taaleem Holdings PSC

Principaux dossiers

  • Advised Taaleem Holdings on the acquisition of Jebel AliSchool.
  • Assisted AbbVie on the development and roll out of a program to support the career development of young lawyers from disadvantaged background across MEA and APAC.
  • Advised Emerson on the sale of a client’s majority stake in its Climate Technologies business to private equity funds managed by Blackstone.

Bird & Bird

Praised for its ‘specialised knowledge of labour law matters across several jurisdictions’, Bird & Bird handles employment contracts, investigations, exits and transfers. Johannes Eisser oversees the team, his recent caseload featuring a number of employee terminations, while Surabhi Singhi is knowledgeable of post-termination restrictions and obligations.

Responsables de la pratique:

Johannes Eisser

Autres avocats clés:

Surabhi Singhi

Les références

‘Johannes Eisser stands out for his deep knowledge of the law and his communication skills.’

‘The Bird & Bird UAE Eemmployment team stands out through its specialized knowledge of labor law matters across several jurisdictions.’

‘The lawyers working with us have an excellent grasp of the issues and where and how to find the appropriate solutions for clients.’

Principaux clients

Rackspace Limited

Florin Court Capital


Jebel Ali School

Principaux dossiers

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has a strong record in contentious employment claims before the DIFC, as well as various other courts in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. On the non-contentious side, the practice excels in employee transfers and terminations, service gratuity and bonus schemes, as well as travel bans and visa cancellations. Stuart Paterson specialises in the energy and financial service sectors and is often engaged in corporate crime, investigations, and regulatory matters. Benjamin Hopps handles M&A transactions and senior employee exit strategies, while Janine Mallis is proficient in restrictive covenants and whistleblowing protections.

Responsables de la pratique:

Stuart Paterson; Benjamin Hopps

Autres avocats clés:

Janine Mallis

Principaux clients

Toll Global Forwarding

Fieldcore Services

Oliver Wyman

Mizuho Gulf Capital Partners


Mizuho Gulf Capital Partners

Principaux dossiers

K&L Gates

With a full-service offering, K&L Gates represents clients on contentious arbitrary dismissal, discrimination, restrictive covenants, and unpaid dues matters. With over a decade of experience, Nazanin Aleyaseen is proficient in internal investigations surrounding fraud and misconduct. Mohammad Rwashdeh is also a key member of the team with broad contentious and non-contentious employment capabilities.

Responsables de la pratique:

Nazanin Aleyaseen

Autres avocats clés:

Mohammad Rwashdeh

Principaux clients

Amadeus IT System SA

Sinch AB

Principaux dossiers

  • Advising Amadeus IT Group SA on a range of employment law issues.
  • Advised Sinch AB on its acquisition of SAP Digital Interconnect.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal Middle East LLP

Counting FMCG, energy, public sector, and technology clients on its roster, PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal Middle East LLP’s key strengths lie in GCC pensions and incentives. Natalie Jones leads the team and her recent caseload features activity in branch establishment, compliance, Emiratization, and pension law. Victoria Smylie is experienced in corporate transactions, internal investigations, and global restructuring projects.

Responsables de la pratique:

Natalie Jones

Autres avocats clés:

Victoria Smylie

Les références

‘The team is experienced, responsive and highly knowledgeable.’

‘Natalie Jones is not just a great employment lawyer, but acts as a business partner to the client as well. Natalie has sharp technical skills as well as being practical in outlook and approach.’

Principaux clients

Baker Hughes


Emirates CAE Flight Training


Harvard Business Publishing

Nanostone Water




Principaux dossiers

  • Represented a client on challenging a fine notice issued from the GPSSA amounting to AED1.4m.
  • Acted for Dow Jones on the post-acquisition employment aspects of its acquisition of IHS Markits.
  • Assisted a multinational beverage company with the establishment of its global employment company in the UAE.