Hall Of Fame

Firms To Watch: Investment fund formation and management

White & Case LLP bolstered its investment fund formation and management offering through the hire of Phillip Sacks, previously of Dechert LLP, in November 2023.

Investment fund formation and management in United Arab Emirates

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP's 'excellent' team is sought after by sovereign wealth funds and asset managers and is well-equipped to handle some of the largest mandates in the UAE. The group is equally well-versed advising on the restructuring and liquidation of funds, the establishment of funds, capital raising and fund investment, and Shariah-compliant fund work, all the while keeping abreast of regulatory and compliance concerns. Kamar Jaffer, who is noted for her ability 'to navigate through complex matters’, jointly heads the practice alongside banking and financing specialist Jodi Norman.

Responsables de la pratique:

Jodi Norman; Kamar Jaffer

Les références

‘The firm has a range of skill sets that work well together across functions and geographies. Team is responsive and manage us and our expectations (as the client) very well. We get the right advice and feel confident about their ability to deliver.’

‘Kamar Jaffer is responsive and always available on short notice, a pleasure to work with. She is extremely knowledgeable and always manages to navigate through complex matters’

‘Excellent team handling the larger mandates in the market.’

Principaux clients

PwC, official liquidators of Abraaj Holdings

Mubadala Capital

Mubadala Investment Company

InvestAD Brookfield Managers Limited

Softbank Investment Advisors

Abu Dhabi Growth Fund Advisors LLC


Gulf Capital

ADIB Capital

King & Spalding LLP

Highly regarded for its ‘comprehensive advice, especially for offshore structuring and local laws’, King & Spalding LLP works with an enviable list of financial sponsors and asset managers on outbound-focused investment fund structures and innovative transaction structures for a wide array of sector investors. The firm is also reputed for its strong track record in structuring complex, cross-border Shariah-compliant transactions, where the team is able to draw on the firm’s wider financial services regulatory offering. The team also handles a steady flow of instructions from sovereign wealth fund and high-net-worth clients. James Stull is a key relationship partner for many of the firm’s most high-profile real estate funds and REITs and is also a key adviser for regional securities laws. Nabil Issa is a go-to for Saudi Arabian entities and has a far-reaching sector expertise that includes healthcare, fintech, education and food and beverage. Macky O’Sullivan is well-versed in conventional and Shari’ah compliant funds and senior associate Sayf Shuqair has supported on a litany of premium funds work. Counsel Dounia Mansour joined from Dechert LLP in August 2023.

Responsables de la pratique:

Nabil Issa; James Stull

Autres avocats clés:

Macky O’Sullivan; Sayf Shuqair; Dounia Mansour

Les références

‘Comprehensive advice, especially for offshore structuring and local laws.’

‘Very responsive and accommodating.’

Principaux clients

Mubadala Capital

Riyad Capital

Ashmore Investment Management Limited

Oman Investment Authority

Franklin Templeton

Affirma Capital

GFH Financial Group

Saudi Fransi Capital

KAMCO Invest

Gulf Islamic Investments

Waha Capital

Ninety One

Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Company (ADQ)

Global Ventures

Alpha Wave Global


KFH Capital

Emirates NBD Capital

International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC)

Social Development Bank

Alkhabeer Capital

Saudi Venture Capital Company

ADS Investment Solutions

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD)

Al Rajhi Capital

GIB Capital

Al Mal Capital

Derayah Financial

Jadwa Investment

Greenstone Equity Partners

Merak Capital

Further Ventures Limited

Alawwal Invest

AlJazira Capital

Events Investment Fund


Emirates Telecommunications Group Company PJSC (e&)

Principaux dossiers

  • Advised Gulf Islamic Investments Company and Al Khair Capital on the structuring and documentation of its investment in a Saudi Arabian private closed-ended investment fund managed by Alkhair Capital that acquired a majority interest in Miswak from Jadwa Investment Company.
  • Advised Alkhabeer Capital on the successful initial public offering of the Alkhabeer Growth and Income Traded Fund.
  • Advised Arcapita Capital Company on the establishment of a Saudi Arabian private closed-ended real estate fund with a target size of SAR 1.8 billion (US$480 million) that will invest in the Saudi Arabian logistics sector in both income-generating and development assets.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has a dominant position in the UAE market, acting for leading sponsors and investors on the formation of funds pertaining to venture capital, private credit, private equity, and real estate and infrastructure assets, demonstrating a broad coverage of activity across the GCC. The group also competently handles the inbound and outbound investments of large Shariah-compliant funds, often working with asset managers looking to raise debt or equity. Ayman Khaleq is a key contact for many of the firm's top clients, chiefly focusing on structuring complex cross-border investment transactions through offshore financial centres and free-zones. William Nash has recently overseen hedge fund formation matters in the ADGM and Alishia Sullivan has experience of acting for sovereign wealth funds and investors in the region. Other names to note include Amanjit K Fagura, who has a strong Islamic investment and financing practice, and Carolyn Abram, who brings regional and global fund formation experience from years working in London and New York. Associate Andrea Dougall is also noted.

Responsables de la pratique:

Ayman Khaleq; William Nash

Autres avocats clés:

Alishia Sullivan; Amanjit Fagura; Carolyn Abram; Andrea Dougall

Les références

‘Solid international and regional knowledge. ’

‘They are knowledgeable and pleasant to work with. ’

‘I have worked with Morgan Lewis since 2009 and specifically Ayman Khaleq and his team who were responsible for the set up of numerous investment funds and in various jurisdictions. Ayman’s expertise when it comes to sharia compliant structures and Islamic finance in general is unmatched.’

Norton Rose Fulbright

A near-unrivalled one-stop shop due to its ability to act on fund formation, execution and investments, Norton Rose Fulbright‘s client roster includes sovereign wealth funds, investment holding companies, and financial institutions. The practice is led by Zubair Mir and Geoffroy Hermanns, who stand out for their knowledge of the market and wider region. Matthew Shanahan adds expertise in regulatory knowledge. Recently, the group has acted on a range of Shari-ah compliant sub-funds, the establishment of an array of sector-focused funds, particularly energy, and assisted with major investments into funds. The team is lauded for it’s ‘proficiency across the ranks’, and associate Shakir Mogalia notably stands out as an integral supporting presence on multiple mandates, working across a range of asset classes such as private equity funds, real estate funds, and debt funds.

Responsables de la pratique:

Zubair Mir; Geoffroy Hermanns

Autres avocats clés:

Matthew Shanahan; Shakir Mogalia

Les références

‘The team is experienced, resourceful and very knowledgeable.’

‘Geoffroy Hermanns is very knowledgeable and experienced. His turn around time is beyond exceptional. Always happy to take calls at any time and ready to provide advice over and beyond the topic at hand.

‘We turn to the NRF funds team for their full range of capabilities in investment funds, particularly the launch and transactional phases – they manage our most strategic and sensitive cross-border transactions. The team stands out for their proficiency across the ranks – from partner to associate, each individual is responsive, concise and provides commercially sound advice.’

Principaux clients

Chimera Investment / Capital

Royal Group

G42 Asset Management

Mashreq Capital

Arqaam Capital

National Bonds Corporation

KHK Partners

Arise International

Bahrain Mumtalakat

Credit Suisse

Emirates NBD Asset Management

EFG Hermes

Dubai Islamic Bank

International Holding Company

Principaux dossiers

  • Advised Chimera on the establishment of three additional Shariah-compliant sub-funds as well as the first non-Shariah-compliant sub-fund for an onshore public fund pursuing an ETF (exchange traded fund) strategy that is regulated by the UAE Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) and is being currently listed.
  • Advised on the establishment of Africa Transformation and Industrialization Fund Limited Partnership (ATIF), a closed-ended, exempted fund currently registered with the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard bolstered its position in the UAE market through the hire of Philip Dowsett from Dechert LLP in July 2023, a funds-dedicated practitioner who has over 15 years of regional experience and has strength working with sovereign wealth funds, private equity and venture capital firms. Victoria Mesquita is a key name for fund financing instructions and has expertise handling work in the healthcare and energy sectors. The firm also has broad multi-jurisdictional coverage, aiding Middle Eastern funds with investments in the UK and European real estate market, and working with global entities on investments in the GCC.

Responsables de la pratique:

Philip Dowsett

Autres avocats clés:

Victoria Mesquita

Principaux clients

ASCA Capital


Nuwa Capital

Wamda Capital

Frontier Investment Management Partners

CedarBridge Capital


Humania Capital

StonePine Capital Partners

Gulf Capital

Principaux dossiers

  • Advising the Pearl REIF on the launch of the Shariah-compliant closed-ended REIF (Real Estate Investment Trust) and its initial public offering (IPO) on the Muscat Stock Exchange (MSX).
  • Advising Aljazira Capital, a Saudi-based investment manager, on aspects of its acquisition of “The Connection” office campus (the UK headquarters of Vodafone) from Vodafone as part of a sale-and-leaseback transaction through a structured investment platform.
  • Advising KAMCO, a Kuwaiti investment company, on the establishment of several offshore Shariah-compliant fund structures deploying capital in UK real estate assets.

Simmons & Simmons Middle East LLP

Simmons & Simmons Middle East LLP‘s funds and regulatory practice handles a considerable volume of high-value deals for many of the globe’s largest asset managers. The team is equally competent across conventional and Islamic structurings, and has been involved in several market firsts that include the first-ever credit fund and the first ICC structure in the DIFC. The Dubai office is headed by Muneer Khan, who is noted for his Shariah-complaint funds work. James Coleman has recently handled matters for private equity funds, hedge funds, investment managers. Managing associate Adam Wolstenholme is another name to note.

Responsables de la pratique:

Muneer Khan; James Coleman

Autres avocats clés:

Adam Wolstenholme

Les références

‘The team has great local knowledge and also possesses a wide network of local law firm collaborators.’

‘They are generally pragmatic and will try to get to a solution that satisfies the commercial imperatives at play. They are also very responsive, even out of hours.’

‘Muneer Khan is very knowledgeable and respected. He also exudes a sense of calm that makes the client experience feel very positive and results-driven.’

Principaux clients

Hambro Perks



Brevan Howard






Morgan Stanley

Asia Research & Capital Management

MFS Investment Management

Qube Research & Technologies

Principaux dossiers

  • Advised Hambro Perks on the establishment and investor closing of an ADGM venture capital fund.
  • Advised Hambro Perks on the establishment and investor closing of the first DIFC credit fund, with a focus on venture debt fund.