With more than 30 lawyers and consultants in our Middle East and North Africa group, our International practice has extensive experience of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), which includes the following countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
A number of our lawyers, consultants and staff interested in these countries speak Arabic, Aramaic, Farsi, French and Spanish. Firmwide our lawyers, consultants and staff speak more than 40 languages. Our ties in the region are enhanced through close collaboration with Saudi Arabian firm Badr Alarishi, based in Jeddah, with whom we have a non-exclusive cooperation agreement. We also collaborate with other firms, including fellow members of legal networks LNI and Lex Mundi.
McGuireWoods is active in the MENA region, where we have represented clients in both non-contentious and contentious matters from numerous Arabic-speaking countries throughout the Arabic MENA. We have worked extensively in the oil and gas, power generation, manufacturing, financial and private equity sectors throughout the MENA region. We continue to work closely with regional governments and key royal families.
Historically, our work has focused on private equity and joint venture transactions. In that capacity we have advised our clients in the US and UK on major real estate transactions involving the UAE, Lebanon and elsewhere. We have represented financial institutions and investors holding positions in local real estate and developments in Dubai, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.
We have also represented local and foreign financial institutions in the MENA, particularly in the UAE, Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia, on the local regulations and legal aspects of doing business in the region. We have advised on a range of Islamic financing matters, as well as aircraft and equipment leases, purchases and Western-style financings in the region. Two of our partners advised the first Qatari private equity fund in the first ever proceedings before the Qatar Financial Center Civil and
Commercial Court in a dispute involving common law, codified law and Sharia law issues.
Our private equity work has included energy, alternative energy, floating domains, hospitality, high-tech, security, health, hospital and pharmaceutical, luxury brand distribution and protection, franchising (including advising a leading high-end retail brand on franchise and distribution agreements in Kuwait, UAE and Saudi Arabia), licensing and food security. We have also advised on Human Rights and corporate social responsibility issues affecting the region, the US Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC), the UK Bribery Act and US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) issues.
In North Africa, our work has focused primarily on the financial, real estate, resort development and natural resource sectors.