Global law firm Baker McKenzie has won three awards at the Middle East Legal Awards 2020 hosted by industry leading media group Legal Week on 5 November 2020.

During these unprecedented times of market disruption brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and other geopolitical developments, the firm continues to cement its leading position in the legal industry, having won: “Arbitration Team of the Year” and “Real Estate Team of the Year” for the first time, and “Corporate Team of the Year” for the second year running. The firm was also shortlisted for “Banking, Finance and Restructuring Team of the Year”.

Although this year’s awards ceremony has been cancelled due to the pandemic, the annual awards continue to be recognized as the region’s premier legal awards, celebrating the excellence, outstanding achievements and innovation within the legal profession in the Middle East.

Andrew Mackenzie, Partner and Head of the International Arbitration, Construction and Offshore Litigation practice at Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla based in Dubai, commented:

We are thrilled to be recognised as the “Arbitration Team of the Year” at the Legal Week Middle East Awards 2020. The team has gone from strength to strength over the last three years, winning appointments on the largest and most complex disputes across the MENA region. Amid the current crisis, the Firm remains a lighthouse for the global and regional elite, helping them remain resilient in the face of the current economic storm. Our thanks to our clients for the continued trust and confidence they place in us to resolve their complex multi-jurisdictional disputes across the Middle East and globally.”

Robert Eastwood, Partner in the Corporate & Securities practice at Legal Advisors, Abdulaziz AlAjlan & Partners based in Riyadh, added:

Winning the Middle East Legal Awards “Corporate Team of the Year” for the second consecutive year is a testament to the strength of our firm’s global and local transactional practices, as we continue to excel in cross-border deal-making in the region. The Arabian Centres’ IPO – the first fully international equity offering by a Saudi issuer – is a great example of how we assist clients in finding novel solutions to boost liquidity and stabilize operations particularly during these times of economic uncertainty. On behalf of the Legal Advisors team, I would like to thank our Gulf and London colleagues for their commitment and collaboration in this groundbreaking transaction.”

The real estate and construction market in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and in the Middle East generally, remains optimistic and booming despite the economic slowdown brought about by the pandemic, with a multitude of residential and commercial mega projects in the pipeline”, concluded Bilal Ambikapathy, Partner and Head of the Real Estate and Hospitality practice of Baker McKenzie based in Bahrain. “The establishment of and continued investments through the USD3.2 billion Makkah Real Estate Development Fund validate this commitment to the Middle East real estate sector as well as our own commitment to support our clients in securing long-term high value assets and building sustainable infrastructure particularly as we enter this period of recovery and renewal. It is an honor to have won the Middle East Legal Awards “Real Estate Team of the Year” and we thank Legal Week, the distinguished panel of judges and our peers for this outstanding market recognition.”

For over three decades, Baker McKenzie has helped businesses optimize opportunities and mitigate risk in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Our multidisciplinary MENA team of more than 30 partners and 130 senior associates, operates as an integrated team and along with colleagues from Baker McKenzie offices worldwide, offers local expertise across a wide range of areas of law coupled with international best practices and standards.

Author

Andrew Mackenzie is the UAE Head of the International Arbitration and Construction practices of Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla, based in Dubai. He specialises in international arbitration law, with a particular focus on construction, energy, technology and financial institution disputes. Andrew has been based in the UAE for over 10 years and also has full rights of audience in the DIFC courts. He has advised on complex commercial disputes under a variety of civil and common law systems from across MENA and Africa, tried cases in all of the major arbitration forums (both treaty-based and commercial) and also sits as an arbitrator.

Author

Robert Eastwood is a Corporate partner of Legal Advisors, Abdulaziz I. Al-Ajlan & Partners In Association with Baker McKenzie Limited, based in Riyadh. He specialises in initial public offerings and private placements and regularly advises international and local banks and financial institutions on cross border securities business, brokerage, custody, licensing and establishing business presences.

Author

Bilal Ambikapathy heads Baker McKenzie's Real Estate and Hotels practice in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar. He has a commercial practice focusing on domestic and international hotel projects and real estate transactions, principally in Saudi Arabia and in the broader Middle East and North Africa region. Bilal regularly acts for investment banks on the formation of real estate funds and REITs in Saudi Arabia and on the acquisition and disposal of assets owned by funds.

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