ASAR - Al Ruwayeh & Partners

General Business Law Department

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What the team is known for

Market-leading firm offering expertise across an array of corporate and commercial matters. Capital markets transactions continue to be an area of particular strength, further to a flourishing dispute resolution practice. M&A, Islamic finance and PPP projects are other areas of noted skill. Maintains a large team of stellar practitioners who are retained by a premier clientele to handle complex cross-border transactions. The firm remains a local partner of choice for several leading international law firms.


One client was quick to praise the group as "a good team that is always on time and efficient." The same client further noted that "they have a good international outlook and always keep us updated. Their briefs meet what we want and are always on time, or even early. It's a personalised service and they take our needs into account."

Another client enthused: "Their strength is that they have a strong command of legal matters, written and communicated in both English and Arabic," adding that "they have a number of professionals from different countries and backgrounds - they always find the right talent."

Work highlights

Represented Natixis and National Bank of Abu Dhabi in the extension of a more than USD97 million credit facility to Kuwait-headquartered Mobile Telecommunications Company (Zain).

Notable practitioners

Managing partner Ahmed Barakat continues to be regarded as a top-tier practitioner by peers and clients alike, particularly in the litigation arena. One client remarked that "he adds value with his tactical and strategic approach. He knows how to fix problems and can refer to a wealth of past cases as he has 30 years of experience." Another source enthused: "Ahmed is an excellent litigation lawyer. He is smart and polished and I have a lot of respect for him."

Ahmed Zakaria is well regarded in the market, with one source remarking that he is "very capable." The same source also commented on Zakaria's long-standing track record working on transactions. Zakaria divides his practice between disputes and transactional work.

Ezekiel Tuma is described as having "a very practical approach," with one interviewee adding that "he is a formidable lawyer who knows his stuff." A native of Uganda, Tuma continues to advise on a variety of M&A and finance transactions there, and is also a partner at leading Ugandan firm Shonubi, Musoke & Co.

John Cunha advises on the full gamut of banking and finance, M&A and capital markets transactions. One client enthused that Cunha is "excellent," going on to note that he is "responsive, clear and quick at turning stuff around."

Senior partner Sam Habbas is a leading corporate practitioner in Kuwait. Clients enthuse about the quality of his work, with one interviewee stating: "He is very clever, very dynamic - a fantastic lawyer. He gets stuff done and really understands things." The same client remarked that Habbas is a strong mentor to junior lawyers. Another source stated: "Sam is very professional and has a lot of experience." Habbas is a native English speaker and is also fluent in Arabic.