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Sabeti & Khatami

Tehran Office

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Sabeti & Khatami offers clients first-rate advice, commercial awareness, effective solutions and outstanding service on matters of Iranian law with an international element. Its market-leading capabilities are built on its founding partners’ prior experiences of leading complex cross-border transactions as a Magic Circle partner, and advising top international businesses in Iran at a leading domestic firm.

Since its founding in 2017, the firm has grown rapidly in recognition and stature. It is ranked in the top tier by all the major legal directories, and was named Iran Law Firm of the Year by Chambers in 2021 and 2022.

The firm has two partners and eight other highly capable fee-earners based in Tehran, nearly all with post-graduate law degrees.

Distinctions

The firm is shaped by a strong shared culture of zealous focus on quality, comprehensive dedication to the interests of clients and creativity in solving problems.

The firm understands the perspectives, preferences, concerns and constraints of international clients, and embraces its clients’ challenges as its own.

The firm has the expertise and commercial awareness to formulate and deliver advice that is on-point, clear and responsive. Where there are complex legal challenges, the firm’s experience and creativity, derived from decades of Iran and emerging markets work, allows development of novel and effective solutions.

Having ridden the sanctions-driven cycle of market entries, exits and re-entries, the firm is able to give strategic and comprehensive advice that helps clients effectively manage their short- and long-term business and risks in Iran.

Principal practice areas

Corporate and M&A: Having led some of the most significant transactions in the market, the firm is well equipped to advise on market entry and exit, corporate restructurings, domestic and cross-border M&A, foreign-domestic JVs and foreign investment matters.

Finance:Our significant high-level international expertise allows us to advise on basic to advanced debt and equity issuances, fund matters, general lending and banking, and financial regulation.

Projects: With experience of some of the major projects in Iran in recent years, the firm advises on concessions, IPCs, EPC agreements, off-takes, regulatory and licensing matters, local content and public procurement issues on projects including airports, ports, conventional and renewable power plants, oil and gas, road and rail, and water treatment facilities. The firm also advises on project financing arrangements.

Disputes: The firm has a successful record of representing foreign clients before Iranian courts in significant disputes, as well as in arbitration proceedings involving Iranian law. The firm advises on every step of a dispute, from assessment of a client’s position, to interim measures, proceedings, settlement negotiations, and recognition and enforcement of judgments and arbitral awards.

Other areas: In addition, the firm advises on specialist areas including agency, distributorship, trade, import, export and customs matters; intellectual property; taxation; real estate; labour law; and Free Trade-Industrial Zones and Special Economic / Energy Zones.

Clients and co-counsel

The firm counts among its recent clients:

  • Several leading multinational consumer goods companies
  • Several top European and Asian automobile manufacturers
  • Several Korean industrial conglomerates
  • Several leading European industrial manufacturing companies
  • Several major European and Asian renewable energy companies
  • Several European and Asian oil majors
  • Various leading domestic private technology-based companies and funds
  • A major European trading company
  • A major global social media company
  • A major European medical device company
  • A major European EPC company

The firm also regularly works as local co-counsel alongside Magic Circle firms, other top London-based global firms, and tier-one national law firms in China, Korea, Singapore, UAE, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and Germany.

Selected industries

E-commerce and fintech: Clients describe the firm’s expertise in this area as the most advanced in Iran. The firm has work with leading b2b, retail, travel and payment companies, advising shareholders and investors on corporate structuring and restructuring, fundraisings and M&A; conducting M&A due diligence; and preparing and negotiating M&A and funding documentation.

Automotive: The firm has worked closely with key foreign auto manufacturers in Iran and has developed a close understanding of the industry. Experience includes acquisitions, foreign-domestic JVs, joint manufacturing arrangements and undertaking the due diligence necessary to support these transactions.

Finance and financial institutions: The firm handles advanced financial transactions work, bringing to bear significant high-level international expertise in this area. Experience includes sophisticated debt issuances, IPOs, banking matters and investment fund matters.

Consumer goods: The firm regularly advises multinational consumer goods companies on market entry and exit, structuring inbound investments, fundraising, acquisitions, foreign-domestic JVs, general corporate matters, regulatory matters, disputes and legal due diligence to support transactions.

Renewable energy: The firm has advised a number of foreign renewable energy developers initiating projects in Iran, and is quite versed in the legal and commercial aspects of the industry. Experience includes acquisitions of renewable energy assets, consortium agreements, concessions, project development, PPAs, regulatory and licensing matters, real estate matters, and the relevant legal due diligence.