Firm / Organisation

Abou Jaoude & Associates Law Firm

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Managing Partner: Carlos Abou Jaoude
Number of partners: 9
Number of attorneys: 40
Languages: Arabic, English, French, Italian, Spanish

Firm Overview:
Abou Jaoude & Associates Law Firm has established itself as the largest multi-practice law firm in Lebanon mirroring the very best in the industry, with forty attorneys including nine partners.
The firm is renowned for advising on complex transactions of first impression in the region, namely a $150m cross-border syndicated facility, the acquisition of a real estate company through the issuance of convertible bonds, a ground-breaking multi-bank private placement initiative to finance the launch of a TV station, a $200 million securitisation of real estate, asset receivables, the acquisition of a listed bank in Europe, and major power projects. Its added value is particularly sought after in acquisitions and structured finance, and the firm’s attorneys are distinguished by an in-depth specialisation and a sharp understanding of the commercial as well as the legal aspect of clients’ businesses.
The firm works closely with a number of correspondents in various jurisdictions and is a member of the Geneva Group International’s (GGI) global multidisciplinary networks, allowing the firm to offer its clients reliable legal assistance on an international level.
The firm has been recognised as a market leader by reputable global legal directories, including Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners, and has reaped many awards in recognition of its expertise and achievements in the fields of M&A and banking.

Main Areas of Practice:
AJA has positioned itself as a pioneer in various areas of the law including:

Corporate Law, Mergers & Acquisitions & Private Equity:
The firm is a dominant market advisor on the establishment, corporate governance and day-to-day operation of local and multinational companies. The firm handles major local and cross-border transactions from inception to completion and advises on the strategic formation of acquisition vehicles, private equity funds and the overall structuring and execution of major equity and non-equity investment transactions.

Banking & Finance & Structured Finance:
AJA advises local and foreign banks and financial companies on banking operations, transactions and asset management activities. The firm also handles the structuring and implementation of complex financing transactions involving a broad range of traditional and newer asset classes and counsels clients pushing the boundaries of traditional finance to focus on structured finance and investment banking.

Telecommunications & Media:
AJA provides advice on licensing issues, bids, acquisitions and joint ventures of local and regional telecommunication companies. The firm also maintains a regional media practice and advises TV stations and advertising companies on all advertising, production and post-production issues.

Real Estate, Construction & Project Development:
AJA handles all matters related to leasing, acquiring and owning real estate and represents clients on a broad range of construction and project development matters in various industries and sectors.

Privatisation:
AJA actively advises governmental agencies on setting up privatisation programs and related laws and regulations.

Intellectual Property & Information Technology:
AJA advises local and multinational clients on the procurement of IP rights and licenses and provides guidance on the legal aspects of software development.

Tax:
AJA’s attorneys combine their in-depth knowledge of the general and particular nuances of tax law of various countries to manage and resolve tax issues arising out of the day-to-day business and transactional activities of legal entities operating across the region.

Financial Restructuring & Insolvency:
AJA consistently tailors innovative solutions to difficult financial situations in an effort to reduce financial liability, minimise costs and achieve an optimal objective with respect to the financial restructuring and insolvency proceedings of corporate clients.

International Trade & Franchising:
AJA provides guidance on the bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements and the WTO rules in the regulation of the international trade of goods and services. The firm also represents various franchises established in Lebanon and the MENA region and advises a number of clients wishing to evolve their businesses into franchises by recommending the most efficient legal framework and market entry strategies and handles the negotiation and implementation of franchise setups.

Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution:
AJA handles multidisciplinary litigation claims before various judicial bodies and recommends and provides counsel on alternative dispute resolution procedures in a number of commercial disputes arising out of agreements and transactions in various industries.

Representative Work:
As a regional market leader, AJA has played a consistently prominent role in advising on a wide spectrum of landmark transactions in the MENA region, Europe and the US. The firm’s recent representative work includes counseling on the merger of two large commercial banks, and on various major acquisitions in the telecoms, media, IT and food and berverage sectors, the acquisition of a real estate company through the issuance of hybrid financial instruments for the development of a first-of-its-kind wellness resort in the Middle East, and a ground-breaking multi-bank private placement initiative to finance the launch of a TV station. AJA also advised on a pioneer transaction involving a $200 million securitisation of asset receivables, the acquisition of a listed bank in Europe and the first-of-its kind conversion of a financial company into an investment bank. The firm has a strong expertise in the expansion of a bank’s network through synergies between its commercial and investment banking activities and cross-border banking and a wide range of domestic and international extensions of credit. In addition to attending to its client needs, the firm is solicited to participate in a number of public policy and legislation reforms in collaboration with local and international governmental bodies such as the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, the World Bank and the IFC.

Clients:
The firm maintains the biggest client base in the market with clients who contribute vitally to the country’s economic growth. Clients include local and international commercial and investment banks, financial companies, governmental agencies, major investors and entrepreneurs, insurance companies, trade companies, service providers, consultants, distributors, real estate developers and charitable organisations. Many of the firm’s clients, who maintain a strong international presence throughout the MENA region, the UK, Europe and the US, rely on the firm’s wide resources for all their legal needs.