Firm / Organisation

Sarkis & Associates

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Number of senior partners: 4
Number of lawyers: 20
Languages: Arabic, English, French

Firm Overview:
The firm, established in 1960, is one of the largest integrated law firms in Syria providing a comprehensive range of specialised legal and consultation services to meet the needs of both domestic and international clients. Sarkis & Associates is recognised as a leading Syrian law firm specialising in innovative, commercial solutions to the most complex issues. Today, the firm is composed of four partners and 20 professional high-calibre lawyers specialised in their different areas of practice, in addition to a pool of assistant lawyers, trainees, paralegals, administrators, etc. The firm operates through two strategically located offices in Damascus and has established a wide network of local firms/lawyers in all of the 14 governorates in Syria for handling local matters under the direct supervision of the Damascus offices. Throughout 50 years of practice, the firm has also established strong networks with well established businesses and law firms regionally and internationally.

Main Areas of Practice:

Banking & Finance:
The firm provides an advisory service to several major private banks, insurance companies and financial services. Specifically, the firm was a pioneer in assisting in the incorporation of the first private bank and first microfinance institution in Syria and thereafter incorporated four conventional banks and one Islamic bank. The firm also provides advice in relation to finance transactions in Syria, with focus on particular market sectors including energy and oil, telecoms, construction, real estate, etc. The finance practice covers the full range of international and domestic finance activities with particular emphasis on structured products, project finance, syndicated loans, M&As, public-private partnerships among others.
■ Advising a prominent Kuwaiti bank on their subsidiary license and set up in Syria
■ Advising on the incorporation of a new microfinance institution in Syria
■ Appointed by multinational bank based in Kuwait for a USD$250 million project finance transaction of a real estate development in Syria
■ Acted as the legal advisor for a syndicated loan of USD$350 million to finance a turnkey project for a cement factory in Syria
■ In 2010 the firm advised on a Bridge Facility Agreement for financing USD$150 million for an industrial Project in Syria

Corporate:
The firm undertakes work in most aspects of local and foreign direct investment in Syria in the private, public and joint sectors. Services cover the entire spectrum of company-related activity and transactions including incorporation, joint ventures, disposals, mergers and acquisitions. A high proportion of the corporate and commercial work involves a significant design and implementation of legal due diligence studies. The firm has performed such studies widely both for local and international corporate clients in a wide range of sectors.
■ Advised an international investor in the pharmaceutical sector on the acquisition of USD$126 million in Aleppo
■ Advising a Canadian and French Investors in the oil and gas sector on acquisitions related to PSAs in Syria
■ Advising a Chinese Investor in the IT sector on an international acquisition transaction with assets in Syria
■ Incorporated more than 50 subsidiaries for regional and international firms and more than 15 branches of foreign companies and continues to advise on operation of business in Syria
■ Restructured six company groups including transformation of legal form as per the provisions of Legislative Decree 61/2007 on businesses revaluation and transformation

Infrastructure Projects & PPPs:
The firm completed the first public private partnership (PPP) project for the Container Terminal at Lattakia Port in Syria in collaboration between a multi-national French company and a Syrian holding company. In addition, Sarkis was one of the first law firms that was entrusted to set the BOT legal structure in Syria and has contributed in drafting various important BOT Agreements in the field of telecommunication, energy, tourism and real estate development.
■ Local Legal Counsel in collaboration with the IFC on the first IPP project in Syria tendered by the Public Establishment for Electricity Generation and Transmission in Syria for the design, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of a new 250MW power plant at the Al-Nasserieh power complex in Syria
■ Advising a leading Telecom Company from the Gulf States on its acquisition of the third mobile license in Syria

Litigation & Arbitration:
Sarkis & Associates is present in the legal litigation practice throughout the long term of its establishment. Mr Suheil Sarkis, senior partner and founder, is extremely well known in the judges’ community of being well experienced in litigation in all commercial and civil matters, including arbitration as a method of settlement. The litigation team is well known for its efficiency in obtaining successful results in the courts. In addition, the firm has an unparalleled reputation for its work and excellent knowledge of public and administrative law across the board and also for never having lost a case before the Council of State.