LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Linklaters has appointed senior Islamic finance lawyer, Luma Saqqaf, as Head of Islamic Finance in the Middle East along with senior projects lawyer, Mark Craig, as a managing associate. These hires come as Linklaters’ Dubai team continues to expand and signal the firm’s commitment to building a market leading presence in the Middle East in response to client demand. They will join Linklaters’ new Dubai office when it becomes fully operational in February 2006.
Luma joins Linklaters from Allen & Overy in Dubai, where she focused on transactional banking work with a particular emphasis on Islamic finance. Her experience includes advising both issuers and arrangers in relation to Sukuks, advising on Islamic derivatives transactions and acting on a wide range of Islamic financings. She also has significant conventional finance expertise across capital markets, banking and asset finance.
Mark joins from Clifford Chance, where he was a senior associate in the projects group, based in Dubai. He has a broad range of experience in the Middle East, in particular advising on projects, privatisation and financing work. His recent experience includes advising on transactions in the power, water, petrochemicals and infrastructure sectors. Mark was previously based in London, where he was involved in a number of projects, project finance and PPP/PFI transactions. He has just closed the largest ever combined power and water project in the world, the US$2.5bn Shuaibah IWPP project in Saudi Arabia.
Linklaters’ new Dubai office will initially comprise three partners and over ten other fee earners and brings together London secondees who have been working in the region as well as new hires. The office will be providing advice on a broad range of corporate and finance work, including capital markets, project finance, banking, asset finance and Islamic finance, as well as corporate/M&A and TMT advice. The office is being established in response to clients’ increased strategic focus on the Middle East and the increasing levels of investment into and out of the region, leading to a growing demand for premium legal advice.
Ewan Cameron, who has been appointed managing partner of Linklaters’ Dubai office, said:
“Luma and Mark are outstanding lawyers with substantial experience in the Middle East, who bring further strength and depth to our Dubai team, as well as our Islamic finance and projects practices. Their appointment highlights our commitment to providing the highest quality international and local law advice to our clients who are operating in, and moving into, the dynamic Middle Eastern market.”