Squire Patton Boggs (MEA) LLP

Local and International Legal Advice from Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Our Dubai and Abu Dhabi offices bring you all the benefits of more than 50 years’ experience in the region with lawyers on the ground in the UAE for more than 20 years. We represent government departments, government-owned entities, private businesses, family offices and individuals across the seven Emirates, as well as international clients with interests in the UAE and the MENA region. It was our honor to act as legal advisers to the private office of H.H. Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan for more than 20 years. We have built an extensive network of personal and professional relationships and have a deep understanding of local cultures and traditions. We work regularly with UAE legal and regulatory authorities and have a clear understanding of the relations among the seven Emirates and the interplay among the laws of the individual Emirates and UAE federal law. Accordingly, we bring uncommon insight into the legal, regulatory and policy considerations of operating in the UAE.

Why Choose Us

Committed to service excellence, we work seamlessly across practice areas and sectors, giving you the optimal combination of local presence, legal and policy expertise, language capability and cultural sensitivity.

Our lawyers in the UAE frequently collaborate with colleagues in Doha, Riyadh and elsewhere in our global network, providing an integrated platform for delivering sophisticated regional services, supported by the full weight of our international experience.

Our Services


We advise on all aspects of construction projects and infrastructure development throughout the MENA region. Our clients range from government entities and private developers to EPC contractors, general contractors, specialty subcontractors and design professionals.


Practical guidance and advice on corporate and commercial law throughout the MENA region:

  • Corporate Formation and Maintenance – throughout all of our MENA offices, we assist clients with company and branch formation, domestically and in free zones, and ongoing business needs including corporate governance, compliance and employment needs.
  • Joint Ventures – foreign ownership restrictions in many MENA jurisdictions often incline international clients toward a joint venture structure involving a local partner. We frequently assist in structuring and establishing collaborations involving traditional corporate joint ventures, partnerships, contractual joint ventures and other strategic alliances.
  • Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) – We offer a full spectrum of M&A services from our professionals trained in global financial centers such as New York and London. We have extensive experience across MENA, advising on local and cross-border corporate transactions, for buyers and sellers of private and public companies, and for strategic and financial investors.
Dispute Resolution

Disputes involving multinationals and multiple jurisdictions can present complex challenges, requiring a thorough understanding and familiarity with governing laws and rules. Our arbitration experience includes handling matters before the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC), the Abu Dhabi Commercial Conciliation & Arbitration Centre (ADCCAC), the Gulf Co-operation Council Commercial Arbitration Centre (GCCAC), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), the DIFCLCIA Arbitration Centre and the American Arbitration Association (AAA and ICDR). Further we regularly appear in the DIFC Courts and have close relationships with seasoned local advocates for matters in other UAE courts.

Global Regulations and Policy

For more than 50 years, sovereign nations and international companies confronting problems in world capitals have looked to us as a trusted advisor in achieving their strategic objectives when navigating various legislative systems and regulatory frameworks whether in Washington DC, Brussels or elsewhere. Owing to our skill and discretion, and our reputation for conducting public policy advocacy in compliance with applicable laws and ethics rules, we are recognized as one of the world’s most influential law firms.

Hospitality & Tourism

Our MENA Hospitality practice group combines the strengths of preeminent hospitality and leisure experts with experienced transactional attorneys. With a broad experience of negotiating and managing the legal and business issues in project development plans, we support the full range of challenges and opportunities which hotel owners and operators face. We are also heavily involved in the tourism sector and offer legal, regulatory and legislative advice to several prominent clients in MENA and around the world.


We have a raft of experience assisting governments, project sponsors, financial advisers, investment banks, commercial banks, export credit agencies and multilateral financial institutions. You can rely on us to develop efficient, sophisticated solutions to the challenges and issues that are shaping our transport, health, education, social, power and water sectors.

Real Estate

We provide a full range of real estate advice including property acquisitions and dispositions, development and construction, litigation and dispute resolution, zoning and land use planning, financing, real estate investment trusts (REITs), commercial landlord/tenant matters, management and franchise agreements, restructuring, workouts, foreclosures, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights and transactional tax planning.

Sovereign and Other Institutional Investors

We offer astute advice for a myriad of investors, from family offices and high net worth individuals to sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and foundations. Our team represents institutional investors in investment types such as private fund investments and co-investments, real estate investments, global infrastructure investments, direct investments in debt and equity, global custodian and securities lending contracts, and investment management arrangements relating to equity securities, debt instruments, derivatives and commodities.

Represented by:

Alain Farhad

Alain is a partner in our International Dispute Resolution Group. Alain is admitted as an attorney and counselor at law in the State of New York and as an Avocat à la Cour in Paris. He also has rights of audience before the DIFC Courts. Alain holds degrees from the University of Paris, Leicester University and Cornell Law School.

He acts as legal counsel in international disputes arising out of commercial contracts and investment protection treaties. He has acted in over 40 international arbitration proceedings conducted under the ICC, ICSID, DIAC and UNCITRAL rules. He is also regularly appointed to act as sole arbitrator, co-arbitrator or chairman of arbitral tribunals in a variety of international arbitration proceedings.

He has assisted clients in a large number of business sectors including the construction, distribution, telecommunications, oil and gas, pharmaceutical and real estate industries. He has also represented a number of governments as well as state owned entities in commercial or investment treaty disputes.

Alain is a member of the Steering Committee of the ICC UAE arbitration commission and is a representative of the ICC YAF in the MENA region. He regularly publishes and speaks at conferences in relation to international arbitration matters. He is also a lecturer at the University of Versailles on international arbitration and construction projects and at the University of Sorbonne Abu Dhabi on French law.

He is fluent in English, French and Farsi and has some knowledge of Romanian, German and Russian.

Alain has been recognised by the Who's Who of International Arbitration as a leader in the field of international arbitration in the Middle East.


Illustrative examples of Alain’s experience includes:

Investment treaty arbitration
  • Counsel to the Government of Ukraine in an UNCITRAL arbitration initiated by OAO Tatneft pursuant to the Ukraine- Russia bilateral investment treaty in relation to the control of a Ukrainian oil refinery. (OAO Tatneft v. Ukraine, UNCITRAL arbitration, Global Arbitration Review, 10 October 2008).
  • Counsel to the claimants in an ICSID arbitration initiated pursuant to the Sweden – Romania bilateral investment treaty following the abrogation by the government of Romania of certain fiscal incentives (Micula v. Romania (ICSID Case No. ARB/05/20, Global Arbitration Review, 1 November 2008 and GAR Volume 3, issue 5).
  • Counsel to the Government of Croatia in an ICSID arbitration initiated by MOL under the Energy Charter Treaty (MOL v. Croatia, ICSID Case No. ARB/13/32) International commercial arbitration
  • Counsel to an international holding company in an ICC arbitration governed by UAE law in relation to a project relating to the development of a distribution network in Ethiopia.
  • Counsel to a leading international pharmaceutical company in an ICC arbitration seated in Kuwait City governed by English and Kuwaiti law in a dispute arising out of the termination of a distribution agreement in Kuwait.
  • Counsel to an Emirati real estate development company in several multibillion dollar DIAC arbitration matters governed by UAE law arising from project development agreements in the United Arab Emirates.
  • Counsel to a leading French luxury goods company in an ICC arbitration governed by French law against its former perfume licensee after the termination of the license agreement and breach by the licensee of its post termination obligations.
  • Counsel to a Chinese geophysical contractor in an ICC arbitration against a Mauritanian oil company, subsidiary of a Russian oil company in relation to a seismic survey contract in Mauritania. English, Mauritanian and general principles of international law governed the substance of this dispute.
  • Construction arbitration
  • Counsel to an Emirati entity in an LCIA arbitration governed by Moroccan law arising out of a construction agreement concluded in relation to a real estate project in Morocco.
  • Counsel to an Emirati contractor in relation to a USD 50 million dispute arising from a sub-contracting agreement with a French contractor for the construction of hotel resort in Morocco.
  • Counsel to an international contractor in relation to a USD 200 million dispute arising from a road construction project in Oman.
    Arbitrator appointments
  • Numerous appointments as sole arbitrator, co-arbitrator appointed by a party or an institution, or chairman of arbitral tribunals in commercial disputes arising from a wide range of commercial and construction contracts.