About Us

Hadef & Partners LLC is a leading independent UAE law firm, with more than 90 lawyers in our offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The firm was founded on the guiding principles of:

  • Integrity
  • Dedication to client service
  • Providing practical legal advice

These principles remain at the heart of our firm.

Just as the UAE has developed since its formation in 1971, so have we. Founded in 1980 by Dr. Hadef Al Dhaheri, who served as Minister of Justice (2008-2014), we have grown to become an internationally respected, full-service business law firm supporting local, regional and international clients and government entities. With 35 years of experience, we understand the laws, traditions, opportunities and challenges of our region.

Our lawyers come from a diverse range of backgrounds, many having trained and practiced in Western and other Middle Eastern jurisdictions, with in-house as well as private practice experience. Our market leading team of advocates has rights of audience in all UAE courts and tribunals. Our lawyers are fluent in English, Arabic and most other leading business languages spoken in the region.

As a result of the quality and diversity of our lawyers we continue to be entrusted to advise on the most pioneering, complex and strategic projects and transactions in the UAE.

  • Shortlisted for Banking & Finance Team of the Year 2016

    Shortlisted for Banking & Finance Team of the Year 2016

    By : The Oath Middle East Legal Awards

  • Shortlisted as Regional Law Firm of the Year 2016

    Shortlisted as Regional Law Firm of the Year 2016

    By : The Oath Middle East Legal Awards

  • Corporate Team of the Year 2016

    Corporate Team of the Year 2016

    By : The Oath Middle East Legal Awards

  • Real Estate & Construction Team of the Year 2016

    Real Estate & Construction Team of the Year 2016

    By : The Oath Middle East Legal Awards

  • Honourable Mention - Firm of the Year 2016

    Honourable Mention - Firm of the Year 2016

    By : Asian-MENA Counsel – In-House Community Survey 2016

  • Honourable Mention - Firm of the Year 2016

    Honourable Mention - Firm of the Year 2016

    By : Asian-MENA Counsel – In-House Community Survey 2016

  • Most Responsive Domestic Firm in the UAE 2016

    Most Responsive Domestic Firm in the UAE 2016

    By : Asian-MENA Counsel – In-House Community Survey 2016

  • Real Estate / Construction Firm of the Year 2016

    Real Estate / Construction Firm of the Year 2016

    By : Asian-MENA Counsel – In-House Community Survey 2016

  • Projects & Projects Financing Firm of the Year 2016

    Projects & Projects Financing Firm of the Year 2016

    By : Asian-MENA Counsel – In-House Community Survey 2016

  • Maritime & Shipping Firm of the Year 2016

    Maritime & Shipping Firm of the Year 2016

    By : Asian-MENA Counsel – In-House Community Survey 2016

  • Litigation & Dispute Resolution Firm of the Year 2016

    Litigation & Dispute Resolution Firm of the Year 2016

    By : Asian-MENA Counsel – In-House Community Survey 2016

  • Islamic Finance Firm of the Year 2016

    Islamic Finance Firm of the Year 2016

    By :

  • Honourable Mention for International Arbitration Firm of the Year 2016

    Honourable Mention for International Arbitration Firm of the Year 2016

    By : Asian-MENA Counsel – In-House Community Survey 2016

  • Energy & Natural Resources Firm of the Year 2016

    Energy & Natural Resources Firm of the Year 2016

    By : Asian-MENA Counsel – In-House Community Survey 2016

  • Employment Firm of the Year 2016

    Employment Firm of the Year 2016

    By : Asian-MENA Counsel – In-House Community Survey 2016

  • Corporate and M&A Firm of the Year 2016

    Corporate and M&A Firm of the Year 2016

    By : Asian-MENA Counsel – In-House Community Survey 2016

  • Compliance / Regulatory Firm of the Year 2016

    Compliance / Regulatory Firm of the Year 2016

    By : Asian-MENA Counsel – In-House Community Survey 2016

  • Banking & Finance Firm of the Year 2016

    Banking & Finance Firm of the Year 2016

    By : Asian-MENA Counsel – In-House Community Survey 2016

  • Domestic Deal of the Year 2016

    Domestic Deal of the Year 2016

    By : IFLR (International Financial Law Review) Middle East awards

  • Middle East Law Firm of the Year 2016

    Middle East Law Firm of the Year 2016

    By : Corporate Counsel Middle East Awards

  • GAR100 Selected Firm 2016

    GAR100 Selected Firm 2016

    By : Global Arbitration Review - GAR

  • Shortlisted as Regional Law Firm of the Year 2015

    Shortlisted as Regional Law Firm of the Year 2015

    By : The Oath Middle East Legal Awards

  • Shortlisted for Banking & Finance Team of the Year 2015

    Shortlisted for Banking & Finance Team of the Year 2015

    By : The Oath Middle East Legal Awards

  • Shortlisted for Litigation & Dispute Resolution Team of the Year 2015

    Shortlisted for Litigation & Dispute Resolution Team of the Year 2015

    By : The Oath Middle East Legal Awards

  • Shortlisted for Project Finance Deal of the Year 2015

    By : IFLR MIDDLE EAST AWARDS

    Lawyer : ROGER MORRIS

  • Banking and Finance Firm of the Year 2015

    By : Asian MENA Counsel In-house Survey

  • Corporate and M&A Firm of the Year 2015

    By : Asian MENA Counsel In-house Survey

  • Maritime & Shipping Firm of the Year 2015

    By : Asian MENA Counsel In-house Survey

  • Honourable Mention for Employment Firm of the Year 2015

    By : Asian MENA Counsel In-house Survey

  • Most Responsive Domestic Firm in the UAE 2015

    By : Asian MENA Counsel In-house Survey

  • Litigation & Dispute Resolution Team of the Year 2015

    By : Corporate Counsel Middle East Awards

  • Highly Commended for Middle East Law firm of the Year 2015

    By : Corporate Counsel Middle East Awards

  • Middle East Water Deal of the Year 2014

    for Mirfa IWPP

    By : IJ Global Awards 2014

    Lawyer : ROGER MORRIS

  • Recognised as leading lawyer 2015

    By : IFLR 1000 2015

    Lawyer : ALAN RODGERS

  • Recognised as leading lawyer 2015

    By : IFLR 1000 2015

    Lawyer : SAMEER HUDA

  • Young Lawyer of the Year 2014

    Young Lawyer of the Year

    By : DIFC Court Users Committee Awards 2014

    Lawyer : OMAR AL HELOO

  • Alternative Investment Funds (including private equity) Firm of the Year 2014

    By : Asian MENA Counsel In-house Survey

  • Compliance & Regulatory Firm of the Year 2014

    By : Asian MENA Counsel In-house Survey

  • Corporate and M&A Firm of the Year 2014

    By : Asian MENA Counsel In-house Survey

  • Employment Firm of the Year 2014

    By : Asian MENA Counsel In-house Survey

  • Litigation & Dispute Resolution Firm of the Year 2014

    By : Asian MENA Counsel In-house Survey

  • Maritime & Shipping Firm of the Year 2014

    By : Asian MENA Counsel In-house Survey

  • Real Estate / Construction Firm of the Year 2014

    By : Asian MENA Counsel In-house Survey

  • Restructuring and Insolvency Firm of the Year 2014

    By : Asian MENA Counsel In-house Survey

  • Shortlisted for Property & Construction Team of the Year 2014

    By : Corporate Counsel Middle East Awards

  • Shortlisted for Litigation and Dispute Resolution Team of the Year 2014

    By : Asian MENA Counsel In-house Survey

  • Middle East Bond Deal of the Year 2013

    for Ruwais Power Company deal

    By : Project Finance Magazine Deals of the Year

  • Middle East Oil & Gas Deal of the Year 2013

    For Fujairah Oil Terminal deal

    By : Project Finance Magazine Deals of the Year

  • Restructuring Deal of the Year 2013

    By : IFLR Middle East

  • Alternative Investment Funds (including private equity) Firm of the Year 2013

    By : Asian MENA Counsel In-house Survey

  • Banking & Finance Firm of the Year 2013

    By : Asian MENA Counsel In-house Survey

  • Corporate and M&A Firm of the Year 2013

    By : Asian MENA Counsel In-house Survey

  • Islamic Finance Firm of the Year

    By : Asian MENA Counsel In-house Survey

  • Litigation and Dispute Resolution Firm of the Year 2013

    By : Asian MENA Counsel In-house Survey

  • Maritime & Shipping Firm of the Year 2014

    By : Asian MENA Counsel In-house Survey

  • Real Estate / Construction Firm of the Year 2013

    By : Asian MENA Counsel In-house Survey

  • Honourable mention for Capital Markets 2013

    By : Asian MENA Counsel In-house Survey

  • Honourable mention for Compliance / Regulatory 2013

    By : Asian MENA Counsel In-house Survey

  • Honourable mention for Employment 2013

    By : Asian MENA Counsel In-house Survey

  • Honourable mention for Energy & Natural Resources 2013

    By : Asian MENA Counsel In-house Survey

  • Honourable mention for Restructuring & Insolvency 2013

    By : Asian MENA Counsel In-house Survey

  • Property & Construction Team of the Year 2013

    By : Corporate Counsel Middle East Awards

  • Best Banking & Finance Firm, UAE, 2013

    By : World Finance

  • Corporate and M&A Firm of the Year 2012

    By : Asian MENA Counsel In-house Survey

  • Compliance / Regulatory Firm of the Year 2012

    By : Asian MENA Counsel In-house Survey

  • Employment Firm of the Year 2012

    By : Asian MENA Counsel In-house Survey

  • Litigation & Dispute Resolution Firm of the Year 2012

    By : Asian MENA Counsel In-house Survey

  • Real Estate / Construction Firm of the Year 2012

    By : Asian MENA Counsel In-house Survey

  • Honourable mention for Projects and Project Financing 2012

    By : Asian MENA Counsel In-house Survey

  • Best UAE Firm for Corporate Law 2012

    By : Lawyers World Global Awards

  • Best Dispute Resolution Firm UAE 2012

    By : World Finance

  • Banking & Finance Law Firm of the Year 2012

    By : ACQ Finance Magazine Global Awards

  • Public Procurement Law Firm of the Year 2012

    By : ACQ Finance Magazine Global Awards

  • Project Finance Law Firm of the Year 2012

    By : ACQ Finance Magazine Global Awards

  • Best Banking & Finance Firm UAE 2012

    By : World Finance

  • IFLR Restructuring Deal of the Year; Global Investment House Restructuring 2010

    By : IFLR

Hadef & Partners LLC is an active contributor to charitable projects in the UAE and beyond. Our team is involved with various initiatives of national and regional interest and importance – both professionally and personally.

As a UAE law firm with a 35 year history of leading the legal profession in our country, our dedication to the country is of the utmost importance to us and this extends into the community and its development.

A recent example of this commitment is our support of the "Al Bayt Mitwahid"- “The home is united.” project:

Hadef & Partners LLC recently assisted the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court in creating a not-for-profit organization under the name “Al Bayt Mitwahid” and in recognition of our pro bono effort, we were invited to become a gold sponsor.

Al Bayt Mitawhid Association (“ABMA”) hopes to promote and fortify the spirit of unity among all UAE residents. This objective is key to UAE society, which is extremely diverse. Through various social programs across the UAE, ABMA hopes to spread and deepen the UAE identity, the spirit of cooperation, patriotism, and donation. The organisation aspires to involve both UAE nationals and expatriates residing in the UAE to support its initiatives.

Achieving an overriding spirit of unity and solidarity among all UAE residents is imperative, regardless of nationality. To achieve this, ABMA works closely with government agencies and private sector organisations to ensure they can become actively involved in pro bono work for their community.

The charity has already started a number of worthy projects to help the elderly, those with disabilities and children in need, to name a few. The “Building Bridges” project was funded to strengthen the bond among all segments of society and provide moral support to the elderly, disabled, orphaned and hospitalised, through regular visits.

Journey of the Union” is another recent initiative involving a 10-day journey through the seven Emirates targeted at bringing together Emirati youth in high schools.

Separately a number of our people have led and participated in regional missions to deliver aid to those in need and to help build successful communities that provide better education, healthcare, quality of life and assistance for all generations.

Our commitment to these projects is rooted in our belief in the principles of ethics, integrity, relationships and teamwork. These are at the heart of all that we do.

  • In 1980 I applied for my licence to practise as a UAE lawyer with the right of audience before the UAE Courts. My eventual registration number with the Ministry of Justice was 22, meaning that, at that time, only 21 other lawyers were licensed to practise in the UAE. From the beginning, my vision was clear, to build a law firm that operates to international standards. The success of any firm is never down to one individual, it is the result of a combination of skills and hard work. With the drive of our Managing Partner Dr. Faraj Ahnish and Dubai office Managing Partner Sadiq Jafar, the dedication of all our partners, lawyers and staff, and the support of our clients, and friends of the firm we continue to go from strength to strength.

    Now that I have returned to the firm after 7 years as Minister of Justice, I am committed to ensuring that Hadef & Partners LLC continues to lead the UAE legal market. I am proud to say that today Hadef & Partners LLC is one of the largest and most respected law firms in  the UAE, having played a role in many iconic projects which have shaped the legal and business environment of the UAE. We have deep ties to the UAE legal and business community and help local, regional and international clients to conduct business in this region. The UAE has undergone tremendous changes since 1980, yet my vision, and that of my partners and colleagues, remains the same. Each day, our unique local insights, international experience and understanding of the UAE jurisdiction means that we have the opportunity to play a part in our clients’ success.

    HADEF AL DHAHERI

    Founding Partner

Our firsts for the UAE

  • First ever Initial Public Offering

    We acted for the Offsets Office of Abu Dhabi in relation to the incorporation of Abu Dhabi Ship Building PJSC (ADSB) and the offering of almost 50% of its shares to the general public. This was the first UAE IPO to be conducted in accordance with international standards and led to the establishment of the largest dockyard in the region. Today ADSB specialises in the construction, repair and refit of naval, military and commercial vessels and has a portfolio of build and refit projects which are collectively valued at more than AED 4 billion.

  • First Abu Dhabi Government-sponsored, world-scale private sector real estate project

    In 2004 we acted for the Government of Abu Dhabi in the re-classification of Saadiyat Island as a hub for cultural, touristic and residential real estate projects. We assisted in the establishment of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, together with its subsidiary Tourism & Development Investment Company (TDIC) which was entrusted with the development of the Saadiyat Island projects.

    Today Saadiyat Island is home to a number of 5 star hotels, thousands of luxury residential units, a Gary Player designed golf course, a major campus for New York University, Zayed National Museum, The Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum (due to open in 2015) and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Museum (scheduled to open in 2016).

  • First major privately funded real estate project in Abu Dhabi

    In 2005 we advised the owner of Abu Shoum Island (later re-named Reem Island) in relation to the development of the first world-scale, privately owned residential and leisure real estate projects in Abu Dhabi. The responsibility of developing Reem Island was allocated to three major developers, including Aldar Properties (the other two are privately owned companies) that were incorporated for the specific purposes of developing Reem Island.

    Reem Island was the first real estate development in Abu Dhabi in which both UAE nationals and non-UAE nationals could invest. The project represented the beginning of the liberation of the Abu Dhabi real estate market, transforming the Emirate into a destination of choice for many global professionals.

  • First IWPP refinancing by way of a bond and debt refinance

    Shuweihat 2 is an independent water and power project located in Abu Dhabi. It commenced operations in early March 2012 with a capacity of 1,510MW of electricity and 100 million gallons of water a day.

    The sponsor consortium consists of Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority, Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA), GDF Suez, Marubeni Corporation and Osaka Gas. The existing debt is split between a JBIC US$1 billion loan and loans from other international and regional banks.

    The now award winning refinancing included repayment of debt and equity and a US$825million bond issue under rule 144A. We acted for all foreign and local sponsors including GDF Suez, Marubeni, Osaka, TAQA group, ADWEA, ADWEC, Government of Abu Dhabi and the Shared Facilities Company.

    It was the first time a Middle Eastern IWPP utility company had used the bond markets to refinance debts which may set a benchmark for future refinancings of IWPPs.
     

  • First IWPP in Fujairah

    We acted on the first Independent Water and Power Plant (IWPP) undertaken in the Emirate of Fujairah for Emirates Sembcorp Water & Power Co, the sponsors to the project who were 40% JV partners with ADWEA.  The IWPP was project financed and required us to interface with the Fujairah authorities to a substantial extent to register the security required by the financiers which had never been done before in Fujairah.

    The Fujairah 1 (F1) IWPP is one of the largest operating hybrid desalination plants in the world with a power capacity of 893 megawatts and a seawater desalination capacity of 100 million imperial gallons or 455,000 cubic meters per day. The hybrid seawater desalination plant employs a combination of Multi-stage Flash and Reverse Osmosis technologies.

    F1 was followed by F2 which we also acted on which was the second and only other IWPP undertaken in Fujairah.