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Victoria Woods

Victoria Woods

Partner, Head of Commercial


+971 4 429 2999

Victoria heads the Commercial Practice Group in Dubai, with extensive experience as a practising solicitor gained from both the UK and the UAE markets. She frequently advises clients on cross-border transactions involving distribution, franchising and commercial agency, on issues arising under outsourcing, consultancy and services arrangements, and on the subject of IP, confidentiality and privacy, general liability, and risk mitigation.

Victoria’s commercial advisory practice covers a wide range of corporate commercial topics, in a number of sectors including food and beverage, leisure and retail. She advises on general matters arising from the expansion of businesses through joint ventures and licensing arrangements, to providing more specific advice on technology contracts, hospitality management documentation, software licensing, hosting and support arrangements, e-commerce, competition, consumer protection, data security and brand protection.

Victoria joined Hadef & Partners in 2012, prior to which she practised at London City firm Lewis Silkin LLP, predominantly advising clients on corporate transactional and commercial matters in the media and healthcare sectors. She holds a Bachelors degree in Law and was admitted as a Solicitor of the Law Society of England and Wales in 2004.

  • Leading Professional in Who’s Who Legal: Data 2023 (GDR)

    Who’s Who Legal: Data 2023

  • “Victoria is fantastic. She is a pleasure to deal with, and has a strong commercial mindset combined with an in-depth understanding of local laws.”

    Chambers Global, 2022

  • Victoria Woods, who heads up the commercial practice, advises clients on a wide range of matters, including distribution, franchise, agency, outsourcing and licensing agreements.

    Legal 500, 2021

  • Victoria Woods leads the firm's commercial team and is accomplished at advising both international and domestic clients on franchising, licensing and distribution agreements. She is also particularly skilled in acting for entities hailing from the e-commerce, technology, media and retail sectors on intellectual property and data security mandates.

    Chambers Global, 2021

  • ‘Victoria Woods is extremely knowledgeable, commercial and astute.‘

    Legal 500, 2020

  • A client stated that she is “absolutely brilliant! She really understood our business and really protected us”.

    Chambers Global, 2020

  • Recognised as a “Leading Lawyer”

    World Trademark Review WTR 1000, 2019

  • “Victoria Woods marries her IP knowledge with refined business sensibilities to get clients maximum return on their IP investments”

    World Trademark Review WTR 1000, 2019

  • Victoria Woods is an increasingly prominent commercial lawyer who is frequently active on distribution, franchising, licensing and joint ventures. One client called her “amazing”, adding: “Her turnaround time is also amazing, I wonder how she does these things”.

    Chambers Global, 2019

  • “Knows how to maintain fruitful relationships with clients”

    Legal 500, 2018

  • “Speedy and practical without compromising on quality”

    Legal 500, 2018

  • “Victoria Woods is described by sources as ‘very charismatic and very friendly’. Commentators laud her ‘business-minded’ approach and her understanding of the client's needs.”

    Chambers Global, 2018

  • “As a Chief Legal Corporate and Compliance Officer at Barilla G e R Fratelli SpA, a 3.4 € bn Italian Food Company, I became aware of possible legal problems affecting the distribution of our product in the Gulf area. I needed local advice and the name of Victoria Woods with Hadef and Partners was recommended to me by in-house colleagues whose companies operate in the area. The subject matter involved rather complex corporate and company Law matters. I can witness that Victoria’s advice was prompt, quick, wise and, ultimately, successful. She is the kind of Lawyer who sets the caveats but also proposes solutions with quite a clear business sensitivity”

    Franco Guariglia, Chief Legal Corporate and Compliance Officer, Barilla

  • Victoria Woods, handles a broad range of work including joint ventures, corporate structuring and licensing matters for clients such as DP World, Abu Dhabi Media Company and IBM.

    Legal 500, 2017

  • Recommended for IP (non-contentious)

    Legal 500, 2017

  • “Victoria recently provided some advice on the challenges of franchising in the UAE. Victoria was able to quickly get to grips with our business and the issues which we faced and delivered clear, concise and commercial advice. Victoria's knowledge of UAE laws, combined with a real appreciation of local culture and customs, enables Victoria to give a practical context to her advice, which is invaluable to a business weighing up the best way to enter the UAE market. In short, I would not hesitate to recommend Victoria.”

    Giordano Suergiu, Head of Legal at All Saints