Qatar has enacted various laws and amended existing ones in recent years to facilitate the flow of FDI, making for an attractive business climate.

Jumah Nasser Al-Kaabi

Managing Director, Gulf Legal Consultants (GLC)

GLC is highly qualified to provide commercial legal services in all business sectors such as litigation, corporate, arbitration, dispute resolution, intellectual property, banking and finance, real estate and retail, contracts, and others. Since our establishment in 2007, we are bided with a clear vision to be an international law firm. From the outset it was not like any ordinary law firm. I was an associate with Dentons when it first came to Qatar. We have a great working relationship, and today Dentons is number one in the world in corporate law. We currently have 36 people working for us, which is considered a big-sized firm for Qatar. GLC has obtained business affiliations with a number of international law firms and their branches around the world; hence, we have the capacity to assist our clients with any legal service they require. We have many litigating cases on all level of the courts handled by our skilled and highly experienced lawyers in the field of commercial, criminal, civil, corporate financial, construction, and administrative cases.

Matthew Heaton

Head of Office – Qatar, Al Tamimi & Co.

Al Tamimi is the leading law firm in the Gulf region. We cover all the GCC countries, plus Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan. Qatar has always been an important part of the network and we have been present here now for approximately 15 years. We have built ourselves over the years to become the largest law firm in Qatar. We have about 25 attorneys and offer a full range of services, such as corporate structuring, corporate commercial, banking, and finance, and intellectual property. We do a great deal of work in the construction sector, especially establishing joint ventures, creating agency agreements, and managing funding of some of the construction projects, all the way through to litigation and arbitration. We also do a lot of work in the manufacturing sector. We are also focusing on the IT/TMT sector because a number of technology companies are looking to invest in Qatar. In the banking sector, we focus heavily on lenders. Moreover, we have been doing a fair amount of work with local lenders. We advised on the merger between Barwa Bank and IBQ.

Alaa Hamad

Partner, Arab Law Bureau

We started the law firm in 1998. The main area of practice was banking and finance, commercial and corporate, and some litigation work as well. In 2006, we were the first law firm to get a license from the Qatar Financial Center. When we started operating, our main areas of practice remained, with an emphasis on finance. Construction is also one of our main focuses since it is the leading market today. We also provide litigation services to our clients. We expect the energy sector to become more important, especially the renewables segment. We are also focused on M&As, especially for companies acquiring companies in the region as a whole. It is important to ensure the foreign investment laws are as friendly and clear as possible to individuals and entities wishing to invest in Qatar. There has been reasonable progress in recent years, though as in any legislation, more can always be done. For example, if one has an Islamic finance element in any project, then the Islamic banks must own the assets to comply with shariah regulations.

Amjad Hussain

Partner, K&L Gates

Our law firm operates a full-service practice in Doha. This means we work with a wide range of companies and organizations across a number of industry sectors to address their legal needs. This includes public and private sector companies. In particular, we do a considerable amount of work for the government sector and this has provided us with an opportunity to assist in shaping the legal and legislative framework that applies here in Qatar. We have worked on a number of laws and regulations that deal with FDI-related issues in Qatar, and this has contributed toward further enhancing the local legal framework. We work for a number of prominent family offices in Doha and large global companies wanting to do business here. We work with the local authorities to interpret legal, regulatory, and procedural issues so as to facilitate commerce in and outside of Doha. We have a strong corporate, banking and finance team in Doha and this team has advised on the creation of the first two exchange traded funds in Qatar.

Shanavas Bava

Managing Partner, SB & Partners

We work with all the auditing and commercial laws. For example, if someone is looking to start up a business in Qatar, we can support them with the best possible options. Equally important, institutions like the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Qatar Financial Center, and Qatar Science and Technology Park offer excellent support to investors. We can support interested investors in all stages, from registration to tax administration and planning, bookkeeping, and management. SB & Partners has expertise in all these matters. Our main targets are foreign companies and newly listed local start-ups and companies. For 2020, one of our key focuses is to partner with or have a franchise with an international firm. We are in discussions with a few international financial and legal firms and will hopefully take this forward in 2020. Qatar is home to people from all the different nationalities, and we want to reflect this at SB & Partners. In 2020, we are also expanding our operations to other parts of the world. We have had some inquiries from Turkey and Oman and plan to open offices there.

Andrew Jones

Partner, Dentons

Dentons is the world's largest law firm. Our Doha office is very much focused on the construction and engineering market because Qatar is rapidly developing. At the same time, our corporate team has a full offering around commercial and corporate law, from the creation of new companies to administrations, restructuring and buyouts, for example. Some of the highlights we have been involved in are the metro project, which is one of the largest engineering projects in the world, the Pearl-Qatar islands, and all the FIFA World Cup football stadiums. On the corporate side, Dentons acts for many Qataris in their investments overseas. Dentons normally acts on the side of the major international contractors who are coming in and negotiating with the government. The government has taken numerous steps to ensure this is a friendly place for international corporations, so they have confidence when they come in and bid for major contracts. Qatar has brought in the Arbitration Act and started using public private partnerships (PPP), which will continue to develop in-country.

Charbel M. Maakaron

Managing Partner, Squire Patton Boggs

We currently focus on three main areas. We do extensive corporate work, which is extremely diverse. We cover everything from helping foreign investors set up in the country to supporting local companies manage their operations. We also do a great deal of front-end project work. We advise many clients involved in construction projects, and we help them during the tendering and contracting stage. We also help with financing arrangements where required, and includes some PPP projects. Finally, we focus on disputes, local, region and international, and handle a large number of mediations and arbitrations. Being selected as Qatar's International Law Firm of the Year for three years running has been a fantastic achievement for our team. It is a true honor and a testament to our commitment to excellence. For an international firm operating in Qatar, we take pride in our long history in the country, which comes with an in-depth legal knowledge and strong relationships that we can offer to our clients.

Ahmad Anani

Partner, Addleshaw Goddard

The company started in Qatar in 2013 and was mostly focused on finance. I came to the firm a year and a half ago. We had one finance lawyer on the ground at the time and now have six corporate people and two finance people. The firm has done quite well relatively quickly. We closed a number of major deals in 2018 including acting as lead international counsel on the IPO of Baladna, the largest dairy producer in Qatar. We are mostly transactional lawyers, but we also have dispute resolution services. We do arbitration based out of London and service clients here. Our practice on the ground is mainly focused on corporate, M&A, capital markets, and finance. Right now, we are working on capital markets deals. We are also working on 17 M&A transactions, four of which are cross-border in places like Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Italy. These are companies acquired by our clients here. In 2019, what is different in our practice is that there is a great deal of movement in the mid-sized market in Qatar. They are eager to grow beyond the market and realize that their traditional markets are not the same.