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HomeCompaniesPepsi-Cola International, Total Marketing Middle East and Qatar Financial Centre Authority among big winners at the Middle East Legal Awards

Pepsi-Cola International, Total Marketing Middle East and Qatar Financial Centre Authority among big winners at the Middle East Legal Awards

15 May 2017

The legal departments at Pepsi-Cola International, Total Marketing Middle East and Qatar Financial Centre Authority were among the big winners at the Middle East Legal Awards, which took place at The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai, on Thursday (11 May). The trio were named Legal Department of the Year in the large team, small team and government, department, agency or public body categories respectively.

The award for General Counsel of the Year went to Khalid Khan, chief legal officer, at Omani industrial conglomerate The Zubair Corporation.

The ceremony, which was attended by nearly 400 lawyers from in-house legal departments and private practice, was jointly hosted by London-based business law news website Legal Week and the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Middle East Chapter and supported by Legal Week’s sister title, The American Lawyer.

The judging panel, which was chaired by Dean Stelfox, general counsel, Dubai World Central, praised Pepsi-Cola’s 25-strong legal team for being a business partner and strategic advisor in a region that is becoming increasingly significant for the company. And the judges singled out Total Marketing’s two-lawyer team for providing “a great example of the diverse and intensely challenging nature of work handled by small in-house teams in the region”.


The evening culminated with two achievement awards. The ACC Middle East Achievement Award went to former national Qatari football player Salman Al-Ansari, a partner at Al-Ansari & Associates, for promoting the welfare of professional footballers in his home country. His work includes overseeing the establishment of the Qatar Sports Arbitration Tribunal and the Qatar Players Association.

The ACC Lifetime Achievement Award was presented by ACC president and chief executive officer Veta T. Richardson and ACC global board chair Iohann Le Frapper, general counsel, ChetWode, to outgoing ACC Middle East president Elias Hayek, who has joined Squire Patton Boggs as a partner from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, where he was vice-president, legal.

“We would like to thank Elias for his countless hours of work and his visionary guidance as we established and expanded ACC Middle East”, said Veta T. Richardson. “Elias has been a driving force behind ACC Middle East accomplishments in recent years, and he leaves the chapter stronger than ever”, she added.

At the awards, Richardson also announced Sahia Ahmad, general counsel of Dubai Tourism, the Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing, Government of Dubai, as the incoming president of ACC Middle East.

The private practice section of the awards saw DLA Piper named International Law Firm of the Year while Clyde & Co secured the Regulatory and Investigations Team of the Year as well as Diversity Initiative of the Year in recognition of its long-term commitment to helping women in the region achieve leadership roles.

Stephenson Harwood secured Employment Team of the Year for its work advising the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts and Authority on its employment law regime and Dechert won the banking and finance award for its work on Egypt’s largest-ever public government debt deal, a $4bn bond.

Other winners included Simmons & Simmons, which was named TMT Team of the Year, Baker McKenzie, which won the litigation category, and Reed Smith, which secured Arbitration Team of the Year.

Among the successful regional firms were Hadef & Partners, which triumphed in both the corporate and real estate categories, and Al Tamimi & Company, which was named Regional Law Firm of the Year (Large Practice), the judges praising it for “key client wins for some of the region’s most sought-after projects”.

Full list of winners (also available at www.middleeastlegalawards.com)

ACC Lifetime Achievement Award

Elias Hayek

ACC Middle East Achievement Award

Salman Al-Ansari              

Legal Department of the Year – Large Team         

Pepsi-Cola International               

Highly commended: OSN                        

Legal Department of the Year – Small Team         

Total Marketing Middle East        

Highly commended: Sidra Medical and Research Center              

Legal Department of the Year – Government Department, Agency or Public Body             

Qatar Financial Centre Authority                

General Counsel of the Year       

Khalid Khan, The Zubair Corporation         

Highly commended: Clint Hermes, Sidra Medical and Research Center              

Senior Corporate Counsel of the Year     

Rahul Sharda, Al Ghurair Investment

Highly commended: Shafiq Jamoos, Deyaar Development

Junior Corporate Counsel of the Year     

Rabah Bashir, Zakher Marine International            

Innovation Award          

The Bench

Highly commended: Shelf Drilling              

CSR Initiative of the Year             


Highly commended: Al-Ansari & Associates

Diversity Initiative of the Year    

Clyde & Co         

Highly commended: Dentons

International Law Firm of the Year          

DLA Piper            

Highly commended: Clifford Chance

Regional Law Firm of the Year – Large Practice    

Al Tamimi & Company    

Highly commended: BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates

Regional Law Firm of the Year – Small Practice    

Al Jallaf Advocates & Legal Consultants                               

Associate Solicitor of the Year    

Christina Sochacki, Senior Associate, Al Tamimi & Company           

Fareya Azfar, Associate, Gateley                             

Banking and Finance Team of the Year  


Highly commended: Clifford Chance

Infrastructure and Energy Projects Team of the Year       


Highly commended: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld                             

Construction Team of the Year  


Highly commended: Berwin Leighton Paisner                            

Real Estate Team of the Year      

Hadef & Partners             

Highly commended: Al Tamimi & Company                             

Corporate Team of the Year       

Hadef & Partners             

Highly commended: Al Tamimi & Company              

Arbitration Team of the Year      

Reed Smith         

Highly commended: Charles Russell Speechlys                             

Litigation Team of the Year         

Baker McKenzie

Highly commended: Al Tamimi & Company

Regulatory and Investigations Team of the Year

Clyde & Co         

Highly commended: Simmons & Simmons                             

TMT Team of the Year   

Simmons & Simmons Middle East

Highly commended: The Bench                             

Employment Team of the Year  

Stephenson Harwood Middle East

Highly commended: Al Tamimi & Company

John Malpas
Publishing director, Legal Week
Email  [email protected]

Duncan RJ Campbell
Senior marketing manager
Tel +44 20 3868 7525
Email  [email protected]

About Legal Week
Legal Week is essential reading for business lawyers, offering clear reporting and hard-hitting analysis of the biggest and most up-to-date news in the legal profession, as well as investigating the issues behind the stories from the UK and around the world. Legal Week Events manages high-profile events, creating unrivalled programmes and networking opportunities while legalweek.com provides an indispensable online resource with daily news bulletins and an archive of over 27,000 news stories.
About ACC Middle East
The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) serves more than 42,000 members in 85 countries, including in-house lawyers working throughout the Middle East.

ACC Middle East promotes the common professional and business interests of in-house counsel who work for corporations, associations and other private-sector organisations in Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. ACC Middle East provides a local network in the region and serves the in-house community through information, education, networking opportunities and advocacy initiatives.

For more information on ACC activities in the Middle East, contact [email protected]

© Press Release 2017

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