Ahmed is a market-leading financial services lawyer specializing in debt finance, Islamic finance, real estate finance, public and infrastructure finance, debt restructuring, financial regulatory compliance and institutional investment management.

    He represents leading financial institutions, such as commercial banks, investment banks, asset managers, multilateral development banks and EXIM banks. He also acts for institutional investors, borrowers and issuers, such as sovereign wealth funds, government-related entities, real estate developers, telecommunication service providers and ultra-high net worth family offices across all industries, while maintaining strong working relationships with financial regulators and central banks in the Middle East.

    He has been lead counsel on high-profile debt restructurings during COVID-19, the global financial crisis and oil price variations. He has also advised on numerous initiatives relating to Saudi Vision 2030.

    Ahmed is recognized by the The Legal 500 in the “Leading Individual” category for Banking & Finance and as a “key practitioner”. The Islamic Finance News Law Poll recognizes him as a “Leading Lawyer” in the categories of banking and capital markets, cross-border finance and structured finance.

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    Financial Services: Debt Finance and Islamic Finance

    • Advising the banks on a SAR7 billion syndicated financing to a mobile telephony services provider (the largest syndication of 2019 in Saudi Arabia).
    • Advising a new export-import bank on its conventional and Islamic trade finance and insurance documentation prior to the launch of operations.
    • Advising a Saudi bank in connection with a SAR250 million facility to a venture capital fund backed by a Saudi government-related entity.
    • Advising a bank on a US$35 million financing to a vehicle leasing company relating to the car finance provision for Saudi government employees.
    • Advising an international bank on a US$32 million syndicated financing for a Saudi supermarket chain.
    • Advising an international bank on a receivables financing for a mobile telecommunications equipment manufacturer in Saudi Arabia.
    • Advising a Saudi bank on various Islamic banking products for use in Saudi Arabia, including a mudaraba-based savings account.
    • Advising a global credit cards and financial services provider on various Islamic banking products for use in Saudi Arabia.
    • Advising a European public bank on a cross-border trade finance facility to a Saudi importer of medical equipment.
    • Advising a European public bank on a cross-border trade finance facility to a Saudi importer of mobility trailers/vehicles.
    • Advising an international bank on a private jet financing to Saudi family-owned entity for the purchase of a Bombardier Global Express XRS aircraft.
    • Advising a Middle East airline on a US$230 million ijara facility by an Islamic bank for the purchase of a fleet of new Airbus A320 aircraft.
    • Advising a leading UK vehicle manufacturer on a warehouse inventory financing as part of its sale to a foreign automotive group.

    Institutional Investors and Compliance

    • Advised a sovereign wealth fund on its full suite of compliance and governance policies and procedures.
    • Advised a government export agency on governance policies and procedures for a new entity.
    • Advised a number of European and US-based asset managers on their applications to register as Qualified Foreign Investors to invest on Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange.
    • Advised on regulatory matters related to Saudi Arabia’s anti-corruption initiative.
    • Advised US, European and Far Eastern asset management firms on the financial regulatory frameworks of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, including in relation to promotion of investment funds, derivatives, securities business and share disclosure.
    • Advised numerous banks on the financial regulatory frameworks for commercial banking (i.e. lending, deposits, FX and guarantees) on a cross-border basis in the Middle East.
    • Advised a bank on a series of investigations by a regulator relating to IPOs.
    • Advised a Saudi investment firm on its suite of discretionary investment management services documentation.

    Public and Infrastructure Finance

    • Advising a Saudi bank on a US$350 million contractor facility for a local consortium on the construction of a new airport in Saudi Arabia.
    • Advising a Saudi bank on a contractor facility for a Saudi transport company relating to the construction of bus depots and import of vehicles from Korea for an urban bus system in the city of Makkah.
    • Advising a Saudi bank on a contractor facility for a leading Saudi metals industry conglomerate in relation to the construction of a steel melting plant in the Dammam, including a tranche from the Saudi Industrial Development Fund.
    • Advising a Saudi-European JV transport operations company on a facility from a Middle East bank relating to the Riyadh Metro.
    • Advising the banks on a syndicated murabaha and mudaraba construction financing for a leading Saudi construction firm, relating to the expansion of the Grand Mosque in Makkah.
    • Advising a leading Saudi telecommunications service provider on a sale and leaseback of telecom towers and the related financial due diligence.
    • Advising an international bank on the US$380 million project financing for the RascomStar-QSF project by the Regional African Satellite Communication Organization – the first pan-Africa satellite developed to provide internet access to rural areas of Africa.
    • Advising the banks on a US$150 million istisna-ijara project financing relating to the construction of a chemical fertilizer complex in Pakistan.
    • Advising the banks on the infrastructure financing for a US$400 million container port terminal in Djibouti, Africa – Project Finance Magazine African Transport Deal of the Year.
    • Advising a Saudi-backed energy investment firm on a project financing by a global US investment bank for the construction and operation of power plants in Erbil, Iraq.
    • Advising a consortium of Saudi banks on the project financing bid documentation in relation to Saudi Aramco’s East-West Pipeline staff accommodation/residential complex.
    • Advising the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) on an ijara financing relating to power stations in Indonesia.
    • Advising the banks on a dual murabaha and mudaraba construction financing relating to the expansion of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
    • Advising the banks on a club financing for the expansion of Sharjah Airport Industrial Freezone.
    • Advising the banks on the US$350 million syndicated financing for a Middle East electricity and water authority relating to the construction of electricity pylons.

    Real Estate – Finance and Investment

    • Advising numerous Middle East investment firms and high net worth family offices on outbound real estate investments in Europe (including UK, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and France), including Shariah compliant equity injection and rental income structures, real estate acquisition financing and coordinating the related property title, funds, offshore SPV and optimal tax advice.
    • Advising an investment bank on a murabaha-based developer financing to a high net worth Saudi family for the purchase of Grade II listed adjacent buildings in prime central London.
    • Advising a Saudi real estate developer on a framework agreement with the Ministry of Housing on delivery of affordable housing units in Saudi Arabia as part of the Affordable Housing Initiative (part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030). The initiative has resulted in the successful delivery of large-scale affordable housing schemes, delivering over 600,000 units.
    • Advising a Saudi investment firm on an investment management agreement for discretionary portfolio management of US real estate.
    • Advising a Saudi bank on a contractor facility for a Saudi real estate developer in relation to the SAR600 million construction of a 4-star hotel and leisure complex in Riyadh.
    • Advising a Saudi bank on a contractor facility for a Saudi real estate developer in relation to the construction of a residential compound in Riyadh.
    • Advising a Saudi investor on a joint venture with a leading European healthcare provider on the leasing and operations of post-hospital extended care centers in Saudi Arabia.
    • Advising the banks on a syndicated murabaha and mudaraba construction financing to a leading Saudi construction firm relating to the expansion of the Grand Mosque (Makkah).
    • Advising the banks on a US$100 million syndicated commodity murabaha financing to a Middle East real estate and projects developer in relation to the King Abdulaziz Endowment Project for the Two Holy Mosques and the development of prime hotel and shopping complexes in Makkah and Madinah, including Abraaj Al Bait and Dar Al Qiblah.
    • Advising the banks on a dual currency US$200 million club Islamic financing for the construction of the head office of a Middle East telecom services provider.
    • Advising an international bank on a US$35 million syndicated financing to a real estate financing company relating to housing mortgage finance provision for Saudi government employees.
    • Advising the London office of a Middle East bank on a murabaha financing to a Middle East investment group for the acquisition of an automotive distribution center in the UK.

    Restructuring/Liquidity Management

    • Advising International Finance Corporation (part of the World Bank Group) on its US$1 billion Global Trade Liquidity Program (GTLP) to support banks operating in sub-Saharan Africa trade finance markets following the global financial crisis.
    • Advising a Saudi bank on the coordinating committee relating to a debt restructuring of a trade finance facility to a leading US agribusiness firm for the export of Brazilian coffee beans.
    • Advising African Export Import Bank (Afrexim) on various trade finance facilities to support the recovery and development of the Zambian mining industry.
    • Advising the banks on a coordinating committee relating to the financial restructuring of a syndicated commodity interbank liquidity financing to a Bahraini financial institution.
    • Advising the banks on the debt restructuring and coordinating committee on a syndicated commodity murabaha financing relating to the development of prime hotel and shopping complexes in Abraaj Al Bait (Makkah) and Dar Al Qiblah (Madinah), as part of the King Abdulaziz Endowment Project for the Two Holy Mosques.
    • Advising an international bank on the debt restructuring of facilities provided to a diversified business conglomerate in the UAE.
    • Advising the banks on the restructuring of loans to a leading UAE healthcare service provider.
    • Advising the banks on the restructuring of a number of mudaraba and murabaha-based contractor facilities to leading Saudi construction firm.
    • Advising the banks on a syndicated SAR7 billion murabaha refinancing to a leading Saudi telecommunications service provider.
    • Advising European banks on numerous deposits with Middle East banks during oil price variations and on Middle East banks placing deposits with European banks during the global financial crisis.

    *Some of the experience represented here may have been handled at a previous firm.

    Education

    • Nottingham Law School, L.P.C., 2000
    • University of Leicester, LLB (Honours), 1999

    Admissions

    • Dubai, 2006
    • England and Wales, 2002

    Memberships and Affiliations

    • The Law Society of England & Wales
    • Riyadh Group for British Business (RGBB) – Finance sector focus group

    • Co-Author, “Project Finance in the Middle East – A Regional Overview, Market Intelligence – Getting the Deal Through,” Volumes 4, 5 and 6, Issue 2, 2017-2019.
    • Speaker, “Islamic finance for Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), Special Briefing on PPP in Saudi Arabia, Riyadh Group for British Business and the UK Department for International Trade,” British Embassy, Riyadh, 2018.
    • Lecturer, “Saudi Arabia Banking Documentation Academy (SABDA),” Riyadh, 2017.
    • Co-Author, “Saudi Arabia: Banks ordered to convert Ifragh real estate security into legal mortgage,” Elexica, May 2017.
    • Author, “Saudi Arabia: New real estate investment traded funds regulations to boost housing shortage,” Elexica, November 2016.
    • Author, “What do you need to know before investing on the Saudi stock market?” Lexis Nexis, June 2015.
    • Co-Author, “New Qualified Foreign Investor Rules For Saudi Arabia’s Stock Exchange,” Islamic Finance News/Red Money Publishing, Volume 12, Issue 24, June 2015.
    • Presenter, “Saudi Arabia Seminar,” International Project Finance Association (IPFA), 2014.
    • Author, “New Qualified Investor Exemption: An Evolving UAE Investment Funds Regime,” Islamic Finance News/Red Money Publishing, Volume 10, Issue 35, September 2013.
    • Author, “Saudi Sunrise: The Next Frontier for Islamic Finance,” Islamic Finance News/Red Money Publishing, Volume 10, Issue 33, September 2013.
    • Author, “New Saudi Arabian Mortgage Laws: Opening the Gates to Real Estate Finance in the Kingdom,” Islamic Finance News/Red Money Publishing, Volume 9, Issue 41, November 2012.
    • Author, “Proposed Saudi Arabian Mortgage Laws: Unlocking the Shariah Conundrum,” Islamic Finance News/Red Money Publishing, Volume 9, Issue 5, February 2012.
    • Panelist, “International Summit on Islamic Corporate Finance,” Abu Dhabi, 2011.

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