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The Middle East's most successful people invest around the world, and we are proud to assist them with their global interests, wealth planning, movement and business strategies. We have particular experience in assisting clients based across the region on their international activities.
Advised Samsung Electronics South Africa (PTY) Ltd
Owner and operator of the prestigious educational institution
Acting for the owner and operator of the prestigious educational institution with campuses in Singapore, India, Japan, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates, in the worldwide protection of their trade marks and in various trade mark enforcement proceedings in India.
A Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund
Advice on its role as a syndicate investor in a £100m Series C investment in the technology sector.
Senior Officer of a global metals manufacturer
We acted for a Senior Officer, avoiding liability in joint US DOJ and SEC proceedings arising from alleged FCPA violations in connection with construction of smelter in Bahrain.
Dubai real estate developer
We assisted a major real estate developer in Dubai, in relation to the appointment of Millennium & Copthorne, an operator of three hotel projects in Dubai. This included the negotiation of several agreements, corporate structuring of the client's group and structuring and drafting of the rental pool agreement.
Family from Oman
We advised on and established an international holding structure for a wealthy family from Oman. The settlor wished to retain the power to veto distributions and to determine ultimate division of assets. The result of which upon his death, the trust assets were to be dividing amongst his family in accordance with sharia law.
Saudi Arabian contemporary artist
We represented one of Saudi Arabia's leading contemporary artists in a multi-jurisdictional claim against an auction house and a Dubai based gallery. The claim derived from the unauthorised selling of one of their artworks by the Dubai gallery at auction, and we successfully settled the matter.
Bridge Mobile Pte. Ltd.
Advising the operator of Bridge Alliance, the leading mobile alliance serving consumers and enterprises in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa.
Acting in recognition and enforcement proceedings in the DIFC and Dubai local courts
When the defendant took his £350 million mega yacht to Dubai, Withers used the DIFC Court as a conduit through which to get an order for enforcement from the Dubai local courts. The case was heard by both the DIFC Court of Appeal and the Joint Judicial Committee.
Global enforcement of a £450million English court judgment
Leading the global enforcement strategy on behalf of Mrs Akhmedova for the enforcement of a financial order of the English family court worth £450 million over various luxury assets and bank accounts located around the world, including Marshall Island, Dubai, Isle of Man, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Russia and England.
Israeli family with UK tax issues
We acted for an Israeli family who could have had major tax liabilities in the U.K. However, following our detailed analysis of their whereabouts and lifestyle covering several years HMRC accepted that they had never become tax resident in the U.K.
Israeli individual who was subject of a domicile enquiry in the UK
We acted for an Israeli individual who was the subject of a domicile enquiry in the UK. Following detailed submissions covering a whole lifetime of residence, business activities and family relationships HMRC accepted our conclusion of non domicile.
UK resident individuals and families who have assets in Israel
Acting for several UK resident individuals and families who have close connections with and assets in Israel as well as other jurisdictions such as the US and Switzerland. The common thread was that all the clients wanted to be fully tax compliant in the U.K. Despite differing degrees of previous non-compliance, all were able to make use of the different routes available to ensure safe, voluntary, confidential and civil disclosures to HMRC and full compliance for the future.
Saudi Arabian contemporary artist in a claim against an auction house and a Dubai based gallery
We represented one of Saudi Arabia's leading contemporary artists in a multi-jurisdictional claim against an auction house and a Dubai based gallery. The claim derived from the unauthorized selling of one of the artist's own artworks by the Dubai gallery at an auction. The matter was successfully settled.
Advising on confidentiality
Working with our employment team, we represented a Middle Eastern national in respect of reputational advice regarding a settlement agreement. This included detailed advice on confidentiality undertakings and ensuring the enforceability of the agreement.
Bringing injunctive proceedings in the UK on behalf of a Middle Eastern businessman
We represented a businessman based in the Middle East in relation to bringing urgent injunctive proceedings against an individual in the UK. The claim included elements of harassment, breach of confidence, misuse of private information and breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998. We successfully obtained undertakings in the form of the Order which we had applied for to stop the campaign of harassment over social media against our client.
Acting for an Israeli beneficiary in a banking dispute
Advising on a Letter of Credit dispute on behalf of an Israeli beneficiary against an issuing bank in connection with an emerging market energy project
Advising a Dubai real estate developer in the appointment of Marriott
Advising a major developer in relation to the appointment of Marriott as the operator of a hotel and serviced apartments in Dubai, including the negotiation of management and concomitant agreements.
Advising a Dubai real estate developer in three hotel projects
Advising a major real estate developer in Dubai, in relation to the appointment of Millennium & Copthorne an operator of three hotel projects in Dubai. This included the negotiation of the hotel management agreement, technical services agreement, corporate structuring of the client’s group for the purpose of the project, structuring and drafting of the rental pool agreement.
Assisting a UAE individual in US tax efficient real estate gifts
We assisted an individual from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to ensure gifts to his US based child of real estate in Bahrain and Dubai along with financial assets, were US tax efficient. We negotiated a waiver of over USD$2.5 million in potential penalties for failure to report prior gifts as well as income tax omissions, FBAR and FATCA reporting for US based child.
Commercial agreements for hotel developer in Dubai
Advising a hotel developer, Dubai, UAE in respect of the appointment of Starwood as an operator of its upscale hotel under the Aloft brand, including the negotiation of the hotel management agreement and a suite of concomitant agreements.
Israeli Tier 1 visa application
Advising a high net worth Israeli entrepreneur on visa applications for him and his family under the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa category and subsequently assisting with their applications for permanent residence in the UK.
Managing inherited Israeli funds
We helped a US based family with inherited Israeli funds understand and navigate the structure of their inheritance. The non-US trustee was losing significant money each year through the investment strategy, structural inefficiencies and tax inefficiencies, and the inheritance had dwindled without being tapped for use by the beneficiaries. We delicately negotiated with the trustee to stop the hemorrhaging of the assets while working with the IRS to obtain a full penalty waiver for the beneficiaries with respect to failing to report their inheritance to the IRS (initial projections showed potential penalties well in excess of the remaining inheritance).
Navigating the offshore voluntary disclosure program
We helped a US based family with accounts at a well-known and respected Israeli bank navigate the offshore voluntary disclosure program, obtaining excellent results with respect to minimizing inclusions of assets in the penalty base.
Penalty abatement for a US based family with investments in Israel
We negotiated a significant penalty abatement for a US based family with investments in Israel (which included substantial rental real estate holdings and financial assets) who had failed to include their Israeli assets in their annual US filings. The 8 digit abatement was obtained without the family needing to make an in person appearance before the IRS.
Clients domiciled in India and Pakistan
Advising a number of clients who are domiciled in India and Pakistan on the structure of their wills to maximize the possibility of tax treaties with the UK applying on death. This can protect UK assets from charges to UK inheritance tax notwithstanding the clients being UK deemed domiciled through long term residence.
IP and US tax structuring
We advised a Middle Eastern specialty food start-up on IP and US tax structuring and distribution arrangements for their expansion into the US.
Defending Greek company in Jordan
The termination of a 10-year worldwide agency and distribution agreement led to us representing a Greek company in a dispute with a Jordanian state owned enterprise.
Equity/debt investment into a PRC food-processing business
Advising a Middle East conglomerate in its equity/debt investment into a PRC food-processing business managed by a Taiwanese family.
Acquisition of a corporate jet for a high-net-worth Saudi Arabian
Advised on the purchase of a large corporate jet from a member of a leading family of a Gulf state, including advice on UK VAT, for a high-net-worth Saudi Arabian.
Aircraft lease financings in North and South America
Advised on the development of multiple leveraged, tax-advantaged aircraft lease financings in North and South America for one of Israel’s largest aircraft companies.
Advised on the USD$1 billion financing of the largest toll road in Israel
Advised the senior agent to existing international lenders to the Cross Israel Highway. We advised on the financing provided to the concessionaire, Derech Eretz Highways Ltd. Operating the largest toll road in Israel, the highway has generated investment in excess of USD$1 billion and was the biggest infrastructure project in Israel for many years and the first major build-own-operate-transfer project in Israel.
Government in the Middle East
We are currently advising a Government in the Middle East on its investment treaty program.
A multilateral agency
Advising a multilateral agency on its €250 million Western Balkans and Croatia Financing Framework for banks and non-banking financial institutions, including leasing companies.
Feasibility, development and implementation of photovoltaic projects for AEE Renewables Plc
AEE Renewables Plc is a German-based integrated project developer of photovoltaic and hydro power energy systems. Withers has represented AEE Renewables on all aspects of the feasibility, development and implementation of its photovoltaic projects in Germany, UK and Turkey.
Financing the privatisation of the airport in Prishtina, Kosovo
We advised a Turkish bank in financing the privatisation of the airport in Prishtina, Kosovo via a public private partnership with a Turkish and French consortium. This included advising on the PPP Agreement, the ‘bankability’ of that document, and the relevant direct agreement.
$85 million financing package for marine oil receiving terminal
We represented the IFC, FMO and DEG on an $85 million financing package for the construction of a marine oil receiving terminal, and a petrol distribution network in Turkey.
We advised CIT as senior agent to existing lenders to the Cross Israel Highway on a USD$200 million extension by Derech Eretz Highways Ltd acting through a wholly owned subsidiary and funded by local Israeli lenders led by Bank Hapoalim.
An Azerbaijani-owned company
Increasingly, we are called upon to represent corporate clients in international arbitration. For example we acted at the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) on behalf of a subsidiary of an Azerbaijani company that was in dispute with a conglomerate of Israeli companies over a joint venture agreement. The case related to a license to drill oil just off the coast of Israel.
Families call on us when they want a firm that understands their needs – whether they are looking to pass down wealth, set up and run a family office, or make their mark through philanthropy.Hotels and hospitality
The hotel and hospitality sector is becoming ever more specialized. Our significant experience helps us to ensure that the operators we work with get the best value out of their transactions.Immigration
Whether you are an individual, a family or an employer, our lawyers know each country’s systems and speak the local language, helping you to navigate through what can be opaque processes.
Our multilingual team, based in offices around the world, are leaders in global arbitration – helping large corporations, governments and private investors to resolve cross-border disputes.Private client
As a firm built around the needs of individuals and families, we offer an exceptional service to private clients. Wherever you are, and whatever you need, our lawyers are here to help.Public international law
Our multilingual laywers give strategic public international law advice to governments, organizations and individuals on sensitive matters around the world.
Our lawyers have experience with all kinds of property transactions. Whether you’re a business building a global presence, or an individual looking to acquire a new home, we’re here to help.Sport
Sport is all about winning and our global reputation makes us the go-to law firm to advise successful organizations and individuals on commercial contracts, tax, reputation management, and more.Tax
With a team of more than 150 specialist tax lawyers, who are qualified in jurisdictions around the world, we are perfectly placed to handle even the most complex, cross-border tax issues.
Withers Hakawati provides families and individuals from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region with a broad range of services delivered by trusted individuals. We have track record of helping successful families and individuals achieve their business and personal objectives in the US, UK, Middle East, North Africa and across the GCC.Contact Tareq Hawasli
14 September 2021 | Firm news
Withers welcomes Middle East-focused tax and estate planning partner Hannah Wailoo
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