Islamic Finance

Our Practice

Excellence and leadership in Islamic finance

Simmons & Simmons has an award-winning Islamic finance team with recognised expertise in a broad range of practice areas. We advise conventional and Shariah-compliant financial institutions, fund managers, financial advisors and corporates globally on all aspects of Islamic finance.

Understanding Shariah principles

With a deep understanding of Shariah principles and close relationships with many of the world’s leading Shariah scholars, our team offers a leading capability in advanced Islamic product development and transaction management.

Broad range of services

We have expertise in the full range of modern and traditional Islamic finance contracts such as Sukuk, W’ad, Murabaha, Ijara, Mudaraba and Musharakah. We have applied our skills in areas such as new Islamic institution establishment, product strategy, legal risk management and in banking, project finance, asset finance, trade finance, derivatives, fund formation and insurance transactions.

Helping the industry grow

Members of our team make a unique contribution to the development of the Islamic finance industry. Our team includes members of HM Treasury's Islamic Finance Technical Group and the UKTI Islamic Finance Sub-Committee and a former member of the HM Treasury Islamic Finance Experts Group. We are also a strategic partner in an international initiative to help to train and develop future Shariah scholars.

Thought leadership

In recognition of the nascent state of the industry, we frequently offer bespoke training courses to our clients. We also regularly hold seminars and publish briefings for our clients and speak at international conferences on the latest developments in the industry.

Awarded Competition and Regulatory Team of the Year 2015 - Corporate Counsel Middle East Awards

Law Firm of the Year - Global Investor Middle East Awards 2015, 2013 and 2012

Islamic Finance Law Firm of the Year - ASIAN-MENA COUNSEL In-House Community Firm of the Year Awards 2015

Corporate Governance Law Firm of the Year – Qatar - Finance Monthly M&A Awards 2015

Law Firm of the Year - Global Investor Middle East Awards 2013

Best Private Equity Firm - Islamic Finance News Awards Law Poll 2012

Best law Firm, Asset & Fund Management - Islamic Finance News Awards Law Poll 2011

Islamic Finance Law Firm of the Year in UAE - CorporateINTL 2011

Islamic Finance Law firm of the Year - The Brief Middle East Legal Awards 2009

Syndicated Deal of the Year - Islamic Finance News Awards 2009 and 2011

Best Social Development Deal in EMEA - EMEA Finance Achievement Awards 2009

Best Islamic Bond Deal - EMEA Finance Achievement Awards 2008

Real Estate Deal of the Year - Islamic Finance News Awards 2008

Mudarabah Deal of the Year - Islamic Finance News Awards 2008

Best Deal of the Year - Global Trade Review 2008

Experience

Aircraft financing

  • advising a major Middle Eastern bank on the Ijarah financing of a Boeing 737 aircraft for an aircraft operating lessor.

Bank establishment

  • advising on setting up an Islamic bank from inception including product development.

Funds

  • advising Allianz Global Investors Europe on the launch of its first series of Shariah compliant funds
  • advising iShares II plc on cross listing and registration on NYSE Euronext Paris of 20 sub-funds (Apr 2007 - Feb 2009) including Shariah compliant ETFs
  • advising an Islamic bank on the first ever Islamic private equity fund structured to invest in China.

Investment Banking

  • advising an international bank on structuring its first ever Islamic financing, a US$150m Murabahah facility
  • advising Bank of London and the Middle East Plc on a US$30m multi-tranche Islamic trade finance facility for a wireless technology company
  • Islamic derivatives and structured securities
  • advising on various shariah compliant derivative transactions incorporating Arboun, Salam and Wa'ad structures
  • advising investment banks on structured securities programmes for the offering of Shariah compliant equity, fund and commodity linked notes and certificates.

Project finance

  • advising Dubai Islamic Bank as lead arranger of a syndicated US$860 million multi-facility Islamic project financing for the development of a GCC university campus
  • advising Al Qatrana Cement on a US$113m ECA backed Murabaha financing (winner of best deal of 2008 by Global Trade Review)
  • advising on the US$2bn Umm Al Nar IWPP, the US$1.6bn Shuweihat IWPP and the refinancing of the US$750m Taweelah A2 IWPP
  • advising a syndicate of banks led by HSBC, Barclays, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank on the US$950m financing of Union Water and Electricity Company, with US$265m of Islamic financing.

Real estate finance

  • advising Commercial Bank of Qatar on a US$300m revolving Musharakah facility to finance part of the Pearl Qatar development
  • advising Dubai Islamic Bank on a QAR120m Istisna'a facility in relation to a major real estate project in Qatar
  • advising Hypo Real Estate International on a £125m Ijarah financing for the acquisition of an office block in London
  • advising Hypo real estate Japan Corporation on the first ever Shariah compliant real estate financing in Japan.

Regulation

  • advising Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) on various laws and regulations, including the drafting of the Islamic financial services module
  • advising the UAE Securities Commodities and Authority in relation to the drafting of regulations on the listing of bonds and Sukuk.

Sukuk

  • advising Aabar Petroleum Investments Company on a US$460m convertible Sukuk issuance and the later redemption of the Sukuk
  • advising Aldar Funding Ltd on the issuance of a US$2.53bn pre-IPO convertible Sukuk al Mudarabah, which was listed in London and Dubai
  • advising Salam International on its debut US$137m Sukuk al Musharakah issuance.