Global law firm Baker McKenzie started the new year strong, winning four deal awards at the Islamic Finance News (IFN) Awards 2020. The IFN Awards are the most respected Islamic finance legal accolades that recognize the best legal firms with Islamic finance capabilities and services globally. Awards won include:
- “Deal of the Year - Egypt” for advising Arab Company for Projects and Urban Developments, a subsidiary of Talaat Moustafa Group (TMG) Holding, on the first sukuk issuance in Egypt, which is based on a Shari'ah-compliant ijara structure with a value of EGP 2 billion (USD 126.53 million). The Helmy, Hamza & Partners (Baker McKenzie, Cairo) team was led by partners Mohamed Ghannam and Lamyaa Gadelhak, counsel Mostafa El Sakaa and senior associate Mohamed Elharmy. We were also recently recognized as “Best Capital Markets Law Firm” by IFN for our work on this landmark deal.
- “Commodity Murabahah/Tawarruq Deal of the Year” for advising the Egyptian Government, acting through the Ministry of Finance, on the signing of a USD 2 billion syndicated financing transaction, which was the first sovereign debt that Egypt has raised from commercial lenders. Baker McKenzie’s cross-border team in Cairo and Dubai acted as local and international counsel to the Ministry of Finance respectively, and was led by partners Mohamed Ghannam and Lamyaa Gadelhak, counsel Victoria Long and Senior Associate Mohamed Elharmy (all from Cairo) and partner Sandeep Puri (Dubai).
- “Deal of the Year - Saudi Arabia” for acting as legal counsel to the Ministry of Finance of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on a landmark agreement signed with Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) in relation to a SAR 167.92 billion (USD 44.78 billion) mudaraba based perpetual subordinated instrument. This transaction is the world's largest ever Islamic finance transaction. The deal was also a finalist for the “Overall IFN Deal of the Year” award.
- “Corporate Finance Deal of the Year” for the same transaction between Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Finance and the SEC and involving a SAR 167.92 billion (USD 44.78 billion) mudaraba based perpetual subordinated instrument. The team at Legal Advisors Abdulaziz Alajlan & Partners in association with Baker & McKenzie Limited was led by partners Ian Siddell and Nick Church and senior associate Delwar Hossain.
Commenting on these revered wins, Mohammed Ghannam, Managing Partner and Head of Banking & Finance at Helmy, Hamza & Partners, Baker McKenzie Cairo said: "This year, the team was able to work on several high profile, complex and innovative transactions including advising the Egyptian Ministry of Finance and advising on the first sukuk issuance transaction in Egypt. Both landmark deals represented our technical sector expertise and knowledge as well as regional market excellence. We are very fortunate to have incredible banking and finance teams across multiple jurisdictions who consistently demonstrate their exceptional knowledge and collaboration efforts that enable us to win such awards despite the existing challenges due to COVID-19.”
Ian Siddell, Head of the Gulf Banking & Finance practice of Baker McKenzie commented: “This has been a very challenging year and hence it is humbling to be recognized for our efforts on supporting clients and colleagues across MENA. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our clients for entrusting us with their complex deals and IFN for this recognition."