Aon Laya

Laya Aoun-Hani

Baker & McKenzie LLP


Laya Aoun-Hani is a partner and senior member of the EMEA Baker McKenzie International Commercial & Trade Practice Group. With over 18 years of experience in the Middle East, Laya regularly advises multinational clients from different industries on regulatory matters, commercial transactions, multijurisdictional distribution and agency arrangements and restructurings, commercial disputes settlements, competition law, trade compliance, export controls, trade sanctions and customs matters. She is the Middle East co-lead for the Baker McKenzie Consumer Goods and Retail and the Healthcare and Life Sciences Industry Groups. Laya has also extensive experience in the Telecommunications sector.

Laya trained at one of the largest law firms in Lebanon and one of the largest international law firms in London before she joined Baker McKenzie in Dubai in 2013. She was a lecturer and coordinator of a Business Law course for five years at the Faculty of Business at Antonine University in Lebanon. Laya is currently a lecturer in the continuous Legal Professional Development Program at the Dubai Legal Affairs Department and a regular speaker at Mecomed

Representative Legal Matters

  • Advised multinational manufacturers from different industries (including luxury goods, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals and medical device companies) on the planning and implementation of their regional distribution centres in the UAE, including the VAT, Customs, transfer pricing and income tax aspects across the Middle East.

  • Advised multinational manufacturers on the restructuring of their distribution arrangements in the Middle East.

  • Advised global companies from different industries in the negotiation of settlements and/or new engagement terms with their current distributors in the Middle East and drafted related agreements.

  • Advised and assisted manufacturers on their legal position in relation to the termination of their agency agreements with their agents in the Middle East. Drafted and negotiated settlement agreements for the termination of the agency.

  • Advised global clients as part of their general compliance programs on various aspects of UAE laws such as anti-bribery, competition, consumer protection and data protection.

  • Advised on customs regulations across the GCC relating to different types of products and advised on related governmental approvals.

  • Advised global clients on the tax and customs implications of their corporate or distribution restructuring plans.

  • Assisted global clients located in the UAE free zones in customs audits and helped them to reduce customs penalties.

  • Advised clients on customs valuation in the GCC.

  • Advised pharmaceutical and medical devices companies on regulatory and commercial matters.

  • Advised clients from different industries on their market entry plans and supply chains across the GCC.

  • Drafted and revised all kind of commercial agreements such as distribution, franchising and licensing agreements for clients from different industries and addressed regulatory requirements.

  • Advised clients on import and export regulations as well as export controls regulations and liaising with the UAE Executive Office for Control and Non-Proliferation.

  • Advised on trade sanctions and embargoes applied by GCC countries (such as the lifting of the Qatar and Israel embargoes by the UAE and the Russian sanctions).

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Beirut Bar Association - Member


  • Lebanon (2006)
  • Dubai - Registered Legal Consultant


  • University of Westminster (MA in Diplomatic Studies and International Relations) (2005)
  • Saint Joseph University (LLB Lebanese and French Private Law degree with honors) (2004)


  • English
  • Arabic
  • French