Joanna Matthews-Taylor

Joanna Matthews-Taylor

Baker & McKenzie LLP


Joanna Matthews-Taylor is a partner in the Dubai office of Baker McKenzie and head of the employment practice. Joanna advises on employment law and immigration matters, working with clients based in the UAE and wider Middle East region. Prior to joining the Firm, she worked as a senior legal consultant for an international law firm's Middle East office, and as a qualified assistant for a leading Scottish law firm.

From 2016 to 2023 Joanna has been recognised by Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, most recently as a “Next Generation Partner” with clients and peers commenting that "she is solution-oriented, pragmatic and very knowledgeable of UAE employment law."

Practice Focus

Joanna is experienced in the full spectrum of employment law issues, including recruitment, employment contracts, localisation of the workforce, benefits, termination and disputes She has also advised clients on the employment aspects of corporate transactions, investigations, cross-border ESG and compliance projects and the mobility of employees across the Middle East. She has worked with international clients in a variety of sectors including technology, healthcare and life sciences, hospitality and insurance.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Advising Taaleem Holdings PSC on the employment aspects of the acquisition of Jebel Ali School, including preparing the employment transfer documentation and new employment contracts and advice on the harmonisation of benefits.

  • Advising a local public joint stock company operating in the education sector in amending its contracts, policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the new UAE Federal Labour Law.

  • Drafting employment regulations for a new free zone authority in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in collaboration with our Riyadh office.

  • Advising a UK financial institution on discrimination claims raised by two former employees under the DIFC Employment Law.

  • Advising a large joint venture company operating in the UAE, KSA and Qatar in relation to ethical recruitment, human rights and labour law practices.

  • Advising a health insurance company on the legal and regulatory implications of establishing an investment scheme via a trust company, which will be the first proper alternative to the end-of-service gratuity scheme available to onshore employers in the UAE.

  • Advising a leading provider of international diagnostic services on an internal investigation into allegations raised by a whistleblower into financial and compliance irregularities and fraud in the UAE, including advice on strategy, preservation of evidence and data protection as well as carrying out the primary interview with the whistleblower.

  • Advising a global retailer in relation to Emiratisation compliance.

  • Advising an international financial institution with regards to the alleged misuse of highly sensitive information by an individual formerly employed by the bank's DIFC entity.

  • Provided strategic advice regarding the termination of UAE national employees employed by a Government department.


  • Scotland (2006)
  • Dubai - Registered Legal Consultant


  • University of Edinburgh (Diploma in Legal Studies) (2004)
  • University of Edinburgh (LLB Law) (2002)


  • English