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Matthew Shanahan

Baker & McKenzie Habib Al Mulla
Dubai – Registered Legal Consultant


Matthew Shanahan is a partner in the Dubai office of Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla and a member of the Firm's Banking & Finance Practice Group. Having worked for three years at the UK Financial Services Authority and seven years in the legal division of the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), he has extensive experience of financial services regulators, and financial services regulatory regimes.

Practice Focus

Matthew’s practice focuses on advisory and contentious financial services regulation. Matthew advises banks, securities firms, other financial institutions and public sector bodies on all aspects of financial services regulation, including regulatory investigations. Called to the Bar of England & Wales, he has full rights of audience in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts.

Matthew also advises clients on managing regulatory relationships, navigating complex investigations and enforcement actions, handling client complaints, corruption and bribery matters, and data protection.

Representative Legal Matters

Prior to joining Baker McKenzie, Matthew worked on the following matters:

  • Advised a number of leading international and Middle East investment banks and other financial institutions on various aspects of the DFSA, and other UAE and Middle East regulatory regimes.
  • Successfully defended an individual accused of market abuse in a DFSA investigation.
  • Represented a DIFC client subject to a DFSA enforcement investigation.
  • Advised a European wealth manager in relation to a multi-million dollar mis-selling complaint.
  • Advised a major Japanese bank on compliance with UAE anti-money laundering laws and regulations.
  • Advised a European bank on a DFSA “past business review” into its structured products business.
  • Advised a DIFC fund and asset manager on varying its DFSA Licence and on various aspects of the DIFC fund management regime.
  • Advised a major UAE private equity firm on establishing an ADGM manager and on the ADGM funds regime.
  • Advised a European bank on the first major “Part 9” financial services business transfer scheme in the DIFC, including appearing in the DIFC Courts for the hearing of the application.
  • Advised clients on conduct of business, regulatory perimeter issues, licensing, client money, primary and secondary markets issues, market abuse, regulatory capital, funds regulation, anti-money laundering and financial crime.


  • England & Wales~United Kingdom (2006)


  • Manchester Business School / International Compliance Association (International Diploma (Graduate) Anti Money Laundering) (2012)
  • BPP Law School (Bar Vocational Course) (2006)
  • University of Westminster (Post Graduate Diploma in Law) (2004)
  • London School of Economics (LSE) (Business Studies) (1994)
  • University College London (MSc) (1993)
  • London School of Economics (LSE) (BSc) (1992)


  • English
  • French