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Samantha Ellaby

Legal Director

People

Samantha Ellaby

Samantha Ellaby

Legal Director

People

Samantha Ellaby

Samantha Ellaby

Legal Director

Full Profile

Samantha advises clients across the UAE (including within the financial free zones), Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and wider region on a range of issues throughout the employment cycle including the immigration processes and contractual documentation required to engage individuals in the region, managing disciplinary and performance issues, exit strategies and processes (particularly for senior employees), the enforcement of post termination restrictions and litigation arising from employment relationships.

She also advises on the employment implications of corporate processes such as reorganisations, office moves and employee transfers. Samantha has significant experience of project managing large multi-jurisdictional projects and undertaking complex and sensitive workplace investigations.

Samantha has a particular focus on the education sector and supports a number of nurseries, schools, universities, training providers and investors with their employment and safeguarding issues.

Samantha leads the team’s health and safety practice and regularly advises clients on how to navigate the complex health and safety legislative regime in the region as well as supporting clients with litigation arising from workplace incidents in both the labour and criminal courts.

Samantha regularly delivers training sessions on employment, health and safety and immigration issues.

Experience
  • Supporting with the criminal investigation process and subsequent court hearings following a workplace fatality, in relation to which some of the company's employees were accused of criminal conduct.
  • Assisting a service provider client in relation to an intra group transfer of employees in the UAE, including advising on the associated immigration processes and drafting a tripartite agreement between the old employer, new employer and each employee recording the terms of the arrangement.
  • Advising a financial holding company on the implications of a dual contract arrangement between the Dubai International Financial Centre and Qatar Financial Centre and on the contractual documentation required in order to protect the company's position.
  • Project managing an extensive redundancy project across 21 jurisdictions, including the UAE, for a multi-national company in the oil & gas sector.
  • Drafting a template employment contract for one of the UAE's Free Zones to be used by companies within the Free Zone and issued to all employees within the Free Zone.
  • Advising a marketing company setting up in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) on the process of transferring employees from its KSA partner to its new KSA entity and on the applicable employment provisions and market practice in the KSA.
  • Assisting an outsourcing company with the secondment of staff sponsored onshore into the UAE to work temporarily for another entity within the Dubai International Financial Centre, including advising on the immigration processes and drafting the secondment documentation.
  • Supporting a client with the employment aspects of its establishment in Oman including the process of engaging employees and the contractual documentation required to do so.
  • Drafting and advising in relation to post termination restrictions; both where clients have employed an individual in breach of the terms of his/her post termination restrictions with his/her former employer and where a client's former employee is now working for a competitor in breach of the terms of his/her post termination restrictions.
  • Supporting a client in Qatar with a large redundancy project associated with its exit from Qatar, including preparing documentation such as termination letters and advising on strategy.
  • Supporting a UAE based school to navigate a safeguarding issue, including reporting obligations, potential criminal implications, communications and safeguarding obligations.
  • Conducting a workplace investigation relating to allegations of inappropriate behaviour (including of a sexual and religious nature) by the CEO of a company.  

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Expertise

Samantha is an employment law specialist advising on the full range of employment issues in the UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and wider region. Her practice includes contentious and non-contentious work including workplace investigations, the employment aspects of corporate transactions and senior on-boarding and exits. Samantha has a particular focus on the education sector, including safeguarding issues. She also leads the team’s workplace health and safety practice.

Offices & Regions covered