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Benjamin Smith

Partner

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Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith

Partner

Ben is a corporate and commercial lawyer, and has been practising in Dubai since 2008. He first moved to the Middle East in 1989.

Regions covered

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Profil & Expérience

Ben is a corporate and commercial lawyer, and has been practising in Dubai since 2008. He first moved to the Middle East in 1989.

Regions covered
Profil complet

Ben's areas of focus include:

Foreign Direct Investment: Ben advises clients on expansion into, and operations in, countries throughout the Middle East. Ben has been involved in a number of landmark and high profile FDI projects in the region. He has a detailed knowledge of the legal, regulatory and practical environment in which businesses operate in the region and supports clients in achieving their commercial objectives in a compliant and efficient manner. He has advised extensively on navigating trade and foreign ownership restrictions throughout the region.

Corporate structuring, reorganisation and restructuring: Ben advises clients on the structuring and restructuring of their corporate operations. His clients are typically private and public multinational corporates. He has advised on significant (multi-billion dollar) group reorganisations for global corporates, including tax driven, pre-IPO and  post-merger integration projects. Ben also advises clients on solvent and insolvent liquidations and cross border restructuring projects.

Regulatory, compliance, governance and licensing advice: Ben advises on a range of regulatory, compliance, governance and licensing topics associated with FDI and corporate structuring, including competition law, economic substance, customs, import/export regulation, standards and specifications, commercial agency and corporate licensing.

Ben's clients operate in many sectors including automotive, oil & gas, technology, media, pharmaceutical, retail, FMCG and hospitality. He has been appointed to advise administrators/liquidators on Middle East restructuring projects. Ben has been on secondment with a number of clients in the past.

Ben is a regular commentator on developments in the UAE legal market. He is ranked by Chambers Global as a leading lawyer for Corporate, Commercial and Commercial Contracts work and by Legal 500 as a Next Generation Partner for Corporate, Commercial and M&A. Ben is recognised as an independently rated lawyer in Acritas Stars.

Expérience
  • Post-merger integration – FMCG: Advising on the post-merger integration of two significant household name FMCG groups, following a multi-billion merger. Including corporate reorganisation, liquidation, complex customs issues, commercial advice regarding distribution and agency arrangements and a range of other issues
  • Reorganisation for supply chain optimisation – automotive: Advising a household name automotive company on the reorganisation and restructuring of its distribution arrangements in the Middle East, including incorporating a new distribution hub, cross border distribution and agency issues, employment, real estate and other issues
  • Mars – FDI Law: Advising Mars on the acquisition of all of the shares in its subsidiary 'onshore' in Dubai. Prior to this transaction, Mars owned 49% of the shares in the Dubai LLC, this being the maximum percentage of permitted foreign ownership in a company incorporated 'onshore' in an Emirate of the UAE. This transaction was one of the first of its kind since the UAE's Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Law paved the way for an increase in foreign ownership in companies incorporated 'onshore' in the UAE
  •  Restructuring a family business succession planning: Advising a privately held family owned global retail chain on its reorganisation and restructure, with a view to protecting the interests of its family member owners and achieving structural efficiency
  • Tax driven reorganisations: Advising global corporates in conjunction with external tax advisors on corporate reorganisations to achieve compliant operational tax efficiency.
  • Insolvent liquidation: Appointed by the court appointed liquidators to advise on UAE aspects of a significant and well publicised cross border liquidation project
  • Oil & Gas reorganisation: Played a central role in a multi-jurisdictional hive off of an oil storage business subsequently contributed to a joint venture. This was a high value project involving multiple jurisdictions and a number of local and regional complexities
  • US tech market entry: Advising a US technology company on its market entry in the Middle East, providing strategic guidance on corporate structuring to achieve commercial objectives and assisting with the establishment of a number of companies.
  • GCC trade: Advising a range of clients in many sectors on how best to achieve commercial objectives in the context of trade within and to/from the GCC. It is often necessary to have a detailed understanding of foreign ownership, licensing, customs, agency and other regulatory issues in order to provide this advice. 
Sectors

Sectors

  • Commerce de détails et consommateurs

  • Commerce et biens de consommation

  • Tourisme d’accueil

Services

Services

  • Contrats commerciaux

  • Droit des sociétés

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