Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah Sons
Advocates, Solicitors & Legal Advisors
Being the largest law firm in the country, ranked as the lead law firm in Yemen by Chambers Global, and with its association with the top tier European and North American law firms and practices, the firm has the capacity to advise in all areas of the law.
Oil, Gas & Mining
The firm currently represents the largest oil producing companies operating in Yemen, and are the exclusive advisors of the first Liquid Natural Gas Project in the country, the largest industrial project in the history of Yemen.
Further, the firm is advising a number of mining companies and has proudly drafted the first Exploitation Contract for the first and only mine that recently opened in the country.
Over the course of time the firm advised a number of oil companies starting in the late forties with the Anglo Iranian Oil Company and subsequently with B.P., Caltex, Mobil, Gesso, Shell, Agip, Elf, Canadian Oxy, Occidental and Total, to name but a few.
Our advisory capacity with the oil companies dates back to when B.P., Caltex, Mobil and Esso carried out only bunkering and trading activities in Aden. Thereafter, we advised the B.P. Refinery in Little Aden, and Shell and B.P. in their aviation business.
Along with being the exclusive legal advisors for a number of Protection and Indemnity Clubs as well as prominent shipping lines operating regularly to the ports of Aden, Hodeidah and Mukallah, the firm also advises the Al-Shihr Marine Oil Terminal and the Belhaf Liquid Natural Gas Terminal.
The firm efficiently handled, negotiated and released the M/T Limburg that was subject to an attack off the Al-Shihr Marine Oil Terminal, and has effectively negotiated and settled hundreds of claims and cases including but not limited to cases related to pollution, collation, cargo claims and salvage, to name but a few.
The firm is also the correspondent of the Charterers P&I Club.
Free Zone, Investment and Joint Ventures
During the last four decades Yemen’s two totalitarian regimes – the socialist South Yemen and the autocratic North Yemen – passed through a number of coups and wars. During the last two decades, the united Yemen has been undergoing major economic reform, is speedily going through the process of democratization, is adjusting itself with the free market concepts, and is proceeding ahead with vigor. We have been around during all the above changes that the country has gone through, and were actively involved in advising clients throughout.
Our firm has developed strength in advising on all aspects of Investment in Yemen advising both state owned investment companies as well as private sector companies. The firm is the exclusive legal advisor of the state owned Property Development and Investment Company.
With the growth of commercial activity in the Aden Free Zone the firm represents international and national clients and provides complete comprehensive advice during all stages of a project from the initial due diligence stage, through incorporation and the initiation of the project, through construction and later operation.
Company and Commercial
The firm provides comprehensive advice to foreign and local companies in connection with establishing a business in Yemen whether through incorporating a company or a branch office, entering in to an agency, distributorship or representative arrangement, or registration of the same.
The firm further advises companies after they have been incorporated and set up on related matters such as employment, tax and other aspects of local laws that are applicable to the working of the company, partnerships, management agreements, license arrangements, company secretarial services, and other related matters.
The firm has successfully advised on the termination of agency relationships and has successfully defended cases of infringement of intellectual property for a number of fortune 500 companies.
Banking, Insurance and Finance
As Banking and Insurance are interconnected and interrelated with our Shipping, Oil & Gas, International Trade, Company & Commercial and Investment Projects practice, we automatically are expected by our clients to cover and advise on all such areas.
Along with a leading London law firm our firm has been involved in advising the Liquid Natural Gas Project on a US$2.8 billion loan facility to finance the construction of its multi-billion dollar new LNG plant and associated infrastructure, representing the largest ever limited recourse financing of a project in Yemen. The LNG Project was awarded both Oil and Gas Deal of the Year and Global Deal of the Year 2009.
The firm successfully represented a number of leading banks as well as the International Finance Corporation to negotiate and close a number of deals for projects, as well as representing a number of financing entities in litigation against defaulting parties, and foreclosures.
Property and Construction
Our firm has a strong Land Department that deals with commercial and agricultural property. We are in a position to advise companies of every description, investors, developers, banks and individuals who may be embarking on their first commercial or agricultural property transaction from the inception to the conclusion.
We arrange for surveys and valuations of land and built properties and are able to offer all related legal services. The firm offers every aspect of property and construction-related legal work which includes contract negotiating, contract drafting, contract vetting and contract disputes.
The firm currently advises the state owned Property Development and Investment Company on all matters related to their joint venture in a number of large infra structure projects.
The firm has also advised companies on the construction of major industrial oil and gas facilities including the Masila Central Processing Facility, the Al-Shihr Marine Oil Terminal, the LNG Central Processing Facility and Belhaf Terminal.
Our lengthy legal tradition coupled with our deep knowledge of the economical and political situation in Yemen and our extensive knowledge of the business houses and businessmen in Yemen qualifies us to carry out Due Diligence accurately for Joint Ventures or any form of international activity.
Our offices are frequently assigned by the International Finance Corporation, The World Bank, international commercial banks, international firms of chartered accountants, oil companies and multinationals as well as business concerns of different types to carry out Legal, Commercial, Financial, Environmental, Employment and Marketing Due Diligence. This includes among other aspects identifying problems which a potential business concern may encounter, recommending solutions to potential problems, scrutinising documents of every description, gathering information relevant to the project and evaluating and reviewing situations with a wide perspective.
Our arbitration practice is mostly to advise foreign clients when in dispute with Yemeni Nationals or the Government of the Republic of Yemen and to coordinate with and support foreign counsel in arbitration proceedings abroad. We also advise clients on local arbitrations.
The Public Sector
The advanced countries of the Western World have complex societies and complex laws. Yemen is among the least developed countries of the World. It has a complex society but simple elementary laws inadequate to satisfy the needs of the international business community. The legal system is, however, in the process of being speedily reformed in order to meet the needs of the outside World.
Often the foreign private sector finds dealing with the public sector, the central government departments, the local authorities and the civil service a frustrating and exasperating experience. This is known to be typical of Yemen.
Our office has a long and diverse history of easing and lessening such frustrations. We understand the sensitivities of decisions in a political context, the exact procedures required to be followed, the right consultation and the need for confidentiality.
Yemen is not among the countries where litigation is recommended. However, when an amicable settlement cannot be reached we are equipped to offer the only other choice left, litigation.
We are particularly strong in Commercial Civil litigation of every description before the Commercial Courts including property litigation up to the final appeal before the Supreme/Cassation Court of Yemen. Our legal advisors/consultants dealing with the matter are the ones who would appear before the courts along with a junior litigation lawyer. Every member of the firm from the very start of practising as a lawyer is involved in litigation and continues it throughout his career.
We currently represent major companies in litigation brought by Unions as well as land claims filed by hundreds of claimants in rural areas around Yemen.
We have equally successfully defended companies in major labour litigation, and were involved in the setting up, operation of compensation tribunals that paid out compensation to over 1,200 claimants.
Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah Sons
Advocates, Solicitors & Legal Advisors
Sana'a | Republic of Yemen
1901, Level 19, Boulevard Plaza Tower 1
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai
United Arab Emirates
Tel : +971 4 556 1978
Fax : +971 4 455 8556