Morgan Lewis plans to open an office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) with the additions of Ayman A. Khaleq and Jim Knight. They will be joined by London-based energy transactions partner Lewis Jones.
All three lawyers join the firm from Vinson & Elkins. Khaleq and Knight will be resident in Dubai. Jones is based in London but will spend significant time in Dubai, having recently spent over four years resident in the United Arab Emirates. Currently, the firm is awaiting a license to open the Dubai office. Until then, Khaleq will spend time in the firm’s London office and Knight in the Houston office.
Khaleq, recently appointed by the International Monetary Fund as an expert in the field of debt capital markets, focuses his practice on structured finance and debt capital markets transactions, with an emphasis on the structuring and documentation of Islamic finance and investment products. He also advises on private equity and real estate funds, the formation of innovative Shari'a-compliant infrastructure, and structured products for international clients. He has 15 years of experience advising foreign investors on doing business in the Middle East and regional governments on privatization and deregulation matters, and he has worked with clients in a wide range of industries, including energy.
Knight has more than 20 years of experience in the United States and the Middle East advising companies and private equity investors in acquisitions, dispositions, mergers, and strategic investments across a broad range of industries, including oil and gas, oilfield services, and technology. He also represents issuers and underwriters in public and private debt and equity offerings and counsels clients on securities law matters, corporate governance, and other general corporate matters.
Jones concentrates his practice on the development and financing of energy and infrastructure projects with a particular focus on emerging markets. He serves clients including sponsors, lenders, governments, and private equity investors. He also advises clients on a broad range of finance transactions including upstream, trade, acquisition and other structured financings. In addition, Jones has advised on corporate and commercial matters, including major share and asset acquisitions and disposals, corporate reorganizations and a wide range of commercial contracts.