- Mohammed Al Dahbashi, Managing Partner
Joint founding and managing partner, Mohammed Al Dahbashi, is a prominent Emirati lawyer. Having graduated from the United Kingdom, with a Bachelors degree of Law with Honours (LLB Hons), Mohammed is of the few Emiratis that is experienced in both corporate/commercial transactions and disputes work.
Having worked for UAE firm Hadef & Partners, before setting up his own firm MAD Advocates and then co-founding ADG, Mohammed is committed to combining local UAE experience with international client care standards. Mohammed has also worked with various legal teams in the UAE that specialize on the corporate sector of legal work, and as a legal advisor at a boutique management consultancy firm in Dubai. He worked with the legal team of Mubadala Development Company PJSC, with great focus on corporate governance, aerospace and renewable energy fields. He also trained with other legal teams, including the legal team of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
A licensed advocate, Mohammed has rights of appearance before the competent courts of the UAE and has worked on a wide range of contentious matters, including commercial arbitrations, commercial litigations and criminal matters. He also has experience in corporate restructuring, preparing agreements, joint ventures, negotiating and advising clients.
With his international standards and local legal skills, Mohammed has been able to reach outstanding outcomes for his clients. He is renowned for being focused and effective, whilst remaining attentive to the needs of his clients.
- Abdelmaguid Fouad, Associate
Abdelmaguid works in our Egypt office. Prior to joining ADG, he worked for well-known local Egyptian law firms, gaining over eight years of experience in both civil and criminal litigation.
He uses his comprehensive and in-depth academic knowledge of both civil and criminal law, in addition to his practical application of legal principles, concepts and regulations, to provide clients with expert legal advice and guidance.
Abdelmaguid holds a Bachelor of Law degree as well as a Masters degree in law from Alexandria University in Egypt. He was admitted to the Egyptian Bar Association in 2012.
Abdelmaguid is an Arabic native speaker, who is also fluent in English.
- Abdulrahman Junaid, Head of Family Law and Senior Litigation Associate
Abdulrahman is an Emirati Lawyer, qualified to appear and advocate before the UAE courts.
Prior to joining ADG, Abdulrahman served in the Dubai Courts as a judge’s clerk and as a Public Notary. Since joining the Firm, Abdulrahman has excelled in the areas of Family Law and Litigation, providing clients with practical support, advice and guidance. The Firm was delighted to promote Abdulrahman to Head of Family Law at the beginning of 2020, in recognition of his sound reputation in the local market.
- Ahmed Ragab Alkotby, Partner
Ahmed studied law at Alexandria University, Egypt and was admitted to the Egyptian Bar Association in 2010. In 2014, he was admitted as a Practitioner Part II in the DIFC Courts. He’s worked in our team since 2016, becoming Associate Partner of our Egypt office in the beginning of 2020 following its successful launch.
Having worked in-house and for local, regional, and international law firms in Egypt and the UAE for over 14 years, Ahmed has enviable experience in relation to both contentious (civil and criminal) and non-contentious work.
This broad experience allows Ahmed to provide our clients with responsive, up-to-date legal advice that takes into consideration their practical and commercial needs, without compromising compliance. He manages and develops litigation strategies but also develops policies so to minimize the risk of litigation for clients.
Ahmed competently handles complex dispute resolution cases, often involving conflict of jurisdictions and of laws. He has been involved in matters relating to the banking, insurance, construction and hotel sectors, acting for corporate entities as well as individuals, including such work as the liquidation of the Dubai subsidiary of a multinational bank.
Working with our commercial and corporate team, Ahmed advises on multi-national acquisitions, corporate governance modules/policies, and corporate restructuring. He negotiates and drafts all types of commercial agreements (including master service agreements, non- disclosure agreements, non-circumvention agreements, letters of intent, memoranda of understanding, sponsorship agreements, loan and facility agreements), as well as all corporate documents (including memoranda of association, joint venture agreements, shareholder agreements and board resolutions).
Ahmed is well-versed in relation to the legal aspects of Islamic finance. He advises banks and financial institutions on strategies related to their litigation. Furthermore, he advises our clients on financing their businesses and/or expanding their partnership agreements through a number of Islamic instruments, such as the Modaraba module, Murabaha arrangements, Mosharaka, Estesnaa and other Islamic-based arrangements.
In Egypt, Ahmed worked in criminal law and defended clients before criminal and military courts, and attended public prosecutors’ investigations and police procedures. In the post-revolution period, Ahmed successfully dismissed military court charges against a number of defendants who were accused of arson attacks on police stations.
Prior to qualification, Ahmed was a social activist in fields related to environmental preventative strategies (he is certified through the Young Masters Program of Lund University, Sweden) and Culture of Peace. Furthermore, Ahmed was part of the National E-Safety Working Group as a Co-Founder of the youth team Net Aman, through which he participated in a number of legislative committees that were responsible for drafting the Anti Cyber Crimes Law in Egypt and to update the relevant laws accordingly. In addition, Ahmed was certified as a master trainer by the Micro Enterprise Institute, where he assisted in fostering the role of ICT in acceleration of businesses.
Ahmed’s experience and past involvement in social, cultural, political, and business activities allows him to advise clients pragmatically and with an eye on both furthering their business and evaluating risk.
A notable comment from a client was that Ahmed is “knowledgeable, experienced, compassionate and down-to-earth. He is one of the market-known lawyers, providing excellent quality of legal advice and responsiveness.”
Ahmed is a native Arabic speaker, as well as fluent in English, and is qualified to represent clients before the DIFC Courts.
- Bahriddini Sultan, Paralegal
Sultan is a paralegal with extensive experience and knowledge in the legal industry having previously worked in both boutique companies and international organisations.
Prior to commencing his baccalaureate in law, he worked for a few years at a real estate brokerage where he developed and improved his knowledge surrounding real property law, drafting of sales and purchase agreements as well as tenancy contracts, and mediating and resolving disputes amongst landlords and tenants. During his LLB programme at the Middlesex University, from where he graduated with a First Class Honours degree, Sultan undertook several extracurricular activities to improve himself both personally and professionally. To name a few, he coached and supervised the university’s martial arts club, assisted his professor’s with leading seminars and workshops for younger law students, joined the university’s mooting society and took part in the globally renowned Phillip c. Jessup International Moot Court Competition bringing victory to his university in the national qualifying rounds of the competition.
After his graduation, Sultan got a long-term internship at the UNICEF, where he had the privilege of attending high-level government negotiations, working on humanitarian projects and attending international forums. Subsequently, he was employed as an in-house legal assistant for a Dubai-based aviation company, where he encountered new challenges to conquer and managed to further improve himself and his knowledge in the legal industry.
At ADG Legal, Sultan is exposed to a wide variety of legal sectors, such as Corporate and Commercial Law, Family Law, Criminal Law and Financial Crimes, Real Property Law and Litigation. One of Sultan’s most admirable skills is that he is multilingual. Sultan is fluent in English, Russian and Persian languages.
Mobile: +971 50 956 5777
- Dennis Varghese, Paralegal
Dennis is a paralegal based in our Dubai office. Prior to joining ADG, Dennis gained experience in the corporate and commercial sectors with PwC and Dentons.
Dennis assists all of our Associates and Partners. His work focuses on M&A and joint ventures, commercial contracts, shareholders agreements, share purchase agreements, onshore and offshore company setup and other corporate transactions. He assists clients on matters involving the incorporation and registration of new companies (including free zones), drafting memoranda, conducting research, as well as liaising with various government departments.
Dennis joined ADG following the completion of his Bachelor of Law degree in Dubai. He is fluent in English and Hindi.
- Francesco Bulleri, Senior Associate
Francesco has substantial experience in corporate, commercial and contract law, as well as a broad range of related real estate matters. Prior to joining ADG Legal, he worked on projects across a number of different regions (including the EU, Middle East, APAC, India and South Africa) and had the opportunity to draft and negotiate a wide range of different types of contracts for domestic and cross-border transactions in various industries. Having graduated in Law from Luiss University of Rome, he started his career in the corporate department at BonelliErede (Top-Tier 1 and Italy’s largest law firm) and had subsequent experiences while in-house at Gucci (luxury fashion company) and Axitea (global physical and cyber security provider).
During his time in-house, he worked closely with shareholders, directors, CFOs, COOs and the main stakeholders involved in the business. The knowledge, experience and insights gained allowed him to become very familiar with the underlying dynamics of companies and their legal departments and, thus, to fully understand the clients’ perspective and needs.
Fluent in Italian and English, Francesco also has a working knowledge of Spanish.
- John Leopoldo Fiorilla di Santa Croce, Of Counsel
John Leopoldo Fiorilla di Santa Croce is Of Counsel in ADG Legal’s Dubai office. His diverse corporate experience encompasses mergers and acquisitions, private equity, joint ventures, restructurings, corporate governance and securities-related matters both in Europe and the United States.
John received a J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where he was Managing Editor of the University of Pittsburgh Law Review, and a Master of Laws in International Legal Studies from New York University School of Law.
Before joining ADG Legal, John practised in the New York and London offices of Sullivan & Cromwell, as well as with Brosio, Casati e Associati in Milan.
John is admitted to practice before the courts of the State of New York and the District of Columbia, as well as before the United States Supreme Court. He is also admitted to the United States Courts of Appeals for the Third, Ninth, District of Columbia and Federal Circuits, and the United States District Courts for the Eastern District of New York, Southern District of New York and District of New Jersey.
Fluent in Italian and English, John also has a working knowledge of French.
In addition to being Of Counsel to ADG John is also Managing Partner of the Arabian Gulf Fund, a boutique private equity firm based in Nassau and New York City.
In his capacity as an Adviser to the Nunciature of the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations, John advises the Holy See (the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome) on matters concerning public international law and represents the Holy See in the General Assembly and at other United Nations bodies. He is a member of the Holy See Delegations various other UN Committees.
John is a Fellow of the Foreign Policy Association, a member of the Economic Club of New York and of the Arab Bankers Association of North America, and has served on the Committee on Art Law, the Committee on International Security Affairs, the Special Committee on the United Nations, the Council on International Affairs and the Committee on International Law of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.
John serves on the boards of Save Venice (Vice President and a member of the Executive Committee), the Peggy Guggenheim Collection (formerly Chairman of the Executive Committee), the International Friends of La Fenice (Chairman), and the American Foundation of Savoy Orders (Vice President).
- Josh Kemp, Partner
Josh first joined ADG Legal as a Consultant Senior Associate, working from our London representative office since March 2017. In the beginning of 2020, Josh was invited to join ADG Legal in Dubai as a Partner.
Josh specialises in commercial litigation and international arbitration, particularly in construction and infrastructure. He has acted in litigation and arbitration for large commercial building contractors, and engineering construction contractors. He has been consistently named as a Leading Construction Litigation Lawyer in his native jurisdiction (Australia), having previously been a principal of a leading law firm specialising in construction, development and infrastructure.
He also has significant experience in acting for commercial clients in disputes in the Middle East, North Africa and the UK. He has recently advised various Middle Eastern, European and African clients in relation to fraud investigations in various sectors, including real estate, resources and metals trading. He has experience in DIFC Court proceedings and has acted in JAMS, ICC, LCIA, DIFC-LCIA and DIAC arbitrations.
Josh has substantial experience in advising on a range of commercial agreements such as shareholder and joint-venture agreements, loan agreements, software development agreements, as well as standard form and bespoke construction contracts.
Having read law in his native state Queensland, Josh subsequently studied a Master of Laws and was admitted as a legal practitioner in 2007. He is also admitted to practice in the State of New York.
- Kamila Sielski, Associate
Kamila is dual qualified England & Wales and New York Bar lawyer with over 8 years of experience. Kamila focuses primarily on litigation and international arbitration.
Prior to joining the firm’s commercial litigation and arbitration practice June 2020, Kamila worked for a global law firm in Dubai and had also worked at a London based practice. She has a broad range of experience in contentious matters including fraud investigations, anti-corruption related matters and construction disputes. Kamila’s litigation and international arbitration experience include matters before the English High Court, the DIFC Courts and multiple arbitral institutions. She has also worked on several white-collar crime matters including investigations by the US Department of Justice and the Serious Fraud Office.
Mobile: +971 55 640 5658
- Kostubh Devnani, Associate
Kostubh is a dispute resolution lawyer with over 7 years’ experience.
Kostubh’s main focus is in cross-jurisdictional dispute resolution, international commercial arbitration, regulatory compliance and white-collar defense and advisory matters.
He has extensive experience in a range of matters involving public law disputes, securities laws, anti-money laundering laws, corporate frauds, shareholder and joint venture disputes and commercial disputes.
As part of a white-collar defense practice, Kostubh has advised clients on internal investigations, potential violations of anti-bribery and anti-money laundering as well as employment law. Kostubh has also advised and represented clients on matters of arbitration including pre-award and post-award interim relief(s), application for intervention by the courts in the production of evidence before arbitral tribunals and enforcement of awards.
Kostubh qualified with a law degree [B.A., LL.B. (Hons.)] in 2014 from one of India’s leading law schools, NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad and was enrolled as an advocate the same year.
Before joining ADG Legal, Kostubh worked at the top tier firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co.
Kostubh is a native Hindi speaker and is fluent in English.
Mobile: +971 55 819 0395
- Malika Kashagonova, Associate
Malika has broad extensive experience in the areas of corporate, commercial, real estate law and dispute resolution.
Having graduated in 2011 in Kazakhstan, Malika worked as an in-house lawyer for a bank in Kazakhstan, specializing in banking and corporate law. In 2015 she moved to Dubai and worked as a corporate lawyer with another local firm before joining us in 2017.
With over seven years of experience, Malika expertly reviews, drafts and negotiates corporate and commercial agreements, recommending solutions and mitigating risk with regard to legal, regulatory and company compliance policies. She provides robust advice regarding corporate structures and governance, company incorporation and her transaction document reviews are thorough.
With regard to real estate matters, Malika reviews sale-purchase contracts, lease contracts, and deals with cancelled projects.
She also assists our Dispute Resolution Department, providing legal opinions on civil claim disputes, bad debts and corporate and commercial disputes.
Malika is a native Russian, Kazakh speaker and fluent in English. In all matters, she uses her excellent language and case management skills to guide and support clients. She also regularly writes articles for our website.
- Mohamed El Bayar, Associate
Mohamed is an experienced lawyer whose practice area covers commercial, litigation and property and is based in our Alexandria office.
Mohamed is skilled in drafting pleadings, briefs, legal memoranda and submissions as well as drafting commercial contracts, property contracts, agreements and memorandum of understanding for businesses and individuals. Mohamed also translates documents from Arabic to English and vice versa.
Mohamed is Executive Chairman of Alexandria based MAC Club for Social Development, an organisation focused on identifying the development needs of the community and implementing training modules and projects. He is also a consultant for GIZ (German Society for International Cooperation) on their Economic Integration of Women in the MENA Region program.
Mohamed qualified in 2012 with a Bachelor of Law (LL.B) from Alexandria University. In January 2020 he qualified with a Master of Law (LL.M) from Alexandria University majoring in Public International Law.
Mohamed is a native Arabic speaker, fluent in English along with a basic knowledge of French and Italian.
Mobile: +20 111 408 7722
- Najla Fathi Hassan, Legal Assistant
Najla works in our Dubai office as a Legal assistant.
She acts as a liaison among senior executives, middle management, and administrative staff at various government departments.
She has 11 years of experience working as a legal assistant and utilises that experience by working on matters such as registration of cases, electronic submissions, archiving memorandums and receipt of court judgments as well keeping the team up to date with the dates of hearings before the courts.
Najla is a native Arabic speaker and is fluent in English.
Mobile: +971 50 910 4505
- Paul Taylor, Senior Legal Consultant
For many years, Paul has specialised in handling and resolving disputes worldwide, in over 30 jurisdictions covering the Gulf, Africa, Europe, the Far East and America. He has vast experience in dealing with international litigation, arbitration, mediation, adjudication and negotiation.
These disputes range from general commercial matters to regulatory and governmental disputes, professional indemnity claims, environmental matters, insurance and reinsurance issues and major construction disputes.
Paul’s practice was based for many years at Berrymans and subsequently Berrymans Lace Mawer, a national and international dispute resolution and litigation practice. He became a Partner in Berrymans in 1973, Senior Partner in 1991, and, after leading the merger with Lace Mawer, was elected Senior Partner of Berrymans Lace Mawer in 1997. Paul established their Dubai office and handled cases in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and throughout the UAE, acting primarily in commercial, insurance, construction and banking disputes. He has lectured widely all over the world, including in the Gulf, on dispute resolution and risk management.
Paul is admitted in England and Wales as a Solicitor.
- Peter Gray
Peter is an experienced lawyer and adviser. With almost two decades’ experience in resolving complex disputes and advising on white-collar crime matters, Peter is also frequently asked to advise on non-contentious matters. Of particular note, Peter is currently involved in providing assistance for projects in a number of sectors across Africa.
Peter is highly recommended by clients for his commercial, efficient and friendly approach.
A Cambridge University graduate, Peter trained at the Bar before starting his practicing career at LeBoeuf Lamb (later Dewey & LeBoeuf) in the City of London. Having moved to Dubai in 2010, he set up Kingsgrove Partners in 2015. Seeking to combine deep regional knowledge with an international mindset, and provide clients with exceptional UAE legal services, he established ADG with Mohammed Al Dahbashi.
Published in leading journals, Peter is often a keynote speaker at international conferences, including the Cambridge Symposium and C5, and is a registered STEP Trust and Estate Practitioner.
Much of Peter’s career has been focussed on the Middle East and Africa. Recognising that most significant conversations and decisions depend upon personal relationships, Peter spends a great deal of time travelling throughout the Middle East and Africa to help clients achieve their goals. Always seeking innovative and proactive solutions for clients, Peter has a reputation for taking the time to understand his clients’ businesses and for being “commercially minded and cost sensitive”. One client noted that “Peter is the lawyer every good CEO would like to have, especially when facing difficult structuring decisions.”
- Rasha Elkhatim, Legal Assistant
Prior to working at ADG Legal, Rasha worked as a legal consultant at Fahad bin Tamin advocates. Rasha supports and liaises with our lawyers on legal drafting and research.
She also supports the administrative team to help deliver a superior quality of service to our clients.
Mobile: +971 55 008 5132
- Roberto Cornetta, Partner
Roberto joined us as a Partner at the beginning of 2020. He has worked in the Emirates, India and Africa for several years and by joining us, his clients (who have fully supported his move) can benefit from a truly full service international law firm.
Roberto graduated in Law at Yale Law School and worked for six years in New York City. He then went on to become the founder and CEO of Norton Rose Italy where he remained for 12 years in their European PF group.
Roberto was CEO of Paul Hastings in Italy where for 8 years his focus was on large real estate, hospitality, finance and cross border M&A in Europe, India, China and Africa. He also spent six months in Hong Kong and six months in Colombia for the Italian Electricity Company.
Roberto has had several referrals from large US law firms and clients, Aecom, Palantir, Dole and Gecas to name but a few. He has been appointed by Stanford University as the sole European member of their “Seeds for Africa” program in recognition of his experience in both professional and pro bono work.
- Sarah El-hawary, Associate
Sarah is an associate at our Alexandria office.
Sarah is very familiar with Egyptian legal procedures and has a thorough understanding of law in general. She has experience in civil, commercial, labour, criminal and employment law.
Prior to working at ADG Legal she taught legal studies to undergraduate students as an assistant lecturer and then as a lecturer. She holds a PHD and was a researcher in the economic and financial sciences department at the Faculty of Law at Tanta University. She holds two post graduate diplomas in Private Law and Economic Sciences.
Sarah is a member of the Egyptian bar association.
Mobile: ++20 122 495 4871
- Shams Elkodama, Associate
With over 5 years of legal experience across the GCC and Dubai, Shams is a valuable member of our litigation team.
Clients appreciate Shams’ attention to detail and responsive attitude. He works confidently with each member of the litigation team to establish strategies, draft statements of claim, and attend before court appointed experts.
Shams’ litigation experience is broad, having worked on matters ranging from banking disputes, medical claims through to shipping. He also enjoyed a robust training in commercial law which included drafting NDAs, MOUs, dealing with the liquidation and termination of companies, as well as reviewing and negotiating commercial contracts, agreements and JVs.
Shams holds a bachelor’s degree in law (English Section) from Ain Shams University, Cairo, as well as a Legal Drafting and Legal Translation professional Diploma from the American University in Cairo. He is bilingual (English and Arabic).
- Vimbai Hungwe, Chief Operating Officer
As Chief Operating Officer Vimbai brings a wealth of experience and leadership to the firm. She is a strategist and has successfully built and run operations for several companies in the UAE and worldwide.
Prior to joining ADG Legal, Vimbai worked as the head of operations at AstroLabs where she advised and mentored startups through legal and financial processes. She also managed the day-to-day operations of the HUB including recruitment and designing and teaching classes in finance.
Vimbai was also head of finance operations at Careem for several years. She played an instrumental part in them becoming the first tech company from the Middle East to reach $1 billion valuation.
Vimbai is a critical thinker who excels in her field.
- Scott Lambert, Partner
Scott has over 32 years’ experience in construction and infrastructure and facility management, as well as a broad range of related commercial matters. Scott is well known by his clients for his practical, straight-forward and strategic advice, his knowledge of how construction and infrastructure work operates and his breadth of contacts in the industry.
Prior to joining ADG Legal, Scott was the Regional Head of Construction and Infrastructure at Al Tamimi & Co and a Partner at Beale & Co. Before arriving in the Middle East, Scott was a Partner at the well-regarded Australian firm, Holding Redlich.
Scott has been working in the MENA region for over 6 years and has helped clients across the region, including projects in the UAE, Oman, KSA, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq and Egypt. He specialises in all aspects of construction and infrastructure law, working with clients from procurement, through contract documents, project advisory and dispute management. His experience covers working with developers, contractors, consultants, suppliers, project managers and facility managers.
Scott’s experience includes major developments involving resorts, mixed use sites, rail, as well as renewable and waste to fuel conversion, solar parks, oil and gas, pipelines, roads, dams, ports, desalination plants and district cooling plant projects. He frequently works with joint venture projects and advises on all aspects of the joint venture operation.
Scott has a strong interest in Building Information Modelling and also in Sustainability. He was an accredited Green Star professional in Australia and was a Director and Secretary of the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia. In the UAE, he has provided assistance to the Emirates Green Building Council. He also seeks to give back to the industry through his participation in the management team of the Lighthouse Club (Dubai branch).
Scott was admitted as a legal practitioner in Queensland, Australia in 1989. He is also admitted to practice in the Australian Capital Territory and before the High Court of Australia. He has been registered as a Legal Consultant in Dubai since 2014.
- Walid Abu El Matty, Associate
Walid specializes in civil and commercial law disputes and is skilled in the drafting of legal memorandums and submissions. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Law in 2005 and joined a leading law firm in Alexandria, where he practiced in a wide range of legal fields in Egypt. Between 2007 and 2008, Walid jointly served as a legal consultant in Alexandria University.
Walid has gained over 7 years’ legal experience in the UAE. He has worked primarily in the fields of civil, commercial, labour and criminal law. He is especially familiar with the administrative aspects and legal procedures of the UAE and has great knowledge depth in dealing with Courts, Public Prosecutor’s Office, Municipalities, Police stations and other related governmental authorities.
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