About Us

Legal Done Right! - Middle East & North Africa

Your Trusted Global Counsel

MENA LEGAL was founded two decades ago by lawyers who had previously worked for large international law firms, but who preferred to take their skills to a smaller, international boutique law firm environment in order to lend a more meaningful and direct impact on corporate and commercial law. 

At MENA LEGAL, all of our matters are assigned to at least one partner/senior lawyer, who is tasked with direct interaction on the issues at-hand and management of the firm’s expert services, handled in a smooth, efficient and quality-minded manner, in keeping with the best interests of our clients.

Our clients appreciate our lawyers’ many years of hands-on business experience in advising international companies in respect of their investments in Europe, the US, Asia and the Middle East. 

MENA LEGAL provides proven “One-Stop-Shop” value-added services through its Swiss Association, BREXENDORFF & ASSOCIATES (B&A). B&A boasts a formidable team of lawyers, tax experts, finance and business consultants, investment bankers, wealth management service providers, accountants, insurance experts, strategic consultants and recruitment agents.

The name of MENA LEGAL, is derived from Pharaoh Mena, the legendary first king of a unified Egypt, who ruled over a single, centralized monarchy in around 3100 B.C. Pharaoh Mena was responsible for the drafting of history’s first legal codification of law, thousands of years before Babylonia’s Hammurabi and the later legal codes of the West, like the Magna Carta.  This feat of clerical skill and political power was immortalized in inscriptions and drawings, only discovered in recent decades.  It is in this tradition of the rule of law and the building of a civil society that MENA LEGAL, as a firm, takes its inspiration.

Partners & Heads of Practice Groups

Association Partner
Association Partner
Association Partner
Association Partner
Association Partner
Association Partner
Association Partner

Dr. Gunter Denk

Association Partner
Association Partner
Association Partner

Hamdan Al Khaabi

Association Partner
Association Partner
Association Partner
Association Partner
Association Partner
Association Partner

Ana-Maria Beldica

HR People Business
Partner

Rhutie Jabagat -Ibarrola

Immigration Consultant
Association Partner
Association Partner
Association Partner
Association Partner
Association Partner
Association Partner
Associate
Managing Partner |
Counselor at Law
Sven-Rothlingsh
Association
Partner
Associate
Associate
Association
Partner
Association
Partner

Stelian Mic

Association
Partner

Dr. Gunter Denk

Association
Partner

Barna Bolonyi

Association
Partner
Association
Partner
Association
Partner
Association
Partner
Association
Partner
Association
Partner
Association
Partner
Association
Partner

Hamdan Al Khaabi

Association
Partner
Association
Partner
Association
Partner

Rhutie Jabagat -Ibarrola

Immigration
Consultant

Ana-Maria Beldica

HR People
Business Partner
Association
Partner
Association
Partner
Association
Partner
Association
Partner
Association
Partner
Association
Partner
Associate

Our

Business Sectors

Real Estate & Construction

Renewable Energy & Environment Technologies

Engineering & Architecture

Security &
Defence

Car Manufacturers & Supply Industries

Hotels & Leisure Properties

Logistics
& Aviation

Pharmaceutical & Biotechnology

Education
Sector

Fintech &
Blockchain

Oil & Gas
and Mining

Petrochemicals
Sector

Our

Business Sectors

The Difference

“One-Stop-Shop” Solution

MENA LEGAL, with its multi-national network of law offices, is part of the Zurich-based Swiss association of BREXENDORFF & ASSOCIATES (B&A). B&A is an international association of lawyers, tax experts, finance and business consultants, investment bankers, wealth management service providers, accountants, insurance experts, strategic consultants, recruitment agencies, and fintech and blockchain experts.  It provides all of its members with a readily-available and very active, trusted network of professionals to better serve client needs.  

The development of the MENA LEGAL and B&A service portfolios has coincided with increasing commercial interest in the Middle East and Africa, regions in which the firm, its lawyers and other professionals, have been specialized for almost 30 years.

The practice of the respective offices of our law firm and B&A members is designed to address the needs of inbound foreign investors doing business in an environment where the laws, customs and economic conditions are often significantly dissimilar from those experienced at home.  To this end, it is important to rely not only on legal expertise, but also on an in-depth knowledge of the local business cultures and customs present in the various regions in which our members are based.

Our lawyers and B&A members support clients with a business- and results-orientated approach, tailored to a client’s individual needs; from the initial planning phase to negotiations, completion of the transaction, the day-to-day operational issues, as well as all sorts of matters in-between.

Our

Strategic Partnerships

Within MENA LEGAL and the B&A Swiss Association structure, lawyers and business consultants cooperate closely with various experts to offer our clients value-added services.  Our B&A association may refer to other professional consultants, including investment bankers, wealth management service providers, accountants, insurance experts and recruitment agencies. Among others, we have established successful partnerships with providers of trust, tax and accounting services, as well as recruitment agencies and Fintech experts with international expertise.

Our

Strategic Partnerships

Within MENA LEGAL and the B&A Swiss Association structure, lawyers and business consultants cooperate closely with various experts to offer our clients value-added services.  Our B&A association may refer to other professional consultants, including investment bankers, wealth management service providers, accountants, insurance experts and recruitment agencies. Among others, we have established successful partnerships with providers of trust, tax and accounting services, as well as recruitment agencies and Fintech experts with international expertise.

Managing Partner | Counselor at Law

Offices:

Dubai | Zurich

Dr. Alexander Brexendorff is an entrepreneur / owner and managing director of various legal, business and Fintech consulting companies in Europe and the Middle East. He is as well the founder and head of the board of the Swiss and UAE based international business and legal Swiss Association Brexendorff & Associates.

He has over twenty years of international experience in business consulting, legal and Fintech services with a deep and comprehensive legal and practical knowledge of Europe, the Former Soviet Union, the Middle East and beyond.

Holding an honors Ph.D. in hydrocarbon public international law, he started his career during the DOTCOM boom at the financial markets department of Shearman & Sterling LLP in Frankfurt, moved on to the international energy agency, Energy Charter Secretariat, in Brussels, joined later the Coudert Brothers LLP Middle East Practice Group before he founded one of the most prestigious European-Middle East Boutique Legal, Business, Renewable Energy and Fintech consultancies.

Areas of Expertise

  • Business Set Up in Europe, the Middle East
  • Joint Ventures, Mergers & Acquisitions, Technology Transfer
  • International Trade, Business and Labour Law in the Middle East
  • International and Middle Eastern corporate laws and contracts
  • Renewable Energies
  • Construction contracts (F.I.D.I.C.)
  • Engineering and Architectural offices law
  • Blockchain, Fintech, Cryptocurrency
  • Security and Defense industries
  • Oil & Gas
  • Compliance and Sanctions  
  • Risk Management
  • Foreign Direct Investment consultation for Middle East Region
  • Public International Law
  • International Environmental Law

Professional Education & Qualification

  • Oxford Fintech Programme, University of Oxford, 2020
  • Certificate in DIFC Courts’ Laws and Procedures, DIFC Courts, Dubai, 2014
  • Certificate in F.I.D.I.C. Contracts – Middle East, Dubai, 2009
  • Project Management for Renewable Energy, Berlin, 2008
  • Counselor-at-law, U.A.E., since 2006
  • Juris Doctor, University of Würzburg, Germany, 2006
  • Doctoral Thesis: Extraction and Transit of Oil & Gas in Central Asia: A Business, Public International and Environmental Law perspective, 1999-2005
  • Legal Practitioner training, Germany, 2002-04
  • Center for Energy and Mineral Law and Policy (Dundee, Scotland), 2000
  • Lawyers Diploma (1. State Exam), University of Frankfurt / Main, Germany, 1999
  • Studies of Law and Slavic Studies (Russicum), University of Würzburg, Germany, 1995-97
  • Studies of Common Law, International Business & Environmental Law at University of Essex (UK), 1993-94
  • Studies of Business Management and Law in Kiel, 1991-93

Career

  • Board member of various International companies
  • Brexendorff & Associates Swiss Association, Zurich, since 2016, Founder, President
  • MENA LEGAL, since 2004, Founding Partner
  • Coudert Brothers LLP, Frankfurt/Main, (Middle East Practice Group), 2002 – 2004
  • ILF Consulting Engineers, Munich (pipeline projects in the Middle East), 2002
  • E.ON, Duesseldorf, Legal Department, 2001 – 2002
  • Energy Charter Secretariat, Bruxelles, 2001
  • Shearman & Sterling, Frankfurt/Main and Düsseldorf (Corporate Law & Finance, M&A), 1999 – 2001
  • Dr. Frühbeck Abogados y Economistas, Barcelona, 1999
  • Dr. Eckstein & Partners, Moscow, 1997 – 1998
  •  

Professional Activities & Memberships

  • Global Business Owners, Dubai (President), GCC (Ambassador)
  • American Chamber of Commerce, Dubai
  • German Emirates Club, Dubai
  • German Arab Chamber of Commerce, Dubai
  • German Arab Friendship Association e.V., Berlin
  • German-Arab Association e.V., Berlin
  • Association for German-Russian Business Law, Hamburg

Languages

Fluent in: German, English, Russian

Basic knowledge in: Spanish, French, Arabic

Publications

Dr. Brexendorff regularly publishes articles and gives seminars with practical advice on European, Middle Eastern business laws, in particular on Renewable Energies, Fintech, Blockchain related regulations.

Legal and Business Association consultant

Offices:

UAE | Dubai

Francesca Romana Valeri was born in province of Rome (Italy) and graduated in Law in the University LUMSA of Rome in 2013.

Based in UAE, she is active in Europe and in the Middle East as Legal Counsel since 2018 with a prior knowledge in legal advice & consultation in Corporate Law, Commercial law and Italian Civil Law and with a strong experience in the International Construction Contracts and Contract Negotiation.

Over the last 7 years she dedicated herself in deepening the knowledge of international contracts’ field also by actively taking part to contract negotiations all over the world.

Areas of Expertise

  • Corporate transactions and international contracts;
  • Construction Contracts in Europe and in Middle East (F.I.D.I.C.);
  • Management of quantity surveying activities and International Bid.
  • International Bank Guarantees and Letter of Credit Regulations;
  • Assistance in commercial disputes.

Education

  • Master Degree (II Level) in Sanitary and Pharmaceutical Law, Italy – 2018.
  • Law Degree, Italy – 2013.
  • BAR Exam, Court of Rome- Italy- 2018.

Career

  • MENA LEGAL – current
  • Corporate Legal Counsel, Clax Italia Srl – 2018/2021
  • Lawyer in Law Firm Biaggi-Benedetti in Italy – 2018
  • Stage in Italian Public Parliament XII Health Department – 2017
  • Trainee Solicitor – Italy 2013/2018

Professional Activities & Memberships

  • Italian Business Council
  • Italian Trade Agency
  • Dubai Business Women Council

Languages

Italian (Native Languages), English (Fluent), French and Spanish (basic knowledge)

Legal and Business Association consultant

Offices:

UAE | Dubai

Aurelien de Barnier is a French jurist originally from the city of Nice in the south of France. Having grown up and living in the UAE since 2001, he graduated from the Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi with a Bachelor in law & political sciences in 2014 and a Master in Business law, International law and Sustainable Development law in 2016.

Mr. de Barnier is advising French and other international clients on all legal and business aspects on doing business in the Middle East.

Areas of Expertise

  • French, UAE and Saudi Civil and Corporate Law
  • International Environmental Law & Sustainable Development
  • International law
  • Comparative law

Professional Education & Qualification

  • French civil Business law and Corporate law formation, Paris (2019-2020)
  • Master in Sustainable Development law, Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi (2015-2016)
  • Master in Business law, International law & Diplomacy, Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi (2014-2015)
  • Bachelor in French law & Political Sciences, Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi (2010-2014)

Career

  • MENA LEGAL law firm, Dubai, since 2021
  • Al Suwaiket & Al Busaies law firm KSA, external counsel, 2017-2020
  • ENGIE Middle-East, Dubai, 2018-2019
  • MASDAR, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, part of Mubadala Investment Company, Abu Dhabi, 2017-2018
  • Eversheds Sutherland law firm, Dubai, 2017
  • AIRBUS Group Defence & Space, Abu Dhabi, 2014-2015

Professional Activities & Memberships

  • Participation as speaker for the “International Water Reuse and Recycling Conference”, organized by the International Desalination Association, Nice Côte d’Azur, 2016

Languages

French (Native Languages), English (Fluent), Spanish (Intermediate),  Arabic(basic knowledge)

Publications

  • Academic Publication: “A Desalination Plant Project in Oman, how contracts mitigate risks”, as part of the novel ‘Fresh Water: Law and Stakes in the Arab States of the GCC”, under supervision of Pr. Anthony Chamboredon, Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, the MENA collection, LEXIS NEXIS, January 2018

Scott K. Henderson

Partner | Attorney at Law

Offices:

Scottsdale | Arizona | United States

Scott is a US-trained lawyer based in the State of Arizona in the United States and is a Founding Member of New LAW u.s., which works with MENA Legal on projects for clients based in North America.  He has extensive regional experience in sophisticated real estate and commercial business transactions, and has also served in leadership positions with U.S.-based national organisations, focused on economic and community development.  Scott has enjoyed a sterling career which has earned him an AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating with Martindale-Hubbell. 

Areas of Expertise

His core practice competencies include:

  • Commercial Transactions
  • Real Estate Development and Finance
  • Residential (single-family, and multi-family developments)
  • Commercial development (both industrial and retail)
  • Resort, hospitality and leisure
  • Mining, Oil & Gas
  • Water management
  • Major National/International Sporting Events; Organization, Management and Operation

Bar Admission

  • Board Certified in Arizona since 1985

Education

  • DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana; B.A., Economics and English Composition
  • Hellenic-American University, Athens, Greece
  • Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington, Indiana; J.D. 

Professional Activities & Memberships

  • NewLAWu.s., Founding Attorney
  • Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A., Partner
  • Polsinelli Shughart, Equity Partner
  • The Henderson Law Firm, PLC, Founding Partner
  • Squire Sanders, Equity Partner
  • Streich Lang (nka Quarles & Brady), Equity Partner
  • Winston & Strawn, Associate, 1984 – 1986

Previsouly and Currently Recognized in:

  • Best Lawyers in America
  • Chambers US, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business
  • Southwest Super Lawyers
  • Arizona’s Finest Lawyers
  • The Best of the Bar
  • Who’s Who of American Lawyers
  • Top People to Know in Commercial Real Estate

Charitable and Civic Involvement

  • The Thunderbirds (host of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, the world’s largest professional golf tournament).
  • Thunderbirds Charities (have provided over $93 million to local charities)
  • PGA Tour Tournament Advisory Council
  • Greater Phoenix Economic Council (“GPEC”)
  • Boards of Various Charitable Organizations, e.g., Stand for Children, Special Olympics of Arizona, Homeward Bound, Crossroads

Languages

English

Christian Nel

Associate

Offices:

Dubai

Christian was born in Pretoria, South Africa and after traveling the world and attending school in 7 different countries he ultimately graduated with a British law degree in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Based in the Emirates for the past 6 years, Christian previously worked as a legal officer at an upcoming digital bank with a wide range of responsibilities from regulatory, compliance, contractual to intellectual property and anti-money laundering aspects.
Christian’s experience and knowledge of the financial sphere in particular in fintech, blockchain, and traditional banking allows for a prominent understanding of all aspects that surround company set-up, operations and transactions in particular in the new segments of crypto, NFT, Metaverse and challenger banks.

Areas of Expertise

  • Data Protection law (both in Europe and the MENA region)
  • Blockchain and Crypto
  • Banking and Finance law
  • Commercial Contract law
  • Labor Law and Employment Contracts

Education

  • Bachelor of Laws, Middlesex University Dubai, UAE – 2020
  • BA Political Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa – 2016

Career

  • MENA LEGAL 2022 – current
  • Zand bank – 2020-2022
  • Hammad Al Mehdar, 2019

Languages

Afrikaans (Native Language), English (bilingual, first language)

Associate

Office:

Dubai

Baden was born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania but has been mainly based in the Middle East with a 14-year presence in the region, attaining his Bachelors of Law Degree in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

During his time in Dubai, Baden previously worked within private law firms in UAE across various departments including but not limited to corporate, labour, intellectual property. He also possesses experience in the public sector with his time at the Resident Magistrate Court in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania as well as also working with parastatal organisations, further exemplifying his versatility. His experience has allowed him to attain a good knowledge of company functions and compliance needed in relation to
different regulations.

Areas of Expertise

  • Commercial Law
  • Compliance
  • Labour Law
  • Blockchain and crypto
  • Intellectual Property

Education

  • Bachelor of Laws, Middlesex University Dubai, UAE – 2020

Career

  • MENA Legal 2022 – Current
  • PKF in Eastern Africa – 2021-2022
  • Resident Magistrate Court in Dar-es Salaam – 2020-2021

Languages

Swahili (Native Language), English (bilingual, first language)

Association Partner

Offices:

Basel / Switzerland

Sven Röthlingshöfer is a German business attorney (Rechtsanwalt) by profession and a real estate and hospitality project development specialist with over 25 years of international experience. He has been practicing as a foreign Legal Consultant in the Emirate of Dubai since 1998.

Sven was involved in the development and delivery of several of Dubai’s well-known real estate and hospitality projects. 

During his initial 9 years in private practice at Ja’afar Alwan, Al Jaziri & Associates, one of Dubai’s leading National Law Firms, he advised European companies on their business ventures and investments throughout the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

Key areas of specialty include foreign direct investments, cross-border joint-ventures, re-structuring, distribution and industrial projects, real estate projects, hospitality projects as well as international litigation and arbitration. 

Since the opening of the real estate market in Dubai to foreign investors, Sven has been advising international property developers on residential, commercial and hospitality projects in the Emirate of Dubai.

Sven also acted as an Arbitrator and Expert Witness and as a Board Member of an Owners’ Association of a large hybrid project. From 2007 until 2021 he accepted assignments as General Counsel of two privately owned property development companies in the Emirate of Dubai. Their project portfolio included the development, completion and hand-over of a large commercial property in Dubai Downtown, the Kempinski Residences & Hotel Apartments Palm Jumeirah and the hotels of EPG Hotels & Resorts, which are now rebranded as the “Raffles the Palm Dubai” and the “Hyde Hotel Business Bay”.

Areas of Expertise

  • Hospitality projects
  • Hotel management agreements
  • Restaurant operating and management agreements
  • Project development related cross-border joint ventures
  • Mixed-use real estate projects
  • Related fields
  • International litigation and arbitration

Bar Admission

Germany, since 1996

Markus Winter

Partner | Attorney at Law

Offices:

Munich

Areas of Expertise

  • M & A, Law of Succession, Inheritance Law, Family Law, International Contract Law

Bar Admission

Germany, since 2002

Qualification

Law Studies, Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe-University of Frankfurt
Law Studies, New York University

Languages

 German, English, French

Partner | Attorney at Law

Offices:

Munich

Areas of Expertise

  • European Law, International Commercial Law and Visa Regulations, International Contract Law

Bar Admission

Germany, since 1999

Qualifications

  • Law Studies, Julius-Maximilians-University of Würzburg
  • Law Studies, University of  Granada, Spain
  • Arabic Language, History and Culture

Languages

German, English, Spanish and Arabic

Assoc. Partner | Attorney at Law

Offices:

HANOI

He is a Senior Associate at Asia Counsel Vietnam. Before joining Asia Counsel, Ross worked as an associate at a UK law firm in the corporate and commercial department.  Ross has extensive experience in M&A, and commercial transactions in the UK and Vietnam across a broad range of industries.  Ross has also advised on renewable projects in the UK, including the development of a number of wind power projects.

Areas of Expertise

  • Renewable Energy
    • Solar power projects
    • Wind power projects
    • EPC contracts in renewable power projects

Professional Education & Qualification

  • Scottish qualified lawyer
  • Registered foreign lawyer in Vietnam
  • PGDipl LP and LLB from University of Edinburgh
  • MA (Hons) History from University of Aberdeen

Languages

Fluent in: English