Cookies on our website

We use cookies on our website. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our site and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy. By continuing to use this site without changing your settings you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.

Read more Close
Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Sign In


“Market leaders in sukuk.” 
- Chambers Global Middle East, 2016 (Islamic Finance)

The magic circle giant remains one of the most formidable players in the world of Islamic finance.” 
- Chambers &  Partners UK,  2013  (Islamic 

Allen & Overy is ‘excellent in every respect’ and is ‘at the forefront’ of Islamic finance.” 
Legal 500 UK, 2013 (Islamic Finance)



Islamic Finance

Allen & Overy's Global Islamic Finance Group advises clients on Islamic finance transactions across a number of practice areas, including capital markets, project finance, banking, derivatives and structured finance, funds and taxation.


Islamic Capital Markets

The sukuk practice forms part of Allen & Overys award-winning International Capital Markets practice which has enjoyed a long established reputation for its global reach and top tier position across the full range of financial products.

Sukuk are Sharia-compliant certificates which are issued in order to raise finance in a Sharia-compliant manner and, like conventional bonds, can be listed on international exchanges and, if structured properly, will be tradable instruments in the international markets. However, there are also significant differences between sukuk and conventional bonds, including the fact that sukuk, as trust certificates, are not debt instruments and instead convey a beneficial ownership interest in one or more underlying assets. 

In addition, the periodic payments on sukuk are not interest but instead represent a return earned through the underlying assets, for example on an ijara (lease) based sukuk the periodic return represents the rental payments made on the underlying lease.

“ ...sukuk, for which the firm is often rated the ‘best in the world’. ” 
Chambers UK, 2009 (Islamic Finance)

The number one firm for sukuk in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.” 
Chambers Global, 2016 (Middle East Capital Markets) 

Key Islamic Capital Markets contacts

Anzal Mohammed

United Arab Emirates AnzalMohammed

Bilal Ahmad

United Arab Emirates BilalAhmad

Jamie Durham

United Kingdom JamieDurham


Market-first transactions

Our specialist global Islamic capital markets team consists of lawyers who are considered by independent directories and publications as the leading lawyers in the world for advising on sukuk transactions. The team has advised issuers (whether corporates, banks, governments or supranationals), managers and delegates on the most high profile and innovative transactions, many of which are market-firsts.

Global sukuk experience


Islamic Project Finance

We advise all parties in projects including sponsors, financiers and ECAs.

We advise all sectors on some of the largest and most complicated project finance transactions.

We advise on all elements of project transactions - project structures, conducting legal due diligence, risk allocation and reviewing the bankability of project agreements.

‘‘Allen & Overy LLP is the undisputed market leaderin the oil and gas market.’’ 
- Legal 500, 2015 (UAE)


Key Islamic Project Finance contacts


Bimal Desai

United Arab Emirates BimalDesai

Atif Hanif

United Kingdom AtifHanif


Deal highlights

Ma’aden Wa’ad al Shamal, Saudi Arabia
We advised KEXIM, K-Sure, PIF, the Islamic financiers and conventional banks and all finance party agents on the USD7.775bn Wa’ad al Shamal phosphate mine and associated petrochemical and fertiliser complex in Saudi Arabia owned by a joint venture of Ma’aden, Sabic, and Mosaic.

Saudi Arabia Elastomers Project, Saudi Arabia
We advised the lenders on a USD3.2bn conventional and Islamic financing in relation to the expansion of the Kemya (Sabic and ExxonMobil joint venture) petrochemical plant located in Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia.
A Dubai-based sponsor and its subsidiaries, UAE
We advised on a USD200m financing with Noor Islamic Bank in relation to the Dubai Eye Project in Dubai.
Sadara project sukuk, Saudi Arabia
We advised Albilad Investment Company, Alinma Investment Company, Deutsche Securities Saudi Arabia and Riyad Capital as joint lead managers and joint bookrunners on the SAR7.5bn sukuk issue by Sadara Basic Services Company, which was offered on a public basis in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Aramco Mobil Refinery Company (Samref), Saudi Arabia
We advised on the USD1.4bn Shari’a-compliant financing of modifications to its crude oil refining facilities in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia.
Jabal Sayid copper mine, Saudi Arabia
We advised the Saudi British Bank and National Commercial Bank on a SAR750m murabaha facility bridge financing for Ma’aden Barrick Copper Company in relation to the Jabal Sayid copper mine in Saudi Arabia, guaranteed by Ma’aden and Barrick Gold Corporation for the development of this key strategic asset.
Sipchem Hanwha Polymers Project, Saudi Arabia
We advised the financiers on the project financing of an ethylene vinyl acetate and low density polyethylene plant in Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia. The project was sponsored by Saudi International Petrochemical Company and Hanwha Chemical Corporation. The transaction included an istisn’a facility from commercial banks as well as financing from Saudi Industrial Development Fund of Saudi Arabia and Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
SAMAPCO Petrochemical Project, Saudi Arabia;
We advised Sahara and Ma’aden Petrochemicals Company, a joint venture company formed by Sahara Petrochemical Company and Saudi Arabian Mining Company Ltd (Ma’aden), in connection with the SAMAPCO Petrochemical Project in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, involving SIDF, PIF and Islamic bank funding.

Quarayyah IPP, Saudi Arabia
We advised the lenders (including EDC and US EX-IM) to a consortium of bidders led by AES on the Al Qurayyah IPP in Saudi Arabia, the third in the SEC IPP programme.

Al Sufouh Transit System, UAE
We advised the mandated lead arrangers in respect of an export credit agency (COFACE and ONDD) supported loan package and two Islamic facilities (AED and USD denominated) utilising an ijara structure for the Department of Finance, acting on behalf of the Government of Dubai, in an aggregate amount of approximately USD674m.

Jubail Refinery Petrochemicals Project, Saudi Arabia
The Jubail Refinery USD8.5bn project financing was particurarly notable for the complexity raised by having many different facilities in a single financing, including USD and SAR facilities provided under two Islamic structures (an istisna-ijara and a wakala-ijara) and a sukuk issue.

Emirates Steel Industries Expansion Project, UAE
We advised the lead arrangers in the Islamic and conventional co-financing of Emirates Steel Industries expansion project in Abu Dhabi.

Shuqaiq Water and Electricity Company, Saudi Arabia
We advised on the USD1.8bn financing of the Shuqaiq power generation and water desalination plant in Saudi Arabia. The transaction included a USD142m Islamic tranche.

Saudi Polyolefins Company, Saudi Arabia
We advised on the USD175m murahaba facility USD400m ijara facilities.

Al Qatrana IPP, Jordan
We advised the successful bidder (a consortium comprising Xenel and Kepco) on the Al Qatrana IPP in Jordan. The financing involved direct conventional facilities from KEXIM and Proparco, a facility covered by KEXIM and provided by BNP Paribas and KfW and an Islamic tranche from Islamic Development Bank.

Zayed University PPP Project, UAE
We advised on the USD1bn PPP project entailing the development of the Zayed University on a 28-year concession, located in New Capital District, near Abu Dhabi International Airport. The financing involved an AED520m senior Islamic tranche provided by Al Hilal Bank.

Yinson Genesis


We advised the Islamic finance parties, led by Maybank, in relation to a USD780m commodity murabahah financing for Yinson Production (West Africa) Pte. Ltd, for the refinancing of Yinson’s existing project financing arrangements for the acquisition, conversion and refurbishment of a floating production, storage and offloading unit as well as the chartering, installation and operation of its FPSO “Yinson Genesis” to be operated in the Offshore Cape Three Points block located in the Tano Basin approximately 60 kilometers off the western coast of Ghana.


Islamic Banking

Our team offers clients advice on a broad spectrum of banking transactions with a particular focus on large-scale Islamic financings.

The breadth of our expertise in banking-related fields is demonstrated by the calibre of transactions on which we have advised. Some of the major Shari’a-compliant transactions on which we have recently advised can be found below.                                                                           

 Distinguished Islamic finance team experienced in sukuk offerings, project finance and developing Sharia-compliant products in the derivatives and investment funds areas. Strong regulatory expertise.” 
Chambers Global, 2014 (Global-wide, Banking & Finance)

Key Islamic Banking contacts

Atif Hanif

United Kingdom AtifHanif

Christian Saunders

United Arab Emirates ChristianSaunders


Deal highlights

Mobily murabaha facilities, Saudi Arabia
We advised the mandated lead arrangers and the ECAs, Finnvera and EKN, on the multimillion dollar murabaha facilities totalling USD1.206bn made available to Mobily. We also advised EDC on a USD200m murabaha facility made available to Mobily.

Sapurakencana Petroleum, Malaysia
We advised the coordinating bank, Maybank Investment Bank, and the mandated lead arrangers on a multicurrency Islamic facility totalling about USD2.3bn.

East Village, UK 
We advised the sponsors, Delancey and Qatari Diar, on a GBP350m Islamic financing for the acquisition of East Village, previously the athletes village for the London 2012 Olympics.

Gulftainer, UAE 
We advised Gulftainer on the USD100m Islamic financing acquisition facility arranged by Standard Chartered Bank for Gulftainer’s acquisition of a port and its subsequent refinancing by Noor Islamic Bank.

We advised National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Noor Islamic Bank and Al Hilal as arrangers of an over AED5bn facility (with USD tranche) comprising both conventional and Islamic murahaba facilities for International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC).

We advised Mashreqbank PSC in relation to USD1.5bn credit facilities (mixed Islamic and conventional including USD and AED tranches) for Emirates National Oil Company Ltd. (ENOC) LLC, a major player in the oil and gas sector in the Middle East.

Tasnee, Saudi Arabia
We advised Riyad Bank and The Saudi British Bank as the mandated lead arrangers and as participants on the SAR1.2bn murabaha financing for National Industrialization Company (Tasnee).

Derindere Turizm Otomotiv San Tic A.Ş. , Turkey
We advised Citi as arranger on the USD60m murabaha facility for Derindere Turizm Otomotiv San Tic A.Ş.

Arabian Petroleum Investments Corporation, Saudi Arabia
We advised Riyad Bank, Banque Saudi Fransi, The Saudi British Bank and Al-Rajhi Bank, as mandated lead arrangers on the SAR2.5bn murabaha facility for Arabian Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP).

Etihad Etisalat (Mobily), Saudi Arabia
We advised Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corporation, Banque Saudi Fransi, Riyad Bank, Samba Financial Group, Saudi Hollandi Bank, The National Commercial and The Saudi British Bank, as mandated lead arrangers on the SAR10bn financing for Etihad Etisalat (Mobily), one of the largest general syndicated Islamic financing deals to date.

Marafiq, Qatar
We advised Bank Saudi Fransi, Samba Financial Group, The National Commercial Bank, The Saudi British Bank and Al-Rajhi Bank, as mandated lead arrangers on the SAR4.5bn murabaha facility for Marafiq.

We advised GEMS MENASA in its capacity as borrower in respect of a AED2bn financing. The financing consisted of conventional facilities, musharaka facilities and murabaha facilities which were all governed by a Common Terms Agreement. 

Emaar Malls, UAE
We advised Standard Chartered Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi as arrangers of the AED3.6bn dual tranche conventional and Islamic sherkat-ul-melk facility for Emaar Malls LLC.  

Al Raya for Foodstuff Company Ltd., Saudi Arabia
We advised Al Raya for Foodstuff Company Ltd and the sponsors Levant Capital and CVCI on the dual tranche USD13m and SAR75m Islamic murabaha facility made available by UBS and National Commercial Bank. 

Saudi Oger, Saudi Arabia
We advised Alinma Bank on a SAR2.6bn bai al-ajal facility and SAR993m performance bond facility for Saudi Oger Limited both for the purposes of the MoI KAP2 project in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Emirates, UAE
We advised Emirates on an AED1bn Islamic ijara facility made available by Dubai Islamic Bank.

Mubadala Pramerica Real Estate Investors, UAE
We advised Mubadala Pramerica Real Estate Investors (MPREI) on the AED240m ijara financing entered into with ADCB to acquire three properties on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi. 

Aldar Etihad Investment Properties LLC, UAE
We advised Aldar Etihad Investment Properties LLC on the AED785m financing of its acquisition of the Abraj Towers residential real estate project in Abu Dhabi. The financing involved a conventional term loan facility and a commodity murabaha facility.

We advised the banks as the mandated lead arrangers on a dual currency USD500m syndicated Islamic financing for ENOC Supply & Trading LLC.

Limitless, UAE
We advised Emirates Islamic Bank and Emirates Bank International on a USD1.2bn dual currency mudaraba facility for Limitless LLC, a subsidiary of Dubai World, the proceeds of which will be used to fund landmark real estate projects being developed in Dubai and Riyadh.

Aldar, UAE
We advised Aldar Properties PJSC, the Abu Dhabi-based property developer, on an AED2.203bn (USD600m) ijara facility.

Al Raha Beach Development, UAE
We advised Dubai Islamic Bank and others as arrangers in relation to a USD2.1bn ijara and conventional co-financing for the Al Raha Beach development in Abu Dhabi.

East Village UK
We advised QDD (a joint venture between sovereign wealth fund Qatari Diar and real estate investment and advisory company Delancey) on the Shari’a-compliant financing for the acquisition of the East Village development. This matter underlines the significant role of Islamic finance in the UK economy. The murabaha facility of GBP350m was made available by Islamic bank Masraf Al Rayan to companies ultimately owned by QDD, to complete the acquisition of the property portfolio on the site of the former London 2012 athletes’ village. At the time the financing was the largest Islamic real estate finance transaction in the UK market since the Chelsea Barracks transaction in 2008.

Tecom Investments
We advised Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and other mandated lead arrangers on the financing for Tecom Investments LLC in respect to certain commercial developments. The deal included Islamic ijara and conventional facilities.
ME Investments
We advised the Islamic finance parties, led by Noor Bank, in relation to an AED2.5bn commodity murabaha financing for ME Investments LLC, a special purpose vehicle created for the financing. The purpose of the transaction was to raise off–balance sheet finance for Dubai Hills Estate LLC, a JV company.
Ma’aden Aluminium company
We advised the syndicate of Saudi Arabian and international banks that made available SAR6.68bn in Islamic and conventional facilities to Ma’aden Aluminium Company.
Saudi Arabia Airlines
We acted for the lenders across five different syndicated financing facilities for the ijara financing of thirty A320 and twenty A330 aircraft to IAFC for lease to Saudi Arabia Airlines. This was Saudia’s largest aircraft leasing transaction and the largest aviation deal to date to be secured by Islamic financing.
Aluminium Bahrain
We advised the arrangers and financiers on Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C’s (Alba) landmark USD1.5bn syndicated term loan facilities to finance the Line 6 Expansion Project for their Alba aluminium smelter in the Kingdom of Bahrain.



Mobily murabaha facilities, Saudi Arabia 
We advised the mandated lead arrangers and the ECAs, Finnvera and EKN, on the multimillion dollar 
murabaha facilities totalling USD1.206bn made available to Mobily. We also advised EDC on a USD200m murabaha facility made available to Mobily.​

Islamic Derivatives and Structured Finance

Our Islamic derivatives and structured finance practice is a market leader and is made up of lawyers from a number of jurisdictions who are both derivatives and structured finance experts and Islamic finance experts. It also benefits from the support and broad expertise of our wider top tier global derivatives and structured finance practice.

Our team has advised on some of the most innovate Shari’a-compliant OTC derivatives transactions as well as Sharia-compliant transactions as well as Sharia-compliant structured products and has extensive experience in structuring such products.

Whilst most of the deals in this area are of a private nature, examples of types of Shari’a-compliant transactions on which we have advised can be found below.


‘‘Allen & Overy remains the global leader in the structured finance field: advising a wide number of firms across the spectrum of the sector from Sharia-compliant FX to derivatives, profit rate swaps, structured products, margin financings and structured deposits.’’

- Islamic Finance News Awards 2014


 ‘‘Obvious market-leaders.’’

- Chambers Global, 2012 (Middle East, Islamic Finance)


Key Islamic Derivatives and Structured Finance contacts

Richard Tredgett

United Kingdom RichardTredgett

Andrew Sulston

United Kingdom AndrewSulston

We have advised on a wide range of Shari-compliant equity derivatives products, including puts, calls, collars and total return swaps on shares, share baskets and indices both on a standalone basis and as part of wider financing transactions. We have also advised on Sharia-compliant equity-linked and index-linked certificates.

Template Documentation
We have drafted template Sharia-compliant derivatives and repo documentation for a number of institutions, including local and international banks, corporate and sovereign wealth funds. We advised the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority on the development of template Sharia-compliant derivatives documentation for the Saudi domestic market which is to be used for all Sharia-compliant derivatives transactions between a Saudi bank and Saudi customer.

Rates and FX
We have advised a number of financial institutions on profit rate swaps and Sharia-compliant FX transactions on a standalone basis and as part of wider financing transactions (including Sharia-compliant securitisations). We have also advised on rates and FX products under Sharia-compliant structured products platforms. We are currently advising ISDA and IIFM on developing market standard Sharia-compliant FX forward documentation.

Structured Products Platforms
We have advised a number of banks, including Deutsche Bank, Standard Chartered and HSBC on setting up their Shari’a-compliant structured products platforms which cater for the full range of structured products payoffs in a Shari’a-compliant format.

We have advised on a variety of Shari’a-compliant commodity derivatives products including commodity-based indices.

We have advised on variety of Shari’a-compliant credit-linked notes, including swaps, credit-linked notes and credit-linked repos.

Repo Transactions
We have advised on a number of Shari’a-compliant repo transactions based on the collaterised murabaha structure ranging from vanilla repos to more structured repos (including those with embedded credit derivatives mechanics).

Islamic Funds

Our investment funds team regularly advises on the establishment and on-going operation of a wide range of Shari’a-compliant investment funds.
Our investment funds team has developed a range of Shari’a-compliant fund structures across a range of sectors including advising on Shari’a-compliant real estate, hedge, fixed income, private equity and SME funds. We also advise on acquisitions and disposals for, and investments into, Shari’a-compliant funds.

“ excellent track record in shari’a-compliant structures.’’
Legal 500, 2015 (UAE, Investment Funds)

Key Islamic Funds contacts

Nick Smith

United Kingdom NickSmith

Deal highlights

  • A joint venture between a UAE sovereign wealth fund and U.S. real estate asset manager on the structuring and establishment of a Shari’a-compliant real estate platform for investment in the GCC, including advising on the first acquisition on behalf of the platform in the UAE.
  • A Dubai-based entity on the sale and leaseback of real estate assets in a Shari’a-compliant manner to/from a Middle East Shari’a-compliant investment fund.
  • A Shari’a-compliant Middle East fund on the purchase and development of a high-end residential development on a site adjacent to Regent’s Park, London, including its joint venture with a leading UK developer. The scheme has a gross development value of circa GBP200 million.
  • A Middle East-based real estate company on the establishment of a Shari’a-compliant real estate fund to invest in Russia and the CIS.
  • A Middle East financial institution on the structuring and establishment of its open-ended Shari’a-compliant sukuk fund.
  • A U.S. hedge fund manager on the structuring of its Shari’a-compliant hedge fund.
  • ACWA Power on the establishment of the Powervest Fund, a Saudi CMA-regulated Shari’a-compliant private equity fund.
  • Dubai Properties Group on its investment in Emirates REIT, a Shari’a-compliant DIFC real estate investment trust.
  • ICD and Malaz Capital on the structuring and establishment of a Shari’a-compliant Saudi CMA-regulated small and medium enterprise fund to invest in Saudi Arabia.
  • GIB on the structuring and establishment of its Shari’a-compliant CMA-regulated Saudi Arabian housing developers’ fund.
  • National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) on certain aspects of the NBAD Growth Funds.
  • A GCC investment group on the structuring and formation of a GBP50m Shari’a-compliant investment fund relating to a real estate investment in London (including advising on a related Shari’a-compliant financing) and pursuant to a secondary transaction.

Islamic Taxation

Our Islamic finance taxation specialists have experience of providing a wide range of taxation advice, both on domestic and multi-jurisdictional transactions. We provide a high level of service, whether on a stand-alone basis or as an integral part of the full legal service offered by Allen & Overys Global Islamic Finance Group.

Drawing from over 100 tax specialists across our international tax practice, our Islamic Finance Taxation team includes lawyers in London, Luxembourg, New York, Paris, Rome and Sydney.

Advising on the tax aspects of Islamic finance transactions requires an appreciation, not only of the Shari’a constraints that are likely to apply, but also of general principles of domestic tax law. Members of our Islamic finance taxation team are also familiar with any relevant legislation or guidelines which have been implemented to ensure that Islamic finance transactions operate in as tax neutral a way as possible.

We advise on a wide range of Islamic finance transactions, with both domestic and multi-jurisdictional dimensions, including ijara, istisna’a and murabaha financing transactions, sukuk issuances and securitisation transactions. We have also advised banks such as HSBC and Standard Chartered on the tax implications of their own products.

Our Islamic Finance Taxation team has also been involved in consultations and discussions with revenue authorities and governments in various jurisdictions in connection with the development of tax legislation and practice aimed at facilitating Islamic finance transactions.

Deal highlights

  • Providing advice on Islamic finance real estate transactions in France, including a murabaha financing in connection with the purchase of commercial real estate in Paris
  • Advising on various murabaha financing transactions, including a portfolio refinancing
  • Advising on a murabaha facility structured through a securitisation company
  • Establishment of a sharia-compliant regulated investment fund
  • Advising on the UK and US tax implications of sukuk issuances.

Key Islamic Taxation contacts


Vimal Tilakapala

United Kingdom VimalTilakapala

Charles Yorke

United Kingdom CharlesYorke

Patrick Mischo

Luxembourg PatrickMischo

Jack L. Heinberg

United States Jack L.Heinberg

Our Global Islamic Finance Group is comprised of individuals who are both highly reputed experts in their respective product areas as well as having a detailed understanding of the evolving Islamic financing techniques. 

We cover Islamic finance in our main international financial centres (London, Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai) as well as Abu Dhabi and Doha. 

Allen & Overy is a supporting member of the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) and an observer member of the International Islamic Finance Market (IIFM).

Recognition for our work

Band 1 - Banking and Finance (Islamic Finance): Global - Chambers Global 2018

Band 1 - Islamic Finance (Middle East Region) - Chambers Global 2018
Band 1 - Islamic Finance (Asia-Pacific Region) - Chambers Asia-Pacific 2018

Band 1 - Islamic Finance (United Kingdom) - The Legal 500 United Kingdom 2018

Band 1 - Islamic Finance (UAE) - The Legal 500 EMEA 2018

Allen & Overy is the only law firm in the world to be ranked in the top band across each region.




Find a lawyer

  • Expertise

  • Search Clear

Key people

Anzal Mohammed
Anzal Mohammed
United Arab Emirates
Telephone icon+971 4 426 7115
Send email
View officeView profile
Atif Hanif
Atif Hanif
United Kingdom
Telephone icon+44 20 3088 3970
Send email
View officeView profile
Bilal Ahmad
Bilal Ahmad
United Arab Emirates
Telephone icon+971 4 426 7126
Send email
View officeView profile
Salim Nathoo
Salim Nathoo
United Kingdom
Telephone icon+44 20 3088 2838
Send email
View officeView profile
Bimal Desai
Bimal Desai
United Arab Emirates
Telephone icon+971 4 426 7103
Send email
View officeView profile
Samer Eido
Samer Eido
Telephone icon+974 4 419 4302
Send email
View officeView profile
Jamie Durham
Jamie Durham
United Kingdom
Telephone icon+44 20 3088 3842
Send email
View officeView profile
Jeremy Stoupas
Jeremy Stoupas
Telephone icon+65 6671 6001
Send email
View officeView profile
Jason Humphreys
Jason Humphreys
Telephone icon+65 6671 6333
Send email
View officeView profile

  • Add comment (optional)