Ferris & Co, located in the heart of Dubai's central business district, features a team of dedicated attorneys with dozens of years of experience in the region. The firm's location and the team's experience allow Ferris & Co to remain up-to-date regarding the ever-changing U.A.E. legal and business environment.
The U.A.E. features seven emirates, each with its own regulations and procedures regarding conducting business. Ferris & Co advises and assists clients regarding all of the emirates of the U.A.E, notably Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah. Further, most emirates contain free zones, which, while geographically part of the relevant emirate, have their own independent regulations and procedures regarding conducting business. Ferris & Co advises and assists clients regarding all of the major free zones in the U.A.E., including Dubai Airport Free Zone, Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone (including Dubai Internet City and Dubai Media City), Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Free Zone (including Jumeirah Lakes Towers), Dubai Silicon Oasis, Dubai International Financial Centre, twofour54, Hamriyah Free Zone, Sharjah Airport International Free Zone, Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone and Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority.
Client support also extends beyond the borders of the U.A.E. when needed. Ferris & Co assists clients regarding coordination of regional support throughout the Middle East, in particular the other countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain), Yemen, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon. Such support includes liaising and coordinating with local correspondent counsel relating to support of ongoing client operations, client corporate restructuring, acquisitions/divestitures and litigation.
Ferris & Co advises on all aspects of U.A.E. law (and prepares the necessary documentation, where appropriate), including:
- Purchases/sales of minority and controlling equity positions.
- Purchases/sales of divisions, business units and specific assets.
- Registration/incorporation/establishment of branches (branch offices, representative offices, architectural and engineering offices, other consultancy offices, etc.), subsidiaries (limited liability companies, free zone establishments, free zone limited liability companies, offshore companies, etc.) and joint ventures (limited liability companies, free zone limited liability companies, offshore companies, etc.).
- Joint venture agreements, shareholder agreements, subscription agreements, sponsorship agreements, resolutions, powers of attorney and other required documentation.
- Banking - accounts, letters of credit, guarantees, loans, etc.
- Branch sponsorship and local shareholding requirements.
- Corporate compliance and shareholding structure relating to tax efficiency, internal restructuring, etc.
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- U.A.E. Commercial Agencies Law.
- Registration of commercial agencies - safety devices, medical devices, etc.
- Change of commercial agent.
- Deregistration of commercial agency.
- Change of general manager/directors.
- Change/cancellation of authorized signatories at U.A.E. Ministry of Labor, Departments of Immigration and banks.
- Distribution of dividends to shareholders and recapitalization.
- Renewal of trade/commercial licenses and related registrations (Chamber of Commerce, etc.).
- Agreements - vendor, intellectual property, lease, FIDIC, etc.
- Labor/residency visas.
- U.A.E. Labor Law and the Dubai International Financial Centre Employment Law - end-of-service obligation efficiency, end-of-service gratuity, leaves, arbitrary termination, summary termination, non-competition, non-solicitation, overtime, etc.
- Employment agreements, termination notices, releases, pension plans, savings plans and stock options.
- Labor and immigration files at U.A.E. Ministry of Labor, Departments of Immigration and free zone authorities and signatory authority regarding the same.
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- Offer of shares and units in the U.A.E. pursuant to U.A.E. Central Bank Law, U.A.E. Central Bank resolutions and U.A.E. Securities and Commodities Authority rules and regulations.
- Offer of shares and units in the Dubai International Financial Centre pursuant to Markets Law, Collective Investment Law and Dubai Financial Services Authority Rulebook Modules.
- Legal opinions regarding various aspects of U.A.E. and Dubai International Financial Centre law (securities, banking, bankruptcy, commercial laws, aviation, etc.).
- Arbitrations in and outside the U.A.E.
- Develop strategy and coordinate multi-jurisdictional approach with correspondent counsel regarding arbitrations.
- Litigation letters (demand letters, cease and desist letters, etc.).
- Settlement negotiations/agreements.
- Litigation oversight - coordination with local advocates to enhance effectiveness of representation vis-a-vis client needs.
- Deregistration of branches.
- Dissolution and liquidation of locally incorporated entities.
- U.A.E. and Dubai International Financial Centre bankruptcy laws.
- U.A.E. federal and emirate level tax statutes and taxation.
- Tax exemptions.
- Various other aspects of U.A.E. law - telecommunications, insurance, customs/duty exemptions, mortgages/security interests, real estate, advertising, aviation, etc.
All documents submitted to governmental authorities in the U.A.E. (outside the free zones), as well as powers of attorney, require translation into Arabic. Ferris & Co has in-house capability to accurately translate resolutions, powers of attorney, letters, forms and other documentation from English into Arabic. Unlike business translators, who generally have limited legal background, the firm's translators are legally trained and all translations are overseen by attorneys with Arabic and English capability.