Biography

Abdullah Mutawi is a bi-lingual partner in the firm’s Dubai office with over 20 years’ experience practicing in London and the Middle East. Abdullah’s primary area of practice is corporate finance and cross-border M&A with particularly substantial experience in Telecom and Technology investments at all levels of the value chain. In addition to TMT transactions, Abdullah has also undertaken many transactions in the energy, infrastructure, transportation, industrial and retail sectors. Abdullah’s clients include public and private companies, sovereign wealth funds, banks, private equity funds, venture capital firms and family offices and the M&A transactions on which he has led have involved assets in 33 developed and emerging markets and with an aggregate value in excess of US$28 billion.

In addition to his corporate experience, Abdullah has represented clients in a number of high profile bankruptcy and re-structuring mandates and has advised clients on several financial distress situations arising from fraud and white-collar crime. His experience includes advising regulators, banks, debtors, creditors and shareholders in connection with insolvency, distress and restructuring mandates involving aggregate liabilities of US$7 billion and assets in Europe, the U.S., the Middle East and East and West sub-Saharan Africa.

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Recent Experience

  • Representing a Saudi Arabian family office in relation to its early-stage investment in a U.S. technology platform along with advice on the structuring and administration of the fund vehicle through which investments were made and which was managed by the client.
  • Representing the purchaser of the entire share capital of a broadcast media organisation operating Hindi and Urdu television channels
  • Representing the founder of a global oil & gas services business in relation to his divestment of a significant minority to stake to a GCC private equity fund
  • Representing one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds on the restructuring of a substantial portfolio of telecom assets in 9 sub-Saharan African countries with an aggregate value in excess of US$1 billion
  • Representing a GCC Central Bank in its statutory administration of an insolvent financial institution that collapsed with $3.2 billion of liabilities as part of the biggest corporate default in the history of the Middle East; Abdullah led a large team of lawyers conducting a complex and multi-disciplinary cross-border asset recovery strategy
  • Representing the CEO of a major private equity and hedge fund firm on a corporate investigation involving a potential filing to the United States Department of Justice under the U.S. Foreign & Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)
  • Advising a UAE family conglomerate on its prospective acquisition of a substantial GCC contracting, hospitality and retail business
  • Advising several regional and multi-national corporations on the subject of cyber-crime, telecom regulation and data protection in the wake of the 2016 update to the UAE Cyber-crimes Law
  • Representing one of the GCC’s biggest telecommunications groups on several M&A transactions involving the acquisition of licenses and assets in 13 countries in the Middle East and Asia and with an aggregate value in excess of US$7 billion
  • Representing one of the world’s largest telecommunication companies in relation to its US$2.1 billion bid to acquire the second mobile telecommunications license in Qatar through a competitive bidding process; this work encompassed advice on all aspects of the regulatory process (including bid book and regulatory compliance review) and the corporate structuring work involved in creating the joint venture between the client and its Qatari partner
  • Advising the shareholders of a major Islamic investment bank on financial restructuring, corporate governance and shareholder control issues connected with a substantial fraud and undertaking a forensic legal analysis of several private equity transactions undertaken by the bank prior to detection of the fraud
  • Representing a listed European telecommunications company on its US$500 million divestment of a substantial stake in a Middle Eastern telecommunications operator
  • Representing a consortium of investment banks on their US$100 million acquisition of a GCC-based engineering and construction company
  • Representing a consortium of investment banks on their acquisition of a global shipping company engaged in the chemical tankers sector
  • Representing the owner of a GCC-based oil and gas services company on its prospective divestment of a significant minority stake to a GCC-based private equity fund

Language(s)

  • Arabic
  • English

Education

1994 – Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, The College of Law, London

1993 – Bachelor of Laws, University of Westminster

Admission

1996 – Qualified Solicitor, England and Wales

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