Ibtissem Lassoued is a Partner and Head of Advisory in the Regional Financial Crime practice in Dubai.
She graduated from the Sorbonne University (Paris) and joined Al Tamimi & Company in 2007 from the legal department of the French Group Vivendi, where she conducted primarily US litigation (e.g. class actions, Securities and Exchange Commission (‘SEC’) and Department Of Justice (‘DOJ’) investigations.
Ibtissem has extensive experience advising a variety of clientele on a spectrum of white collar crime matters which have spanned the globe. Her expertise on these matters includes complex corporate fraud, tracing, freezing and recovery of assets, anti-money laundering, counter-terrorist financing, extradition (acting both for States submitting extradition requests and individuals who are subject of a request) and mutual judicial cooperation, including issues relating to foreign judgments and Interpol notices. In order to advise fully, Ibtissem offers clients a full and practical knowledge of the remit of inter-governmental organizations, in particular in relation to the FATF and MENAFATF, and the effect of the same on anti-corruption, confiscation of the proceeds of crime, de-risking and the reporting of suspicious transactions.
Furthermore, she frequently advises clients on international economic sanctions, counter-terrorist financing (particularly concerning charitable fundraising regulations), embezzlement, fraud and corruption, including advising multinational companies, global banks and international firms. Ibtissem is also experienced in assisting with multijurisdictional investigations where the applicability of foreign regulations needs to be considered (e.g. the anti-corruption laws such as the US FCPA and the UK Bribery Act).
Ibtissem has been ranked Band 1 in Chambers Global for the last four consecutive years, every year since the addition of the Corporate Investigations category, and was commended by sources as being “most effective” and “stunningly good at what she does”. She is also praised for her “very good reputation in challenging and interesting issues in the Middle East” and for being “well versed in anti-corruption and anti-bribery law, regularly advising multinationals and high net worth individuals. She has conducted a number of cross-border investigations and is well known for her white-collar crime practice.” Her international profile and engagement with the financial sector has led her to be ranked amongst Financial News’ 50 Most Influential Women in Middle East Finance in 2019.
- Pre-litigation advice on a billion dollar fraud to multinational company involving mutual judicial cooperation, bribery and disclosure;
- Advising international financial institution on their disclosure obligations following a request from a US Judicial Authority;
- Regulatory prosecution of investment banker who had employed a complex serious of transactions in the furtherance of a front-running fraud;
- Advising a high-net worth individual on a Capital Market investigation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia;
- Advising on the effects of the Iran deal for a European company with a branch in the UAE who wished to establish an entity in Iran.
In addition to her legal practice, Ibtissem is regularly invited to speak at international conferences in respect of her areas of expertise.
- Panelist at the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section – WisteV – Conference on Global trends regarding corporate criminal responsibility – investigation focuses, prosecution and settlement (25th May 2018, Frankfurt, Germany).
- Speaker at Thomson Reuters’ 12th MENA Regulatory Summit 2018 in Manama in a panel discussion on “Understanding the Effects of De-Risking and Financial Inclusion” (5 February, Bahrain).
- Speaker at the American Conference Institute’s 34th Annual FCPA Conference in Washington, D.C on the UAE’s Approach to Anti-Corruption (29 November – 1 December 2017, US);
- Presenter at the IBA’s 2017 Seminar in Sydney on Doing Business in the Middle East: Opportunities, Considerations & Successful Strategies (8 – 13 October 2017, Australia);
- Speaker at C5’s 3rd Annual Conference on Fraud, Asset Tracing and Recovery (5-6 June 2017, Hong Kong).
- Panelist on Foreign Evidence Panel at IBA 31st Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime. (8-10 March 2017 Miami, USA).
- Speaker on OFAC Essentials: “How US Sanctions Impact Companies in the GCC and What You Need to Do to Protect Your Company from Penalties” at the C5 4th Advanced Forum on Trade and Financial Crime Compliance in the Middle East. (Dubai, UAE 6-7th March 2017).
- Guest lecturer on White Collar Crime at University of Dubai Law School (20th February 2017, Dubai, UAE).
- Panelist at PwC’s Global Trends in Investigations and Enforcement Conference ( 25th January 2017 Dubai, UAE).
- Speaker on 22nd September 2016 on “Doing Business in the Middle East: Legal Considerations & Successful Strategies – Opportunities and Practical Considerations” and as a
- Panelist in a joint conference with the Institute of International Economic Law (Georgetown University Law Center, US).
- Speaker on 19th September 2016 on “Regulatory, Compliance & Enforcement Challenges in the Arab Region” as a Panelist on the Arab Forum, as part of the IBA Annual Conference in Washington, DC.
- Speaker on 15th June 2016 on “Building Best Practice: Corporate Strategies for Dealing with Commercial Corruption” at the 14th Annual IBA Anti-Corruption Conference held in Paris, France between 15th & 16th June 2016.
- Speaker on 16th May 2016 on “UAE’s extradition and judicial assistance framework: tools to fight cross border crimes” at Academy & Finance’s Foreign Tax Crimes and UAE Professionals conference held in Dubai, UAE.
- Speaker on 22nd March 2016 on “Navigating the Criminal Landmine to Recover Stolen Assets and Deter Fraudsters” at the 7th Middle East Summit on Compliance, Anti-Corruption & Financial Crime held in Dubai, UAE, 21-22 March 2016.
- Speaker on 9th March 2016 on “Iran Deal: Impact of the Loosening of Sanctions in Iran on trade within the Gulf Cooperation Council” at C5’s 3rd Advanced Forum on Trade Compliance in the Middle East held in Dubai, UAE , 8-9 March 2016.
- Speaker on 3rd March 2016 in a panel discussion on international asset recovery and extradition, at the ABA’s 30th National Institute on White Collar Crime, San Diego, US.
Moderator at IBA Arab Lawyers Forum held in Casablanca, Morocco, on 11th February 2016.
- Speaker on 25th January 2016 at the 10th GCC Regulators Summit along with experts from the United Nations, US Department of Treasury and the financial services sector on “International Sanctions: update on all major sanctions and their impact on the GCC” (discussion on the latest international developments with a focus on Iran) held in Abu Dhabi, UAE, 25-26 January 2016.
- Speaker on 8th October 2015 at the International Bar Association Annual Conference on “Update on Economic Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering as it impacts lawyers” held in Vienna, Austria, 4-9 October 2015.
- Speaker at ABA Section of International Law 2015 Spring Meeting Panel on “Mutual Legal Assistance Between US, UAE, UK, France, and Switzerland” held in Washington DC, US on 1st May 2015.
- Speaker at ICC UAE Forum 2015 on “Current Economic Sanctions – An Update” held in Dubai, UAE on 22nd April 2015.
- Speaker at C5’s 2nd Forum on Trade Compliance. Conference held in Dubai, UAE on 10th & 11th March 2015 on “Trade Sanctions or Export Control Violations: Strategic and Practical Considerations”.
- Speaker at the ABA Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime held in New Orleans, USA, 4-6 March 2015 on “Anti-Money Laundering and Asset Forfeiture”.
- Speaker at Transact Secure MENA Conference held in Dubai, UAE on the 24th and 25th February 2015: Compliance Stakeholders Panel Discussion on: Financial Institutions and Regulators strategize on compliance policy cohesion with regards to the Anti-Money Laundering, Global Sanctions and Know-Your-Customer (KYC) requirements.
- Speaker on ”Deterring The Fraudsters By Making Sure Their Crimes Do Not Pay” at Marcus Evans Conferences: Fraud & Asset Recovery organized in Dubai, UAE on 16th and 18th February 2015.
- Speaker at the seminar held in Abu Dhabi, UAE on the 10th February 2015, jointly with Akrivis Group PLLC, on economic sanctions and anti-corruption regulations.
- Speaker at the 1st ACFE MENA Fraud Conference themed “Breaking The Barriers” held in Dubai, UAE on the 21st and 22nd January 2015, organized by the ACFE Chapters of the UAE and KSA in conjunction with the UAE Internal Auditors Association (UAE IAA) and supported by the ACFE US Chapter. Ibtissem was part of a panel of experts on “Characteristics of a Successful Investigation, Prosecution and Asset Recovery”.
- Speaker at C5’s 26th Conference on Fraud, Asset Tracing & Recovery held in Geneva, Switzerland on the 27th and 28th March 2014, Ibtissem addressed the “Cooperation Among Nations in Transnational Legal Proceedings”, which focused on extradition and mutual judicial cooperation with the UAE.
- Speaker at joint seminar held in Dubai, UAE on the 25th February 2014: “A Combined Approach to Compliance with Global Economic Sanctions Against Iran: UAE/USA Perspectives” delivered with Akrivis Law Group PLLC (Washington DC).
- Speaker on “Sanctions & Compliance” at the ICC-UAE Trade Finance Conference held on 27th November 2013 in Dubai, UAE.
- Speaker at the ABA Conference on Asset Tracing held in London, UK , 15-19 October 2013.
- Speaker on “Global Economic Sanctions: Recent Highlights and Developments” at the ICC-UAE Conference organized in Dubai, UAE on 27th November 2012 with other speakers from the UAE Central Bank, major banks and organizations.
- Speaker on “Practicality of cooperation amongst nations in transnational legal proceedings involving AML and assets recovery” at the Workshop on the Recovery of Proceeds of Crime and Assets Sharing organized in May 2012 by the Anti-Money Laundering and Suspicious Cases Unit (AMLSCU) at the UAE Central Bank in cooperation with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) & Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) of the United Kingdom.
Various publications on the abovementioned topics such as recently:
- Getting the Deal Through: Anti-Money Laundering 2015, 2016, 2017: UAE Chapter.
- Bribery & Corruption 3rd edition: UAE Chapter.
- Getting the Deal Through: Asset Recovery 2015, 2016, 2017: UAE Chapter.
- The UAE’s Contribution to Battling the Global Phenomenon of Money Laundering: Section K: K- 5 / 29th Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime (US).
2000 – Master Degree in Commercial Law and DEA Tax Law, Sorbonne University