Ibtissem Lassoued is a Partner and Head of Advisory in the Regional Financial Crime Practice of Al Tamimi & Company.
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 as Band 1 in Chambers Global for Corporate Investigations for five consecutive years since the category’s inclusion and is commended for being ‘as passionate about her area of expertise as she is knowledgeable’ 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.
- Advising high profile French multinational group on anti-corruption legislation in Saudi Arabia, and performing gap analysis with provisions of Sapin II Law;
- Assisting US company with anti-corruption matter and investigation in the UAE;
- 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 series 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.
- Speaker at Refinitiv Reputational Risks and Regulatory Requirements for Third Party Risk Management Webinar (28 April 2020, Dubai, UAE).
- Speaker at ICC Annual Trade Conference 2020, moderating a panel session on Trade Sanctions. (21 January 2020, Dubai, UAE)
- Speaker at Al Tamimi’s Corruption Risks and Business Opportunities in the Middle East’s Sports Sector seminar during a panel session on Corruption Risks in Football. (13 November 2019, Dubai, UAE)
- Speaker at Refintiv’s 11th Compliance and Anti-Money Laundering Seminar during a panel session on the Global Regulatory Outlook in 2020. (4 November 2019, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)
- Speaker at a private event for the Arab Bankers Association of North America (ABANA), giving keynote presentation on shifting challenges and opportunities related to financial crime in the Middle East for American businesses. (22 October 2019, New York, US)
- Speaker at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for the US-MENA Private Sector Dialogue Conference 2019 on the Challenge & Opportunities for MENA Banks; Understanding and Meeting US Regulatory Expectations and the Expectations of Their Correspondents (15 October 2019, New York, US)
- Speaker and Chair of the Executive Committee for the MENA FinCrime Symposium 2019, moderating a panel on Regulatory 2020 and prevalent trends in the Region’s regulatory climate. (9 October 2019, Dubai, UAE)
- Speaker at the Refinitiv 13th MENA Regulatory Summit, participating in a panel session addressing the challenges and opportunities related to information sharing in the context of combating financial crime. (18 March 2019, Dubai, UAE)
- Speaker at the Annual Group Strategy Meeting of Al Baraka Banking Group providing an overview of financial crime and compliance risks in the Middle East Region. (4 December 2018, Manama, Bahrain)
- Speaker at the 7th ICC UAE Trade Conference for a session entitled “Trade Frictions: Losers and Losers” addressing trade tensions and sanctions. (20 November 2018, Dubai, UAE)
- Speaker at the ACAMS 9th Annual AML & Financial Crime Conference—MENA in a panel session addressing De-Risking and Financial Inclusion: An Either / Or Proposition. (11 November 2018, Dubai. UAE)
- Panelist for the Cross-Border Enforcement of Trade Sanctions session at the International Bar Association Annual Conference, covering procedural issues related to sanctions cases in the United Arab Emirates. (7-12 October 2018, Rome, Italy)
- Middle East representative on the Global Corruption Update panel at the International Bar Association Annual Conference, addressing important legislative and enforcement trends for 2017/2018 for several jurisdictions including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Iraq. (7-12 October 2018, Rome, Italy)
- Independently organized and produced the 4th Arab Lawyers Forum, gathering more than 200 senior Arab lawyers in private practice and in-house positions across the globe to disseminate best practice theories and engage with the international legal community. Within the event, Ibtissem moderated a panel on innovative legal technologies and interviewed Fadi Ghandour, Founder of Aramex and Wamda Capital, on critical business insights. (5-6 October 2018, Rome, Italy)
- Speaker at Thomson Reuters 10th Compliance and Anti-Money Laundering Seminar in a panel to represent the corporate and legal perspective on the implications of de-risking and financial inclusion. (26 – 27 September 2018, Riyadh, KSA)
- Panelist at the UAE Banks Federation’s Changing World 2018 Conference in regards to formulating AML and CTF standards (27 June 2018, Abu Dhabi, UAE);
- Panelist at the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section – WisteV – Conference on Global trends regarding corporate criminal responsibility – investigation focuses, prosecution and settlement (25 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 2018, Manama, Bahrain).
- Speaker at the American Conference Institute’s 34th Annual FCPA Conference on the UAE’s Approach to Anti-Corruption (29 November – 1 December 2017, Washington DC, 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, Sydney, 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. (6-7 March 2017, Dubai, UAE).
- Guest lecturer on White Collar Crime at University of Dubai Law School (20 February 2017, Dubai, UAE).
- Panelist at PwC’s Global Trends in Investigations and Enforcement Conference (25 January 2017, Dubai, UAE).
- Speaker 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 at Georgetown University Law Center, US (22 September 2016, Washington DC, US).
- Speaker on “Regulatory, Compliance & Enforcement Challenges in the Arab Region” as a Panelist on the Arab Forum, as part of the IBA Annual Conference (19 September 2016, Washington DC, US).
- Speaker on “Building Best Practice: Corporate Strategies for Dealing with Commercial Corruption” at the 14th Annual IBA Anti-Corruption Conference (15-16 June 2016, Paris, France).
- Speaker 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 (16 May 2016, Dubai, UAE).
- Speaker on “Navigating the Criminal Landmine to Recover Stolen Assets and Deter Fraudsters” at the 7th Middle East Summit on Compliance, Anti-Corruption & Financial Crime (21-22 March 2016, Dubai, UAE).
- Speaker 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 (8-9 March 2016, Dubai, UAE).
- Speaker in a panel discussion on international asset recovery and extradition, at the ABA’s 30th National Institute on White Collar Crime (3 March 2016, San Diego, US).
- Moderator at IBA Arab Lawyers Forum (11 February 2016, Casablanca, Morocco).
- Speaker 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) (25-26 January 2016, Abu Dhabi, UAE).
- Speaker at the International Bar Association Annual Conference on “Update on Economic Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering as it impacts lawyers” (4-9 October 2015, Vienna, Austria).
- Speaker at ABA Section of International Law 2015 Spring Meeting Panel on “Mutual Legal Assistance between US, UAE, UK, France, and Switzerland” (1 May 2015, Washington DC, US).
- Speaker at ICC UAE Forum 2015 on “Current Economic Sanctions – An Update” (22 April 2015, Dubai, UAE).
- Speaker at C5’s 2nd Forum on Trade Compliance Conference on “Trade Sanctions or Export Control Violations: Strategic and Practical Considerations” (10-11 March 2015, Dubai, UAE).
- Speaker at the ABA Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime on “Anti-Money Laundering and Asset Forfeiture” (4-6 March 2015, New Orleans, USA).
- Speaker at Transact Secure MENA Conference in the 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 (24-25 February 2015, Dubai, UAE).
- Speaker on “Deterring The Fraudsters By Making Sure Their Crimes Do Not Pay” at Marcus Evans Conferences: Fraud & Asset Recovery (16-18 February 2015, Dubai, UAE).
- Speaker at the seminar held jointly with Akrivis Group PLLC on economic sanctions and anti-corruption regulations (10 February 2015, Abu Dhabi, UAE).
- Speaker at the 1st ACFE MENA Fraud Conference themed “Breaking the Barriers”, 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” (21-22 January 2015, Dubai, UAE).
- Speaker at C5’s 26th Conference on Fraud, Asset Tracing & Recovery on “Cooperation Among Nations in Transnational Legal Proceedings”, which focused on extradition and mutual judicial cooperation with the UAE (27-28 March 2014, Geneva, Switzerland)
- Speaker at joint seminar with Akrivis Law Group PLLC (Washington DC) on “A Combined Approach to Compliance with Global Economic Sanctions Against Iran: UAE/USA Perspectives” (25 February 2014, Dubai, UAE).
- Speaker on “Sanctions & Compliance” at the ICC-UAE Trade Finance Conference (27 November 2013, Dubai, UAE).
- Speaker at the ABA Conference on Asset Tracing (15-19 October 2013, London, UK).
- Speaker on “Global Economic Sanctions: Recent Highlights and Developments” at the ICC-UAE Conference with other speakers from the UAE Central Bank, major banks and organizations. (27 November 2012, Dubai, UAE)
- 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 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. (May 2012, Abu Dhabi, UAE)
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
DEA Tax Law, Sorbonne University