Thomas Calvert

Partner, Head of Corporate Commercial - Iraq, Head of China Group


Thomas is head of Al Tamimi & Company’s corporate commercial practice in Iraq. In addition, he leads the firm’s China Group which actively advises Chinese companies operating in the region on the full spectrum of legal issues that they face.

Thomas has over 15 years of legal experience, this includes assisting many international and local corporates and financial institutions invest and operate in Iraq. His areas of expertise include general corporate and operational matters, joint ventures, project development, international mergers and acquisitions, with a particular focus on energy, natural resources, and major infrastructure.

His extensive commercial experience is publicly recognized by the Legal 500 as “Fantastic” and includes advising a large proportion of the national oil companies (NOCs) and international oil companies (IOCs) in addition to many other contractors, corporates and financial institutions operating in various sectors in Iraq. Prior to Iraq, Thomas worked for leading U.S. and magic circle law firms in Europe and Asia where he acted on transactions in multiple countries around the globe. He speaks fluent Chinese and conversational Iraqi Arabic.

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Recent Experience

  • Clients across many economic sectors in Iraq including but not limited to finance, banking, pharmaceuticals, automotive, information technology and other general industry on diverse operational matters in Iraq, including investment structuring, commercial contracts, public procurement, labour law issues, enforcement and dispute resolution and other matters.
  • Chinese NOC on its proposed entry into Iraq and acquisition of interests in a major gas field development including the framework for petroleum projects in Iraq, including the status of hydrocarbons legislation, legal and practical issues in relation entering into the TSC, establishing operations in Iraq and other matters.
  • Several Chinese NOCs on oil field development in Iraq, including operational matters such as registration, subcontracting, public procurement, labour law, environmental, managing requests by official authorities, cost recovery and many other issues.
  • United Energy Group as principal lawyer advising on Iraq aspects of its acquisition of Kuwait Energy, including due diligence, regulatory, oversight of local engagement and advising on/solving transactional issues.
  • Leading Asian NOC on its operations in Iraq and proposed investments including related hydrocarbons legislation, legal and practical issues in relation to the transfer of interests in TSCs.
  • Several Chinese oil service contractors in Iraq on various operational matters, resolution of disputes, and other legal and practical issues.
  • Major Korean contractor in relation to a major operational and maintenance agreement in the power sector and related negotiations, and local contentious disputes.
  • Major Chinese power sector contractor in relation to its project development and maintenance agreements, related contractual and regulatory issues.
  • Chinese lenders on a power plant expansion in southern Iraq, including advising on financing, local regulatory, sovereign guarantee, security and sectoral issues.
  • Chinese lenders on a major power plant expansion in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, including advising on diverse financing, local regulatory, security and sectoral issues.
  • Major Chinese state-funded insurance company in relation to a proposed refinery project in southern Iraq, including regulatory and contracting matters.
  • Chinese lenders on the 750 MW Maisan Combined Cycle Power Plant in the Maisan Governorate in the Republic of Iraq and other matters, including advising on financing, sovereign guarantees, local regulatory and sectoral issues.
  • Chinese infrastructure group on its acquisition of ports facilities in Iraq, including related due diligence, regulatory, contracting and transactional advice.
  • Various parties including major lenders to major international project finance transactions in the Iraqi energy and power sector (renewable energy, oil and gas).
  • Lenders in relation to a major loan agreement in the Iraqi Telecoms sector, and related guarantee, corporate and regulatory issues.
  • Financial institutions on various regulatory matters in relation to operating in federal Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, including advising on anti-money laundering; banking regulation; selling of financial products; as well as conducting business in Iraq.


  • English
  • Conversational Arabic
  • Chinese


2005 – 2006 – Jilin University (吉林大学).

2003-2005 – BPP Law School.

2000-2003 – University of Edinburgh


England, March 2008.