Managing Partner


+961 186 5131

Highly regarded


Bar admissions:

New York



Practice areas:

Capital markets

Industry sectors:

Construction and materials
Consumer goods and services

Client feedback - Financial and corporate 2016

"Aref El-Aref is highly skilled and very responsive."

Aref El-Aref has been a partner with El-Aref International Law Office since 2003, and been working in the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa Region and in the United States of America since. In the area of project development & finance, he regularly advises clients on the formation, financing, governance and operation of companies, joint ventures and distribution arrangements in Lebanon, the UAE and Africa region. He has handled mergers and acquisitions for a wide variety of companies as well as debt and equity offerings. He has represented clients in project finance transactions with Lenders, bilateral and multilateral agencies, involving energy, industrial and petrochemical facilities. Such work includes joint bidding, joint development agreements, EPC, O&M, PPA, offtake agreement, fuel supply and Finance Documents (including multilateral/bilateral/ECA/DFI). His work with debt financing includes matters involving senior, and subordinate debt, working capital loans, asset-backed loans, debt backed by letters of credit and convertible debt, and a variety of other debt products, such as variable rate demand tender debt, auction securities.

Expertise in Mergers & Acquisitions, project development and finance, Energy Law, Media Law, Banking & Finance, Corporate & Tax structuring, Oil & Gas, Healthcare Law, International Trade Law and Securities Law.

Advises international banks and lenders in securities, syndicated Loans, leveraged finance structuring, and project finance. Advised on a wide range of transactions in the areas of national and international mergers & acquisitions.

Involved with most complex negotiations which were successfully conducted in New York in the United States of America and in Lebanon. Primary deals include (i) Mergers and Acquisitions of publicly traded companies in the United States of America which owned assets in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa region, (ii) advising companies and Banks on Securities, Derivatives, large acquisitions, structured finance, and project finance. Represented deals at the value of 5 billion US Dollars and 7 billion US Dollars for Credit Default Swaps, and syndicated loans; and energy projects for U.S. Companies in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa region.

Acts as outside counsel of international Media & healthcare companies. Aref El-Aref is a holder of LL.M from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He is a member of New York State Bar, and Beirut Bar.

Societe Generale. Represented Société Générale in Paris and Zurich with the financing of a Borrower in Switzerland;

Deutsche Bank AG. Advises Deutsche Bank AG on Foreign Exchange Facilities  and trading, Security Agreements, Asset Securitizations in their transactions with financial institutions in the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa region;

Islamic Development Bank Group. act as outside counsel firm of ISDB Group. Advised on Murabaha transactions and Wakala, on L/C financing and documentary credit transactions;

Banque Saudi Fransi. advised Banque Saudi Fransi on the security package and related guarantees for a secured financing of 57,000,000 Saudi Arabian Riyals. The Firm advised on the perfection of a security interest and the collateral for financing. Such transaction would consist for multi-purpose facility;

Repsol. Advised Repsol in the exploration & Production agreement with the Lebanese Ministry of Energy and advised on project financing and corporate structure with the consortium;

Hyundai Heavy Industries Ltd. advised Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. in the consortium for the Project relating to the Installation and Commissioning of High Voltage Gas Insulated Switchgear and High Voltage Air Insulated Switchgear (220kV) Substations in Lebanon with the Ministry of Energy and Water in Lebanon and with Electricite du Liban;

Wartsila. The Firm advised on Joint Development Agreement with Wartsila on plans to develop and invest in HFO power plant with generation capacity of 100 MW in Iraq. The Project required an investment by Sponsor, and export credit agency, which will cover a substantial portion of the project costs;

ABB. Acts as their outside counsel;

New York Times Company. Acts as their outside counsel;

Associated Press. Acts as their outside counsel;

BBC. Acts as their outside counsel in the Middle East and North Africa;

Novo Nordisk. Acts as their outside counsel, advise on IP, regulatory and transactional matters;

Daimler AG. in cooperation with Baker & McKenzie LLP advised on distribution law in Lebanon and competition law in relation to the association agreement with the Member States of the European Union, in compliance with the Article 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union;

STX Heavy Industries Ltd. Represented them in EPC Contract and O&M Contract to construct, develop and operate a 128 MW power plant in the Western Area in Sierra Leone with CEC Africa SL owned by an affiliate of Copperbelt Energy Corporation PLC in Zambia and TCQ Power Ltd. IFC will be leading the debt syndication of the Project.

• Automotive

• Aviation

• Banking

• Construction and materials

• Consumer goods and services

• Energy

• Financial services

• Food and beverage

• Healthcare

• Industrials

• Investment management

• Media

• Natural resources

• Oil and gas

• Pharma and life sciences

• Real estate

• Shipping

• Tech and telecoms

• Utilities

Beirut Bar

New York State Bar

Association of International Petroleum Negotiators

American Bar Association

LLB. Lebanese University Law School

LL.M from University of Pennsylvania Law School