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Highly regarded

Women Leaders


Bar admissions:




Practice areas:

Capital markets

Industry sectors:

Real estate
Technology and telecommunications

Souraya Machnouk is a partner at Abou Jaoude & Associates Law Firm, and heads the M&A practice. She previously worked at Norton Rose Fulbright in Paris. Souraya has more than 15 years of experience advising prominent clients across industries, with a practice distinguished by an in-depth specialization and a particular expertise leading on complex ground-breaking transactions.

Souraya participates in several government-led legal reform initiatives aimed at enhancing the investment climate in Lebanon.

Souraya is consistently recognized as a leading lawyer by prominent international directories, including Chambers & Partners, The Legal 500 (Hall of Fame) and IFLR1000. She was named to IFLR1000’s Women Leaders in EMEA, which recognizes “the most prominent female lawyers working in the areas of law”.

  • Advised Jableb Holding led by the prominent investment banker Philippe Jabre (CEO of Swiss hedge fund Jabre Capital Partners S.A.) on the multi-million dollar acquisition of the Lebanese beer company ALMAZA from global Dutch company Heineken, involving a highly complex dual-currency valuation in US Dollars and Lebanese pounds amidst Lebanon’s unprecedented financial crisis, and a hybrid transaction structure with a buyout and a recapitalization
  • Advised leading Lebanese bank IBL on the first-of-its kind US$100 million issuance of subordinated bonds with a unique interest payment structure in compliance with highly complex capital adequacy and capital markets regulations amidst Lebanon’s unprecedented banking crisis
  • Advised Fortune 500 company New York Life Insurance on the Banking Guidelines of its investments arm CANDRIAM, related to the cross-border offer of financial products and services into Lebanon under the complex regulations of Lebanon’s Capital Markets Authority
  • Advised Cyprus-based leading multi-asset investment firm NAGA Markets Europe, on the cross-border offer into Lebanon of private banking services, including trading services and facilities to traders in Forex & CFDs, Equities, Indices and Commodities, and the novel NAGA Coin (NGC) (a social finance cryptocurrency), under the complex regulations of Lebanon’s Capital Markets Authority
  • Advised leading energy US multinational Chevron on the spin-off of its Lebanese affiliate acting as member of a consortium of fuel companies to supply aviation fuel to airlines at Beirut’s International Airport
  • Advised UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK’s export credit agency and a ministerial department of the UK government, on a multi-million cross-border facility to a leading MENA construction group for a landmark project in the Republic of Benin involving a Lebanese entity as an exporter parent
  • Advised the lending arm of the National Bank of Kuwait, the largest Kuwaiti bank and the highest rated in the Middle East, on a multi-million cross-border mezzanine facility to a leading international telecoms group, involving a complex multi-jurisdictional security structure with share pledges, corporate guarantees, personal guarantees and bank account charges
  • Advised premier luxury group Elie Saab on a multi-million cross-border LMA facility and the largest multi-bank refinancing transaction in Lebanon’s fashion retail market
  • Advised an angel investor on the multi-million acquisition of an equity stake in the “Save-Our-Startups” Fund (SOS Fund) (the main component of the new USAID Lebanon Investment Initiative) which aims to invest in 13 pioneer tech start-ups operating out of Lebanon (including Toters, Cinemoz, Klangoo, and Designer 24), through a highly complex structure involving four dual-currency financing rounds of “fresh” and “local” US Dollars among the participating investors, which include prominent investment funds such as Berytech, IM Ventures, Cedar Mundi, and MEVP
  • Advised French public agency Expertise France in consortium with the prominent René Mouawad Foundation (RMF) on the pioneer multi-million “Minjara project” in the context of the EU-financed Private Sector Development (PSD) Programme, consisting in establishing a first-of-its-kind platform and PPP legal structure to support the wood processing and furniture sector in Tripoli-Lebanon, involving a wide array of public stakeholders, including the Business Incubator Association of Tripoli (BIAT), the Carpenters’ Union, the Association of Lebanese Industrialists (ALI), and the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Agriculture of Tripoli (CCIAT)
  • Advised prominent contracting group LACECO as lead counsel on a highly complex cross-border corporate structuring and international expansion plan covering 5 jurisdictions, namely Lebanon, Cyprus, KSA, Jordan and the UAE, and involving Big Four audit firm PwC
  • Advised Bank Audi, Lebanon’s biggest bank, leading the syndicate of lenders including major international development finance institutions, on the circa US$300 Million cross-border syndicated facility to finance the first renewable (wind) energy projects in Lebanon under the first-ever Power Purchase Agreement with the Government of Lebanon
  • Advised Danish global sustainable energy leader VESTAS on its strategic entry to the Lebanese renewable energy market
  • Advised on the largest-ever US$200 Million asset-backed issuance in Lebanon through the securitization of Solidere’s real estate portfolio
  • Advised on the US$150 Million cross-border syndicated facility led by Deutsche bank to a telecoms group

  • Banking
  • M&A
  • Private equity
  • Investment funds
  • Project development
  • Securitisation

  • Banking
  • Financial services
  • Energy
  • Food and beverage
  • Government and public policy
  • Tech and telecoms
  • Real estate

  • Member of the International Bar Association
  • Member of the American Chamber of Commerce’s (AmCham) Banking & Finance Committee
  • Member of the board of experts of the Lebanese Franchise Association
  • Acted on the special inter-ministerial legal committee for the Reform of the Investment Climate in Lebanon organized by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers in collaboration with the World Bank and the IFC

  • JD double major in Private and Public Law, Saint Joseph University, Beirut
  • Advanced Graduate Degree (DEA) in Banking & Financial Markets Law, Saint Joseph University accredited by the University of Paris II-Assas, Paris
  • Master of Laws (LLM), George Washington University jointly with Georgetown University, Washington DC
  • Certificate of Qualification in Syndicated Loan Markets Documentation, Loan Market Association, London
  • Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration, International Chamber of Commerce, Paris
  • Co-author of the Lebanon chapter of the Inward Investment & International Taxation Review published by The Law Reviews and edited by Latham & Watkins USA; the Lebanon chapter of the Banking Regulation guide published by Getting the Deal Through and edited by Wachtell, Lipton, Rose and Katz USA; and the Lebanon chapter of the Energy Regulation & Markets Review published by The Law Reviews and edited by Latham & Watkins USA.
  • Contributor to the World Bank Doing Business Reports on Lebanon
  • Speaker at the Euromoney Lebanon conference, the International Beirut Energy Forum and the Harvard Arab World Conference