Iran and Middle East


Having challenged sanctions imposed on many Iranian entities and individuals by the UK Government, the Council of the European Union and the US Department of the Treasury, our lawyers are now working with Iranian companies following the removal of certain sanctions in January 2016. 

Zaiwalla & Co’s close relationship with Iran dates to 2009 when few law firms in the City of London were willing to accept instructions from Iranian clients. We were one of the first to assist Iranian corporates and entities with sanctions disputes. Today the team has extensive experience of issues affecting Iranian business and individuals, navigating sanctions and the ancillary effects of such regimes. 

Over the years, our firm has not only carved out a niche in the field of Sanctions Law, including in relation to sanctions imposed against Iran, but has continued generally to service clients from Iran: 

  • The firm successfully acted for Bank Mellat challenging the sanctions imposed on it by both the UK Government and Council of European Union (“EU”) and was able to ensure that Bank Mellat recovers the damages caused to it as a result of those sanctions. 
  • It successfully represented Bank Tejarat in challenging sanctions imposed by the Council of the European Union and in its subsequent damage claim against the Council of the EU. 
  • It represented and advised Petropars Iran Co., Petropars Oilfields Services Co and other affiliated entities in challenging sanctions imposed by the Council of the EU. 
  • Other Iranian clients of the firm include Persia International Bank Plc, Bank Saderat Plc, NITC and Hirbodan Management Company. 

Our team continues to be approached by Iranian clients to take cases over from its larger competitors mainly as it provides the same quality of legal services, as expected of any big city firm, at far more competitive rates. 

Middle East 

With over 35 years’ experience in the Middle East, we have built enduring relationships with a range of commercial clients, including shipping, energy and construction clients. Our extensive knowledge of the challenges that international businesses face in the region means we are well-prepared to support our clients with comprehensive strategic advice. 

Our International Arbitration team regularly advises regional multinational companies on complex, multi-jurisdictional and high value international arbitrations. We act for clients in any seat and before any tribunal and deliver an outstanding results-oriented service. 

Our excellent service is built on our long experience of local arbitral centres, broad sector knowledge, and an intimate understanding of the region. Our Arabic-speaking capability not only makes communicating easier, but it also enables the team to demonstrate deeper cultural understanding, bringing us even closer to our clients in the region. 

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