Linklaters’ globally integrated Islamic Finance practice provides clients with responsive, innovative advice and solutions across the full spectrum of Islamic Finance products.
A key strength of our Islamic finance practice is the ability to offer teams which combine technical expertise in conventional finance transactions with an in-depth understanding of the principles of Islamic finance.
The Islamic finance practice is headed by Richard O’Callaghan, a leading finance lawyer who is ranked in the top tier for debt capital markets in the UAE by Chambers and Partners. In addition to our established presence in the UAE and Singapore, our Islamic finance network benefits from being able to draw on the broad experience of lawyers across our global network who have advised on a range of Islamic finance transactions in jurisdictions throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Over the course of acting on previous and current transactions, we have developed close relationships with the Sharia scholars most commonly advising on Islamic finance transactions. We also maintain close relationships with local law firms and with Islamic financial institutions around the world, which ensures that we are best placed to meet the varied needs of our clients for Islamic finance work.
We work on the cutting edge of the Islamic finance field, and have worked on many award-winning and first-of-a-kind transactions. These have included advising on the first ever:
- Renminbi-denominated sukuk;
- greenfield project sukuk;
- restructuring/liability management of sukuk;
- high yield sukuk;
- lower tier two sukuk;
- sukuk under DIFC law;
- mandatory convertible sukuk;
- exchangeable sukuk in Asia; and
- sale of the Islamic banking division of a Qatari bank.
Key recent deals
Project finance: We acted on one of the largest and most complex project financing deals to date, We advised the finance parties on the multi-sourced financing (sukuk, ECA, commercial, SIDF and PIF) for the SATORP Refinery and Petrochemical Project in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, with funding of over US$8.5 billion in 19 financing tranches, including four Islamic finance tranches and the issuance of the first ever greenfield project sukuk. This deal was recently awarded the prestigious Deal of the Year 2011 award, as well as the Project Finance and Saudi Arabia Deal of the Year awards from Islamic Finance News (“IFN”).
Capital markets: We have advised on some of the most significant and innovative Islamic finance deals in the field. Most recently we advised the JLMs on the issuance of CNY 500m sukuk-al-wakala for Khazanah Nasional Berhad (through a Malaysian SPV) under a multicurrency Islamic securities issuance programme, the first ever Renminbi denominated sukuk issuance, and which was awarded Cross-border Deal of the Year 2011 (IFN)
We won a further two awards, Sovereign Deal of the Year 2011 and Malaysia Deal of the Year 2011 (IFN), for our work on the Wakalah Global Sukuk where we advised the joint lead managers on the dual issuance of sukuk al-wakala with a combined value of US$2 billion for the Government of Malaysia (through a Malaysian SPV).
We also won many awards including Innovative Deal/Islamic Finance Deal of the Year 2010 (Alpha South East Asia) and Corporate Finance Deal of the Year 2010 (IFN) for our work advising the JLMs in 2009 on the first issuance of sukuk al-wakala under the programme,
We received the award for IPO/Equity Deal of the Year for the Bumi Armada IPO, the biggest listing in Malaysia for 2011. We represented the joint global co-ordinators, joint bookrunners and lead managers in connection with the US$889 million IPO by Bumi Armada Berhad.
Corporate: We won the Qatar Deal of the Year 2011, for the Barwa Bank & International Bank of Qatar (IBQ) acquisition, the first transaction of its kind in the region. We advised IBQ on the sale of its Islamic banking division to Barwa Bank.
Banking: We recently advised the joint arrangers on the refinancing of PFZW’s existing Islamic financing facility with a US$850m dual tranche Islamic wakala and conventional financing facility which secured over shares in DPWorld.