Siraj Ahmed, Esq.
Siraj Ahmed has been practicing law for approximately 15 years. A Chicago-trained lawyer and cum laude graduate of a top US law school (where he achieved a top 5% ranking and Dean’s Honor List for 6 consecutive semesters), Mr. Ahmed launched his career in 2002 at Jenner & Block, a 400+ lawyer Chicago-based firm ranked by The American Lawyer as one of the top 5 litigation and top 20 elite firms in the United States.
‣ Named in the Legal 500 (2012), a renowned global ranking of attorneys worldwide, in relation to advising on complex business transactions and providing “state-of-the-art legal advice.”
‣ Named in Forbes, CNBC, Zawya, Reuters, and Yahoo! Finance upon joining the UAE affiliate of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP (an AmLaw 100 New York firm).
‣ Quoted in Islamic Finance News, and has represented leading UAE-based institutions including Tamweel PJSC, First Gulf Bank, Deutsche Gulf Finance (DGF), Amlak Finance, Noor Islamic Bank, and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank. He has also acquired broader Gulf experience, including by working directly at DGF’s headquarters in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
‣ Accumulated significant litigation and arbitration experience in the United States and UAE, including before various arbitration panels such as the International Chamber of Commerce, Abu Dhabi Commercial Conciliation and Arbitration Center, Dubai International Arbitration Centre, International Trade Commission, and the American Arbitration Association.
‣ Presented at numerous conferences in the United States, UAE, and abroad, including presenting on finance matters at international conferences sponsored and attended by leading institutions including Al Baraka Bank, Ernst & Young, and HSBC.
Commercial/Corporate Transactional Matters
‣ Counsel to various consulting, technology, and software companies in connection with commercial/corporate matters, consulting services, cross-border licensing, distribution agreements, and/or intellectual property matters (including trademark and copyright)
‣ Extensive experience in advising entrepreneurs/start-ups, including advising on choice of entity and entity formation, and preparing requisite and ancillary contracts/documents, including organizational/corporate documentation, employment agreements, commercial agreements, joint venture agreements, etc.
‣ Advising Deutsche Gulf Finance (a joint venture Islamic finance company between Deutsche Bank AG’s Riyadh Branch and a group of Saudi investors led by Fahad Abdullah Abdulaziz Al Rajhi) in connection with corporate and Saudi regulatory compliance, finance facilities, and commercial relationships
‣ Advising Tamweel PJSC and Amlak Finance, two of the largest UAE Islamic mortgage finance companies, on finance facilities including Islamic “mortgage”/leasing arrangements (ijara) and/or partnership facilities (musharaka)
‣ Advising on and co-drafting founding statute for the creation of the World Islamic Finance Institute (WIFI), a global Islamic finance organization established by entities including Ernst & Young, Al Baraka Banking Group, and Kuveyt Türk Participation Bank (owned by Kuwait Finance House, Islamic Development Bank and others)
‣ Advising division of First Gulf Bank on a complex Islamic finance facility
‣ Transactional counsel in refinancing and conversion of a US$ 15 million conventional loan to a US$ 20 million ijara loan with major Canadian financial institution
‣ Devising an ethically-compliant credit facility structure for an Islamic bank
‣ Advising on creation of a UAE joint venture between multinational shareholders and a Luxembourg-based entity
‣ Lead US counsel to various real estate developers/construction contractors in drafting agreements and advising on permitting/approval processes for several construction/real estate development projects valued at USD 30M, USD 18M, and USD 15M respectively; negotiated with various government boards/agencies and successfully obtained requisite approvals, worked extensively with architects/engineers to conform project for submission/approvals, and drafted various agreements and conditions of approval.
Dispute Resolution Matters
‣ Lead counsel on various multi-million dirham disputes in the UAE, including serving as lead litigation counsel for major banking/foreclosure matter in Abu Dhabi for approximately AED 50 million
‣ Representation of a claimant against a Fortune Global 500 corporation in a highly complex multi-million dollar technology and licensing dispute (involving importation of the Toyota Prius into the United States) at New York-based arbitration before the International Chamber of Commerce
‣ Serving as litigation/arbitration counsel to various financial institutions, property developers, construction companies, and purchasers in the UAE and United States (where he acquired a construction supervisor’s license to better understand his construction clients’ industry)
‣ Advising various prominent UAE-based financiers in relation to financing disputes, including ijara and musharaka facilities, and foreclosure matters
‣ Representation of United States subsidiary of large Japanese corporation at arbitration before the International Trade Commission
‣ Representation of corporate real property developer before a Boston-based US government panel, and successfully arguing for relief for client before twelve-member appellate board from government mandate to physically reconstruct and modify a completed US$ 25 million project
‣ Defending nationally-renowned US construction industry expert against federal Lanham Act/commercial disparagement claims