Michiel Visser | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice
Michiel Visser
Michiel Visser

Michiel Visser

Partner, Doha, Dubai

T +974 440 64323

T +971 4 381 6207

E mvisser@whitecase.com

in LinkedIn profile

“A superstar M&A specialist… a go-to lawyer”

The Legal 500 2014

Overview

Dual-qualified in New York and England, Michiel Visser regularly represents sovereign wealth funds, private equity funds and corporations in an array of transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and other corporate matters.

Active in the MENA region since 2009, Michiel has represented some of the leading state-owned and private sector companies in the Middle East on a range of M&A and corporate finance transactions. He led the team on the US$5.3 billion Barwa/Qatari Diar asset sale transaction, which was recognized as Domestic M&A Deal of the Year at the 2014 IFLR Middle East Awards. Chambers has praised him as "an excellent lawyer on M&A transactions" and "highly recommended".

Michiel's experience is both extensive and truly global. He has advised on closed M&A transactions involving targets located in such jurisdictions as the United States, Brazil, Russia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, Netherlands, Turkey, Spain, Italy, United Kingdom, Greece and Japan.

Michiel was for four years the Executive Partner of White & Case's Doha office. He has also gained experience working for five years in the Firm's New York office and for two years in Paris. He has undertaken a year-long secondment to the legal department of Qatar Investment Authority.

Bars and Courts

  • New York State Bar
  • Solicitor of England and Wales

Education

  • LLM, Harvard Law School
  • MJur, Magdalen College, Oxford University
  • LLB, Leiden University

Languages

  • Dutch
  • English
  • German
  • French

Experience

United Arab Shipping merger with Hapag-Lloyd, 2016

Representing United Arab Shipping Company (UASC), the Dubai-headquartered container shipping business, and its majority shareholders Qatar Holding and Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia on its announced multibillion dollar merger with German shipping company Hapag-Lloyd, one of the largest M&A ever deals in the MENA region.

US$2.9 billion sale of Fairmont-Raffles, 2015

Represented Qatar Investment Authority and Kingdom Holding of Saudi Arabia on the US$2.9 billion sale of their interest in Fairmont-Raffles, the global luxury hotel operator, to French publicly listed Accor SA, in one of the largest hospitality M&A deals of 2015.

IFC investment in Turkey energy, 2015

Represented International Finance Corporation (IFC) on its subscription for 23 percent of the shares of UNIT Investment NV, a developer of power plants across Turkey, Eastern Europe and the Middle East in a transaction which will raise US$365 million for Unit.

US$5.3 billion Barwa asset sales, 2014

Represented Qatari Diar and Barwa Real Estate in Barwa's US$5.3 billion sale of Barwa City Company and Barwa Commercial Avenue Company, a transaction that was awarded Domestic M&A Deal of the Year at the IFLR Middle East Awards in October 2014.

Katara Hospitality purchase of European luxury hotels, 2014

Represented Katara Hospitality, the Qatar-based owner, developer and operator of hotels, in the purchase of a portfolio of five luxury hotels managed by InterContinental including the Carlton Hotel in Cannes and the Amstel Hotel in Amsterdam.

US$657 million purchase of Barwa Bank stake, 2014

Acted on the US$657 million purchase by Labregah of a 37 percent stake in Barwa Bank, one of Qatar's largest shariah-compliant banks, from Barwa Real Estate.

US$500 million investment in Russia's second-largest bank, 2013

Represented Qatar Holding (QH) in its US$0.5 billion investment in VTB, Russia's second-largest bank. This transaction was QH's first investment in Russia.

Investment in Banco Santander Brasil, 2013

Advised Qatar Holding on its purchase in 2010 of US$2.719 billion bonds issued by Banco Santander, the largest bank in Spain, and their subsequent exchange in 2013 for 5 percent of the shares of Banco Santander (Brasil), one of the largest banks in Brazil.

Equity stake in The Chernin Group, 2012

Acted for Qatar Holding on its acquisition of a significant equity stake in US-based media and entertainment company The Chernin Group.

Asset management company formation, 2012

Acting for the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Michiel advised on its joint venture with Credit Suisse to form asset management company Aventicum Capital Management.

Publications

  • Qatar, Corporate Acquisitions and Mergers (Kluwer Law International - 2nd edition, 2014), (co-author, with C. Abou Charaf)

Awards & Recognition

Leading Lawyer, Chambers Global 2014

Corporate/ Commercial - Qatar

Chambers Global, 2014

"Practice head Michiel Visser is identified as an excellent lawyer on M&A transactions. Sources say: 'He's confident and smart, knows the culture very well and is knowledgeable about what he does.'"

Recommended Lawyer , The Legal 500, 2013, 2014

Qatar

A world-class lawyer, The Legal 500, 2013