Charbel Abou Charaf

Partner, London

Biography

“Charbel Abou Charaf is described as “a rising star” in the corporate field. Clients are full of praise and say: He is great, always ready to help and very professional.”
Chambers Global

Overview

Charbel Abou Charaf is a partner in the Mergers & Acquisitions Practice based in our London office. Previously based in our New York office, Charbel focuses on domestic and cross-border mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, equity investments and divestitures in a broad range of industries, and also assists clients in general corporate matters, restructurings and capital markets transactions. 

Charbel has advised on landmark transactions in the Middle East, Europe, North America, South America, Asia-Pacific and Africa, and has particular experience in complex cross-border transactions involving emerging markets. 

Regularly assisting international clients, both public and private, Charbel has worked on high-profile transactions that have set new market precedent such as the US$5.3 billion Barwa asset sale transaction, which was recognized as Domestic M&A Deal of the Year at the 2014 IFLR Awards. 

Charbel is the pro bono coordinator of the Firm for the MENA region, working with a wide variety of organizations, charities and individuals on numerous matters involving human rights, micro-finance, education, culture and the arts. 

Charbel was awarded the Rising Star of the Year award at the 2016 IFLR Awards. 

Bars and Courts
Beirut Bar
New York State Bar
Education
LLM
UC Berkeley School of Law
DEA
Banking and Capital Markets Law
Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth
Lebanon
LLB
Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth
Lebanon
Languages
Arabic
English
French

Experience

Representative transactions include advising:

  • Represented a large GCC-based family office in private equity investments in California-based technology companies in the education and healthcare sectors
  • Represented a major GCC-based financial institution in a private equity investment in Xiaoju Kuaizhi Inc. (Didi Chuxing), the largest on-demand taxi app service in China
  • A leading institutional investor in a private equity investment in Uber Technologies, Inc.
  • Abu Dhabi–based National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC), one of the largest oil & gas engineering and construction companies in the Middle East, in its acquisition of a stake in a leading European conceptual engineering company in the oil & gas and nuclear fields, with operations in Europe and Asia-Pacific
  • Qatari Diar and Barwa Real Estate in one of the largest-ever public M&A transactions in Qatar in the acquisition through a Qatari Diar subsidiary of US$5.3 billion of assets comprising a significant stake in Barwa Bank and major real estate projects in Qatar, including Barwa City and Barwa Commercial Avenue
  • Katara Hospitality, the Qatar-based global owner, developer and operator of hotels, in the acquisition of five luxury hotels managed by InterContinental in France, Italy, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands, including the InterContinental Carlton Cannes
  • Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) in its first investment in Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • A leading Middle-Eastern group in the restructuring of a fashion luxury business in the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific
  • Qatar Holding LLC, the direct and strategic investment arm of the Qatar Investment Authority, in its first investment into Russia, a US$500 million equity investment in JSC VTB Bank (VTB), Russia's second-largest bank, which is listed on the Moscow Exchange
  • Al Dahra International Investment LLC, one of the major entities responsible for the food security program of the United Arab Emirates, in its acquisition of a stake in Kohinoor Foods Ltd, a company listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and one of India’s major rice producers
  • A Middle Eastern institutional investor in the restructuring of a large natural resources company in Canada, Finland, Algeria, Brazil and Mali
  • QIA and its subsidiaries in a number of M&A and corporate finance transactions
  • A Qatari private family office in its real estate and corporate investments, divestments and restructurings in the GCC
  • Dhabi Group in the sale of the entire share capital of Warid Congo S.A., a leading mobile telecom operator in the Republic of Congo, to a member of Bharti Group, one of the major telecom operators in the world
Publications

The Mergers & Acquisitions Review, Law Business Research, 10th edition, November 2016, co-author of the chapter on Qatar

"Corporate Acquisitions and Mergers," Kluwer Law International, 2nd edition, 2014, co-author of the chapter on Qatar

"Bound to Cooperate: The New Qatar Central Bank Law," Private Sector Magazine, October 2013, co-author

The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Corporate Governance 2010, Global Legal Group, 3rd Edition, 2010, co-author of the chapter on Qatar

Money Laundering Overview: Qatar, Complinet

The Insurance Industry in Qatar, Complinet

Financial Services Regulation in the Middle East, Oxford University Press, 2nd Edition, 2008, co-author of the chapter on Lebanon

Awards and Recognition

Rising Star of the Year, IFLR Awards (2016)

Notable practitioner, Chambers Global (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)

Next Generation Lawyer, The Legal 500 (2017, 2018, 2019)