Claire Matheson Kirton

Partner, Dubai

Biography

Practice head Claire Matheson Kirton and her ‘exceptional’ group go the ‘extra mile’ and have a ‘wealth of knowledge’.
Legal 500, Banking & Finance: UAE 2021

‘Claire Matheson and her team are exceptional. They go the extra mile in terms of client handling and engagement. Truly understanding the client and their needs, bringing a wealth of knowledge about financing, the market and the dynamics to the table.’
Legal 500, Banking & Finance: UAE 2021

Claire Matheson Kirton has a considerable track record advising well-known international and regional banks, and is especially skilled in regard to revolving facilities and Shari'a-compliant finance. She is also experienced in oil and gas project finance. Sources say she is “a very strong name in the region.”
Chambers & Partners, Banking & Finance: UAE 2021

Overview

Claire Matheson Kirton is a Partner in White & Case LLP's Global Debt Finance Practice, based in Dubai. She has considerable experience advising sovereigns and corporations as well as international and regional financial institutions on a variety of conventional finance transactions across the Middle East and Africa, as well as advising clients with respect to Sharia-compliant transactions throughout the Middle East, United States, Europe and Africa.

Claire maintains a particular focus on leveraged finance and syndicated debt finance. In addition, Claire has been involved in a broad range of structured finance, real estate finance including hotel, hospitality and retail financing and restructuring and workouts. She has practiced in Dubai for more than 15 years and in London prior to that. In that time she has worked on some of the region's most significant deals and the most innovative Islamic finance deals closed to date. She is named by Islamic Finance News as a "leading lawyer" in the fields of Banking & Capital Markets, Energy and Infrastructure and Structured Finance. Claire is "highly regarded" for banking and finance by IFLR1000 and was named IFLR1000 Women Leader for 2022. Euromoney named Claire its EMEA Banking & Finance Lawyer of the Year in the Women in Business Law Awards 2022. Claire was recognised as a "leading individual" for Banking and Finance in the UAE by The Legal 500, 2021 and 2022.

Bars and Courts
England and Wales
Education
LPC
College of Law
LLB (Hons)
University of Leicester
Languages
English

Experience

Representation of The Government of the Sultanate of Oman in connection with the separated ECA (UKEF) dual tranche and commercial financings for the US$873.7million design, construction and development of three hospitals in Oman in Salalah, Suwaiq and Khasab.

Representation of Arabian Centres Company (ACC), Saudi Arabia's leading shopping mall owner, developer and operator, on its dual currency US$1.9 billion refinancing package. The refinancing consists of a senior unsecured US$500 million debut Reg S/144A five-year Sukuk issuance, alongside a senior secured dual (USD and SAR) currency US$1.2 billion (equivalent) Ijara and Murabaha term facilities and senior secured dual (USD and SAR) currency US$200 million (equivalent) revolving Murabaha facility.

Representation of Fawaz Abdulaziz Al Hokair Co., a leading diversified fashion, beauty, and food retailer in Saudi Arabia with international operations across 13 countries and long term relationships with more than 80 leading international retail brands, on its dual-currency US$800 million refinancing package. The refinancing consists of a senior secured dual-currency (USD and SAR) US$650 million (equivalent) Murabaha term facility and a senior secured dual-currency (USD and SAR) US$150 million (equivalent) revolving Murabaha facility.

Representation of IHS Towers (IHS Netherlands Holdco B.V.) on its US$500 million and US$800 million dual-tranche bond issue and on its US$500 million (equivalent) US dollar and Nigerian Naira pari passu senior credit facilities agreement, which will together provide IHS Towers with an aggregate US$1.8 billion (equivalent) together with subsequent amendments.

Representation of Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development in relation to a program of bilateral sovereign loans extended to support the establishment of in-country, on-lending platforms for micro, small and medium entrepreneurial projects incorporating various ESG principles in countries across Africa.

Acting for a GCC owned private equity fund in relation to its Sharia compliant investments into a distressed UAE dental group and into a strategic partnership with a KSA schools group.

Representation of the heirs of Abdul Latif Ibrahim Galadari in connection with the acquisition finance facility to partially fund the majority stake in Galadari Brothers Co LLC, a diversified business conglomerate with operations spread across multiple business verticals. The facility was one of the largest acquisition finance transactions in the region.

Representation of the Emirati Gargash family in relation to Islamic and conventional syndicated facilities made available by Mashreqbank PSC for the acquisition of the whole shares in Gargash Enterprises.

Representation of ENBD REIT (CEIC) PLC, a leading Sharia-compliant real estate investment trust managed by Emirates NBD Asset Management Limited in connection with a US$177 million (AED 650 million) Sharia-compliant financing facility from Mashreqbank psc and US$75 million (AED 275 million) Murabaha finance facility from Standard Chartered Bank.

Representation of The Government of Kenya through the National Treasury in connection with the US$250 million refinancing of a loan from the Eastern and Southern African Trade Development Bank.

Representation of The Government of Ghana in relation to a US$500million syndicated financing arranged and lead by Standard Chartered Bank and Standard Bank.

Representation of the Lenders to AXIAN Telecom, a leading pan-African provider of telecommunications, mobile money services and digital infrastructure in relation to its US$42million revolving credit facility which sits alongside its US$420 million Senior Notes, due in 2027.

Representation of Mashreq Bank in relation to a US$100m facility to United Energy Group secured by the group's concession to oil & gas assets in Egypt.

Representation of Al Wathba National Insurance Company (PJSC) in respect of a margin loan facility extended by HSBC Bank Middle East Limited.

Representation of Investcorp SA and Investcorp Holding BSC in relation to their dual tranche US$250 million syndicated revolving credit facility and their dual tranche US$349 million and €76 million revolving credit facilities.

Representation of Standard Chartered Bank in connection with a US$200 million financing to United Energy Group; a Hong Kong based upstream oil & gas group with investments across Pakistan.

Representation of Standard Chartered Bank as lead arranger in connection with a US$95 million senior secured borrowing base facility provided to Bow Energy Resources Pakistan Limited.

Representation of SACE and the Finance Parties in connection with a SACE supported USD term facility for the Government of Sharjah, acting through the Sharjah Finance Department.

Representation of HSBC and SACE in connection with an ECA backed financing to Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority.

Representation of Cassa Depositi e Prestiti S.p.A. (CDP) and Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) as arranger and agent respectively, together with a group of lenders on the negotiation of a US$300 million SACE covered facility to Meydan Group LLC to develop the Meydan One Mall, Dubai.

Representation of Emaar in relation to its pre-IPO US$1.5 billion revolving credit facility.

Awards and Recognition

Women Leader for 2022
IFLR1000

Leading Individual - Banking and Finance: Corporate Finance (including Islamic Lending): UAE
The Legal 500, 2021

"Claire Matheson and her team are exceptional. They go the extra mile in terms of client handling and engagement. Truly understanding the client and their needs, bringing a wealth of knowledge about financing, the market and the dynamics to the table."
Legal 500 EMEA 2021 – Banking & Finance – UAE

"Claire Matheson is exceptional. She has grown over the years to become a pillar of the UAE legal banking market and is a huge asset on any deal."
Chambers Global, 2022 – Banking & Finance – UAE