Zahra Knapper

Local Partner, Dubai


“Zahra Knapper is one of the best ... I have had the pleasure of working with. She is knowledgeable in her field and quick in her response.”
Legal 500 UK


Zahra is a local partner in the Firm's Energy, Infrastructure, Projects and Asset Finance Practice in Dubai.

Zahra is an experienced transportation and asset finance lawyer who has advised major industry players on various transactions, including aircraft, rail and other asset financings, refinancings, restructurings, sale and purchase agreements, novations and leasing arrangements. Zahra’s particular expertise is in advising the aviation industry on a range of international financing transactions. Having been based in our London office for 10 years, Zahra has relocated to Dubai.


Bars and Courts
England and Wales
Economic History
London School of Economics
BPP Holborn
London School of Economics



  • Representation of ECAs in connection with the ECA-supported financing of new Airbus aircraft to a South East Asian airline.
  • Representation of multiple European ECAs in connection with several restructurings of aircraft financings as a result of payment deferral requests received from certain airlines affected by the challenges presented by COVID-19.
  • Representation of European ECAs in connection with an ECA-supported capital markets refinancing of ten aircraft in multiple jurisdictions.
  • Representation of European ECA in connection with an ECA-supported financing of new Boeing aircraft to a South African airline.
  • Representation of European ECA in connection with a US$300 million ECA-supported bond refinancing of four Airbus A330 Aircraft for a Malaysian airline.
  • Representation of lenders (including both banks and ECAs) in connection with various loan prepayments, refinancings, aircraft subleasings and novations in multiple jurisdictions including Morocco, the United Arab Emirates and India.
  • Representation of European ECAs in connection with ECA-supported financings of ATR aircraft for an Asian airline leased to various airlines based in Malaysia and Indonesia.
  • Representation of multiple European airlines and international operating lessors on various novations, financings and leasing arrangements.
  • Representation of helicopter lessor in connection with the asset sale and restructuring of its (100+) helicopter portfolio across multiple jurisdictions in connection with its Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Oil, Gas and other

  • Representation of financiers on a landmark, award winning US$3 billion first in class hybrid corporate financing to Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG), a joint venture owned by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Shell, Total and Eni to develop the NLNG Train 7 Project.
  • Representation of United Arab Shipping Company in connection their financing arrangements relating to the merger with Hapag-Lloyd. "Transaction of the Year (over £3 billion)" and "Industries Deal of the Year (over £1 billion)" M&A Advisor, 2017.
  • Representation of a consortium composed of Brookfield Infrastructure and its institutional partners and GIC on the US$8.4 billion acquisition of Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W). G&W owns or leases 120 freight railroads organized in eight locally managed operating regions.
  • Representation of an infrastructure focused private equity fund in the acquisition of a large private freight train operator in Europe.
  • Representation of borrower in connection with the restructuring of Islamic and conventional financing facilities in relation to a shipping marina.