The firm, which has been particularly active in the Saudi Arabian market this year, acted as adviser to the market’s most significant and groundbreaking deals by volume and structure.
Amongst these deals include the Saudi Electric Company’s US$1.75 billion Sukuk, Al Marai’s US$3.2 billion Sukuk and the General Authority of Civil Aviation’s SAR15 billion (US$3.99 billion) Sukuk — the first sovereign Sukuk by the Saudi Arabian government, and the largest domestic issuance in the Saudi Arabian market to date. Allen & Overy also bagged the awards for Best Asset & Fund Management Firm, Best Banking & Capital Markets Firm, and Best Takaful and re-Takaful Firm.
The IFN Law Poll 2012, now in its fourth season, saw the world’s leading Islamic finance law firms and lawyers compete across 16 highly contested categories.
Many of those who emerged victorious in the polls had faced stiff competition from equally strong contenders, with some winning by a very small margin.
It is evident from this year’s results and nominees that there has been an increase in focus and advisory capacity amongst law firms, both big and small, in the field of Islamic finance.
Clifford Chance was the firm of choice in the Corporate & Commercial Firm category for the second year running, followed closely by Abdul Rahman & Partners, whilst also securing a win as the Best Tax Firm.
Vinson & Elkins won Best Cross-Border Firm and Best M&A Firm, with Abdul Raman Saad & Associates and Norton Rose giving the law firm a run for its money in this group.
Latham & Watkins was voted Best Project & Infrastructure Finance Firm, similar to last year, with Baker & McKenzie and SNR Denton (Dentons) hot on its heels.
The Best Structured Finance category saw Herbert Smith, Abdul Raman Saad & Associates, and Allen & Overy duke it out in a neck to neck fight, with UK-based Herbert Smith emerging as the most popular contender.
Zaid Ibrahim & Co came out tops in the Best Insolvency & Restructuring group, while Maples and Calder won Best Offshore Finance Firm and Simmons & Simmons nabbed the title from last year’s winners King & Spalding as the Best Private Equity Firm for 2012.
The IFN Law Poll provides a holistic guide to those legal entities and individuals recognized for their excellence amongst their clients and peers.
This year’s poll was a departure from last year’s format, in which both the individual lawyers and law firms were short-listed according to their areas of expertise, hence speeding up the voting process.