Akin Gump Adds Finance Partner in Abu Dhabi

(Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) – Oli Charlesworth has joined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in Abu Dhabi as a partner in the finance practice.

Mr. Charlesworth specializes in project finance, general banking and Islamic finance. He has advised project sponsors, project companies, lenders, export credit agencies and development finance institutions in relation to a wide range of transactions in various jurisdictions.

He joins the firm from Norton Rose in Abu Dhabi, having been based in the Middle East for almost six years. He has advised sponsors and lenders in relation to Islamic, conventional and multisourced project financings in the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia across a range of sectors, including power, water, infrastructure, metals, petrochemicals and gas.

He is recommended in The Legal 500: Europe, Middle East & Africa for his project finance work in the U.A.E. and in The Legal 500 United Kingdom for his work in Islamic finance. Recent accolades include Project Finance International’s “Africa Transport Deal of the Year 2010” in recognition of his team’s work in the financing of DP World Dakar’s port in Senegal.

Natasha G. Kohne, partner in charge of Akin Gump’s Abu Dhabi office, stated, “Oli brings a huge range of finance experience to our expanding office. His knowledge will help us to build on our established energy and project finance experience in the region to support our clients in their business and legal needs. We are delighted to welcome him to the firm.”

Mr. Charlesworth added, “The firm’s highly respected Abu Dhabi office is well-supported by Middle East experts from across the globe and offers great opportunities for the firm’s clients. Working to help build out the finance capabilities of the firm is a challenge I will relish. Abu Dhabi continues to develop as a cultural and business hub in the region, and there is an increasing and significant need for on-the-ground finance capability.”

Rick L. Burdick, managing partner for the firm’s international offices and head of Akin Gump’s international corporate transactions practice, said, “Oli’s arrival will give us a fantastic opportunity to further build out our finance capabilities on the ground in the U.A.E. He is highly thought of and well-respected and will work well with our existing transactions team in the U.A.E. and around the world.”

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Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, a leading international law firm, numbers more than 800 lawyers in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.