Banking Law Firm in Lebanon | Abou Jaoude & Associates


Banking has been at the core of the Firm’s practice. The renowned standing of the Firm for resolving complex and novel legal issues is exemplified by the work of our banking lawyers in Lebanon. 

Our clients, leading commercial and investment banks and other financial institutions, rely on the Firm’s advice in pursuing bold strategies aimed at winning dominance in hotly-contested markets, developing new products and services to meet their customers’ needs, expanding their networks, leveraging synergies between their commercial and investment banking operations, and complying with an ever changing body of domestic and international regulations.

We are the exclusive member from Lebanon of the Loan Market Association (LMA), the authoritative voice of the syndicated loan market in EMEA.

Our expert banking attorneys are constantly solicited by public and regulatory authorities to opine on the enactment of key regulations in the banking sector. The Firm is the exclusive author of the Lebanon chapter of the ‘Banking Regulation’ guide published by Getting the Deal Through and edited by Wachtell, Lipton, Rose and Katz USA. The Firm is also a long-standing contributor to the World Bank Lebanon Doing Business Reports on ‘Getting Credit’.

Internal Controls and Governance 

Our banking attorneys advise the bank’s boards of directors, senior executives and other officers on the array of legal issues that affect their competitiveness, including disclosure and filing requirements.

The Firm works with clients to evaluate and strengthen their internal controls, specialized committees’ structures and authorities, and risk management processes, coordinating our efforts with their internal and external professional advisors.

Our team has extensive experience with internal reorganizations, bank secrecy issues, internal investigations, and the negotiation of settlements of enforcement actions by banking, law enforcement, and securities regulators.

Regulatory Advice and Compliance

The Firm advises clients on matters related to managing, operating, and controlling banking institutions that are subject to local banking laws, and increasingly to international standards and regulations related to anti-money laundering and otherwise, such as the Basel accords.

As a premier banking law firm in Lebanon, our attorneys have extensive experience working with banking regulators in Lebanon and abroad, including the Central Bank of Lebanon, the Banking Control Commission, the Capital Markets Authority of Lebanon, the Special Money Laundering Commission, the Beirut Stock Exchange and MIDCLEAR. We work with clients to build productive relationships with regulators at all levels, including supranational regulatory authorities, when they are planning geographic or service expansions, or refocusing their operations.

The Firm consistently helps its clients achieve their business objectives within the constraints of the myriad of capital adequacy and banking, securities, tax, and other laws to which they are subject. As the boundaries of permissible activities and investments expand, we counsel clients on extending their services into new areas. Our team has been at the forefront of advising commercial banking clients as they push forward into the investment banking business.

Commercial Lending

The Firm has unparalleled experience advising banking and other financial services clients on a wide range of domestic and international extensions of credit, such as secured and unsecured credit facilities, syndicated and non-syndicated, and single and multicurrency-denominated facilities. These include letter of credit facilities, receivable and other asset-based financings, and project loans of all types, as well as structured commercial paper programs and commercial paper backup facilities. As part of our banking law services, we represent our clients in their various roles in financing transactions: lenders, underwriters, arrangers, and agents.

Our team represents banks and other financial institutions in connection with amendments to previously existing credit documentation or exchanges of new instruments for existing ones.

Investment Banking

Our investment banking clients benefit from our integrated Finance and Capital Markets practice group, which enables us to assist them with various types of operations. We intervene with expert legal advice on the different transactions of our clients in the private banking sector: when helping companies raise money by issuing and selling securities, acting as intermediaries in trading for clients, maintaining broker/dealer operations, offering advisory services to investors, or facilitating acquisitions and private equity placements.

Our team of banking lawyers in Beirut is also often solicited to advise non-Lebanese clients on cross-border banking matters, including the marketing and sale of investment products, collective investment schemes, and online money remittances. 

Awards & RecognitionsYear on year, the prominent international legal directories Chambers & Partners, The Legal 500 and IFLR1000 rank our Banking practice at the top.

Band 1 Firm
Chambers Global 2022, Corporate & Finance

“Abou Jaoude & Associates maintains a commanding position at the forefront of the Lebanese legal market. Its lawyers are often called upon for their expertise in finance and […] capital markets issuances. The team is also eminently capable in regulatory banking work and has a strong track record of acting for big-name clients on a wide variety of cutting-edge matters.”
A fine law firm with fine lawyers.”

Top Tier Firm
The Legal 500 EMEA 2022, Banking, Finance and Capital Markets
“Abou Jaoude & Associates Law Firm remains market leaders in the banking space and has an excellent reputation handling large capital markets transactions and financings. The experienced practice is regularly instructed by local and international banks on multi-million bond issuances, investment agreements and syndicated loans.”

Top Tier Firm
IFLR1000 2022, Financial & Corporate 

Lebanon Law Firm of the Year
Chambers Middle East Awards, 2021 

Lebanon Law Firm of the Year
IFLR Middle East Awards, 2019 

Band 1 Firm
Chambers Global 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015
Corporate & Finance

“This full-service firm is an important player in Lebanon, with a solid foundation in banking, advising an impressive array of clients in the banking sector.”
Highly recommend firm for its expertise in banking.
“The firm is best known for its regional and international reach.”

Top Tier Firm
The Legal 500 EMEA 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015
Banking, Finance and Capital Markets
“Abou Jaoude & Associates Law Firm fields a stellar banking practice. In addition to representing local and foreign banks (including advising the Central Bank of Lebanon), it also advises a broad range of banking clients on domestic and international extensions of credit and syndicated facilities.”
“Abou Jaoude & Associates is fantastic at banking matters, really understand the needs of the clients and is excellent in complex matters.”
“The firm’s team ‘provides a triple A service, and shows professionalism, extraordinary technical and interpersonal skills, strong ethic and exceptional abilities’.”

Top Tier Firm
IFLR1000 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015
Financial & Corporate

“Abou Jaoude & Associates Law Firm is experienced and strong in lending work.”
“The firm’s team is praised for ‘their knowledge of the landscape in Lebanon, and their understanding of financial structures as it relates to cross-jurisdictional work’.”
They own their files and they are always prepared.”
They always provide impeccable service.
“The team is described as ‘meticulous in their work and providing solutions in a timely manner’ and ‘really nice to work with: helpful and extremely professional, friendly and highly dedicated’.”

The Firm’s recent notable representative experience in Banking includes:

  • Advised the international syndicate led by Audi Bank, the largest bank in Lebanon, including major international development finance institutions OPIC and EIB, on the US$300 Million multi-jurisdictional syndicated facility to finance the 200MW utility-scale wind power plant in Lebanon under the first-ever Power Purchase Agreement with the Government of Lebanon.
  • Advised on the US$150 Million cross-border syndicated facility led by Deutsche bank to a prominent telecoms group, involving the International Finance Corporation (IFC) as a lender.
  • Advised FFA on the first ever conversion of a financial company into an investment bank under Lebanese law.
  • Advised leading Lebanese bank IBL on the first-of-its kind US$100 Million issuance of subordinated bonds with a unique interest payment structure in the context of new highly complex capital adequacy regulations to tackle Lebanon’s unprecedented banking crisis.
  • Advised the Central Bank of Lebanon and the Special Investigation Commission on first-ever highly complex capital control legislation with critical impact on the national economy amidst Lebanon’s unprecedented financial crisis.
  • Advised on the US$200 Million largest multi-business family debt restructuring in Lebanon involving eight banks and a large real estate portfolio.
  • Advised the lending arm of the National Bank of Kuwait, the largest Kuwaiti bank and the highest rated in the Middle East, on a multi-million cross-border mezzanine facility to a leading international telecoms group, involving a complex multi-jurisdictional security structure with share pledges, corporate guarantees, personal guarantees and bank account charges.
  • Advised First Abu Dhabi Bank, the largest bank in the UAE, on complex collateral structures involving movable assets held abroad in the context of cross-border facilities to major Lebanese companies.
  • Advised premier luxury brand Elie Saab on a multi-million cross-border LMA facility and the largest multi-bank refinancing transaction in Lebanon’s fashion retail market.
  • Advised largest bank in Egypt Commercial International Bank on a multi-million cross-border facility to Consolidated Contractors Group (CCC), the biggest construction group in the Middle East, involving a complex security structure.
  • Advised UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK’s export credit agency and a ministerial department of the UK government, on a multi-million cross-border facility to the leading MENA construction group Arabian Construction Company (ACC) for the construction of the landmark ministerial city in Cotonou (Republic of Benin), involving a Lebanese entity as an exporter parent and complex Lebanese regulations governing related-party transactions.
  • Advised Big Four audit firm Ernst & Young acting for Swiss banks on the Banking Model Manual relating to the cross-border offer of financial products and services into Lebanon under the complex regulations of Lebanon’s Capital Markets Authority.
  • Advised BRP Bizzozero & Partners, a leading Swiss expert in banking and financial regulatory compliance, on the Lebanon country manuals for Swiss banks related to the cross-border offer into Lebanon of Credit services, Islamic Finance products and services, and Private Banking services under the complex regulations of Lebanon’s Central  and Capital Markets Authority.
  • Advised the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) on highly complex FX and fixed-term deposits transactions with the Central Bank of Lebanon (BDL) governed by the BIS’ global general terms of business for banking customers.
  • Advised prominent Saudi bank Banque Saudi Fransi (affiliated with Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank) on a multi-million cross-border facility to the largest Lebanese aluminum manufacturing group ALUMACO involving a complex collateral structure.
  • Advised prominent bank Fransabank on multi-million cross-border bank guarantees to Consolidated Contractors Group (CCC), the biggest construction group in the Middle East, involving a complex analysis of the bank’s obligations to make overseas payments in “fresh” US Dollars amidst Lebanon’s unprecedented financial crisis and its impact on the fluctuation of currency exchange rates.
  • Advised on a US$600 Million complex merger of two prominent banks, the Lebanese Canadian Bank Sal (LCB) and Banque Société Générale Sal (SGBL), involving a highly complex regulatory process before the Central Bank of Lebanon, the premature redemption of preferred shares issued by LCB and the liquidation of LCB.
  • Advised the leading FMCG BPC Holding Group including 30 multi-sector regional companies on a multi-million cross-border facility from First Abu Dhabi Bank, the largest bank in the UAE, involving a complex security structure.
  • Advised leading regional FFA Private Bank Group on the highly complex strategic seat migration to the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) based on a five-year strategic plan, involving licensing and regulatory approvals from the Central Bank of Lebanon (BDL) and the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), and an internal corporate reorganization with multi-tier change of control transactions of the DIFC-based FFA Group Holding, the Dubai-based FFA Private Bank Dubai Ltd and the Beirut-based FFA Private Bank SAL.
  • Advised Holding M. Sehnaoui on the acquisition of an equity stake in AstroBank (Cyprus) Ltd from BLC Bank SAL, through a complex structure involving a locked-box mechanism, share swaps, and a complex regulatory approvals process.
  • Advised BLC Bank on a US$90 Million cross-border acquisition of Piraeus Bank (Cyprus) Ltd, the eleventh largest bank in Cyprus and one of the four banks listed on the Cyprus Stock Exchange, involving a complex loan restructuring and regulatory approvals from the Central Bank of Cyprus.
  • Advised BLC Bank acting as borrower on the procurement of a credit line from the European Investment Bank (EIB) for the financing of small and medium sized projects to be carried out in Lebanon by private sector companies.
  • Advised BLC Bank on the restructuring of a credit facility granted to Mika Real Estate Sal (part of the M1 Group), involving the replacement of a single-bank term loan facility with a syndicated facility comprising three banks.
  • Advised major telecom group Africell on the reorganization of a loan portfolio with three banks involving new credit facilities of up to US$50 Million, in the context of the consolidation of the group's various operations in Sierra Leone, Gambia and DRC.
  • Advised the leading real estate developer Plus Properties Group on a complex multi-million debt restructuring involving four premier banks in Lebanon.
  • Advised BLC Bank on the funded risk participation of a US$70 Million term loan facility granted to major real estate developer Park Hill for the acquisition of a plot for the erection of the group's new green headquarters.
  • Advised the leading multi-media online platform M. Publishing (Quantum group) on the multi-million private equity investment by prominent LIBANK to support the expansion and diversification of the platform, involving a complex regulatory approvals process under Circular 331 of the Central Bank of Lebanon (BDL) aimed at encouraging investments in Lebanon’s knowledge economy.
  • Advised the Lebanese Canadian Bank on four multi-million dollar issuances and private placement of preferred shares.
  • Advised BLC Bank and IBL Bank on a critical regulation related to the lifting of banking secrecy on accounts of public employees in Lebanon in light of Law no. 189/2020 on Financial Disclosure and the Punishment of Illicit Enrichment Law and Law no. 44/2015 on Anti-Money Laundering.
  • Advised major US investment bank Citadel Securities on cross-border banking activities in Lebanon, namely the latter’s broker-dealer activity (purchase and sale of securities) with U.S persons related to USD-denominated corporate and sovereign debt issued by companies in Lebanon.
  • Advised on several acquisitions of equity in banks, financial institutions, investment funds, brokerage firms, and money transfer companies subject to the complex regulations and approval process of the Central Bank of Lebanon (BDL) and the Capital Markets Authority, including for Credit Suisse Lebanon Finance, OMT (Western Union), FFA Private Bank, IBL Bank, Arab Finance Corporation, and The Luxury Fund.