Corrs Global Network

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Middle East

With high levels of sovereign and private sector bilateral investment between Australia and the Gulf States, Corrs has developed a Middle East team, allowing clients in both geographies to benefit from world class legal advice in all their key investments. These moves are in line with the Australian government’s MENA region strategy and the increasing number of major trade agreements between Australia and a number of the Gulf States in relation to energy & natural resources.

The Middle East continues to see expansion in the areas of energy & natural resources and transport infrastructure, which are both areas of excellence in Corrs’ practice. Our firm is well placed to advise on major projects and investment across the Gulf States and our lawyers work with some of the leading sovereign entities in the region on an on-going basis.

On the contentious side, our lawyers are able to advise overseas investors in relation to the complex construction and/or infrastructure disputes they may encounter in relation to their investments in the Gulf region. With the continuing global slowdown affecting even the most buoyant Middle Eastern economies, these skills are particularly highly valued by clients across the region.

A number of our lawyers have spent time working in the Gulf States and make regular trips to the region. Our lawyers have advised on a range of Middle East mandates, including those governed by the principles of Sharia law. Corrs is currently working in conjunction with a leading law firm in the Middle East to promote investment through a series of seminars and training programmes aimed at leading entities in the private sector.

Contact our team to learn more about the firms we work with across the region and how we can assist.




Recent News

Corrs sponsors Australia Unlimited Mena 2014 event in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh

In April, Corrs sponsored the Australia Unlimited MENA 2014 event held in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh.

The event, organised by the Australian Trade Commission, aims to create greater awareness of bilateral trade, investment and cultural ties between Australia and the Middle East North African region, and also increase understanding of Australia’s capability in trade, education, investment and tourism sectors. Corrs partners attended the event which provided an excellent platform for the firm to build relationships with Australian embassy staff, clients and other organisations operating in the region.

Corrs Middle East Team

The Corrs Middle East Country Focus Group recently met with a number of delegates in Sydney from the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), one of the world’s largest Free Zones. Australian business operations through JAFZA are impressive, totalling around US200 million, 51 companies excluding joint ventures and 342 employees.

Free Zones are designated areas within a country where companies are able to take advantage of favorable tax rates, customs duties and other regulatory exemptions in order to encourage economic activity and attract foreign direct investment.

They are often used by business to provide a hub for the manufacture and distribution of goods into nearby countries or the provision of services. For this reason, Free Zones are usually located near ports and airports.

With more than 20 Free Zones operating in Dubai, the options available for Australian companies looking to operate within a business-friendly hub in the Middle East are considerable, especially with the tax and other concessions available in the Free Zones.

These include:

  • 0% corporate tax for 50 years
  • 0% personal income tax
  • 0% import or re-export duties
  • no currency restrictions
  • no restriction on the repatriation of profits to overseas parent companies
  • no restriction on foreign employees
  • onsite customs

Corrs is already doing a range of work for Middle Eastern-based clients in Australia, and is assisting Australian clients to establish and build their businesses in the fast-growing region. Corrs is experienced in working with foreign companies in the Middle East. A number of our lawyers have spent time working in the Gulf States and make regular trips to the region. For companies seeking to enter the Middle East, Corrs is available to introduce you to the right people.

Litigator set to bolster Perth business

Corrs Chambers Westgarth has welcomed the promotion of David Yates to partner of its Perth office.

A renowned commercial litigator, David will contribute to the Perth office’s support of some of Western Australia’s most critical industries including construction, mining, energy and resources.

In a changing economic environment, he will work closely with Perth businesses as they seek to re-evaluate commercial relationships and improve internal efficiencies. 

Having worked locally and in the Middle East, the promotion sees Corrs’ Perth office well placed to respond to current demand in WA for litigation and dispute resolution across industries.

David also has a focus on intellectual property protection and enforcement, and technology acquisition and governance.

“Corrs recognises the changing needs of businesses in WA, as the economic cycle continues to turn,” David Yates said. 

“As work flows decline or change shape, many clients are seeking to proactively manage disputes in the tougher economic climate. Organisations are also looking to innovate to reduce costs and create a competitive advantage. Increasingly attention is turning to intellectual asset capture, management and commercialisation.

“Corrs’ Perth team understands the issues faced by clients with projects in WA and is working on the ground to help businesses realise new areas of opportunity ahead.” 

Our Experts


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Alan Churley

Partner & Middle East Focus Group Co-chair Location Perth Profile
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David Yates

Partner & Middle East Focus Group Co-chair Location Perth Profile
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Emily Kleidon

Senior Associate Location Melbourne Profile