Addleshaw Goddard has significantly boosted its Middle East finance and projects offering with the hire of former Morgan Lewis partner Victoria Mesquita into the Dubai office.
A market-leading specialist in Islamic as well as conventional finance, Victoria's addition makes the AG team one of the few in the region to be experts in both.
Victoria advises clients on banking, project financing and capital markets transactions (both conventional and Shari’a compliant), with a focus on projects, leveraged acquisitions, mezzanine debt and private placements in a wide range of industries including energy, water, real estate, infrastructure, healthcare, education and food and agriculture.
With an academic background in Shari’a and almost 15 years of experience in Shari’a compliant transactions, Victoria brings substantial expertise in the structuring of complex, cross-border and highly structured Shari’a compliant solutions, including many “first of” and innovative Shari’a structures, such as advising on the first Shari’a compliant trade receivables securitization platform and advising on Shari’a compliant project financings for conventional development banks such as IFC, EBRD and FinFund. Victoria also represents clients on the formation and structuring of Shari’a compliant funds.
Victoria’s clients include a number of banks and financial institutions, private equity, private debt, mezzanine and infrastructure funds, as well as borrowers and sponsors.
Having worked with a number of clients in Saudi Arabia, Victoria is also well placed to contribute to AG's strategy to grow its offering in the wider Middle East region. Her expertise in complex Islamic Finance transactions is perfectly suited to boosting the firm's ability to offer this service, increasingly important in Middle East-wide finance.
Addleshaw Goddard has steadily been building a full-service capability to offer clients in the UAE. Victoria's appointment brings specialised skills that will complement the existing partnership, especially the projects practice which was boosted by Alex Sarac and John Podgore who joined last year. The addition of commercial disputes specialist Shane Jury earlier this summer means that the Dubai-based team is stronger than ever before.
Andrew Johnston, head of Middle East and Asia, said: "AG is committed to further strengthening our ability to deliver a full-service offering for our clients whether in the UAE or across the wider Middle East region. Victoria's skills and expertise are a perfect fit for this.
"Victoria will not only help enhance our fast-growing finance capabilities, her in-depth knowledge of Shari'a-compliant finance makes us one of the few firms in the region with the capability to offer both Islamic and conventional finance. This in turn is a key part of our ambitions to develop our offering right across the Middle East, including in Saudi Arabia. "I am delighted she is joining us and welcome her to the AG team."