Expertise

Ben Brown is a UK-qualified partner in our employment practice, based in Dubai. Ben has over 10 years of experience and was born and raised in the Middle East. 

Ben's practice covers all aspects of contentious and non-contentious employment and labour law in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and its free zones (including the Abu Dhabi Global Market and Dubai International Financial Centre), the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the Kingdom of Bahrain. He advises clients in a variety of sectors with a particular focus on financial services, insurance, construction, oil & gas and aviation. 

Ben advises employers on recruitment and immigration issues, drafting and implementing employment documentation in compliance with the labour laws of the UAE, KSA and Bahrain, managing performance, employee transfers, manpower supply arrangements, bonus disputes, employment data protection and issues arising on the termination of employment including the enforcement of post-termination restrictions and the protection of confidential information and trade secrets. 

Ben has extensive experience advising on employment issues arising from team moves, complex internal investigations (in relation to both financial wrongdoing and complaints of inappropriate workplace behaviour, including harassment), corporate restructurings, outsourcings and multi-jurisdictional mergers and acquisitions. 

Ben has recently directly advised the Dubai International Financial Centre Authority on, and drafted, DIFC Law No.2 of 2019 (the DIFC employment Law) which came into force on 28 August 2019. He has also advised other UAE free zone authorities on drafting and implementing free zone-specific employment regulations.  

Ben has handled significant amounts of employment litigation in a variety of forums, including the High Court and employment tribunals in the United Kingdom, the DIFC Courts and local labour courts in the UAE and KSA. 

Prior to joining Addleshaw Goddard, Ben practiced in the Dubai office of a leading international law firm. 

Experience

United Arab Emirates / Dubai International Financial Centre
  • Advising international and local companies on complying with Emiratisation, the UAE labour law and the requirements of the UAE General Pension and Social Security Authority.
  • Advising on over numerous UAE federal labour court cases including:
    • defending an international construction company in the Abu Dhabi courts to recover outstanding loans from an ex-employee
    • defending a UAE-based oil company in the Dubai Court of Cassation (the UAE's highest court)
    • defending a UAE-based international construction company against claims of arbitrary dismissal bought by a number of senior employees in the Dubai Court of First Instance and Court of Appeal
    • defending an international clothing company on a multi-jurisdictional personal injury claim
  • Advising an international management consultancy on structuring their complex consultancy arrangements and operating model to ensure compliance with UAE immigration laws.
  • Advising an Abu Dhabi-based construction company on undertaking a large-scale redundancy exercise.
  • Advising an Abu Dhabi-based listed company on the termination of employment of its senior leadership team.
  • Advising an international contractor in relation to large-scale labour strikes on a construction project in Abu Dhabi.
  • Advising international companies on internal investigations into bribery, corruption and other misconduct. 
  • Advising employers on criminal complaints filed by employees arising out of workplace disputes. 
  • Advising international and local companies on the enforcement of post-termination restrictions and protection of confidential information. 
  • Advising international and local companies on undertaking redundancy and cost-cutting exercises. 
  • Advising a global construction company on filing a criminal complaint against an employee for theft. 
  • Advising a US oil & gas company on the employment aspects arising from its US$750m acquisition of a competitor in UAE, Oman and Kuwait. 
  • Advising an airline on the employment issues arising out of a fatal air crash.
  • Advising numerous companies on complying with the Abu Dhabi Global Market Employment Regulations.
  • Advising the DIFC Authority on, and drafting, DIFC Law No.2 of 2019. 
  • Advising on a proposed team move from an international Bank in the DIFC.
  • Advising a free zone authority on the drafting and implementation of its employment regulations. 
    • Representing employers and employees in a range of DIFC Court litigation including:
    • Representing the defendants in Daoud Theodore Youssef v (1) Now Health International Limited (2) Now Health International (Investments) Limited [2017] DIFC CFI 029 
    • Representing the defendant in Ibrahim Mohammed Siddig v Expresso Telecom Limited [2017] CFI 012 
    • Representing the defendant in SCT328/2018 
    • Representing the defendant in SCT104/2018 
    • Representing the claimant in SCT331/2017 
  • Advising a global company regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority on an internal investigation into serious misconduct by a senior executive.
  • Advising a number of international financial services firms in relation to allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination.
  • Advising a global insurance company on compliance with local data protection legislation.
  • Advising a global bank on a high value personal injury claim.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Advising international companies on complying with their obligations under the KSA labour law and the requirements of the General Organisation for Social Insurance.
  • Advising on the employment issues arising from the post-completion integration process following the merger of two domestic banks in KSA.
  • Advising international companies on complying with Saudisation and resourcing their operations in KSA.
  • Advising an international company on the implementation of a global employee performance incentive plan in KSA.
  • Advising an international management consultancy on labour court proceedings.
  • Advising a number of global banks on all employment-related matters in KSA.
  • Advising on the enforcement of post-termination restrictions in KSA.
Kingdom of Bahrain
  • Advising international companies on complying with their obligations under the Bahrain labour law.
  • Advising a global telecoms company on legal risks arising from recruiting individuals in the Middle East, including Bahrain.
  • Advising an international law firm on the dismissal of local and expatriate employees in Bahrain.
  • Advising a global company on resourcing its local distributors in Bahrain.

Professional qualifications

  • Solicitor admitted in England and Wales
  • Registered Practitioner in the DIFC Courts

Testimonials

Ben is recognised in Legal 500 ("really worth his salt") and in Chambers & Partners Global, which commented:

"Market insiders say he is "very good on the law…The law is changing quite a bit and he is very up to speed with new developments." One client particularly appreciated his ability to "understand Middle Eastern culture and the sensitivities involved in dealing with employees in the region."

Education

  • University of Bristol, BA Hons, History