Holland & Knight Expands Middle East Presence With Addition of Islamic Finance Specialist Oliver Agha

04 April 2013
Abu Dhabi, UAE: Holland & Knight is pleased to announce that Oliver Agha has joined the firm as a partner and will head its Islamic finance and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) practices. Mr. Agha's addition will strengthen the firm's presence in the Middle East and bolster the firm's banking and finance, infrastructure, and real estate capabilities in the region. 

Oliver Agha founded Agha & Co in 2010 as a boutique Islamic finance firm with a leading blue chip clientele of international and regional financial institutions and corporations. For the last three years Mr. Agha's Dubai-based firm, which includes four associate attorneys who will also join Holland & Knight, has won a number of Islamic finance awards.

Mr. Agha noted, "Our practice has reached a stage in its development where we require a larger platform to fully service our clients. In response to client suggestions, I am very pleased to join Holland & Knight, a firm with leading international financing, transactional, real estate and hospitality practices."

Steven Sonberg, managing partner of Holland & Knight stated, "We are very pleased with Oliver and his team's addition. Our clients will benefit greatly from this team of sophisticated finance and projects attorneys when they are conducting business in the region."

"Oliver's experience, recognition, and relationships are hugely valuable," said Friedrich Blase, Holland & Knight's chief international officer. "We are seeing more deals involving Islamic finance. Client demand for solid, responsive, and business-focused counsel in the region is growing rapidly."

Oliver Agha is a New York-trained lawyer who has previously led practice groups at Am Law 50 and top-tier UK firms. Mr. Agha is respected in the fields of projects, project finance, energy, public-private placements (PPPs), and Islamic finance (including insurance (takaful), Islamic arbitration and dispute resolution). He has been published widely and regularly speaks/appears at notable conferences and in print and on broadcast media.

Mr. Agha and his firm were awarded the Dealmakers Country Awards 2013 for the Islamic Finance Law Firm of the Year: UAE; 2012 Acquisition International Legal Awards for the Islamic Finance Law Firm of Year: UAE; and the Global Islamic Finance Award for the Best Islamic Finance Law Firm of 2011 awarded at the Oman Islamic Economic Forum (OIEF). His prior firm also received The Global Recognition in Islamic Finance for a Law Firm Award (promoting excellence in Islamic finance) by the International Islamic Finance Forum.

Mr. Agha and his firm are featured in The Legal 500: "Leading Islamic Law Firms in the UAE" (2010-2012); The Expert Guides: "World's Leading Banking Finance and Transactional Lawyers" (2012), "Emerging Markets Practitioner 2010," "Islamic Finance Practitioner 2010" and "The Best of the Best 2009;" The Arabia 500: Top 500 Companies (on-track for exemplary success) (2012 and 2011); Who's Who Legal; International Islamic Finance Forum (IIFF); Islamic Finance News Guides; International Financial Law Review (IFLR) Magazine "World's Leading Islamic Finance Lawyers;" The Brief Magazine: "Top 20 Lawyers That Have Helped the Gulf's Economic Boom;" Chambers & Partners Global Guide; and in Asia Legal Business "Hot 100 Lawyers."

About Holland & Knight LLP
Holland & Knight is a global law firm with more than 1,000 lawyers and other professionals in 17 U.S. offices, as well as Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Bogotá and Mexico City. Among the largest law firms in the United States, Holland & Knight provides representation in real estate, business, litigation and governmental law. Interdisciplinary practice groups and industry-based teams provide clients with access to attorneys throughout the firm, regardless of location.

© Press Release 2013


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