The cream of the Middle East business law community assembled in Dubai last month for the Middle East Legal Awards.

DLA Piper, Clifford Chance, Clyde & Co and Baker McKenzie were among the big winners; alongside the legal teams at Pepsi-Cola International, the Qatar Financial Centre Authority and Total Marketing Middle East; as well as top regional firms including Al Tamimi & Company and Hadef & Partners.

Jointly hosted by Legal Week and the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Middle East Chapter, and supported by Legal Week’s sister title, The American Lawyer, the awards took place at the Ritz-Carlton in Dubai on 11 May and were attended by nearly 400 lawyers from private practice and in-house legal departments.

The evening culminated with two achievement awards: the ACC Achievement Award went to former Qatari national football player Salman Al-Ansari, a partner at Al-Ansari & Associates, and the ACC Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to outgoing ACC Middle East chapter president Elias Hayek (pictured above).

Al-Ansari, a partner at Al-Ansari & Associates, was recognised for his work promoting the welfare of professional footballers in his home country, including the establishment of the Qatar Sports Arbitration Tribunal and also the Qatar Players Association. Hayek has joined Squire Patton Boggs as a partner from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, where he was vice-president, legal.

Click on the links below for full details of the winning entries:

Legal Department of the Year – Large Team - Pepsi-Cola International Legal Department of the Year – Small Team – Total Marketing Middle East Legal Department of the Year – Government Department, Agency or Public Body – Qatar Financial Centre Authority General Counsel of the Year – Sponsored by Eversheds Sutherland – Khalid Khan, The Zubair Corporation Senior Corporate Counsel of the Year – Rahul Sharda, Al Ghurair Investment Junior Corporate Counsel of the Year – Rabah Bashir, Zakher Marine International Innovation Award – The Bench CSR Initiative of the Year – Dentons Diversity Initiative of the Year – Clyde & Co International Law Firm of the Year – Sponsored by Fox Rodney Search – DLA Piper Regional Law Firm of the Year – Large Practice – Al Tamimi & Company Regional Law Firm of the Year – Small Practice – Al Jallaf Advocates & Legal Consultants Associate Solicitor of the Year – Christina Sochacki, Senior Associate, Al Tamimi & Company Banking and Finance Team of the Year – Dechert Infrastructure and Energy Projects Team of the Year – Bracewell Construction Team of the Year – Sponsored by Arcadis – Dentons Real Estate Team of the Year – Hadef & Partners Corporate Team of the Year – Hadef & Partners Arbitration Team of the Year – Reed Smith Litigation Team of the Year – Baker McKenzie Regulatory and Investigations Team of the Year – Clyde & Co TMT Team of the Year – Simmons & Simmons Middle East Employment Team of the Year – Stephenson Harwood Middle East