Middle East and Africa

Robert Lawrence

Partner, Dubai


+ 971 4 384 4000

Main office

+ 971 4 384 4004
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Robert is a partner in Clyde & Co’s Dubai office, specialising in shipping and international trade.

Robert trained and qualified at a niche London shipping practice. Upon qualification he joined that firm’s Commodities & International Trade Group where he primarily advised traders on commodity disputes and conducted institutional arbitrations.

An English qualified lawyer, Robert has been in the UAE since December 2006 and has an in-depth understanding of the local oil and gas and shipping market. Robert has wide-ranging experience of dispute resolution and regularly advises shipowners, charterers, oil companies, rig owners/operators, offshore service contractors, traders and marine insurers. Whilst his practice is predominantly litigation focused, he also advises clients on non-contentious matters.

Robert has successfully litigated cases before the English and the UAE Courts. He has also gained significant arbitration experience, both in the UAE and internationally, including ad hoc and institutional.

Robert has been described in Legal 500 as “impress[ing] with his grasp of the key issues and assessment of how far to go in negotiations.”

Robert regularly presents papers for local and international trade and shipping organisations.

  • Lease financing by a Chinese leasing company – USD 220 million lease financing for ten bulk carriers to be built in China and chartered to a large Asian shipping company
  • Refinancing on behalf of a large Asian shipowner – USD 240 million refinancing relating to four chemical tankers by two separate international banks
  • Investment financing on behalf of a Hong Kong financial institution – HKD 980 million financing to provide funding for an international investment portfolio
  • Private equity joint venture – USD 900 million investment by one of the world’s largest private equity firms into a Hong Kong-based joint venture
  • Piracy – Leading a team in Hong Kong involved in the successful ransom of the crew, cargo and vessel of a European-based shipowner held by pirates off of the coast of Somalia
  • M&A – Representing a European company in a multi-jurisdictional joint venture and buyout
  • Offshore industry financing on behalf of a Swiss financial institution – USD 300 million financing of drilling rigs and offshore supply vessels


  • Casualty
  • Dispute resolution

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