Alok Chugh

Alok is a partner with EY’s Middle East practice and is based in Kuwait. He has lived and worked in Kuwait for over 24 years and has detailed knowledge of business and taxes in Kuwait. He has considerable experience in advising entry-level strategies for foreign multinationals wishing to do business in Kuwait. Alok has been involved in a number of consulting assignments (including cross-border planning, application of double tax treaties and the efficient handling of tax and commercial affairs) for project due diligence, business paper preparation or review, and structuring operational activities).

Alok is a member of the Institute of the Chartered Accountants of India and is an active member and frequent lecturer at the American Business Council, French Business Council, British Business Forum and Canadian Business Council in Kuwait. He is also on the Board of the American Business Council in Kuwait.

Alok has been consulted by various government organizations in Kuwait on the practical implementation of various regulations in Kuwait, including the Ministry of Finance and National Offset Company.

Alok also works closely with the Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA) and a number of other government institutions.

Firm Profile  

EY in Kuwait has been operating since 1952 and is the largest accounting and consulting firm in the country. Our 340 professionals are available to serve clients anywhere in Kuwait working in both Arabic and English. EY professionals in Kuwait can provide expert advice on every business issue. We are fully integrated with Ernst & Young Middle East in terms of methodology, training and quality control. The Kuwait office is supported by resources of Ernst & Young Global, which has over 152,000 professionals working out of 700 offices in over 140 countries.

Ernst & Young, Kuwait enjoys the premier position as tax advisers in Kuwait. With 2 specialist tax partners, 4 directors and a team of 40 tax specialist staff we service approximately 70% of registered taxpayers in Kuwait. We have an extensive experience of assisting companies in managing their tax compliance in Kuwait in the most efficient manner, advising on tax treaty matters and providing for entry-level strategies to foreign companies intending to carry on business in Kuwait.

Key achievements/experience of the firm

·         Over 70% share of the of tax services in Kuwait

·         Over 50 years of experience in Kuwait

·         A large team of Tax professionals with one Tax partner, five Tax directors and a team of 40 other experienced staff, including several bilingual staff, who are dedicated to handling matters with the Kuwait tax authorities

·         Assisted 4 out of 9 investors who have been granted license under Law 116 of 2013 (foreign investment law)

EY Kuwait offers invaluable “on the ground” service to companies doing business in Kuwait, and can provide a full range of tax services, including:

·         Tax Planning and Tax Advisory Services

·         Tax Compliance Services, including assistance with respect to tax audits carried out by the Kuwait Tax authorities

·         Tax Accounting and Risk Advisory Services

·         Cross-Border Corporate Income Tax Advisory

·         Transfer Pricing  

·         Services related to the implementation of Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)

·         Human Capital Services

·         Advice related to the offset program in Kuwait

·         Advisory services related to setting up efficient structures in Kuwait (including assistance with the application process for setting up entities under the New Companies Law in Kuwait and the Foreign Direct Investment Laws in Kuwait)

Our large market share and over 50 years’ presence in Kuwait has given us extensive experience in dealing with tax issues arising in Kuwait and assisting our clients in managing their tax affairs.

 

Ahmed Barakat

Ahmed is the Managing Partner at ASAR and has been with the firm since 1993. Ahmed practices in the areas of civil litigation, commercial litigation and local & international arbitration. He also advises clients on tax, insurance, construction, oil & gas, BOT projects, maritime, banking and restructuring matters. Ahmed is recognized by international legal publications, such as Legal 500 and Chambers, as being a leading lawyer in Kuwait. Ahmed is a regular guest speaker at conferences, seminars and on Kuwaiti TV. Ahmed holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree (LL.B) awarded (with honors) by Cairo University, Egypt in 1981. He also holds a Master of Laws Degree (International Law and Business Transactions) (LL.M) awarded by New York University, USA in 1984. Ahmed was admitted to the Egyptian bar in 1981 and to the New York bar in 1990. Ahmed’s practice languages are English and Arabic.

Practice Areas:Civil Litigation, commercial litigation and arbitration, construction, banking, investment, securities, tax, franchising, agencies, insurance, finance, telecommunications, shipping, PPP, and intellectual property.

Professional Memberships:

Admitted to the New York Bar (USA); Member of the American Arbitration Association; Member of the American Society of International Law; Member of the International Bar Association.

Publications:

Speaker at various conferences, interviewed on TV, Legal Framework Overview for Oxford’s The Report Kuwait; Chambers Global and IFLR to name a few.

ASAR – Al Ruwayeh & Partners:

ASAR – Al Ruwayeh & Partners is the largest law firm in Kuwait and one of the largest in the Middle East, with a strong network of contacts throughout the MENA region. The firm has a leading commercial practice with a focus on corporate and commercial transactions, mergers and acquisitions, privatisations, IPOs, banking and finance, franchising, construction, government projects, PPPs, securities, taxation, commercial litigation and arbitration. The firm has multilingual capabilities, including being able to provide services in English, Arabic and French. The firm has over 30 years’ experience in Kuwait.ASAR’s clients include a number of significant public and private-sector Kuwaiti entities and institutions, major United States, European, Asian and other non-Kuwaiti institutions and companies doing business in Kuwait and the GCC region. ASAR’s clients also include high net worth families and individuals. ASAR is also regularly retained by leading international law firms to provide local legal support in various projects and assignments. ASAR has offices in Kuwait and Bahrain and has strong ties with various law firms in more than 100 jurisdictions (including an association with Boutros, Ziadé & Associates Law Firm in Beirut, Lebanon). This enables the firm to provide extensive legal services to its clients. 

Paul Day

Paul Day is a Partner at ASAR and has been with the firm since 1999.   Paul has extensive experience in corporate and commercial law matters including the representation of local and foreign clients in franchise, establishment of Kuwaiti limited liability companies, employment, foreign investment, construction, taxation and agency/distributorship related matters. Paul is a member of the Law Society of Saskatchewan.  He received his Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1989 and his law degree in 1991 from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Paul’s practice language is English.

ASAR Law Firm:

Helping you thrive in the regional corporate world, as one of the region’s leading law firms to many foreign and domestic multinational companies, we advise many of the biggest and most ambitious organizations across all major industries and we are consistently considered as the law firm of choice. Our clients have formed a bond of trust in retaining ASAR with their most groundbreaking transactions because of our extensive ability to reduce complexity, mitigate risk and, simply, to get the deal done. With more than 30 lawyers as part of our international division and spanning two emerging, and highly competitive, markets in the GCC, we are able to function exceptionally with a deeper understanding of our clients’ businesses, provide commercially innovative and robust advice to ensure profitable business outcomes for our clients. Our expertise extends over a wide range of areas that cover local and foreign multinational corporations, banks and investment companies, industrial conglomerates, governments and state authorities, and private clients. Our diverse group of skilled and qualified professionals operating under the firm’s home grown culture of ethics, integrity and hard work has instilled loyalty and credibility across the GCC and international board.

Accolades:

  • Won National Law Firm in Kuwait Award for 2013 and Restructuring Deal of the Year by the International Financial Law Review
  • Selected Amongst the World’s Best Islamic Finance Law Practitioners by Euromoney Expert Guides in 2013
  • Exclusively ranked by Chambers & Partners as Kuwait’s only tier 1 law firm for business law in 2013
  • Won the prestigious “Best Equity Deal of the Year Award in the Middle East for 2012” at the 2012 International Financial Law Review Awards
  • Award recipient for the Best Law Firm in Kuwait in 2012 by the International Financial Law Review
  • Awarded as Best Law Firm in Kuwait Award for 2011 presented by the International Financial Law Review
  • Won the Construction Law Firm of the Year 2011 Award from UK’s leading finance magazine-Finance Monthly
  • Awarded the Best Restructuring Middle East Deal of the Year award for 2010 by International Financial Law Review
  • Recipient of the Best Law Firm in Kuwait award for 2010 by International Financial Law Review
  • Recipient of the Best Law Firm in Kuwait award for 2009 by International Financial Law Review
  • Won the Best M&A Deal of the Year 2009 award for its assistance in connection with the acquisition of the money exchange operations of Bahrain Financing Company B.S.C.(c).
  • Awarded the ‘Best Deal of the Year’ awards for Kuwait and Bahrain by Islamic Finance News in 2008
  • Leading and recommended Tier 1 law firm in Kuwait in the areas of banking, capital markets, and corporate and commercial law by International Financial Law Review in 2009

 

Abdul Razzaq Abdullah

Abdul Razzaq Abdullah is licensed to practice before the Court of Cassation and the Constitutional Court of Kuwait. He is a distinguished professional practicing law in Kuwait since 1972 and who combines excellent legal skills with the practical cultural, political and financial advice necessary to ensure his client’s success.

Abdul Razzaq Abdullah has the dexterity and legal expertise required to successfully manage his client’s legal issues. The success of Abdul Razzaq can be attributed to his absolute sincerity to his clients and his ability to work closely with them in order to achieve their objective. This commitment was developed much early in his career and was steadily increasing. When he started working as a lawyer for a prestigious law firm (Abdul Razzaq Al Sane Law Firm) he nurtured his work ethics and dedication to the legal profession.

After gaining years of valuable experience, Mr. Razzaq decided it was time to utilize his experience and venture out on to his own. It was then in 1972 that he opened his own Legal Practice, Abdul Razzaq Abdullah & Partners Law Firm. As his experience began to grow so did his clientele. Mr. Razzaq become a notable lawyer within Kuwait and the Gulf and became legal adviser for major clients. Mr. Razzaq was even called upon many times for legal consultation in drafting the new Legislations.

By specializing in Commercial Law practice Mr. Razzaq was able to focus his attention to the needs of his business clients, and to allow himself as well as his staff to become experts in the field of Commercial law. Realizing that the world is fast becoming a Global Society, Mr. Razzaq’s vision made him establish an International Department in his Law Firm. As Kuwait serves as a hub for trade with major Middle East countries, opening its doors to international investors, the need for multi-jurisdictional lawyers grew. That is precisely why he successfully ventured strategic alliances with Law firms around the world. Mr. Razzaq has successfully established a network of Law Firms in Major Capital Cities around the world. The firm currently represents Clients in Multi-Million Dollar cross border transactions.

Mr. Razzaq is a member of the Kuwait Bar Association and The International Bar Association (IBA). He is also a member of The Arab Regional Forum of the International Bar Association and a member of The Human Rights Institute of The International Bar Association.  Mr. Razzaq has been honored to be included in Who’s Who in the World. He has also been awarded for his outstanding contribution towards the study of Law in the “One Thousand Great Intellectuals Journal” and was also appointed as the Business Ambassador of Chamber of Commerce, India.

Mr. Razzaq has authored several articles on the subject of Commercial laws of Kuwait, Agency law, Banking and finance, Intellectual property law, complexities of setting up business, E-commerce, Commission law etc.

Advice to Kuwaiti & foreign business people: “I strongly advocate foreign investments because it paves way to economic prosperity. It appears that the basic economic situation in Kuwait is much favorable than any other time. Improvements in national economy will be largely dependent on reconstruction efforts, security and sound monetary and fiscal policies. The Central Statistics Department of the Ministry of Planning’s figures show that the contribution of oil and gas sectors has declined steadily. This is mainly due to fluctuations in the oil market. Taking into consideration that our natural asset is depleting and the country has few other resources emphasis should be give to other modes of economic growth.

It is to be noted that Kuwait is one of the pioneers in the Middle East region allowing foreign investment in its upstream. Kuwait consolidated its oil sector; privatized many of the government owned companies and allowed foreign investment even in its oil sector. Globalization of the world economy and trade has had a considerable impact on Kuwait’s economy, which is keeping its gates open for the foreign investors through promulgation of many new laws supporting foreign investors.