Dubai debt group looks to Ashurst

A group holding more than 25 percent of the nominal value of certificates worth a total of $3.5bn (£2.1bn) have turned to the top 10 firm.

The notes, issued by Dubai World subsidiary and property developer Nakheel, are due 14 December.

Islamic finance partner Abradat Kamalpour and restructuring partners Matt McDonald and David Von Saucken are understood to be taking a lead role.

This comes after the Dubai government requested a six-month standstill on its debt obligations and that it would look to restructure certain units of the wholly-owned company Dubai World, including Nakheel.

An estimated 90 creditors have lent money to Dubai World including Barclays, Credit Suisse, HSBC, Lloyds and RBS. But the biggest single creditor outside of Dubai is believed to be Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, which is owed in the region of $1.9bn (£1.2bn).

Allen & Overy is thought to have a role advising some of the banks. Dubai-based banking partners Bimal Desai, Christian Saunders and Ian Ingram-Johnson were involved in arranging some of the original financing.

On the debtor side Clifford Chance’s Dubai office is understood to be advising Dubai World on the proposed restructuring of certain aspects of the business, with partners Simon Clinton and Robin Abraham thought to have key roles.

Latham & Watkins is believed to have a role on matters linked to the debt standstill.

Ashurst declined to comment.