Freshfields and Links lead on RBS’s UAE sell-off

Magic circle duo Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters have bagged the leading roles on the sale of RBS’s UAE retail banking business to Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB).

The $100m (£67m) deal marks the first time a local UAE bank has bought an international bank’s retail arm.

Freshfields acted for ADCB, fielding a team led by Abu Dhabi corporate partner David Higgins. RBS turned to Linklaters for advice, with Dubai-based corporate partner Nick Garland leading.

Higgins said: “This was a very complex transaction and an important one for ADCB in order for them to grow their business in the UAE. We’re delighted to be involved in such a historical cross-border transaction and a first-of-its-kind deal in the UAE.”

The RBS business boasts more than 250,000 customers in the region, with three branches and two customer service centres.