Banking & Insurance Sector Practice

The firm provides an advisory service to several major private banks, insurance companies and financial intermediaries. Sarkis & Associates is commented as having “particular strength in handling finance-related work, as well as dispute work for banks and insurance companies” in the Legal 500.

Specifically, the firm was a pioneer in assisting in the incorporation of the first private bank in Syria. In addition the firm incorporated four conventional banks and one Islamic bank, and is assisted in the incorporation of a number of insurance companies. We also remain as advisors to all their day-to-day operations and major local and international transactions.

With the development of the financial market regulations and institutions in Syria, the firm is advising a number of financial services firms on their establishment and operation under the Syrian Law.

Further, the firm is a pioneer in advising on microfinance related issues starting from reviewing and commenting the new Syrian Microfinance legislations to assisting in establishing the first microfinance institution in Syria.

Incorporation and Advisory Services:

  • 2005 – 2008 – incorporated a number of conventional and Islamic Insurance companies in Syria as well as providing advisory services on their daily operations including Arope Syria, Solidarity Insurance and Aman Syria and presenting them in all litigations
  • 2005 - Incorporated Bank of Syria and Over Seas a subsidiary of BLOM sa as the first private bank in Syria and is the legal advisor to date
  • 2006 – Incorporated Banque Audi Syria a subsidiary of the Lebanese Banque Audi and is the legal advisor to date
  • 2007 – Incorporated Syrian International Islamic Bank a subsidiary of Qatar Islamic Bank
  • 2008 Incorporated Al Sharq Bank a subsidiary of Banque Libano Francaise and is the legal advisor to date
  • 2008 – Incorporation of the first MicroFinance Institution Syria of the Agha Khan Development Network – the first MFI under the new law and legal advisor to date
  • Provided legal services and advice to other banks and international finance institutions with business interests in Syria.

Advisory Services to other Financial Institutions:

  • 2009 - Legal Advisor to PROPARCO Bank, France pursuing a full-fledged legal due diligence of the Syrian Financial and Banking legal framework
  • 2008 - Legal counsel for the French Development Agency including drafting their framework agreement for setting up their operations in Syria and pursuing a full-fledged legal due diligence of the Syrian Financial legal framework
  • 2007 – 2008 – incorporated a number of financial services companies including IFA, Shuaa Capital, BSO Finacial Services and Audi Capital

Development Services:

  • 2009 – Advisors to the World Bank Mission on the Establishment of an Investment Unit (Fund) of the General Establishment of Social Insurance in Syria
  • December 2009 - conducted a Seminar on Model Banking Documents in Syria in collaboration with the Syrian Bar Association and the German Banking Agency
  • 2008 – 2009 G Delivering general and customised in-house training courses to private banks on the banking, corporate and financial legal framework in Syria
  • 2007 - Special Legal Counsel to CGAP's Mission on the Legal and Regulatory Environment for Microfinance in Syria
  • 2004 - legal advisors to IFC Project: " The Syrian Insurance Market and Criteria for Future Investment"