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ASAR – Al Ruwayeh & Partners Addresses Recent Amendments to Kuwait’s Companies’ Law

Kuwait’s leading tier one corporate law firm hosts the Kuwait Chapter of Corporate Counsel Middle East

Kuwait, 1st May, 2013: ASAR – Al Ruwayeh & Partners (ASAR), Kuwait’s leading and most prominent corporate law firm, and one of the region’s top tier firms recently led a panel discussion which focused on the impact of the recent amendments made to Kuwait’s new companies’ law. The event was held in collaboration with Corporate Counsel Middle East (CCME), Kuwait Chapter at the JW Marriott Hotel – Kuwait City.

During the event, Mr. Rob Little and Mr. Ezekiel Tuma both Partners at ASAR highlighted that several provisions of the new companies’ law (itself only issued in November 2012) had been amended in March 2013. The amendments include removing the 6 months deadline to comply with the new companies law; revising the manner in which a manager may be appointed or terminated; permitting a chief executive officer to be a board member; enabling the issuance of shares below a minimum nominal par value; and clarifying that a public joint stock company may be a holding company.

Mr. Rob Little, said: “The recent changes made to the new companies’ law reflect the country’s keenness to further align its business environment with best international practices. The fact that more amendments were introduced merely four months after the new companies’ law was passed is a step forward that underscores the synergy between the legislative and executive authorities. The amendments to the new law should have the effect of encouraging investment in Kuwait, facilitating expansion of existing businesses, and providing flexibility in the corporate law regime which will in turn assist businesses in finding concrete solutions appropriate to their circumstances.”

“The regulatory system in Kuwait is dynamic and, as such, businesses need to constantly monitor developments. Commercial entities will need to review their structures taking into account the introduction of the new company’s law and assess if changes either have to be made or would be recommended to make their operations more effective and profitable. We believe that this is a notable step forward for businesses in Kuwait as the new law is set to significantly improve the way companies are structured and how they operate, ultimately creating a stronger sense of confidence to invest in Kuwait as a solid growth market,” added Mr. Little.

With dedicated offices in Kuwait and Bahrain coupled with its associated offices and relationships, ASAR provides clients across an extensive range of industry sectors with comprehensive legal advice and support for their business activities in Kuwait, across the GCC and beyond.

The firm has been consistently rated as the leading corporate and commercial law firm in Kuwait by reputable legal guides such as the Chambers Global Guide, International Financial Law Review and the Legal 500. In 2012, ASAR was named as the “Best Law Firm in Kuwait 2012” by the International Financial Law Review (IFLR), the market-leading guide for financial law firms worldwide. The firm also won the “Best Equity Deal in the Middle East” award by IFLR during the same year.

Khalid Khan, Corporate Counsel Middle East’s board member in Kuwait said: “Business and regulation in the Middle East is becoming increasingly complex.  It’s important to keep up-to-date with changes in regulation to ensure compliance with new regulatory regimes, but also to profit from opportunity offered by those changes.”

Corporate Counsel Middle East is a professional body exclusively for in-house counsel in the Middle East.  It includes more than 200 active members, a network of 500+ in-house counsel and over 1,000 practicing lawyers in the Middle East.  It has recently extended its operations to Kuwait and this seminar is part of a series of free events sponsored by leading law firms in the Middle East, designed to promote the development of in-house lawyers and in-house practice across the GCC and to support the environment for growth and development of business in Kuwait and elsewhere in the GCC.