Since its founding, Banking has been at the core of AJA's practice. The renowned standing of the Firm for resolving complex and novel legal issues is exemplified by the work of our global Banking team.

Our clients leading commercial and investment banks and other financial institutions are pursuing bold strategies aimed at winning dominance in hotly contested markets, developing new products and services to meet the customers' growing needs, expanding their networks and building synergies between their commercial and investment banking operations.

We help our clients manage their diverse operations, and raise capital by providing value-added strategic advice to their management.

Among the comprehensive services provided by our Banking group are:

Organization Structure

AJA advises local banks and foreign banks wishing to establish in Lebanon on alternative forms of organization through which such organizations may conduct their banking and other operations.

We are able to alert clients on every factor they need to consider from long-term implications to short-term factors such as organizational costs, timing, and hazards in the regulatory application process.

Internal Controls and Compliance / Corporate Governance

We advise boards of directors, senior executives and other officers on the array of legal issues that affect their competitiveness including disclosure and filing requirements.

We work with clients to evaluate and strengthen their internal controls, specialized committees structures and authorities, risk management processes, and compliance programs coordinating our efforts with their internal and external accountants and other professional advisors. We have extensive experience with internal reorganizations, bank secrecy issues, internal investigations and negotiating settlements of enforcement actions by banking, law enforcement, and securities regulators.

Permissible Activities

We consistently help clients achieve their business objectives within the constraints of the myriad of capital adequacy and banking, securities, tax, and other laws to which they are subject. As a matter of fact, a number of our clients are significant players in the capital marketplace because of our success in helping them secure essential regulatory approvals.

As the boundaries of permissible activities and investments expand, we counsel clients on extending their services into new areas. We have been at the forefront of advising commercial banking clients as they push forward into the investment banking business.

Regulatory Advice and Relationship Management

The Firm advises clients on the many issues related to managing, operating, and controlling banking institutions that are subject to the provisions of local banking laws and increasingly to international regulations such as the Basel accords.

The lawyers in our banking group have strong relationships with all major bank regulators, in Lebanon and abroad, including the Central Bank of Lebanon, the Banking Control Commission, the Special Money Laundering Commission, the Beirut Stock Exchange and MIDCLEAR sal. We are hence able to rapidly and effectively assist our clients to manage their relations with the relevant regulators.

We work with clients to build productive relationships with regulators at all levels including supranational regulatory authorities when they are planning geographic or service expansions or refocusing their operations.

Commercial Lending

AJA has unparalleled experience advising banking and other financial services clients on a wide range of domestic and international extensions of credit, such as secured and unsecured credit facilities, syndicated and non-syndicated, and single and multicurrency-denominated facilities. These include acceptance and letter of credit facilities, receivable and other asset-based financings, and project loans of all types, as well as structured commercial paper programs and commercial paper backup facilities. The Firm represents its clients in their various roles in financing transactions: lenders, underwriters, arrangers, and agents.

We typically represent banks and other financial institutions in connection with amendments to previously existing credit documentation or exchanges of new instruments for existing instruments.

Investment Banks

A main arm of our Banking practice is the Investment Banking division. We intervene with expert legal advice throughout the different operations of our clients in the private banking sector by helping companies raise money by issuing and selling securities, acting as intermediaries in trading for clients, maintaining broker/dealer operations, offering strategic advisory services to investors, or facilitating mergers and acquisitions, private equity placements and corporate finance.

Corporate Transactions

We advise our banking and financial services clients on their own corporate acquisitions, particularly the acquisition and/or establishment by banks of firms in securities businesses.

We offer pragmatic solutions to the array of capitalization and re-capitalization related issues confronting banking organizations and their subsidiaries including capital raising schemes and mezzanine financings such as preferred stock.

Acquisition & Project Finance

A major component of the Firm's banking practice consists in advising lending institutions in financing domestic and cross-border equity and other investments and handling all aspects of the deal structure, negotiation and documentation.

AJA has represented lenders and arrangers in various industries including many of the largest real estate and other projects. We assist with all issues such as collateral, the relationships between senior and subordinated lenders, and other particulars of the syndicated loan market and structured finance.