Marco De Leo


  • He takes the lead in coordinating matters managed from the Dubai office and involve other BonelliErede offices and other law firms in African & Middle East countries for cross-border matters as required. This ensure that our current and new clients obtain the renowned high standards quality services they expect from BonelliErede in Italy and elsewhere
  • Corporate law, with particular expertise in:
    • establishment/break-up of joint-ventures
    • mergers, demergers and capital transactions
    • extraordinary financing transactions
    • M&A
    • Private law
    • Corporate litigation, both judicial and extrajudicial
    • Management and coordination of multi-jurisdictional transactions, involving various African countries
  • Key sectors:
    • airports
    • automotive
    • pharmaceuticals
    • banking
    • fashion and luxury goods
  • Foreign languages: English


  • Member of the Africa Team
  • Member of the Luxury Focus Team
  • Member of the Shipping & Transport Focus Team
  • Made partner in 2019
  • Joined the firm in 2005
  • Author of various publications on the subjects of corporate law and private law

Ranking and Awards

The Legal 500 EMEA international legal directory lists Marco as one of Italy’s major experts in corporate law and mergers and acquisitions in the UAE.


“Marco De Leo is an excellent professional, who is business oriented and willing to deeply understand clients.”
(The Legal 500 EMEA)


  • Member of the Italian Bar
  • PhD in international law from the Trinity College, Dublin
  • Master’s degree in corporate law from the London School of Economics
  • Law degree from the Cattolica University of Milan

Knowledge Sharing

UAE to allow 100% foreign ownership of commercial companies as of June

Foreign ownership in the UAE seems to have finally reached a turning point. Following the issuance of Federal Decree Law No. 26 of 2020, the UAE’s minister of economy announced this past 19 May that foreign ownership restrictions for a range of activities in numerous sectors will be lifted …

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UAE Announces 100% Foreign Ownership of Commercial Companies

On last 23 November President of the UAE issued a decree (the “Decree”) which radically overhauls the existing foreign ownership regime in the UAE. Announcement of the Decree will be a welcome news to foreign investors contemplating doing business in the UAE and investors already present …

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The United States, Mexico and Canada Agreement (“USMCA”)

With the conclusion of the ratification process, the United States Mexico and Canada Agreement (USMCA) is set to enter into force on July 1, 2020.  The USMCA, replacing the NAFTA, will notably limit the scope of using arbitration to resolve investment disputes to those concerning violation of …

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UAE Cabinet reveals economic activities eligible for up to 100% foreign ownership

On 2 July 2019, the UAE Cabinet announced its decision regarding which sectors and activities would be included within the positive list referred to in the FDI Law, concerning Foreign Direct Investment, whose intent is to attract and encourage foreign direct investment by reducing the existing …

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UAE: issued new foreign direct investment law

On 30 October 2018, the president of the UAE issued the highly anticipated Federal Decree-Law No. 19 of 2018 concerning Foreign Direct Investment (the UAE FDI Law). This reform will simplify foreign direct investment, with the aim to boost the economy in the UAE region and will have an impac …

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UAE: Reforms opening to foreign investments

UAE is adopting strategic reforms to boost foreign direct investments in the UAE and thus reduce the UAE's economic reliance on the oil sector. Click here for more details from our Africa team.

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BonelliErede announces seven new partners - 4 February 2019

On 2 February, the partners’ meeting approved the appointment of seven new partners: Riccardo Bicciato, Riccardo Bordi, Marco De Leo, Gabriele Malgeri, Nicola Marchioro, Augusto Praloran and Francesca Secondari. Riccardo Bicciato (45) joined the firm in 2010 and specialises in banking and fin …

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BonelliErede announces integration of regional law firm Tribonian Law Advisors - 11 June 2018

BonelliErede announced today the integration of regional boutique law firm Tribonian Law Advisors (TLA), based in the UAE and operating in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia through an international partnership. The integration comes as a strategic move to further boost the firm’s ambitions to expand i …

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BonelliErede boosts international footprint with launch of Dubai office - 27 November 2017

Major international law firm BonelliErede today announced the firm’s latest milestone in its international expansion, with the launch of a new office in the heart of the prestigious Dubai International Financial Centre. Combined with the recent openings in Cairo and Addis Ababa, the firm now …

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