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 & Logistics 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 the UAE’s major experts in corporate law and mergers and acquisitions.


“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

The UAE reforms its arbitration law

The UAE has recently introduced a significant reform to its arbitration law aimed at making international arbitration in the UAE more efficient, flexible, and attractive to domestic and international companies. Our Dubai Team and

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Bahrain launches its golden license

The Kingdom of Bahrain has announced the launch of the “golden license” for strategic projects as part of its efforts to attract large scale investment from across the world. The Bahraini Cabinet approved the golden license to enhance the investment environment in the Kingdom, enter into …

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The KSA’s Regional Headquarters Program

The KSA recently launched an initiative to encourage foreign companies to establish their regional headquarters (RHQs) in the country or relocate existing RHQs there. Once the related law comes into force on 1 January 2024, foreign companies with RHQs in the KSA will not be permitted to cont …

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The UAE issues its Corporate Income Tax law

The UAE Federal Tax Authority has published Federal Law Decree No. 47 of 9 December 2022 on the Taxation of Corporations and Businesses (“CIT Law”), which sets out the legislative basis for the introduction of a UAE federal corporate income tax. The long-awaited CIT Law will be effective …

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UAE amends VAT law

Over the last two months, the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has issued some major changes to the tax rules, including Federal Decree Law 18/2022, which is the first amendment to the VAT law since its introduction in 2018, and Cabinet Decree 99/2022, which amends the executive regulations on the V …

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Dubai’s New Labour Law comes into force

The United Arab Emirates Cabinet recently approved a new Labour Law on the regulation of labor relations, which comes into force on 2 February 2022. This reform represents a major milestone in the development of the UAE’s labour environment. Our

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Abu Dhabi launches virtual licence for non-resident foreign investors

Doing business in Abu Dhabi has just got easier with a “virtual licence” for non-resident investors coming into the picture. The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development has introduced a virtual licence allowing non-resident investors to obtain an economic licence to do business in t …

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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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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 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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