People and places
Iran has suffered since the administration of Donald J. Trump scuttled the multilateral 2015 nuclear deal, calling it “the worst deal ever” when he withdrew the United States from the pact in 2018. After Trump quit the deal, sanctions were reimposed – and Iran began making progress toward having the capacity to make its own nuclear bomb.
Law firms and banks are cognizant of the risks of assisting businesses and individuals who are out of compliance with the sanctions. A number of international law firms do have practices focussing on Iran, though often from offices in Europe rather than from Tehran.
There is some work to be done in intellectual property, particularly in trademarks, but, as is the case in most of the Middle East, there is more work in oil and gas, finance and projects.
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Mojtaba Nayyer is office manager of the Tehran office of Abu-Ghazaleh Intellectual Property (AGIP), a regional IP firm with its roots in Kuwait, and its current headquarters in Jordan. Nayyer is noted for his work in IP, contract law and business law. The firm has been involved in revising and drafting important IP laws and regulations in at least half a dozen Arab countries, including the United Arab Emirates. The firm has offices spread across more than 30 predominantly Muslim jurisdictions, as well as in China, India and Russia, each with their own significant Muslim minority populations.
The Arman Pirouzan Parvine Legal Institute (APP), an Iranian firm that works in association with the Iran team at Dentons, provides advice on pharmaceuticals, medicine, food and agriculture, trademark and commercial litigation and arbitration. Like other firms in Iran, the firm also offers advice on sanctions imposed by Western nations. Pirouzan Parvine, who established the Dentons Iran desk following the lifting of UN sanctions in 2016, is based in Paris; Julia Pfeil in Frankfurt and Andreas Haak in Düsseldorf are other key Iran players for Dentons. APP Legal Institute is based in Tehran.
The IP group at Atai & Associates advises on how to establish, strengthen and protect IP assets of a business, and on agreements including exploitation, outsourcing, licensing and technology transfer. Partner Kourosh Atai is a key contact for IP and IT, ecommerce, company formation, commercial law and corporate governance matters.
Bayan Emrooz International Law Firm is located in Tehran, and offers intellectual and ecommerce and cyberspace practices along with others targeting corporate and commercial clients. Managing partner Mohammad Rahmani can be counted for IP advice, among other things. Atie Yasini is a key contact for international trade matters.
The practice areas at Dadflamingo include intellectual property, privacy and cybersecurity, international trade law, litigation and other commercially-based practices. Founding partner Youssef Ghassemi has a Ph.D. in technology and IP law. The firm has helped the Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute negotiate international arrangements and draft cross-border agreements. Razi is involved in the production of more than 50 biologicals, with more than 1,300 staff and six branches in Iran.
Elite Pars has advised numerous IT market players, including telecommunications carriers, mobile app developers, ISPs, internet content distributors, wireless and optical equipment vendors and service providers. Its life sciences and health care practice advises on a wide variety of transactional (e.g. licensing, distributorship and collaborations), regulatory and litigation matters in this sector, the firm also provides comprehensive advice to pharmaceutical, biotech and medical equipment companies. Navid Rahbar Sato is a founder and managing director of the firm; Mojtaba Jafari leads the firm’s IP and litigation departments.
Hatami & Associates International Law Firm has offices in Tehran and Tabriz, and offers advice on a range of intellectual property matters. Partner Shahrzad Pourhamzeh previously worked as a legal consultant at the Iran Telecom Research Centre and has great familiarity with license contracts. Partner Ali Pirmoradi has experience negotiating and drafting software production and license contracts, shopping mall operation and management contracts, international lease contracts and companies’ articles of association.
Sabeti & Khatami offers advice on corporate and commercial matters, as well as projects and disputes. As part of its corporate and commercial work, the firm handles licensing, regulatory and compliance matters, and sales, procurement, agency, distribution, manufacturing and franchising agreements. It also handles import, export and customs matters.
London-based Stephen Ashley focusses on matters relating to Iran at Stephenson Harwood. He has a formidable sanctions practice, and advises on a broad range of complex commercial disputes. The firm also has an office in Dubai, where office managing partner Rania Tadros is well-respected for her work in international arbitration, international trade and restructuring and insolvency.
T&S Associates was established in the early 1960s; after the 1979 Revolution, the firm changed its name to Tavakoli & Shahabi. In 2013, it became known as T&S Associates. In addition to intellectual property, the firm offers advice in food and beverage, franchising, import/export, IT and outsourcing, licensing, foreign investment, telecommunications and a host of other practice areas.