Islamic, or shariah-compliant, finance is practised in various jurisdictions throughout the world. Although each country will have variations, one of the most striking features of Islamic finance as a legal discipline is that it includes core concepts and structures that cross jurisdictional boundaries. Given the importance and ubiquity of these concepts and structures, a short introduction to them is in order.
In practice, Islamic financial institutions and investors typically engage shariah scholars to establish investment guidelines and parameters for investment activity. Efforts have been made to increase uniformity among these shariah advisers, in the hope of creating a more standardised market. For example, the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions, a non-profit industry-sponsored organisation, issues non-binding shariah standards developed in consultation with industry practitioners. Other influential bodies include the Fiqh Academy of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Shari’ah Supervisory Board of the Islamic Development Bank, and the Islamic Financial Services Board in Kuala Lumpur. These bodies and individual shariah scholars provide the context for Islamic finance generally. The degree to which their rules are incorporated into legal regimes varies between jurisdictions.
Islamic finance has grown rapidly over the past 20 years, in market participants, structuring expertise and transaction types. Though still a relatively small industry compared with the overall financial market, Islamic finance is vibrant.
Andrew M Metcalf
Andrew Metcalf is a partner in the Middle East and Islamic finance practice group in King & Spalding’s New York office. A graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, Mr Metcalf joined King & Spalding after being in corporate practice in Cairo, Egypt, for two-and-a-half years. Over the past 15 years, he has represented a number of clients in shariah-compliant finance and investment transactions, including private equity acquisitions, real estate transactions, working capital financing, structured and subordinated financings, and letter of credit/guarantee facilities. He has also represented financial institutions and their customers in connection with domestic and international finance transactions, including secured and unsecured credit facilities, asset-based loan facilities, structured financings, project financings, bridge financings, acquisition credits, participations, syndications, subordinated debt facilities, letter of credit facilities and other credit-related transactions.
Michael Rainey is a partner in the Middle East and Islamic finance practice group in King & Spalding’s Dubai and London offices. A graduate of Otago University, New Zealand, Mr Rainey joined King & Spalding in 2004 after spending time in private practice in Auckland, New Zealand and London. Mike Rainey has significant experience advising lenders and borrowers with a focus on project finance in the GCC and representation of investors from the Middle East investing in European and GCC real estate with leverage on both a conventional and shariah-compliant basis.
The publisher acknowledges and thanks the following for their learned assistance throughout the preparation of this book: