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Adam Vause

Adam Vause's knowledge of the risks and particularities of the region is exceptional. He is very hands-on, practical and easy to talk to.
Chambers Global 2022

Adam Vause has 20+ years’ experience advising multinational clients on complex commercial disputes and compliance matters, with a focus on the Middle East and Africa. As Co-Chair of our Global Compliance and Investigations Group from his Dubai base he regularly counsels clients on cross-border issues involving multiple jurisdictions.

Adam has helped countless listed and household-name companies and financial institutions resolve issues related to risk, fraud and regulatory matters, often in developing markets, and is recognised as a top ranked lawyer by the leading legal directories.

He has significant experience advising in relation to regulatory/criminal investigations and anti-corruption/business ethics (FCPA, UK Bribery Act and Middle East legislation) in connection with companies' compliance policies and procedures and disputes arising from joint ventures, distribution agreements and a wide range of corporate and banking transactions.

Adam also has experience as a government regulator, having worked at the UK Serious Fraud Office as an investigative lawyer and prosecutor.

Professional QualificationsSolicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales


  • Advising a global pharmaceutical company in relation to a wide ranging investigation into compliance issues across numerous jurisdictions in the Middle East.
  • Advising a global client in regard to ongoing investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission. 
  • Acting for an international financial institution on internal and regulatory investigations and related global asset tracing and litigation.
  • Advising a global provider of consumer products in respect of integrity and compliance issues raised by a whistleblower and conducting related investigations.
  • Advising a listed construction company on a compliance investigation in the Middle East and related negotiations with the Serious Fraud Office.
  • Advising an oil and gas services company on a Middle East focused corruption investigation and related negotiations with the Serious Fraud Office.

  • Acting for a global technology company in regard to proceedings before the civil and criminal courts in the UAE relating to an internal fraud. This matter included obtaining attachment orders over sums in UAE bank accounts.
  • Acting for a global pharmaceutical company in legal proceedings in the UAE regarding a dispute with its local distributor.
  • Acting for a North American consulting company in DIFC-LCIA arbitration proceedings regarding a joint-venture dispute in the Middle East.
  • Acting for a Swiss bank in relation to legal proceedings in the UAE and India regarding recovery of substantial sums lost due to a fraud.
  • Advising an international information and communications technology company on an internal investigation regarding allegations of corruption and fraud within its Middle East operations.
  • Advising an international bank in respect of an internal investigation concerning allegations of improper conduct and regulatory issues.
  • University of Nottingham, BA (Hons) Law, 1995
  • The College of Law, Legal Practice Course, 1996


  • Adam Vause co-chairs the global investigations group at DLA Piper from his base in Dubai. He is widely commended for this Middle East anti-corruption and anti-bribery practice. He frequently advises clients on regulatory issues as well as internal compliance policies. His experience as a former UK SFO prosecutor provides him a unique understanding of the UK Bribery Act and related fraud matters.
  • Adam is ranked in the “Hall of Fame” for investigations by Legal 500.
  • Adam has been ranked Tier 1 in Corporate Investigations by Chambers Global each year since 2015 and in Chambers Global 2023 was commended for his anti-corruption and anti-bribery practice and advice on regulatory and compliance issues. Clients noted “Adam is a leader in his field. He brings proper enforcement experience to the region”, “He’s always a pleasure to work with. He is technically strong on cross-border regulatory investigations and asset-tracing engagements.”, “On complex international cases where reporting to a US or UK regulator, he knows what the expectations are and can provide meaningful guidance”.
  • Adam’s previous plaudits in Chambers Global include:
    • “I always find him to be incredibly responsive, with an understanding of business issues well beyond the confines of his day-to-day practice, which makes him an excellent relationship partner and advocate.“;
    • “Adam Vause is pragmatic and practical in his approach to investigations”;
    • “[his] knowledge of the risks and peculiarities of the region is exceptional. He is very hands-on, practical and easy to talk to”;
    • "first rate lawyer”;
    • “very competent and very strong in investigations” with a “strong track record in regulatory mandates”;
    • “incredibly responsive, very clear and concise in communication, and very pragmatic”;
    • “very calm and pleasant to work with; take that personality trait and combine it with his expertise, and it’s a very comforting experience”;
    • “extremely well versed in different sectors, and has a good working relationship with local companies”;
    • “widely recognised for his expertise on contention work in Bahrain, in particular for representing financial institutions on cross-border disputes”;
    • "acclaimed for his broad experience locally and regionally”; and
    • “a lawyer with significant experience and a clear cut approach” with “a track record of advising international companies in Bahrain and the wider region”.

Insight Overview

Adam regularly undertakes speaking engagements at conferences and other events. In recent years he has spoken on issues including anti-corruption compliance, the development of fraud litigation in the Middle East, international trends in corporate integrity enforcement/the UK Bribery Act, international sanctions, the Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution, civil unrest and force majeure and the Bahrain Corporate Governance Code.

Adam has also contributed articles to a number of publications including the IBA Arbitration newsletter, Business in Gulf, Arbitration: the International Journal of Arbitration, Mediation and Dispute Management, Getting the Deal Through (chapter on arbitration in Bahrain),, Gulf Construction and Islamic Business and Finance.


  • Corruption Perceptions Index 2020 – a Middle East and North Africa perspective, 11 February 2021
  • No "one-size-fits-all": Read the SFO guidance on evaluating compliance programmes, Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence, 3 February 2020
  • The UAE's fight against bribery and corruption, 16 July 2019
  • Saudi Arabia expands anti-bribery legislation to the private sector, 16 May 2019
  • Whistleblower protections and disclosure obligations - recent developments in the DIFC, 7 April 2019
  • Pursuing non-performing loans in the Middle East, 22 May 2017

Memberships And Affiliations

  • Registered DIFC Courts' Practitioner