Add a bookmark to get started


Iain Skinner


Iain Skinner advises clients based in the UAE and Middle East region on all aspects of the employment relationship. His practice covers a variety of different sectors with a particular focus on Financial Services, Technology, Life Sciences, Energy and Resources, and Infrastructure, Construction and Transport and FMCG.

He regularly advises clients on non-contentious matters such as assisting in the transfer of employees, reviewing contracts of employment and handbooks and advising on the recruitment of employees into the Middle East region. Iain also assists clients with senior executive terminations and exit strategies and has particular experience in the areas of restrictive covenants, protecting client's confidential information, workplace harassment, workplace investigations, the use of social media and employee incentives.

On contentious matters, Iain has been involved in both free zone and onshore UAE labour disputes and litigations, covering all types of employment (and criminal) claims. He also supports colleagues in the corporate and restructuring groups on the employee aspects of mergers & acquisitions and restructuring. 

In the last year, Iain has been a leading contact on matters including sensitive investigations relating to allegations of misconduct, whistleblowing, senior executive dismissals, disputes over confidentiality and breach of restrictive covenants and drafting new contracts and policies for clients. He works very closely with our local litigation team on employment disputes, many of which have a criminal aspect to them. 

Areas of FocusEmployment


  • Advising clients in relation to the enforcement of restrictive covenants and the misuse of confidential information including obtaining remedies in the courts.
  • Principal advisor to many international companies on all strategic employment matters covering issues such as employment litigation, diversity, whistleblowing, executive terminations, contract change, global mobility and secondments.
  • Advising a large international Bank on a sensitive investigation concerning a dignity at work issue.
  • Principal employment law advisor to global commercial insurance and reinsurance broker with operations in the DIFC.
  • Advised international payments and fintech company on management restructure and the associated exit of C-Suite Executives.
  • Provide day to day employment support to one of the world’s largest fintech companies with operations in the UAE. Advice covers all strategic employment matters covering issues such as employment litigation, diversity, whistleblowing, executive terminations, contract change, global mobility and secondments, in addition to supporting the transition of the workforce from mainland UAE to the DIFC.
  • Investigation of complaints for international clients relating to workplace issues, business and ethics conduct.
  • Advised an international oil and gas company on the implementation of redundancy procedures and handling employee relations in connection with the closure of the workplace.
  • Advised well known company on the implementation of new terms and conditions of employment including termination and re-engagement.
  • Advising a company on the dismissal of a large number of senior employees following investigation into inappropriate workplace conduct.
  • University of Strathclyde, Diploma in Legal Practice, 1999
  • University of Glasgow, LLB, 1998
  • University of Stirling, BA Hons 1st Class History and Political Science, 1996


  • An introduction to the UAE unemployment insurance scheme, 13 October 2022
  • Ramadan in the GCC, 23 Apr 2019
  • The UAE ‘hate law’: Application and abuse, 17 Feb 2019
  • GCC Roundup labour law developments and public holidays, 15 Nov 2018
  • Ramadan in the GCC, 15 Apr 2018
  • Restrictive covenants in the UAE, 22 Nov 2017
  • Article on Federal Law No.2 of 2015 - on Combating Discrimination and Hatred, Jan 2016

Prior Experience

  • 2017 – Date, Legal Director, DLA Piper Middle East
  • 2013 – 2017, Senior Legal Consultant, DLA Piper Middle East
  • 2005 – 2013, Assistant, Associate and Senior Associate, DLA Piper
  • 2004 – 2005, Assistant, law firm based in Glasgow
  • 2003 – 2004, Assistant, law firm based in London
  • 1999 – 2003, Trainee and Assistant, law firm based in Edinburgh