Lawyer Profile Detail

Karl Tabbakh


Managing Partner, Québec Region


Capital Markets
Public Companies


London, UK


+44 (0)20 7786 5729


[email protected]



Université de Montréal


Québec, 1998


Karl Tabbakh is the Regional Managing Partner for Québec. A professional with deep business acumen, extensive global experience, and exceptional relationship-building skills, Karl is committed to delivering business solutions and results for clients.

As a corporate lawyer and strategic advisor focused on private equity, mergers and acquisitions, securities and capital markets, Karl led and participated in the negotiation and structuring of some of the most high profile and strategically critical transactions in Canada, the Middle East and globally.

With over 20 years of experience structuring, negotiating, executing and closing critical business transactions in Québec and around the world, Karl uses his deep knowledge of transactions and global experience to ensure clients are well-served and equipped with an understanding of both legal and business implications during major decisions.

In addition to his legal expertise, Karl brings a unique investor and business experience to our clients. In 2012, he co-founded a venture capital and private equity firm in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Prior to that, Karl was a partner within the world’s largest law firm which he joined in 2008 to start up their Abu Dhabi office and head its corporate practice.

Karl spent seven years in the Middle East and was Chairman of the Canadian Business Council in Abu Dhabi where he developed strong understanding of the Middle East markets and solid connections in the UAE business community. Previous to that, he was a partner in McCarthy Tétrault’s Business Law Group, where he had started his career in 1995. He worked in the Montréal, Toronto and London, UK offices until 2008 and, upon his return to Canada in 2016, he rejoined the firm.

Karl acts as a director on the boards of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the National Circus School.

He received his LLB from Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto, in 1997 after completing his BCL at the Université de Montreal in 1996. He also obtained a B.Comm. from Université Laval in Québec City. Karl was called to the Québec bar in 1998 and qualified as Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales in 2002.

He speaks French, English and Arabic.

Karl’s relevant experience includes:

  • Advising Rio Tinto plc in connection with its US$38.1 billion recommended take-over bid of Alcan Inc. This was the largest take-over to close in Canadian history.
  • Advising US-based Mesirow Financial in connection with a strategic joint venture with sovereign wealth fund Mubadala to create a regional investment advisory company with global capabilities to focus on currency and commodity risk management.
  • Advising the UAE-based telecom operator, in connection with a strategic joint venture with US-based Equinix to create the first carrier neutral data centre in the Middle East;
  • Advising several technology start-ups in connection with various financing rounds (from Series A, B to later stage) as well as strategic investments, acquisitions or divestitures;
  • Advising US-based Advanced Micro Devices Inc. in connection with the $5.5 billion take-over of ATI Technologies Inc.
  • Advising Prudential of America in relation to their joint venture with sovereign wealth find Mubadala, to establish a global real estate investment management company in Abu Dhabi.
  • Advising Al Futtaim Group, one of the largest diversified conglomerates in the Middle East, in connection with their US$ 1.6 billion joint venture with Qatar-based Qatar Islamic Bank and Aqar to establish a development company for the development of a large mixed-use project in Doha.
  • Advising Qatar First Investment Bank in connection with its acquisition, together with a consortium of private equity investors, of Qatar Construction and Engineering for US$120 million.
  • Advising CP Ships Limited, a major container shipping company listed on TSX and NYSE, in connection with the $2 billion takeover bid by TUI AG;
  • Advising Molson Inc., a major Canadian brewery listed on the TSX, in connection with its merger of equals with Coors Brewing Company evaluated at approximately $6 billion; and
  • Advising Hapag Lloyd, major German container shipping company, in connection with several strategic private mergers and acquisitions in Canada and the US.



Transactions & Cases

Our Firm

McCarthy Tétrault delivers integrated business law, tax, real property, labour and employment, and litigation services nationally and globally through offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montréal, Québec City, as well as in New York City and London, UK.