Dispute resolution: arbitration in Egypt

Matouk Bassiouny & Hennawy

Matouk Bassiouny & Hennawy frequently works in partnership with international law firms to handle cross-border arbitration. It recently worked with King & Spalding LLP to secure a $2bn award for Union Fenosa Gas from the Egyptian government. The practice, which is led by Amr Abbas and John Matouk, acts for blue-chip clients in high-value matters in many fora across Africa and Europe, and has a successful track record in cases involving the telecoms, energy, hospitality, pharmaceuticals, finance and construction sectors.

Practice head(s):

Amr Abbas and John Matouk

Key clients

Etisalat Misr, S.A.E.

Union Fenosa Gas

Melia Hotels International

Emirates International Investment Company

Reliance Heavy Industries S.A.E. (RHI)

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended Etisalat Misr in CRCICA arbitral proceedings against a claim of approximately EGP230m and won an award of approximately EGP750m.
  • Acted for Union Fenosa Gas in arbitral proceedings under ICSID and CRCICA, with the ICSID proceedings resulting in an award of $2bn.
  • Successfully represented Melia Hotels International in CRCICA arbitration concerning a dispute arising out of a hotel management agreement entered into with Sharm Tourism Projects.

Shahid Law Firm

Shahid Law Firm is 'a well-established firm with a strong team and an excellent reputation in local disputes, especially arbitration'. The firm is frequently involved in landmark arbitration cases in Egypt and internationally, among which are the Peace Pipeline cases in which the team is acting for claimants in gas supply disputes against the Arab Republic of Egypt. Managing partner Girgis Abd El-Shahid and US-qualified César R. Ternieden are the lead practitioners. Senior associate Inji Fathalla is a rising star.

Practice head(s):

Girgis Abd El-Shahid; Sarwat Abd El-Shahid

Testimonials

The firm has a very professional team that serves the client with what they promise. As a client we achieved very high success rates with the firm.

Girgis Abd ElShahid is an up-and-coming star, particularly in international arbitration.

What makes Shahid unique is that they are not only experts in Egyptian law, but also experts in Egyptian administrative practice. They know the political landscape, they know how the different branches of the Egyptian government work and how the law as written is actually practised by the various authorities. When you are advising a foreign investor in Egypt, having Shahid on your team really makes a difference.

Managing partner Girgis Abd El-Shahid knows Egyptian law inside and out. He is also an excellent comparative lawyer, so he can easily explain how principles of Egyptian law correspond to principles in other legal systems. This makes him highly effective as an adviser and as an advocate. He is very responsive and easy to work with.

Senior associate Inji Fathalla is an excellent arbitration lawyer and is certainly one to watch.

The team has strong written and oral advocacy skills, sharp analysis of legal problems, and a solid understanding of local laws and procedures. The individuals we work with are very responsive and have a good understanding of our industry.

Key clients

East Mediterranean Gas and a significant number of its shareholders

Rina

Tantalum Mining

Sonesta Group

Shalakany Law Office

Shalakany Law Office has 'an excellent reputation among international clients'. It has a longstanding reputation in arbitration and continues to be involved in large international matters, which last year included a multibillion-dollar investment dispute in London. Khaled El Shalakany, who also sits an an arbitrator, and US-qualified Adam El Shalakany are the key practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Khaled El Shalakany; Adam El Shalakany

Testimonials

Strong internal communication with different partners and associates within the firm and excellent, fast and accurate dialogue with overseas lawyers.

Key clients

Peugeot Automobiles

beIN Media Group

Metro Jet Airlines and Ingosstrakh Insurance Company

General Motors

International Republican Institute

Emaar Malls Group

Emaar Premix

TUV

Tarek Riad - Legal Consultants and Attorneys at Law

Tarek Riad - Legal Consultants and Attorneys at Law suffered the sad loss of respected partner Dr. Ahmed El Kosheri in 2019, but remains a leading name for arbitration. Tarek F Riad, who served as chair of the executive committee of the Dubai International Arbitration Centre for six years, is ‘a heavyweight arbitrator’. The firm acts largely for international clients, among which are Four Seasons and Philip Morris, though it also represents the Egyptian government in high-profile matters.

Testimonials

Tarek F. Riad is a heavyweight arbitrator.

Key clients

Siemens

The Egyptian Government

The Government of Kuwait,

Transocean

Josef Meissner GmbH

Misr Insurance

Nicholson Manufacturing Company (Seattle)

Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company

Telemedia Egypt

Organization for Industrial and Mining Projects

Youssef & Partners Attorneys

Youssef & Partners Attorneys was founded just three years ago but has rapidly expanded. It now employs 20+ lawyers, having started with just six. Karim Youssef heads the team. The firm's main focus is international arbitration and it plays an important role in large commercial and investment treaty arbitration claims across Egypt, the Middle East and the wider African continent. The team also saw notable expansion with the recruitment of César R. Ternieden from Shahid Law Firm and senior counsel Mohammed Gomaa from Zaki Hashem & Partners, Attorneys at Law.

Practice head(s):

Karim Youssef

Key clients

Cementos La Union SA (and Aridos Jativa SLU) (CLU)

Al-Kholoud for Touristic and Real Estate Development S.A.E.

British Columbia Canadian International School (BCCIS)

Ginza for Construction and Real Estate Development S.A.E.

National Telecommunications Holding Co. (NTC)

CTIP Oil & Gas Ltd (CTIP)

Arabian Cement Company (ACC)

EgyptAir

INCOME – International Company for Petroleum & Industrial Services

VEOLIA Propreté Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for foreign investors Cementos La Union S.A and Aridos Jativa S.L.U. in one of the largest treaty claims brought against Egypt under the Spain-Egypt BIT.
  • Representing the claimant Al-Kholoud for Touristic and Real Estate Development S.A.E. in an arbitration, which relates to privatisation issues surrounding post-Arab Spring arbitration in Egypt and the Middle East.
  • Acting for Al-Kholoud for Touristic and Real Estate Development S.A.E. in an arbitration, which relates to privatisation issues surrounding post-Arab Spring arbitration in Egypt and the Middle East.

Zaki Hashem & Partners, Attorneys at Law

Zaki Hashem & Partners, Attorneys at Law  has a strong domestic and international client base, which includes Accor Hotels, Orascom and Vodafone Egypt. Senior partner Mohammed Gomaa, who leads both the projects and the arbitration practices, is recognised as a leading practitioner and frequently acts as sole arbitrator in matters involving both public or private entities relating to construction, commercial agencies, investment, telecoms, shipbuilding and many other issues.

Practice head(s):

Mohamed Gomaa

Key clients

Accor Hotels

Abu Ghali Motors

American University in Cairo (AUC)

Damac

Orascom Construction Industries Co. S.A.E. (OCI)

Solidere International Limited & Solidere Egypt Real Estate Investment and Development Company S.A.E

Vodafone Egypt Telecommunications S.A.E.

Petroleum Marine Services (PMS)

Egyptian German Automotive Co. EGA S.A.E

Damietta International Port Company (DIPCO)

Gulf Egypt for Hotels & Tourism

United for Trading and Transport S.A.E

Mapei S.P.A

SUBEX – Serena Beach Hotel Company

Hilton International Company

Landmark Gulf Group (Fun City Egypt S.A.E)

Egyptian Linear Alkyl Benzene (ELAB)

Egyptian Natural Gas Company (Gasco)

Hebeish Group

ARABCO for Petroleum Industries

Zulficar & Partners Law Firm

Zulficar & Partners Law Firm fields 'a high-class arbitration team', It is known for successfully prosecuting complex and high-value arbitral proceedings and has notable expertise in sectors such as telecoms, construction, real estate, tourism, banking, energy and media. Lead partner Mohamed Abdel Wahab is 'respected on a global level in arbitration'. Newly promoted partner Youssef Al Saman has 'a very commercial outlook and knows the market'.

Practice head(s):

Mohamed Abdel Wahab

Testimonials

The firm has done wonderfully well and Mohamed Abdel Wahab is now becoming a senior statesman in Egyptian arbitration.

The firm is the best in the MENA region, bar none.

One of the very top tier firms in Cairo.’

High-class arbitration team.

Youssef Al Saman – very commercial outlook, knows the market.’

Ingy Badawy- sensible, pragmatic, high-quality advice.

Key clients

Sixth October Development and Investment Company S.A.E. (SODIC)

Abu Qir Petroleum

Egyptian Fertilizers Company (EFC)/ Orascom Construction Industries (OCI)

Bawabet Al Kuwait Holding Co.

Shelf Drilling

Bechtel, Enka & Bahwan Engineering Company

APM Terminals (Suez Canal Container Terminal)

Egyptian Company for Mobile Services (Mobinil) (Now ORANGE)

Apache Corporation

HZPC

Archirodon

CEMEX

Credit Agricole

Methanex Corporation

Work highlights

  • Represented Amer Group, a major development company engaged in an international investment arbitration dispute before CRCICA, with the Syrian State in relation to the development of an integral residential and administrative project.
  • Represented Taqa Arabia, a leading energy group, in an Electricity Authority dispute over a power station with South Valley, a cement manufacturer company.
  • Represented Shelf Drilling, an oil and gas company, in a supply dispute in CRCICA-administered proceedings governed by Egyptian Law with an Italian oil and gas company and EGPC.

Al Tamimi & Company

Al Tamimi & Company's arbitration team comprises specialist practitioners who handle proceedings in Arabic, English and French for international and local clients operating in a broad range of industries, notably telecoms, construction, infrastructure, public utilities, hospitality and maritime. Khaled Attia, who is a registered arbitrator in the Cairo Regional Center for International Commercial Arbitration, the Dubai International Arbitration Center and the London Court of International Arbitration, is the key partner.

Practice head(s):

Khaled Attia

Key clients

Dar Al-Handasah Consultants

Shair and Partners Holdings Ltd

Work highlights

  • Representing a leading project design, management and supervision consultancy company Dar Al-Handasah Consultants Shair and Partners Holdings Ltd. in a construction dispute over $45m.
  • Acting as co-arbitrator in a CRCICA dispute between a leading fitness firm and its franchisee.
  • Representing a major Egyptian telecoms company, The Egyptian Telecommunication Company for Information Systems “XCEED”, in an arbitration against its Italian counterparty.

Helmy, Hamza & Partners (member firm of Baker & McKenzie International)

Helmy, Hamza & Partners (member firm of Baker & McKenzie International)'s practice is now led by litigation partner Abdel Aziz Hassouba, who is an experienced arbitrator. The team is able to leverage its global network to play a role in large cross-border disputes. Mohamad Talaat and Hatem Soliman both left to set up their own respective firms in 2019. Yehia Shahine left to lead the arbitration practice at new firm ADSERO-Ragy Soliman & Partners.

Practice head(s):

Abdel Aziz Hassouba

Key clients

El Motaheda Co. for Trade

Careem Egypt

Rizkana & Partners

Rizkana & Partners is 'a very good law firm, equipped with professional lawyers'. Practice head Hazim Rizkana has more than thirty years' experience in high-profile, multimillion-dollar disputes, including international, commercial and investor state arbitrations. The firm has a strong track record in disputes in sectors including telecoms, media and television, hospitality, capital markets, oil and gas, waste management, natural resources and construction.

Practice head(s):

Hazim Rizkana

Testimonials

Hazim Rizkana is a well known practitioner in Egypt. Sherif Elhosseny is a very hardworking lawyer and one of few who excels in the aviation industry in Egypt.

ADSERO-Ragy Soliman & Partners

ADSERO-Ragy Soliman & Partners enters the ranking having attracted a steady pipeline of work since its formation in 2019. Yehia Shahine, formerly of Helmy, Hamza & Partners (member firm of Baker & McKenzie International), leads the arbitration practice. His recent successes include the enforcement of a $5m LCIA arbitral award against a state-owned company, and he is currently handling a EGP90m CRCICA matter for an affiliate of a multinational cement company.

Practice head(s):

Yehia Shahine

Al Kamel Law Office

Al Kamel Law Office is frequently instructed by international law firms such as Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP and Slaughter and May in litigation and arbitration matters. Mohamed Kamel and Joseph Morcos are the key arbitration partners and their work includes high-value disputes in the energy and shipping sectors. The firm is currently involved in a CRCICA matter for a client in the education sector.

Practice head(s):

Mohamed Kamel; Rasheed Kamel; Joseph Morcos

Dentons Egypt LLC

Dentons Egypt LLC's dispute resolution practice is led by managing partner Michael Lacey but the arbitration work is handled by of counsel and head of international arbitration Johanne Cox, senior associate Ahmed Kamal and associate Nagham Rady. Together they represent clients in diverse sectors such as oil and gas, construction, telecoms, hospitality and finance.

Practice head(s):

Michael Lacey; Johanne Cox

Karim Adel Law Office

Karim Adel Law Office has a growing caseload and name partner Karim Adel secured notable successes in recent cases in the hospitality sector. He frequently sits as chairman in CRCICA arbitrations. The firm's lawyers have acted as counsel, arbitrators or experts in jurisdictions including Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, France, Egypt and the UAE.

Practice head(s):

Karim Adel

Work highlights

  • Represented German company Eibe in achieving a favourable award in an international arbitration case.
  • Representing the owner against the lessee in securing two favourable awards in a local arbitration case concerning two hotels leased; the award admitted all claims regarding evacuating the hotels and enforced the lessee to pay the owner the full non-paid rent for an approximate amount of $3m.

Marghany Advocates

Marghany Advocates enters the ranking having been involved in a growing number of domestic and cross-border arbitrations, including a matter for Euroget D’investisment against the government of Ghana. Managing partner Amir Marghany and associate Hend El Hakim are the key practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Amir Marghany

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Mr. Omar Roshdy in an arbitration against Ecaru concerning liabilities under a consultation.
  • Acting for engineering company Ascec in a multimillion-pound dispute over drilling contract obligations.
  • Representing Euroget D’investisment in an ongoing arbitration against the government of Ghana concerning the construction of nine hospitals.

Riad & Riad

Riad & Riad handles high-value ad hoc and institutional arbitrations under applicable ICC, ICSID, DIAC and CRCIRA rules. Fatma Salah leads the arbitration practice, in which Eman Riad plays a key role. The firm is currently representing a large international airline in a multimillion-dollar labour arbitration.

Practice head(s):

Fatma Salah

Shehata, Attorneys at Law

Shehata, Attorneys at Law has a 'highly respected practitioner' in practice head Tewfik Shehata. Shehata and Mona Mansour handle large, complex and high-profile cases before many international fora, and their recent successes include acting for a leading mobile telecoms company in a high-value interconnection price dispute.

Practice head(s):

Tewfik Shehata