Firms in the Spotlight Dispute resolution: arbitration

Zulficar & Partners Law Firm

Zulficar & Partners Law Firm logo

Zulficar & Partners is a premier international arbitration and corporate law practice firm based in the Nile City Building in the heart of Cairo, Egypt. The Firm offers a comprehensive range of legal services to a diverse array of clients both in Egypt and internationally. Its well-established Arbitration Group, founded and headed by Prof. Dr. …

View Profile...

Dispute resolution: arbitration in Egypt

Matouk Bassiouny & Hennawy

Matouk Bassiouny & Hennawy has two lead partners who are highly respected by clients and peers alike. John Matouk and Amr Abbas lead a 17-lawyer practice that has a high profile in high-stakes matters in domestic and foreign arbitration fora, with its work covering key sectors such as telecoms, energy, hospitality, pharmaceuticals, cement and construction. The firm has the largest dispute resolution team in Egypt, and one of the largest in the MENA region handling arbitration and litigation, and has a high success rate that it maintained by securing a EGP200m arbitral award for Reliance Heavy Industries.

Practice head(s):

John Matouk; Amr Abbas

Key clients

Union Fenosa Gas S.A.

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

International Holding Project Group and Other Kuwaiti Investors

Nogoom Football Club (NFC)

Spanish Egyptian Gas Company (“SEGAS”)

Inertia Development

Work highlights

  • Successfully secured an arbitral award of more than EGP200m for Reliance Heavy Industries S.A.E, one of the largest specialised companies in the management of cement plants in Egypt, against a leading cement manufacturer who is also a listed company in the Egyptian Stock Exchange. In addition, the Tribunal has unanimously dismissed all counterclaims against RHI, amounting to more than EGP538m and €4.7m.
  • Advising Union Fenosa Gas on the legal questions and matters that fall under the jurisdiction of the Egyptian law regarding the ICSID annulment proceedings filed by the Arab Republic of Egypt against UFG.
  • Successfully secured an arbitral award for Melia Hotels International S.A. with an amount exceeding EGP20m, including legal costs and fees and interest rate, as a compensation for the unlawful termination of the Hotel Management Agreement.

Shahid Law Firm

The team at Shahid Law Firm is 'very responsive, user-friendly and delivers high-quality work'. The firm is frequently involved in landmark arbitration cases both in Egypt and abroad, with notable recent work including its representation of the Confederation of African Football against Lagardère Sports in ICC Emergency Arbitration proceedings regarding the termination of a 28-year $1bn contract. The 'smart , responsiveGirgis Abd El-Shahid and Tarek Badawy (who offers 'practical solutions to problems', are the lead partners. Senior associate Inji Fathalla and new hires including senior associate Salma Abdel Aziz from Youssef & Partners Attorneys and Georges Ghali from CRCICA are also recommended. César Ternieden moved to Youssef & Partners Attorneys.

Practice head(s):

Girgis Abd El-Shahid; Tarek Badawy

Other key lawyers:

Inji Fathalla; Salma Abdel Aziz; Georges Ghali

Testimonials

‘Very responsive, user-friendly and delivers high-quality work.’

‘Tarek Badaway is very quick to understand the matter at issue, has wide legal knowledge and offers practical solutions to problems.’

‘A good team that is efficient, professional and available.’

‘I worked with Tarek Badawy and and Salma Abdel Aziz, who are efficient and professional. They are honest, agreeable to work with and target-oriented.’

‘We experienced a good professional relationship with Shahid Law firm and appreciated their capacity to work in an international multicultural environment. ’

‘We believe that the services provided by Shahid Law Firm are complying with the highest international standards. ’

‘Girgis Abd El-Shahid and associate Georges Ghali are smart, responsive and excellent to deal with – very reliable. ’

‘The team is very knowledgable in domestic arbitration and well connected. The individuals I have interacted with are responsive and speak excellent English. ’

‘Tarek Badawy is outstanding in terms of his professional mindset and English skills.’

Key clients

Confederation of African Football

Doosan Heavy Industries

CTIP Oil & Gas (arbitration)

Tantalum International Ltd

Arab Company for Touristic Project (arbitration)

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended the Confederation of African Football against Lagardère Sports in ICC Emergency Arbitration proceedings initiated by Lagardère in connection with the termination of a 28-year $1bn contract for the commercial exploitation of CAF Competitions.
  • In January 1999, National Gas S.A.E., CTIP’s Egyptian subsidiary and Egypt’s petroleum regulatory authority, commonly referred to as the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) entered into an agreement for the Transmission of Natural Gas to Residential, Commercial and Industrial Areas and Power Stations in the Governorate of Sharkeya. Several Egyptian State entities took measures greatly affecting CTIP’s investment in Egypt, and in breach of Egypt’s obligations, inter alia, under the UAE-Egypt bilateral investment treaty.
  • For what is believed to be the first time, an Egyptian court has recognised and enforced an interim measures order issued by a foreign arbitral tribunal – in an ICC dispute between a South Korean industrial group and the developer of Damietta port in northern Egypt that ended in a more than $72m award. Shahid Law Firm secured the recognition and enforcement of the order on behalf of South Korean group, Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction.

Shalakany Law Office

Shalakany Law Office, which has a 14-lawyer dispute resolution practice, has a strong track record in arbitration that reaches back almost 50 years. The firm handles arbitrations across the MENA region, notably for clients in the maritime, aviation, telecoms, automotive, manufacturing, hospitality and pharmaceuticals sectors. Khaled El Shalakany and Adam El Shalakany lead a practice where recent work includes matters under Egyptian, Libyan, Sudanese, Iraqi, French and Swiss law. Senior associate Muhammad Ussama plays an increasingly important role in that work.

Practice head(s):

Khaled El Shalakany; Adam El Shalakany

Other key lawyers:

Muhammad Ussama

Work highlights

  • Obtained a favourable award in a DIFC-LCIA arbitration, governed by Emirati Law, for an Egyptian Technology enabled Property Start-up against a member of a FTSE 100 Group.
  • Successfully represented a major Emirati real estate developer and settled a dispute which constituted the largest real estate dispute in Egypt and the MENA region pertaining to the sale of 4 million sq m and for the construction of a real estate project in Cairo.
  • Successfully represented a major Emirati real estate developer and obtained a favourable award in a CRCICA arbitration that dealt with ground-breaking issues in real estate ownership in Sinai. The dispute concerned the sale of majority shares in a leading Egyptian hotel-owning company.

Youssef & Partners Attorneys

Youssef & Partners Attorneys continues to build on its strong standing in arbitration matters, having recruited experienced practitioners with outstanding track records. Managing partner Karim A. Youssef is head of international arbitration and international law. César Ternieden joined from Shahid Law Firm in 2020 and Kamel Elshandidy was also a new arrival from his previous position as in-house counsel with Saudi Electricity Company. The firm is known for its role in high-stakes cross-border matters, among recent examples being its representation of Damietta International Ports Company in the second largest commercial claim ever against the Egyptian state, which involved claims and counterclaims in excess of $2.3bn.

Practice head(s):

Karim A. Youssef

Other key lawyers:

César Ternieden; Kamel Elshandidy

Key clients

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

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

DIPCO (Damietta International Ports Company)

CTIP Oil & Gas Ltd (CTIP)

British Columbia Canadian International School (BCCIS)

VEOLIA Proprete’ Group

Egypt Kuwait Holding Company (EKH)

INCOME – International Company for Petroleum & Industrial Services

KGL Supply Management Group

Adenium Energy Capital

Triangle Group and GAMA Construction S.A.E.

Orascom Construction (OC) Group

Work highlights

  • In Damietta International Ports Company v. Damietta Port Authority, the firm secured victories with awarded amounts of more than $500m. It successfully represented foreign investors (through an Egyptian JV) in the second largest commercial claim historically against the Egyptian state or a state entity involving claims and counterclaims in excess of $2.3bn in relation to the termination of a 40-year concession agreement.
  • Represented global group Cementos La Union (the second largest cement producer in Egypt through its stake in the Arabian Cement Company) in ICSID claims in relation to cement licenses and the cement market in Egypt. The dispute involved and continues to involve major settlement discussions with the Government and is the largest and only cement investment treaty dispute arising from the cement market in Egypt in the last two decades.
  • Representing multiple foreign investors with major Eurobond holdings in emerging investment treaty claims against the Republic of Lebanon under the Egypt-Lebanon BIT amidst the defaults and the economic crisis since March 2020.

Zaki Hashem & Partners, Attorneys at Law

Zaki Hashem & Partners, Attorneys at Law has a track record in arbitration that reaches back almost 70 years and it continues to be involved in high-profile matters in key sectors such as energy, real estate and manufacturing. It acts for large domestic and multinational clients in matters before all major arbitration fora at home and abroad. Former practice head Mohamed Gomaa moved to Youssef & Partners Attorneys but the firm has hired Mohamed Kamel from ALC Alieldean Weshahi & Partners to lead the arbitration. Kamel, who has 32 years' experience and is a former public prosecutor, works closely with senior partner and head of dispute resolution Youssef Abou Zeid.

Practice head(s):

Youssef Abou Zeid

Other key lawyers:

Mohamed Kamel

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

Work highlights

  • Representing the respondent in an EGP multimillion arbitration between real estate developers.
  • Representing a local distributor of home appliances in the ICC arbitration against an international manufacturer.
  • Representing two oil and gas exploration companies in a number of multimillion-dollar arbitrations against a number of petroleum services companies.

Zulficar & Partners Law Firm

Zulficar & Partners Law Firm is 'very much the leader in Egypt and in the region', according to one market source. The firm frequently conducts international arbitral proceedings in diverse jurisdictions, under various laws and in different languages on behalf of corporations, investors and governmental entities from around the world. Founding partner Mohamed Abdel Wahab is head of the firm's international arbitration, construction and energy practices. He is widely regarded as a world-class arbitration practitioner. Up-and-coming partner Youssef Al Saman is also recommended. They recently secured a victory for Haggan group in a matter concerning a contract governed by French law.

Practice head(s):

Mohamed S. Abdel WahabFounding Partner and Head of International Arbitration, Construction and Energy Groups

Other key lawyers:

Youssef Al Saman

Key clients

Amer Group

Apache

APM Terminals (Suez Canal Container Terminal)

Bawabet Al Kuwait Holding Co.

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

HZPC

Nile Douma Holding

Orange

PICO Petroleum

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

TAQA

Cheiron Zaafarana Petroleum Company Limited

Total S.A

Work highlights

  • Acted under French law representing Haggan Group in an ICC dispute against Cerbiotech France in relation to an $15m Exclusive Distribution Agreement for the purpose of selling and distributing pre-hardened palm trees.

Al Tamimi & Company

The arbitration at Al Tamimi & Company is based around the stellar reputation of its partner, Khaled Attia, who is a registered arbitrator in the Cairo Regional Center for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA), the Dubai International Arbitration Center (DIAC) and the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA). Focused on arbitration, competition and PPP matters, Attia frequently assists international companies with high-value matters in Egypt, as well as acting in many international fora.

Practice head(s):

Khaled Attia

Work highlights

  • Representing a leading European company in the mining and drilling industry in an ICC Arbitration against its Egyptian Agent.
  • Advising a leading European Company in a circa $10m arbitration against an Egyptian company, under Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA) Rules.
  • Representing a leading Egyptian Company in settlement negotiations of an arbitration dispute in the amount of $5m under the ICC Rules.

Helmy, Hamza & Partners (member firm of Baker & McKenzie Interna

Helmy, Hamza & Partners (member firm of Baker & McKenzie International) has a team of five counsels in Cairo who work with the firm's international network of offices to handle cases in a host of arbitration fora, including those in Egypt. Head of dispute resolution Abdel Aziz Hassouba and head of real estate Mohamed Hafez are among the key practitioners. Much of their recent work has focused on labour arbitration in the hospitality and financial services sectors.

Practice head(s):

Abdel Aziz Hassouba

Work highlights

  • Acting for a leading bank in connection with a labour arbitration filed by the National Trade Union of Banks, Insurance & Financial Affairs against the client claiming employees profit share, salary increase, unfair promotions, medical treatment for employees families, improving the benefits including employees loans.
  • Acted for an international hotel in connection with a labour arbitration case filed by Syndicate of Tourism & Hotels against the client in connection employees’ service commission for the years 2009, 2010 and 2011 and raising the value of the end of service bonus from 8 months to 12 months.
  • Acted for international hotel in connection with a labour arbitration case filed by Syndicate of Tourism & Hotels against the client in connection employees’ (12%) service commission for the years from 2008 to 2013 and profit share for the years from 2011 to 2014.

Rizkana & Partners

Rizkana & Partners has an experienced arbitration practice based around the senior partner Hazim Rizkana, who has almost 40 years' experience in high-profile and high-value cases. He has frequently acted as chair and co-arbitrator in several local and international arbitrations under CRCICA, ICC, and UNICTRAL rule, as well as counsel in domestic and international matters. The firm's work spans investment disputes in sectors as diverse as construction, telecoms, oil and gas and waste management. It also has a strong track record in challenging arbitral awards.

Practice head(s):

Hazim Rizkana

Key clients

Arab African International Bank

Baker Hughes Company

Halliburton Overseas Limited

Tarek Riad - Legal Consultants and Attorneys at Law

The firm that was Kosheri, Rashed & Riad is now known as Tarek Riad - Legal Consultants and Attorneys at Law. Name partner Tarek Riad is a former chair of the executive committee of the Dubai International Arbitration Centre and remains a key advisor to international clients in high-stakes arbitration both in Egypt and abroad. As well as acting for high-profile international brands, the firm also frequently represents the Egyptian government.

Practice head(s):

Tarek Riad

Al Kamel Law Office

Al Kamel Law Office is frequently chosen by international law firms to act as local counsel in both litigation and arbitration matters. Mohamed Kamel and head of litigation Joseph Morcos handle most of the firm's arbitration work, which includes high-stakes disputes in the energy, shipping and, more recently, education sectors.

Practice head(s):

Mohamed Kamel; Rasheed Kamel; Joseph Morcos; Shahira Khaled

Key clients

Dutch Ophthalmic Research Center (International) B.V.

Danaos Shipping

Qatar National Bank

Ibrachy Legal Consultancy

Ibrachy Legal Consultancy joins the ranking having rebuilt its practice around the hire of senior partner and head of arbitration Abdallah El Shehaby in 2019 from Rizkana & Partners to lead the 'honest, positive and efficient' practice. The firm's six-lawyer team acts in domestic and international arbitration proceedings involving both Egyptian and foreign laws, and it handles matters relating to the financial services, competition, construction, energy and natural resources, insurance, entertainment and sports sectors.

Practice head(s):

Abdallah El Shehaby

Testimonials

‘The firm has a very homogenous team. They work great together and think outside of the box.’

‘It has a great team that is proactive, target-oriented and has a good work ethic.’

‘I appreciated their broad knowledge in terms of international law.’

‘The team is honest, positive and efficient.’

‘I have been working with Abdallah El Shehaby for many years and he always exceeded my expectations. I appreciate the diligence in planning and putting a legal strategy and framework, as well as the relationship management and care.’

‘The firm shows strategic thinking and long-term orientation. It puts strategy into practice.’

Karim Adel Law Office

Karim Adel Law Office has a busy dispute resolution practice, especially in matters relating to the hotel and tourism sector, though its recent work includes arbitration matters for well known brands in the energy and cosmetics industries. Managing partner Karim Adel is the main contact and partner Bishoy Safwat is also noted for his work in the hotel sector.

Practice head(s):

Karim Adel

Other key lawyers:

Bishoy Safwat

Khodeir & Partners

Khodeir & Partners joins the ranking this year, having made a quick impression since it was founded three years ago. 'Very meticulous and experienced' partner Ahmed Kotb leads the practice, having joined from Al Tamimi & Company. Focusing on key sectors such as construction, banking, international trade, technology and telecoms, the firm also handles matters relating to the protection of domestic and foreign investment.

Practice head(s):

Ahmed Kotb

Work highlights

  • Acting for one of the world’s top ten construction and design consultancy firms in arbitration against a major middle eastern developer.
  • Acting for an Egyptian construction company involved in piping projects in a multimillion-dollar arbitration against a major Korean refinery projects contractor.
  • Advising an Egyptian investor in respect of investment claims against a Middle-Eastern country for breach of investment obligations of affording fair and equitable treatment, and full protection and security; and for denial of justice.

Marghany Advocates

Managing partner Amir Marghany leads the arbitration practice at Marghany Advocates, which is increasingly involved in cross-border and domestic matters. Prominent in its recent caseload is a series of arbitrations for Egyptian investment company Euroget before the ICC concerning contracts with overseas partners. Senior associate Hend El Hakim also plays a key role in the firm's most significant cases.

Practice head(s):

Amir Marghany

Other key lawyers:

Hend El Hakim

Work highlights

  • Assisting Eurojet in arbitration proceedings against Architectural Group in a contractual dispute before the ICC.
  • Assisting Eurojet in arbitration proceedings against TOP International Engineering for contractual disputes before the ICC.
  • Assisting ASEC in its arbitration against South Valley Cement Company before Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration relevant to a contractual obligation.

Riad & Riad

Riad & Riad has a dispute resolution group that, although focused more on litigation, is able to handle high-value arbitration cases in major international and domestic fora. Fatma Salah, Eman Riad and Mohamed Riad, whose work includes collective labour disputes and arbitration matters, are the key practitioners. Salah recently represented a Korean company in a CRCICA matter. Senior associate Omayma Ragab is increasingly involved in the firm's major arbitration cases.

Practice head(s):

Fatma Salah; Eman Riad; Mohamed Riad

Other key lawyers:

Omayma Ragab