Firms To Watch: Dispute resolution

Beginning its operations in December 2020, the dispute resolution practice at Kennedys in Oman has seen a steady stream of instructions across the insurance and construction sectors. Led by Jamie Kellick, who previously managed the dispute resolution group at Addleshaw Goddard in Oman and Nasser Al Shamli (formerly of Said Al-Shahry & Partners (SASLO)), the team acts for various oil and gas companies in high-value disputes.

Dispute resolution in Oman

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard’s ‘excellent’ dispute resolution practice is jointly led by local litigation partners Saif Al Mamari and Nasser Al Habsi. The team is singled out for its extensive experience of contentious matters connected with power and water projects, as well as its strong capabilities in construction arbitrations. Counsel Nic Henrikson is often seen as the first choice among larger international firms for advice on local Omani law issues. The group also acts in arbitral tribunals, including at the ICC, SIAC, and ad-hoc arbitration. US-trained litigator Faisal Hinai is recommended for commercial disputes and has experience in both Oman and the UAE.

Practice head(s):

Saif Al Mamari; Nasser Al Habsi

Other key lawyers:

Nic Henrikson; Faisal Hinai

Testimonials

‘Addleshaw Goddard’s dispute team in Oman is excellent. Within their team, Nasser Al Habsi provides great leadership and is also an excellent lawyer. In addition, their team very much benefits from the international perspective and experience of Nic Henrikson, as reflected by Nic’s well-deserved promotion to counsel.’

‘This strong combination enables Addleshaw Goddard’s dispute resolution team in Oman not only to have very good knowledge of Omani law, but also to have excellent knowledge of the Omani dispute system.’

‘The team always provides practical legal advice, which helps the client to make informed decisions on the next steps needed in a dispute.’

‘All of the staff I have worked with have a very professional attitude, however they are also very amiable and friendly in their approach. I have been mainly dealing with Nic Henrikson who has continually gone above and beyond what would normally be expected and indeed what the competitors of AG do.’

‘The AG dispute resolution team is experienced and forthcoming with information, which helps set expectations and understand potential outcomes. Nic is also responsive and diligent, which is always valuable to a client.’

‘I mainly worked with Nic Henrikson, who is helpful, candid and responsive. I appreciate that he regularly follows up and keeps in touch until the matter is finally resolved.’

Key clients

HSBC

Weltech Co.

Sohar International Port Company

Special Technical Services LLC

Bank Muscat

Standard Chartered

Raysut Cement Company

ALEC Engineering & Contracting Oman LLC

Work highlights

  • Acting for Raysut in proceedings before the Omani Primary Court, concerning allegations related to wrongful termination of a contract.
  • Successfully obtained damages for ALEC Engineering sand Contracting Oman LLC in a case against a construction company in relation to non-payment of invoices.
  • Acting for SIG Middle East LLC (UAE Compnay) in a Primary Court of Oman proceedings in a commercial dispute against Foast LLC.

Al Busaidy, Mansoor Jamal & Co

Al Busaidy, Mansoor Jamal & Co is ‘without a doubt the market leader in dispute resolution in Oman’. It continues to have an excellent reputation handling commercial disputes, civil litigation and arbitration proceedings. Senior partners and practice heads Mansoor Jamal Malik and Said Hilall Al Busaidy are the key names for complex infrastructure, construction and engineering disputes. On the criminal litigation side, Ayman Ali is the recommended contact. Majda Al Riyami, who made partner, leads the firm's Arabic disputes practice. Counsel Erik Penz left to join the Bermuda office of Kennedys.

Practice head(s):

Mansoor Jamal Malik; Said Al Busaidy

Other key lawyers:

Ayman Ali; Majda Al Riyami

Testimonials

‘The firm is without a doubt the market leader for dispute resolution in Oman. Mansoor Malik is highly experienced and is sought out as an expert in Omani law for disputes and the firm has a number of good Omani litigators. The local litigation side in the local courts is overseen by Dr Said al Busaidy and Dr Ayman Ali. No one in Oman is as experienced as Dr Said, who used to be the President of the Court.’

‘The fact that the firm has Omani lawyers, as well as a mixture of experienced litigators originally from the UK and elsewhere, makes a good combination.’

‘Mr. Mansoor Malik is highly knowledgeable, hard-working and a master disputes tactician.’

Dentons

Dentons has a long-established market presence in Oman dating back four decades. Its dispute resolution team is known for handling high-value construction disputes, ad hoc arbitrations and commercial litigation. Jointly led by Dali Al Habboub and Yaqdhan Al-Busaidi, the group is active in the insurance and oil and gas sectors, where it generates mandates from local, international and state-owned entities. Senior associate Wafa Al Shuaibi has expertise in commercial disputes and is recommended for his experience of ADR, including mediation and settlements.

Practice head(s):

Dali Al Habboub; Yaqdhan Al-Busaidi

Other key lawyers:

Wafa Al Shuaibi

Key clients

International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund

HSBC Bank Oman SAOG

SNF Oman LLC

Oman United Insurance Co SAOG

Ministry of Finance, Oman

Hilton International

Dyncorp International LLC

Motorola Solutions (Oman) LLC

Standard Chartered Bank

First Abu Dhabi Bank (PJSC)

Work highlights

  • Representing the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund in relation to losses arising from the sinking of the Nesa-R3, a tankercarrying 816 tonnes of bitumen off the Port of Sultan Qaboos in Oman in 2013. Immediate action was taken by the government of Oman to remove the pollutants from the damaged area.
  • Representing First Abu Dhabi Bank (Oman branch) in a commercial claim against Carillion Alawi LLC for the recovery of OMR29.2 million (approx. $75m) plus interest in relation to a loan facility agreement.

Said Al-Shahry & Partners (SASLO)

Said Al-Shahry & Partners (SASLO)’s dispute resolution team, which is ‘committed to quality’, has a strong pedigree for handling matters such as large-scale construction arbitrations and employment litigation. It also excels in assisting major banks with debt recovery matters. Key contacts at the firm include managing partner Said Al Shahry (who specialises in complex disputes and ADR), Thamer Al-Shahry and counsel Khaled Al WazirTarek El Hassan is the name for labour-related disputes and has experience in both Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. Hani Bawani is another key individual.

Practice head(s):

Said Al Shahry; Thamer Al-Shahry; Khaled Al Wazir; Tarek El Hassan

Other key lawyers:

Hani Bawani

Testimonials

‘They can focus on core issues and determine decisive factors when defending a sophisticated case.’

‘They work together as one efficient team and take into consideration all potential scenarios.’

‘We got the case done on time and we achieved all the targets, I loved every minute of it. I know the legal firm you’re hiring requires teamwork and participating in group projects and I would enjoy continuing to work in an environment like that.’

‘The team has competent, hard-working and focused lawyers, who are committed to quality. They display leadership and are accountable and client-driven.’

Al Tamimi & Company

The dispute resolution team at Al Tamimi & Company has been bolstered by the arrival of a new head of litigation, James Harbridge, who joined the team from HFW in Dubai and has over two decades of experience in the Middle East. The group continues to be instructed in high-value construction arbitrations, disputes against government entities and contractual matters. Oman office head Ahmed Al Barwani is closely supported by associate Hamood Al Mukhaini on civil and administrative disputes. Former practice head Faris Al Maashari departed to lead the disputes group at CMS Cameron McKenna LLP.

Practice head(s):

Ahmed Al Barwani; James Harbridge

Other key lawyers:

Hamood Al Mukhaini

Testimonials

‘Strong dispute resolution practice in the Middle East.’

‘We are working now with Mr. James Harbridge in Oman, who has many years of experience of Omani construction disputes (also as an arbitrator on Omani law construction disputes), which is very useful for the evaluation of risks within the projects.’

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP

At Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP, the dispute resolution practice is strong in both domestic and international arbitration, including high-value construction and engineering mandates, as well as commercial disputes. Managing partner Simon Ward is well-regarded in the Omani arbitration market and has appeared in ICC, UNCITRAL and LCIA arbitration proceedings. Infrastructure and construction litigation is handled by Dominic Pilkington, while Mehdi Al Lawati is recommended for commercial litigation work. The group acts for a number of private companies and government-owned entites.

Practice head(s):

Simon Ward

Other key lawyers:

Dominic Pilkington; Mehdi Al Lawati

Testimonials

The Curtis construction dispute resolution team utilises its global resources effectively and efficiently.’

‘Dominic Pilkington is down-to-earth, practical and insightful, with an excellent working knowledge of, and feel for, construction disputes in Oman.’

‘Simon Ward is commercially minded and highly recommended.’

Key clients

MPE Engineering

Sohar Global Construction and Contracting Co LLC

Subail Bahwan Automotive LLC

ABA School

Al Qersh

Oman Air

Oman Methanol & Muscat Insurance Company SAOG

Renaissance Services SAOG

Gulf Air

Interserve

Zubair Corporation LLC

KLM

Sambu Construction Co. Ltd

Work highlights

  • Representing Oman Methanol & Muscat Insurance Company SAOG in a claim arising from design failures in a methanol plant.
  • Advised MPE Engineering on a dispute in the Omani courts relating to oil and gas installations.
  • Acting for Al Qersh in a construction dispute filed against the Gulf of Jiboti in the Oman Primary Courts.

BSA Al Rashdi & Al Barwani Advocates & Legal Consultants

BSA Al Rashdi & Al Barwani Advocates & Legal Consultants acts for local, regional and international clients in proceedings before all courts and government bodies in Oman. It is also equally strong at resolving disputes through arbitration and mediation. Arsalan Tariq heads up the practice, which notably distinguishes itself in construction and oil and gas disputes. In addition, other work includes shareholder disputes and contentious commercial matters. Abdulaziz Alrashdi is another key practitioner in the group, which acts for clients such as developers, banks and insurers.

Practice head(s):

Arsalan Tariq

Other key lawyers:

AbdulAziz Al Rashdi

Testimonials

‘Arsalan Tariq assisted our company with a complex and challenging arbitration matter in Oman. Arsalan was able to foresee problems and issues ahead of time and we managed to mitigate and deal with them.’

BSA Al Rashdi & Al Al Barwani Advocates & Legal Consultants stands poised and distinguished in Oman for its unique position in arbitration.’

Mr. Arsalan is intelligent, perceptive and demonstrates an understanding of the subtleties of complex international arbitration that was reassuring to us in our arbitration case.’

The team is young and energetic. They have a “think out of the box” attitude to solving problems. They also pay great attention to detail.’

‘An efficient practice that is able to provide practical solutions and advice.’

Key clients

ALS Logistics Solutions LLC

Haliburton Worldwide LTD

NCC Nagajuna Construction

Al Shaksy Construction LLC

Airmech Oman LLC

Huawei

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of NCC Nagarjuna Construction Company for the recovery OMR 7 million under an EPC Contract from Ministry of Transport and Communication, Oman.
  • Acting on behalf of ALS Logistic Solution LLC for recovery of €4m from Joannou & Paraskevaides (Oman) LLC.
  • Acted on behalf of Halliburton Worldwide Limited (Oman Branch) in a £26m dispute with Oman Lasso Exploration and Production Carawan Limited.

CMS Cameron McKenna LLP

At CMS Cameron McKenna LLP, the dispute resolution group sits within the firm's wider Middle Eastern practice. It is jointly led by Muscat-based practitioners Amur Al Rashdi and Farsi Al Maashari, who was hired from Al Tamimi & Company. The multidisciplinary team handles commercial contracts disputes and construction arbitrations, among other matters. Ben Ewing is recommended for his expertise in matters related to the renewable energy, power and oil and gas industries.

Practice head(s):

Amur Al Rashdi; Faris Al Maashari

Other key lawyers:

Ben Ewing

Key clients

Saint-Gobain Gyproc Middle East FZE

KCA Deutag Drilling Gmbh

Muscat Leading Plastic Company LLC

Oman Power & Water Procurement Company (OPWP)

SEPCO III

STFA İnşaat A.Ş.

Strabag Oman LLC

Modern Hormuz Construction

Ghantoot Transport and General Contracting LLC

NMC Health Care LLC

Elegant Medical Centre LLC

Abraj Energy Services SAOC

Work highlights

  • Successfully assisted Oman Power and Water Procurement Company with defending a claim brought against it and the Omani regulator, the Authority for Electricity Regulation (“AER”), by a subsidiary of ACWA Power in the local Omani courts.
  • Successfully advised Modern Hormuz Construction on an arbitration against the Ministry of Housing for a total claim of more than 1m Omani riyals.

Mohammed Al Ruqaishi Law Firm

The ‘terrific team’ at Mohammed Al Ruqaishi Law Firm is adept at handling litigation and international arbitration for clients. Its varied workload includes complex construction, employment, tax and corporate disputes. In addition to acting for clients on a standalone basis, its team frequently acts as local counsel on behalf of international law firms. Key members of the department include Ali Naveed Arshad and Hashim Shekhuna, who specialises in employment matters. Mohammed Al Ruqaishi heads up the practice.

Practice head(s):

Mohammed Al Ruqaishi

Other key lawyers:

Ali Naveen Arshad; Hashim Shekhuna

Testimonials

‘MARLaw’s dispute resolution team is highly responsive, hard-working and a pleasure to work with.’

‘Ali Naveed Arshad is an exceptional dispute resolution partner who provides incisive advice.’

‘We are happy with the team’s support on litigation and arbitration matters in Oman and they have been able to provide an excellent service to our clients as well. They are emerging as the best local counsel/local firm of their size in the Omani market.’

‘Mohammed Al Ruqaishi is a prominent name for local disputes and Arabic language arbitration matters. Ali Naveed has a lot of experience with English language arbitration matters in Oman and is currently assisting our clients with such matters as well. They are responsive, solution-driven and more flexible regarding fees compared to their peers in the market.’

‘This firm has provided us with excellent support in the Oman market. The team has been very responsive to requests for advice and assistance, reliable on urgent and time-sensitive matters and provided clear and helpful advice.’

‘I would particularly recommend Hashim Shekhuna. He has provided excellent support to my firm and clients and is an excellent team player.’

Key clients

Oman Electricity Transmission Company SAOC

Consolidated Contractors Company Oman LLC

Kempinski Hotel Muscat – Oman Hospitality Company SAOC

Nordic Oilfield Technologies LLC

Ashurst

Reed Smith

Pinsent Masons

Oman Air Cargo

Clyde & Co

NCR Corporation

Moon Travels LLC

Work highlights

  • Advising and representing Moon Travels LLC (a subsidiary of dnata) in over 10 labour claims filed by employees terminated due to redundancies declared and closure of the business due to the impact of Covid-19.
  • Representing Barka IV project company, in which Suez is a key shareholder, on a potential ICC arbitration against Oman Power and Water Procurement Co. SAOC.
  • Acting for Oman Electricity Transmission Company in commercial litigation against Bank Muscat in respect of enforcement of a bank guarantee.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP’s dispute resolution practice in Oman, which is led by Mohammed Al Bahr, is highlighted for its strength in high-value construction arbitrations. Al Bahr works closely with Michael Turrini, who is the head of the Middle East arbitration group, as well as practitioners in the firm’s offices in Abu Dhabi and Riyadh.

Practice head(s):

Mohammed Al Bahr; Michael Turrini

Testimonials

‘The construction practice is for us a good source of advice and guidance when we are making decisions around disputes and in helping us seek resolution with our contractors.’

‘The people we work with are all very committed to prosecuting our claims and defending against our counter-parties. They have a very strong work ethic and a “whatever it takes” attitude to filing the best possible submissions in a timely manner to the arbitral tribunals hearing our cases.’

‘A rock-solid team with strong construction sector knowledge and experience. It works on some of the largest, most complex and high-value disputes. The firm is able to mobilise large teams.’