Firms To Watch: Dispute resolution

AlSabhan & AlAjaji Law Firm has demonstrable strength in real estate sector disputes and commercial arbitrations, advising hotel owners, developers and international investors. Ibrahim Alajaji leads the group from Riyadh with Mark Raymont , and is supported by accredited mediator Damian Crosse from Dubai.

Dispute resolution in Saudi Arabia

Derayah LLPC – Saudilegal

Derayah LLPC – Saudilegal remains a market leader in commercial disputes with strength in depth in litigating on bankruptcy proceedings. The team handles government contract claims, banking disputes and insurance matters. Amr Kadi in Jeddah (who is dual qualified as a judge) excels in sukuk litigation, whilst practice head Andreas Haberbeck is noted for his expertise in Saudi law. Other key names include Hamam Kadi who has experience appearing in Saudi courts for large corporates. The petrochemicals and powers plant sectors remain a key area of activity.

Practice head(s):

Andreas Haberback

Other key lawyers:

Hamam Kady; Amr Kadi

Testimonials

Andreas Haberbeck has acted as an expert witness on Saudi Arabian law in a leading case in the English Courts. He gave evidence at the trial and was outstandingly good, both in his advice as the case proceeded, and in the manner and content of his evidence at trial.’

Andreas Haberbeck is an expert in explaining Saudi legal issues to those unfamiliar with the jurisdiction. Andreas provides excellent expert reports for use before the Courts of England & Wales.’

‘Amr Kadi is an excellent advocate before the Saudi Courts and institutions and achieves great results.’

‘Derayah is always confident and tough to solve complex cases, based on their robust knowledge of Saudi Arabian cases and their experience for a long period of time.’

‘Andreas Haberbeck and Hamam Kady always give quick feedback to my questions. Their legal advice is very clear for clients who are from foreign countries and is always to the point.’

A slick, commercial operation – able to respond promptly to all areas of law – including specialist area relating to fatal accident damages.’

‘Andreas Haberbeck was superb. He communicated clearly, efficiently and liaised with his colleagues in other departments to deliver prompt, concise and effective advice.’

Key clients

SAMBA Financial Group

Citicorp Trustee Company Limited

Golden Belt Sukuk Company

F Hoffman La-Roche AG

Work highlights

  • Represented Saudi Arabian law to SAMBA Financial Group, in English High Court proceedings brought by the liquidators of Saad Investments Company, in connection with a claim for $318m.
  • Conducting litigation in Saudi Arabia since 2011 on behalf of Citicorp Trustee Company Ltd and Golden Belt 1 Sukuk Company against Saad Trading and Maan Al Sanea in respect of a default under a sukuk for US$ 650 million.

The Law Firm of Hassan Mahassni

Law Firm of Hassan Mahassni has a well-established dispute resolution practice and handles high-value arbitrations and complex litigation for multinationals and leading Saudi companies. Led by Emad Zahrani, the team has appeared before the ICC, LCIA and the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce, and continues to handle significant mandates in the construction, real estate, and banking space. Atif Mulla specialises in shipping matters whilst Yousef Al Husiki is the name for employment disputes.

Practice head(s):

Yousef Husiki; Emad Zahrani; Atif Mulla

Testimonials

‘They understand the law in KSA perfectly well and are up-to-date with all changes.’

Khoshaim & Associates

At Khoshaim & Associates, the dispute resolution practice has expertise in arbitrations and has appeared at all levels of the judiciary. Zeyad Khoshaim leads the group which excels in securities cases and the enforcement of arbitral awards for Saudi clients. Senior associate Abdullah Alajlan is recommended for healthcare sector work. Nasser Alrubayyi departed to Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP in January 2022.

Practice head(s):

Zeyad Khoshaim

Other key lawyers:

Abdullah Alajlan

Testimonials

‘Khoshaim & Associates towers above every firm I know of in KSA. This is largely due to the leadership of name partner Zeyad Khoshaim, his energetic dedication to the cases entrusted to him, his dual U.S.-Saudi culture that makes him able to navigate the intricacies of Saudi law and procedure up to the stringent requirements of international corporations. His team emulates his leadership and offers excellent dedication to clients.’

Key clients

Saudi Aramco

Oracle Systems

The Ministry of Finance

Renault Truck S.A.S

Saudi Arabian Investment Company (Sanabil Investments)

Volvo Truck Corporation

Aramco Lubricants and Retail Company

Tadano Corporation

Standard Chartered Bank

Etihad Etisalat Company Saudi Arabia (Mobily)

Sumitomo Corporation

The General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI)

Arab Banking Corporation

Deutsche Bank

Tenaris S.A.

Saudi Fransi Capital

Tas’helat Marketing Company

Work highlights

  • Advising the Saudi government in relation to ICSID Case No. ARB/19/32, DSG Yapı Sanayi Ticaret Anonim Şirketi v. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • Acting for Saudi Aramco with respect to cases at the CRSD involving interpretation of prospectus and issues of standing.

Z&Co

Z&Co is singled out for its strength in acting for creditors in corporate insolvency matters and regularly represents government bodies in commercial disputes. Housed in Riyadh, the team led by Monaji Zamakhchary handles several contentious matters for multinationals and conglomerates operating in the banking, tax and telecom sectors. Former deputy Minister of Justice Abdulatif AlHarthi also jointly leads the group with Sarah Gonem who also leads the regulatory practice.

Practice head(s):

Monaji Zamakhchary; Abdulatif AlHarthi; Sarah Gonem

Testimonials

‘The team has outstanding legal expertise and availability for the clients. Monaji Zamakhchary is an excellent strategist and legal advisor.’

‘Z & Co has the right blend of local expertise and “western” client management expertise, which makes a client feel comfortable in a fairly opaque jurisdiction.’

‘I love the fact that the lead partner on my Saudi Arabian matter is a woman. Sarah Gonem is an excellent lawyer, a strong communicator and guides me through the nuances of the jurisdiction with care, commerciality and common sense.’

‘Sarah is well supported by a team of associates, as well as the firm’s managing partner Monaji Zamakhchary, who is also excellent.’

‘Good diversity, both gender and cultural, which makes them really easy to work with.’

‘Sarah Gonem is excellent, experienced and confident.’

Key clients

Uber BV and Uber Saudi

KSA government, led by the Ministry of Finance

Consortium of banks, led by Banque Saudi Fransi

Grant Thornton as liquidator for SICL and Singularis Holdings Limited

SIFCO5

Deloitte Touche & Co.

Individual Deloitte Partners

Zain Group

Limitless

Bersheda Law

Majed Bahatheq

Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP

Work highlights

  • Successfully secured judgment in favour of the Government of KSA in a claim filed against it at the Arab Investment Court.
  • Representing Uber BV and Uber KSA in disputes with the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) arising from substantial VAT assessments.
  • Advising SICL and Singularis in judgments for over $2.2bn in the insolvency of Maan AlSanea at the Commercial Court; and provided advice on Saudi law matters for the $320m claim against Samba Bank at the UK Court of Appeal.

AlDhabaan & Partners in association with Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

AlDhabaan & Partners in association with Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP has a proven track record acting in high-profile disputes for local and international blue-chip clients operating in the banking, construction, and commercial sectors.  Saud Al Romi and senior partner Mohammed Aldhabaan jointly lead the team which also has a crime and investigations subgroup handling a steady stream of compliance-related work.

Practice head(s):

Mohammed AlDhabaan; Saud Al Romi

Key clients

Millennium & Copthorne

Work highlights

  • Representing Millennium & Copthorne Middle East Holdings Limited in a claim arose out of hotel management agreements concerning a landmark hotel before the Commercial Court against Makkah Construction and Development Company.

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP has a proven track record handling complex disputes in the Kingdom and regularly appears before local and Shariah courts. In Riyadh, Ben Cowling focuses on transactional work, claims, and disputes related to construction projects across the Middle Eastern region. Arbitration and alternative dispute resolution matters including settlements and negotiations also feature in the workload. Associate Wala Alawajy advises on government tenders and procurement law. Elsewhere in the region, Abu-Dhabi-based Richard Bell who specialises in commercial litigation is a key contact. Since publication, Robert Lawrence left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Abdulaziz Al-Bosaily; Ben Cowling; Mohammed Aldowish

Other key lawyers:

Richard Bell

Testimonials

‘Extensive knowledge and understanding of the GCC legal system, both in terms of the actual law and also the way in which this is applied.’

Strong strategic capabilities for managing the approach to a case.’

‘Richard Bell was able to easily bridge the differences in European and GCC cultures keeping us informed and explained the nuances that drive the KSA legal system.’

Mohammed Al-Ghamdi Law Firm in association with Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

Mohammed Al-Ghamdi Law Firm in association with Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP has solid experience litigating in Saudi courts and committees. Practice head Mohammed Al Ghamdi is recommended for domestic and international arbitration with a focus on labour and immigration, anti-corruption, and regulatory compliance matters. Counsel Naif Al Otaibi specialises in settlement negotiation and ADR. The team also has strength in regional arbitrations; Dubai-based Paul Stothard who heads the overall dispute resolution group in the Middle East is a key contact for energy and infrastructure disputes.

Practice head(s):

Mohmmed Al Ghamdi

Other key lawyers:

Naif Al Otaibi; Paul Stothard

Al Tamimi & Company

Al Tamimi & Company‘s dispute resolution practice has demonstrable strength in commercial litigation, representing domestic and international corporates in large, often cross-border disputes. Overseen by Abdullah Al Tamimi, the team retains its sector strength in the financial services, real estate and healthcare sectors. Jeddah-based Ahmed Basrawi is recommended for shipping and construction matters. In Al-Khobar, head of litigation team Omar Amery is a further name to note.

Practice head(s):

Abdullah Al Tamimi

Other key lawyers:

Ahmed Basrawi; Omar Amery; Sara Aranjo

Testimonials

‘Multicultural team with precious and diverse experiences in the Middle East.’

‘Sara Aranjo (Dubai-based) is a quick-thinker with impressive experience in commercial arbitration.’

‘The team is capable of providing quality advice and strategic direction in a timely manner.’

‘Abdullah Al Tamimi and Emad Salameh are highly capable but also very accessible.’

Key clients

BGP Arabia

The Law Firm of Wael A. Alissa in association with Dentons

The Law Firm of Wael A. Alissa in association with Dentons & Co. handles a steady stream of litigation work for international companies and local businesses. Practice head and public prosecutor Wael A. Alissa specialises in criminal law and has a track record appearing before tribunals and courts. Senior associate Salman Aloraifi excels in construction disputes and acting for oil and gas companies in international arbitrations.

Practice head(s):

Wael A. Alissa

Other key lawyers:

Salman Aloraifi

Testimonials

‘Strong, well-rounded team of specialists in regards to resolving disputes. They understand the market in the Gulf and have excellent relationships with government entities in the power sector.’

‘They are client-focused and understand the need to be flexible when dealing with contrary stakeholder views. Salman Aloraifi is particularly effective as a team leader, with strong interpersonal skills and the ability to identify the key issue and maintain focus on these.’

 

Al-Enezee Legal Counsel in association with EKP

Al-Enezee Legal Counsel in association with EKP handles commercial litigation covering a broad client base across the real estate, healthcare, and oil and gas sectors. Riyadh-based practice head Wissam Hachem is active in litigation and is supported by Khulaif Al-Enezee. Mediation and reconciliation also feature in its workload.

Practice head(s):

Khulaif Al-Enezee; Wissam Hachem

Key clients

Saudi Arabian Airlines

Saudi Diesel Equipment Company Ltd

Kras Group

Work highlights

  • Representing Saudi Arabian Airlines in relation to all its cargo, ground handling and passengers claims in Saudi Arabia.
  • Representing Kras on its rights in the context of the bankruptcy proceedings.
  • Representing Saudi Diesel Equipment Company Ltd (SDEC) in six commercial disputes.

AlGhazzawi & Partners

Based in Dammam, the dispute resolution group at AlGhazzawi & Partners handles both local and international arbitrations. Jointly managed by Hussam Al Ghazzawi and Jaffer Alsir Ali, it has been active in construction disputes acting for large Saudi companies. Talal Amin Al Ghazzawi is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Hussam Ghazzawi; Jaafer Alsir Ali

Other key lawyers:

Talal Amin Al-Ghazzawi

Testimonials

‘The team has strong experience with the Saudi legal system, Shariah; they have excellent knowledge of other jurisprudence sources (Common and Civil law).’

‘They stood out for their professionalism, thoroughness and analytical mentality, as well as their ability and willingness to understand as much as practicable other disciplines that are attributes of their clients’ cases such as construction, medical, oil & gas.’

‘Mr. Jaafar Taj Al Sir Ali is a very experienced lawyer with a long track record and an encyclopedic legal mind. He is also affable in a manner that would facilitate getting the required information from the client which sometimes the client does not deem as relevant.’

Key clients

Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco)

Latifia Trading and Contracting Co.

Saudi Chevron Phillips Co.

Tecnimont Arabia Ltd.

Barwil Shipping Agencies Co. Ltd.; a part of Wilhelmsen Ships Service

Saudi Industrial Gas Co. Ltd., a part of Linde Group

Saudi Methanol Co. – Chemanol

JGC Gulf International Co.

Saudi Investment Group and Marketing Co. Ltd.

Saudi Industries for Pipes Co. Ltd.

SGS Services Saudi Arabia Ltd.

Ithmaar Bank, Bahrain

Elliott Turbomachinery Ltd.

Nintec B.V.

Saud Al-Ammari (Dr.) Law Firm

Saud Al-Ammari (Dr.) Law Firm focuses on disputes in the energy sector. Led by Saud Al-Ammari who previously served as legal counsel to Saudi Aramco, the team has vast international arbitration expertise and acts for clients in areas of employment and contractual disputes, and enforcement of arbitral awards.

Practice head(s):

Saud Al Ammari

Work highlights

  • Acted for Sadara Chemical Company in a  dispute arising from the termination of a service agreement.

Faisal Adnan Baassiri Law Firm in association with Ashurst LLP

Spanning across Riyadh and Jeddah,Faisal Adnan Baassiri Law Firm in association with Ashurst LLP handles international arbitration acting for energy, transport and construction sector clients. Practice head Faisal Adnan Baassiri advises Saudi clients on commercial disputes and is frequently appointed as an arbitrator. Recent highlights also include handling bankruptcy proceedings and employment disputes.

Practice head(s):

Faisal Adnan Baassiri

Testimonials

‘Knowledge on local culture and market, always provide best advice in each case and circumstances, and understanding the meed of clients. Attentive and responsive.’

‘Faisal Baassiri provides great service to the clients.’

Hammad & Al-Mehdar Law Firm

Hammad Al-Mehdar & Co in alliance with Simmons & Simmons LLP‘s dispute resolution group advises large Saudi conglomerates and state-owned entities on complex litigation. The team, led by senior partner Mohammad Al Mehdar, has seen an increase in banking-related disputes and liquidations in the past year. Managing partner Adil Hammad is active in arbitrations, particularly acting for real estate companies. He is supported by experienced senior associate Meteb Alghashayan who joined the team from Al Tamimi & Company with notable expertise in construction disputes.

Practice head(s):

Mohammad Al Mehdar; Adil Hammad

Other key lawyers:

Meteb Alghashayan

Key clients

Office of Pilgrims Affairs Pakistan (OPAP)

Carlo Gavazzi

Suido Kiko

Saudi Brothers Company Ltd

Sheraton Hotels

Lembaga Tabung Haji

SBS Steel Belt Systems

Ewaan Global

Marc Vermeersch

Work highlights

    Alshahrani Almansour (in collaboration with DLA Piper)

    Alshahrani Almansour (in collaboration with DLA Piper)’s dispute resolution team is overseen by regional partner Henry Quinlan in Dubai.  The team has extensive experience in international arbitrations, acting under ICC, LCIA, and UNCITRAL rules. Riyadh-based Saad Almansour is noted for real estate litigation and is supported by core members of the group based in Dubai including Suzannah Newboult and Wissam Dagher.

    Practice head(s):

    Henry Quinlan

    Other key lawyers:

    Saad Almansour; Suzannah Newboult; Wissam Dagher; Mohammed Al AlShahrani

    Testimonials

    ‘The team is very fluent in English, so there is no need for western lawyers to aid in the communication. Almansour’s team is responsive and works efficiently.’

    ‘Mr. Saad Al Mansour has good communication skills with his partner DLA team and with the client.’

    ‘Long-standing relationship with Alshahrani Almansour over the years translates into a much deeper understanding of our business and as a result, we receive quality and practical advice from him and his team.’

    ‘Mohammed Al AlShahrani is knowledgeable and responsive to our Saudi team for their dispute resolution needs.’

    Feras Al Shawaf Law Firm

    Feras Al Shawaf Law Firm in Association with CMS handles energy and infrastructure-related disputes. Managing partner Feras Al Shawaf is the key name to note.

    Practice head(s):

    Feras Al Shawaf

    Jones Day in association with Ebrahim Alhabardi Law Office

    Jones Day in association with Ebrahim Alhabardi Law Office handles disputes for large industrial and infrastructure clients. Managed by Counsel Ebrahim Al Habardi, the team advises on comemrcial disputes and construction-related litigation. Dubai-based Pierre Heitzmann focuses on construction matters.

    Practice head(s):

    Ebrahim Al Habardi

    Other key lawyers:

    Pierre Heitzmann

    Shearman & Sterling in association with the Law Firm of Dr. Sultan Almasoud

    Shearman & Sterling in association with the Law Firm of Dr. Sultan Almasoud has a track record advising on commercial disputes for Saudi companies and has experience acting before courts and committees including the Settlement of Banking Disputes. The team is led by Riyadh-based Sultan Almasoud.

    Practice head(s):

    Dr. Sultan Almasoud

    Other key lawyers:

    Fahad Alhasan Abdulrhman

    Key clients

    Japan Saudi Arabia Methanol Company

    BNP Paribas

    Alsalam Aerospace Industries Company

    Al-Futtaim Group

    Enany Group

    SETE Saudia Company

    Jabal Omar Company

    Fakieh Group

    Ben Dayel Group

    Alfouzan Group

    Advanced Electronics Company

    PrivatAir Saudi Arabia Company Limited

    Investcorp Holdings B.S.C.