Firms To Watch: Construction

Scott Hutton is the key name at Khalid El Tamimi in association with EKP. The team handles disputes in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
Established in 2021 MRP Advisory LLC, handles claims concerning award of construction assignments in tenders, contractual penalties, improper performance claims, and other FIDIC-based disputes. Rishabh Jogani and Adarsh Ramakrishnan, who are qualified in India, are the key names.

Construction in United Arab Emirates

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP has an ‘excellent reputation‘ in the construction space and advises on the full life cycle of projects, covering both contentious and non-contentious and from concept to completion. Michael Grose specialises in complex construction arbitration cases and Mark Blanksby has extensive experience in the role of project counsel and assists clients with commercial and contractual matters. The firm’s Abu Dhabi projects and construction offering is led by Heather Nevin. Dubai-based senior associate Alexa Hall is also noted. Since publication, Beau McLaren left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Michael Grose; Mark Blanksby; Heather Nevin

Other key lawyers:

Alexa Hall


‘Excellent local knowledge across the Gulf jurisdictions.’

‘Mark Blanksby; Michael Grose; Alexa Hall – They are all excellent. Very knowledgeable about construction disputes, the Gulf market, and arbitration.’

‘Clyde and Co have an excellent reputation in the Middle East and have been our preferred legal practice for many years. One of the things that differentiates Clyde and Co from other practices that we have dealt with is the effort they put in to understanding our business, our values and our people. This passion to develop relationships and familiarise themselves with our working practices gives us utmost confidence that the legal advice being given is always aligned with our business objectives.’

‘To the best of my knowledge Michael Grose has been our main point of contact at Clyde and Co for all the years that we have been dealing with them. He has consistently given us excellent advice and where he has needed to involve colleagues in matters that have been outside his area of expertise, he has ensured that the very highest standards are maintained. Michael has exceptional interpersonal skills and our staff (at all levels) feel very comfortable dealing with him.’


Dentons has a 'first-class' construction team that is 'well equipped' to handle high-value construction disputes and transactions. Key areas of expertise include energy and utilities projects and disputes involving airport projects.  Changes to the team include Dean Ryburn's promotion to head of construction and dispute resolution and Mhairi Main Garcia's promotion to regional head of energy and infrastructure. Ian Dalley is a go-to contact for disputes involving complex engineering issues. Middle East managing partner Alastair Young also has a strong engineering and construction disputes practice. Senior associate Suzannah  Fairbairn is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Dean Ryburn

Other key lawyers:

Alastair Young; Ian Dalley; Suzannah Fairbairn; Mhairi Main Gracia


‘As Ian Dalley is dual qualified, he has a firm understanding of the technical issues associated with a dispute.’

‘This is a first class team with in-depth knowledge of the local market and the needs of construction clients. They are well equipped to handle the very largest disputes.’

‘Alastair Young is unflappable. He is down to earth and offers commercial solutions.

Dean Ryburn is tremendously hard-working and has an exceptional eye for detail. He is the man you want on heavyweight document heavy construction cases.’

Suzannah Fairburn is an excellent senior associate and clearly a partner in the making.’

‘The overall team is strong from top to bottom We get billed regularly and accurately. There is a real sense that budgets are important and they pro-actively seek to reduce costs where possible and not jeopardizing the case. Their direct access sites for information flow are efficient and easy to operate.’

‘Alastair Young – Very efficient and good communicator; Dean Ryburn – Very good lawyer with a good holistic view and great attention to detail. Unflappable; Suzanna Fairburn – Great lawyer.’

Key clients

Murray & Roberts

BIC Contracting

Takenaka Corporation


Al Farwaniya Property Developments LLC

Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA)

Gulf Related


Sumitomo Corporation, Gulf Investment Corporation and Korea Electric Power Corporation

Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP)

Modon Properties


Arabian Construction Company WLL

National Central Cooling Company PJSC (Tabreed)

DLA Piper

DLA Piper advises on the full project life cycle and has a ‘very strong construction disputes‘ practice. Key clients for the firm include real estate investors and developers, main contractors and project finance sponsors. Practice head Trevor Butcher has extensive experience advising on front-end construction projects, including power, water and infrastructure. Suzannah Newboult takes the lead on many of the firm’s construction and engineering disputes. Daniel Jude and Wissam Dagher are other key names to note within the firm’s contentious offering. Legal director Hasan Rahman heads the firm’s front-end construction practice in Abu Dhabi. Legal director Alex Freeman was a new arrival from Squire Patton Boggs in October 2021. Andrew Mackenzie was a new arrival in February 2022.

Practice head(s):

Trevor Butcher

Other key lawyers:

Suzannah Newboult; Daniel Jude; Hasan Rahman; Wissam Dagher; Adam Bradshaw; Peter Anagnostou; Alex Freeman; Andrew Mackenzie


‘The Team that I dealt with were all over the details of the matter and so when issues or queries presented themselves, there was almost an instant response without the need to go and find something out.’

‘Suzannah Newboult – Knew exactly what to do at any given moment – walked all over the opposition (in a nice way).’

‘Very strong construction disputes practice. Lots of big hitters in the UAE team.’

‘Peter Anagnostou – very intelligent, future partner’

‘Hasan Rahman is a well rounded lawyer that always make himself available to attend its clients needs.’

‘Wissam Dagher: Great communication. Great legal expertise. Can often find a solution to an issue that is not always obvious. Good commercial acumen.’

They have a seamless connection between great international industry expertise and local law with their local law firm relationship. Their written communication of progress is good. Their Partner engagement is truly 24/7.

Key clients

Gulf Related

Saudi Airlines Cargo Company

Bee’ah (Sharjah Environment Co. LLC)

Air Products and Chemicals, Inc

The International Company for Water & Power Projects (ACWA)

Al Mutlaq Real Estate Investment Company

Work highlights

  • Drafting and negotiating the EPC and FM contracts for the development, design, construction, ownership, operation, maintenance, insurance and transfer of the King Salman Energy Park.
  • Advising Bee’ah in relation to the construction and export credit financing of its state-of-the-art eco-friendly new headquarters building in Sharjah.
  • Advising the lenders to ACWA Power on the EPC and O&M aspects of The Red Sea Project’s Utility Assets and Infrastructure PPP.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP has a ‘highly qualified‘ construction practice with deep expertise in water and power projects. Mark Raymont heads the construction disputes practice. Faisal Attia‘s promotion to partner in 2021 has strengthened the practice’s senior team, particularly in relation to construction arbitration and litigation. Tim Armsby heads the non-contentious offering and is supported by Gurmeet Kaur on a range of PPP and energy and infrastructure projects. Other key individuals to note include Jed Savager, Nesreen Osman, Nick Tolley and Angus Frean.

Practice head(s):

Mark Raymont; Tim Armsby

Other key lawyers:

Jed Savager; Nesreen Osman; Faisal Attia; Nick Tolley; Angus Frean; Gurmeet Kaur


Pinsent Masons has a strong knowledge of construction law in the UAE, together with a flexible approach allowing us to better understand cases and facilitating solutions to problems.’

Pinsent Masons team are highly qualified with a proven track record in the Middle East, facilitating the way to deal with the customer and the best manner to approach them.’

Key clients

Grupo Cobra

Bouygues Batiment International

Arabian BEMCO Contracting Co. Ltd

Shanghai Electric Group

Mitsubishi Group

National Centre for Privatization

Larsen & Toubro Group

CNIM Construction LLC

MCC Huatin Engineering & Technology

CGGC International Limited

Emaar Development PJSC

Advanced Technology Development (ATD)

MKM Commercial Holdings LLC

Eagle Hills


Work highlights

  • Advising a main contractor for refurbishment works, who is named as one of multiple defendants in local court proceedings in relation to a fire that broke-out at a major luxury hotel in Dubai in late 2015.
  • Advised MKM Commercial Holdings LLC in relation to the Wafi Hotel Complex and Mall expansion in two disputes arising from the same project, one against its main contractor in the local courts in Dubai and another against its scaffolding subcontractor in the DIFC Courts.
  • Reviewing and updating Eagle Hills Properties’ (the developer) in-house suite of bespoke FIDIC-based construction contracts (including subcontracts) to bring these up to date with recent developments.

Reed Smith

Sachin Kerur is the office managing partner for Reed Smith‘s Middle East practice and is a partner in the energy and natural resources team. Sachin has advised on a broad range of projects across the Middle East including airports, road and rail networks, oil and gas facilities. Michelle Nelson specialises in major oil and gas, and construction infrastructure disputes. Simon Harvey is also noted and has expertise in the emerging markets. Senior associate Jane Miles is another key contact for construction and engineering and dispute resolution matters.

Practice head(s):

Sachin Kerur

Other key lawyers:

Michelle Nelson; Jane Miles; Simon Harvey


‘Reed Smith’s unique strength is its genuine prioritization for the practical cost-effective and quick solution. On the basis of their their and solid experience in construction matters and in the GCC and the Middle East, their profound knowledge of the applicable laws Reed Smith’s lawyers have gained and maintained my confidence in their ability to manoeuvre me as their client confidently through what at times may appear as a maze of different and ever changing rules and regulations.’

‘Michelle Nelson tackles a complex and convoluted construction dispute like a chess game she is going to win. She thinks several steps ahead and connects various factors for the true and genuine benefit for her client (her client was in most cases not even aware of). It is certain that the disputes Michelle is handling will not drag endlessly. It is certain that the legal team working under her direction will not be taken by surprise, having thoroughly considered various possible options and prepared for these.’

Sachin Kerur combines legal strategies with great leadership skills. His affable style and nature are an expression of the authentic approach to turn the client into an esteemed partner.’

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard's UAE construction practice is 'highly responsive' and 'commercially minded' and showcases considerable expertise in the transport and infrastructure sectors. Stephen Burke co-heads the practice and is praised for his 'excellent technical expertise'. Bevan Farmer heads the practice alongside Burke and specialises in construction and engineering disputes. Managing associates Luke Johnson and James Macdonald are also noted; both have expertise in international arbitration.

Practice head(s):

Bevan Farmer; Stephen Burke

Other key lawyers:

James Macdonald; Luke Johnson; Charlotte Davis


‘The team as a whole was skilled, well managed and had the ability to get things done within very tight timelines and demands. Their approach as disputes lawyers on the matter we worked on together was logically, strategically and tactically spot on.’

‘Stephen Burke was the lead counsel in charge of the matter I was working on. He is very focused on the client’s needs and concerns, gives sound legal advice in relation to complex contractual dispute matters, and is always looking for a strategy that is in the best interests of the client. His advocacy skills in the hearing were outstanding.’

‘Highly responsive, commercially minded and flexible in their approach.’

‘Stephen Burke – very client service focused, excellent technical expertise and generally a pleasure to work with.’

‘Very collaborative working approach, developing strong client relationships. Responsive, competitive and keeping on top of relevant legal developments.’

‘Our dealings are with a team led by Stephen Burke, although the majority of the communication is with Stephen himself. He is a superb lawyer. Not only does he have an outstanding knowledge of the law, he is tactically astute and dives into the detail of his cases. His hearing skills are first rate. His cross examination of witnesses is of the very highest calibre. I have witnessed him (very professionally) dismantle factual and expert witnesses on several occasions. He seems to live and breathe the cases which is extremely reassuring for clients’

‘Stephen Burke, who leads the disputes practice in the Middle East, is one of the most talented advocates I have worked with. He is an excellent, natural cross-examiner. His analytical skills are excellent, enabling him to boil down complex concepts into their essential terms. The office services are state of the art, fully capable of operating on all technology platforms.’

‘Stephen Burke is the best or one of the best advocates in the region. He has huge experience in construction disputes. Stephen’s team is excellent. James Macdonald and Charlotte Davis are tireless in their dedication to the client.’

Key clients

Samsung Engineering Company Limited

Arabtec Construction LLC

Dubai RTA

WS Atkins & Partners Overseas

Work highlights

  • Acted for SECL in its ICSID investor-state dispute against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), brought under the Bilateral Investment Treaty between the Republic of Korea and the KSA arising out of an EPC contract in respect of the Yanbu III Power and Seawater Desalination Plant Project, a 3100-MW thermal power plant.

Beale & Company Solicitors LLP

Beale & Company Solicitors LLP is a specialist construction law firm with a team of 'experienced' construction arbitration lawyers that deliver 'timely, pragmatic and robust advice'. The practice has a broad range of expertise and advises on international arbitration and front-end aspects of construction and engineering projects. Managing partner Claire Miller is a 'commercially sound and robust lawyer' and specialises in construction and insurance disputes. Lyndon Richards has extensive experience drafting and negotiating contracts for a wide variety of construction and infrastructure projects. Sadaff Habib, Jeremy Russell and Nadia Paliwalla are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Claire Miller

Other key lawyers:

Lyndon Richards; Sadaff Habib; Nadia Paliwalla; Jeremy Russell


‘They consistently churn out high-quality advice no matter how tight a deadline we give them. They often operate as an extension of our in-house legal department and have taken the time to get to know our company’s management and project teams, and how we operate as a business, to better support us as a business. No other legal practice have been as engaged with our business.’

‘Beale & Co understands the pressures in-house counsel are under and never fail to deliver timely, pragmatic and robust advice making the life of in-house counsel much easier.’

‘Claire Miller is a clever and strategic lawyer. Her responsiveness and knowledge makes it difficult to instruct other lawyers. Her management of complex construction disputes is second to none. Claire is all over the details of every dispute and claim she is instructed on and effortlessly manages to keep on top of external third-party experts assisting in those claims. Claire is a commercially sound and robust lawyer that does not ‘sit on the fence’ and works tirelessly to problem-solve and to protect her client’s interests.’

Lyndon Richard’s hiring has strengthened the team further and we have been impressed with his ability to quickly get on top of very complex and technical issues.’

Claire and Lyndon are supported by an experienced and savvy team of associates. Jeremy Russell, in particular, is a talented associate who is both knowledgeable and commercial. Sadaff Habib stands out for her responsiveness and case management.’

‘Simply a great team to work with: smart as they come but at the same time the whole team are friendly and relaxed. Nothing is ever too much trouble and everything is done with a smile.’

‘The team work hard to get the best result for their client. They manage the dispute process well and get the best out of the wider team including experts.’

‘Claire Miller stands out as one of the best lawyers in the UAE. She delivers excellent results for her clients. The recent addition of Lyndon Richards expands the team and is a great hire.’

Key clients

AECOM Middle East

Al Naboodah

ALEC Engineering & Contracting LLC

WS Atkins & Partners Middle East (part of SNC Lavalin)

Depa Group

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP handles contentious and non-contentious construction mandates and has extensive experience advising clients in the airport and transport, residential real estate, defence, hospitality and energy sectors. Practice head Richard Davies has 'tremendous experience' and his practice includes cross-border construction-related disputes and transactional advice. Charles Lilley specialises in construction and engineering disputes, with particular experience advising Chinese contractors in the region and is supported by PRC-qualified lawyer Justin Jie Zhang. Anna Gee and Richard Dupay are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Richard Davies

Other key lawyers:

Charles Lilley; Anna Gee; Justin Jie Zhang; Richard Dupay


‘Richard Davies and Charles Lilley, who have each been in the region for over a decade, have a huge amount of experience in non-contentious and contentious matters, including international arbitration.’

‘They’re a well resourced team in the UAE, with lawyers in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and they have a strong bench of senior associates in particular. BCLP have a very global practice and have been able to connect me with specialist construction colleagues in their offices around the globe for advice on some of our projects in other jurisdictions, including in the US and the UK. Diversity of their work-force is a clear priority and I have been invited to a number of female initiatives. It feels as if diversity at BCLP is important and not mere virtue signalling.’

‘I always find the people at BCLP easy to deal with and very pragmatic in their advice. They’re very thorough and give well thought through advice that is presented in an easy to use way. I work most closely with partner Charles Lilley and senior associate Richard Dupay who both act as my relationship contacts at BCLP.’

Charles is an outstanding lawyer whom I have worked with for years. He has a very sound technical knowledge and always delivers a first class service. I would rate him among the best constructions disputes partners in the region.’

Richard Dupay is without a doubt the stand-out senior associate for BCLP and probably one of the best lawyers of his grade. With Richard you can tell he really cares about the work and delivering for the client and nothing is too much to ask of him. He’s technically excellent and has both great attention to detail and a firm strategic grasp on his matters. I cannot recommend him highly enough.’

‘Very strong construction disputes team in Abu Dhabi. Led very well by partner Charles Lilley. Adept at handling large matters and allowing experts to do their jobs properly.’

‘Charles Lilley – a big hitter in construction matters in the UAE. Anna Gee – very very capable disputes lawyer & a pleasure to work with. Justin Jie Zhang – bilingual, very sharp for such a young lawyer, great main contractor experience having worked for China State’

‘The law firm’s construction practice is one of the best in the Middle East and the partner Richard Davies is very knowledgeable on all types of construction matters and disputes. The firm has a can do attitude and is very easily accessible.’

‘Richard Davies is an extremely sound and knowledgeable construction specialist. He has tremendous experience in the industry and is also commercially astute. He is also very approachable and the quality of his advice is exemplary.’

Key clients

China National Aero-Technology International Engineering Corporation (Dubai Branch)

ALEC Engineering & Contracting LLC (“ALEC”)

The Second Construction Co., Ltd. Of China Construction Third Engineering Bureau- Dubai Branch (CSC3 for short)

Core Engineering Consultancy L.L.C.

Al Tayer Real Estate

Blast Deflectors Inc.

Majid Al Futtaim (“MAF”)

J&H Emirates LLC

Yoma Land/Meeyahta Developments Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Al Tayer Real Estate on substantial delays, contested responsibility for the delays and subsequent court proceedings in relation to a mixed-use building in Garhoud, Dubai, UAE.
  • Advising J&H in respect of its large and complex ADCCAC arbitration against the main contractor TCA JV in relation to the Midfield Terminal Building project at Abu Dhabi Airport, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
  • Advising Yoma Land/Meeyahta Developments Limited on the complicated and multi-party procurement of a landmark development in central Yangon, Myanmar.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance advises developers, lenders and contractors on projects in the oil and gas, power, water and wastewater, real estate and infrastructure sectors. The team is praised for its 'technical knowledge' and 'commercial acumen' and is led by Inaamul Laher, who has particular expertise in greenfield renewable projects. Paul Coats is noted and advises on international commercial and investment treaty arbitrations.

Practice head(s):

Inaamul Laher

Other key lawyers:

Tim Steadman; Paul Coates; Richard Parris


‘The Abu Dhabi team has served our Group of companies well, in particular with the larger more complex EPC projects. It makes a big difference being able to trust a law firm to run the legal support for a major project with minimal supervision, as is the case with CC.’

‘Inaamul Laher is an excellent lawyer. He completely understands what our companies need to achieve and how to manage negotiations efficiently and effectively to get us there.’

‘CC has a strong construction practice and has dealt with our matters conscientiously. They are experienced in the field and have deep knowledge about the industry.’

‘What makes CC stand out is that beyond their legal and technical knowledge, they have a deep knowledge of the construction sector and have strong commercial acumen.’

‘Paul Coates is extremely bright and confident (and competent). At the same time he and his team have a very good client manner. In addition Paul has excellent judgement in terms of case strategy: winning and anticipating problems. He is a huge pleasure to work with and I believe that the clients we have worked with find the same.’

Key clients

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC)

AMEA Power


Abu Dhabi Polymers Co. Ltd (Borouge)

Marubeni Corporation


Public Investment Fund

Work highlights

  • Advising EDF Renouvables and JinkoPower on all aspects of the development, construction, operation and financing of a major 2GW solar PV mega-project in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
  • Advising Abu Dhabi Polymers Co Ltd (Borouge) the developer (a JV company between ADNOC and Borealis) on the process licensing, front-end engineering and design and construction of a major petrochemical complex in Abu Dhabi.
  • Advising New Jeddah Downtown Company, subsidiary of The Public Investment Fund (PIF), on the redevelopment of Jeddah’s waterfront corniche, creating a unique tourist, residential and commercial destination, to become the “New Jeddah Downtown”.

Hadef & Partners LLC

Hadef & Partners has a 'highly regarded' engineering and construction practice with particular expertise in dispute resolution and arbitration. On the litigation side, the team regularly handles complex delay and related cost claims, final account and variation cost claims and defective design and workmanship issues. John Smy heads the practice and advises across the full spectrum of construction. Matthew Page and Paul Suckling specialise in construction-related arbitration and litigation. Executive partner Basil Siddiqi heads the firm's Abu Dhabi offering. Senior associate Oliver Dupenois is also noted.

Practice head(s):

John Smy; Basil Siddiqi

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Page; Paul Suckling; Kadry Zaghawa; Abdulrahman Juma; Oliver Dupenois


‘They had a deep understanding of the complex factual, technical and legal issues in the case. They provided the client with pragmatic and helpful advice on a range of issues, and were extremely responsive to the client’s requests for advice and input. They helped run a substantial arbitration hearing with great skill, determination, and tactical nous.’

‘John Smy is a hugely experienced and impressive solicitor, very knowledgeable about UAE law and procedure, and has a great understanding of the construction industry in the UAE region. He is extremely bright and tactically astute. Matthew Page is very hard working, produces excellent written work, and has great drive and enthusiasm. Oliver Dupenois has great attention to detail and really gets to grips with the technical detail of the case.’

‘The Hadef Construction team are well known and highly regarded, led by vastly experienced and formidable practitioner John Smy. John is ably assisted by fellow partners Paul Suckling and Matthew Page providing high quality services to a broad range of clients.’

‘John Smy leads the construction practice and has been in the UAE for a considerable period of time meaning he has superb local knowledge of construction law.’

Paul Suckling is very well known in the construction sector for providing high quality practical legal advice on complicated construction matters.’

Matthew Page brings a superb level of intellect to resolving construction disputes coupled with a very calm and reassuring manner.’

‘The practice comprises a very capable blend of Arabic and non-Arabic lawyers thereby enabling matters of both local and international litigation to be managed.’

Key clients

International Electro-Mechanical Services Co. LLC

Jubail Island Investment Company

Union Pipes

Saadiyat Development and Investment Company (SDIC)

King & Spalding LLP

Abu Dhabi-based Tim Burbury heads King & Spalding LLP‘s non-contentious construction offering and has extensive experience advising on high-value construction projects. Burbury’s expertise also covers the construction of ‘mega’ projects. Randall Walker and Patrick McPherson are also based in Abu Dhabi and both have a broad construction, energy and infrastructure disputes practice. The team welcomed senior associate James Clark, who joined in May 2021 from Clifford Chance. Since publication, Dan Feldman joined the firm.

Practice head(s):

Tim Burbury

Other key lawyers:

Timm Smith; Guillaume Hess; Patrick McPherson; Randall Walker; Dan Feldman


‘We have a team with a cross section of experience, with very good quality control processes in place. Responsiveness is exceptional. The team also recognises that the executive management team from the client is not always available and knows when to wait vs when to push to resolve a matter which is extremely important.’

‘The individuals are responsive, they work out what is important from the discussion and come back with a result ready for application.’

Key clients


Vision Invest

Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company



Mubadala Investment Company


Electricity de France (EDF)

Sadara Chemical Company

Abu Dhabi Investment Office



Misk Foundation


Work highlights

  • Advising Masdar in its role as the local shareholder on all aspects of the development and financing of the 2GW Al Dhafra solar PV project in Abu Dhabi.
  • Advising the consortium of power developers, Masdar, Vision Invest, ENGIE, in relation to the EPC contract and associated project agreements with PowerChina for 14 renewable energy plants in one sitting.
  • Advised the EDF and JERA consortium on its bid for the 2.4 GW Fujairah 3 IPP in the UAE.

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs assists its clients with all aspects of construction and infrastructure development. Clients include general contractors, EPC contractors, governments, private developers and project sponsors. Managing partner Thomas Wilson heads the construction and arbitration practices. Ravinder Bhullar specialises in international commercial arbitration and litigation in relation to construction, energy, real estate and infrastructure projects. For project finance mandates, Shane Wilson is a key point of contact. Stephan Adell and Jonathan Taunton are also noted. Changes in the team include the departure of Scott Hutton.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Wilson

Other key lawyers:

Ravinder Bhullar; Stephan Adell; Shane Wilson; Jonathan; Jonathan Taunton

Key clients


Sumitomo Corporation

Sojitz Corporation



Standard Chartered Bank





Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR)

The Department of Finance, Dubai



Mizuho Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising the lenders (six banks) to a consortium bidding for the Al Wakra Independent Sewage Treatment Project in Qatar.
  • Advising the UAE Federal Ministry of Infrastructure Development along with PWC Dubai on a review of the current PPP legislative and regulatory framework and engaging with stakeholders on how this framework might change.
  • Advised the government of Dubai on the structuring, procurement and implementation of a major waste-to-energy project in Dubai, UAE.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP has a broad contentious and non-contentious construction offering with expertise across all major sectors including transport infrastructure, power, oil and gas, metals and mining and petrochemicals. Michael Turrini heads the practice and has extensive experience working in the UAE and wider Middle East region. Ibaad Hakim has a strong focus on the oil and gas, infrastructure and power sectors. Counsel Habeeb Rahman is also noted and has a strong focus on transactional construction, procurement and technology licensing work.

Practice head(s):

Michael Turrini

Other key lawyers:

Ibaad Hakim; Habeeb Rahman; Sarah Hudson


‘Extremely reliable and efficient in their work. Team members were always available at short notice to help us. The W&C team members took an interest and showed care when working with us with translates to a good working relationship.’

Able to mobilise strong teams to manage some of the regions largest disputes on some of the regions largest projects.

‘Habeeb Rahman worked closely with us and was of tremendous help. Habeeb prepares diligently for all meetings and is willing to negotiate tooth and nail when required while also giving sound and realistic advise to us. His dedication to work and general approachability are key strengths.’

‘White & Case has demonstrated a strong experience in construction disputes and international arbitration, has a good solid team and a surprising know-how of the construction business. They do their work very efficiently, they review all correspondences and not just depend on our in-house claims. etc.. in conclusion very pleased with their works.’

What separates this practice from the others is simple – Michael Turrini. Mr. Turrini’s practical and thorough.’

I got the job done within the timeframe and budget and with high quality.’

Key clients

Emirates Water & Electricity Company

Saudi Aramco

Etihad Rail

The Red Sea Development Company

Saudi Power Procurement Company (SPPC)

USAID / the Jordanian Ministry of Water and Irrigation

Work highlights

  • Advised EWEC in connection with the Fujairah F3 IPP involving the development of the Fujairah F3 power generation plant having a net capacity of 2400MW together with a grid station and associated facilities.
  • Advised EWEC in connection with the PV2 IPP involving the development of a 2GW solar project, the world’s largest single-site solar power plant, together with a grid station and associated facilities in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, UAE.
  • Advised The Red Sea Development Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, The Public Investment Fund, on the construction aspects of the Phase One of The Red Sea Project, the revolutionary tourism giga project currently under development on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia.

Al Tamimi & Company

Al Tamimi & Company has ‘deep knowledge‘ of the regional and international laws in the region. Key areas of focus include front-end construction, construction advisory, litigation and arbitration. Practice head Andrew Symms specialises in all aspects of construction and engineering law. Euan Lloyd focuses on power, infrastructure, building and development projects. On the contentious end, Naief Yahia is noted.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Symms

Other key lawyers:

Euan Lloyd; Naief Yahia; Thomas Snider; John Gaffney; Sara Aranjo


‘We have been collaborating with Al Tamimi and Co. for some time now and are very pleased with the level of services we receive and the timely manner, within which this is taking place.’

‘High level of communication and efficiency in providing legal services and advice.’

‘The members of the firm have the ability to catch the important matters and issues out of complex situations. They are also experienced lawyers with deep knowledge in regional laws and customs along with international practices. Also, the firm holds the ability to communicate in English perfectly, which seemed to be a great strength compared to other regional/local firms.’

‘Sara Aranjo: She gives advice precisely in concise words.’

‘Mr. Naief Yahia: His qualities include mastery of the law, remarkable ability to grasp the issues and historical events, good negotiator, competent, creative, approachable, composed, strategic thinker, accommodating, bilingual, leadership skills.’

Key clients



Sheikh Suroor Project Department

Abu Dhabi Motorsports Company

Modon Properties



RAK government entities

GFH Financial Group


Bracewell LLP

Tom Swarbrick heads the construction and engineering practice at Bracewell LLP and advises clients on projects in the oil and gas, power and infrastructure sectors. Andrej Kormuth is also noted and has an active presence in the power, water and wastewater space. Senior associate Shayan Najib provides additional support.

Practice head(s):

Tom Swarbrick

Other key lawyers:

Andrej Kormuth; Shayan Najib


‘Tom Swarbrick, Shayan Najib care about personal relationships and are always available. When working with this practice it feels like we are part of the same team. Furthermore their advice is often practical and very useful for our day to day business. They have a vast knowledge of the renewable energy business which is key.’

‘Tom Swarbrick and Shayan Najib are a real pleasure to work with. They care about personal relationships and they care about the business of their clients and try to find the best solutions in their clients’ interest.’

‘They are sufficiently capable to advise us and our EPC Partner how we should agree the EPC Contract with the EPC Partner. They have extensive knowledge and experience on how we deal with and convince financiers in terms of technical and commercial aspects in relation to the EPC Contract.’

Key clients

Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV)

Arabian Chemical Terminals

Total Solar



ENI S.p.A.


Al Jomaih Energy and Water Company

Kyushu Electric

Anglo Tunisian Oil & Gas

Work highlights

  • Advised FRV in relation to the development of the Contego utility-scale battery storage project, to be constructed and operated by Tesla.
  • Advised FRV in connection with the construction and operation/ maintenance contracts, concession agreement and financing contracts for a 55 MW Solar PV project in Armenia.
  • Advised Arabian Chemical Terminals in relation to the drafting and negotiation of a construction contract for a chemical storage facility in Abu Dhabi.


CMS focuses on representing clients in the energy, construction and infrastructure sectors in disputes. Oil and gas, power and infrastructure are key areas of strength. Greg Sibbald heads the firm's Middle East construction practice and advises clients on construction and engineering disputes. Middle East managing director Adrian Bell is another key name to note and specialises in international infrastructure and construction disputes. Courtney Rothery is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Greg Sibbald; Adrian Bell

Other key lawyers:

Courtney Rothery

Key clients

Larsen & Toubro

Mott MacDonald Limited

AECOM Middle East LLC

Acciona Construcion S.A.

Gulermak Agir Sanayi Insaat Ve Taahhut A.Ş.

Lukoil Middle East

Sulzer Chemtech ME

Tecnicas Reunidas

Eversheds Sutherland LLP

Eversheds Sutherland LLP has a full-service construction offering and has an experienced domestic and cross-border arbitration practice led by Paul Taylor. Taylor is the managing partner of the Dubai office and primarily focuses on construction and engineering disputes. Shalagh Massingham also has a broad international construction disputes practice. Abu Dhabi-based legal director Roberta Wertman is also noted. The team is praised by clients for its 'expertise, practicality and tenacity'.

Practice head(s):

Paul Taylor; Shalagh Massingham

Other key lawyers:

Roberta Wertman


‘Paul Taylor (managing partner of Dubai office) has been working in Dubai for many years and therefore has as much longevity & experience as any contemporaries in the market. He has built a successful award winning team in 3 years at Eversheds.’

‘Vast experienced in construction disputes, client oriented approach, very high level of thinking, close cooperation with the client and deep understanding of their needs, situation and prospects, which delivers very good integration with the client.’

‘Paul Taylor is great to work with and a clever lawyer.’

‘Paul Taylor and Roberta Wertman are a pleasure to work with, thoroughly recommended for their expertise, practicality and tenacity. Paul and Roberta possess immense depth of knowledge up and down the construction/engineering supply chain. Given a problem Paul and Roberta can work out a comfortable route to a solution from the outset, without diversions or back-tracing. Paul’s experience as an arbitrator also gives him the ability to consider a client’s case and expert evidence through the lens of the tribunal and potential opposition tactics.’

Paul Taylor – a truly excellent construction lawyer. Client friendly and provides advice in a clear and precise manner.’

A well drilled unit with great diversity mixing experience with youth. Communication second to none with robust practices and processes in place. Innovative online Eversheds case software makes it easy to track updates.’

Habib Al Mulla & Partners, a member firm of Baker & McKenzie International

The construction team at Habib Al Mulla & Partners, a member firm of Baker & McKenzie International is led by Habib Al Mulla. Kate Corby specialises in construction and engineering disputes. Senior counsel Sally Kotb is also noted. Since research concluded, Andrew Mackenzie left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Habib Al Mulla

Other key lawyers:

Kate Corby; Sally Kotb


‘Their turn around time is excellent. Also, they have exceptional understanding of UAE law.’

‘The team has a broad level of experience and are capable of handling legal cases in both the local courts and in arbitration. The have a good mix of Arabic and native English team members.’

‘The team is very focused and flexible to deal with very complicated cases both on procedural and factual basis with an excellent interaction with in-house counsels. The lawyers are experienced and open minded with a strong commitment.’

‘Sally Kotb has also a deep knowledge of the construction industry and the applicable laws. She has been always very responsive, precise and committed.’

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP‘s Nick Oury heads the firm’s Middle East contentious construction practice; Oury is an ‘impressive lawyer‘ and his practice covers construction and infrastructure litigation and arbitration. Project finance lawyer Anthony Ellis leads the firm’s non-contentious offering and advises governments, sponsors and developers. Senior associate Sean Witham is also noted. The 2021 arrivals of Sarosh Mewawalla from Linklaters and Christopher Cross from the Saudi National Centre for Privatisation and PPP has bolstered the firm’s project finance offering.

Practice head(s):

Nick Oury; Anthony Ellis

Other key lawyers:

Sean Witham; Sarosh Mewawalla; Christopher Cross; Patrick O’Grady


‘Nick Oury is an excellent lawyer.’

‘Nick Oury – Always available, even at short notice and whilst on holiday. Very practical, pragmatic advice. Dispute avoidance, in particular, was at the heart of his advice, which was very important / much appreciated.’

‘Close liaison and collaboration between instructing team and expert. HSF’s team thrives on addressing and understanding the expert technical merits and details, and frames instructions and approaches in a highly unified and collaborative manner.’

Nick Oury leads a highly adept and talented team of construction arbitration practitioners, and drives the arbitral matter with a commercially and technically astute approach coupled with a full field of vision on the legal and procedural issues.’

‘Expertise across the full spectrum of construction related matters in different jurisdictions.’

‘Impressive overall experience. What make them better than other project finance lawyers is their commitment, very responsive, dynamic, in-depth knowledge of construction legal related matters, and customer focused. The team are available to provide “quality” legal services 24/7.’

Patrick O’Grady is highly engaged and involved, and a veritable Engine Room for the arbitral matter. Full communication, full engagement, full support, and full understanding of the expert technical matters.

All legal tasks are handled by the most competent lawyer of the firm, taking into account the cost-effective use of personnel and the importance of the matter. They put effort to utilize management practices that maximize the efficient use of legal services. For example, their associate/seniors associate never get assigned to clerical tasks for which they bill their fees so such tasks are assigned to paralegal/junior staff.

Key clients






Standard Chartered Bank

Korea Development Bank

Bank of Tokyo

Mitsubishi UFJ

EDF Renewables


KfW IPEX Bank GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advised Marubeni as sponsors on the development, construction and financing of the largest independent thermal power plant in the UAE – the Fujairah F3 power project, procured by Emirates Water & Electricity Corporation.
  • Advised the lenders to a bidder consortium on the Yanbu 4 IWP (reverse osmosis plant) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, being procured by Saudi Water Partnerships Company.

King & Wood Mallesons

King & Wood Mallesons handles a broad range of international and domestic construction and engineering arbitrations. Practice head Tim Taylor QC has extensive international dispute resolution experience. DIFC court registered practitioner Daniel Xu is a key point of contact; Daniel advises major Chinese state-owned contractors on projects in the UAE and the wider Middle East region. Joanne Strain is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Tim Taylor QC

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Xu; Joanne Strain


‘Daniel Xu is diligent and very sensible.’

‘They are unique given their decades of experience in the real estate and construction sector, where the team has assisted global investors, developers, sponsors, fund managers, banks and financial institutions. Their diversity has for sure enriched their know-how to advise, meaning clients receiving strategic legal advice that helps reduce the risk, saves time and money and generally make the clients’ lives easier on projects and transactions around different jurisdictions.’

‘We recommend Daniel Xu, the Dubai Partner we had collaborated frequently with for matters related to the UAE and Kuwait jurisdictions for his great knowledge and deep expertise on international arbitration and cross border dispute resolution in relation to construction, engineering and infrastructure-related disputes. He also has extensive experience on issues regarding project risk management and dispute avoidance. He shows a great deal of commitment, innovation, problem-solving and managing the issues at hand with great efficiency.’

What makes KWM unique, is their attention to detail, and high level of preparedness in hearings.’

‘Joanne Strain – Partner: a stand out partner at the firm, intelligent, formidable and extremely well prepared.’

‘Daniel Xu. Excellent advice and responsiveness to requests. Can give very practical advice and not just static legal analysis which is not useful to a business.’

‘Daniel Xu – Very responsive, very knowledgeable , great partner to work with’

Key clients

Shanghai Electric

China Railway Construction Corporation


Work highlights

  • Advising Shanghai Electric, the main contractor, on a landmark clean energy project in the UAE.
  • Advising CRCC on its involvement as a contractor on the Etihad Rail project.
  • Acting for Roadbot as project counsel for the project owner in relation to a manufacturing plant in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD).

Mantle Law

Mantle Law is a specialist law firm that focuses on arbitration and disputes within the construction, energy and infrastructure sectors. Founding partner Matthew Heywood specialises in construction arbitrations and typically represents contractors against developers or quasi-government entities. Alexander Studholme is also noted and has experience acting on a range of construction, energy and infrastructure disputes.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Heywood

Other key lawyers:

Alexander Studholme; Victoria Cunningham


Mat Heywood is the key individual who had the vision to start a new law firm operating in a different way from others. He also has excellent links with the bar which is an important part of the business model allowing him to put together custom teams.’

Mantle Law is unique within the market, it being the only construction law boutique. It therefore is able to operate in innovative ways with flexible teams which is only to the benefit of clients.

Mantle Law is a new, exciting and genuinely different model which responds to clients needs by tailoring resource that suit and works best for the clients and particular cases. It does what many people have been talking about for years namely, working collaboratively with the Bar to create a team that gives the clients early access to the Bar and the Bar early access to the clients for the client’s benefit. A lot of people talk about working in a team, this new model achieves that and the results are astonishingly good.

Matthew Heywood is the partner we work with most who is outstanding. He has vast experience of the region, is entrepreneurial, bright, engaging and we like many others rate him highly. Clients and collaborative workers trust him.

The personal touch and involvement at all stages of Mat Heywood, suitably and ably supported by Alex Studholme.

Alex Studholme is extremely knowledgeable and has a fine eye for detail.

The Mantle Law team is a nimble, boutique firm offering something different to clients in the Middle East. With a model which focusses upon the use of external counsel, alongside the Mantle Team, it is able to offer cost effective services at the high quality required and desired.

Matthew Heywood is an impressive lawyer; an incredibly hard worker who is entirely committed and focussed on what clients need.

Key clients

Multiplex Constructions LLC

ALEC Engineering & Contracting LLC

Midmac Colas Asphalt Company WLL

Constructora San Jose S.A.

Work highlights

  • Advised Multiplex Constructions LLC on its DIFC Court Antisuit injunction and obtained the first such injunction enforceable in Dubai on-shore courts.
  • Advised a Tier 1 Contractor on its disputes with a major subcontractor including successfully maintaining a unique jurisdictional argument.
  • Assisted one of Dubai’s largest developers to remove two precautionary attachments over security and continued support during dual dispute resolution proceedings.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright has an active presence across the Middle East and advises on construction projects in the renewables, water, power, petrochemicals, social infrastructure and PPP sectors. Nicholas Kramer heads the firm’s non-contentious offering within construction and advises governments, developers, contractors and lenders. Dispute resolution practice head Paul Stothard has particular expertise in international arbitration, as well as experience acting in commercial and investment disputes.

Practice head(s):

Nicholas Kramer; Paul Stothard


Nicholas Kramer is impressive in his thorough knowledge of construction law.’

Key clients


ACWA Power






Yapi Merkezi

Emirates National Investment

The Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects

Atles Industries

Saudi Tabreed

Tibah Airports Development Company Limited (Tibah)

ESL Gaming GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advising twofour54 on the development and construction of two separate sound stage facilities at the Khalifa Industrial Zone (KIZAD) in Abu Dhabi.
  • Advising IFC as lenders on the development of the 51.75MW Abour and 49.5MW Tafila wind power projects in Jordan, both of which are under construction.

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Shearman & Sterling LLP advises on a broad range of government-related construction mandates and has expertise in oil and gas facilities across the energy value chain. Alex Bevan heads the firm’s global international arbitration practice. Since publication, Dan Feldman left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Alex Bevan

Key clients

Obrascon Huarte Lain

Orascom Construction / Contrack (Cyprus) Ltd.

Qatar Building Company

Samsung C&T Corporation

ENKA İnşaat ve Sanayi A.Ş.

Abu Dhabi Global Market

Work highlights

  • Representing OHL Internacional and Contrack (Cyprus) Ltd as Respondents in an ICC arbitration in London initiated by the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development concerning the development of a world-class medical facility in the Middle East, subject to Qatari law.
  • Representing an international joint venture in an ICC arbitration against Qatari Railways Company (QRC) arising from the termination of a contract, governed by Qatari law, for the design & build of two of Doha Metro’s flagship stations.

BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP

The construction disputes practice at BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP is led by Antonios Dimitracopoulos and primarily acts for contractors and subcontractors in a wide variety of disputes and arbitration proceedings. Asim Ahmed is frequently instructed by UAE developers and contractors on construction disputes. Of counsel Jonathan Brown is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Antonios Dimitracopoulos

Other key lawyers:

Asim Ahmed; Jonathan Brown


‘BSA team is very active and friendly with us and take their time to study our disputes and give proper advice in time.’

‘Antonios Dimitracopoulos has vast experience as a construction lawyer. He has successfully handled many of our cases of arbitration and litigation. None of the cases handled by him have been lost.’

‘What makes BSA, in my opinion, so different from the other law firms, and especially the Arbitration team is their attention to the detail and micromanagement of the proceedings by the senior members. Further, BSA has implemented the latest technology available, making the exchange of correspondence and communication and the presentation easy and straightforward.’

‘Antonios’ performance was outstanding and his response is timely, on point and always helpful.’

‘Clear guidance through the legal process and an easy to understand approach.’

‘Antonios Dimitracopoulos is practical and hands on and has a true understanding of our requirements and of the most appropriate way to progress the case and to achieve the desired outcome.’

The team is professional, they master the topic in all its aspects. In terms of billing, they were accommodating and agreed on a billing scheme that is within our budget.

Clear guidance through the legal process and an easy to understand approach.

DWF Middle East LLP

Energy, infrastructure, construction and technology are key areas of focus for DWF Middle East LLP. Slava Kiryushin heads the firm's global energy and natural resources group and has a particular focus on oil and gas, power and renewables. He has an experienced construction projects and disputes practice.

Practice head(s):

Slava Kiryushin

Key clients


Smiths Detection


Fenwick Elliott LLP

Fenwick Elliott LLP is a specialist construction law firm and advises clients across the full spectrum of the construction supply chain. Managing partner Patrick Stone specialises in international arbitration and has expertise advising on various standard form construction contracts including FIDIC and NEC. Changes in the team include the departure of Ahmed Ibrahim  in January 2021.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Stone

Other key lawyers:

Gilbert Hakim

Galadari, Advocates & Legal Consultants

Galadari, Advocates & Legal Consultants showcases strong cross-border capabilities and advises various government entities and government-owned companies on construction projects. Dean O’Leary heads the firm's construction and infrastructure practice and has played a key role in bolstering the practice's international arbitration offering. Daniel Brawn is noted and specialises in construction-related arbitration. Senior partner Abdulla Galadari is another key point of contact.

Practice head(s):

Dean O’Leary; Abdulla Galadari

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Brawn


‘I have worked with a partner Dean O’Leary on construction matters and find the practice to be exacting in its high requirements for good quality work – both that it produces and that it commissions. Speed of response is very good as is willingness to have VC’s at very short notice.’

‘Local knowledge is the key for the partner Dean O’Leary. His knowledge of the local construction market and the UAE framework laws surrounding it is standout in my opinion.’

Key clients

TECOM Investment FZ-LLC


Dubai Properties

Dubai Holding



Al Rawabi Dairy Company

Al Ghurair Construction

Carrara Mid-East Industrial Co. LLC

Al Ghurair Construction Readymix

Sheikh Faisal Al Mualla

Naresco Contracting LLC

DAMAC Star Properties LLC

AG Melco Elevator Co. LLC

Frayland Construction

Work highlights

  • Representing Frayland LLC in two major contracting disputes.
  • Represented Depa Group in a dispute against Ghantoot Transport and General Contracting LLC.


HFW represents contractors in disputes that have arisen from construction projects involving pipelines, airports, metro systems and ports. The practice has particular expertise advising Korean contractors in the region and this work is led by Kijong Nam. James Plant was promoted to partner in 2021 and has experience advising international EPC contractors in Kuwait. Legal director Maria Deus is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Kijong Nam; James Plant

Other key lawyers:

Maria Deus


Mr. Plant is very helpful in the sense that he offers his advices while truly being in the position of the contractor, our company. He tries his best to deliver what is requested, but he does not stop there; he offers advice that we did not specifically ask for, but that we truly need. He is also very quick and diligent. There were several times that we had to request for his input on a very tight schedule, but he managed to deliver the best results within the time frame that was given to him.’

‘James Plant delivers good work and provides clear opinions and advice based on the contract.’

Key clients

Hedley International Contracting LLC

Kuwait Oil Company

GS Engineering and Construction

Work highlights

  • Acting for an international Joint Venture contractor on a $850m ICC arbitration in relation to delays and variations on a high-profile Middle East transport project.
  • Acting for a Korean EPC contractor in two parallel sets of local court proceedings against two national oil companies concerning a $190m claim relating to a suspended oil project.
  • Acting for a consortium of two Korean EPC contractors and a natural gas company on a $200m claim relation to an LNG project.

Hogan Lovells (United Arab Emirates) LLP

Hogan Lovells (United Arab Emirates) LLP is noted for utilising the firm's global coverage to handle non-contentious and contentious construction mandates, frequently advising developers, contractors, and governments. Sohail Barkatali specialises in electricity, water, and oil and gas construction projects in the UAE. Based in New York, head of the Middle East practice group Samaa Haridi is a key contact for construction-related arbitration matters. Nabeel Ikram left the firm.

Other key lawyers:

Sohail Barkatali; Samaa Haridi

Horizons & Co

Construction is a core area of focus for UAE firm Horizons & Co and the practice is well integrated with its dispute resolution offering. Areen Jayousi has extensive experience advising clients in property and construction and his practice covers both litigation and arbitration. Managing and founding partner Ali Ismael Al Zarooni is another key point of contact.

Practice head(s):

Ali Ismael Al Zarooni; Areen Jayousi

Key clients

ASGC Construction L.L.C

Teejan Contracting Co. LLC

Arabtec Construction LLC & Belhasa Six Construct LLC (ABJV)

Constructora San Jose S A, Constructora San Jose S A Abu Dhabi Branch

Tav Tepe Akfen Investment Construction & Operation Company & Consolidated Contracting Engineering & Procurement S.A.L. – Offshore

Art Consultants

Work highlights

  • Represented Arabtec Construction LLC and Belhasa Six Construct LLC who are the parties to a joint venture which constructed one of Dubai’s most prestigious hotels. In July 2021, a panel of five experts determined that there was no fault on the part of the clients when investigating a fire that occurred in 2015 at a New Year’s Eve celebration.
  • Advising ASGC Construction L.L.C as a main contractor on a theme park construction project that has become the source of a multimillion-dirham dispute.
  • Advising Teejan Contracting Co. LLC, which was the main contractor on a major development to construct a luxurious chain of 22 villas and two penthouses on the coast of the Jumeirah Palm, for a total value of AED 194,966,754.14.


Kennedys has substantial experience representing clients in energy and infrastructure disputes before the major local and international arbitration institutions. Mark Wilson heads the practice and advises insurers, reinsurers, developers, contractors and construction professionals. Lebanese-qualified lawyer Celine Abi Habib Kanakri is also noted and has a ‘deep understanding‘ of the construction sector.

Practice head(s):

Mark Wilson

Other key lawyers:

Celine Abi Habib Kanakri; Jamie Kellick; Khalil Mechantaf; Laurice Elten


‘Jamie Kellick, Celine Abi Habib Kanakri and Khalil Mechantaf are an excellent team of construction and dispute lawyers who have deep understanding of the industry but with a commercial focus.’

‘Jamie Kellick is very pragmatic and commercial but with excellent understanding and insight.’

‘Responsive and good access to both the associate and partner that we deal with. I appreciate that when something is possibly cheaper and more appropriately dealt with by a local law firm, Kennedys are happy to support that and pass on the work.’

‘Mark Wilson is the partner I am in contact with and I appreciate the nature of advice I get from him whether it is as a conversation about a topic or a detailed analysis of a particular issue. For our daily contact our team deal with Laurice Elten and we find her to be quick and smart in her responses on topics raised.’

Work highlights

  • Represented a regional national petroleum refinery company and its insurers and reinsurers in the successful pursuit, through ICC arbitration proceedings, of claims against an EPC contractor of the insured.
  • Advising the reinsurers of a North African state-owned company in relation to potential recovery prospects following a fire at a mineral refining facility operated by the insured with claimed losses of over MAD 190m ($21m approx).
  • Assisting a contractor to obtain third party funding and advising and representing it in the funded ICC arbitration seated in the Qatar Financial Centre, worth over $90m.

Simmons & Simmons Middle East LLP

David Risbridger is ‘excellent‘ and heads the construction team at Simmons & Simmons Middle East. Managing associate Leonie Sellers, who covers both contentious and non-contentious construction matters, and Harriet Jenkins, who focuses on construction-related international arbitration and disputes, provide additional support. Since publication, Beau McLaren joined the firm.

Practice head(s):

David Risbridger

Other key lawyers:

Leonie Sellers; Harriet Jenkins; Beau McLaren


‘An excellent firm for construction disputes, with a real depth of experience and knowledge of how to marshal the best expert team effectively.’

‘David Risbridger, Harriet Jenkins and Leonie Sellers are all excellent.’

‘Great client list. Very visible in the market with training. One of the most diverse construction disputes teams around.’

‘Harriett Jenkins – very good, practical with advice and instructions’

‘The Simmons & Simmons team has outstanding experience in the region. They are excellent lawyers, and take a commercial and pragmatic approach, and are a pleasure to work with.’

‘Harriet Jenkins is simply outstanding – immensely hard-working, extremely bright, very commercial and pragmatic, absolutely superb with clients and a real pleasure to work with.’

‘The construction team is first-rate and a powerhouse of detail and knowledge, particularly of local issues. They are at the forefront of innovation and development, demonstrated by the speed at which consultations moved “virtual” in Covid-times, and have continued to support and provide cutting edge advice to their international clients on the issues that matter to them. I would go to Simmons and Simmons ahead of any firm in the region.’

‘Leonie Sellers is a tenacious powerhouse of a lawyer, who will both fight her client’s corner but also provide reasoned and sensible advice to secure the most advantageous outcome. Never scared of a challenge, or the competitors, she works incredibly hard and always delivers. She is not partner material, she is partner standard: one to watch and a star player.’

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Trowers & Hamlins LLP has an 'excellent' construction team that covers contentious and non-contentious matters. Cheryl Cairns heads the practice and is 'an exceptional litigator and arbitrator'. Karie Akeelah is 'a stand out construction disputes lawyer' and has extensive experience advising in the region with clients in both the private and public sectors.

Practice head(s):

Cheryl Cairns

Other key lawyers:

Karie Akeelah


‘Cheryl Cairns is an exceptional litigator and arbitrator. She conducts her cases in an efficient, cost effective and tactically astute manner.’

‘Great local connections, entrusted with heavy disputes by long term clients.’

‘Cheryl Cairns is an experienced litigator with a cool, calm approach, who knows how to get great results for her clients. April Baynes is an associate to watch – a star in the making.’

‘Whilst hard work and diligence is the mainstay for all successful legal practices, Trowers and Hamlins are seemingly able to always remain calm under pressure and maintain a good sense of humour during the most challenging of times. In doing so, they never loose focus. A breath of fresh air.’

‘Cheryl Cairns and April Baynes are a formidable team, working together to provide not only an excellent legal product but also offering on point and timely strategic advice that helps in management of both the legal process and the expectations of the business.’

‘The team has an in-depth knowledge of construction technical issues.’

‘Karie Akeelah is a stand out construction disputes lawyer in the region. She is massively committed to her clients and works well with the client and expert teams. A real leader.’

‘The team are very pragmatic, they take a hands on approach and have no problem in tackling the difficult issues with the client and the experts. Their approach is very refreshing.’

‘Trowers & Hamlins are excellent. They have a fantastic team which are extremely hard-working, terrific lawyers, and great to work with.’

‘Karie Akeelah is fantastic – very bright, with a terrific commercial focus, immensely hard working, hugely conscientious, fantastic with clients, and a delight to work with.’

Key clients

Shuaibah Water and Electricity Co (SWEC)

Shuaibah Expansion Project Company (SEPCO)

Shuqaiq Water and Electricity Co. (SqWEC)