Firms To Watch: Construction

Vinson & Elkins LLP‘s construction team primarily handles contentious engineering and construction matters in the UAE and across the wider Middle East region. Nabeel Ikram is the key name to note.

Construction in United Arab Emirates

Clyde & Co LLP

Boasting a strong reputation in the education, energy, healthcare, and transportation sectors, Clyde & Co LLP is home to a ‘stellar team of lawyers’. ‘Exceptional practitioner’ Michael Grose is geared to handle the gamut of contentious and non-contentious construction matters, and co-leads the team with Mark Blanksby, who is a key contact for contractors, subcontractors, and employers. Alexa Hall is noted for her capabilities in drafting and negotiating international construction contracts, while Jeremy Munce is particularly active in the mining, property, and public infrastructure spaces.

Practice head(s):

Michael Grose; Mark Blanksby

Other key lawyers:

Alexa Hall; Jeremy Munce; Nerissa Loong


‘Clyde & Co has a stellar team of lawyers based in Dubai.’

‘The team secures high profile appointments on the most prestigious projects in the region.’

‘Very systematic, organised, and well-resourced.’

Work highlights

DLA Piper

Often handling energy, healthcare, and transport projects, DLA Piper is praised for its ‘wealth of knowledge’, and is well-equipped to represent clients on the full spectrum of contentious construction matters. Lauded as a ‘valuable asset’, Andrew Mackenzie, who is proficient in engineering disputes, co-leads the team with Robert Harker. Suzannah Newboult specialises in the oil and gas as well as utility sectors, while Adam Haque often handles renewable energy mandates. Terrick McCallum is experienced before ADGM and DIFC courts, and Kara Henderson-Price is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Robert Harker; Andrew Mackenzie

Other key lawyers:

Suzannah Newboult; Adam Haque; Terrick McCallum; Kara Henderson-Price


‘Proactive and strategic services, with an understanding of the client’s goals and incentives which often go beyond the legal position.’

‘The construction team has a wealth of knowledge in complex offshore windfarm disputes and worked together collaboratively.’

‘Excellent legal advice but also valuable commercial advice to assist with settlement discussions. The team is responsive to tight timelines which was very helpful in the circumstances.’

‘Suzannah Newboult has extensive experience.’

‘Andrew McKenzie always makes himself available at short notice to accommodate requests for urgent legal advice.’

‘Andrew McKenzie’s various commercial sensitivities makes him a valuable asset.’

Key clients

Bee’ah (Sharjah Environment Co. LLC)


Dutco Construction Co. LLC


DBB Contracting LLC

BAM Higgs & Hill LLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Bee’ah (Sharjah Environment Co. LLC) on the construction and export credit financing of its new headquarters building in Sharjah.
  • Represented BAM Higgs & Hill LLC (BAM) in proceedings against Affan Innovative Structures LLC following subcontractor agreement disputes.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Lauded for its ‘outstanding construction experience and expertise’, Pinsent Masons LLP is well regarded for its infrastructure, power, and water project capabilities. Mark Raymont is proficient in ‘high-value and complex project related disputes’, while Tim Armsby leads the firm’s finance and projects team. Jed Savager is commended for his ‘well thought out, practical advice’ and is experienced before the ICC, DIAC, and LIAC. Nesreen Osman handles construction and engineering disputes in the infrastructure and energy sectors, Faisal Attia counts public and private entities on his client roster, and Nick Tolley ‘combines legal acumen with great client skills’.

Practice head(s):

Mark Raymont; Tim Armsby

Other key lawyers:

Jed Savager; Nesreen Osman; Faisal Attia; Nick Tolley; Jeremy Speller; Gurmeet Kaur; Nhlanhla Tshabalala


‘Outstanding construction experience and expertise, as well as knowledge of the market.’

‘A length of experience in construction disputes, with a breadth of resources to draw upon.’

‘This is a diverse, collegiate, and cohesive team.’

Key clients

Samsung Engineering Company Limited

CNIM Construction LLC

Amaala Company Group

Larsen & Toubro Group

Mitsubishi Group

Shanghai Electric Group

Japan Bank for International Cooperation

Acciona Agua SA

Grupo Cobra

National Centre for Privatization

Advanced Technology Development (ATD)

European Bank for Reconstruction

Metito Utilities Limited

EDF Group

Emaar Development Limited

Mowasalat (Karwa) Q.P.S.C

Veolia Group

Bouygues Batiment International

Arabian BEMCO Contracting Co. Lit

MCC Huatin Engineering & Technology

CGGC International Limited


MKM Commercial Holdings LLC

Work highlights

  • Represented a property developer in arbitration involving claims/counterclaims concerning delays and cost overruns for infrastructure work.
  • Represented an international contractor acting as a sub-contractor in three arbitrations arising from oil and gas project.
  • Advising NEPCO on a range of contractual matters relating to Jordan’s energy infrastructure.

Reed Smith

Bolstered by its international network, Reed Smith is geared to represent clients in cross-border construction litigation and arbitration. On the non-contentious side, the ‘top tier team with an abundance of knowledge’, handles sizeable UAE projects. Commended for his ‘wealth of knowledge’, Sachin Kerur oversees the team and advises public and private entities on infrastructure and development projects across India and the Middle East. Michelle Nelson has a strong track record in DIAC, ICC, and LCIA arbitration proceedings, while Chris Edwards handles the negotiation of project and construction agreements.

Practice head(s):

Sachin Kerur

Other key lawyers:

Michelle Nelson; Chris Edwards; Alison Eslick; Laura Adams


‘A top tier team with an abundance of knowledge.’

‘Industry knowledge, contract expertise, as well as risk mitigation and dispute resolution skills.’

‘Sachin Kerur is my go-to for all things construction. He is commercially savvy and has a wealth of knowledge.’

Work highlights

White & Case LLP

A key contact for employment and public sector clients, White & Case LLP is noted for its capabilities across the infrastructure and power sectors. 'Very knowledgeable in his field', Michael Turrini leads the department, and Ibaad Hakim is an experienced name in construction matters across Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. Habeeb Rahman is proficient in the development and financing of infrastructure, oil and gas, as well as petrochemical projects. Aimy Roshan is experienced in ADGM and DIFC court proceedings, while Sarah Hudson’s recent caseload encompasses pre-dispute advice.

Practice head(s):

Michael Turrini

Other key lawyers:

Ibaad Hakim; Habeeb Rahman; Aimy Roshan; Sarah Hudson


‘The firm comes with huge credentials as a major player in the industry.’

‘The partners understood our business.’

‘A very knowledgeable team.’

‘Michale Turrini has been very helpful and is very knowledgeable in his field.’

Key clients

The Red Sea Development Company

Saudi Power Procurement Company (SPPC)

Saudi Aramco

Etihad Rail

Rua al Madinah Holding Co.

Diriyah Gate Development Company

Work highlights

  • Advising Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) on the Mirfa 2 RO Independent Water Project.
  • Advising Rua al Madina Holding Company on the development of a real estate project in Al-Madina Al Munawarah (Madina).

A&O Shearman

Frequently representing contractors and employers, A&O Shearman handles domestic and international power, real estate, as well as oil and gas project developments. Alex Bevan leads the team and is supported by David Hume, both of whom are vastly experienced in construction arbitration proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Alex Bevan

Other key lawyers:

David Hume

Key clients

Obrascon Huarte Lain

Orascom Construction

Qatar Building Company

Samsung C&T Corporation

ENKA İnşaat ve Sanayi A.Ş.

Work highlights

Addleshaw Goddard

With a regional footprint, Addleshaw Goddard is experienced in DIAC, ICC, and LCIA construction arbitration proceedings. The practice is also well equipped to handle airport, hotel, infrastructure, power plant, and transport development projects. Bevan Farmer specialises in contentious engineering matters, while Stephen Burke is particularly proficient in EPC disputes arising from infrastructure projects. James Macdonald handles mixed-use developments across Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Burke; Bevan Farmer

Other key lawyers:

James Macdonald; Stephanie Collins


‘Their team exhibits a combination of legal prowess and a deep commitment to their clients.’

‘Stephen Burke is an exceptional partner. He is approachable, commercially sensible, and focused on delivering high quality legal work.’

‘Its extensive knowledge of the law is complemented by a genuine passion for delivering impeccable service.’

‘The individuals I worked with at Addleshaw Goddard stand out due to unwavering commitment to clients, innovative problem-solving abilities, collaborative spirit, and dedication to diversity and inclusion.’

‘James Macdonald is attentive, approachable, and responsive. He is commercially astute, and client focused.’

‘Stephen Burke and Stephanie Collins consistently set high standards of excellence and contribute significantly to the success of our practice. It’s truly a privilege to work alongside such exceptional professionals.’

‘Stephen Burke is one of the most attentive lawyers in region. He is detailed and can distil complex issues into easily explainable issues.’

‘Stephen Burke is extremely smart, has outstanding knowledge of the law, and is tactically astute.’

Work highlights


A key port of call for contractors, developers, governments, and sponsors on infrastructure projects, Ashurst is particularly active in the oil and gas sector. Additionally, the practice’s broad caseload encompasses PFPs, PPPs, project bidding, as well as construction arbitration, litigation, and mediation. A duo of lawyers jointly lead the department: Luke Robottom is often engaged in transactional construction matters, while Cameron Cuffe handles contentious matters across the energy and transport sectors. Jason Gouveia is knowledgeable of social infrastructure, and Yvonne Cross is also a key member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Luke Robottom; Cameron Cuffe

Other key lawyers:

Jason Gouveia; Yvonne Cross

Key clients

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC)

Dubai Municipality


Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC)

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA)


Work highlights

  • Advised on the design, construction, maintenance, and operation of sub-sea power transmission systems (Project Lightning).
  • Advising EWEC and Tadweer in relation to the structuring and procurement of a waste-to-energy facility to be developed in the Abu Dhabi.
  • Advising ADNOC on the development, procurement, and transfer of an independent water treatment and transportation system.

Beale & Company Solicitors LLP

The ‘knowledgeable, responsive, and pragmatic’ practice Beale & Company Solicitors LLP is geared to handle construction contract formation, joint ventures, and procurement. Managing partner Claire Miller’s practice encompasses construction arbitration proceedings, while Lyndon Richards is praised for his ‘strong working knowledge’. Jeremy Russell, who has a breadth of experience across a range of dispute forums, is also a key member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Claire Miller; Lyndon Richards

Other key lawyers:

Jeremy Russell


‘Its responsiveness and knowledge of the construction industry and dispute resolution in the Middle East means it is our go to law firm.’

‘The attorneys are exceptional. They are knowledgeable, responsive, and pragmatic.’

‘Beale and Co has lawyers who are authentic thought leaders in construction and in dispute resolution, even more so in alternative dispute resolution.’

‘Lyndon Richards is very responsive and takes ownership. Strong working knowledge of construction.’

‘Jeremy Russell is a valued resource. He is available, proactive, and has an excellent understanding of the commercial drivers relevant to our business.

‘Jeremy Russell provides commercially minded and focused advice.’

‘Claire Miller excels in combining strategic creativity, profound knowledge of the arbitration rules, and the terms and conditions of the construction contract.’

‘Claire Miller maintains a very sharp focus on what the needs of the client are. As a client I always have the conviction that Claire attentively pays attention to the client’s interests.’

Key clients

AECOM Middle East

Al Naboodah

ALEC Engineering & Contracting LLC

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

Depa Group

Work highlights

  • Advised a construction company in the UAE on the construction of a leisure facility, valued at 2$bn.
  • Advising a construction company in the UAE on an arbitration in relation to a successful claim for circa $200m.
  • Advising a construction company in the UAE on the defence of a claim for circa $150m arising from delay, variations, and alleged defects on a construction project in Dubai.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

A ‘hard-working team with strong legal and technical knowledge and experience’, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner is knowledgeable of airport, energy, and transport infrastructure development projects. Richard Davies leads the practice and is proficient in procurement strategy as well as drafting and negotiating ancillary contracts. Praised for his ‘clear and concise advice’, Charles Lilley’s recent caseload encompasses construction arbitrations arising from infrastructure and mixed-use developments. Richard Dupay is also a name to note, while Anna Gee moved to the firm's London office in August 2023.

Practice head(s):

Richard Davies

Other key lawyers:

Charles Lilley; Richard Dupay; Jack Ticehurst




‘A hard-working team with strong legal and technical knowledge and experience. It is always into the detail and understand the complexities of a case.’

‘The team understands the market, the issues we have, and the advice we require, consistently delivering high quality, commercially minded, and responsive advice.’

‘Charles Lilley is nice, personable, and has strong character. He really gets on well with his clients by getting to know them, creating mutual trust.’

Key clients

J&H Emirates LLC (J&H)

ALEC Engineering & Contracting (ALEC)

Stallion Partners

China State Construction Engineering Company

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

Jewers Doors

Majid Al Futtaim (MAF)

Zhejiang Communications

Yoma Land/Meeyahta Developments Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised China National Aero-Technology International Engineering Corporation (Dubai Branch) (CATIC) on all of their projects in the UAE.
  • Advised and represented a HNW individual in DIFC litigation against a DIFC registered REIT.

Clifford Chance

At the forefront of Middle East-based renewable projects, the full-service team Clifford Chance is a key contact for contractors, developers, and government entities. Inaamul Laher leads the department and is particularly knowledgeable of the construction and operation of energy, infrastructure, and real estate projects. The ‘exceptionalPaul Coates leads the team’s contentious offering and is experienced in DIAC, ICC, and LCIA arbitration.

Practice head(s):

Inaamul Laher

Other key lawyers:

Paul Coates


‘One of the strongest law firms in the region, with the benefit of reach or support from around the world when required.’

‘Very strong credentials and knowledge in this practice area. The firm brings considerable contracting experience and provides concrete advice based on market precedents.’

‘Client service, efficiency, business acumen, and a depth of knowledge.’

‘Paul Coates is exceptional. He is extremely intelligent and articulate. He is a very strong lawyer, but he is also very client focused as well as being highly effective at managing his team.’

Key clients

The Red Sea Development Company

Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC)

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC)

AMEA Power

Abu Dhabi Polymers Co Ltd (Borouge)

Saudi Entertainment Ventures

Fertiglobe plc

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA)


Marubeni Corporation

Riyadh Airports Company

OQ (previously Oman Oil Company)

Wynn Resorts Limited

Electricite de France (EdF)

Bahrain Steel

Work highlights

  • Advised ADNOC on the development of a new LNG liquefaction plant.
  • Advising Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC) on the development of a large entertainment project just outside Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
  • Advised various sponsors on all aspects of the development of a 500MW BOO Wind Power Project at the Gulf of Suez in Egypt.


Offering clients a ‘world class service’ CMS is principally focused on construction, energy, and infrastructure disputes and is geared to handle airport, highway, and metro construction projects. Counting developers and contractors on his client roster, the ‘experienced’ arbitration specialist Greg Sibbald often represents clients on engineering disputes. ‘Exceptional partner’ Adrian Bell specialises in rail projects, while Jon Bridgewater is proficient in contentious energy matters. Partner Damian Watkin joined the team from Clyde & Co in August 2023.

Practice head(s):

Greg Sibbald; Adrian Bell

Other key lawyers:

Jon Bridgewater; Courtney Rothery; Philip Norman; Damian Watkin


‘CMS offers a world-class service to clients, it is home to extremely bright lawyers with an in-depth, hands-on understanding of how to run large-scale, complex arbitration and litigation to get a successful result.’

‘Particular expertise in construction, energy, and infrastructure disputes gives them a very detailed understanding of the industry and the challenges facing their clients.’

‘Dedicated construction and energy specialists with deep sector knowledge and unparalleled experience of big disputes work.’

Key clients

Larsen & Toubro

AECOM Middle East LLC

Acciona Construction S.A.

Gulermak Agir Sanayi Insaat Ve Taahhut A.Ş.

Tecnicas Reunidas

Kellogg, Brown & Root


SNC Lavalin / Atkins

Al Futtaim

Altrad Group

Work highlights

  • Representing Técnicas Reunidas in TCC proceedings regarding the refusal of a Korean bank to encash a performance guarantee on an gas project in Saudi Arabia.


With contentious and transactional power, waste, and water expertise, Dentons  is particularly well versed in disputes arising from the construction of airports. Practice head Dean Ryburn has a strong record in construction, engineering, and infrastructure project disputes. Jon Nash handles commercial documentation pertaining to construction projects, while Suzannah Fairbairn and Ahmed El-Bayouk count contractors and employers on their client roster.

Practice head(s):

Dean Ryburn

Other key lawyers:

Jon Nash; Suzannah Fairbairn; Ahmed El-Bayouk; Kanishka Singh


‘One of the leading firms in this field in the EMEA region. A fantastic team of extremely bright, talented, and very hard-working lawyers who go the extra mile to get the best result for the client.’

‘The team collaborates well together and ensure they are all over the details of cases. The team is efficient, ambitious, and clearly care about the best interests of their client’s cases.’

‘Dentons construction team works closely with its infrastructure practice to provide practical measured advice on disputes encountered in our work.’

‘The team have worked closely with us to win arbitrations and resolve other dispute matters ahead of litigation.’

‘Suzannah Fairbairn is skilful, tenacious, and has excellent judgment and tactical instincts. She is very hands-on with cases and really gets into the detail.’

‘Suzannah Fairbairn has a wealth of experience in construction disputes from a legal, contractual, and technical perspective providing the client with comfort in that knowledge.’

‘Ahmed El Bayouk and Dean Ryburn have provided strong support and are excellent practitioners.’

‘Dean Ryburn is good at coordinating with other lawyers.’

Key clients

Al Farwaniya Property Developments LLC

Veolia Middle East

Work highlights

  • Representing an international company in an ongoing arbitration with a GCC Government on the design, procurement, and construction of an infrastructure project.
  • Representing a contractor in DIAC arbitration defending claims in excess of $800m arising from the construction of a landmark construction infrastructure project.
  • Assisted the GCC Government with comprehensively updating a standard form contract.

Hadef & Partners LLC

Characterised by ‘a great depth of understanding of construction, energy, and infrastructure, Hadef & Partners LLC is well regarded for its litigation capabilities. Recently engaged in construction arbitration, James Harbridge oversees the practice, while Alexander Wagg is lauded for his ‘excellent judgement’. Michael Farchakh is also a key team member.

Practice head(s):

James Harbridge

Other key lawyers:

Alexander Wagg; Michael Farchakh


‘The team has a unique balance of local and international expertise which makes it ideally suited to deal with disputes in the area.’

‘A great depth of understanding of construction, energy, and infrastructure gives Hadef a strong grasp of the technical and commercial issues facing their clients.’

‘Alex Wagg is very switched on, has excellent judgement, and is definitely one to watch for the future.’

Work highlights

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

A key port of call for contractors, governments, as well as developers, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP specialises in international construction arbitration, for which Nick Oury is a strong choice. The practice is also noted for its proficiency in energy, infrastructure, and urban regenerate scheme developments. Christopher Cross and Phil Hanson’s recent caseload encompasses activity in the energy, infrastructure, and power sectors. Sean Whitham specialises in infrastructure disputes, while Julian Grant is knowledgeable of residential and transport developments.

Practice head(s):

Nick Oury; Christopher Cross

Other key lawyers:

Phil Hanson; Sean Whitham; Julian Grant


‘HSF’s construction practice is highly skilled at finding practical solutions to problems that arise in negotiations and have a good base of local precedents to rely on.’

‘The team from HSF was a pleasure to work with. Calm under pressure and very measured in difficult circumstances.’

‘The team was able to understand the complex facts of the case and weave it into intricate legal arguments.’

‘A large firm with a prestigious brand and global footprint.’

‘A great team that understands that quality is the most important thing.’

‘Nick Oury is a go-to name for construction disputes. He is commercial in his approach and laser-sharp in his strategy.’

‘Nick Oury has an excellent command of the law and arbitration and combines this with a strong grasp of construction technical and commercial issues.’

Key clients

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)



FCC Aqualia

Standard Chartered Bank


EDF Renewables


Work highlights

Squire Patton Boggs

A strong choice for contractors, developers, and governments, Squire Patton Boggs is geared to handle infrastructure developments. Managing partner Thomas Wilson leads the department and is experienced in alternative dispute resolution. Jonathan Taunton is experienced in DIAC, ICC, and LCIA arbitration, while Sam Song advises contractors and employers on dispute avoidance.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Wilson

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Taunton; Sam Song; Ravinder Bhullar


‘Thomas Wilson is highly experienced, and a commercially minded construction lawyer.’

‘Thomas Wilson is a very mature and strategic advisor who can see through the problems and recommend the optimal way forward.’


Key clients

UAE Federal Ministry of Infrastructure Development

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Dubai

The Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia

LEPL Anaklia Deep Sea Port Development Agency

National Centre for Privatisation (Saudi Arabia)

Saudi Ministry for Environment, Water, and Agriculture

Work highlights

  • Advising the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia on a PPP for the development of Anaklia Deep Sea Port on the Black Sea.
  • Advising the National Centre for Privatisation (Saudi Arabia) and Saudi Ministry for Environment, Water, and Agriculture in relation to a PPP project for the privatisation of the government’s veterinary vaccine service.
  • Advised the UAE Federal Ministry of Infrastructure Development on the review of the current PPP legislative and regulatory framework.

Al Tamimi & Company

Al Tamimi & Company handles energy, residential, sport, and transport developments and has in-depth expertise in construction law. Splitting his time between the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Riyadh, practice head Euan Lloyd counts contractors, subcontractors, funders, and public sector entities on his client roster. Andrew Symms is well regarded for his contractual expertise. Leith Al Ali is also a key team member. Sara Koleilat-Aranjo has left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Euan Lloyd

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Symms; Leith Al Ali; Naief Yahia; Rashid Khan

Key clients


ESEC (El Seif Engineering and Contracting)

Department of Culture & Tourism

Abu Dhabi Motorsports Company

Nine Yards Developments



RAK government entities

GFH Financial Group



UAE Ministry of Finance

Qatar Rail

Saudi Rail

Etihad Rail

Tait Towers Manufacturing

Tecnicas Reunidas

PowerChina Huadong Engineering Corporation Limited


Work highlights

  • Representing ESEC on seven disputes arising from contracts with Meydan Group LLC.
  • Acting for Abu Dhabi Motor Management Company (ADMM) on track redesign and modification works.
  • Acting for Tadawul in drafting and negotiating a long-term facility management/operation and maintenance contract for the Tadawul Tower development.

Bracewell LLP

Recently engaged in international energy and social infrastructure projects, Bracewell LLP counts contractors, consultants, developers, governments, and lenders among its clients. Tom Swarbrick spearheads the team and is particularly active in the energy sector, while Andrej Kormuth handles conventional and renewable power developments.

Practice head(s):

Tom Swarbrick

Other key lawyers:

Andrej Kormuth


‘Exceptional knowledge of the construction sector and the needs of complex construction projects.’

‘Tom Swarbrick is fantastic. He has great knowledge, is fast in delivery, and his work product is always of excellent quality.’

Key clients

Eldorado Gold Corporation

Hellas Gold S.A.

Total Energies

Toyota Tsusho Corporation

Alternative Solutions for Renewable Energy LLC

Azule Energy

Dragon Oil


Riyad Bank

Banque Saudi Fransi

National Infrastructure Fund




Vision International Investment Company

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC

Gulf Investment Corporation GSC

Miahona Company

Thabat Construction Company


Work highlights

  • Acting for a developer on the financing, development, construction, and operation of the €1bn Skouries gold mine in Greece.
  • Advised a consortium led by TotalEnergies Renewables on the financing, development, construction, and operation of the Wadi Ad Dawasir 100 MW PV IPP project.
  • Advised Azule Energy on contracts relating to an offshore oil development in Angola.

Covington & Burling LLP

With broad contentious capabilities covering construction arbitration and litigation, Covington & Burling LLP is well equipped to handle the drafting, review and signing of EPC contracts for development projects. The practice is jointly chaired by Joseph Chedrawe and Richard Keenan, the former of whom represents corporations and public sector entities on mega-project disputes across the energy, infrastructure, and residential sectors. Patrick O’Grady is experienced in CC, LCIA, and SIAC arbitration.

Practice head(s):

Joseph Chedrawe; Richard Keenan

Other key lawyers:

Patrick O’Grady

Key clients

ITOCHU Corporation

Hitachi Zosen


Dubai Holding

DUBAL Holding

Tech Group

Metito Utilities Limited


Orascom Construction

ACWA Power

Work highlights

Eversheds Sutherland LLP

Boosted by support from the firm’s energy, infrastructure, and real estate teams, Eversheds Sutherland LLP is lauded for its ‘huge industry and regional knowledge.Shalagh Massingham specialises in construction arbitration and litigation and co-leads the team with the ‘very experienced and proactivePaul Taylor. Roberta Wertman represents clients in contentious matters pertaining to leisure, processing plants, and sporting facility projects, while Adriaan Hoeben is also highlighted.

Practice head(s):

Paul Taylor; Shalagh Massingham

Other key lawyers:

Roberta Wertman; Adriaan Hoeben


‘Eversheds Sutherland LLP possesses huge industry and regional knowledge and is able to work across different geographical boundaries and jurisdictions.’

‘Paul Taylor is very experienced, proactive and is an absolute pleasure to deal with.’

‘Paul Taylor is pleasant to deal with, commercial, and hard working.’

‘Paul Taylor is very impressive. His dispute resolution experience and regional knowledge is second to none. He is also easy to work with and remains calm under pressure.’

‘Shalagh Massingham is an arbitration specialist, and Roberta Wertman is knowledgeable of construction matters across the region.’


Work highlights

King & Spalding LLP

Lauded for its ‘commercial application of legal issues, King & Spalding LLP is especially knowledgeable of major projects, as well as infrastructure and renewable energy developments. Tim Burbury oversees the team and is well-regarded for his power project expertise. Dan Feldman arrived from Shearman & Sterling LLP in January 2023 and has a particular strength in energy transition matters. Sam Munir is often engaged in rail, road, and school projects, while Almiro Clere advises clients on project financing. James Clark left the firm in October 2023 to join Kirkland & Ellis International Law Firm LLPC.

Practice head(s):

Tim Burbury

Other key lawyers:

Dan Feldman; Sam Munir; Almiro Clere; Brendan Hundt


‘A commercial application of legal issues.’

‘Not only great subject matter experts but also team players.’

Key clients


Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company

Electricity de France (EDF)

Mubadala Investment Company

Misk Foundation


Al Rajhi Group

Work highlights

King & Wood Mallesons

With expertise in construction disputes arising from landmark projects, King & Wood Mallesons is led by Daniel Xu, who often advises international developers on project risk management. Parnika Chaturvedi and Brendan Palmer are noted for their experience in DIAC arbitration.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Xu

Other key lawyers:

Parnika Chaturvedi; Brendan Palmer


‘Good communicators, knowledgeable of construction, and the team often anticipates opponents moves.’

‘Very knowledgeable of construction disputes and efficient in proceedings.’

‘Insightful analysis and legal support.’

Key clients

Shanghai Electric

China Railway Construction Corporation


Work highlights

Mantle Law

Drawing on ‘in-depth knowledge and expertise’, Mantle Law’s caseload encompasses construction, energy, and infrastructure arbitration. Praised for his ‘exceptional legal skills, Matthew Heywood leads the team, and Michael Hartley represents clients on oil and gas, as well as power project disputes. Lucy Walton comes with client recommendation, and Sirena Chalhoub is a further contact to note.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Heywood

Other key lawyers:

Michael Hartley; Lucy Walton; Sirena Chalhoub; Alexander Studholme


‘Mantle Law stands out for its in-depth knowledge and expertise in construction and real estate disputes.’

‘Mantle Law goes above and beyond to consistently provide high-quality legal advice, making them an outstanding choice in the legal profession.’

‘Mantle Law has an acute understanding of client’s commercial realities and provides thorough and well-reasoned advice.’

Key clients

Multiplex Constructions LLC

ALEC Engineering & Contracting LLC


Work highlights

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright's construction practice is led by Nicholas Kramer, whose recent caseload includes airport, district cooling, PPP, and wind development projects. Mark Berry is knowledgeable of the natural resources sector, notably mining construction and infrastructure, while Anastasia Kastelskaya is active in oil and gas matters. Knowhee Myung is also a key team member.

Practice head(s):

Nicholas Kramer

Other key lawyers:

Mark Berry; Anastasia Kastelskaya; Knowhee Myung; Aarti Thadani; Ahmed Bobat

Key clients


Emirates District Cooling (Emicool) LLC


Change Foods

Boston Consulting Group

Abu Dhabi Ports



ACWA Power



Emirates National Investment

Tibah Airports Development Company Limited (Tibah)



Work highlights

  • Advising Emirates on the drafting of contract documents for the design and construction of a new engineering and maintenance facility at Dubai World Central Airport.
  • Advising Emicool on its master concession agreement with Dubai World Trade Centre for the provision of district cooling services for Dubai EXPO.
  • Advising Deyaar on the drafting of a full suite of standard form contracts.

BLK Partners

Commended for its ‘deep experience in UAE construction disputes’, BLK Partners’s expertise spans commercial property, power, and transportation infrastructure matters. Scott Hutton is proficient in arbitration proceedings, and he leads the department with Dean O’Leary, who often handles engineering disputes. Tarek Saad is proficient in contentious matters arising from real estate transactions, while Karim Haidar is also highlighted.

Practice head(s):

Scott Hutton; Dean O’Leary

Other key lawyers:

Tarek Saad; Karim Haidar


‘Deep experience in UAE construction disputes, a strong presence in KSA, and a very commercial approach.’

‘An accessible and very friendly service.’

‘A friendly team which is also very knowledgeable.’

Work highlights

BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP

A key port of call for contractors and subcontractors, BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP is well regarded for its construction arbitration capabilities. Antonios Dimitracopoulos oversees the practice and is experienced in DIFC-LCIA, DIAC, as well as ADCCAC arbitration proceedings. Jonathan Brown handles commercial issues for construction, international trade, infrastructure, and real estate clients.

Practice head(s):

Antonios Dimitracopoulos

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Brown

Work highlights

Fenwick Elliott LLP

Recommended by clients as ‘specialists with extensive and specific experience in construction disputes’, Fenwick Elliott LLP counts architects, contractors, and public sector entities on its client roster. On the non-contentious side, the practice also advises clients on contract documentation, negotiation, and risk management, as well as procurement strategy. ‘Great leaderPatrick Stone oversees the team and specialises in international arbitration, while Leonie Sellers is described as ‘a great addition to the team’. Gilbert Hakim is also noted as a ‘practical construction specialist’.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Stone

Other key lawyers:

Leonie Sellers; Gilbert Hakim


‘Fenwick Elliott is special because its lawyers really understand the construction world. It is great at solving problems and know all about building contracts.’

‘All the lawyers in the team, from junior to partner understand the intricacies of construction arbitration.’

‘The practice stands out for its exceptional ability to collaborate effectively, its deep legal understanding, and its commitment to meaningful one-on-one discussions with clients.’

‘Construction specialists with extensive and specific experience in construction disputes. The team is extremely hard working and has strong legal and technical knowledge based upon extensive experience.’

‘Patrick Stone is a great leader that combines his experience with a talented team of senior and junior associates.’

‘Gilbert Hakim is a very practical construction specialist, and Leonie Sellers has been a great addition to the team.’

‘Patrick Stone and Gilbert Hakim have been especially helpful. They explain things clearly and work hard to solve problems.’

‘Leonie Sellers always provides well thought out, sensible, and no-nonsense advice. She is nice, personable, and has a strong character.’

Work highlights

Galadari Advocates & Legal Consultants

The ‘exceptional local knowledge’ of Galadari Advocates & Legal Consultants' construction law team gives it an edge in its construction arbitration offering. The practice is also a strong choice for contractors, employers, and sub-contractors on design and build, infrastructure, and PPP matters. With over a decade of contentious construction experience, Abdulla Ziad Galadari oversees the practice, while Hassan Tawakalna is particularly proficient in civil disputes.

Practice head(s):

Abdulla Ziad Galadari

Other key lawyers:

Hassan Tawakalna; Ziad Galadari; Marwan Al Cherkeh; Sergejs Dilevka; Joe Khalaf; Abdul Majeed Al Sweedy; Hadeel Mohammed


‘Deep knowledge of local practice and UAE case law.’

‘Exceptional local knowledge.’


Key clients

DEPA Group

Frayland LLC

Reliance Owners Association Management Services LLC

Work highlights

  • Represented DEPA group in a dispute against Ghantoot Transport and General Contracting LLC in a case involving interior design works.
  • Represented Frayland LLC in a dispute claiming early payment for subcontract work and the recovery of a performance bond valued at AED12.5m.

Baker McKenzie LLP

Well regarded for its experience in pre-dispute contract management as well as litigation and arbitration proceedings, Baker McKenzie LLP is often entrusted by contractors, subcontractors, and developers. Luka Kristovic-Blazevic leads the department and is focused on international construction disputes, while Taisiya Vorotilova is proficient in international commercial arbitration. Marlize Dumas enjoys a strong presence in the construction, energy, and financial services sectors.

Practice head(s):

Luka Kristovic-Blazevic

Other key lawyers:

Taisiya Vorotilova; Marlize Dumas

Work highlights


Often acting for a range of Korean EPC contractors, HFW represents clients in a breadth of mega-project disputes, including the construction of airports, bridges, and oil and gas processing plants. James Plant handles contentious matters surrounding infrastructure, renewable energy, and sub-sea cables, while Slava Kiryushin is noted for his expertise in sizeable metro construction matters. Maria Deus is proficient in contract and claims management.

Practice head(s):

James Plant; Slava Kiryushin

Other key lawyers:

Maria Deus


‘The team understand clients’ commercial needs and provide sage advice.’

‘Slava Kiryushin is excellent with clients and very knowledgeable of construction projects and disputes throughout MENA, especially in the energy sector. He is very personable.’

‘Slava Kiryushin is commercial and pragmatic, he breaks down complex issues into simple decisions.’

Key clients

Hedley International Contracting LLC

Kuwait Oil Company

GS Engineering and Construction

Denholm Yam

Al Gihaz Contracting Co

Kuwait Energy

Work highlights

Hogan Lovells (United Arab Emirates) LLP

With a broad non-contentious offering, Hogan Lovells (United Arab Emirates) LLP is praised as ‘extremely knowledgeable of construction disputes’. Providing clients with ‘excellent support, Patrick McPherson often handles disputes arising out of construction, energy, and infrastructure projects. ‘Resourceful problem-solverRandall Walker is also a key member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Patrick McPherson; Randall Walker


‘The Hogan Lovells team is very hands on, detail orientated, and open in communication. This is very helpful because it facilitates a much more informed approach and makes working with the team easy, enjoyable, and productive.’

‘The team provides excellent support, has deep knowledge of the law, and comes up with pragmatic solutions.’

‘The team is extremely knowledgeable of construction disputes. It is able to tackle complex matters in a simple and effective manner.’

Key clients

The Fatima Group

PakArab Fertilisers

MidWest Fertilisers

Work highlights

Horizons & Co

Contractor, subcontractor, and land disputes remain a key component of the practice at Horizons & Co. Boasting a strong litigation track record, firm founder Ali Ismael Al Zarooni is well-versed in sizeable hotel development projects. Areen Jayousi counts design and engineering partners, as well as owners and developers on his client roster, while Amr Mostafa is adept at luxury property disputes. Oliver Dupenois and Paul Suckling  departed the team to join DWF Middle East LLP in August 2023.

Practice head(s):

Ali Ismael Al Zarooni; Areen Jayousi

Other key lawyers:

Amr Mostafa

Key clients

Horizon Gulf Electromechanical Services LLC

Teejan Contracting Co. LLC.

Arabtec Construction LLC & Belhasa Six Construct LLC (ABJV)

Constructora San Jose S A

Tav Tepe Akfen Investment Construction & Operation Company

Consolidated Contracting Engineering & Procurement S.A.L.

Hasabi Real Estate L.L.C

Work highlights

  • Represented Tav Tepe Akfen Investment Construction, Operation Company, Consolidated Contracting Engineering, and Procurement S.A.L on a construction dispute that arose against the counterparty in this project.
  • Acted for Arabtec Construction LLC & Belhasa Six Construct LLC following the severe fire damage of their hotels.
  • Representing Constructora San Jose SA in an ongoing dispute before the Abu Dhabi courts in relation to the construction of a building for a European museum franchise.

K&L Gates

Lauded for its ‘exceptionally pragmatic approach’, K&L Gates represents local and international corporations and individuals on international arbitration matters. Jonathan Sutcliffe co-leads the team with Jennifer Paterson, who is ‘superb at analysing a legal problem and coming up with the solutions a client needs'.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Sutcliffe; Jennifer Paterson


‘Extremely knowledgeable, yet exceptionally pragmatic in its approach.’

‘The team quickly identifies complex issues and facilitate pragmatic solutions. Its knowledge of the area of construction law is state-of-the-art.’

‘The K&L Gates Dubai disputes team is very experienced in construction and infrastructure matters. They are professional, efficient, easy to work with, and deliver practical advice.’

‘The KLG construction team in the UAE is outstanding, the skills from different areas are drawn together in a collegiate and highly effective way.’

‘Jonathan Sutcliffe is a good strategist and well-versed in the intricacies of UAE construction work.’

‘Jonathan Sutcliffe brings a great deal knowledge to the table. He is a very technically capable lawyer who is very intelligent and insightful.’

‘Jennifer Patterson is a superb at analysing legal problems and coming up with the solutions a client needs.’

‘Jennifer Paterson and Jonathan Sutcliffe are impressive lawyers with a real eye for detail.’

Work highlights


Kennedys enjoys a strong track record in contractual disputes pertaining to energy, infrastructure, and mega projects. ‘Extremely knowledgeable and competent litigator’ Mark Wilson leads the team and his career has spanned three decades in construction ADR, arbitration, and litigation. Celine Abi Habib Kanakri, James Kellicare, and Khalil Mechantaf are experienced before the ICC, while Michael Smale is often entrusted by engineers and surveyors.

Practice head(s):

Mark Wilson

Other key lawyers:

Celine Abi Habib Kanakri; James Kellicare; Khalil Mechantaf; Michael Smale; Peter Ellingham


‘Kennedys is a great firm to work with on contentious and non-contentious matters. Very user friendly with a great depth of talent in the team.’

‘An efficient attitude with strength in depth.’

‘The team is highly knowledgeable of contractual disputes.’

Key clients

Carillion Alawi LLC

Work highlights

  • Represented Carillion Alawi LLC against Oman Hospitality Company S.A.O.C for outstanding payments of its construction.
  • Acted for Carillion Alawi in a claim brought by Oman Pumps before the courts for alleged non-payment of materials and services on the Al Baleed project.

MRP Advisory LLC

MRP Advisory LLC is highlighted for its capabilities in engineering matters. ‘Excellent partnerRishabh Jogani ‘has considerable experience of every stage of construction dispute resolution, while Adarsh Ramakrishnan, Misbah Fazalbhoy, and Kanika Arora are knowledgeable of the infrastructure sector. Sharda Srivastava often advises contractors, employers, and sub-contractors on compliance matters.

Practice head(s):

Rishabh Jogani; Adarsh Ramakrishnan; Kanika Arora

Other key lawyers:

Misbah Fazalbhoy; Sharda Srivastava


‘The team at MRP Advisory LLC is highly experienced in construction cases in the Middle East region.’

‘Its work rate was excellent.’

‘The team’s availability was excellent and the partners were attentive to the client’s needs.’

Work highlights

  • Represented Modern Executive Systems Contracting LLC (MESC) before the Court of Appeal of the DIFC.

OGH Legal

Recently establishing an office in Cairo, OGH Legal enjoys a strong track record in arbitration matters before various UAE courts. Drawing on two decades of construction experience, Mohamed ElGhatit and Sherif Hikal jointly lead the team, while Ahmed GadElrab often represents international and regional clients in construction litigation.

Practice head(s):

Mohamed ElGhatit; Sherif Hikal

Other key lawyers:

Ahmed GadElrab


‘OGH set up a portal for us where we can access case documents/updates/action points between ourselves and them. This was helpful. ’

‘Very responsive and available.’

‘Practical advice and the team always take our business perspective into account.’

Key clients

Duro Felguera S.A

DP Masters Manufacturing Co.



Shapoorji Pallonji

Meeras Holding

Asia Royal

Convergent Engineering

Dubai Holding


WSP Middle East

Petrofac Emirates LLC

Work highlights

  • Represented a Spanish construction group on an AED2bn dispute with DEWA arising out of the construction of the Jebel Ali Power Plant.
  • Represented Platinum Services on a $50m claim that arose as a result of alleged conspiracy to destroy the client’s business.
  • Represented ALEC in a $1.7bn claim relating to a major fire at the Address Hotel in 2015.

Simmons & Simmons Middle East LLP

Highlighted for its ‘international reach and deep specialist knowledge’, Simmons & Simmons Middle East LLP often handles sizeable development projects. Beau McLaren is focused on construction-related arbitration and co-leads the team with Payam Behshti. Humayun Ahmad left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Payam Beheshti; Beau McLaren

Other key lawyers:

Niall Clancy


‘International reach and deep specialist knowledge in arbitration and DIFC / QICDRC matters.’

‘The team did an excellent job for us.’

‘Willing to go the extra mile.’

Key clients

Alstom Transport SA

Work highlights

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Trowers & Hamlins LLP’s broad construction offering encompasses both contentious and non-contentious matters. Cheryl Cairns is a key contact for contractors, subcontractors, and employers in arbitrations, while Hasan Rahman leads the team’s non-contentious construction sphere. Karie Akeelah has more than a decade of experience in major engineering and infrastructure construction disputes, and Yuen Phing Choo is another key member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Cheryl Cairns

Other key lawyers:

Hasan Rahman; Karie Akeelah; Jack Horsley; Yuen Phing Choo


‘The team has a track record of success and a winning combination of expertise and commitment.’

‘Very hard-working individuals who were calm under pressure as deadlines approached.’

‘Very strong understanding of the local and domestic market and client needs. Excellent strategic skills.’

‘The lawyers are very approachable, responsive, and supportive. It is a very collaborative firm where one department will support the other to finalise the work for the client.’

‘Cheryl Cairns is an unbeatable choice for any construction arbitration in the UAE. She does it all brilliantly – from strategy, legal analysis, expert management, to drafting. She is also a pleasure to work with.’

‘Cheryl Cairns is very calm, measured, and very thoughtful in the advice and instruction she provides. A real class act.’

‘Karie Akeelah is a fantastic lawyer who shows unparalleled commitment to her client’s case. A star in this field.’

‘Karie Akeelah is a great lawyer and strategist.’

Key clients

Shuaibah Water and Electricity Co

Shuaibah Expansion Project Company

Shuqaiq Water and Electricity Co

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company PJSC

Emirates Global Aluminium PJSC

Al Kifah Precast Company


Dubai Aviation Corporation

Salalah Port Services Company SAOG

ADNOC Distribution

Bahrain Development Bank

The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (Bahrain Campus)

Work highlights

  • Acted for Abu Dhabi National Oil Company PJSC on the ADNOC Gas LNG 2.0 project.
  • Advised Emirates Global Aluminium on the use, interpretation, and negotiation of construction contract templates.
  • Advised Shuaibah Water and Electricity Company and the Shuaibah Expansion Project Company on all construction and operational aspects of the expanded plant.