Rising Stars

Firms To Watch: Dispute resolution: local litigation

A key point of differentiation for the team at Fichte & Co. is its specialist knowledge of shipping and maritime disputes, active across a range of sectors and claim types. Ravi Jawani and Alessandro Tricoli head the team, which also includes of counsel Moaz Forawi.
HAMDAN ALSHAMSI LAWYERS & LEGAL CONSULTANTS has boosted its ability to handle an increasing number of local disputes mandates through junior growth, adding two lawyers to the team’s already extensive bench. Hamdan Alshamsi heads the practice and has been active in a range of criminal, civil, labour and commercial cases.

Firms in the Spotlight Dispute resolution: local litigation

Alsuwaidi & Company

Alsuwaidi & Company logo

Alsuwaidi & Company is a full-service modern law firm, with a commercial approach. Since the firm started in 1997, it has recruited high-calibre and experienced lawyers from international backgrounds. The team works closely together in a collegiate environment and continues to win praise from clients for impressive results. It punches above its weight, particularly in …

View Profile...



Hamdan AlShamsi Lawyers and Legal Consultants has a full service Dispute Resolution and International Arbitration practice.

View Profile...

Dispute resolution: local litigation in United Arab Emirates

Al Tamimi & Company

Al Tamimi & Company's team has 'diverse expertise and innovative problem-solving capabilities'. The group is frequently sought out by both international and domestic companies for high-profile and complex litigation and has experience of commercial, banking, criminal, engineering and construction, and intellectual property disputes, among others. The team has a strong book of work in the Dubai Courts, ADGM Courts and DIFC Courts. Hassan Arab, who is singled out for his wealth of expertise in all forms of civil and commercial litigation; Mohamed Al Marzouqi, who represents an enviable list of clients in banking, property and intellectual property disputes, as well as criminal law issues; and Ahmed Allouz, who is notably active in employed-related claims, are the practice heads. 'Leading litigator' Naief Yahia is regarded as a go-to by financial institutions.

Practice head(s):

Hassan Arab; Mohamed Al Marzouqi; Ahmed Allouz

Other key lawyers:

Naief Yahia; Taiba Alsafar


‘Al Tamimi’s team has a positive perspective and full knowledge of the country’s legislation.’

‘Capable team with subject matter experts.’

‘Professional and care about outcome of cases.’

Key clients

GL Events PJSC



Mashreq Bank

Emirates NBD


Credit Suisse

Majid Al Futtaim

LG Electronics


Standard Chartered

Mubadala Investment Company PJSC


Ministry of Industry & Advanced Technology

Emirates Water and Electricity Company

General Electric


Hadef & Partners LLC

Hadef & Partners LLC is a market-leader in local litigation and has an impressive track record handling a host of disputes. The group has specialist expertise in engineering and construction, transport, trade and maritime disputes, and has overseen a number of substantial fraud and asset recovery cases over the past twelve months. The practice is jointly led by Abdulrahman Juma, who represents multinational corporations and UAE governments entities and Walid Azzam, who is highly regarded for local and international financial crime proceedings. Omar Al Heloo plays a key role on white-collar crime and fraud-related matters and senior legal consultant Rami Obeid has been a crucial supporting presence across a range of cases. Matthew Page left the firm in 2023.

Practice head(s):

Abdulrahman Juma; Walid Azzam

Other key lawyers:

Omar Al Heloo; Rami Obeid


‘Hadef have market-leading experience of the local courts and knowledge of UAE law. This gives them the edge over many competitors in the international arbitration market because they provide clients with an all-round service from advice, to arbitration, to enforcement of awards – and all the local skirmishes in between. They have excellent lawyers with unrivalled understanding of the local market.’

‘Litigation partner Walid Azzam has time and again proved that responsiveness and legal expertise at the highest levels of a law firm are readily attainable. Walid is constantly reachable and his legal knowledge impresses even the most seasoned litigators in the market. ’

‘Hadef & Partners stands out due to their swift turnaround times and personalized service. Their dedication to understanding the unique needs of their client, rather than adopting one approach, is what differentiates them from other firms. Hadef & Partners adopts a collaborative approach. They often co-work with other departments and specialists from other sectors (e.g. industry consultants and experts) to ensure that their client’s needs are met.’

BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP

The team at BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP has a notable focus on disputes relating to the construction, real estate and financial services sectors and also handles issues pertaining to debt recovery and asset tracing, fintech and digital assets misdemeanors, and contractual and employment disputes. The group has also been highly active in bankruptcy proceedings. The practice is led by Asim Ahmed, who is a key name for real estate, employment and criminal cases. Ahmad Bin Hezeem has been kept busy handling ownership disputes and associate Ahmed El Sayed is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Asim Ahmed

Other key lawyers:

Ahmad Bin Hezeem; Ahmed El Sayed


‘Solid local expertise, market knowledge, and excellent connections with various government entities.’

‘Very proactive and result driven lawyers.’

Key clients

Octavia Limited

Amplex Emirates Company – LLC

C B Financial Services Limited – REP Office

Wonder Park LLC

Al Rashideen Trading & Distributions Consumer Products LLC.


Common Group International Co. Ltd

American Life Insurance (MetLife)

Emirates Neon

ABC International (Virgin Islands)

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended Octavia Limited in a case filed by Astalia Investment Limited before the Dubai Courts, regarding a dispute over the ownership of Mining Company Katanga in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • Represented Amplex Emirates Company in a 25-million-dirham dispute relating to the design and build of Abu Dhabi International Airport
  • Represented C B Financial Services Limited in a refund claim matter initiated by an ex-customer of the client.

Galadari Advocates & Legal Consultants

Galadari Advocates & Legal Consultants is particularly well-known for its representation in fraud and embezzlement cases as well as private client work, but is also active in work across a range of sectors. Ziad Galadari has a strong practice handling litigation arising from major infrastructure, real estate and construction projects; Ahmed Galadari‘s knowledge of the regional landscape ensures that he is sought out by stellar international clients; Abdulla Ziad Galadari‘s ‘combination of expertise, collaboration, client-centricity, innovation, and other exceptional qualities’ makes him ‘truly stand out’ in the market; and Fadi Hassoun is a key name for complex civil and criminal proceedings. Banking and finance disputes specialist Marwan Al Cherkah is also noted. Abdelhak Attallah was a new arrival from Alsuwaidi & Company in November 2022, as well as experienced litigator Hussein Al-Momani who joined from Primecase law Firm in November 2023

Practice head(s):

Ziad Galadari; Ahmed Galadari; Abdulla Ziad Galadari; Fadi Hassoun

Other key lawyers:

Marwan Al Cherkeh; Abdelhak Attallah; Hussein Al-Momani


‘Abdullah Galadari has a unique blend of qualities that set him apart from other competitors. It is the combination of expertise, collaboration, client-centricity, innovation, and other exceptional qualities within that makes him truly stand out.’

‘Abdelhak Attallah is an amazing and capable lawyer. He is knowledgeable, a strategic thinker, responsive and available at all times to help his client. ’

‘Abdelhak Attallah’s knowledge and advise was on point.’

Key clients

MG Motors

Steel Kitchenware Manufacturer

Arab International Development Investment Company

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company

MENA Region Based Foodstuff and Agro Trading Company

Work highlights

  • Represented a high-net-worth individual in a complex international divorce settlement dispute, securing the release of a USD 540 million yacht and protecting assets totalling over USD 1 billion in DIFC Courts, Dubai Courts and the Joint Judicial Committee.
  • Secured a victory in the UAE Cassation court, establishing a legal precedent and protecting a brand and business valued at USD 98 million, by successfully removing a wrongfully registered trademark in bad faith.

Habib Al Mulla & Partners

Habib Al Mulla & Partners acts for an ever-growing client base across a litany of sectors and industries – most notably financial institutions. The group has also been steadily growing its tax litigation offering, and has overseen major wins against tax authorities that include market-first aspects. Practice heads Mohamed El Khatib, Amir Alkhaja, Mohamed El Baghdady and Ali Dakhlallah are key names for criminal and civil, banking and finance, and tax disputes. Gerry Rogers‘s arrival from Galadari & Associates and Matthew Page‘s arrival from Hadef & Partners LLC in 2023 add further strength. Tarek Saad left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Mohamed El Khatib; Amir Alkhaja; Mohamed El Baghdady; Ali Dakhlallah

Other key lawyers:

Gerry Rogers; Matthew Page


‘Ali Dakhlallah is an excellent lawyer ’

‘Knowledge and understanding of the litigation process end-to-end is unprecedented.’

‘Knowledgeable, responsible, and responsive team of professionals.’

Key clients

Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC

Noor Bank


RAK Bank

Emirates Islamic Bank

Bank of Baroda

Emirates NBD Bank

First Abu Dhabi Bank

Mashreq Bank

Habib Bank Limited

Standard Chartered


Schlumberger Middle East SA


Gianni Versace





Emaar Group

Damac Group

Wasl Group

Nakheel PJSC

Meydan Group

Mawarid Finance PJSC

China State Construction

Galadari Group

The American Hospital

Emirates Hospital Group

Tariq Al Futtaim


The Associated Press (AP)

Work highlights

  • Represented InvestBank PJSC, an ADX-listed bank, in proceedings before the Sharjah Courts and authorities in a case pertaining to financial violations committed with respect to accumulated losses and written off debts with a value exceeding two billion dirhams
  • Representing Argentem Creek & Partners in all UAE aspects of its ongoing $150m dispute with GNT Group.

OGH Legal

OGH Legal has a wide-ranging practice covering the full gamut of disputes work and handles high-profile cases relating to local, regional DIFC and English law. The firm has a strong presence in the construction and banking sectors and is notably adept handling employment, white-collar crime, IP and tech-related issues. Practice head Sherif Hikal has longstanding experience across the courts of all seven Emirates and acts for corporate and private clients. Mohamed Elghatit is particularly active in the construction and real estate sectors and Suzanne Abdullah is a key name for IP, commercial and civil disputes and is able to draw on her previous in-house experience.

Practice head(s):

Sherif Hikal; Mohamed ElGhatit

Other key lawyers:

Suzanne Abdullah


‘They are very communicative and always at our disposal. When circumstances are difficult we are happy to have them on our side. Knowledge of local law is exceptional, which matters in Dubai.’

‘Hands-on approach to client support and a real understanding of the demands of international clients. The speed of service delivery and solutions focused approach as well as civil law expertise sets them apart.’

‘Mohamed ElGhatit deserves well earned recognition and praise. He is rightly establishing himself as the go to person for UAE law expertise both in law and procedure. He offers can-do solutions with impressive turn around times. Everyone is talking about him and wants him on their side.’

‘This is a premier UAE local litigation boutique with a client-focused team that understands international law firm standards of service. They are available, responsive and know their stuff.’

‘Mohamed El-Ghatit, founding partner, is very good, responsive and knows his way around the UAE courts.’

‘Mohammed ElGhatit and his team are very responsive, always available, and commercial in their approach.’

Key clients

DP Masters Manufacturing Co.

SKAT Danish Tax Authority

Alec Engineering and Contracting

Dubai Holding

Davidson Kempner

Siemens Process Systems Engineering

Burlington Loan Management DAC

Regera S.à.r.l

Finsbury Associates

Asia Royal

Meeras Holding



Aldar Properties


Work highlights

  • Acted on behalf of a European Government Authority in a claim in the UAE that involved 5 primary local court cases and 12 ancillary actions.
  • Representing the largest creditor (Burlington Loan Management DAC) in bankruptcy proceedings before RAK Court.
  • Representing a Spanish construction group in an AED 2 billion dispute with DEWA (the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority) arising out of the construction of the Jebel Ali Power Plant in the Jebel Ali region in Dubai.

Alsuwaidi & Company

Alsuwaidi & Company is well placed to handle a range of disputes, with notable strength in insurance, construction and Islamic banking cases. The group is led by Mohammed Alsuwaidi, who also sits as an arbitrator; Ali Alraeesi, who has close contacts with government entities and public bodies and is notable for tech and IP disputes; Reda Hegazy, who handles civil, criminal and labour cases with impressive acumen pertaining to Sharia’ Law; and Mohammed Lemine, who is an insurance disputes specialist. Nidal Alsayed leverages extensive banking and financing expertise to act on disputes in this space. Associates Afraa Alhashmi and Ibrahim Jarjoura also noted.

Practice head(s):

Mohammed Alsuwaidi; Ali Alraeesi; Reda Hegazy; Mohamed Lemine

Other key lawyers:

Nidal Alsayed; Afraa Alhashmi; Ibrahim Jarjoura

Key clients

Lutzker & Lutzker LLP

RSA Insurance

Frost Brown Todd LLC

Union Insurance 

Work highlights

  • Represented RSA in  matter worth AED2,200,000, resulting in various enforcement orders issued to several entities by the Execution Court.
  • Representing a client, one of the public service infrastructure companies in Dubai, in a matter relating to the subcontractor’s request from the court to issue a petition order to prevent the client from liquidating the performance bonds for an amount of c. AED280,000,000 million.

Horizons & Co

Horizons & Co is regularly engaged to handle real estate and construction mandates, acting for both property managers, contractors and developers in contractual, damages, and insurance disputes as well as financial institutions in proceedings regarding project financing. The team has also been active in criminal complaints for defamation and slander, confidentiality breaches and bankruptcy proceedings. Ali Ismael Al Zarooni, who handles criminal, financial and tax disputes alongside construction work, heads the team with Areen Jayousi. Legal manager Lilas Alakhras is noted for her wide-reaching practice and Natasja Pollemans joined from KBH Limited in 2023, adding expertise in international trade and energy disputes. Oliver Dupenois and Paul Suckling  left the firm in 2023.

Practice head(s):

Ali Al Zarooni; Areen Jayousi

Other key lawyers:

Natasja Pollemans; Lilas Alakhras


‘The team works well together and is geared up to provide good advice to clients. The team is very strong in UAE civil and criminal law advice.’

‘Areen Jayousi has an excellent client service approach and takes great care to understand the issues from the client’s perspective needs. He also handled the matter with great sensitivity and understanding of the positions of the various parties. He is very knowledgeable about UAE laws and has great experience navigating local sensitivities. He provides his advice in a way that is comprehensive but cuts through the complexities to focus on the practical realities of the situation, so that the client can see a way through the noise to a positive outcome.’

‘Horizons is a strong independent UAE law firm. They have very good capabilities in the onshore UAE Courts. They are also very active and visible in the market.’

‘Areen Jayousi is an exceptional practitioner with an unrivalled command of local UAE substantive and procedural law. Given his prior experience inhouse, Areen also intimately understands the importance of client care and is extremely user friendly. He is an all round pleasure to deal with and is my ‘go to’ choice of local UAE Counsel. I instruct Horizons because of Areen.’

‘Areen Jayousi is a well rounded lawyer, who is sought by his clients for his legal advice and unique approach of strategizing. He is an experienced lawyer with very strong knowledge of UAE law.

‘Ali Al Zarooni and Lilas Alakras are excellent. Very good on strategy. ’

‘Dedication and responsive is part of their routine which gives peace of mind to their clients. To me personally is the extra mile they take on every case as they are protecting their own rights not just looking at it as a business, that’s the quality you don’t find anywhere else which is priceless.’

‘The local litigation is great and I would without hesitation recommend them. The unique combination of western qualified lawyers and local Arabic litigation lawyers working seamlessly together is unique to Horizon’s in my experience.’

Key clients


Horizon Gulf Electromechanical Services LLC

Heriot Watt University Dubai

Arabtec Construction LLC & Belhasa Six Construct LLC (ABJV)

Abaar Investments – PJS subsidiary of Mubadala Investment PJSC

IMKAN Properties LLC


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

Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC

Work highlights

  • Appointed by HSBC Bank Middle East Limited, in relation to execution applications for bounced cheques to the value of AED 130,000,000 and applications for the enforcement of two separate mortgages.
  • Act for Horizon Gulf Electromechanical Services LLC as a subcontractor in an almost-240 million-dirham dispute concerning the Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital (AJCSH) construction project.
  • Acting for Arabtec Construction LLC & Belhasa Six Construct LLC, who are the parties to a joint venture which constructed one of Dubai’s most prestigious hotels, which was severely damaged by fire during a New Year’s Eve celebration, causing damage valued at AED 1.245 billion.

Ibrahim & Partners

Ibrahim & Partners represents regional and international companies active in sectors including banking and finance, real estate, construction and insurance before the UAE local courts. The team also has notable strength representing clients in financial and organised crime disputes, as well as anti-money laundering issues. Team lead Mohamed Abdelrehiem is active across a wide-array of litigation and arbitration proceedings. Associate Hazem Elbagoury supports on a range of disputes and senior associate Hany Zaid has cross-border disputes expertise.

Practice head(s):

Mohamed Abdelrehiem

Other key lawyers:

Hazem Elbagoury; Hany Zaid


‘Dispute resolution team are very professional. ’

‘They can solve and determine the best alternative to win the lawsuits.’

Key clients

Ismail Ali Mohamed Ahmed

Omnix International Co. LLC

Sherif Razek

Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries (Julphar)

Oren Hydrocarbons Middle East FZCO

Noon E Commerce Owned by Noon AD Holdings One Person Company LLC


Corplease Emirates LTD

Work highlights

  • Representing over 15 ex-employees of IBM Middle East FZ-LLC in labour cases against IBM.
  • Advised Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries (Julphar) in a dispute with two shipping companies relating to the damage to ship medications being delivered from the UAE to Lebanon.
  • Acting for CorpLease Emirates Ltd. in multiple cheque execution cases against four of its clients.

M&CO Legal

Often acting for domestic and international clients in complex, multifaceted disputes, M&CO Legal has a strong bench of practitioners active in contractual, insurance, succession and employee disputes. Founding partner Mahmood Hussain is an esteemed litigator and arbitrator who provides expert opinions in a range of cases, including asset tracing and enforcement awards. Elsayed Mohamed is particularly skilled in civil and criminal law cases and associate Ahmed Usama Rabie also contributes.

Practice head(s):

Mahmood Hussain; Elsayed Mohamed; Omar Abou Reslan


‘They are an exceptionally good firm at local litigation.’

Primecase law Firm

Primecase law Firm acts in disputes involving multijurisdictional industry players, attracting a high volume of instructions from real estate and construction clients. Mohammad Alshraideh leverages extensive market experience to act in a range of disputes regarding contract terminations, corporate restructurings, shareholder contentions and tax claims. Salah Gaballa is also highly present across the firm’s cases, often overseeing bankruptcy and intellectual property rights disputes. Faraj Al Faidi has a diverse book of work that includes family, civil, criminal and labour proceedings. Hussein Al-Momani left the firm in November 2023.

Practice head(s):

Mohammad Alshraideh; Salah Gaballa

Other key lawyers:

Faraj Al Faidi


‘Clearly describing the options and the steps to be taken in the case. constant communication: I am always up to date with the situation. Competence: the team is professional, knowledgeable and fully aware of the laws of the country.’

‘The personal touch: Once they believed in my case, they made me feel they are my family fighting with me for my rights. Not just another case the firm has taken on.’

‘What makes this practice unique is the quality of partners’ engagement and the full knowledge of the sector.’

Key clients

Mazrui International LLC (UAE)

Emirates National Investment

Al Rostamani Group

The Trustees Panel of KBBO CPG Investment LLC

Emirates Hospitals Group

Prince Raed Bin Zaid

Prince Mir’e Bin Raed

Pjp Investments group LLC


Quantuma Advisory Limited

Ellington Properties

Tfg Mena HQ

Intermark Global

Elissar Zakarya Khouri

Better Gardens Contracting LLC

Work highlights

  • Represented the legal heirs of the late H.R Dr Mohammed K Kherbash against Dubai Land & Dotcom Real Estate LLC before a special committee established by Dubai Courts which deals with all disputes relates to Dubai land.
  • Represented Al Mazroui Real Estate LLC against Saadiyat Development and Investment Company in relation to five lawsuits and later the filing of nine lawsuits; the Chief Justice of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department issued a decision to establish a special judicial body to resolve all disputes related to the Al Saadiyat project, with exclusive jurisdiction over all claims filed or to be filed by the client against the counterparty.
  • Represented the legal advisers of the trustees panel appointed in relation to the bankruptcy of Emirates Hospital Group.