Dispute resolution: local litigation in United Arab Emirates

Al Tamimi & Company

Al Tamimi & Company covers the gamut of local court litigation. Naief Yahia is a notable name for construction and banking litigation, with Hassan Arab a key contact for work involving both litigation and arbitration. Outside Dubai, Mohamed Al Marzouqi heads the firm's Abu Dhabi litigation team, in which Sudanese-qualified El Ameir Noor is another notable name, and the firm also has a presence in the Northern Emirates - Zafer Oghli and Ammar Haykal are the key contacts in Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah respectively. Taiba Al Safar and Ahmad Ghoneim are July 2019 partner promotions.

Key clients

Al Abbar Group

Al Futtaim Group

Al Ghurair Group

Al Rostamani Group

Al Seif Group (KSA) – ESEC International

Alu Nasa Aluminium Industry


Bollywood Parks


Cilantro Holdings Limited

Citibank UAE


DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa

Dubai International Financial Centre Authority (DIFCA)

Euro Auctions FZE

Federal Exchange

General Motors Overseas Distribution


Human Resources Department – Government of Ras Al Khaimah



Julius Baer

James L Willams Middle East (JLW)

Laguna Tower Residence FZE


Majid Al Futtaim

Mashreq Bank


MBC Group


Ministry of Culture

MPE Global

Mubadala Investment Company PJSC


Privatbank IHAG Zurich AG

SBK Holding

Serco Middle East

SF Dubai LLC

SK E&C (Korea)

Slaughter & May

Standard Chartered

Tadhamon International Islamic Bank

Work highlights

  • Representing ESEC in seven disputes with Meydan Group concerning large projects in Dubai.
  • Representing Straight Establishment, a Liechtenstein Anstalt which owns the superyacht Luna, in a case with jurisdictional issues between the Dubai “onshore” courts and the DIFC.
  • Represented Majid Al Futtaim in a commercial agency dispute with two Japanese car manufacturers after another company was found making unauthorised imports.

Hadef & Partners

Hadef & Partners LLC covers the full range of litigation matters across Dubai and Abu Dhabi, both sourcing its own work and handling referrals from foreign law firms. Abdulrahman Juma heads the team in Dubai; he is active in a range of litigation covering matters from insurance through to customs duty disputes civil fraud, an area in which Mohammed Al Dhaheri also advises. Walid Azzam, who is admitted in Massachusetts, is another key partner, and is particularly active in matters involving international arbitration. Omar Al Shaikh and Omar Al Heloo are key names. Salih Ahnaish, a senior figure in the firm, spearheads the team's Abu Dhabi presence.

Practice head(s):

Abdulrahman Juma; Salih Ahnaish


‘The local litigation team has members that can apply analytical and strategic thinking to the case and meaningful reporting. The local litigation members respond well to knowledgeable and demanding clients.’

‘Walid Azzam is reliable and easy to deal with.’

Key clients

IDBI Bank Limited (DIFC Branch)

Caterpillar Financial Services (Dubai) Limited

Limor Investments

Work highlights

  • Alongside involvement in DIFC litigation, representing IDBI Bank in litigation against a vessel mortgage defaulter, including criminal complaints concerning security cheques.

Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla

Mohamed El Khatib, who is qualified in Egypt, is a key contact in Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla's practice. Tarek Saad is another notable name in the team, which covers a range of mandates including labour litigation, finance disputes and civil fraud matters, including some of the region's most sensitive matters. Locally-qualified name partner Habib Al Mulla is also active, and counsel Wael El Tounsy heads the real estate litigation team.

Work highlights

  • Represented Farkhad Akhmedov in an appeal to retail ownership of superyacht Luna, which was seized at Port Rashid to enforce an English matrimonial judgment.
  • Represented a property developer in a successful appeal to the Court of Cassation after lower courts nullified sale and purchase agreements of properties signed before the Dubai Land Department’s project adoption date.

Galadari, Advocates & Legal Consultants

Abdulla Galadari takes a key role in many of the key cases at Galadari, Advocates & Legal Consultants, with Ahmed Galadari continuing as the firm's head of litigation. Marwan Al Cherkeh is another notable name, and English-qualified Stephen Ballatine is active in clinical negligence cases. The firm handles a broad range of work, including civil fraud cases and engineering disputes.

Practice head(s):

Ahmed Galadari


‘All the team are friendly and straightforward, and understand the intricacies of our business operations.’

‘The team provided a professional service particularly in respect of local law matters.’

‘Abulla Galadari is responsive and capable – he secures the results clients want to achieve.’

Key clients

Dubai Airports

Action Hotels Group

Taaleem (Al Tayer Group)

NMC Speciality Hospital

Kings College Hospital

Qatar Insurance Company

Pacific Control Systems

Emirates Glass

Crescent Petroleum

Sun Engineering and Construction

Dubai Investments PJSC

Abu Dhabi Financial Group (ADFG)

Dubai Real Estate

Work highlights

  • Representing two Kuwaiti-based billionaires in a fraud and forgery case involving more than twenty banks concerning the forging of signatures to accumulate loans totalling AED1.6bn.
  • Representing Sana Fashions in a dispute with banks including Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and Dubai Islamic Bank.
  • Represented East Maria Steel Construction in litigation concerning defects in a road construction project.

Global Advocacy and Legal Counsel

At Global Advocacy and Legal Counsel, managing partner Ali Al Hashimi takes an interest in banking litigation, while Hassan Al Shaqsi in Dubai and Nasser Al Osaiba in Abu Dhabi handle commercial disputes and Ayman Merdas handles white-collar criminal matters. Recent work highlights have included banking litigation (with some cases involving complex Shari'ah issues), commercial disputes, construction litigation and cases involving alleged cyber-crime.

Practice head(s):

Ali Al Hashimi

OGH Legal

At OGH Legal, Mohamed Elghatit (formerly of Hogan Lovells (United Arab Emirates) LLP), Sherif Hikal and Omar Al Omar handle complex commercial cases before the Arabic language courts, with a number of cases involving asset tracing and civil fraud and sometimes crossing over with the firm's arbitration expertise.

Practice head(s):

Sherif Hikal; Mohamed ElGhatit


‘The team combines extensive common law and civil law litigation experience which makes them an ideal choice in jurisdictions such as Dubai where there is a significant interplay between those two types of systems.’

‘Mohamed ElGhatit brings significant experience and is also very commercial. He has extensive experience in large common law litigation but also brings civil law experience and expertise.’

‘OGH maintains a personal approach by ensuring that the in-house teams instructing them are involved in strategy devising of their respective matters, while maintaining ownership of the work.’

‘Sherif Haikal demonstrates deep insight of the law as well as the practical aspects including judicial tendencies and trends.’

‘Mohamed ElGhatit who has a unique set of skills when it comes to constructing intelligible and concise legal opinions.’

Key clients

BT Middle East


Al Khayyat Investments

Imdaad Yes

DMC Steel


Libya Africa Investment Portfolio

Amanat Holding

McLaren Construction

Al Futtaim


Evolvence Capital





Al Ghurair

Work highlights

  • Representing CMOC in a recovery case after the company fell victim to a sophisticated cyber fraud.
  • Representing the Danish tax authorities in a case concerning an alleged AED7.5bn tax fraud.
  • Representing Platinum Services in the last remaining Dubai World Tribunal matter.

Al Suwaidi & Company

Enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitral awards, executive-level employment litigation and debt recovery are areas of activity for Al Suwaidi & Company. Mohammed Al Suwaidi and Ali Al Raessi, both of whom are locally qualified with rights of audience, are key contacts in the team.

Practice head(s):

Mohammed Al Suwaidi


‘The team is very helpful and always ready to provide support.’

‘Mohammed Al Suwaidi is committed and supportive.’

Key clients


Karmic Consultancy DMCC

Ajman Bank

Al Danube

Mimar Group


Exalto Emirates

Air Arabia

Al Ghurair Group

Tri Trading and Distribution LLC


Evolvence Knowledge Investments

Oman Insurance Company

Al-Kabban Advocates & Legal Consultants

Al-Kabban Advocates & Legal Consultants, headed by Reyadh Al Kabban, handles IP, shareholder and insurance disputes, as well as some work for private clients including criminal cases.

Practice head(s):

Reyadh Al Kabban


‘Their local knowledge and understanding is excellent.’

‘Reyadh Al Kabban is the leading figure at the firm: he has strong experience in handling disputes across various sectors including civil and criminal law. He attracts praise for his commendable sense of reasoning, attention to detail and impeccable drafting skills.’

Key clients

Afsaneh Rezai

Arjun Charandas Khatri

Ashok Sharma

Geetu Malhotra


Equities Pvt Ltd.

Haresh Ram Ahuja

Hepher Associates Ltd.

Markone International FZE

Samrad Nazer

Sassan Nazer

Sholae Salamat

Royal United Metal & Glass LLC

The Box Self Storage

Fatma Al Mutawa Advocates and Legal Consultants

Fatma Al Mutawa is a key locally-qualified name at eponymous firm Fatma Al Mutawa Advocates and Legal Consultants, which also includes Jordanian-trained Talal al Qaisi and English solicitor Charles Ingmire, who has construction litigation expertise. The firm acts for a number of well-known local clients, and also local law firms, and is particularly active in property litigation. Faridah Sarah joined as partner from Galadari, Advocates & Legal Consultants in April 2019.


‘The team is very responsive to instructions in relation to employment and criminal matters, and is very knowledgeable of the local market.’

‘Charles Ingmire and Farida Sarah are both knowledgeable, approachable and highly responsive.’

Work highlights

  • Representing Navigant Consulting in a debt recovery case concerning AED500,000 of unpaid expert fees.
  • Representing Dubai Sports City in a property sale dispute, including unpaid rent subject to personal guarantees.
  • Representing MENA College of Management in a shareholder dispute.

Horizons & Co

Ali Al Zarooni is the key contact at Horizons & Co, in a practice which spans construction litigation through to employment and criminal matters.

Mahmood Hussain Advocates & Legal Consultancy

Mahmood Hussain Advocates & Legal Consultancy's name partner Mahmood Hussain is a key contact in the team. Hafidh Thani is the firm's managing partner, and Kushagra Ashok Arora is another key contact in the disputes practice.

Practice head(s):

Mahmood Hussain

Key clients

Reem Capital Contracting LLC

Union Properties & Thermo LLC

Grand Millennium Hotel

National Bank of Fujairah

Pure Decore Enterprises LLC


Ali Aladilie Construction

Shaik Holdings

Lootah Group

Paramount Hotels & Resorts

Halona Development Ltd


Modul University

Work highlights

  • Represented a private client in the Dubai courts to nullify an AED8m arbitral award.
  • Representing National Fujairah Bank in a land dispute against the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority.
  • Representing Pure Decor in an AED2.9m debt recovery case against Meydan.