Firms To Watch: Dispute resolution: local litigation

Abdo Rafiq & Partners' team, led by Samer Abdo, represents clients before all UAE courts. The group has a core focus on handling commercial and banking disputes as well as those with a nexus to the telecoms sector.
Primecase law Firm acts for clients before UAE courts, tribunals and free zone authorities. It has notable strengths in insolvency cases.

Firms in the Spotlight Dispute resolution: local litigation



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

View Profile...

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...

Dispute resolution: local litigation in United Arab Emirates

Al Tamimi & Company

Al Tamimi & Company handles the full spectrum of disputes and has a strong team in several emirates. Chairman Essam Al Tamimi‘s varied practice takes in litigation and Hassan Arab is the regional head of dispute resolution. Naief Yahia  heads the construction litigation practice. Zafer Sheikh Oghli is the key name in Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah-based Ammar Haykal focuses on litigation for developers and Islamic finance entities.

Hadef & Partners

Hadef & Partners showcases strong English and Arabic capabilities and has an active presence in the litigation space, particularly in commercial, maritime and construction. Deputy managing partner Abdulrahman Juma heads the firm's dispute resolution practice and has extensive experience representing clients before the local and federal courts. Adrian Chadwick is another key point of contact and is a commercial dispute resolution specialist. The Abu Dhabi dispute resolution practice is led by Salih Ahnaish, who has considerable experience in the litigation space. Walid Azzam and John Smy are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Abdulrahman Juma; Salih Ahnaish; Adrian Chadwick

Other key lawyers:

Walid Azzam; Khalid El Sharif Abdulati; John Smy


‘Hadef & Partners have a strong team which communicate openly with each other and agree on and set team goals based on outcomes and results, rather than just on the amount of work being done.’

‘They are able to tackle issues with a wide perspective and formulate effective problem resolution options.’

They are always available, pro-active and dedicated. The team is very knowledgeable, professional, honest and trustworthy.’

Galadari, Advocates & Legal Consultants

Galadari, Advocates & Legal Consultants' managing partner Ahmed Galadari  heads the firm's Dubai, DIFC and Abu Dhabi litigation and dispute resolution practice and has particular dispute resolution expertise in construction and shipping. Abdulla Galadari has extensive litigation experience and specialises in litigation that involves M&A transactions, debt recovery and fraud. Employment and real estate are key areas of focus for Lebanese-qualified Fadi Hassoun and senior counsel Marwan Al Cherkeh has a strong background in banking and financial services.

Practice head(s):

Ahmed Galadari; Abdulla Galadari; Marwan Al Cherkeh; Hassan Tawakalna; Fadi Hassoun


‘Galadari provide good services to clients, they have stayed up to date with the development of the law and able to provide their in depth knowledge to support clients.’

‘Abdulla Galadari’s expertise and legal knowledge is second to none.’

‘One of the most established names in the UAE legal environment with tremendous local knowledge and expertise and a true delight to work with.’

Key clients

Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (“ADNIC”)

Dubai Holding



Shuaa Capital

Al Sagr National Insurance Company (“ASNIC”)

Abu Dhabi Financial Group (ADFG)

Islamic Arab Insurance Company PJSC (Salama)

Dubai Properties Group

Frayland Construction

Dubai Real Estate Centre

Sheikh Faisal Al Mualla

Action Group Holdings

Al Ghurair Construction Aluminium LLC

Samsung Engineering





Global Village®

Qatar Insurance Company PJSC

Al Shafar Properties

Al Shafar Transport & Contracting Co. LLC

Al Ghurair Construction Aluminium

Al Ghurair Construction Masonry

Al Ghurair Construction Readymix

Work highlights

  • Representing and defending ADNIC in all types of insurance coverage claims negligence.

Global Advocacy and Legal Counsel

Global Advocacy and Legal Counsel‘s Australian-qualified Sharon Lakhan acts as the regional head for dispute resolution and specialises in litigation in the UAE onshore and free zone courts. Nasser Al Osaiba heads the firms Abu Dhabi offering and has a broad commercial, construction and banking disputes practice. Ayman Merdas leads the criminal investigations team.

Practice head(s):

Sharon Lakhan; Nasser Al Osaiba

Other key lawyers:

Ayman Merdas


‘Good mix of local law experience with international know-how, so ideal for resolving disputes locally.’

‘Sharon Lakhan is excellent with clients and very commercially savvy.’

‘Excellent local lawyers who are senior people with very good experience and track record.’

‘Ayman Merdas: Knowledge of local laws and practices, always helpful.’

‘The practice has a wide array of partners and associates who are experienced with the UAE courts and are well equipped to navigate UAE litigation processes’

‘Ayman Merdas was always available to discuss my case and help to put my mind at ease with his knowledge and experience of the UAE courts.’

Key clients

NMC Healthcare LTD and its Joint Administrators Benjamin Cairns and Richard Fleming

Arabtec PJSC

ADS Securities LLC

Avantime Limited

GFH Capital Limited

Alvarez and Marsal Middle East

Work highlights

  • Acting as UAE law counsel for the NMC group and the joint administrators of NMC Healthcare LTD and 35 other ADGM companies in relation to the first-ever ADGM administration, including onshore litigation and advising in relation to the recognition and enforcement of an ADGM Court administration order in the DIFC Courts and onshore UAE.
  • Advised Arabtec PJSC and 6 of its subsidiaries in bankruptcy proceedings.
  • Representing ADS Securities LLC in a number of cases before the UAE onshore courts related to complex international financial transactions.

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

Habib Al Mulla & Partners, a member firm of Baker & McKenzie International has a broad litigation and arbitration practice with particular experience advising on cross-border and regional banking and finance, white-collar crime, technology and tax disputes. Habib Al Mulla heads the UAE dispute resolution practice and has a well-established presence in the region. The firm's onshore litigation offering is led by Mohamed El Khatib. Tarek Saad is another individual to note and has a strong background in maritime and insurance. Eman Asad, Amir Alkhaja and Mohamed El Baghdady are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Habib Al Mulla; Mohamed El Khatib

Other key lawyers:

Tarek Saad; Eman Asad; Amir Alkhaja; Mohamed El Baghdady

Key clients

Julius Baer

Dubai Refreshments Company



Mashreq Bank

Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA)

Majid Al Futtaim

Standard Charter Bank

Ekar and Polymath

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Dubai Refreshments Company, the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) listed distributor of Pepsico, in challenges against tax penalties levied by the UAE Federal Tax Authority (FTA) before the FTA Reconsideration Committee, the Tax Dispute Resolution Committee (TDRC), the UAE Federal Courts and the UAE Supreme Court.
  • Successfully obtained a decision in favour of a UAE-based company in an appeal before the Abu Dhabi Court of First Instance against fines and penalties of approximately AED 20 million imposed by the FTA in respect of a voluntary disclosure made by the company.

OGH Legal

OGH Legal is a 'standout' firm for construction, banking and general commercial disputes. The firm's client base consists of European government entities, sovereign wealth funds and state-owned enterprises. Mohamed Elghatit is praised for his 'creative thinking' and 'bespoke service'; his expertise ranges from real estate and construction, to oil and gas. Sherif Hikal is a litigation expert and has in-depth knowledge of banking and insolvency. Omar Al Omar and Mohamed Al Sabah have caseloads that include criminal law disputes and investigations.

Practice head(s):

Sherif Hikal; Mohamed ElGhatit

Other key lawyers:

Omar Al Omar; Mohamed Al Sabah


‘The practice is flexible in billing and pays attention to where the value add of its service is not commensurate with the billed time and adjustments are made.’

‘Mohamed ElGhatit is very collaborative and communicative. He tailors his service to the requirements of the client and circumstances of the case with a very bespoke service.’

‘OGH has a small but responsive and nimble team, well versed in local litigation but also sensitive to the standards and needs of international clients.’

‘Mohamed ElGhatit understands the needs of international firms and clients.’

‘OGH is a standout firm for complex dispute resolution strategies entailing actions in the onshore Courts. The firm’s partners collaborate effectively to move seamlessly between civil and criminal strategies, providing top levels of client service.’

‘Mohamed ElGhatit is a standout lawyer, a creative thinker with a track record of delivering innovative solutions and with a deserved reputation for giving everything to his client’s cases to achieve optimum results. Mohamed’s commitment to client service is second to none.’

Mohamed Al Sabah is a leading lawyer with proficiency in negotiating difficult situations for his clients before Courts across the UAE, with real commitment to delivering excellence in client service.’

Key clients

SKAT Danish Tax Authority


Davidson Kempner


Al Habtoor



Libyan Sovereign Wealth Funds – Libya Africa Investment Portfolio and Libyan Investment Authority

Shapoorji Pallonji

Dubai Holding


Dutco Holding

MAF (Majid Al Futtaim)

WSP Contracting

Work highlights

  • Advising SKAT, the Danish Tax Authority before the UAE courts; there are currently five primary cases and 12 ancillary actions and related cases.
  • Acting on behalf of ALEC in defending a $1.7bn claim relating to a major fire at the Address Hotel in 2015.
  • Advising Port Link, a US investor fund in respect of its recovery of $500m held by a local UAE Bank (Noor Bank).

Alsuwaidi & Company

Alsuwaidi & Company represents clients in a range of industries from insurance and maritime, through to banking and real estate. Founding partner Mohammed Alsuwaidi has an extensive arbitration practice and a strong background in oil and gas. Ali Alraeesi has particular expertise in cases that involve cybersecurity, money laundering, corporate fraud and defamation. Reda Hegazy is also noted and showcases an in-depth understanding of Shari'ah law.

Practice head(s):

Mohammed Alsuwaidi; Ali Alraeesi; Mohammed Lemine; Reda Hegazy; Abdelhak Attalah


‘Knowledgeable and prompt.’

‘Detailed orientated and experienced.’

‘The firm provides sound commercial advice within a short required timeframe which is essential to our business.’

‘Wael Deyab and Lama Elshawish both are approachable and respond quickly to client requirements.’

‘The team is capable and highly qualified in handling different kinds of complex litigation files before all levels of courts in the UAE (federal and local). The team is very knowledgeable, smart, strategic, cooperative and responsive. The professional fees are reasonable. the team do their best to do the work in effective time and cost manner.’

‘I worked more with Mohammad Alsuwaidi, Ali Alraeesi and Abdulhak Attalah, also with many of the other lawyers in the firm.’

Key clients

A syndicate of international investment and commercial banks

A global supplier of tobacco leaves

A leading manufacturing company of auto-grade steel in India

An event management company base in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

A leading construction company

A well-known investment company

A leading global logistics company headquartered in Kuwait

A well-known regional Islamic commercial bank

A leading regional investment company owned by one of the largest family conglomerates in the UAE

A leading insurance company

Work highlights

  • Represented a group of international banks before the UAE Courts against defaulting borrowers/shipowners. The group of international banks provided ship finances amounting to $110m in the form of a syndicated loan for the purchase of ship tankers and were assigned mortgages over the ships.
  • Advising a leading trading company on a commercial dispute involving the termination of sale agreement of power station generators.
  • Representing a global supplier of tobacco leaves and related services in relation to breach of agreements for the sale of their goods with outstanding debt amounting to EUR 11.2m.

Al-Kabban Advocates & Legal Consultants

Al-Kabban Advocates & Legal Consultants typically advises corporates, government entities, banks and private clients on a broad range of disputes. Founding partner Reyadh Al Kabban has an extensive arbitration practice and is a member of the DIFC, DIAC and ICC. Mohammed Lamloum Ratieb has a strong focus on real estate, labour and criminal disputes. Senior associate Hany Atef is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Reyadh Al Kabban; Osama Al Salmi; Mohammed Lamloum Ratieb; Saif Saleh Al Mutawa

Other key lawyers:

Hany Atef

Key clients

NR Doshi & Partners

Zahra Jewellery LLC

Kenzie’s Car Washing and Detailing

Syndicate Sealine Ltd

Kamil Khan

Ghulam Seddiq

Neelu Sahni

German Steel Contracting LLC

Island Corner Tech. LLC

Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co Ltd

Ewald Grybek and Michelle Garcia

Arjun Khatri

Kamil Al Rustom

Bank Melli Iran

The Box ME

Insight 360

Ozcan Gencer and Abdurraman Vural

Mohamad Diab

Guita Al Boudoor

Clariba Solutions LLC

Tradex Engineering

Anmol Chidambram

Harmony Commodities LLC

Nariman Bolorforoush

Richmond Trading

Mohammad Murad

Annie Min

Emper Perfumes LLC

Hessa Al Falahi

Pop Up Shop Factory

YYT Food Corporation LLC

Work highlights

  • Representing Kamil Khan and successfully recovering over AED 48,500,000 from real estate developers in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
  • Acted for Neelu Sahni and Sunil Sahni in a claim for AED 37,800,000 as compensation for loss of profits and opportunity after the developers failed to register the units purchased by the clients under their name.

Horizons & Co

Construction and property disputes are Horizons & Co's core areas of expertise. Founding and managing partner Ali Ismael Al Zarooni has a broad commercial disputes practice with a particular focus on white-collar investigations involving tax evasion, money laundering and international extradition. For real estate and construction-related disputes, Areen Jayousi is the go-to contact.

Practice head(s):

Ali Ismael Al Zarooni; Areen Jayousi


‘Ali Ismael Al Zarooni is very capable and runs an efficient team.’

‘Responsive, commercial and effective.’

Key clients

ASGC Construction L.L.C

Teejan Contracting Co. LLC

Arabtec Construction LLC & Belhasa Six Construct LLC (ABJV)

Abaar Investments – PJS subsidiary of Mubadala Investment PJSC

Al Burj Real Estate Limited

Al Reef Real Estate Investment

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

Husnin Zahoor Zahoor Ahmed

Work highlights

  • Advised Arabtec Construction LLC & Belhasa Six Construct LLC on a panel with five experts who identified that the clients were not responsible for the fire damage caused to a hotel in 2015 valued at AED 1.245 billion.
  • Acted for Al Burj Real Estate LTD in a dispute in relation to several sale and purchase agreements with the largest developer in the UAE, owned by a semi-governmental entity.
  • Acted for 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 after the employer failed to make an agreed advanced payment.

Ibrahim & Partners

Ibrahim & Partners has expertise acting on cross-border disputes and demonstrates an in-depth understanding of the DIFC and ADGM court proceedings. The practice represents clients in the financial services, insurance, real estate and construction sectors. Practice head Mohamed Abdelrehiem has a particular focus on employment, construction and white-collar disputes.

Practice head(s):

Mohamed Abdelrehiem


They provide you with legal advice in a professional manner.’

Key clients

Armada Retail Concept General Trading Co. (Kuwait)

Al Behar for Multiple Industries

Omnix International Co. LLC

Oren Hydrocarbons Middle East INC

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

MSN Prestressed Concrete

4TN Trading LLC

Greenline Interiors Co. (GH)

Greenline Yacht Interiors FZCO

GGICO (Gulf General Investment Co.)

National Trading and Development Enterprises LLC

Work highlights

  • Representing Greenline Interiors Co. (GH) in relation to a very complex banking facility dispute of AED 558 million against Invest Bank PSC.
  • Representing GGICO (Gulf General Investment Co.) in relation to a banking dispute of AED 501 million and multiple mortgaged properties against Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB).
  • Represented Oren Hydrocarbons Middle East INC in a commercial dispute against Abasia Petrotech DMCC.

Mahmood Hussain Law Firm

Mahmood Hussain  of Mahmood Hussain Law Firm heads the practice and is an accredited international arbitrator at the DIAC and has experience handling arbitration cases under the ICC, LCIA and ADCCAC rules. Kushagra Ashok Arora has particular expertise representing real estate developers, food and beverage groups and high-net-worth individuals.

Practice head(s):

Mahmood Hussain; Kushagra Ashok Arora

Other key lawyers:

Taha Sharaf

Key clients

Shirnz Global FZ- LLC

Shapoorji Pallonji Mideast LLC


We Build


Work highlights

  • Successfully advised Augusta on recovering its investment in the arbitration case of a company that is also facing a bankruptcy case, which was unknown to the client.
  • Representing MPX in a dispute after the developer failed to pay the client during the project handover.
  • Acting for Shapoorji Pallonji Mideast LLC in post-arbitration proceedings after the opposition filed a request to nullify the arbitration award.