The Disputes Summit Middle East 2022 will bring together the expertise of leading practitioners and in-house counsel from the entire region. We will discuss developments that will be of use in understanding trends not only in the Middle East, but across the entire world. Provisional topics include climate change litigation and ESG, litigation funding, the emergence of legal tech, and the digital economy.
8.15am Registration and breakfast
9.00am Opening remarks
Essam Al Tamimi, chairman, Al Tamimi & Company
9.15am Enforcement – the view from above: a regional perspective
With a panel drawn from jurisdictions around the Middle East including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar, we will look at the latest updates on enforcement of domestic and foreign judgments and arbitration awards. The panel will also consider how to create and implement an effective enforcement strategy to maximise recovery across the region.
- Rita Jaballah, partner – head of international litigation group, Al Tamimi & Company
- Naief Yahia, partner – head of litigation, Duba UAE, Al Tamimi & Company
- Dr Ahmed Basrawi, partner – head of litigation, Jeddah KSA, Al Tamimi & Company
- Noor Al Rayes, partner – head of litigation, Bahrain, Al Tamimi & Company
- Thomas Snider, partner, head of arbitration, Al Tamimi & Company
- Roy Georgiades, partner litigation, Qatar, Al Tamimi & Company
- Yasser Aboismail, general counsel, Schindler Group
10.15am Handling regulatory investigations
A detailed look at regulatory investigations and how you manage international companies around the world.
Moderator: 4 Stone Buildings
- Sharif A Shivji, KC, 4 Stone Buildings
- Patrick Meaney, senior director and head of enforcement, Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA)
- Robert Lewsley, senior legal counsel, regional head, disputes and government investigation legal, AME, Standard Chartered Bank
- Matthew Shanahan, partner, Norton Rose Fulbright
- Ali Al Hashimi, regional managing partner, Global Advocacy and Legal Counsel
- Richard Hill KC, 4 Stone Buildings
11.15am Coffee break
11.30am Current trends in litigation funding
This panel will explore current trends in litigation funding (both regionally as well as world-wide). More specifically, we will discuss how a funder assesses a case, and what they are looking for. We will also discuss the GC point of view: what are GCs looking for in relevant cases, as well as what is a potentially funded company looking for. Finally, we will explore the potential pitfalls of litigation funding, and the factors that might prevent an even greater uptake in the Middle East.
Moderator: K&L Gates
- Jonathan Sutcliffe, partner, K&L Gates
- Ian Meredith (joining via video), partner, K&L Gates
- Dominik Engel, head of legal Middle East and Africa, ABB Power Grids
- Andrew Roberts, head of construction & energy, Augusta Ventures Ltd
12.30pm Arbitration institutions in the Middle East
This session will conduct a comparison of the arbitration rules of the various arbitration centres in the Gulf region and look at recent developments. The panel will also cover future changes to improve costs and case management efficiency.
Moderator: Charles Russell Speechlys
- Patrick Gearon FCIArb, partner – head of Middle East, Charles Russell Speechlys
- Peter Smith, legal director, Charles Russell Speechlys
- Alastair Tomson, barrister, 4 Stone Buildings
2.30pm How to fast-track resolution of your construction disputes
This panel will discuss the effectiveness of alternative dispute resolution methods (such as dispute boards and expert determination) in accelerating the resolution of construction disputes, in addition to some tools which can be used to make construction arbitrations quicker and more cost-effective.
Moderator: White & Case
- Michael Turrini, partner, White & Case
- Karim Mariey, senior associate, White & Case
- Michael Kenyon, managing director, BRG
- Haroon Niazi, partner, HKA
3.30pm In the hot seat with Sam Karim KC
This session will allow our panellists to ask questions of Sam Karim KC that relate to hot topics in the region, including domestic and international arbitration.
- Sarah Malik, CEO and founder, SOL Internation Ltd
- Alec Emmerson, independent arbitrator, ADR Management Consultancies
- Sami Tannous, partner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
- Dr. Mahmoud Hussein, founding partner, Dr. Mahmood Hussain Advocates & Legal Consultancy LLC (MHLF)
- Anne K. Hoffmann, independent arbitrator, Hoffmann Arbitration LLC
- Sheikh Mohammed Samiul Karim KC (Sam Karim KC), Gatehouse Chambers
4.00pm Coffee break
4.15pm UAE FATF Review, sanctions and cyberattacks in the Middle East
This session will begin with an overview of key elements from the year so far. We will then have a panel discussion focused on regulation within the UAE including FATF grey listing and sanctions. The panel will also discuss cybercrime in light of the ongoing cyber issues in the market.
Moderator: FTI Consulting
- Wayne Anthony, senior managing director, head of forensic accounting Middle East, FTI Consulting
- Abi-gail Marshman, senior managing director, head of financial crime, MENA, FTI Consulting
- Matthew Crawford, general legal and compliance counsel, Mantrac Group
- James Willn, partner, Reed Smith
5.15pm Fireside Chat: ESG compliance and risks for upper management
- Andrew Tarbuck, partner, head of capital markets, corporate commercial, Al Tamimi & Company (Moderator)
- Layla El-Wafi, senior legal counsel governance (Africa and Middle East), Standard Chartered Bank
6.00pm Drinks and canapés
7.30pm Event concludes
Essam Al Tamimi, chairman, Al Tamimi & Company
In 1989, Essam Al Tamimi established what is now the leading law firm in the Middle East, Al Tamimi & Company and currently holds the position of Chairman at the firm. Mr Al Tamimi has over 35 years of experience of working as a lawyer and arbitrator in the UAE and the GCC region. He has served in the ICC commission, served as the chair of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in the UAE, served on the LCIA court in London and at the DIAC arbitration centre as well as the chair of DIFC LCIA arbitration centre in the DIFC. Essam has published a number of books and articles on arbitration and litigation in the UAE. He also sits as an arbitrator in a number of commercial arbitrations. He has assisted in establishing the DIFC and the ADGM courts and continues to support the DIFC and ADGM in a number of legislative initiatives.
Patrick Gearon FCIArb, partner - head of Middle East, Charles Russell Speechlys
Patrick is Head of Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s Middle East practice and is also Chair of the Global Markets Group, which co-ordinates the firm’s international activities. He specialises in all areas of dispute resolution with particular emphasis on banking, intellectual property, insolvency, professional negligence and company disputes.
Peter Smith, legal director, Charles Russell Speechlys
Peter is a barrister with experience of a wide range of civil and commercial disputes and sectors, including arbitration, banking and finance, company, employment, insurance, insolvency, media, real estate, technology and construction, and professional negligence.
Sheikh Mohammed Samiul Karim KC (Sam Karim KC), Gatehouse Chambers
Sheikh Mohammed Samiul Karim KC’s (Sam Karim KC) specialist areas are four-fold: international arbitration, in which he acts as counsel and sits as panel or sole arbitrator; procurement; judicial review/human rights; and Court of Protection. Sam is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and is admitted as a practitioner in the Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) Court and the Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM). Sam is also a panel arbitrator for the ADGM and the International Islamic Centre for Reconciliation.
Sharif A Shivji KC, 4 Stone Buildings
Sharif is a well-known barrister in the DIFC having appeared in many of the leading cases in the jurisdiction at first instance and on appeal, including Khorafi v Bank Sarasin and Akhmedova v Akhmedov. Sharif is also currently instructed in some of the largest cases in the English High Court, including Autonomy v Lynch (a claim for $5bn with a ten-month trial) and Mozambique v Credit Suisse.
Before qualifying as a barrister, Sharif had a successful career as a derivatives trader in London and Hong Kong. Sharif was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2001 and the DIFC Bar in 2012. He took silk in 2020. Among other accolades, he is recommended by The Legal 500 in six practice areas (commercial litigation, company and partnership, financial services regulation, banking and finance, insolvency and offshore).
Jonathan Sutcliffe, partner, K&L Gates
Jonathan Sutcliffe is a partner in K&L Gates LLP, resident in the firm’s Dubai office, where he is a member of the international arbitration practice group. Jonathan has significant experience in international arbitration and dispute resolution and has acted for numerous clients on a diverse range of international commercial arbitration, ADR, and litigation matters in the energy, construction, hospitality, real estate, defence, insurance, international joint venture, and film sectors, and on investor-state disputes. Jonathan is a member of the firm’s hydrogen group.
Jonathan also sits regularly as an arbitrator, including under the rules of arbitration of the ICC, DIFC-LCIA, DIAC, and ADCCAC, and in ad hoc arbitrations.
Jonathan is qualified in England and Wales, and New York and is registered as an advocate in the DIFC Courts. He is recommended for international arbitration and projects and energy disputes by various leading legal guides, including Chambers, The Legal 500, and The International Who’s Who of Commercial Arbitration.
Ian Meredith, partner, K&L Gates
Ian Meredith’s practice focuses on international disputes across a range of sectors encompassing both commercial and public international law issues. He is a CEDR accredited mediator, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and the former head of the firm’s international arbitration group. His practice embraces alternative dispute resolution, international arbitration and both domestic and multi-jurisdictional litigation.
Ian’s practice is focused upon international arbitration, both as counsel and arbitrator, and encompassing both commercial and investment arbitration and encompassing public international law issues. He has arbitrated disputes under the HKIAC, ICC, LCIA, ICDR, UNCITRAL, LMAA, SCC, SIAC and ICSID rules amongst others as well as acting in relation to a number of ad hoc arbitrations and arbitrations proceeding under the rules of various trade bodies. Recent cases have been seated in London, Geneva, New York, Paris, Stockholm, Vienna, Panama, Tokyo, Zurich and various cities in the US.
Ian has been involved in the arbitration of several disputes flowing from investment within and relating to Russia and various countries of the CIS. He has been involved in a number of high-value arbitrations conducted under the Bermuda Form Insurance Policy, one of which led to the leading case on arbitrators’ conflicts of interest, Halliburton Company v Chubb Bermuda Insurance Ltd (formerly known as Ace Bermuda Insurance Ltd), in which the UK Supreme Court gave judgment in November 2020. Other disputes have related to mining, metals trading, specialty chemicals, oil and gas exploration, oil pollution, telecommunications, power generation (in renewable energy), border security, mega yachts, insurance coverage and a wide range of other industrial sectors.
Dominik Engel, head of legal Middle East and Africa, ABB Power Grids
Dominik Engel arrived in Dubai from Europe in 2008, which has proved to be an extremely successful move given the success he has enjoyed since. Joining Giesecke & Devrient in January 2010, Engel quickly made an impression and steadily rose through the ranks of the cash handling systems company; at the end of his time with the company approximately six years later he headed legal, compliance and risk for the Middle East and Africa. He then made the move to ABB in late 2015 and has performed similarly successfully there since. Now head of legal for the Middle East and Africa at ABB Power Grids, he takes on a diverse set of responsibilities.
Andrew Roberts, head of construction and energy, Augusta Ventures Ltd
Andrew is head of construction and energy at third party funder Augusta. He manages Augusta’s investments in legal claims across the construction, infrastructure and energy sectors, focusing primarily on international arbitration and corporate portfolio financing solutions. Andrew is a construction and commercial disputes lawyer by background and in his private practice career he acted on arbitrations across the Middle East, Europe and South America, as well as litigation and adjudication in the United Kingdom and New Zealand.
Michael Turrini, partner, White & Case
Michael is the head of the Middle East construction group and has over 20 years of experience in the field of construction law.
Michael advises clients on contract administration, dispute avoidance and construction arbitrations. Michael also has a wealth of experience dealing with the procurement of construction projects and negotiating of construction contracts.
Michael has been ranked as a leading construction lawyer in The Legal 500 UAE, leading construction lawyer in Legal 500 Qatar in Legal 500 Qatar and has also just been ranked in Legal 500 Power List for Arbitration in the Middle East 2022.
Karim Mariey, senior associate, White & Case
Karim Mariey is a senior associate in the London construction and engineering group of White & Case LLP. He advises owners and contractors on the resolution of disputes arising out of international construction and engineering projects, with a particular focus on projects in the Middle East, and has experience in litigation, arbitration and mediation. Karim also advises clients on contract administration and dispute avoidance.
Karim is a native Arabic speaker and is qualified to practise in England & Wales. Karim is also a contributing author of Commentary on the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (ed. Ilias Bantekas), Cambridge University Press, 2020.
Patrick Meaney, senior director and head of enforcement, Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA)
Patrick Meaney is senior director and head of enforcement at the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). He joined the DFSA in January 2018. Mr Meaney has 30 years of experience in regulating financial markets and services. Prior to joining the DFSA he was a manager in the wholesale enforcement department of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for almost seven years. During his time at the FCA, he was responsible for investigations into Libor misconduct, as a result of which his team enforced record financial penalties against three banks and two broking firms, and fines and prohibitions of two senior and five other individuals.
Robert Lewsley, senior legal counsel, regional head, disputes and government investigation legal, AME, Standard Chartered Bank
Robert Lewsley is the regional head of disputes and government investigations (Africa & Middle East) at Standard Chartered Bank. Robert studied law at the London School of Economics (2003, LLB Hons first class), was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2004 and practised in London before moving to Dubai in 2009. He spent seven years in the arbitration team at Al Tamimi & Co handling complex commercial disputes, and appeared regularly before the DIFC Courts and arbitral tribunals as an advocate. He joined Standard Chartered Bank in 2017. Robert has published widely, contributing articles to Global Arbitration Review, the International Arbitration Law Review, and chapters on the DIFC as a seat and on the DIFC-LCIA.
Matthew Shanahan, partner, Norton Rose Fulbright
Matthew Shanahan is a partner in Norton Rose Fulbright’s Dubai office.
Matthew specialises in advisory and contentious financial services regulation, regularly advising banks, securities firms, other financial institutions on all aspects of financial services regulation, including conduct issues, market abuse, fintech, crypto, anti-money laundering, and financial crime. He also advises clients on managing regulatory relationships, navigating complex regulatory investigations and enforcement actions, handling client mis-selling complaints, and crisis management.
Wayne Anthony, senior managing director, head of forensic accounting Middle East, FTI Consulting
Mr Anthony has more than 18 years of experience working in the forensic accounting field undertaking fraud investigations, financial crime investigations, asset tracing projects, litigation and dispute advisory work. His forensic accounting experience spans a wide range of industries including financial services, manufacturing, food and drink, publishing, engineering and charities. He has conducted investigations on behalf of UK and overseas corporates as well as public sector organisations.
Abi-gail Marshman, senior managing director, head of financial crime, MENA, FTI Consulting
Abi-gail Marshman brings two decades of experience specialising in financial crime regulation, supervision, public sector policy and private sector compliance matters. She leads financial crime compliance for The Middle East and North Africa. She has built and led AML/CFT supervision within South Africa and the United Arab Emirates, and participated in Financial Action Task Force (FATF) related work at a national and international level. Her expertise spans across practical implementation of effective anti-money laundering, counter-terrorist financing, transaction monitoring, sanctions and customer due diligence control frameworks.
Matthew Crawford, general legal and compliance counsel, Mantrac Group
Matthew has been general legal and compliance counsel of the Mantrac Group for the past five years. The main business of the Mantrac Group is as Caterpillar dealer for Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Iraq, Egypt and also for the central regions of Russia. It has offshore sales offices in Dubai, the UK and Shanghai and is headquartered in Dubai. Prior to joining Mantrac, Matthew was senior legal counsel at Shell working in Australia (Prelude FLNG), Qatar (Pearl GTL) and Russia (Sakhalin II) and, prior to that, as senior legal counsel at BHP in Australia.
James Willn, partner, Reed Smith
James is a partner in Reed Smith’s energy and natural resources group. He is an arbitration lawyer with more than 15 years’ experience and his practice centres on complex disputes and international arbitrations, largely within the construction, the offshore oil and gas, and other energy industries.
Ali Al Hashimi, regional managing partner, Global Advocacy and Legal Counsel
Mr Ali Al Hashimi is a UAE national and is licensed to appear before all UAE courts as well as the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) Courts. Mr Al Hashimi received his bachelor of law degree from the Dubai Police College while concurrently working for the Dubai Police. He obtained his master of LLM degree from Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts, USA specialising in international banking and securities law.
Alastair Tomson, barrister, 4 Stone Buildings
Alastair has a commercial disputes focussed practice encompassing High Court litigation (predominantly the Business and Property Court and Commercial Court) and international arbitration (ICSID, ICC, UNCITRAL, LCIA), with particular expertise in banking and finance, financial services, energy and natural resources, company disputes and insolvency.
Richard Hill KC, 4 Stone Buildings
Richard is an established litigation specialist who has appeared frequently in the DIFC courts at first instance and on appeal. His cases in the DIFC include Al Khorafi v Bank Sarasin Alpen (ME) Ltd. Richard has also appeared before both arbitral and DFSA regulatory tribunals in the DIFC. Richard has appeared in some of the most important cases in the English High Court in recent years, including as the leading silk in Travelport & ors v WEX, a landmark case on the interpretation of material adverse change clauses, Sharp v Blank, a substantial shareholders claim arising out of the acquisition of HBOS by Lloyds Banking Group, and Autonomy & ors v Lynch & anor (widely described in the press as the UK’s biggest ever civil fraud trial). Richard took silk in 2012. His recommendations from The Legal 500 and other directories cover multiple practice areas, including banking and finance, commercial litigation, civil fraud and company.
Rita Jaballah, partner, Al Tamimi
Rita Jaballah is a Partner in Al Tamimi & Company’s Dispute Resolution practice and leads its Dubai International Financial Centre Courts practice group. She has extensive experience of handling complex, high value local and international disputes.
Rita specialises in advising and representing clients with respect to a wide range of commercial and DIFC related disputes and claims with a particular focus on DIFC Courts litigation and regulatory proceedings in the banking and financial services sector. In this regard, Rita has acted for prominent investment banks and financial institutions in a number of high profile and significant disputes in the banking and regulatory arena. She has been involved in the development of the DIFC Courts and currently sits as a member of the DIFC Courts’ Rules Sub-Committee. In addition, Rita advises and represents local and foreign businesses and financial institutions in a wide range of commercial, property, company and banking disputes under UAE, DIFC, English and International law.
Prior to joining Al Tamimi & Company, Rita practised in a leading law firm in Melbourne and Freshfields ruckhaus Deringer in London, where she specialised in large scale and multi-jurisdictional litigation with a particular focus on financial services, regulatory disputes as well as general commercial litigation in the English Courts.
Naief Yahia, partner - head of litigation, Dubai, UAE, Al Tamimi
Naief Yahia joined Al Tamimi & Company in 2009. He is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution Department. Naief has been working in Dubai since 2006 with two of the local firms before he joined Al Tamimi & Company. He gained experience in various areas of practice (including: construction and commercial, banking, property and corporate related matters). He received his Bachelor of Law degree from Cairo University, English Section. Naief uses his wide knowledge of local laws, commercial and legal acumen and practical experience to the best of his abilities in conducting all commercial and civil litigation cases with the commercial reality and the clients’ interest in mind.
Naief is heading up the construction litigation team in our Dubai office. In his role, he acted and advised major construction players in the region in relation to highly complex construction disputes before local courts and arbitral tribunals. He regularly provide expert’s evidence on construction local law issues in international arbitration concerning cross-border and landmark construction disputes.
In addition, Naief is also leading our banking litigation practice in our Dubai office and regularly advises many local and international banks on all types of banking disputes in the region. In this role, he acted as the lead lawyer in securing the first successful judgments issued by the Dubai Courts in relation to foreclosure cases under both conventional and Islamic finance arrangements. Al Tamimi and Co Law Update magazine as well as the International Bar Association magazine.
Noor Al Rayes, partner - head of litigation, Bahrain, Al Tamimi
Noor has worked as a member of the litigation team at Mohammed Radha Bu Hussain law firm in which she represented a wide range of the local and international commercial companies. In particular, she was involved in litigation works and handled all legal procedures such as reviewing documents as well as, written pleadings, drafting claim writs and other kinds of submissions, raising appeals and all related services.
In 2012, Noor joined Khaled Al Dosery and Associates as an Associate, in which she advised on a variety of matters, including contractual disputes, maritime law, banking disputes, commercial agency matters, court procedures, emergency measures and injunctive relief.
Over 7 years of dispute resolution and litigation experience in Bahrain, having joined Nezar Raees Associates as from 2014, acting on behalf of a wide range of clients including banks, insurance companies, high-profiled companies in the construction industry and other commercial local companies.
In addition to advising on general labour and commercial law matters, Noor has assisted in the incorporation of a multitude of corporate entities and advising them in relation to compliance and regulatory matters, as well as, providing them with the necessary guidance.
Dr Ahmed Basrawi, partner - head of litigation, Jeddah, KSA, Al Tamimi
Dr Basrawi has more than 16 years of legal experience. Also, he was Lecturer in Litigation and Commercial Law at the University of Jeddah.
His experience includes attending court sessions and arbitration tribunals in Saudi Arabia in the areas of construction commercial matters administrative law, labour, shipping, insurance, banking, intellectual and property, and he successfully negotiated early settlement in regard to a dispute thereby avoided determined by the court or arbitration tribunal.
Dr Basrawi participated effectively in drafting regulation, restructuring and privatisation projects in KSA.
He also has experience in establishing Saudi Arabian, GCC and international companies (through SAGIA) and the drafting of commercial contracts and advice memoranda, and has advised clients on a wide range of property and corporate commercial matters from due diligence through project execution.
Roy Georgiades, partner litigation, Qatar, Al Tamimi
Roy is highly experienced in handling corporate disputes before the courts of Qatar and possesses an excellent track record of successfully advising international and local clients in disputes of various natures within the sectors of banking & finance, employment, real estate, construction & infrastructure, intellectual property and in commercial agency disputes in Qatar. His practice also includes the provision of legal opinions and he advises clients on all types of litigation matters in Qatar and on civil law.
Before joining the firm in 2012, Roy worked as a Legal Consultant at the Central Bank of Syria. Roy also has 4 years of experience as an associate at Sarkis Law Firm in Damascus, Syria.
Roy is individually ranked in the Legal 500 2017 directory for Dispute Resolution in Qatar and forms a key member of Al Tamimi’s Legal 500 Tier 1-ranked litigation team.
Sarah Malik, ceo and founder, SOL International Ltd
Sarah Malik is an award-winning lawyer who achieved Litigator of the Year (2022) at the first GCC Women in Law Awards and received an honourable mention as the Law Firm Leader of the Year category at the same awards. She set up SOL, a boutique legal practice in the UAE in 2018. SOL has since become a household name in the UAE and internationally and has been listed as a ‘Firm to Watch in Dispute Resolution’ by Legal 500 EMEA. Sarah is a published author of two legal texts, a visiting lecturer in law, an arbitrator, acts as Counsel in multi-jurisdictional disputes and is an international public speaker who trains governments and judiciaries worldwide.
Alec Emmerson, independent arbitrator, ADR Management Consultancies
Alec Emmerson is an independent arbitrator with a wealth of experience in England/Europe, Asia and the Middle East. In a career spanning 40 years with Clyde & Co, an international law firm with one of the largest arbitration practices globally, Alec was an associate and then partner in England for 7 years, managing partner for Asia, based in Hong Kong, for more than 12 years, international partner with strategic responsibility for the firm’s offices outside the UK for 3 1/2 years (based in London) and finally a partner and consultant for 18 years based in Dubai where he moved to develop the firm’s MENA disputes practice. He was also a member of the firm’s global arbitration executive from its formation until the end of 2017.
Sami Tannous, partner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Sami is an international arbitration specialist focusing on international commercial arbitration and investor-State arbitration. He has represented clients in arbitrations under all major arbitration rules and also regularly sits as arbitrator. Sami has particular expertise of disputes involving the Middle East and North Africa. His experience includes advising clients on a broad range of commercial disputes including joint venture and shareholder agreements, SPAs, production sharing agreements and distribution/agency agreements, in various sectors including oil and gas, banking, real-estate, telecoms, defence, travel, media, and construction. Sami is also Vice-President of the LCIA Arab Users’ Council and a member of the LCIA Court.
Dr Mahmoud Hussein, founding partner, Dr. Mahmood Hussain Advocates & Legal Consultancy LLC (MHLF)
Dr Mahmoud Hussein is the founding partner at Dr. Mahmood Hussain Advocates & Legal Consultancy LLC (MHLF) and has over 20 years of experience in the public and private sectors. In his role as a litigator at Dubai Courts, Mahmoud has achieved many favorable judgments in several high-profile cases. Mahmoud through his niche practice of being an arguing Counsel before the Honorable Judges at Dubai Courts has set up a benchmark for effective representation involving complex legal issues.
Anne K. Hoffmann, partner, Reed Smith
Anne K. Hoffmann is an internationally recognised arbitration practitioner with two decades of experience in international commercial and investment arbitration during which she acted in arbitrations seated around the globe and governed by a great variety of laws. She is dual qualified in both Germany and England & Wales and practiced at leading international law firms in London, Geneva and Dubai before focusing on her practice as an independent arbitrator.
Haroon Niazi, partner and head of Middle East, HKA
Haroon Niazi specialises in all areas of dispute resolution and construction law. He is qualified as a Chartered Quantity Surveyor (FRICS), this accompanied with his legal qualifications puts him in an excellent position to handle the most complex of construction disputes. Haroon has been instructed on matters ranging from domestic construction disputes and lower value commercial claims through to instructions as part of arbitration teams in multi-million dollar arbitration proceedings.
Haroon has experience in drafting pleadings in all forms of dispute resolution and has a good knowledge of the JCT, NEC, FIDIC and MPW contracts in Kuwait, Saudi Public Works Contract and the Saudi Aramco standard form contracts as well as various ad hoc contracts.
Haroon previously practised as a barrister in London and regularly appeared before various tribunals. Preceding that, Haroon provided consultancy services to Knowles Ltd, A Hill International Company based in London. Given his legal background, Haroon is well placed when it comes to analysing potential claims and assessing contractual entitlement thereby ensuring client requirements, with respect to preparing or defending claims, can be strategically implemented.
Haroon is currently advising a number of clients on both Employer and Contractor side in relation to claims and disputes within the Middle East. Haroon was awarded Hill International’s 2014 Worldwide Consultant of the year award for his achievements and has been named one of the top 100 most influential construction leaders in the Middle East by Construction Week.
Haroon is responsible for managing the overall business in the Middle East and takes a lead role in agreeing new appointments for HKA, as well as managing the technical deliverables. He is named in Who’s Who Legal – Construction 2020 as a professional that ‘possesses remarkable case and project management skills’ and brings ‘strategic, legal, technical, financial and commercial’ skills to his work.
Thomas Snider, partner, head of arbitration, Al Tamimi & Company
Tom is a partner and the firm’s head of arbitration based in the Dubai office. He is experienced in international commercial arbitration, international investment disputes, state-to-state arbitration, and foreign sovereign immunity issues. His experience covers a wide range of industries, sectors, and types of disputes, including oil-and-gas, construction, hospitality, telecommunications, automobile manufacturing, distribution agreements, shareholder disputes, and joint-venture disputes.
Tom was recently named to The Legal 500 Private Practice Arbitration Powerlist – Middle East Region. In The Legal 500 United Arab Emirates (2020), Tom was described as having ‘cross-examination skills [that] are excellent. He listens hard, is polite to witnesses and yet wields an iron fist beneath his velvet glove.’
In 2021, Lexology’s Client Choice recognised Tom for Arbitration & ADR in the United Arab Emirates. Client Choice, which is unique in that lawyers can only be nominated by corporate counsel, recognises those lawyers who stand apart for excellent client care and have ‘an ability to add real value to clients’ business above and beyond the other players in the market’. Tom was also recognised by Asian Legal Business in its listing of Super 50 Lawyers in MENA 2022.
Andrew Tarbuck, partner and head of capital market, Al Tamimi & Company
Andrew is a partner and head of capital markets at Al Tamimi and, with over 15 years of experience in the region, he is widely recognised as a leading lawyer for capital markets and public company work in the Middle East. Andrew has particular expertise in all aspects of capital markets transactions, particularly IPOs, other equity fund raisings, debt securities and Sukuk. He is skilled in all aspects of capital markets, M&A, public company work and corporate law.
Andrew has been ranked in Band 1 in Chambers Global for several years and is a ‘Leading Individual’ in The Legal 500 for UAE and Middle East Capital Markets. Commentators described him as ‘very knowledgeable, practical and energetic, and gets things done’, ‘a big player who brings a lot of expertise to his team’ and as ‘a leading figure in the capital markets space’ with ‘a solid track record in multibillion-dollar IPOs’. Clients have been quoted: ‘Andrew has been stellar; our work would not have come to fruition without his advice.’ and ‘I particularly like his blend of technical know-how, commercial knowledge and innovative thinking.’ Other sources praise his ‘great reputation’ and state that ‘he is amazingly knowledgeable’.
Layla El-Wafi, senior legal counsel governance (Africa and Middle East), Standard Chartered Bank
Layla El-Wafi is senior legal counsel at Standard Chartered based in the Dubai International Financial Centre’s Middle East regional legal team.
She advises on a range of transactions in the MENA/GCC region (with a focus on UAE, Egypt and KSA) including the setting up of new branches, sustainable finance and a range of commercial agreements. Layla participates on various country governance forums and advises on ESG integration and compliance issues including matters related to data privacy, diversity & inclusion, wellness and human rights in business.
Before joining the bank Layla previously worked with international law firm Addleshaw Goddard in London and Oman. Prior to her legal career she worked with international development and human rights organisations like Amnesty International, UNICEF and Women for Women International in New York, London, Baghdad in both peace and post-conflict circumstances with a focus on women and community empowerment. Layla bi-lingual is engaged in community service projects in the UAE and abroad. She is currently a participant in the Lawyers for Net Zero Champions programme.
Yasser Aboismail, general counsel, Schindler Group
International legal counsel and experienced leader who acts as a true business partner and lead by influencing and partnering with executive leaders to accelerate global business goals and to build a culture of integrity.
Throughout his career and academic journey in Egypt, France, Saudi and UAE with top tier multinational organisations such as Ernst & Young, PepsiCo, Eaton and currently Schindler, he played a vital leadership role in developing agile, competent and forward thinking legal functions that enable and accelerate the sustainable and profitable growth of business.
Currently, Yasser oversees all legal, commercial and compliance matters across the Middle East and North Africa region and leads the Global Function of Compliance Culture and Training at Schindler Group.
He has been selected three times by The Legal 500 as one of the most influential 100 general counsels in the Middle East and has been named as the General Counsel of Year 2020 by Legal Era Magazine and the General Counsel of the Year 2021 by Legal Week.
Yasser holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Law from Cairo University, a Master’s Degree in International Business Law from Paris IX University in France, a Master’s Degree in International Business Contracts and a PhD both from the University Montpellier I in France.
Sam Karim KC
Sam Karim KC (Sheikh Mohammed Samiul Karim) is a specialist in domestic and international commercial arbitration. He is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and is admitted as a practitioner in the DIFC and the ADGM. He acts as counsel, and more so recently sits as a panel or sole arbitrator. He speaks throughout the world on international arbitration including recently the IBA and GAR Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Paris and Legal 500 London. Sam is the editor of Karim on International Arbitration: The Global Guide for Practitioners, to be published this year by Elgar, and is also published in the area of AI & arbitration and Islamic finance. Sam also a panel arbitrator for the ADGM and the International Islamic Centre for Reconciliation.
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Al Tamimi & Company has unrivalled experience, having operated in the region for over 30 years. Its lawyers combine international experience and qualifications with expert regional knowledge and understanding.
Al Tamimi is a full-service firm, specialising in advising and supporting major international corporations, banks and financial institutions, government organisations and local, regional and international companies. Its main areas of expertise include arbitration and litigation, banking and finance, corporate and commercial, intellectual property, real estate, construction and infrastructure, and technology, media and telecommunications. The firm’s lawyers provide quality legal advice and support to clients across all of its practice areas.
The firm’s business and regional footprint continues to grow, and it is seeking to expand further in line with its commitment to meet the needs of clients doing business across the MENA region.
White & Case is a global law firm with longstanding offices in the markets that matter today. Its on-the-ground experience, cross-border integration and depth of local, US and English-qualified lawyers help clients work with confidence in any one market or across many.
K&L Gates’ Dubai office, located within the Dubai International Financial Centre, supports clients doing business in both the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the wider Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) region.
The Dubai office focuses on dispute resolution (including arbitration), insurance coverage, a broad spectrum of commercial and corporate matters (including mergers and acquisitions, private equity, and venture capital investments), capital markets, investment funds, financial services regulatory advice, banking and finance, and employment. The office also works closely with the firmwide Islamic finance and investment group.
The Dubai-based litigation and dispute resolution team works closely with lawyers across the Middle East, Asia, Europe and the US and has breadth of experience to address the most complex and difficult engagements in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Our lawyers are well versed in resolving disputes through litigation, arbitration, mediation and other alternative dispute resolution techniques.
K&L Gates provide advice on UAE law and practice, including retention and supervision of local lawyers in the Dubai and UAE courts. With the team offering fluent working proficiency in both Arabic and English, it has the ability to represent clients in proceedings conducted in Arabic.
Charles Russell Speechlys are a market leading award winning international law firm with offices in three of the Middle East’s centres: Dubai, Manama and Doha.
The firm has been working with clients in the GCC region for over 30 years and operating on the ground in the Middle East for over 15 years. With both English and Arabic speaking lawyers, the experienced Middle East team understand your specific requirements and the nuances of each market place in the region. The firm undertake some of the region’s highest value transactions and cases and partners in the Middle East are consistently ranked as leading lawyers in their respective fields in the independent directories, such as Chambers Global and The Legal 500.
Charles Russell Speechly’s lawyers work seamlessly across the Middle East offices servicing clients from a ‘one team’ perspective regardless of geography and leveraging specific expertise from our other international offices as and when required. The firm work with a variety of clients and industries including, government entities and regulators, sovereign wealth funds, multi-national and regional corporates, major investors, high-profile families and individuals.
Internationally renowned for financial matters and commercial disputes, 4 Stone Buildings is a leading set of chambers in the Middle East. Our members have been involved in many of the most significant, complex and valuable cases in our specialist areas in the region. We have excellent local knowledge, understanding how business is done, and the legal issues that commonly arise in the Middle East. We also have market-leading experience of the international courts and tribunals. We have the largest number of members called to the bar of the DIFC, as compared to the other English sets, and have had a presence in the DIFC for over a decade. We are also at the forefront of matters before Abu Dhabi Global Market courts and our members regularly appear in arbitrations which are either seated in or involve issues arising out of the region.
Gatehouse Chambers has many years’ experience advising and acting for attorneys and clients world-wide and much of our work is international in character. We regularly handle cross-border litigation and matters in international arbitration proceedings before off shore first instance and appellate Courts, as well as Privy Council appeals. Members also act as experts in English law in foreign proceedings.
Our barristers have particular experience of working in (and in disputes related to) Europe (including the Channel Islands), the Middle East (including the Gulf States), the US, Latin America and the Caribbean. Several of our members are called to the Bar in other jurisdictions and many more gain ad hoc admission to the Bars of other jurisdictions if required for a particular case. A number of members speak foreign languages including French, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Gujarati.
We accept instructions from the UK and international law firms’ UK offices, but also directly from foreign law firms and, where appropriate, clients.
FTI Consulting, Inc is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organisations manage change, mitigate risk and resolve disputes: financial, legal, operational, political and regulatory, reputational and transactional. With more than 6,700 employees located in 30 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges and make the most of opportunities.
Stephenson Harwood LLP is a full-service international law firm that offers clients access to a leading dispute resolution team that have acted on multiple ‘big ticket’ and complex arbitrations and litigation matters across the Middle East region.
Our ‘powerhouse’ dispute resolution team includes four-partners, one of-counsel and nine-associates (of which many are fluent in written and spoken Arabic) and is widely regarded as one of the most high-profile teams in the market.
Our lawyers have been instructed on numerous matters before the ADGM, ADCCAC, DIAC, LCIA and ICC. We pride ourselves in resolving disputes early and have a reputation for commercial and practical problem solving.
The team Middle East dispute resolution team is routinely shortlisted by many of the leading prestigious legal and industry awards ceremonies for their capabilities, including:
- Arbitration Team of the Year – Middle East Legal Awards 2022 and 2021;
- Arbitration Team of the Year – Thomson Reuters’ ALB Middle East Legal Awards 2021;
- Litigation and Dispute Resolution Team of the Year – The Oath Middle East Legal Awards 2020-21; and
- MENA Legal Advisor of the Year – IJ Global Awards 2021.
The Middle East team is also ranked as leading law firm for ‘Dispute resolution: Arbitration and International Litigation’ by The Legal 500 EMEA 2022, where they are praised for by clients for their ‘collaborative style, with attentive partner input.’ We pride ourselves on receiving clients feedback on where we are lauded for acting as an extension of ‘the company’s in-house team as opposed to our external counsel, who make such an effort to understand the company and work alongside us.’ The team is also described as being ‘experienced, attentive to details, response timing is superb to all queries (even on holidays), sound judgement and advice, competitive pricing, can provide the best external expert support needed to have a successful winning arbitration.’