Kingdom of Saudi Arabia & ME: Annual International Arbitration & ADR Summit

  • Riyadh Local Time
    November 7, 2023
    9:00 am - 5:30 pm

This will be conducted in English and according to Riyadh local time. 

Legal Plus is pleased to present our Legal Plus Premium conference, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia & ME: Annual International Arbitration & ADR Summit is scheduled on on Tuesday 7 November 2023 at Marriott Riyadh Diplomatic Quarter. 

Join us to learn the changes and new trends that has affected businesses after the pandemic as well as looking through the looking glass into the near future on how Arbitration, crypto disputes, competition law and corporate crime affects your business now and in the future. Dynamic & upto date presentations on essential issues covering Construction & Energy Disputes, ESG, Enforcement of Awards, Asset Tracing, Cartels, Compliance, Technology issues in Disputes, Corporate Crime, AI – ChatGPT and important topical Competition Law issues . Also covered are important regional updates given to you by local and international experts who will joining us to share their invaluable knowledge and experience. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions to Legal household names in the region, network and create business opportunities, meet & greet and make some new friends!

Registration is now open.  Contact us today or view the latest flyer for registration and program details. Download

If you are interested to sponsor or speak at the event, contact Jason at for package details.  For registrations details, contact Bettina at

The organiser reserves the right to change the program without prior notice.

  • Welcome Message by Chairman
    Paul Key KC, Essex Court Chambers
  • Opening Keynote Welcome Address
    Dr. Hamed Hassan Merah, CEO, Saudi Center for Commercial Arbitration
  • Keynote Session: Update in Global Arbitration 2023
    Alexis Mourre, Partner, MGC Arbitration
  • How the New Civil Transactions Law Will Impact Saudi-Law Governed Disputes
    Sarah Gonem, Partner, Z&Co.
  • Cross-border Shareholder Disputes in M & A/JV Transactions
  • Energy Disputes — A Glimpse into The Future & Current Critical Issues
  • Construction Disputes; Differences Between the Civilian and Common Law Worlds
    Julian Cohen, Barrister , Resolution Chambers International
  • 1st Grand Panel: The Energy Transition 2023 & Beyond — Arbitration, ESG, Regulatory Issues, Choosing Seats & Investment
    Moderator: TBC
    • Khalil Mechantaf, Legal Director, Kennedys

  • 2nd Grand Panel: Ask the Experts — Expedited & Emergency Procedures in International Arbitration After the Pandemic — Is Faster Better and Who Really Benefits?
    Moderator: Reshma Oogorah, Independent Arbitrator
    • Emma Geange, Senior Director, Legal, Roshn

  • Avoiding Contract Disputes in Construction & Energy: Know Your Client
  • Asset Tracing and Recovery — Regional and Cross Border Issues for 2023
  • 3rd Grand Panel: Dispute Avoidance: Arbitration V Mediation — Different Regions Different Options
    Moderator: Jean Abboud, Partner, BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLC
    • Sadaff Habib, Independent Arbitrator
    • Karim Serour, Executive Vice President- Legal, Al Ghurair Investment LLC
  • Managing Investigations, Disputes & FCPA in The Region & Compliance Tips To Protect Your Company
  • 4th Grand Panel: Navigating Supply Chain Disputes & Problems in Turbulent Times


Paul Key KC, Chairman
Essex Court Chambers London
Paul Key K.C. is recognised as one of the leading QCs at the English Commercial Bar. He has particular expertise and specialism in arbitration, both international commercial arbitration and investment treaty arbitration (including ICSID). He also regularly appears in arbitration-related Court matters, including appearing in the English Supreme Court in Jivraj v Hashwani. He has been ranked in the toptier (band 1) rankings for arbitration for over 10 years and has consistently been identified as one of the leading figures in that field (“a real arbitration expert”, “few can rival his expertise, ability and knowledge in the field of arbitration”, “the first port of call for important arbitration disputes”, “an arbitration guru”). He has appeared as advocate in over 300 major international arbitrations worldwide, as well as appearing regularly before the English Courts (at all levels) and foreign Courts on arbitration matters. In addition to his extensive experience in international commercial arbitration, he is one of the very few English QCs to have real expertise in investment arbitration. He has been lead counsel in a very large number of BIT / investment arbitrations, acting both for and against States. He is Visiting Professor in international arbitration law at King’s College, London, and has lectured and published widely in this field. He has been a longstanding representative of the UK on the ILA International Commercial Arbitration Committee and is also a delegate for the UNCITRAL Working Group on Arbitration.
Dr. Hamed Hassan Merah, Welcome Message
CEO, Saudi Center for Commercial Arbitration
Dr. Hamed Hassan Merah is the CEO of Saudi Center for Commercial Arbitration. Dr Hamed is a transformational leader and internationally recognized expert with an extensive track record of achievements during his two-decade experience, encompassing Standard-setting, Alternative Dispute Resolutions, Governance, Compliance, and Islamic Finance. Led a specialized international organization with activities and members in more than 45 countries. He has comprehensive academic qualifications, professional fellowships, and advanced training courses in Law, Shari’ah, Leadership, Compliance, Governance, Insurance, and Capital Markets, such as Harvard Business School Alumni; MSc and PhD from The Higher Judicial Institute, Riyadh and MCIArb, Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, UK. Dr Hamed has offered consultations to several companies, government, semi-government agencies; and research centers, and formulating regulations, by-laws, policies and procedures, and standers. He has also conducted courses, workshops, and keynote speeches at numerous specialized Conferences in more than 30 countries; and Author of two published books.
Alexis Mourre, Keynote Speaker
Partner, MGC Arbitration
Alexis Mourre, founding partner of Mourre Gutiérrez Chessa Arbitration, has served as counsel, President of the Tribunal, Co-Arbitrator, Sole Arbitrator or Expert in more than 280 international arbitrations, both ad hoc and before most international arbitral institutions (ICC, ICSID, LCIA, ICDR, SIAC, SCC, DIAC, VIAC, etc.). He established his own arbitration practice in May 2015, after having founded Castaldi Mourre & Partners in 1996. Alexis has been a Court member of the ICC International Court of Arbitration for 12 years, first as Vice-President (2009- 2015) and then as President (1 July 2015- 30 June 2021). He was Vice President of the ICC Institute of World Business Law (2011-2015), co-chair of the IBA Arbitration Committee (2012-2013), LCIA Court member (2012-2015) and Council member of the Milan International Chamber of Arbitration (2006-2014). He is the author of numerous books and publications in the field of International Business Law, Private International Law and Arbitration Law. He is founder and former editor in chief of Les Cahiers de l’Arbitrage – The Paris Journal of International Arbitration, a leading publication in the field of international arbitration. Alexis is a member of a large number of scientific and professional institutions dedicated to Arbitration and Private International Law. He is the founder and former president of Paris Place d’Arbitrage/Paris the Home of International Arbitration. He is fluent in French, English, Italian and Spanish, and has a working knowledge of Portuguese.
Reshma Oogorah, Moderator — 2nd Grand Panel
Independent Arbitrator
Reshma Oogorah is an international arbitrator and legal counsel with over a decade of experience in high-value and complex commercial disputes. She focusses on the construction, technology and energy sectors, and has represented clients in both common and civil law jurisdictions. She has sat as Sole and Presiding arbitrator and acted as counsel in adhoc arbitrations, and under most major arbitration rules. Prior to setting up her arbitration and legal practice, Niyom Legal, Reshma spent time working with leading law firms in the United Arab Emirates, Mauritius, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, and with a top London Barrister’s chambers. Throughout her career, Reshma has advised and represented clients in transactions and disputes worth up to US$25 billion. Reshma is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), an elected committee member and Public Relations Officer of the CIArb UAE Branch, and General Editor of the Branch’s quarterly newsletter.
Jean Abboud, Moderator - 3rd Grand Panel
Partner, BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLC
With over fifteen years of experience in the Middle East, including a decade of specialized practice in Saudi Arabia, Jean Abboud is a seasoned legal expert specializing in dispute resolution. His command of corporate and commercial law, telecom and technology-related laws, and capital markets provides a strong foundation for his extensive involvement in complex litigation and arbitration cases. Jean has spearheaded numerous high-profile litigation cases, reflecting his deep expertise in dispute resolution. Recent notable achievements include the successful collection of USD 98 million from a leading Saudi oil and gas company and defending a large insurance company against a USD 42 million claim from a major Saudi bank in front of the Riyadh Court of Appeal. He has overseen a vast array of cases in Saudi Arabia before various courts and forums. His wide-ranging experience covers advising multinationals, U.S., European, and East Asian clients on project development, commercial contracts, and company setups, among others. He also consults on matters of general company law, corporate governance, and legal complexities related to franchising. In addition to his litigation portfolio, Jean has an established track record working with investment firms, including funds, private equity companies, venture capital entities, and startups. He advises on acquisitions, financing, and strategic transactions, blending his litigation skills with an indepth understanding of deal structuring and risk management. Jean’s in-depth local knowledge further extends to advising on foreign investment and insurance-related transactions. His comprehensive expertise in local laws and practices makes him a go-to advisor for both local and international clients embroiled in intricate legal disputes or looking to navigate the complex regulatory landscapes of Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East.
Dr. Nagla Nassar, Moderator – 4th Grand Panel
Senior Partner, NassarLaw
Dr. Nagla Nassar is Senior Partner at NassarLaw which was established in 1885. She graduated from Cairo University and Trinity College where she got her M. Litt and has an LL.M from Harvard University as well as a PhD from Geneva University and the Diploma of The Hague Academy in Private International Law. Before joining NassarLaw in 2004 she practiced in several jurisdictions and is a member of several bars. She was with the ICSID Secretariat and is a member of different arbitration forums including being a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and is a Council Member of the ICC World Business Institute. She has many legal publications analyzing critical legal problems and is abreast of current issues. With many years of experience both as corporate counsel and arbitrator she has acted on behalf of many major multinationals and Egyptian entities. Also, Dr. Nassar is appointed frequently as an arbitrator and has chaired many tribunals.
Julian Cohen
Barrister, Resolution Chambers International
Julian has 30 years of specialist experience of heavyweight international, and domestic, disputes. Sums in dispute in his cases vary from small to in excess of USD 2 billion. In addition to acting as counsel, he also regularly sits as an arbitrator. Julian has over 10 years’ experience in the MENA region, including 2 years based full time in Dubai, and an ongoing long-term commitment to the region. Julian has been involved in projects and disputes in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Oman, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Benin, Sierra Leone and Mali. Julian was called to the Bar in England & Wales in 1990. He was with Pinsent Masons’ Construction Disputes practice in London and Hong Kong from 1993 to 2009. He left Pinsent Masons as a partner in 2009, and was called to the Bar in Hong Kong in 2010. Julian is particularly well known for his heavy weight practice in relation to the Construction and Engineering sectors, the Energy, Oil and Gas sectors and International and domestic arbitrations.
Sarah Gonem
Partner, Z&Co.
Sarah Gonem is a Partner at Z&Co., with her core practice in commercial litigation. Sarah joined Z&Co. in 2014 from the London office of an international law firm and is a UK-qualified lawyer. In the litigation department, she works closely in the overall project management of complex commercial matters, including supporting in scrutinising the structure and justification of each argument. As a result of Sarah’s international experience and bilingual language skills, she acts as an essential conduit between the local Sharia and judicial context and international best practices in the management of complex commercial issues and disputes. Sarah is currently ranked as a Leading Individual by the Legal500, and has been ranked in her individual capacity since the 2020 edition, which reported that Sarah is “excellent” and “has a particular talent for facilitating progress in cross-border cases”. She has also been ranked in Chambers Global since the 2021 edition, which states “Sarah Gonem has an increasingly substantial presence in the market and is noted by commentators for being “good at combining Western and Arabic legal expertise in a very effective manner.” She is well placed to advise on significant claims for both multinational companies and major Saudi players. Clients also comment that she provides “very strong and detailed advice.”
Karim Mariey
Partner, White & Case
Karim Mariey is a Partner in the Construction and International Arbitration Groups of White & Case LLP and is based in Riyadh. Karim 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, dispute adjudication boards and mediation. Karim is regularly instructed to act as ‘project counsel’ advising on the day-to-day administration of contracts on major construction projects, including reviewing, and advising, on construction claims. In addition to his work as counsel and advocate, Karim also sits as an arbitrator. 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.
HK Suresha
Senior Partner and Country Head, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Masin
HK Suresha is the Senior Partner and Country Head for Masin in Qatar and Saudi Arabia. He is an engineer and surveyor with over 23 years of experience. Suresha specialises in delay and quantum analysis, with extensive experience in mega and large-scale projects in understanding, identifying, and evaluating engineering and construction disputes and claims, contracts and project advisory. He also specialises in dealing with complex issues by simplifying them towards resolution. Suresha has provided expert testimony in international arbitrations, such as ICC, LCIA, QICCA, DIFC, and DIAC, and has been cross-examined in arbitration hearings. Suresha has also acted as an arbitrator and mediator, leading numerous claims negotiations and settlements. Suresha has worked on various types of projects in sectors like oil & gas (up-stream and downstream), international airports, metro rail, process plants, power projects, treatment plants, buildings (residential, commercial, highrise and mix development), highways, infrastructure, and renewable energy. Suresha is an RICS Registered Expert Witness and a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, the Society of Construction Law (SCL), and the American Association of Cost Engineering (AACE International).
Khalil Mechantaf
Legal Director, Kennedys
Khalil is a member of Kennedys construction and energy practice, specialized in providing contentious and non-contentious commercial, construction, and energy law advice. He has over 10 years’ experience in the UAE, which includes various matters concerning major infrastructure and power related projects, and commercial, compliance and insurance related matters. He has advised on and drafted a wide variety of standard form and bespoke contracts including EPC, O&M, JV, framework and licensing agreements of relevance to the construction sector. Khalil works closely with multidisciplinary teams throughout a projects’ life cycle and advises on issues of scope, contract notifications, claims prevention and preparation, defects and issues of workmanship, coverage, negotiation and enforcement of warranties, bonds and guarantees, as well as negotiations and amicable resolution of conflicts. On the contentious side, Khalil represents a variety of developers and contractors in claims before Dispute Adjudication Boards and arbitration proceedings under the Rules of the ICC, LCIA, DIAC, SIAC, ADCCAC, SCC and UNCITRAL Rules. He has extensive experience in arbitration, covering: construction, commercial, aviation, insurance and shipping related disputes. Khalil has a client centric and commercial approach which is endorsed by several clients, including being recognised as a ‘Recommended Lawyer for both Construction and Dispute Resolution’ in the Legal 500 EMEA (2022). Clients praise him for being “an excellent construction and dispute lawyer who has deep understanding of the industry but with a commercial focus” (Legal 500 2022)’.
Karim Serour
Executive Vice President- Legal, Al Ghurair Investment LLC
Karim is the Executive Vice President- Legal for Al Ghurair Investment since January 2023. Before that, Karim has held the position of Head of Dispute Resolution for Al Ghurair Construction and Energy sectors. A seasoned legal practitioner, Karim’s experience spans more than 22 years, holding positions in international, regional and local law firms, as well as regional corporations in trusted in-house counsel roles. With diverse sector experience, including energy, construction, real estate and food, Karim is recognized as a dedicated and insightful legal professional, with a keen focus on innovation and optimization. Prior to his current appointment as Executive Vice President- Legal, Karim provided legal counsel to Business Unit Heads across Al Ghurair Investment, representing sister companies and subsidiaries in need of dispute resolution support. Prior to joining Al Ghurair Investment, Karim served as counsel for several international energy, real estate and construction contractors involved in large-scale infrastructure projects. His focus on these specialties enhanced his capabilities and honed his expertise in the Middle East’s regulatory and legal framework. Karim holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Law, along with a post-graduate diploma in International Arbitration from Cairo University. He also holds a Master’s Degree in International Business Law from Cumbria University. He was admitted before the Bar in 2002 and is a member of numerous legal institutions and bodies.
Emma Geange
Senior Director, Legal, Roshn
Emma is a fifteen-year qualified Senior Legal Director with over ten years’ experience in the Middle East. Emma’s specialism is contentious and non-contentious construction and she is currently a Senior Legal Director at ROSHN Group - Saudi Arabia’s pre-eminent Real Estate Developer powered by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. In her role at ROSHN, Emma in the head of the construction division of the legal team. Prior to joining ROSHN, Emma was General Counsel of one of the Middle East’s most highly regarded tier 1 construction companies, ALEC Engineering and Contracting LLC. This role involved overseeing the legal function of ALEC’s entire group of companies in the UAE and abroad. Emma is recognised as a commercial and innovative high-achiever with a robust track-record of shepherding and achieving commercial success. Notwithstanding Emma’s commercial aptitude she is highly regarded as an astute lawyer with excellent technical legal skills and ability.
Sadaff Habib
Independent Arbitrator
Sadaff Habib is an independent arbitrator and disputes counsel. She is a qualified New York attorney and has vast experience acting as both an arbitrator and as counsel in disputes across a variety of industries including construction, infrastructure, property, commercial, shareholder, desalination plants and solar power projects. She is recognized as a leading disputes practitioner both for her work as an arbitrator and as counsel by the Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal who last year ranked her as a Future Leader. Sadaff has acted in ad hoc arbitrations and in disputes under various institutional rules including the ICC, UNCITRAL, Swiss Rules of International Arbitration, DIAC Rules, and ADCCAC rules. Before founding her practice, Equanimity Arbitration, Sadaff worked with leading international law firms with renowned disputes practice. Sadaff previously served as an Assistant Editor for Africa for the Kluwer Arbitration Blog and was on the CIArb UAE Branch Committee during which time she developed the CIArb UAE Mentoring Program. She also co-founded the Africa Construction Law Blog and served as General Editor of the blog.

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6781 Abdullah Alsahmi Street, Diplomatic Quarter, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia