UAE: 9th International Arbitration & ADR Summit

  • UAE Local Time
     April 17, 2024
     9:00 am - 5:45 pm

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

Legal Plus Premium is excited to be coming to Dubai again for our annual event.  The UAE: 9th International Arbitration & ADR Summit is scheduled on 17 April 2024 at Shangri-La Dubai Hotel.  

Join us for a full day of sharing and discussions by a group of local and international experts, it will be a great platform to learn the latest changes and trends that may affect your business in the current business environment.  Topics in discussion include but not limited to disputes in the construction, energy and technology sector, panel discussions on arbitration v mediation, monetizing and enforceing awards, expedite and emergency procedures in international arbitration and many more.  For more details about the program, please refer to the flyer.  

The event will not only provide update information but it’s will also be a great opportunity to ask questions to leading local and global experts, network and create business opportunities and maybe make some new friends! We look forward to meeting you there so please put the date into your schedule today!!

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
    Simon Hughes KC, Keating Chambers
  • Welcome Address by Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC)
    Jehad Kazim, Executive Director, Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC)
  • Keynote Session: Trends in Arbitration in 2024
    Dr. Habib Al Mulla, Founder, Habib Al Mulla & Partners
  • Conflicts of Interest -& Arbitrator Disclosure: A glimpse into the Future for Arbitration
    David Joseph KC, Counsel and Arbitrator, Essex Court Chambers
  • The Regional Panel — Monetizing & Enforcing Awards in Different Industries — Important Regional Updates in 2024
    Moderator: Victor P. Leginsky, International Arbitrator, Arbitralis
    • Karim Serour, Executive Vice President- Legal, Al Ghurair Investment LLC
    • Julian Cohen Arbitrator & Barrister, Resolution Chambers International
    • Leonora Riesenburg, Independent International, Arbitrator

  • Beyond Compliance: Protecting Stakeholder and Business Interests in the Event of a Crisis
    Moderator: John Lewis, Partner and Head of Middle East General Commercial Litigation and International Arbitration, Stephenson Harwood LLP
    • Phil Clarke, Partner, Stephenson Harwood LLP
    • Mohamed El Hawawy, Partner and Head of Middle East Insurance, Stephenson Harwood LLP
    • Caroline Hibberd, Managing Associate, Stephenson Harwood LLP

  • 1st Grand Panel: The Energy Transition 2024 & Beyond — Arbitration, ESG, Regulatory Issues, Choosing Seats & Investment
    Moderator: Sean Hugo, Partner, CBBG Group
    • Fatima Ghaith, Associate General Counsel, Weatherford International
    • Jed Savager, Partner, Pinsent Masons
    • David Joseph KC, Counsel and Arbitrator, Essex Court Chambers
  • 2nd Grand Panel: Speeding Up the Process in Arbitration – Expedited & Emergency Arbitration: Who Benefits Most, Choice of Seats & What are the Pitfalls for General Counsels
    Moderator: Sarah Malik, CEO & Founder, SOL International
    • Sadaff Habib, Independent Arbitrator
    • Marcus Khoury, General Counsel, ALEC Engineering
    • Christian P. Alberti, Chief of ADR and General Counsel, Saudi Center for Commercial Arbitration (SCCA)
    • Martin Khoshdel, Senior Associate, BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP
  • 3rd Grand Panel: Crypto,  Digitization and Tokenization – Legal and Due Diligence Considerations
    Moderator: Phil Clarke, Partner, Stephenson Harwood LLP
    • Julian So, Group Chief Executive Officer at Coinllectibles™, Marvion™ and XBE; Consultant, Prosynergy; Of Counsel, Hauzen LLP
    • Melissa Forbes Miranda, Partner, Stephenson Harwood LLP
    • Mark Nuttall, ESG Risk Advisory
    • Ajay Shamdasani, Research Fellow, Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong; Host, Regulatory Ramblings Podcast

  • 4th Grand Panel: Arbitration, Mediation and the ADR Toolbox — When to Use Which Tool and How Effective are They in MENA & Other Jurisdictions
    Moderator: Mark Wilson, Partner, Kennedys
    • Lara Hammoud, Associate General Counsel,  ADNOC; Independent Arbitrator
    • Sergey Medvedev, Partner, Gorodissky & Partners (Dubai)
    • Jonathan Choo, Independent Arbitrator and Mediator, Vantage Chambers
  • Managing and Avoiding Construction Disputes in the Coming Energy Transition Era
    • Fatima Balfaqeeh, Managing Partner, Balfaqeeh Advocates & Legal Consultants
    • Magda Kofluk, Managing Associate, Stephenson Harwood LLP

  • 5th Grand Panel: FRAUD: Risks in 2024 in the UAE — Outbound Investment Risks, Technology’s Role (Good & Bad) & Internal Investigations
    Moderator:Sheila Shadmand, Partner in Charge, Jones Day
    • Robert Lewsley, Regional Head, Disputes and Government Investigations Legal, AME, Standard Chartered Bank
    • Sameet Ghambir, Vice President (Corp. Law) & Company Secretary, DCM Shriram Ltd
    • Karim Mahmoud, Partner, Hadef & Partners


Simon Hughes KC, Conference Chairman
Keating Chambers
Simon Hughes KC is a specialist silk in major construction, engineering, shipbuilding and other off-shore and energy related disputes was recently awarded “Construction and Energy Silk of the Year” for 2019 by the Legal 500. He comes recommended for his client-focused approach, understanding of the technicalities of disputes and his “exceptional” advocacy, cross-examination, and advice. Simon has been fortunate to have acted on some of the largest, and most challenging, heavy civil engineering disputes of the day (including a great deal of highway/highway infrastructure and associated geotechnical work). He is ranked in the ‘Star’ category in Chambers & Partners for Construction and is also in the very top ranking in Chambers & Partners (Band 1) for International Arbitration. There are only few silks with these dual top-ranking and this reflects Simon’s stellar practice for major clients and leading law firms. Simon has been ranked in Who’s Who’s Legal as a Thought Leader in Construction and recommended in Arbitration and Construction. Simon has substantial experience of conducting large arbitration in, or for clients based in, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and more broadly within south east Asia. Simon’s practice is typically major infrastructure or energy project-based problems on live matters or arbitrations.
Jehad Kazim, Welcome Address
Executive Director, Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC)
Jehad is the first Executive Director of Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) and the first Emirati woman to assume a leadership position in the largest arbitration centre in the Middle East. She also serves on DIAC’s Board of Directors and is the first Emirati woman on the Board. Drawing on a wealth of knowledge gained from over 22 years of experience in the legal and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) field, Jehad has played an instrumental role in building and executing DIAC’s forward thinking strategy. Under her proactive and dynamic leadership, the Centre strives to enhance the efficiency of its operations, optimize its performance and improve its ADR services through business excellence, stakeholder engagement and innovation. Prior to joining DIAC, Jehad was the Vice-President of the Legal Affairs Sector of Dubai Chambers where she oversaw the entire legal function of the Chambers and its international offices around the world. She played a key role in providing broad strategic guidance and legal support to the Dubai Chambers and its stakeholders on wide spectrum of matters including legislation, dispute resolution, corporate governance and policy advocacy in line with Dubai Chambers’ vision and strategic objectives.
Dr. Habib Al Mulla, Keynote Speaker
Founder, Habib Al Mulla & Partners
Dr. Habib is one of the UAE’s most highly respected legal authorities. He has over 38 years’ experience in UAE law and has drafted many of the modern legislative structures in place in Dubai today. Dr. Habib is a strong advocate for the improvement and modernisation of UAE Laws. He is a frequent commentator on the legislation and economy of the UAE and is often consulted to draft and advise on Federal and Emirate level laws. Dr. Habib is a member of the Board of the Dubai International Chamber and the Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC) Academy Board. He created the concept of financial free zones in the UAE and was the architect of the legal framework establishing the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the first financial free zone in the UAE. Dr. Habib also served as Chairman of the Legislative Committee of the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). Dr. Habib has held numerous prominent government positions over the years, including being a member of the UAE Federal National Council, the federal parliament of the UAE, member of the Legislative Committee, in charge of reviewing federal legislation, member of the Economic Committee, in charge of reviewing fiscal and economic policy of the federation, Director of the Institute of Advanced Legal and Judicial Studies, in charge of training judges and prosecutors in the Emirate of Dubai and Chairman of the UAE Jurists Association. He has published many books and articles on the UAE law and economy, including a two part book on his life’s work titled Life’s Harvest, a definitive selection of his writings on the laws, politics and economy of the UAE over the last 26 years. He is also a regular commentator in the media and a prominent speaker at many events and conferences within the UAE and internationally.
Victor P. Leginsky, Moderator — Regional Panel
International Arbitrator, Arbitralis
Victor P. Leginsky, Canadian citizen, is an experienced international arbitrator and mediator resident in the United Arab Emirates since 2007. Victor has earned the internationally-recognized designations of Chartered Arbitrator and Fellow from the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and is appointed to the CIArb Panel of Arbitrators. Victor is a CEDR (Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution, London) accredited mediator and mediation experience as Chair, Manufactured Home Park Dispute Resolution Committee (Attorney General of British Columbia, Canada, appointment) and in mediations. Victor is appointed to the panels or lists of arbitrators in a number of international centres and is a committee member of the International Court of Arbitration (ICC) Canada. He has instructed and assessed in respect of Mediation though the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the CIArb. He is the past Middle East Regional Director of the Association of International Energy Negotiators (AIEN). He is a member in good standing of the Law Society of British Columbia, Canada.
Sean Hugo, Moderator — 1st Grand Panel
Partner, CBBG Group
Sean is a Partner of CBBG Group and a Testified Delay and Disruption Expert. Sean has extensive experience in the specialist disciplines of delay and disruption analysis. Prior to becoming a Delay and Disruption Expert, Sean held senior project-based positions, including Site Engineer, Project Manager, Project Controls Manager and Planning Manager on complex projects. Sean has been appointed as an Independent Delay and Disruption Expert, drafting numerous reports providing an independent opinion relating to construction project delay and disruption. Sean is well versed in the best practice protocols of AACE International Recommended Practice No. 29R-03 and the SCL Delay and Disruption Protocol. Additionally, Sean has received formal expert witness and advanced cross-examination training. Sean has been appointed as an independent delay/disruption expert under ICC, DIAC, QICCA and LCIA Arbitration rules.
Sarah Malik, Moderator — 2nd Grand Panel
CEO & Founder, SOL International
Sarah Malik is an award-winning lawyer who founded SOL International Ltd, a boutique legal consultancy registered at the ADGM in 2018. Sarah achieved ‘Litigator of the Year’ (2022) at the first GCC Women in Law Awards and received an honourable mention as ‘Law Firm Leader of the Year’ category at the same awards. In March 2022, SOL was named by Legal 500 EMEA as ‘A Firm to Watch in Dispute Resolution: Arbitration and International Litigation’. In 2023 Sarah was listed as a ‘Leading Practitioner’ in The Arbitration Powerlist: Middle East Legal 500 EMEA. In March 2023, Sarah was appointed to the Inaugural Advisory Committee for the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) and the Advisory Board for ThoughtsLeaders4 FIRE Middle East Summit 2023. She was also appointed to the DIFC Users Committee and the Advisory Board for Juris Centre for Excellence in Legal Education and Training at Middlesex University, Dubai. Sarah is a member of the SIAC Users Council in the Middle East and is one of 20 appointed on the Lagos Panel of Arbitration Neutrals. Sarah is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and accepts appointments to sit as an Arbitrator. Sarah undertakes international commercial arbitrations as Counsel (DIAC, ADCCAC, DIFC-LCIA, ICC) and practices commercial litigation at the DIFC and ADGM Courts. She deals with a varied arbitration caseload from construction through to international commercial arbitrations and has enjoyed successful awards in multi-million value. Sarah partners with numerous academies worldwide including AIAC, AIFC, ADJD and DIFC to provide best practice and training on arbitration. She is regularly invited to speak at conferences within the UAE, GCC and internationally for various organisations including the ICC, CIArb and at the IBA.
Phil Clarke, Moderator - 3rd Grand Panel
Partner, Stephenson Harwood LLP
Phil is a partner in our international regulatory and investigations practice, based in Dubai. He has a broad range of experience in contentious and non-contentious regulatory matters, internal investigations, cross-border enforcement proceedings and financial services disputes. Phil brings a unique perspective to financial services regulatory matters, having spent time working in-house in large financial institutions, in private practice in both Dubai and London and within a financial services regulator. Having worked for several years as Senior Legal Counsel at the Dubai Financial Services Authority ("DFSA") he has a detailed knowledge of the DFSA regulation and offers insightful and strategic advice across a wide spectrum of contentious and non-contentious issues as a result. In addition to interactions with regulators, he is well placed to assist clients in developing and implementing their compliance policies and regulatory change programmes. He has particular expertise in the application of regulatory requirements to innovative business models. Philip also led on the legal advice and legislative drafting in respect of the DFSA's "Investment Tokens" regime, which set out a regulatory framework for activities involving crypto assets that are akin to conventional investments. Philip has also authored Q&A guides to the DFSA's Crypto Token Regime for Lexis Nexis and Elliptic Connect. In the Legal 500 EMEA 2024 Guide he is praised for offering "substantial expertise in virtual assets" and for his ability in "aiding businesses through their regulatory concerns, with particular expertise in digital assets." Phil is listed as a 'Recommended Lawyer' for Banking and Finance: Financial Services Regulation and TMT within the Legal 500 EMEA 2024 Guide, UAE.
Mark Wilson Moderator — 4th Grand Panel
Partner, Kennedys
Mark is a Partner at Kennedys. He has over 35 years’ experience in construction & engineering including insurance construction-related dispute resolution (arbitration, litigation and ADR), project advice, contract/policy interpretation and drafting. He commenced practice in New Zealand before re-locating to Hong Kong, where he joined Kennedys in 2001. He was one of the founding partners of the firm’s Dubai office, where he is head of the construction practice, and has been based there since 2006. Mark is ranked in Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500 and is included in The Legal 500 Arbitration Powerlist: Middle East 2023. He is also routinely listed in Who’s Who Legal: Construction (UAE).
Sheila Shadmand, Moderator – 5th Grand Panel
Partner-in-Charge, Middle East & Africa Region, Jones Day
Sheila Shadmand is the Partner-in-Charge of Jones Day’s Middle East & Africa region and lead’s the Firm’s Global Disputes and White Collar Investigations practices in the region. She was recently named by Asian Legal Business (ALB) among its MENA Super 50, the 50 standout lawyers in the Middle East and North Africa region. She was also one of Global Investigations Review's top 100 "Women in Investigations" for 2021. And she has been consistently ranked by Chambers and Partners since 2015 as one of the top investigations lawyers in the UAE. Over her 25+ years of practice, Sheila has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Bloomberg, and a number of other news broadcasts and print media in connection with her work. The Legal 500, which has perennially recognized Sheila as a leading lawyer has said she: "Knows how to navigate the law – and people – to get results."
Julian Cohen
Arbitrator & 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.
John Lewis
Partner and Head of Middle East General Commercial Litigation and International Arbitration, Stephenson Harwood LLP
John is the Head of Middle East General Commercial Litigation and International Arbitration and has over fifteen years' experience practicing in the region. He specialises in handling big ticket regional and international cross-border disputes spanning across various industries and sectors. His clients recognise him as a "trusted partner to their business" due to his "leadership, good humour and indefatigable energy" and ability to provide tailored and strategic advice that offers a solution-driven approach to the legal issues that they are facing. John is ranked by many of the leading independent legal directories as one of the most prominent disputes lawyers operating in market. Most recently, this recognition has been reflected through him being ranked as a 'Next Generation Partner' in the Legal 500 2024 Guide for Dispute Resolution: Arbitration and International Litigation and being ranked among the leading individuals for Dispute Resolution in the Chambers and Partners Global 2024 Guide. John’s extensive experience and reputation in managing high-profile professional negligence defence-related cases throughout the region earned him the recognition as the first UAE-based lawyer recommended as a 'Global Leader' for professional negligence disputes by Who's Who Legal Guide. In addition, John is also ranked as a 'Leader' for arbitration and commercial litigation by Whos’ Who Legal’s Global Guide.
Mohamed El Hawawy
Partner and Head of Middle East Insurance, Stephenson Harwood LLP
Mohamed is a bilingual (Arabic and English) partner based in our Dubai office and the Head of the Middle East Insurance practice. He specialises in dispute resolution and has expertise experience in representing clients in litigation matters across various courts throughout the Middle East, covering civil, commercial, and criminal cases. Mohamed manages complex disputes and oversees various insurance matters for clients, spanning different policy types such as life, property, liability, marine, political risk and medical insurance. His experience extends to policy review and providing advice to insurers, reinsurers and brokers on regulatory matters specific to the Middle East region. As a result of Mohamed's standing in the market he is ranked as a 'Leading Individual' for Insurance and is also ranked as a 'Recommended Lawyer' for Dispute Resolution: Arbitration and International Litigation by The Legal 500 EMEA 2024 Guide.
Caroline Hibberd
Managing Associate, Stephenson Harwood LLP
Caroline is a managing associate in the international arbitration and commercial litigation department. For nearly a decade she has routinely acted for a wide range of international and leading regional corporates, financial institutions, high-net worth individuals/families, and quasi government/governmental entities on complex cross-border and high-value disputes, with a focus on fraud, asset recovery and financial litigation. Caroline has nearly ten years' experience of advising clients throughout the Middle East, UK and Europe, and Asia on complex, high-value, cross-border disputes. Having been based in the Middle East region for several years, Caroline frequently handles cases before the DIFC Courts and has significant experience acting on complex commercial litigation matters before the English High Court. She also coordinates the strategy for claims in the onshore UAE Courts. In addition, she has acted on numerous arbitration matters before local and international centres, including the ICC, DIAC, LCIA, HKIAC, UNCITRAL and ICSID, which have been seated in various jurisdictions such as the UAE, Paris, London and Hong Kong. Caroline is a seasoned author and frequently co-authors Q&A Guides as well as insight articles for many of the leading publications. This has included acting as a co-author of The Legal 500's Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters – UAE Chapter. As a result of her work, reputation, and standing in the market Caroline is recognised in Who's Who Legal Guide 2023 as a 'Future Leader' for Commercial Litigation and was also shortlisted as 'Arbitration Lawyer of the Year' at the LexisNexis Middle East Women in Law Awards 2023.
Melissa Forbes Miranda
Partner, Stephenson Harwood LLP
Melissa is a corporate and commercial partner based in Dubai. She has extensive experience in advising on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, foreign direct investment, restructuring and insolvency, shareholder disputes, private equity and venture capital, as well as general corporate and commercial advisory matters throughout the Middle East. Having been based in the UAE for over 15 years, Melissa has established herself as a trusted advisor and key point of contact for numerous multinational and regional clients seeking legal counsel throughout the Middle East region. She specialises in supporting clients through local and cross-border transactions, as well as advising on a wide spectrum of corporate and commercial legal issues. She has reputation for providing legal advice that is commercially relevant, on-point, adds value and is strategic to the needs of her clients. Her standing as a leading corporate lawyer in the region is evident from the various awards and accolades that she has received, including being ranked as a 'Next Generation Partner' for Commercial, Corporate and M&A and being ranked as a 'Recommended Lawyer' for TMT within the Legal 500 EMEA 2024 Guide where clients praised her for the "genuine interest in the business model and the commercial aims of their deals" and being "renowned for her expertise in the technology sector, encompassing data, software licensing, fintech and cryptocurrencies." In addition, she has been listed as one of the 50 outstanding lawyers operating in the MENA region within Thomson Reuters' ALB "MENA Super 50" 2023 list; and been the recipient of an "Honourable Mention" for Corporate Lawyer of the Year at LexisNexis' Women in Law Awards 2024.
Magda Kofluk
Managing Associate, Stephenson Harwood LLP
Magda is a construction law specialist within the Middle East dispute resolution and international arbitration team. She has over 13 years' experience, nine of which have been based out of the Middle East region. Throughout her career, Magda has represented clients in - complex and high-value arbitrations relating to international construction projects across all major industries including power plants, highways, airports, mixed-use buildings, railways and stadiums. She is experienced in ad hoc proceedings and proceedings under the QICCA, ICC and DIAC rules, as well as in pre-arbitration negotiations, mediation and dispute board proceedings. Magda has been based in several jurisdictions, including in Qatar, the UAE, the UK and Poland. Owing to her education in both civil and common law systems, experience and strategic outlook, she has gained a reputation in successfully coordinating multi-jurisdictional proceedings. Magda is highly sought after to speak at prominent construction and legal conferences throughout the GCC, including Construction Week Middle East and Big 5 Global. She serves as the Young ITA Middle East Chair and is a member of the Young ITA Advisory Board. She is also an active member in organisations such as ArbitralWomen and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Due to Magda's reputation in the industry, she was also shortlisted for ‘Construction Lawyer of the Year’ at the LexisNexis Middle East Women in Law Awards 2023. Clients praise her for being “a rising star in construction law," stating that she "she is extremely user friendly, has a strong commercial outlook, is readily available and provides efficient, clear and practical advice. Definitely a 'go-to' practitioner in this area.” In addition, Magda is also ranked as a 'Recommended Lawyer' for Dispute Resolution: Arbitration and International Litigation by The Legal 500 EMEA 2024 Guide where clients commended her for being "great to work with and full of energy".
Julian So
Group Chief Executive Officer at Coinllectibles™, Marvion™ and XBE; Consultant, Prosynergy; Of Counsel, Hauzen LLP
Julian So currently the Group CEO of XBE, a technology group that focuses on Blockchain, AI and 3D technologies, and adhering to ESG principles. Aside from his role as Group CEO, Julian also leads the Blockchain, Tokenization and Web3 (“BT3”) Practice Group at Hauzen LLP and is a Consultant at Prosynergy (a regulatory consulting firm founded and led by ex-SFC Regulators). Julian graduated from the Faculty of Law at the National University of Singapore and was placed on the Dean’s graduated list for academic excellence. He proceeded to obtain legal qualifications in Singapore, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom. He practiced finance law in Singapore at Allen & Gledhill, and subsequently joined Simmons & Simmons in Hong Kong specialising in securitisation, derivatives and structured finance. Apart from legal private practice, Julian also has more than 15 year’s experience in the finance industry in all of the three leading Asian financial centres (Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo). During this time, he held senior positions in UBS AG, Royal Bank of Scotland and Morgan Stanley and was Head of Asia Fixed Income at Mizuho Securities.
Sergey Medvedev
Partner, Gorodissky & Partners (Dubai)
Sergey is a Partner at Gorodissky & Partners (Dubai, UAE). In parallel, he is a Partner at the Moscow Office of Gorodissky & Partners, where he is managing legal team of the firm. Sergey is practicing IP and TMT, including on contentious and non-contentious matters, by serving national and international clients. He is very active is anti-counterfeiting, dispute resolution, mediation, litigation, enforcement and brand protection issues. Sergey is recommended by Legal500, Best Lawyers, Who’s Who Legal (WWL) and other global peers.
Martin Khoshdel
Senior Associate, BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP
Martin is a senior associate in the arbitration and dispute resolution practice of BSA. His specialisms cover complex and high-value construction, engineering and infrastructure disputes, in particular delay related claims with technical aspects, representing employers and main contractors. His practice also covers commercial disputes including shareholders, directors, professional negligence, employment and insurance disputes. As a proficient and confident advocate, Martin has been regularly conducting advocacy since the second six months of pupillage appearing before various Judges and against prominent opponents including King’s Counsel representing both individuals and companies. In the UAE, Martin has appeared in various hearings and trials before the DIFC Courts and arbitration proceedings. Martin utilises his advocacy skills before arbitral tribunals whether ad hoc or institutional, and before the DIFC Courts, ADGM Courts and the Courts of England & Wales. He was admitted as a Barrister to the Bar of England and Wales in 2010, and in 2021 Martin was admitted as a DLAD Legal Consultant and as a DIFC Courts Part 2 Registered Practitioner.
Jonathan Choo
Independent Arbitrator and Mediator, Vantage Chambers
Jonathan Choo is an independent Arbitrator and Mediator with over twenty years of experience in handling a broad range of high-value international disputes, arbitrations and mediations as Counsel, Arbitrator and Mediator. He is dual-qualified as an Advocate and Solicitor in Singapore and a Solicitor in England & Wales and his general commercial disputes background covers complex commercial, international trade, technology, media and broadcasting, construction, projects and infrastructure, insurance (nonmarine) and IP disputes. He has successfully represented individuals, MNCs, banks, international contractors, media and broadcasting agencies, telecoms operators and consultants in a variety of disputes. As counsel, Jonathan has advised and represented clients in arbitrations (including Emergency Arbitration proceedings) conducted under all the major institutional rules, including the SIAC Rules, the ICC Rules, the LCIA Rules, SCC Rules and the UNCITRAL Rules. He is also an experienced mediation counsel and Mediator, having conducted and represented parties in numerous mediation hearings, including at the Singapore International Mediation Centre and the Singapore Mediation Centre.
Jed Savager
Partner, Pinsent Masons
Karim Mahmoud
Partner, Hadef & Partners
Karim Mahmoud is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution team in Dubai. Prior to joining Hadef & Partners, Karim practised with a multinational firm in New York specialising in Restructuring and Litigation. He has gained experience working for both multinational and local entities regarding all manner of disputes in the local UAE Courts and arbitration proceedings. His practice includes a broad range of commercial matters with particular experience in shareholder, commercial agency, banking, and real estate disputes. Karim also regularly advises on cross border disputes with white collar matters often encompassing complex corporate fraud, tracing, freezing and recovery of assets, anti-money laundering, extradition, and mutual judicial cooperation, including issues relating to foreign judgments and Interpol notices.
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.
Marcus Khoury
General Counsel, ALEC Engineering
Marcus Antoine Khoury is General Counsel of the Dubai-based construction company, ALEC Engineering and Contracting. Marcus has been working as an in-house legal counsel in the construction industry in the GCC, in particular in Saudi Arabia and in the UAE, for the past 20 years. He is both German and Lebanese and has graduated at the Sorbonne in Paris and the Universities of Cologne and Munich. In his spare time Marcus loves to hike and considers having walked more than 1000 km to the Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela as one of his greatest experiences.
Fatima Ghaith
Associate General Counsel, Weatherford International
Fatima Ghaith is a Scottish, Bahraini, and English lawyer with over 17 years of experience in the GCC, especially in Saudi Arabia. As the Associate General Counsel for Weatherford International, she leads a team of lawyers that oversees the legal function in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman. Previously, she worked as a projects finance lawyer at Baker & McKenzie, where she specialized in Islamic finance and represented large Saudi government and quasi-government conglomerates, as well as leading global and Saudi banks and financial institutions.
Lara Hammoud
Associate General Counsel, ADNOC; Independent Arbitrator
Lara Hammoud is a qualified French lawyer and has over twenty years industry experience in International Arbitration. She has spent the last ten years as senior corporate counsel managing the disputes team at Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). Prior to this, Lara worked at a leading global law firm in Paris and Abu Dhabi as well as at the ICC in Paris. Lara has issued over forty awards in construction and commercial matters and has been appointed as tribunal chair, sole and party-appointed arbitrator in both common and civil law jurisdictions under UNCITRAL, DIAC, DIFC-LCIA, SIAC, BCDR and ICC arbitration rules seated both in Europe, Asia and the Middle-East.
David Joseph, KC
Counsel and Arbitrator, Essex Court Chambers
David Joseph KC practices as counsel and arbitrator from Essex Court Chambers in London. He has appeared as counsel in courts at all levels in England and Wales in some of the leading courts cases concerning arbitration. He has similarly appeared and as counsel in the DIFC, in the highest appellate courts of Singapore, Hong Court and the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal. He has appeared as counsel in over two hundred arbitrations at most of the leading arbitral seats in the world and under a variety of the institutional arbitral rules. He is the author of Jurisdiction and Arbitration Agreements and their Enforcement (3rd Ed Thomson, Sweet & Maxwell). He also enjoys sitting as arbitrator, whether as part of a panel or as sole. He sits on the Court of the LCIA and lectures as a Visiting Professor in International Arbitration.
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.
Robert Lewsley
Regional Head, Disputes and Government Investigations Legal, AME, Standard Chartered Bank
Robert 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 & 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 for arbitration.
Christian P. Alberti
Chief of ADR and General Counsel, Saudi Center for Commercial Arbitration (SCCA)
Christian P. Alberti is the Chief of ADR and General Counsel of the Saudi Center for Commercial Arbitration (SCCA) and based in Riyadh and Dubai. Prior to joining the SCCA in 2019, he was the Assistant Vice President of the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (AAA-ICDR). He taught as Adjunct Professor at New York University School of Law (NYU) on International Arbitration and International Sales Law between 2017 and 2019. He is a Member of the Global Advisory Board of the New York International Arbitration Center (NYIAC), a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators as well as a member of various international ADR associations. He is certified to practice law in Germany and New York State.
Sameet Gambhir
Vice President (Corp. Law) & Company Secretary, DCM Shriram Ltd
Sameet Gambhir, FCS, LLB is a senior Corporate legal, compliance & risk management professional and Company Secretary with around 30 years of industry experience and is presently Vice President (Corp. Law) & Company Secretary of DCM Shriram LTD, New Delhi. He has also done a Leadership Effectiveness Programme from IIM- Bangalore. Sameet’s expertise includes Regulatory & Corporate legal matters, Corporate Governance & Compliances, Corporate restructuring, M&A, RBI & FEMA matters, SEBI Regulations, Risk management, IPR matters, brand protection, data privacy issues, due-diligence, and investigations ESG, Industrial & labour Laws, Contracts & Agreements, litigations. He also carries vast experience in Corporate Secretarial matters including handling Board meetings, Committee meetings and shareholders meetings. He is a regular speaker on various seminars / conferences / webinars and also guest lecturer/visiting faculty in some reputed Management / Law Institutes.
Fatima Balfaqeeh
Managing Partner, Balfaqeeh Advocates & Legal Consultants
Fatima Balfaqeeh is a UAE certified advocate specializing in arbitration, mediation, and business consulting. Her critical thinking skills and ability to provide innovative solutions are matched by her commitment to building strong and trustworthy relationships with clients on a personal level. Fatima is an Adjunct Lecturer in Law in Middlesex University Dubai and has over 20 years of experience working in government and semi-government entities in Abu Dhabi, where she led contract and procurement functions with a focus on dispute avoidance and corporate governance. She has extensive experience in commercial, legal, and operational matters across various sectors, including construction, finance, and banking. After pursuing a law degree, Fatima became a certified independent arbitrator and commercial mediator. She is a Chartered Arbitrator of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (ClArb), a member and Chartered Facilities Management Surveyor of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply Chain (CIPS). Fatima is a highly respected advisor in the ADR, legal, and governance fields and holds many posts with national and international organizations. In 2018, Fatima founded her consultancy, which later evolved into a fully-fledged law firm. Her goal was to establish a trusted practice known for transparency, reliability, and honest advice. As a leading advocate for Green Arbitration, she is a signatory to the UN Global Compact and promotes sustainability across all areas of her business. Today, as one of the few independent female arbitrators and mediators in the UAE, Fatima is a role model for young women seeking to enter this field.
Mark Nuttall
ESG Risk Advisory
Mark Nuttall is a globally recognised expert in law enforcement, risk management, antimony laundering (AML), and global security, with over 25 years of distinguished service in both public and private sectors. His extensive background includes pivotal roles as a Law Enforcement OGicer and Detective at New Scotland Yard, INTERPOL Executive OGicer, and Corporate Executive at varied conglomerates, where he has demonstrated unparalleled expertise in geopolitics, risk, AML, governance, business, resilience, and security. Educated with an MA in international Security from the University of Leicester, Nuttall has dedicated his career to enhancing global security frameworks. His tenure at INTERPOL saw him author strategic reviews that have been instrumental in shaping international law enforcement procedures. As a Country Manager for Hill and Associates in the APAC region, Nuttall significantly expanded the company's reach and impact, showcasing his exceptional leadership and strategic vision. Nuttall's is a licensed Executive Coach in Dubai, a Certified Anti-Money laundering Specialist (CAMS), a Certified Protection Professional (CPP), a Project Management Professional (PMP), and the UAE Chapter Chair for the Institute of Strategic Risk Management. He is a Regulatory Awards judge, notable keynote speaker, and a practitioner and leader across the geopolitics, risk, and governance space.
Ajay Shamdasani
Research Fellow, Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong; Host, Regulatory Ramblings Podcast
Ajay Shamdasani is a veteran financial and legal journalist and podcaster, dividing his time between Hong Kong, Dubai and Mumbai. Currently, he’s a research fellow with the University of Hong Kong’s Faculty of Law. He also hosts HKU’s Regulatory Ramblings podcast, as well as The Reglex Perspective podcast for Reglex, a three-year old compliance sector startup. He also writes for Global Finance magazine. Prior to that, he spent almost seven years at Thomson Reuters as a senior correspondent covering regulatory compliance – concentrating on financial crime and related topics for their Regulatory Intelligence trade-wire service. While there, he also covered financial regulation developments in Singapore, India and South Korea. During his 17 ½ year career, he has served as the deputy editor of A Plus magazine – the journal of the Hong Kong Institute of CPAs, as well as editor-in-chief of Macau Business magazine. Earlier in his career, he was deputy editor of Euromoney’s Asialaw magazine. His areas of focus are AML/KYC, financial crime compliance, sanctions, tax evasion, fraud, corruption, data privacy, cybercrime, fintech/regtech, corporate governance (including ESG and DEI), as well as consumer protection and alternative dispute resolution in the financial sector. He holds an AB in history and politics & government from Ripon College, JD and MIPCT degrees from the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce Law School, and an LLM in financial regulation from the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Leonora Riesenburg
Independent International, Arbitrator
Leonora Riesenburg is a seasoned, independent Chartered Arbitrator and Accredited Mediator, empanelled on arbitration and mediation panels across the globe. A UK qualified barrister, Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England & Wales, in the UAE since 2007, Leonora is an International Tenant at 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square in London, a Chartered Arbitrator and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), and a Certified ADR Practitioner and Fellow of the Asian Institute of Alternative Dispute Resolution (AIADR). Her practice is international, and routed cross jurisdiction, encompassing both civil and common law systems. Previously Branch Chair of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in the UAE, and a member of Board of Management for CIArb London, Leonora holds pivotal roles for the CIArb as a Regional Pathway Leader (International Arbitration, Commercial Mediation) in the MENA region and is a highly sought after faculty member for the Institute. She also trains and assesses for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), both in MENA and in the UK. Leonora is honoured to be a serving member of Governing Council of HAC in Hyderabad, India, and on the Global Advisory Panel of ADR Practitioners for MICADR in Karachi, Pakistan. She is also a member of the DIFC Courts Arbitration Working Group and the LCIA Users’ Council.

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