Key Experience

Commercial Litigation

  • We represented sovereign wealth funds and asset managers from the Middle East in both the RBS and Tesco securities litigation in the English Courts.
  • We act in a complex case in relation to Islamic corporate bonds that involves expert evidence on Sharia law and market practice in the Islamic finance arena, as well as forensic handwriting evidence concerning forged signatures.
  • We represent a government-owned entity in the Middle East in arbitration proceedings commenced by a Kazakhstan-based investor regarding a high profile construction dispute.
  • We act for a Turkish company against two Saudi Arabian respondents in a dispute arising out of a joint venture agreement relating to various construction projects in Saudi Arabia.

 

Read more about our Commercial Litigation team here.

 

International Arbitration

Stewarts is well placed to service arbitration disputes arising in the Middle East. Our team has significant experience advising clients across the region and in relation to matters connected with the Middle East, as illustrated by our representative cases below.

Our conflict-free position means we can act when other law firms cannot. Our independent model means we can work with a client’s existing advisers. It also means we are free to co-counsel with any law firm in the region best placed to assist so that our clients avoid the compromise on quality that working with an international law firm’s network of offices sometimes brings. This, coupled with our ability to enter into innovative fee and risk-sharing arrangements, allows our clients to arbitrate from a position of strength.

We have advised states, state entities, corporates, investors and high net worth individuals on disputes in the region. Our team’s experience covers many sectors, including oil and gas, shipping, banking, energy, mining, construction, retail and leisure. Our work covers all international commercial arbitration, investment treaty arbitration and arbitration-related litigation.

We are recognised for our experience and expertise in international disputes, notably in the Middle East.

The experience of our firm includes advising:

  • a Qatari insurer and reinsurer in an LCIA arbitration to defend claims brought by a global commodities trader under an alleged guarantee involving fraud allegations.
  • the political risk insurers of a lender to a high net worth claimant in ICC arbitration seated in Dubai, concerning the allocation and valuation of businesses and assets in multiple jurisdictions.
  • a US drilling company in respect of a DIFC-LCIA (now DIAC) seated arbitration over contractual indemnity claims arising from incidents at a gas field in Kurdistan.
  • a state-controlled Middle Eastern participant in an oil and gas services manufacturing joint venture, in respect of shareholder issues referable to arbitration and domestic litigation.
  • corporate and individual claimants in ICSID arbitration against the Arab Republic of Egypt in respect of claims arising out of the US-Egypt bilateral investment treaty, domestic Egyptian investment laws and general principles of public international law.
  • an Emirati sovereign wealth fund with respect to SCC arbitration claims for the recovery of sums allegedly misappropriated from the fund, predominantly in Eastern Europe.
  • a Saudi Arabian shareholder in an oil field services joint venture for the acquisition of seismic data, in respect of a dispute subject to DIFC-LCIA arbitration.
  • a joint venture contractor in ADGM arbitration in relation to its claims for delay and disruption in relation to its work on a Middle Eastern airport.
  • a Saudi contractor in ICC arbitration surrounding the construction of a textile plant.
  • a Kuwaiti-based contractor in ICC arbitration in respect of a major infrastructure project in Qatar.
  • an Indian client in a wide-ranging arbitral dispute regarding the allocation and control of business and property assets in the UAE, India and Europe over a five-year period.
  • a government-owned entity in the Middle East in arbitration proceedings commenced by a Kazakhstan-based investor linked to a high-profile construction dispute.
  • a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund pursuing claims alleging misappropriation of the funds’ assets in an ICC arbitration.
  • a Saudi contractor in SADR arbitration against an employer in connection with a Saudi road project.
  • a high net worth individual operating in the oil and gas and petrochemical sectors in proceedings against a supermajor arising from a consultancy agreement relating to various Middle Eastern upstream and corporate investments.
  • a group of Kuwaiti investors on an ICSID investment treaty arbitration.
  • a Middle Eastern subsidiary of an international bank on its obligations pursuant, including the challenges of complying with the requirements of various jurisdictions.
  • multiple defendants in a complex, multijurisdictional claim relating to an alleged scheme to defraud creditors involving Middle East-based lenders.

Read more about our International Arbitration team here.

Fraud 

  • We advise a central government body in the Middle East on its investigation into a multi-national grand corruption schemes run by a former senior public official involving payment and receipt of bribes approaching $1bn. The investigation spans the globe.
  • We represent the investment authority of Ras Al Khaimah in a wide-ranging global investigation into fraud and embezzlement allegations against its former CEO, Dr Khater Massaad.
  • We act for a Middle East central government entity in confidential arbitration proceedings concerning the privatisation of power stations.
  • We represent the investment authority of Ras Al Khaimah in a claim brought in London against Iranian-American businessman Farhad Azima. The claim is for fraudulent misrepresentation and conspiracy and involves allegations of hacking.

 

Read more about our Fraud team here.

 

Aviation

  • We represented a large number of Lebanese families who lost loved ones in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET409 off the coast of Lebanon in January 2010. The claims were settled in accordance with Lebanese law, with court approvals for the settlements undertaken locally. The results remain the highest compensation awards for a fatal accident ever achieved under Lebanese law.
  • We represented British and Lebanese families of victims of a Raytheon Hawker 850XP private jet crash in Iraq in 2011. The jet was being operated by a Lebanese charter airline. In addition to managing to obtain the accident report which was being held by the Iraq administration, the claim involved damages analysis under Lebanese and British law.

 

Read more about our Aviation team here.

 

International Injury

  • We brought proceedings in the United States for an airline pilot following catastrophic injury suffered in Ford Explorer in a roll-over accident in the UAE.

 

Read more about our International Injury team here.

 

Divorce and Family

  • We have particular expertise in cases with an international element since many of our clients have connections to multiple jurisdictions, including across the Middle East. In international cases, family situations often develop that require immediate and urgent action; knowledge, experience and the ability to act swiftly can often be critical to the outcome of a case. Our large and vastly experienced team, of whom six partners are fellows of the International Academy of Family Lawyers, is ideally placed to deal with the most complex of cases, whether these involve the resolution of financial claims on divorce, the international relocation of children, applications to the English Court for financial settlement following divorce proceedings overseas, or jurisdiction disputes. We offer a fast turnaround and a supportive approach to our clients, irrespective of where they are based. We have an extensive global network, and work closely with our affiliates across the globe with speed and efficiency, with the aim of achieving the best possible outcome for our clients.
  • On the non-contentious side, we regularly act for parties entering into marital agreements to protect their assets in the event of relationship breakdown. For global families either based in or with connections to the UK, it will often be sensible to put in place pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements in different countries. We have the requisite expertise to advise on how to implement these agreements, taking into consideration the impact of any country-specific laws and where necessary co-ordinating with lawyers in other jurisdictions with whom we have long-standing and strategic partnerships. Our aim is to protect our clients’ property and interests wherever they are located and ensure that future litigation can be avoided.

 

Read more about our Divorce and Family team here.

 

If you require assistance, please contact us or request a call from one of our lawyers.

Meet the Middle East team

Our team has great experience dealing with disputes in the Middle East. 

We are highly ranked in the UK by Chambers and The Legal 500.

Pia Mithani, Senior Associate, Commercial Litigation and International Arbitration, Stewarts