Middle East

Our members are familiar with and regularly act in matters both within jurisdictions in the Middle East and in matters involving clients from that region. These matters span the full range of our specialisms, with recent experience in substantial matters raising issues of AI, crypto and technology; banking and finance; commercial crime; commercial disputes; company, restructuring and insolvency law; construction, energy and infrastructure; civil fraud; financial services; international arbitration; privilege; professional negligence; sanctions; and sports law.

A number of our members (both seniors and juniors) are registered to practice in the Dubai International Financial Centre (‘DIFC’) and are presently involved in some of the largest ongoing and ground-breaking claims in this developing jurisdiction.

We are also regularly involved in matters proceeding through the Abu Dhabi Global Market (‘ADGM’) courts, with some of our members holding positions on the ADGM Appeals Panel.

Members are also currently acting on numerous multi-jurisdictional disputes proceeding in both the English Courts and Middle Eastern jurisdictions.

Our experience in the region also extends beyond litigation, with many members regularly acting in arbitrations taking place in the Middle East, as both counsel and arbitrator, including in the Abu Dhabi Commercial Conciliation & Arbitration Centre (‘ADCCAC’) and the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (‘DIAC’).

Our experience includes:

  • Proceedings arising out of the collapse of NMC Group: Numerous members act in various matters to have arisen out of the administration of a UAE-based private healthcare group, following the discovery of a substantial fraud within the business, including for the successful claimants in the ADGM courts in a matter involving competing claims regarding security arrangements over loans amounting to $350 million (see here).
  • Public Institution for Social Security v Al Rajaan & 37 Other Defendants: Acting for various parties (including as Lead Counsel for the Claimant and for the Man Group Defendants) in a claim for more than US$800 million alleging bribery against the former Director General of the Kuwaiti State Pension and Social Security Fund.
  • AIML & Ors v KPMG & Ors: Acting in a c.£1.6 billion negligence claim in the DIFC against the former auditors of what was the largest private equity group in the Middle East prior to its collapse as an alleged fraudulent Ponzi scheme, including succeeding in a substantial jurisdiction challenge and multiple applications to appeal the same and otherwise stay the claims in both the Court of First Instance (see here).
  • Aston Martin Middle East Limited v Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd: Acting for the distributors of Aston Martin vehicles in the Middle East in a dispute concerning the resumption of operation of the Distribution Agreement and whether AML has sought to damage the business in bad faith (see here).
  • Kuwait Ports Authority v Walkers: Acting in a $70 million claim for alleged breach of fiduciary duty and negligence on the part of the Walkers including in relation to a potential conflict of interest in separate DIFC litigation.
  • The P&O Ferries Dismissal Controversy: Acting in a high-profile UK Insolvency Service Companies Act investigation concerning the shipping company’s decision to dismiss 786 seafarers for business viability reasons without consulting trades unions, and the fierce consequential criticism of the company, its directors and its Dubai parent by the UK government, trades unions and media.
  • Al Sadeq v Dechert & Ors: Acting for claimants in claims against an international law firm and current and former partners brought under UAE law arising out of an investigation into alleged frauds in the Emirate of Ras Al-Khaimah, UAE. Judgments addressing novel privilege issues have been handed down by both the High Court and Court of Appeal (see here).
  • Nest Litigation: Acting as Lead Counsel for Deloitte & Touche in DIFC (including three Court of Appeal Hearings) in respect of a claim for $128 million by minority shareholders of the former Lebanese Canadian Bank, involving issues relating to jurisdiction, limitation and reflective loss. The claim against Deloitte was finally determined on a preliminary issue basis.

For more information on our experience in the Middle East, or to discuss a specific enquiry, please contact our clerking team.



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