Habib Al Mulla

Baker & McKenzie Habib Al Mulla

Dr Habib is one of the UAE’s most highly respected legal authorities. He has over 30 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 focuses his practice on litigation and arbitration. He is the chairman of the board of trustees for the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) and is Chairman of the CIArb (Chartered Institute of Arbitrators) UAE Committee.

Reza Mohtashami

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Reza Mohtashami is an experienced arbitration partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer who has represented clients as counsel and advocate in more than 70 arbitrations conducted under a variety of arbitration rules in many different jurisdictions.

After spending the last five years in Dubai, where he established the firm’s global arbitration practice in the Middle East, Reza is now based in London from where he handles disputes in emerging markets with a focus on the energy, infrastructure and telecommunications sectors. Reza has particular expertise in investment treaty arbitrations and has represented both investors and governments in such disputes.

Keynote Speaker

Essam Al Tamimi

Al Tamimi & Company

In 1989, Essam Al Tamimi established what is now the largest law firm in the Middle East, Al Tamimi & Company and currently holds the position of Senior Partner at the firm. Essam has over 30 years of experience in litigation and dispute resolution in the UAE and the GCC counties.

He has been involved in drafting a number of laws and regulations and has assisted federal and local governments in drafting laws and regulations relating to the Telecommunications Law Authority, Dubai Internet and Media City, assisted in the Abu Dhabi privatization of water and electricity and played a major role in drafting the privatization and ADWEA laws and regulations.


Doug Jones AO

Independent International Arbitrator

Gordon Blanke


Girgis Abd El-Shahid

Shahid Law Firm

Saud Al-Ammari

Blake, Cassels & Graydon

Rachel Ansell QC

4 Pump Court

Nayla Comair-Obeid

Obeid Law Firm

Utku Coşar

Coşar Avukatlik Bürosu

Alec Emmerson

Clyde & Co

Michael Grose

Clyde & Co

José Ricardo Feris

Deputy Secretary General, ICC International Court of Arbitration

Jacomijn van Haersolte-van Hof

Director General, London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA)

Michael Hwang SC

Michael Hwang Chambers

Mahmood Hussain

Mahmood Hussain Advocates & Legal Consultancy

Fathi Kemicha

Kemicha Legal Consulting (KLC)

Christopher Seppälä

White & Case

Craig Shepherd

Herbert Smith Freehills

Bill Smith

Pinsent Masons

Aysha Mutaywea

Resident Partner, Mena Chambers Bahrain

Tarek Riad

Chairman of the Executive Committee, Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC)

William Rowley QC

20 Essex Street

George Spalton

4 New Square

Sami Tannous

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Tim Taylor QC

King & Wood Mallesons

Angeline Welsh

Allen & Overy

Celine Abi Habib Kanakri

Baker & McKenzie Habib Al Mulla


8.30: Welcome coffee and registration

9.00: Chairs’ opening remarks

Habib Al Mulla, Baker & McKenzie Habib Al Mulla
Reza Mohtashami, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

9.10: Dubai International Arbitration Centre welcome

Tarek Riad, Chairman of the Executive Committee, Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC)

9.20: Session one: Which Gulf or nearby seat?

Here’s the set up: your corporate colleagues are negotiating a contract (including an arbitration clause) with a party from the Gulf region. The Gulf side proposes any of seven nearby seats. Which should you select?

Under questioning from our moderators, speakers from seven Middle Eastern seats make the case for their jurisdiction as the one, in a lively and interactive session.

Seats that will be compared:

  • Egypt
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Turkey
  • UAE
  • Bahrain

Sami Tannous, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 
Fathi Kemicha, Kemicha Legal Consulting (KLC)

José Ricardo Feris, Deputy Secretary General, ICC International Court of Arbitration
Girgis Abd El-Shahid, Shahid Law Firm
Saud Al-Ammari, Blake, Cassels & Graydon 
Utku Coşar, Coşar Avukatlik Bürosu
Mahmood Hussain, Mahmood Hussain Advocates & Legal Consultancy
Bill Smith, Pinsent Masons
Aysha Mutaywea, Resident Partner, Mena Chambers Bahrain

10.45: Coffee break sponsored by Herbert Smith Freehills

11.15: Session two: GAR Live symposium

Our espresso version of the famous Tylney Hall format.

Tim Taylor QC, King & Wood Mallesons
Jacomijn van Haersolte-van Hof, Director General, London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA)

12.45: Networking lunch sponsored by 4 New Square

Lunchtime speaker:
Essam Al Tamimi, Al Tamimi & Company

14.00: Session three: Construction arbitration - hot topics

Four leading construction specialists will each introduce a hot topic in construction arbitration before discussing it with the audience and their fellow panel members in a session of high relevance around MENA.

The four hot topics are expected to be:

  • “Experts, hacks and hired Guns” - how interventionist should tribunals be in ensuring that expert witnesses actually assist in clarifying complex technical issues in an efficient manner?
  • “Mountains or molehills?” - efficiently dealing with disclosure given the significant volume of relevant documentation demanded by construction disputes.
  • How to prevent employers from wielding their sword of Damocles’ over contractors through unmeritorious performance bond calls.
  • Preliminary enforcement of DAB or Engineer’s decisions as partial awards pending a final award - can arbitral tribunals be persuaded to follow the reasoning of the Singapore Court of Appeal’s decision in PT Perusahaan Gas Negara (Persero) TBK vs. CRW Joint Operation?

Craig Shepherd, Herbert Smith Freehills

Doug Jones AO, Independent International Arbitrator
Christopher Seppälä, White & Case
Rachel Ansell QC, 4 Pump Court
Michael Grose, Clyde & Co

15.30: Coffee break sponsored by Herbert Smith Freehills

16.00: Session four: GAR Live debate

Motion: “This house believes that the proliferation of guidelines is slowly killing IA.”

Alec Emmerson, Clyde & Co

Gordon Blanke, DWF
Angeline Welsh, Allen & Overy
George Spalton, 4 New Square
Celine Abi Habib Kanakri, Baker & McKenzie Habib Al Mulla

William Rowley QC, 20 Essex Street
Nayla Comair-Obeid, Obeid Law Firm
Michael Hwang SC, Michael Hwang Chambers

17.30: Chairs’ closing remarks

Habib Al Mulla, Baker & McKenzie Habib Al Mulla
Reza Mohtashami, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

17.40 onwards: All delegates are invited to attend a cocktail reception hosted by Clyde & Co at Sheraton Dubai Creek


Dubai International Arbitration Centre, Baniyas Road, Deira Dubai, UAE