GAR Live Dubai - in pictures

GAR Live Dubai - in pictures

25 November 2019

Photos of the 6th annual GAR Live Dubai can be found here.

Are we yet “transnationalists”?

Are we yet “transnationalists”?

25 November 2019

A panel at GAR Live Dubai considered how to “make arbitration work” between parties from common and civil law jurisdictions, and the differing approaches to contractual principles such as good faith.


Mohamed Abdel Wahab

Zulficar & Partners

Prof. Dr. Abdel Wahab is recognized as a world leading expert on international arbitration, Arab Laws, and Islamic Shari’a. His expertise spans construction, oil & gas, telecommunications, finance and hospitality disputes involving cross border multi- jurisdictional and highly complex contracts and transactions.

Erin Miller Rankin

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Erin is a global partner who advises on legal strategy and managing risks on major projects. She leads a team of specialist practitioners that works across the world supporting our clients on their major capital projects, with a particular focus on emerging markets.

Keynote Speaker

Teresa Giovannini


Teresa Giovannini is a founding partner of LALIVE (1994) specialising in international arbitration (including setting aside proceedings with the Swiss Supreme Court), as well as art law. She has participated in more than 170 international arbitrations (115 as arbitrator, including 81 as presiding or sole arbitrator), either ad hoc, in particular UNCITRAL, or administered by various institutions including AAA/ICDR, ICC, ICHEIC, ICSID, LCIA, SCC, Chamber of Commerce of Milan, Chamber of Commerce of Venice and Swiss Chambers (Geneva, Zürich and Ticino). Her areas of specialization include disputes relating to procurement contracts, sales, license, agency, joint venture and shareholder agreements in a wide range of sectors, in particular infrastructure projects, aviation, transfer of technology, construction of turnkey factories, pharmaceuticals, insurance, luxury goods and arts.


Celine Abi Habib Kanakri

Kennedys Law

Hassan Arab

Al Tamimi & Company and Member of the DIAC Board of Trustees

Mahmoud Awad

Reed Smith

Tariq Baloch

3 Verulam Buildings

Niuscha Bassiri

Hanotiau & van den Berg

Tim Chelmick

4 New Square

Nadine Debbas Achkar

Independent Arbitrator

Mohamed ElGhatit

OGH Legal

Alec Emmerson

Independent Arbitrator

Alain Farhad

Mayer Brown

James Foster


Yacine Francis

Allen & Overy

Hamid Gharavi

Derains & Gharavi

Ahmed Ibrahim

Fenwick Elliott

John Lewis

Clyde & Co

Graham Lovett

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Member of DIAC Board of Trustees

Reza Mohtashami QC

Three Crowns

Nagla Nassar

Nassar Law

Nick Oury

Herbert Smith Freehills

Joanne Prior

Blackrock Expert Services

Kim Rosenberg

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Marion Smith QC

39 Essex Chambers

Robert Stephen

Registrar DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre

Joanne Strain

King & Wood Mallesons

Paul Taplin


David Thomas QC

Keating Chambers


"Substance and Procedure in International Arbitration: Globalizing Trends and Glocalizing Practices" 

8:30: Welcome coffee and registration

9.00: Chairs' opening remarks
Mohamed Abdel Wahab, Zulficar & Partners
Erin Miller Rankin, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

9.10: Keynote address

Teresa Giovannini, LALIVE

9.40: Session one: Procedural issues – from soft law to guerrilla tactics

This panel will discuss emerging procedural trends and their impact on the future of the practice. Is due process paranoia on the rise in the MENA region? Has the UAE’s new Arbitration Law reduced the incidence of guerrilla tactics? What is the future of soft law instruments, particularly relating to the IBA Rules and the Prague Rules?

Hassan Arab, Al Tamimi & Company and Member of the DIAC Board of Trustees

Yacine Francis, Allen & Overy
John Lewis, Clyde & Co
Kim Rosenberg, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

10.40: Coffee break sponsored by Herbert Smith Freehills

11.10: Session two: Making arbitration work – choices and expectations

A significant part of arbitration’s rich tapestry comes from the knocking heads of both common law and civil law lawyers. What does this mean for how arbitration is conducted, and how to make it work?

For example, English law does not require good faith in performance of a contract – civil law, and US law, does. A recent ruling in the English courts has meant that the recognition of good faith is now a hot topic for English lawyers. What does this mean for an English lawyer walking into an arbitration, as opposed to a civil lawyer, who would find the entire concept fairly straightforward?

The panel will tackle overarching themes including:

  • Principles of contractual and legislative interpretation: Are Civil and Common law systems so different? 
  • Choice of law issues: Which law should govern both procedurally and substantively? When, and why? 
  • The good faith principle and neighbouring doctrines including estoppel, and abuse of rights.

Reza Mohtashami QC, Three Crowns

Mahmoud Awad, Reed Smith
Tariq Baloch, 3 Verulam Buildings
Celine Abi Habib Kanakri, Kennedys Law
Nagla Nassar, Nassar Law
Joanne Strain, King & Wood Mallesons

12.40: Networking lunch

13.40: Session three: The reasoning of arbitral awards and Res Judicata

This session will consider the reasoning of awards – what works, and what doesn’t? With such high stakes attached to the reasoning of awards, it is important that this is done right and recent discussions on whether the process requires reform show no signs of abating.

The panel will look to address the following questions:

  • What are the main expectations of counsel and tribunals when reasoning awards?
  • How do we tread the line between adequate reasoning and over-reasoning, and what are the risks and challenges for setting aside awards?
  • What effect does res judicata have on arbitral awards?
  • Global principles and regional norms, including the scope of the principle and issues of estoppel on legal facts, reasoning and dispositive motions.

Alec Emmerson, Independent Arbitrator 

Niuscha Bassiri, Hanotiau & van den Berg
Tim Chelmick, 4 New Square
Mohamed ElGhatit, OGH Legal 
Alain Farhad, Mayer Brown

14.40 Coffee break sponsored by Herbert Smith Freehills

15.10: Session four: Deconstructing construction disputes

The construction industry has become increasingly complex; practitioners are faced with projects consisting of multiple contracts and parties. With the extension of arbitration agreements and joinder of third parties now allowed under the UAE’s Federal Arbitration Law, what does this mean for construction arbitration in the region?

This panel will consider these issues alongside others such as:

  • What role do bifurcation, trifurcation and partial determinations play?
  • Expertise and joint statements in construction disputes;
  • Is the UAE’s new arbitration landscape a nightmare for third-party funders, or a dream come true?

Joanne Prior, Blackrock Expert Services

Nadine Debbas Achkar, Independent Arbitrator
James Foster, Augusta
Nick Oury, Herbert Smith Freehills
Paul Taplin, Ankura 

16.10: Coffee break

16.40: Session five: The GAR Live Debate

In Oxford Union style, we will hear teams of debaters argue in favour of, or against a motion. A panel of judges will then voice their opinions on what has been heard, before choosing which side to support and giving reasons for their decisions.

Motion: “This house believes, all else being equal (i.e. same facts and law) a common law and a civil law tribunal would produce different results.”

Graham Lovett, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Member of DIAC Board of Trustees
Robert Stephen, Registrar DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre

Hamid Gharavi, Derians & Gharavi
Ahmed Ibrahim, Fenwick Elliott
Marion Smith QC, 39 Essex Chambers
David Thomas QC, Keating Chambers

17.40: Chairs' closing remarks

Mohamed Abdel Wahab, Zulficar & Partners
Erin Miller Rankin, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

17.50 onwards: All delegates are invited to attend a drinks reception kindly hosted by Blackrock Expert Services 

Further information

For further information or sponsorship opportunities, please call +44 203 780 4137 or email


DIFC Conference Centre, The Exchange Building, Gate Village 11, Dubai International Financial Centre


  • "Quality content and discussion around recent developments" Nassif BouMalhab, Clyde & Co

  • "Really interesting session, excellent speakers and on point topics" Shalagh Massingham, Eversheds Sutherland

Ticket Prices

Private Practitioner
Type Price Expires
Super Early £750 11 Oct 2019
Early £950 06 Nov 2019
Standard  £1250 21 Nov 2019


In-house counsel and government representatives: Limited availability, please contact James Tate at