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Quinn Emanuel’s Middle East and North Africa (MENA) practice group represents both regional  and international clients on their business interests across the Middle East and North Africa. Our  experience extends to jurisdictions such as Abu Dhabi, Algeria, Bahrain, Dubai, Egypt, Iraq, Iran,  Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Yemen among others.  

Breadth of Practice

The breadth of our disputes expertise in the region is unparalleled. Over the years we have  developed strong relationships with key government agencies and regulatory bodies across the  region. Due to this combination, we are frequently instructed to act on high value intra-region and outbound disputes.  

Our practice areas include:

  • International Arbitration
  • Bilateral Investment Treaty Claims
  • Construction Disputes
  • Sovereign Wealth Fund Disputes
  • International Litigation
  • Regulation and Investigations
  • Energy Disputes

The broad scope of our expertise is reflected in the wide range of clients whom we represent in  the region. We have developed deep relationships with a broad range of clients, both government  related and private sector. By way of example, we have represented the administrators of NMC Healthcare, DP World, Agility, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Mubadala and Capital Markets Authority of Saudi Arabia.

While the Group has represented clients successfully in dozens of arbitrations, civil litigation, and  criminal matters that are not public, the information below displays some of our notable,  public representations related to MENA.


Recent Representations

International Litigation

  • Acting for UAE companies in relation to High Court proceedings involving allegations of fraud in excess of USD 200m.
  • Acting for a Saudi family conglomerate in relation to a dispute adverse to a former JV partner involving allegations of bad faith.
  • The firm represented Privinvest, one of the world’s leading shipbuilding firms, and its CEO and majority shareholder, Iskandar Safa, in connection with criminal proceedings and investigations into contracts that Privinvest executed in order to supply fishing and other naval vessels to Mozambican state-owned entities.
  • The administrators of NMC Healthcare in investigating and pursuing claims, following a major fraud of approximately $4bn.
  • PCP Capital Partners in a £700 million claim against Barclays Bank relating to claims arising out of investments made by Abu Dhabi and Qatari investors in Barclays in October 2008.
  • Acting for a Swiss ultra high net worth individual in connection with the collapse of Abraaj Holdings, at the time the biggest private equity firm in the Middle East, in civil and criminal proceedings, with claims of more than $1 billion.
  • Acting for a UAE bank following allegations of fraud relating to the collapse of Abraaj.
  • Acting for senior members of the Saudi royal family in English High Court proceedings against a former consultant who is alleged to have misappropriated assets.
  • Acting for a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund in litigation involving  fraudulent activity by a limited partner and its insiders. The litigation currently is pending in the US and offshore and follows our total victory in critical and nearly unprecedented discovery proceedings offshore.
  • Representing Iraq Telecom, a Middle Eastern telecommunications joint venture, in applications seeking U.S. discovery under 28 USC Section 1782 to be used in foreign proceedings, including in the Dubai International Financial Center and ICC Arbitrations.
  • Representing a high net worth Middle Eastern private client in connection with matters arising out of ongoing proceedings in the GCC Courts.
  • One of our lawyers represented (at a previous firm) Etihad Etisalat Company (Mobily) against Mobile Telecommunications Co (Zain) in a USD 500 million arbitration concerning claims for breaches of a commercial agreement.
  • One of our lawyers represented (at a previous firm) a group of international banks against the Saudi conglomerate company, Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi and Brothers, before the Saudi Enforcement Court in relation to claims exceeding USD 133 million.
  • One of our lawyers acted (at a previous firm) for a government entity in the bankruptcy proceedings in relation to the liquidation of Saudi Ogier. The government entity’s claims against Saudi Ogier exceed USD 7 billion and involve requests for enforcement against pledged securities, including pledged real estate.
  • Acting for a Saudi food company in a dispute with Pizza Hut/Yum! concerning termination of our client’s franchise agreement and closure of 150 stores in Saudi Arabia, and allegations of breach of franchise agreements to operate the Pizza Hut brand in Turkey, Tunisia and Morocco.
  • Representing a projected new city in Saudi Arabia, which as part of “Saudi Vision 2030” is organizing major sporting events.
  • The General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia in contentious matters regarding the Olympic Charter.
  • World Boxing Super Series, which organized the first professional boxing match in Saudi Arabia, in a number of contentious matters in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.
  • The Receiver and Managerof certain claims of the Libyan Investment Authority against Goldman Sachs and Société Générale.
  • A Kuwaiti businessmanin an ICC arbitration worth over $3billion involving a dispute between billionaire brothers over the division of family assets, and ancillary civil and criminal proceedings in several jurisdictions in relation to various alleged fraud committed by the other side in the arbitration.
  • Viceroy Hotel Grouparising out of a dispute over management of its property in Dubai

Sovereign Wealth Fund Disputes

  • DP World subsidiaries in LCIA arbitration proceeding against the Djibouti Ports and Free Zone Authority and the Republic of Djibouti.
  • DP Worldin a DIFC-LCIA arbitration against a General Partner of a Fund in which DP World was the anchor investor, involving issues of fraud and breach of contract.
  • Dubai world in a lawsuit against China Merchants, a Chinese government owned company based in Hong Kong. In the suit, Dubai World alleges that China Merchants interfered with a number of contracts between Dubai World and the republic of Djibouti.
  • Abu Dhabi wealth fund in an ICC arbitration against a Maltese company relating to an
    overdue debt and interests in an Egyptian group.
  • Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth funds, IPIC and Aabar in a multi-billion dollar lawsuitagainst Goldman Sachs.

Regulation and Investigations

  • Leading Middle East-based logistics company in contract disputes with the United States worth nearly $100 million.
  • Leading Middle East-based logistics company in connection with an internal review relating to the awards of port concessions in South America and a related investigation by a multilateral development bank.
  • Mubadala in the DOJ’s largest ever forfeiture case against co-investors alleged to have embezzled funds from Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.
  • Agility Public Warehousing Companyin the largest government contracting fraud case ever brought by the US government. Agility, the former prime vendor of food to US troops in the Iraq war zone, resolved a six count felony indictment involving the nearly $10 billion prime vendor contract by agreeing to enter into a single count misdemeanor plea in connection with one invoice valued at $551 million.

Construction Disputes

  • Quinn Emanuel secured a critical arbitration award for a Middle East state-related charity in a multi-billion dollar arbitration arising from the construction of a landmark social infrastructure project in the Middle East, confirming that the termination of the construction contract for the project as a result of the contractors’ delays was valid (the quantum phases of the arbitration, worth over US$ 1 billion are continuing). We also successfully defended two challenges to two of the arbitration awards in the High Court of England & Wales.
  • A Middle East state energy company in an ICC arbitration against the EPC contractor responsible for the construction of a USD 1 billion polysilicon production plant.
  • A major Gulf-based sovereign petrochemical company in an ICC arbitration against two international construction contractors in connection with the tank farm for an integrated petrochemical plant under construction in Qatar.
  • A GCC government in a locally seated ICC arbitration related to the termination of a USD 5  billion  construction  contract,  based  on  the  FIDIC  Yellow  book,  for  the construction  of  two  major  railway  stations  associated  below  and above ground  rail infrastructure.
  • One of our lawyers successfully represented (at a previous firm) an international company in a construction arbitration case in relation to an infrastructure project in the western province of Saudi Arabia with claims exceeding USD 130 million.
  • A Jeddah  based  development  company in  relation  to  disputes  arising  from  the 
    construction of a number of hotels at Mecca.
  • The Capital Market Authority of Saudi Arabiain relation to a number of construction related issues arising from the King Abdullah Financial district in Riyadh, KSA.

Energy Disputes

  • One of our lawyers successfully represented (at a previous firm) an energy company in a USD 250 million construction arbitration case concerning the installation of natural gas pipelines.
  • One of our lawyers successfully represented (at a previous firm) an energy company against claims totaling over USD 500 million brought by a Saudi energy-listed company, SARCO, before the Saudi Administrative Supreme Court, concerning a shareholder dispute.
  • European oil and gas company in a dispute notably against a middle eastern country regarding its exit from an oilfield block.
  • International oil and gas company in a dispute notably against Yemen regarding its exit from an oilfield block in Yemen.
  • An Algerian government owned company against a European energy company in an ICC arbitration regarding the revision of the contractual price of two long-term LNG contracts. The amount in dispute exceededUSD750 million.
  • An Algerian national electricity company, and two of its subsidiaries, in proceedings initiated by the majority shareholder of an Emirati company in a dispute regarding a long term electricity conversion agreement. The dispute revolves around the method of calculation of the price of electricity produced by a power plant in Algeria.

Investor State Arbitrations

  • Two Lebanese shareholders of FBME Bank, as claimants, in an ICC arbitration against the Republic of Cyprus.
  • Lebanese businessman Abed El Jaouni and ImperialJetin an ICSID arbitration worth over USD 1.2 billion against Lebanon arising out of the Germany-Lebanon bilateral investment treaty.
  • Jordanian entrepreneur in three ICSID arbitrations against Egypt arising under the Jordan-Egypt bilateral investment treaty. Our client’s investments were focused on the container shipping, port and logistics sectors.
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