Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie recently hosted seminars in Abu Dhabi and Dubai focusing on how companies doing business in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region can anticipate risks, reduce their exposure to disputes and manage them cost effectively if they arise.

The inaugural year-end seminar was led by senior Baker McKenzie Dispute Resolution lawyers from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, the UK and the US, together with the Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM) Courts. Over 60 participants, including senior executives from leading corporates and major financial institutions, across all industry sectors, joined in discussions around:

  • the drivers behind the increase in disputes across the region in 2018;
  • latest legal and political developments, local and international regulatory issues, and their impact on regional businesses;
  • latest trends in dispute resolution both regionally and internationally, and
  • challenges and opportunities on the horizon for 2019

A survey of the participants revealed that 53% believed that liquidity issues and non-payments were the main driver of the rise of disputes across the region in the past year, followed closely by economic uncertainty (48%).

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Dr. Habib Al Mulla is the Executive Chairman of Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla and the Head of the Dispute Resolution practice in the UAE. He is one of the UAE’s most highly respected legal authorities with over 34 years’ experience in UAE law and has drafted many of the modern legislative structures in place in Dubai today. Dr. Habib focuses his practice on litigation and arbitration. He is Chairman of the CIArb (Chartered Institute of Arbitrators) UAE Committee and most recently served as Chairman of the board of trustees for the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC).


Andrew Mackenzie is the UAE Head of the International Arbitration and Construction practices of Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla, based in Dubai. He specialises in international arbitration law, with a particular focus on construction, energy, technology and financial institution disputes. Andrew has been based in the UAE for over 10 years and also has full rights of audience in the DIFC courts. He has advised on complex commercial disputes under a variety of civil and common law systems from across MENA and Africa, tried cases in all of the major arbitration forums (both treaty-based and commercial) and also sits as an arbitrator.

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