Dispute Resolution & Litigation

Combining global and local dispute resolution and litigation expertise

Disputes are an inevitable part of business.  Whether you are involved in a commercial or financial dispute, or simply keen to protect and de-risk your business by ensuring full compliance with internationally applicable legislation and standards, our global dispute resolution team can help.  Whatever the situation, our top priority is to understand your business and objectives and to work with you to achieve the best outcome.

In the UAE, our team combines specialist expertise in complex multi-jurisdictional disputes with its particular expertise with disputes arising within, or with a connection to, the UAE and beyond. 

Our team has extensive UAE experience.  The team represents clients in arbitrations for high-value disputes arising under the rules of the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC), the DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre and Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce (ADCAC), as well as in disputes arising under the rules of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), and the International Chamber of Commerce International Court of Arbitration (ICC). We act in arbitrations seated in the UAE and other jurisdictions.  

Our team also represents clients before the Courts of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts, the Dubai World Tribunal, and the Courts of the ADGM.  Our team also has extensive experience representing clients internationally, including in the Courts of England and Wales, the British Virgin Island and the Seychelles.

Our Partners in the UAE have extensive experience of sitting as an Arbitrator; both in ad hoc arbitrations and under all of the major institutional rules.

We have specialist expertise in construction, fraud, shareholder and telecoms disputes.  We are well accustomed to working with clients operating in high risk jurisdictions and have a track record of working with clients to overcome the challenges that can arise. We are specialists in advising on resisting the enforcement and/ or challenging Arbitral Awards.

Advising on high-value, complex cases

Our dispute resolution and litigation lawyers deal with disputes that are amongst the highest value and most complex arising in the region. Whatever the case, we focus on one thing: your goals and business objectives: we use our knowledge of the applicable international and national frameworks, to achieve them.  Our team has a reputation for dedicated client service, and for using innovative approaches to attain goals.

For dispute resolution and litigation, the primary areas of our expertise in the UAE and wider Middle East include:

  • International arbitration, including obtaining ancillary relief in support of arbitration
  • Domestic Arbitration with a particular focus on the UAE.
  • International litigation, co-ordinated from the Middle East, with particular expertise with disputes concerning interests in the Russia and CIS, and global interests in African nations, as well as the interests of individual nation states
  • Domestic litigation, including: disputes arising under the jurisdiction of the Dubai International Financial Centre and Dubai World Tribunal; and coordinating litigation strategy, and working with local lawyers, in respect of matters before the Courts of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
  • Interlocutory freezing and search orders and other protective measures.

The sectors in which we have particular expertise include:

  • Construction and infrastructure disputes
  • Fraud and asset tracing
  • Public and private international law
  • Partnership, shareholder and joint venture disputes
  • Anti-corruption legislation and national and international sanctions regimes
  • Telecommunications and media disputes.

Clients benefiting from our advice include multiple high profile Middle Eastern Governmental entities and financial institutions; and major international corporates.

Highlights of the work of our Dubai based dispute resolution team include:

  • Representing a high-profile Government-owned entity providing public and private services to Dubai, in multiple high value construction disputes arising under the International Federation of Consulting Engineer (FIDIC) Yellow, Silver and Red Book, in disputes before the Dubai International Arbitration Centre and the ICC.
  • Acting for former senior management of the NMC Healthcare (placed in administration in April 2020) defending complex fraud claims in the English High Court (CL-2020-000784).
  • Representing Mashreq Bank in the Dubai World Tribunal to oppose terms of the restructuring of the Drydocks World Group (DWT-VAN-0001-2017).
  • Representing one of the largest independent brokerage firms in the United States in DIFC Court proceedings concerning issues in relation to confidentiality, restrictive covenants and poaching of employees and clients.
  • Acting for a major UAE Government Developer in defeating summarily AED 2.4 billion claim by major UAE Constructor in a DIAC arbitration.
  • Acting for New York listed Russian Mobile Telco MTS OJSC in MobileTelesystems OJSC v Nomihold with respect to a dispute concerning enforcement of a multi-million US dollar LCIA award against its subsidiary and in connection with further pending LCIA arbitrations, entailing freezing orders [[2012] EWHC 130 (Comm)]. 

Industry recognition

  • We are ranked Band 1 by Legal 500


'The best destination for difficult cases' according to many, King & Wood Mallesons is active in a range of matters including sensitive DIFC Court litigation with challenging jurisdictional issues, as well as cross-border international arbitrations concerning global trade, often acting for a broad range of clients outside the financial services industry.

Legal 500

Maintains a well-regarded dispute resolution practice representing government entities, corporate clients and high net worth individuals before the DIFC Courts and in DIAC arbitrations. Notable for its impressive list of Chinese clients and Mandarin-speaking disputes personnel. Also acts for Emirati interests in the London courts and is noted for its work on finance and construction disputes.  Frequently handles large-scale international arbitration.

Chambers and Partners

Explore our Dispute Resolution & Litigation in other regions