Joanne Strain

Managing Partner

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Joanne is an English law qualified solicitor with over fifteen years of dispute resolution experience, with a particular focus on international commercial arbitration and litigation, including disputes with a significant cross-border element.  

Joanne advises clients on a wide range of financial and commercial disputes, including complex joint venture and shareholder arrangements, with particular expertise in disputes emerging from large scale Middle Eastern projects and financial settlements, acting for major corporates, financial institutions and high net worth individuals. Joanne also advises clients on compliance with international sanctions and anti-corruption legislation.

Joanne is well experienced in managing disputes under all of the major arbitral institutional rules, including the DIAC, LCIA and ICC Rules, and regularly sits as an arbitrator.  Joanne is also experienced in managing cases before the Courts of England and Wales, the Courts of the Dubai International Financial Centre and the Dubai World Tribunal and is well experienced with coordinating strategies on matters arising before the UAE Courts. 

Joanne is consistently ranked by The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners Global Directories and praised for her work in International Arbitration and DIFC Litigation.  The 2021 edition of Chambers & Partners Global records that Joanne handles a wide variety of commercial disputes including debt recovery, insolvency and commercial fraud. Joanne is listed in the Construction Week Power List, 2021.

Work experience 

  • 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).
  • Acting for Industrial Commercial Bank of China in relation to recoveries due under Insurance Policies, with associated claims in the DIFC Courts (2019).
  • Acting for a full-service brokerage company registered in England in relation to debt recovery proceedings, entailing winding up procedures in Singapore (2020).
  • Acting for leading Global mining group in relation to the recovery of debts owed in the UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, including winding up proceedings in Singapore (2019).
  • Acting for Mashreq Bank in the Dubai World Tribunal to oppose terms of the restructuring of the Drydocks World Group (DWT-VAN-0001-2017).
  • Acting for a major UAE Government developer in long running construction disputes arising out of the construction of a racecourse and associated facilities, with disputes proceeding under the DIAC arbitration Rules.
  • Acting for a major UAE Government Developer in defeating summarily an AED 2.4 billion claim by major UAE Constructor in a DIAC arbitration (DIAC Case 136/2018), with a tribunal under the Chairmanship of Sir Michael Burton CBE (2020).
  • Acting for Meydan Group LLC in multiple proceedings before the DIFC Courts pertaining to the enforcement of awards.
  • Acting for Al Rihab (part of a multi-disciplinary conglomerate based in Abu Dhabi) in Emirates NBD v Al Rihab representing the owners of the last major undeveloped site in the DIFC to appeal foreclosure, in proceedings before the DIFC Court of Appeal ([2020] DIFC CFI 037).

Education background

  • Bachelor of Arts (hons), the University of Leeds (England)
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Law (College of Law, Birmingham) (Distinction)
  • Legal Practice Course (Oxford Institute of Law) (Distinction)

Working languages


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