Additional Specialized Areas of Focus

MENA Disputes

Where Advocacy Meets Business

Chaffetz Lindsey’s globally recognized team advises clients based in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), or investing there, on how to avoid disputes and helps resolve them when they arise. We also have a strong record representing parties in claims involving sovereigns and state-owned entities. We represent clients across multiple industries, including energy, mining, infrastructure/ construction, financial services, media, and tourism.

Our team is comprised of lawyers with decades of experience with disputes involving the MENA region, and who understand the dynamics of the different markets and legal systems. Members of our team are fluent in Arabic and well-versed in the nuances of local business cultures. We have strong relationships with market-leading firms across the MENA region, many of whom we have worked with in co-counsel relationships. Our partners also sit as arbitrators in proceedings involving MENA disputes.


  • Representing Jordanian and Syrian entities in a series of commercial arbitrations against an Asian automobile manufacturer arising out of distribution contracts for the MENA region.
  • Representing a UAE-headquartered coal company in an ad hoc arbitration raising out of breaches of supply agreements with a Moroccan power plant owner.
  • Representing a Jordanian company in a dispute with an oil trading company supplying government contracts in Iraq, including parallel litigation.
  • Representing a Korean construction company in an ICDR arbitration arising from a project in Afghanistan.
  • Representing the State of Qatar in an ICC arbitration against an East Asian engineering company arising out of the design and construction of a utilities facility.
  • Advising a multinational energy company on public international law issues arising out of renewable energy projects in Western Sahara.
  • Representing a US entity in an ICC arbitration and parallel litigations against a UK entity arising out of a collaboration agreement for oil and gas development in Kurdistan.
  • Advising, and successfully settling, a dispute between a Jordanian company and a US-based engineering company for supply of vehicles to Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Representing Egypt in successfully defending against enforcement of an award in federal court in Washington D.C.
  • Representing an Afghanistan governmental agency in an arbitration arising out of a consulting agreement for a hydro project in Afghanistan.
  • Representing an international trading company in an ICC arbitration against Libya for breaches of the Cyprus-Libya BIT.
  • Representing an energy company in an UNCITRAL arbitration relating to a production sharing agreement and a windfall tax on oil profits in Algeria.
  • Representing the Czech Republic in an UNCITRAL arbitration successfully having all claims brought by a UAE investor arising out of real estate transactions denied, and obtaining an award of indemnity costs for our client.
  • Advising a Middle East sovereign wealth fund on potential claims in US litigation and a potential arbitration.
  • Advising a Kuwaiti investor in the energy sector on potential claims against a Middle East state to be determined under the OIC.
  • Representing Iran in two proceedings before the Iran-US Claims Tribunal.
  • Representing the Central Bank of Iran in a widely publicized litigation involving efforts to execute judgments against US$2 billion in assets seized in New York, ultimately determined by the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Representing six Yemeni nationals held at Guantanamo Bay in habeas corpus proceedings in US federal court.
  • Advising Ethiopia’s Government on the State’s accession to the New York Convention and the CISG.


  • President in an ICSID arbitration between a French company and Iraq concerning a telecoms investment.
  • President in an ICC arbitration involving the breach of an agreement to provide ground handling services at three airports in Afghanistan.
  • Arbitrator in a CRCICA dispute seated in Cairo under Egyptian law concerning a US$1B claim arising from a long-term gas supply agreement.
  • Emergency arbitrator in an ICC proceeding arising out of a JV for an oil concession in a Middle Eastern country.
  • Arbitrator in an ICC arbitration arising out of the breach of a contract for the distribution of food products on the Moroccan territory (Moroccan law, Moroccan seat).


  • Yasmine Lahlou is the former co-chair of the ABA International Section’s Middle East committee, which received a Section’s award for coverage of the civil war in Syria, and sits on the court of the Casablanca International Mediation and Arbitration Center (CIMAC).
  • James Hosking is Vice-President of the Saudi Court of Commercial Arbitration.
  • May Khoury is one of the founders and Caline Mouawad and Yasmine Lahlou are Board members of the ArabArb networking group.


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