Ahmed Ibrahim Partner

Ahmed is a partner of Fenwick Elliott LLP and has been leading the expansion of the firm in the Middle East and North Africa since 2015.

Ahmed has vast experience in handling cases involving major construction, infrastructure and energy projects, often with significant sums of money in dispute. He has extensive experience in civil law jurisdictions with an in-depth understanding of local laws and practises in Arab countries.

In 2018 Who’s Who Legal recognised Ahmed as one of the future leaders in Arbitration and stated: “Ahmed Ibrahim impresses peers with his prowess in construction arbitration” and “He adopts a pro-active approach to the arbitration process and is able to maintain momentum even in difficult circumstances.”

In 2019 Who’s Who Legal recognises Ahmed again as a future leader in Arbitration and says: “Ahmed Ibrahim draws high praise from peers who commend his exceptional knowledge and understanding of construction-related arbitration proceedings”.

The Legal 500 says: “an excellent practitioner who combines deep construction knowhow with excellent arbitration expertise”.

To add to his merits, Ahmed was awarded a prize by the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC), which recognised him as one of the best arbitrators at the DIAC Arbitration Awards 2018.

Ahmed has represented regional and international high-profile clients in highvalue disputes, and has advised clients for many years on projects in countries across the MENA region, including Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Qatar, UAE, Afghanistan and Yemen. His expertise includes acting as counsel or arbitrator in disputes across various industries, including healthcare, education, IT, transport, infrastructure, housing, commercial, retail, power, oil and gas, renewable energy, nuclear, mining, water and utilities.

Ahmed has handled cases under most major arbitration rules, including DIFCLCIA, Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC), International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Swiss Rules of International Arbitration and Cairo Regional Centre for

International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA). In addition to acting as counsel, he has served as sole arbitrator, co-arbitrator or chairman of arbitral tribunals in more than 100 ad hoc and institutional arbitration cases.

Ahmed practises law in English and Arabic. He read law at Cairo University, the American University in Cairo, Queen Mary University of London and King’s College London. His studies particularly focused on arbitration and legal aspects in the construction industry. He regularly publishes legal papers and speaks at

conferences on topics concerning construction disputes, arbitration, local courts practices and standard forms of construction contracts, this includes events organised by FIDIC, the Society of Construction Law, the ICC and DIAC. Ahmed also delivers seminars to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Chartered Institute of Building CIOB.

Specialist expertise

Examples of Ahmed’s expertise include:

  • acting for a UAE contractor in a DIAC arbitration for a AED 80 million claim. The case involved issues under the FIDIC form of contract applying the UAE law, such as entitlement to extension of time, valuation of variations, concurrent delay and liquidated damages;
  • advising an American investor in ICSID arbitration proceedings against the Sultanate of Oman under the U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement, in connection with the expropriation of an investment in the host state of the approximate value of US$500 million;
  • acting for a Saudi investment management company in arbitration proceedings under the Rules of Arbitration of the Geneva Chamber of Commerce against a Swiss investment company for a claim in the region of US$10 million;
  • acting as part of the team for a Chinese contractor against a state owned Qatari company in an ICC arbitration regarding a US$1.2 billion dispute for damages and prolongation costs in connection with the largest project in Doha;
  • acting for a leading Italian construction company in a construction arbitration against an Omani investor regarding a US$55 million dispute in relation to a turn-key contract; 
  • acting for a leading Austrian contractor in a DIAC arbitration proceedings against a sub-contractor in relation to one of the largest projects in Abu Dhabi. The case involves contract interpretation issues under the UAE Law;
  • advising a US non-profit organization on subcontracting of safety management matters in a nuclear energy project in Abu Dhabi;
  • advising a leading European construction company, on legal and contractual issues in respect of constructing a shopping mall in the UAE;
  • acting as sole arbitrator, co-arbitrator or chairman of arbitral tribunal in several cases involving construction, real estate and commercial disputes.

Other activities

Ahmed has taught lectures on standard forms of construction contracts, international arbitration and UAE Civil Law. He is also a member of the advisory board of the MSc in construction law and dispute resolution at the British University in Dubai.