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Amir Ghaffari
Amir Ghaffari
Partner — International Dispute Resolution & Arbitration
Partner — International Dispute Resolution & Arbitration

Amir Ghaffari

Amir Ghaffari
Dubai

DIFC
Office 1207 Index Tower
P.O. Box 504945
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Amir Ghaffari

Described by the Legal Directories as a “star”, with a “superb reputation for Middle East disputes”, Amir is an experienced international arbitration partner. He has acted as counsel in more than 75 international commercial and construction arbitrations administered under the rules of all the major arbitral institutions, as well as in ad hoc proceedings.

He has represented clients across a number of sectors, with particular experience in energy and natural resources, and construction and engineering. Amir has considerable experience representing governments (state owned entities and ministries) and international corporations in complex, ‘bet the company’ disputes and investigations.

Amir is a seasoned advocate, and he has appeared as Advocate before numerous international Tribunals and various State Courts. Amir regularly sits as an arbitrator (including as presiding and sole arbitrator), under the ICC, LCIA and DIFC-LCIA Rules.

Experience Highlights

  • Counsel to a leading European EPC contractor in a dispute relating to a cancelled pipeline project 

  • Acting on a number of ICC arbitrations in connection with the design and construction of a major maritime project in Central America

  • Counsel in an ICC arbitration representing a private Italian pharmaceuticals company in relation to a dispute with a U.S. pharmaceuticals company concerning a therapeutic anti-pain drug

  • Counsel in two LCIA arbitrations for a large Chinese corporation in relation to commodities transactions in Central Africa

  • Counsel in a dispute representing a state-owned utilities entity in the Middle East against three foreign joint venture investors in relation to events arising out of the Arab Spring

  • Counsel in a complex arbitration representing a multinational agribusiness company as respondent, defending claims brought by a joint venture partner seeking to impose extensive liability for construction delays under the parties’ shareholders agreement and on extra-contractual grounds

  • Represented claimant in an UNCITRAL arbitration in relation to various agreements concerning the design and construction of a seed crushing plant in Ukraine

  • Represented claimant in an ICC arbitration in a dispute arising out of the purported termination of various construction contracts governed by the Rules of the Federation Internationale des Ingenieurs-Conseils (FIDIC)

  • Three consolidated ICC arbitrations representing a global private equity fund in relation to major real estate projects throughout Eastern and Central Europe

  • A dispute representing a state-owned utilities entity in the Middle East against three foreign joint venture investors in relation to events arising out of the Arab Spring

  • An LCIA arbitration representing a major UK manufacturer of beverages against its European distributors in a claim for breach of contract

  • An LCIA arbitration acting for a subsidiary of a worldwide travel services and hotel operator in a dispute with a private investment vehicle in the Gulf over the construction and operation of a beachfront hotel

  • An arbitration under the Rules of the Netherlands Arbitration Institute in a dispute arising out of various finance agreements

  • An LCIA arbitration for an Iranian party against a South Korean conglomerate arising from the alleged termination of various distributorship agreements

  • Represented claimant in an arbitration under the Rules of the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration arising from the alleged payment of bribes in the procurement of major construction projects in the Middle East

  • An arbitration under the LCIA Rules in a contractual dispute arising out of a shareholders’ agreement

  • An ICC arbitration for a jet engine manufacturer in disputes arising from the cancellation of a regional jet engine development programme

  • Sole arbitrator in a dispute between the parties to a hotel management and operation contract

  • Presiding Arbitrator in a dispute related to the construction and delivery of prime real estate in the Middle East

  • Sole Arbitrator in a dispute, under the LCIA Rules, between U.S. and Swiss parties in relation to the sale and purchase of scrap metals contracts

  • Co-arbitrator in a dispute, under the LCIA Rules, between Singaporean and Chinese parties in relation to the sale and purchase of physical commodities

  • Sole Arbitrator in a dispute under the LCIA Rules between English and French parties in relation to sums allegedly owed under a supply agreement

  • Co-arbitrator in two parallel LCIA proceedings between an energy company and its former directors

Credentials

  • University of Bristol, LL.B., 1999
  • The College of Law, London, LPC, 2000
  • Amir served as a Co-Chair of the London Court of International Arbitration’s Young International Arbitration Group (2009–2013), and is a regular speaker on a variety of arbitration topics. He is an English Solicitor-Advocate and an Advocate of the Dubai International Financial Centre.

  • In 2002, Amir served as a judicial assistant to The Rt. Hon. The Lord Woolf, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, in the English Court of Appeal. Amir has practiced international arbitration in London, Paris, and Dubai. His country experience includes Bahrain, Cameroon, China, France, Gabon, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Oman, Russia (and CIS), Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.
  • Chambers Global, Dispute Resolution (United Arab Emirates) “Recognized Practitioner,” 2019 and 2020
  • Who’s Who Legal (Law Business Research Ltd.); Future Leaders – Arbitration, “‘A very polished and very smooth’ advocate with a superb reputation for Middle Eastern disputes”, 2017−2020
  • Chambers UK, International Arbitration, (“Amir Ghaffari is singled out by peers as a ‘star of tomorrow.'”), 2016−2018
  • Legal 500 EMEA,  Litigation & Arbitration, United Arab Emirates, 2018
  • Commercial Arbitration, Rising Stars 2016 – Expert Guides (The world’s leading lawyers chosen by their peers)
  • Chambers UK, Leading Individual in International Arbitration, having an “enormous level of experience” and as “an excellent tactician and commercially astute practitioner,” 2015
  • Legal 500: UK, Real Estate, Construction, 2015 and 2016
  • Legal 500: UK, Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration, 2015−2017
  • Legal Media Group’s (Euromoney’s) Expert Guide to the World’s Leading Experts in Commercial Arbitration–a “Rising Star,” 2014 – 2015
  • Legal Media Group’s (Euromoney’s) Rising Star, 2015
  • Chambers UK “Up and Coming”, “Amir Ghaffari is singled out for his commercial acumen, with one source noting: ‘He is incredibly commercial, very business-oriented and cuts to the chase. Clients comment that: he has the capacity to assimilate and analyse large amounts of complex information and relay his findings in a straightforward manner,’” 2014
  • Legal 500 UK, “client focused and driven,” 2011
  • Legal Media Group’s (Euromoney’s) Expert Guide to the World’s Leading Arbitration Practitioners –“leading practitioner,” 2013
  • Member: Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Member: International Bar Association
  • Member: London Court of International Arbitration
  • Member: International Chamber of Commerce
  • Faculty Member: Federation of International Arbitration Advocacy, 2012
  • LCIA YIAG Co-Chair, 2009–2013
  • Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales
  • Dubai International Financial Centre (Advocate)
  • Farsi (fluent), French (working knowledge)
  • “The GAR Live Inquisition – On Confidentiality in International Arbitration,” Global Arbitration Review’s 4th Annual GAR Live Dubai, November 16, 2017 (panelist)
  • “Contract Disputes in the Energy Sector,” Qatar & Middle East: 3rd Annual International Arbitration Summit, May 17, 2017 (speaker)
  • GAR Investment Treaty Know-How − Iran,” March 31, 2015 (co-author)
  • “Emerging Issues in English Law Agreements Good Faith Best Endeavors Obligations and Liquidated Damages in Construction Contracts,” December 4, 2014, Houston, TX (speaker)
  • “Offshore Constructions Seminar,” November 13, 2014, South Korea (speaker)
  • “International Construction Disputes,” Korea Off-shore Conference, Busan, 2014 (panelist)
  • “Experts in International Arbitration,” The Swedish Arbitration Days 2014, Stockholm, September 2014 (panelist)
  • “The Role of the Emergency Arbitrator” (moderated a panel of senior arbitrators and counsel in London and by video-link in New York)
  • “The Emergency Arbitrator: A New Dawn,” Arbitration International, Volume 30 No 1, 2014
  • “Global Arbitration Review: Regional Guide – MENA,” GAR 2013 (advisor to the editor)
  • “Witness Statements and Oral Testimony – In Search for the Truth?,” DIS40 conference, Berlin, October 2012 (panelist)
  • “Delays in the Arbitral Process,” ICC UK conference, London, October 2012 (panelist)
  • “Recent Trends in International Arbitration,” Joint IBA/LCIA YIAG, Stockholm, March 2012