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Nabeel Ikram
Nabeel Ikram
Partner — International Dispute Resolution & Arbitration
Partner — International Dispute Resolution & Arbitration

Nabeel Ikram

Nabeel Ikram
Dubai

Gate Village 10, Office 211
P.O. Box 504945
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

start quote symbolCommentators describe him as having ‘a great intellect’ and add that ‘strategically he is extremely shrewd’; on top of that, he is determined and hard-working. [Chambers Global, 2019]end quote symbol
Nabeel Ikram
  • Banking – Representing an investment bank in DIFC-LCIA arbitration proceedings in respect of claims of fraudulent misrepresentation made by a shareholder; the proceedings involved counterclaims for breaches of a suite of shareholder agreements

  • Banking – Representing an investment bank in DIFC-LCIA arbitration proceedings in respect of claims of fraudulent misrepresentation; the matter also involved injunctive and ancillary proceedings in the DIFC Courts and the local courts in Sharjah, and counterclaims for breaches of promissory notes and the shareholders’ agreement

  • Islamic Finance/Insurance – Representing a shariah-compliant supply chain finance provider in DIFC Court proceedings in a dispute involving multiple parties including the bank providing the finance pursuant to a master murabaha agreement, the end customer, the insurer and re-insurer; the dispute related to a very complex supply chain finance transaction structured around several agreements some of which were governed by Shariah law and others, English law; the finance chain was a mixture of conventional and Islamic financing; a key element of the dispute was whether the entirety or only part of the transaction was underwritten by the insurance policy

  • Islamic Finance – Representing a family conglomerate in DIAC arbitration proceedings in a dispute concerning alleged payments due under a purported master murabaha agreement; issues included allegations of fraud and unjust enrichment

  • Tech – Representing a state-owned entity in arbitration proceedings against a provider of technology services; the dispute concerned the scope and quality of the services provided, losses arising from non-performance, and entitlement to further payments for the alleged breaches

  • Tech – Representing one of the world’s largest tech companies in relation to a dispute with a GCC government entity following the termination of a services agreement for the design and implementation of software for a major airport services provider

  • Tech – Advising a private hospital and clinics operator in a dispute with a services provider arising out of the termination of an agreement to provide RCM services across its network of hospitals and clinics in Dubai

  • M&A – Education – Representing multiple respondents in ICC proceedings, defending claims by multiple claimants including a major Saudi private equity fund totalling USD175 million in relation to a put option over shares and rent payments under commercial leases in Dubai used for a school; issues included the applicability of Shariah law or English law and public policy issues

  • M&A – Environmental – Representing multiple respondents in ICC proceedings brought by purchasers of shares in a wastewater treatment plant in the GCC; the dispute concerned allegations of breach of warranties relating to purported contamination

  • Hospitality – Representing a major luxury hotel operator in a mediation in relation to a dispute with the owner of the hotel under a long term Management Agreement; the dispute centred around the force majeure provisions in the agreement and at law and whether (and to what extent) it would excuse performance of the operator’s obligations in respect of the hotel’s financial performance during the pandemic

  • Leisure – Advising a GCC developer of leisure projects in a dispute with an US theme park developer and operator following the termination of a proposed theme park in the GCC; issues included claims of misrepresentation and wrongful termination

  • Leisure – Advising a GCC based master developer of a large leisure district in relation to a dispute with a district cooling provider over the amounts due and their computation under cooling service agreements

  • Retail – Representing an Italian luxury retail brand in ADGM Court proceedings following its termination of a franchise agreement covering Abu Dhabi; this was the first case before the ADGM Courts

  • Retail – Advising a major Italian luxury fashion company in litigation they initiated in the Dubai Courts against their agent in respect of the termination of a franchise agreement

  • Consumer Goods – Representing a UAE distributor in ICC arbitration proceedings initiated by a Korean company with regards to distribution contracts for consumer goods in West Africa; the dispute was worth circa US$40m

  • Consumer Goods – Advising  a major German chemical and consumer goods company in litigation before the Dubai Courts initiated by a logistics supplier

  • Industrial Goods – Representing the claimant in DIAC arbitration proceedings in a dispute concerning the non-payment of sums due under an assignment agreement

  • Telecoms – Representing the international branch of an African state owned telecom company before the DIFC Courts in opposing the enforcement of an ICC arbitration award in respect of a dispute relating to a business venture in West Africa

  • Insurance – Advising a global re-insurer on a dispute arising with a customer over payment claimed under a credit insurance policy due to the withholding of relevant information

  • Transport – Acting for an owner of a rail facility in a dispute decided by a government regulatory body relating to whether a competitor was entitled to have access to its rail freight facilities in the UK

  • Energy – Acting on behalf of one of the world’s largest oil exploration companies in negotiations for new terms and structure in respect of a multi-billion dollar long term concession agreement for one of largest oilfields in the GCC

  • Energy – Advising a European headquartered logistics service provider of tank terminals in a dispute arising from a Cooperation Agreement with a Middle Eastern company to jointly and exclusively engage in developing business opportunities with respect to the purchasing, building, owning and providing tank terminal services in Middle Eastern countries

  • Energy – Representing a supplier of oilfield services equipment in ICC arbitration proceedings in relation to its claims for non-payment of invoices

  • Energy – Representing an oil and gas storage company in DIAC arbitration proceedings brought by one of its customers who alleged the storage agreement had been terminated and it was excused from paying further rents due to purported breaches by the facility owner

  • Real Estate – Advising a master developer of a financial district in the GCC of its rights and entitlements against a developer following it exceeding the agreed GFA and changing the use of a development without approval

  • Real Estate/Licensing – Advising a UAE based developer on its rights and entitlements following a dispute with a European fashion brand over alleged breaches of exclusivity provisions of the use of its brand name for a residential development

  • Real Estate – Representing a real estate investor in DIAC arbitration proceedings for the purported termination of sale and purchase agreements relating to real estate purchases in Dubai

  • Real Estate – Advising a GCC-based investment house in respect of its claims against another GCC-based investment house in relation to the purchase and development of a real estate project in India; the claims included allegations of misrepresentation

  • Employment – Advising a major American multinational engineering firm in litigation before the Dubai Courts initiated by a former employee for an end of services gratuity/wrongful termination claim

  • Employment – Advising a major international provider of services to the insurance sector in a litigation initiated by two former employees for end of service gratuity claims in Dubai

  • Employment – Advising a major American education publisher in a litigation initiated by a former employee for an end of services gratuity/wrongful termination claim

  • Employment – Advising an industrial conglomerate based in Dubai on the termination of one of its executive’s employment

  • Representing an employer in a multi-billion dirham claim in DIAC arbitration proceedings; the matter related to a major international airport project in the GCC; issues involved entitlement to an extension of time, application of penalty damages, a final account dispute and re-measurement and payment principles

  • Representing a government entity in multiple DIAC arbitration proceedings in relation to payment disputes with a European contractor; the package was a part of a major international airport in the GCC

  • Acting for an employer in ad-hoc arbitration proceedings in respect of claims made by a contractor in relation to a major international airport project in the GCC

  • Representing a sub-consultant in ICC arbitration proceedings in relation to a payment dispute following termination of the main consultant for an airbase project in the GCC

  • Representing a contractor in ad hoc arbitration proceedings in respect of claims brought against it by a sub-contractor for payment of invoices in respect of the baggage handling system for a major international airport project in the GCC

  • Providing regular ad-hoc advice to an employer in the GCC on a range of legal issues and disputes arising from time to time on major airport projects

  • Advising a contractor in relation to a dispute with its consortium partners arising from the development, operation and maintenance of an airport in Saudi Arabia

  • Advising an international consultant on its rights and entitlements following the termination by the employer of an airport project in the GCC

  • Advising a multinational consultant on its potential liabilities as a project manager for a major international airport in the GCC

  • Representing an EPC contractor in a series of adjudications, arbitration proceedings, and appeals to the High Court arising out of a major dispute with the employer for an extension of time and additional payment; this related to a PFI project and the upgrading and installation of radio and telecommunications systems across the entire London Underground network (London Underground Ltd v Citylink Telecommunications Ltd)

  • Acting for a major glass manufacturer in multi-party court proceedings (which also included mediation between the parties) concerning alleged defects in glass supplied for the Waterloo International Railway Station serving the Eurostar service; the case concerned allegations that nickel sulphide had resulted in glass fractures and involved the contractor adding the manufacturer to proceedings commenced by the employer against the contractor, architect and project manager

  • Acting for a railway signalling contractor in adjudication and court proceedings relating to an extension of time and final account dispute with a subcontractor arising from a metro-rail project in Sunderland, England; issues included interpretation of the operation of a pain/gain sharing mechanism (Alstom Signalling Ltd -v- Jarvis Facilities Ltd [2004] EWHC 1285 (TCC)

  • Representing a vertical transportation contractor in DIAC administered arbitration proceedings in a dispute concerning the non-payment of invoices and allegations relating to level of maintenance following the termination of service agreements for a major infrastructure project in Dubai

  • Seconded to a project manager of a major engineering project, namely the Channel Tunnel Rail Link which included a high-speed rail link between London and Paris and the redevelopment of St Pancras International Station during which he dealt with numerous disputes by way of adjudication and litigation and advised on day to day project issues

  • Representing a MEP subcontractor in a final account dispute with a Belgian main contractor in relation to a metro project in the GCC

  • Advising a subcontractor on its rights and entitlements following termination of its subcontract by a multinational JV main contractor on a major metro project in the GCC on the grounds of an alleged force majeure event

  • Advising the owner of a landmark luxury hotel in London in respect of alleged structural damage caused to the hotel’s facade as a result of third party engineering works for the Jubilee Line Extension which runs under the hotel

  • Representing a contractor in a multi-billion dirham claim in DIAC arbitration proceedings; this related to a high profile mixed-use development in Dubai including a major sports venue and adjoining hotel; issues involved included alleged wrongful termination, demands on bonds, loss of profit, variations, entitlement to payment for work executed and acceleration costs

  • Representing the employer in DIAC Arbitration proceedings it instigated against a consultant for defective design of the chilled water system and structures; this related to an iconic water park in the UAE

  • Advising a luxury worldwide hotel brand and operator on the termination of agreements with an owner of a proposed luxury resort in China due to the design and construction of the hotel failing to meet the hotel operator’s required standards

  • Advising a leading developer in relation to an iconic tourist attraction in the GCC on a dispute with the contractor concerning its failure to complete the works within the scheduled time; issues involved the application of liquidated damages, entitlements to an extension of time and prolongation costs

  • Advising an employer in relation to a dispute arising out of alleged defects in a contractor’s work; the project was the refurbishment of a major landmark hotel in Dubai

  • Advising a contractor on the extent of its design obligations and duty to warn in the context of a build only contract in respect of a major leisure development in Dubai

  • Advising a contractor on the extent of its design obligations and entitlement to a variation and extension of time due to an alleged change in the specification in respect of a major resort development in Dubai

  • Advising a contractor in respect of allegations of defective work in respect of a major hotel project in Dubai

  • Advising a MEP contractor in relation to a final account dispute in relation to a major hotel and resort project in Bahrain

  • Representing a MEP subcontractor in DIAC arbitration proceedings in respect of claims against the contractor worth circa AED200m following the termination of a subcontract including for works executed, return of a performance bond and extensions of time and prolongation costs; the project was a major mixed-use development in Dubai including a mall, office tower and a hotel

  • Representing a MEP subcontractor in DIAC arbitration proceedings in respect of claims worth circa AED100m made by the contractor following the termination of a subcontract including allegations of defects and seeking an indemnity for damages allegedly incurred by the contractor at main contract level; the project was a major mixed-use development in Dubai including a mall, office tower and a hotel

  • Representing a MEP subcontractor in DIAC arbitration proceedings in respect of claims made by the supplier in respect of chiller and generator services; the project was a major mall complex  in the UAE

  • Representing a contractor in DIAC Arbitration proceedings against its subcontractor for the installation of defective piles in a car park to a major mall in the UAE

  • Advising a leading multinational consultant on claims for services provided and prolongation costs worth circa AED100m relating to the suspension of a high profile mixed-use development in the UAE encompassing a mall and leisure facilities

  • Representing a MEP subcontractor in DIAC arbitration proceedings in relation to a final account dispute with the main contractor; the project was a medical facility in the UAE; the dispute concerned entitlement to variations, extension of time and prolongation costs

  • Representing a joint venture comprising a European and an Asian contractor in a final account dispute with the employer in relation to one of the largest hospitals in the Middle East

  • Advising a multinational conglomerate in relation to a subcontract for a hospital in Saudi Arabia; the dispute concerned entitlement to variations, extension of time and prolongation costs

  • Advising a contractor on its claims for an extension of time and prolongation costs in relation to a major hospital project in Doha, Qatar

  • Acting for a major glass manufacturer in multi-party court proceedings concerning alleged defects in glass supplied for media company’s headquarters comprising offices and a factory in Plymouth, England; the case involved the employer suing the contractor, the architect, the project manager, and the glass manufacturer alleging nickel sulphide had resulted in glass fractures

  • Representing an employer in ICC arbitration proceedings in relation to a circa AED120m dispute concerning entitlement to an extension of time, a final account dispute and claims for defective work; the project related to twin towers in Dubai used for residential and commercial purposes respectively

  • Representing a contractor in DIFC court proceedings against a subcontractor for defective work and liquidated damages in relation to the installation of lifts in the Dubai International Financial Centre; this was the first construction case in the DIFC Courts and proceeded to trial (Arabtec Construction LLC v Ultra Fuji International LLC [2007] DIFC CFI 004)

  • Advising a MEP contractor comprising of a joint venture between Japanese, UAE, and Indian companies in relation to a final account dispute with the main contractor comprising of a joint venture between Korean, Belgian, and UAE contractors in relation to one of the world’s most iconic skyscraper; the dispute included extension of time claims and prolongation costs

  • Advising an employer on disputes arising with the contractor in relation for the time for completion in respect of a major mixed-use skyscraper project in Dubai, featuring residences, office space, a luxury hotel, serviced apartments and retail facilities

  • Advising an architect in respect of allegations and court proceedings made against it in relation to alleged defects in respect of a major landmark building in the Dubai International Financial Centre

  • Advising a subcontractor in relation to its claims for non-payment of invoices and extension of time against a contractor in respect of a major exhibition centre in Abu Dhabi

  • Representing a piling subcontractor in DIAC arbitration proceedings in respect of a final account dispute with the main contractor; the works entailed the supply, installation and extraction of sheet piles in various locations in Dubai for commercial tower projects

  • Advising a contractor in relation to disputes arising with the developer in relation to a major exhibition centre in Dubai; issues included entitlement to acceleration costs and the scope of the contractor’s design responsibility

  • Advising a contractor in relation to the termination of a subcontract and recovery of a performance bond from a German bank following the insolvency of a subcontractor in a commercial tower project in Bahrain

  • Acting for a major international consultancy in UAE court proceedings in respect of unpaid invoices for commercial tower projects in Saudi Arabia and Qatar

  • Representing an employer in ICC arbitration proceedings in relation to claims by a contractor for an extension of time and prolongation costs; the project was a residential tower in Dubai

  • Advising a developer on a range of disputes on different packages in relation to the urban redevelopment of an entire district in a major city in the GCC; the project was a major mixed-use development project featuring hotels, residential and commercial towers, a marina, storage facilities, car parks, markets and loading and unloading bays

  • Advising a contractor in respect of its claims for non-payment against a developer in relation to a large luxury villa development in Dubai

  • Acting for an HNWI employer in ad-hoc arbitration proceedings in relation to a dispute with a main contractor concerning numerous defects in a residential property in the UK

  • Acting for a government authority in ad hoc arbitration proceedings in a dispute with its contractor relating to alleged defective cladding on a residential tower in London

  • Representing a MEP subcontractor in relation to a dispute following suspension and subsequent termination of a subcontract by its Turkish main contractor; the project related to towers forming a residential development in Dubai

  • Advising a contractor on the extent of its design obligations and the responsibility for delays in appointing a nominated subcontractor; the project related to a residential tower in Dubai

  • Acting for an employer in LCIA arbitration proceedings relating to time and payment claims by the main contractor; the project related to the refurbishment of an offshore oil production facility in Qatar

  • Representing a UAE based contractor in ICC arbitration proceedings in defending claims made by a subcontractor for additional payment and an extension of time in relation to the dismantling of an oil rig in Italy

  • Advising an Asian EPC contractor in respect of a claim brought by one of its subcontractors that it procured a breach of an agreement with one of its suppliers; the project related to a gas processing plant in Saudi Arabia

  • Advising one of the world’s largest oil exploration companies on extension of time and prolongation cost claims made by a dredging contractor; it alleged design changes were necessitated due to incorrect data being provided; the project related to one of the largest oilfields in the GCC

  • Advising an Asian contractor in relation to their claim against the employer for an extension of time and prolongation cost stemming from variations; the project related to an oil refinery and storage facility in Bahrain

  • Acting for a Turkish subcontractor in relation to claims for entitlement to payment for work executed and an extension of time with associated prolongation costs; the project related to an oil refinery in Abu Dhabi

  • Representing an Asian contractor in ICC arbitration proceedings against a subcontractor in relation to an oil refinery project in Saudi Arabia which was subject to Saudi law

  • Advising a Korean contractor in respect of substantial claims brought in respect of a major infrastructure project in Saudi Arabia; the governing law was Saudi law and the exercise involved an extensive review of Shariah law principles

  • Advising an oil exploration company in respect of claims for payment made by the trustee of a subcontractor which had gone into liquidation and the counterclaims arising out of the insolvency; the project was in relation to an oilfield in Iraq

  • Advising an oil exploration company in respect of claims made by a subcontractor for an extension of time and prolongation costs in respect of an oil refinery project in Iraq

  • Representing a contractor in multiple DIAC arbitration proceedings commenced by a subcontractor for non-payment of invoices, extension of time and prolongation costs for a district cooling project in Dubai

  • Acting for an EPC contractor in court proceedings (which also included mediation) arising out of a dispute with the employer relating to alleged defective design, ingress of water and corrosion of a paper recycling facility in England (Mostcash Plc & Ors v Fluor Ltd & Anor)

  • Advising an Asian contractor in relation to a dispute with a GCC government entity relating to the provision of turbines

  • Advising a European contractor in relation to disputes with a fabricator of turbines based in the UAE; the turbines were for a wind farm project in Europe; matters in issue included a claim for an extension of time, prolongation costs and defects

  • Representing a European EPC contractor in ICC arbitration proceedings against a UAE entity in relation to a final account dispute following the completion of a desalination plant on a turnkey basis

  • Advising a European contractor in a dispute relating to entitlement to extensions of time and prolongation costs with an Asian EPC contractor in respect of a substation for an independent water and power plant in Qatar

  • Advising a project company led by a Japanese corporation in relation to a dispute with the EPC contractor in respect of claims arising from alleged force majeure events including the impact of an adjoining transmission tower on the design and construction of a water desalination project in the GCC

  • Advising a European contractor in relation to a payment dispute arising from wastewater treatment plant in the UAE

  • Advising a project company in relation to claims made by an EPC Contractor for an extension of time and prolongation costs in relation to a desalination project in the UAE

  • Acting as Project Counsel on a major luxury development in Dubai incorporating a hotel, resort and residences; this included preparing the contractual documentation for the tender stage, negotiating the construction contract and consultancy agreements, and advising on day-to-day issues and disputes arising from the construction of the project from commencement of the Works to opening of the resort

  • Assisting an Asian contractor on its risk analysis at tender stage and subsequently advising it on the main contract and ancillary documents with the employer and agreements with its JV partners in relation to a major international airport project in the GCC

  • Advising an international hospitals operator in regards to the construction of their first, state-of-the-art facilities in the UAE, including drawing up the original construction contracts for these projects

  • Preparing and negotiating the contract documentation on behalf of a developer for a prestigious and landmark skyscraper in the Dubai International Financial Centre and advising on issues arising from time to time during construction

  • Preparing a developer’s suite of standard construction contracts for use on major international airport projects in the GCC

  • Regularly advising an employer in the GCC on provisions of construction contracts it enters into in relation to packages of work for major international airport projects

  • Advising a developer and drafting and negotiating the construction contract on their behalf for the major refurbishment of a landmark hotel in Dubai

  • Advising an Asian contractor on the terms of an EPC contract with the owner in respect of an onshore LNG facilities project in Qatar

  • Advising a Chinese contractor on the proposed contractual terms with the employer for an advanced metering infrastructure project in Pakistan

  • Reviewing and updating the standard form suite of construction contracts to be used across a wide range of projects and advising on the same for a state-owned corporation in the UAE

  • Representing a state-owned corporation in the GCC and negotiating the terms of a consultancy agreement on their behalf in relation to a major urban re-development of an entire district

  • Advising a state-owned developer in the GCC on a range of construction issues arising from a wide range of their projects

  • Preparing a framework agreement for minor works in respect of a landmark mixed-use skyscraper project in Dubai, featuring residences, office space, a luxury hotel, serviced apartments and retail facilities

Credentials

  • M.Sc., Construction Law and Arbitration, King’s College London, 2003
  • M.A., Jurisprudence, University of Oxford, St Catherine’s College, 1996
  • Who’s Who Legal, Construction, 2023
  • Legal 500 UK, Real Estate: Construction, 2023
  • Who’s Who Legal, Ranked as a Leading Individual in construction,  2014–2021
  • Legal 500 EMEA, Dispute Resolution: Arbitration and International Litigation,  2014–2021 and 2023
  • Legal 500 EMEA, Construction: UAE, “Leading Lawyer,”  2014–2023
  • Chambers Global, Construction: Dispute Resolution (UAE), 2014–2024
  • England and Wales
  • Dubai International Financial Centre Courts