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GAR 100 - 11th Edition

Youssef & Partners

04 April 2018

A young Cairo firm with big ambitions

People in Who’s Who Legal 1
Pending cases as counsel 14
Value of pending counsel work US$3.2 billion
Treaty cases 1
Current arbitrator appointments
6 (of which 4 are as sole or chair
Lawyers sitting as arbitrator 1

NEW ENTRY. Karim Youssef set up this Egyptian full-service firm in 2016 after more than five years as partner at Amereller Legal Consultants in Cairo and Dubai, where he headed the Middle East arbitration practice. Before that, he practised for two years at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.

He has worked on some high-profile commercial and investment treaty arbitrations, often relating to public contracts awarded by states in the region.

It’s now a 16-strong practice, including a counsel and a group of senior associates. It takes pride in having an unusually large proportion of female lawyers compared with its competitors in the region.

Who uses it?

The firm has advised the Arab African International Bank, Cementos La Union group, Arabian Cement Company, Veolia Proprete, and EgyptAir.

Track record

Karim Youssef’s greatest hits include helping Egyptian television station CBC prevail in a claim against Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef, who has been described as Egypt’s answer to US comedian Jon Stewart. He has also successfully defended the Egyptian branch of a major energy conglomerate in a dispute over the supply of power generators.

In a case brought over from Amereller, Youssef helped settle a six-year long UNCITRAL case concerning a mid-1990s privatisation that was unwound by a judicial decision in the wake of the Arab Spring.

Recent events

The firm is currently advising on a US$1.9 billion claim against a state entity over the termination of a concession in the shipping industry; and a US$250 million claim over two oil and gas concessions, which is before the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration.

In the investment treaty arena, it is acting for Spanish investors in a €206 million ICSID claim against Egypt relating to their investment in one of Egypt’s biggest cement companies.

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