GAR 100 - 15th Edition

Youssef & Partners

Youssef & Partners

Professional notice

Helped settle a long-running dispute over an Egyptian port facility

People in Who’s Who Legal1
Pending cases as counsel17
Value of pending counsel workUS$9.4 billion
Treaty cases as counsel6
Third-party funded cases0
Current arbitrator appointments2 (0 as chair or sole)
Lawyers sitting as arbitrator2

This Egyptian full-service firm was set up by Karim Youssef in 2016 after he’d spent 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.

Youssef has worked on some high-profile commercial and investment arbitrations, often relating to public contracts awarded by states in the region. In 2019, the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration appointed him to its advisory committee. He is also a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Arab Arbitration. He sits as arbitrator in CRCICA, DIAC and ICC arbitrations.

The firm has recently expanded after acquiring another Cairo firm, Moharram Law, whose founding partner has significant experience in construction disputes. It now has a 26-strong practice, including three partners 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, the Arabian Cement Company and its parent Cementos La Union Group, Veolia Proprete, IGI Group, CTIP Oil and Gas, Kuwait’s KGL, Egypt Kuwait Holding Company, the Arab Contractors Company and EgyptAir.

Track record

Together with Crowell & Moring, Youssef & Partners helped a consortium led by Kuwaiti logistics group KGL win a US$490 million ICC award against the Damietta port authority over a terminated concession. The Egyptian courts set aside the award, but the team pressed on with a related ICSID claim against Egypt before the parties negotiated a global settlement worth US$260 million in 2022. 

Karim Youssef also helped 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.

The firm helped developer Al Kholoud obtain an US$89 million settlement that brought an end to an UNCITRAL case against Egypt arising from the judicial unwinding of a Mubarak era privatisation of a steam boiler manufacturer in the wake of the 2011 revolution.

Recent events

The firm is advising investors on prospective investment claims against Lebanon arising out of the state’s debt and default crisis in 2020.

Spanish investors Cementos La Union and Aridos Jativa continue to use the firm as they seek to partially annul an ICSID award that held Egypt liable but declined to award any of the €240 million they sought in damages.

The firm provided expert evidence in a multibillion-dollar dispute between a number of ultra-high net worth individuals.

Client comment

Crowell & Moring partner George Ruttinger says Youssef was “instrumental” as co-counsel in a successful ICC arbitration. “He is a well-known arbitrator in his own right, so he was a great resource to us in framing our arguments to the tribunal in a persuasive manner.”

Another well-known partner at a GAR 30 firm says Youssef & Partners was “excellent in all respects” when acting as expert witness on Kuwaiti law.

Youssef & Partners is a leading full-service firm with a cosmopolitan and international outlook. The firm exercises unparalleled regional influence and delivers client services to truly global standards. Our renowned flagship practice is international commercial and investment treaty arbitration, with a focus on high-value claims and high-stakes disputes. Youssef & Partners is famous for its unmatched multinational expertise, strong business sense, game-changing strategy, and remarkable track record. The firm also provides high end transactional and corporate services to clients across various key sectors and industry. Our areas of expertise include construction, mega-projects, fin-tech, and structuring and restructuring transactions.

Since its establishment in 2016, Youssef & Partners has emerged as Egypt’s arbitration superstructure. Our team represents local and foreign investors in what are unquestionably some of the largest investment treaty and commercial claims involving Egyptian or MENA parties. In addition, the firm advises some of the world’s leading corporations and high-net worth families across the region.

The firm’s global outreach is second to none in the region: we are involved in arbitral proceedings and disputes in four continents. As geographical boundaries grow increasingly porous, we are dedicated to ensuring that our clients’ needs are met to truly global standards, even if they do business in emerging markets. Youssef & Partners works to win: and our 96% success rate reflects this.

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