GAR 100 - 16th Edition

Youssef & Partners

Youssef & Partners

Professional notice

Obtained a positive result for Veolia in a waste management dispute

People in Who’s Who Legal1
Pending cases as counsel10
Value of pending counsel workUS$5.2 billion
Treaty cases as counsel3
Third-party funded cases0

This Egyptian full-service firm was set up by Karim Youssef in 2016 after he had spent more than five years as partner at Amereller 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 as counsel and expert witness in high-profile commercial and investment arbitrations, often relating to public contracts awarded by states in the region. He's a member of the advisory committee of the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA) and the editorial board of the Journal of Arab Arbitration. He sits as arbitrator in CRCICA, DIAC and ICC arbitrations.

The firm's other arbitration partner is César Ternieden, who joined in 2020 from Shahid Law Firm. 

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 Grupo Cementos La Unión, Veolia Proprete, IGI-Group, CTIP Oil & 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. 

Youssef 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

Youssef & Partners reports recently winning a favourable award for France’s Veolia against an Egyptian regional government in a dispute over a waste management contract for the city of Alexandria.

It helped a high-net-worth individual and his family secure the dismissal of claims worth US$275 million in a Geneva-seated ICC arbitration, also winning costs. 

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

It says it is also representing a major Spanish conglomerate in arbitration proceedings and related court litigation in the UAE against a government entity.

Spanish investors Cementos La Unión 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.

Youssef was appointed to the inaugural 22-member arbitration committee of the British Virgin Islands’ International Arbitration Centre in early 2022.

Partner Mahmoud Moharram, who had been with the firm since 2019, left the firm in 2021 to become general counsel at the Sovereign Fund of Egypt. 

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.”

One arbitrator says the firm demonstrated “legal strength and procedural efficiency” as counsel, while Youssef is “certainly an outstanding practitioner in international arbitration thanks to its strong legal background and advocacy skills”.

Dubai-based Watson Farley & Williams counsel Soraya Corm-Bakhos, who appointed Youssef & Partners as local co-counsel to a since-settled commercial arbitration at the CRCICA, says the firm is “excellent in all respects: friendliness, responsiveness and quality of advice”.

Youssef is “extremely knowledgeable on matters of Egyptian law” while partner César Ternieden “delivers clear, efficient and commercially sound advice”, she says.

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 has been a leader in the MENA arbitration market since 2016 with a cosmopolitan practice and international outlook. We exercise unparalleled regional influence and deliver client services to global standards. Our flagship practice is international commercial and investment treaty arbitration, focusing on high-value claims and high-stakes disputes. The firm also provides high-end transactional and corporate services to clients across key sectors and industries. The firm’s disputes practice is well-known for its unbeatable track record in construction, mega-infrastructure, high-net worth-individuals, oil & gas, intellectual property, and sports disputes.

Since its establishment in 2016, the firm has rapidly emerged as Egypt’s arbitration superstructure. Our team represents local and foreign investors in some of MENA’s most significant investment treaty and commercial claims. We advise some of the world’s leading corporations and high-net-worth families across the region.

The firm’s practice head, Karim A. Youssef, is the leading legal expert witness in the region. He frequently testifies as an expert on Egyptian, Omani, Qatari, Bahrani, and Kuwaiti laws in some of the MENA region’s most significant arbitrations.

The firm’s global outreach is second to none in the region: we are involved in arbitral proceedings and disputes on four continents. As geographical boundaries grow increasingly porous, we are dedicated to ensuring that our client’s needs are met to truly global standards, even if they do business in emerging markets. The firm’s docket of counsel work is the highest in the MENA region ($9.4billion GAR 100 rankings, 2022).

Youssef & Partners is famous for its unmatched multinational expertise, strong business sense, game-changing strategy, and remarkable track record. We work to win: and our 96% success rate reflects this.

We have been described as a “world-class team” - Chambers 2022, and “very sophisticated” - Chambers 2020, the “go-to for big, complicated cases” - Chambers 2022. Our team has also been described in global rankings as “true fighters” - Chambers 2022, “provide game-changing strategy” - Chambers 2022, and Karim A. Youssef is a “master of strategy” - Chambers 2022.


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