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The COVID-19 pandemic has not gone away and the prolonged business issues will continue to affect various market players in the short and long-term. As anticipated, this has resulted to a rise in increasingly complex disputes across all industries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region as well as continued to shape the way we resolve disputes going forward. In this vlog series, our MENA Dispute Resolution specialists provide a roundup of the latest developments in the regional dispute resolution landscape as well as insights to challenges and opportunities in the year ahead in the areas of arbitration, construction, offshore litigation, banking and tax litigation.

Episode 2: Recent court trends on arbitration proceedings

Dubai counsel Sally Kotb discusses some of the key issues commonly arising in arbitration proceedings in the UAE, particularly the issues of capacity, conditions precedent, and signature of arbitration awards. Sally also shares some of the recent court judgments that would impact a party’s position to challenge arbitration awards, as well as some best practice tips to minimize risks of having the awards nullified in the future.

Episode 1: Performance guarantees at the center of construction disputes

Dubai associate Terrick McCallum talks about the use of performance guarantees in construction projects and how COVID-19 has resulted to an increased number of unsubstantiated and bad faith calls for payment in construction disputes. Terrick also provides some practical remedies and key considerations in the event a party is unable to avoid a call being made on its performance guarantee.


Andrew Mackenzie is a partner and Head of Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla's Arbitration, Construction and Offshore Litigation (DIFC/ADGM Courts) practice. He has been based in Dubai since 2009. He is a qualified English law Barrister, Solicitor Advocate and arbitration law specialist. He works extensively across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, acting for governments and international corporations on complex commercial disputes under a variety of civil and common law systems. He is ranked in Chambers Global, Legal 500 and is listed in Who’s Who Legal as one of the world’s leading dispute lawyers. Andrew handles a wide range of commercial and financial disputes and has a particular specialty in financial services, construction and energy disputes, as well as advising clients on IP and insurance matters. Andrew has tried cases in all of the major arbitration forums including ICSID, ICC, LCIA, DIFC-LCIA, SIAC, UNCITRAL, ADCCAC and DIAC. He also holds full rights of audience before the DIFC and ADGM Courts, sits as an arbitrator and has written and presented at numerous international conferences on arbitration, commercial litigation and dispute resolution more broadly. Andrew can be reached at [email protected] and + 971 4 423 0068.


Mohamed El Khatib has been practicing in the UAE for over 17 years. He has extensive experience in litigation and dispute resolution across a variety of industries and areas of UAE law. Mr. El Khatib was recommended for insurance disputes by the Legal 500 in 2014.


Sally Kotb is a Counsel at Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla in Dubai. She focuses on UAE and international arbitration. She has been practicing in the Middle East for eleven years, specializing in arbitration across a variety of industry sectors, including in particular real estate and construction. Sally is experienced in conducting arbitration references under leading institutional arbitration rules, including in particular ICC, DIAC, CRCICA, ADCCAC, DIFC-LCIA in both Arabic and English. She regularly acts as a sole arbitrator and co-arbitrator in arbitration cases under the Rules of the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC), and has gained particular experience in enforcement of international and domestic awards in the UAE. Sally also acts as the regional representative of the LCIA Young International Arbitration Group (YIAG), a designated Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb), and a member of the steering committee of DIAC 40. Sally can be reached at [email protected] and +971 4 423 0025..


Terrick McCallum is an associate in Baker McKenzie's Johannesburg office. Terrick specializes mainly in construction and mining disputes.