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Global Guide
Individual Profile

Karim A. Youssef

Youssef & Partners - Cairo

Karim A. Youssef - Youssef & Partners
  • 3 Yemen St., Off Nile St. Giza
  • Cairo, Cairo, Egypt
  • 12511

Profile submitted by Karim A. Youssef

Main Areas of Law

Key Practice areas include

• General commercial arbitration:
Karim, and the arbitration team of Youssef & Partners, are involved in some of the highest-profile commercial arbitrations seated in Egypt or involving Egyptian parties. The firm currently acts as co-counsel in claims totaling US $1.5 billion in commercial disputes arising from the unwinding of a mega-project in a Middle Eastern state.

• Government contract and privatisation disputes:
Karim is counsel for investors in UNCITRAL commercial claims arising from the unwinding of one of the major privatisation transactions of the Mubarak era, the former Steam Boilers Company.

• Construction arbitration and litigation

• Public international law and investment treaty claims:
Representing global cement group (Cementos La Union) in World Bank treaty claims in relation to cement licenses and the regulatory regime in Egypt. Cementos La Union S.A. and Aridos Jativa S.L.U. v. Arab Republic of Egypt (ICSID Case No. ARB/13/29).

• Challenge and enforcement of domestic and foreign judgments and arbitral awards:
Karim represents high-profile clients in enforcement proceedings of international and/or foreign awards before Egyptian courts.

Work Highlights

Recent Work Highlights And Counsel Experience in International Commercial & Treaty Arbitration:

• Co-counsel for one of the leading global companies in the field of supply chain management in claims against a state entity of an Arab country in relation to the termination of a longterm concession, with a value exceeding USD 1.2 billion.

• Representing global cement group (Cementos La Union) in World Bank treaty claims in relation to cement licenses and the regulatory regime in Egypt. Cementos La Union S.A. and Aridos Jativa S.L.U. v. Arab Republic of Egypt (ICSID Case No. ARB/13/29).

• Representing AI-Kholoud S.A.E. in arbitration claims against the Government and related State entities in excess of USD 300 million in a dispute arising out of rewinding one of Egypt’s largest and highest profile privatizations (the Steam Boilers case).

• Successfully represented the CBC Channel in eight-digit arbitration claims against former TV performer Bassem Youssef and his production company, QSoft, in a dispute arising out of the unlawful termination of a contract for the exclusive broadcasting rights of The Show.

• Representing a major multinational in the field of natural gas in a commercial dispute arising out of a gas supply agreement with a Middle Eastern government entity.

• Represented the owner of one of Cairo’s landmark hotels (the former Grand Hyatt hotel) in a dispute arising out of the management agreement with a multinational hotel group under the UNCITRAL rules.

• Representing the former shareholders of a mobile phone company in arbitration proceedings arising out of the acquisition transaction that gave rise to one of Egypt’s three mobile operators.

• Representing a major construction company in Abu Dhabi in claims under a subcontract concerning electromechanical works arising out of the modernization of a major oil refinery.

• Representing an Egyptian construction company in claims concerning the failure to pay arising out of a contract for the construction of one of Egypt’s largest water treatment plants.


Dr. Karim A. Youssef is managing partner and head of international arbitration at Youssef & Partners, and one of the leading figures in arbitration in Egypt. His practice focuses on commercial arbitration, investment treaty arbitration and international law.
Karim has acted as counsel or arbitrator in over 85 international arbitrations under a variety of rules, including the ICC, CRCICA, DIAC, UNCITRAL and ICSID. Karim represents regional and international clients in the highest-profile local and regional disputes and large-value claims, across a wide array of industries and key sectors.
Highlights of Karim’s counsel work include representing investors in investment treaty claims, including in Cementos La Union SA & Aridos Jativa SLU v. Egypt and, previously, representing the CBC Channel in claims against satirist Bassem Youssef.
Karim played a dominant role in the Egyptian market since the Arab Spring, and was involved in the largest commercial and investment treaty claims arising from it, including in disputes concerning the post–2011 unwinding of Moubarak-era privatizations.
Karim was educated at Yale Law School (LL.M.; J.S.D.), and Paris and Cairo Universities.

Industry Sector Expertise

Key industries:

oil and gas; power generation and supply; renewable energy; ports and sea port agreements; banking and finance; real estate and development; hotel management and hospitality; supply chain management; media and entertainment; telecommunications; IT; cement and steel; commercial agencies and distributorship; imports and exports; transport and road networks; mining; certification services; logistics.

Expert in these Jurisdictions

Egypt, UAE, Jordan, and throughout the MENA region.

Languages Spoken

Karim is fluent in English, Arabic, and French, and has a working knowledge of Italian and Spanish.


• ‘The Impact of the Arab Spring on International Commercial and Treaty Arbitration in Egypt and the MENA Region’, in Arbitration: The International Journal of Arbitration, Mediation and Dispute Management (Vol. 83, Issue 1), 2017

• ‘Consent Ltd.: A Brief History of Egypt’s Ministerial Approval Requirement for Arbitration of State Contracts and Why It Should Be Abolished’, in BCDR International Arbitration Review, 3.1, September 2016

• ‘The Quest for Cosmopolitan Law and Arbitration in the Arab World – Where Do We Stand Now?’, in Festschrift Ahmed Sadek El-Kosheri: From the Arab World to the Globalization of International Law and Arbitration, Kluwer, 2015

• Consent in Context: Fulfilling the Promise of International Arbitration, Multi-contract and Non-contract arbitration, West, 2009-2012 (Preface by Jan Paulsson)

• ‘Universal Arbitration Between Freedom and Constraint: The Challenges of Assessment and Control of Jurisdiction in Multiparty Multi-Contract Arbitration’, in Arbitration: The Next Fifty Years, ICCA Congress Series, 2011

• ‘The limits of consent: the right or obligation to arbitrate of nonsignatories in groups of companies’, in Multiparty Arbitration, ICC Institute of World Business Law, 2010

• ‘The Independence of International Arbitrators: An Arbitrator’s Perspective’, ICC International Court of Arbitration Bulletin, 2007, Special Supplement 2008; with Professor Ahmed S El-Kosheri

• ‘What comes down must go up’, Al-ahram Weekly, 10 February 2005


Yale Law School J.S.D. 2003 - 2007
Yale Law School LL.M. 2001 - 2002
Paris-1 University (Sorbonne) D.E.A. 1999 - 2001
Cairo University D.E.S. 1999 - 2000


International Commercial Arbitration - Egypt Who's Who Legal 2017
International Commercial Arbitration - Egypt Who's Who Legal 2016
International Commercial Arbitration - Egypt Who's Who Legal 2015
International Commercial Arbitration - Egypt Who's Who Legal 2014
Future Leaders - Egypt Who's Who Legal 2017
Dispute Resolution: Arbitration – Egypt, Band 1 Chambers & Partners Global Guide 2017
Middle East Arbitrator of the Year Al Dispute Resolution Awards 2015
Egypt Arbitration Law Experts 2017
Commercial Arbitration Expert Guides 2017