People

Prof. Dr. Mohamed Abdel Wahab, C. Arb, FCIArb

Founding Partner - Head of International Arbitration, Construction, and Energy Groups

Professor of International Arbitration, Private International Law and English Contract Law, Cairo University; Founding Partner and Head of International Arbitration, Construction and Energy Groups at Zulficar & Partners Law Firm (Egypt); Member of the Governing Board (ICCA); Chair of the ICC Governing Body for Dispute Resolution Services; President Elect of the CIArb (2025); Dean of the Africa Arbitration Academy; Member of the Curatorium of the Hague Academy of International Law; Member of the Court, PCA (The Hague); Member of international Commercial Expert Committee, China International Commercial Court; Fellow of International Academy of Construction Lawyers; Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of AfSIL’s African Review of International Law; Co-Editor-in-Chief, Arab Yearbook for Public and Private International Law, Brill; Member of the Global Advisory Committee of the Saudi Center/Centre for Commercial Arbitration (SCCA); Member of the International Commercial Expert Committee, China International Commercial Court; Member of the Hong Kong International Legal Talents Training Expert Committee (2024), Member of the Editorial Advisory Board of OhadaArb Journal; Member of the Advisory Board of the Mauritius International Arbitration Centre (MIAC); Member of the Advisory Board, Indonesia International Arbitration Center (INIAC); Member of the LACIAC Court of Arbitration; Member of the Court of Arbitration, Lagos Chamber of Commerce International Arbitration Center (LACIAC); Member of the Academic Council, Institute of Transitional Arbitration (ITA); and member of the Academic Council, Thailand Arbitration Centre’s Academy (THACA). He is a Fellow of the National Centre for Technology and Dispute Resolution at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA (Since 2002); and Associate Fellow, Centre for Private International Law and Centre for Commercial Law at Aberdeen University (UK) (Since 2021); Member of Inclusive Global Legal Innovation Platform on Online Dispute Resolution (iGLIP on ODR); and Member of the Board, International Arbitration Committee, The Russian Arbitration Center at the Russian Institute of Modern Arbitration. He is a former Vice-President of the Advisory Committee of the CRCICA (2021- 2024); Former Member of the Board of Trustees of the (CIArb) UK (2019-2023); Former Co-Chair of the IBA Arab Regional Forum (2020-2023); Former Chair of the International Expert Advisory Committee of the Permanent Forum for China Construction Law (PFCCL) – China (2020-2023); Former Vice President, ICC International Court of Arbitration, Paris (2015 –2021|served two full terms); Former member of the Advisory Committee, Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA), Egypt. (2015-2020); Former Court Member of the LCIA (2014-2019); former President of LCIA’s Arab Users’ Council (2016- 2018); and Former Vice Chair of the IBA Arbitration Committee (2015-2018); Former Member of the Governing Board, International Council on Online Dispute Resolution (ICODR) – (2017– 2021). Prof. Dr. Abdel Wahab served as the Director for the CIArb’s Flagship International Arbitration Diploma (2019 – 2024), and is an accredited mediator by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (“CEDR”).

Prof. Dr. Abdel Wahab was also a former Vice Chair, Academic Forum for Investor- State Dispute Settlement (2018 -2020); former President of the Egypt Branch, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) (2018); former Member of the CIArb’s Board of Management (2018); former Chair of the CIArb’s Technology Sub-Committee (2012–2014); former Member of the CIArb’s Practice and Standards Committee (2012–2018); former Committee Member of the IBA Investment Arbitration Sub-Committee (2016–2017).

Prof. Dr. Abdel Wahab served as ‘Sole Arbitrator’, ‘Presiding Arbitrator’, ‘Party Appointed Arbitrator’, ‘Legal Expert’ or ‘Counsel’ in more than 260 cases involving parties from Africa, Asia, Canada, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and the United States.

Prof. Dr. Abdel Wahab’s expertise in cross border multi-jurisdictional and highly complex transactions and disputes is broad. He featured in cases under the auspices of the AAA, ADCCAC, BCDR, CRCICA, DIAC, the former DIFC-LCIA, ICC, ICSID, KIAC, LCIA, LMAA, RCICAL (Nigeria), SCC, SIAC, TIAC (Uzbekistan) as well as in ad hoc UNCITRAL proceedings, and governed by the laws of Afghanistan, Angola, Bahrain, California, the Netherlands, Egypt, England France, Ghana, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, New York, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Switzerland, Syria, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan, as well as the general principles of law.

As ‘Legal Expert’, he opined on Bahraini, Egyptian, Emirati, English, Jordanian, Kuwaiti, Libyan, Omani, Qatari, and Saudi laws in relation to issues of conflict of laws, contract law, international  jurisdiction, construction law & practice, telecommunications law, hotel management agreements, Islamic Shari’a, project finance, administrative law, commercial and civil laws, and insurance law & practice).

Prof. Dr. Abdel Wahab is listed on the rosters of more than 25 arbitral institutions across the globe, and is recognized as a world-leading arbitrator and arbitration practitioner on international investment and international commercial arbitration, Arab and African laws, Islamic Shari’a, and online dispute resolution (ODR). He is a visionary on the role of technology in law and dispute resolution, and he regularly publishes and delivers keynote speeches at international conferences on international arbitration, private international law, ODR and technology. He also organized the Fourth International Forum on ODR in Egypt in 2006.

Among his recent publications are: co-editor (with Prof Maxi Scherer and Ms. Niuscha Bassiri) of the first ever book on COVID-19 and international arbitration under the title “International Arbitration and the COVID-19 Revolution” (2020). He was also the co-editor (with Prof Ethan Katsh and Mr. Daniel Rainey) of “Online Dispute Resolution: Theory and Practice” (2011 and 2021), and is the author of the Abdel Wahab Pandemic Pathway to Virtual/Remote Hearings (2020) that was translated into Arabic, Spanish and Chinese. He also co-authored (with Dr. Kabir Duggal) the first book dedicated to comparing the OIC and UAIA Treaties under the title “The Resurgence of the Unified Arab Investment Agreement and the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation Investment Agreement” Brill (2022). Prof. Dr. Abdel Wahab was nominated in (2020) for the GAR COVID-19 Pandemic Response Award.

Prof. Dr. Abdel Wahab is also listed in all major legal directories as a star practitioner and features in ‘Who’s Who Legal: Global Elite Thought Leaders’, ‘Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration’, ‘Who’s Who Legal: Construction’, and Who’s Who Legal Thought Leaders: Arbitration and Who’s Who Legal Thought Leaders: Construction. He also features in AFRICA’s 100 list of leading African arbitration practitioners by I-ARB (Africa) and was selected by Africa Arbitration as the African Personality of June 2018 and by LACIAC (Lagos Chamber of Commerce International Arbitration Centre) as the Arbitration Personality in May 2019. He was shortlisted among the top five arbitrators for the GAR award for the best prepared and responsive arbitrator (2021).

He received the Law Magazine 2023 Regional Lawyer of the Year, the LAW Magazine 2022 Most Influential Legal Academic Award, the 2021 and 2020 Client Choice International Award, the 2019 AYA Hall-of-Fame African Arbitrator Award, the 2018 ASA International Arbitration Advocacy Prize, and the LAW Magazine 2017 Best Legal Practitioner Award. He was also selected among the Legal500 Africa Powerlist, the AYA’s Africa’s Top 30 Powerlist, and among the 500 honorees of the 2021 Lawdragon Global Litigation 500 Lawyers Guide. He was honoured by the Jordanian Minister of Justice, the Jordanian Arbitrators’ Association and the Jordanian Construction Contractors Syndicate in August 2019.

Prof. Dr. Abdel Wahab was nominated four times in (2013), (2014), (2018) and (2019) for the Global Arbitration Review Award for the Best Arbitration Lecture/Speech. WWL-Construction (2023) – Peers and clients say: “Mohamed is an all-time great of construction law. He is one of the best in the MENA region. He has a profound expertise in construction matters. Our go-to lawyer for construction cases”.

WWL Construction (2024) says: “Mohamed is one of the best”, “He is a thought leader and one of the leading figures in the market”. Client Choice International – WWL: Thought Leaders Global Elite (2024) – Arbitration by Lexology, peers and clients say: “Mohamed is razor sharp and hugely experienced in arbitration matters”, “He is globally recognized as one of the leading arbitrators in practice”, “Mohamed is a brilliant arbitrator for international commercial arbitration, especially construction disputes”. Client Choice International – WWL: Thought Leaders Global Elite (2024) – Construction by Lexology says: “Mohamed is an all-time great of construction law” and “He is one of the best in the MENA region”, and “Our go-to lawyer for construction cases”. WWL: Arbitration & Global Elite Thought Leaders (2023) says “‘He is an amazing practitioner and one of the hardest working people’ ‘His sharp mind never ceases to amaze’ ‘He is one of a kind!’”. Chambers and Partners (2023)-Africa-wide says: “Mohamed Abdel Wahab is a leading arbitrator and arbitration counsel based in Cairo. He is very highly respected for his international commercial and investment treaty practice. As an arbitrator, he frequently presides over disputes concerning construction, energy and infrastructure issues”; “Mohamed Abdel Wahab is someone who is very brilliant and technically capable. He is very smart on the law, but also emotionally intelligent as well”. Chambers and Partners (2023)-Dispute Resolution: Most in Demand Arbitrators says: “Mohamed Abdel Wahab is one of the best-known arbitration lawyers and his practice combines expert witness and arbitrator appointments with regular roles as counsel on significant and high-profile cases, and he receives especially high praise for his expertise in oil and gas and construction disputes”. Legal 500 (2023) – Dispute Resolution: Arbitration says: “Mohamed Abdel Wahab – very prepared arbitrator; deep experience in international arbitration; very thoughtful in his comments; collegial; engaged; insightful and sharp questions”,  “Mohamed Abdel Wahab: Highly respected, very experienced arbitrator, exhibiting highest standard of integrity and ethics”‘ and “Mohamed Abdel Wahab is a very highly regarded professional and a leading international arbitrator. He has the quality of being knowledgeable in several system of laws: common law, civil law and sharia law”. Chambers and Partners (2023) – Dispute Resolution – client feedback says: “Mohamed is the crème de la crème in the field and someone who impresses with his unmatched mastery of complex legal issues across various legal systems and sectors.”, “He is always well prepared and doesn’t leave any stone unturned”, “It’s very impressive how he’s always on-point, engaged, and on top of things”, “He’s very much hands-on and anticipates the issues”, “He’s outstanding in every way”. Chambers & Partners Global (2022) says: “Mohamed Abdel Wahab practice combines expert witness and arbitrator appointments with regular roles as counsel on significant and high-profile cases, and he receives especially high praise for his expertise in oil and gas and construction disputes. He is the perfect mix of legal expertise and strategic intuition, backed up by years of hard- earned experience and advocacy. He is very responsive. We feel comforted when a dispute is in his capable hands”, “He’s an impressive lawyer who is deeply knowledgeable. He has never steered us in the wrong direction”, “Mohamed Abdel Wahab is very highly respected for his international commercial and investment treaty practice. As an arbitrator, he frequently presides over disputes concerning construction, energy and infrastructure issues”, “Mohamed is a very well-known arbitrator who is very much involved in African work. He’s a very impressive guy”. Who’s Who Legal: Construction (2022) says: “Peers and clients say: “Mohamed is an all time great of construction arbitration” “Mohamed is a very smooth operator who makes arbitration process work very well” “He is seriously good”. Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration (2022) says: “His intellectual rigour and well-rounded experience make him a natural choice as an arbitrator”, “He is academically brilliant”, “One of the best minds on arbitration issues” and “Extremely impressive”. Chambers & Partners Global (2021) says “Peers regard Mohamed Abdel Wahab as “an absolute star in arbitration”, “He is very charismatic and engaging – the way he speaks shows the deep knowledge he has”, “He is always on top of the work and has an excellent knowledge of the market and the law”. Legal 500 (2021) says: ‘Mohamed Abdel Wahab is a brilliant practitioner who is at the top of the international arbitration field globally. His understanding of and experience in international arbitration are matched by few’; ‘Very knowledgeable, responsive, brilliant and accurate. Mohamed Abdel Wahab is a very strong litigator and legal strategist’; ‘one of the best litigators and arbitration experts I have met. He is extremely efficient, reliable and is able to go the extra mile, while being innovative and brilliant’; and ‘Importantly, he is one of the most hardworking individuals in the field. His working ethos and common sense approach to complex legal problems are outstanding’. Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration (2021) says: “Mohamed is knowledgeable and qualified with extensive experience in the field”, “He is at the top of the market”, “Outstanding engagement and pleasant to work with”, “He is a top-tier thought leader and in a league of his own” and “a very well-prepared and exceptional arbitrator”. Client Choice International (2020) by Lexology says: “Mohamed is an exceptional lawyer; he has extraordinary focus and an impressive knowledge of the law”, “Mohamed outshines his competitors; he is world-class. He is really an outstanding a very impartial and independent arbitrator”, “He is extremely efficient and reliable; he is one of the most brilliant legal brains of his generation”, and “He is very knowledgeable, extremely responsive, brilliantly outstanding and an excellent arbitrator and counsel”.

The Legal 500 (2019) says Mohamed Abdel Wahab is ‘one of the best in the world’.

Prof. Dr. Abdel Wahab read law in Egypt and in the UK, and speaks Arabic (mother tongue), English (fluent) and French (very good working knowledge).