18 Feb 2020
The Egypt Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) held several events between October 2019 and February 2020. These covered a variety of topics, ranging from construction to the impact of technology on arbitration and ADR.
Unilateral Termination by the Government of its Contracts and the Consequences on International Arbitration
October 2, 2019
On 2 October 2019, CIArb’s Egypt Branch jointly organised with The Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA) a seminar titled “Unilateral Termination by the Government of its Contracts and the Consequences on International Arbitration - With a reference to the Prime Minister's decree No. 1062 / 2019, establishing the Supreme Committee for Studying and Opining on International Arbitration cases”. The speaker was Prof. Dr. Abdel-Moneem Zamzam, Professor of Private International Law, Faculty of Law, Cairo University, and Attorney before the Court of Cassation. The seminar was moderated by Ambassador Mohamed Mustafa Kamal MCIArb, Former Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Attorney at Law, and Member of the Egypt Branch Committee.
Prof. Dr. Zamzam focused on the consequences of the unilateral termination by the government of its contracts resulting in increasing the unbearable compensations incurred by Egypt since the accession to ICSID in 1972. Two reasons were highlighted by Prof. Dr. Zamzam namely: the termination of investments’ contracts by unilateral acts of the state and the selection of inefficient legal counsels lacking the technical skills of conducting arbitrations.
110 professionals attended the Seminar from Egypt and Libya representing the following business sectors: construction, financial investment, banking, telecommunications, transportation, electricity, gas and petroleum. Other participants were from the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation and the Ministry of education as well as academics from Cairo University, Ain Shams University, and Alexandria University. Members of law firms, the Egyptian judiciary, and the European Union Delegation to Egypt were also among participants. Attendees showed keen interest in the subject and the speech was followed by lively discussions.
The Egyptian Courts and the New York Convention in 60 Years
November 6, 2019
CIArb’s Egypt Branch organised jointly with CRCICA a seminar titled “The Egyptian Courts and the New York Convention in 60 Years”. The speaker was Mr. Ibrahim Shehata ACIArb, Partner, Shehata & Partners, LL.M, New York University (NYU), Assistant Lecturer, Cairo University. The seminar was moderated by Ambassador Mohamed Mustafa Kamal MCIArb, Former Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Attorney at Law, and Member of the Egypt Branch Committee. Mr. Shehata focused on some controversial aspects of the New York Convention and how the Egyptian Courts dealt with them inter alia, the law applicable to the validity of foreign arbitration agreements, the effect of the misinterpretation of some articles of the Convention, and the interest rates in the Egyptian Public Policy.
The presentation was well received by the participants who raised lively discussions related to the validity of the electronic means of transmission of the arbitration agreement under the Convention, and whether Egyptian courts could rely on the official English text of the Convention to void misinterpretations. 96 participants attended the seminar being lawyers, judges, contract mangers, engineers, professors and academics, researchers, fresh graduates, and students. Attendees came from Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, and Syria.
The Art of "Claimsmanship" in the Construction Industry
December 16, 2019
CIArb’s Egypt Branch organised jointly with CRCICA a seminar titled "The Art of Claimsmanship in the Construction Industry". The speakers were Eng. Ayman El-Ghazzawi, Managing Director of ValueMetric Consultants (VMC), Eng. Hossam Kandeel, NBK Project Manager and Project Management Consultant, and Eng. Dr. Waleed El Nemr FCIArb, Vice Chairman of CIArb’s Egypt Branch and Contracts Director of Hill International Africa. The seminar was moderated by Eng. Dr. Salwa Fawzi FCIArb, Commercial Director at Elsewedy Industrial Development. The seminar started with a moment of remembrance of two of the Branch Committee members, who passed away in October 2019, namely Mrs. Wissam El Molla, Former Branch Honorary Secretary, and Eng. Tamer Nabieh, Former Branch Honorary Treasurer. The seminar then delved into claims tactics used by contractors and employers in the construction industry from the contracts, by Dr. Waleed, cost, by Eng. Ayman, and scheduling, by Eng. Hossam perspectives. Although the tactics were based on the 1992 article by US Claims Consultant, James Zack, the presenters reflected on these tactics - and added new ones - while drawing from their own experiences.
The event was attended by 99 participants from Egypt, Jordan and Libya representing construction and private sector companies, and members of law firms. Particularly significant, this event was remotely attended, through live webinar, by 12 engineering professionals and members of arbitration and ADR institutions in Jordan. The nearly 2-hour seminar was followed by a one-hour session of stimulating questions and answers.
The Impact of Emerging Technologies on International Arbitration: Cybersecurity, Blockchain & Smart Contracts and Artificial Intelligence
January 30, 2020
CRCICA organised in cooperation with CIArb’s Egypt Branch a seminar titled “The Impact of Emerging Technologies on International Arbitration: Cybersecurity, Blockchain & Smart Contracts and Artificial Intelligence”, held on 30 January 2020 at CRCICA’s auditorium.
The speaker was Mr. Brandon J Malone FCIArb LLM FRICS, Solicitor Advocate, Brandon Malone & Company, Chairman, Scottish Arbitration Centre, Associate Member of Chambers at Quadrant Chambers, London and a Senior Legal Consultant with HFI Consulting and Legal Services with offices in Aberdeen and Dubai. The event was moderated by Prof. Dr. Mohamed S. Abdel Wahab MCIArb. The speech focused on three aspects of technological change; namely cybersecurity, blockchain & smart contracts and artificial intelligence, that have the potential to disrupt international arbitration.
Attendees were lawyers, construction attorneys, engineers, members of the judiciary and students from Egypt and Japan.
Update on the Prevention Principle in UK Law: Is There a Role for Good Faith?
February 25, 2020
CRCICA hosted a seminar titled “Update on the Prevention Principle in UK Law: Is There a Role for Good Faith?” organised by the CIArb’s Egypt Branch and CRCICA. The speaker was David Christie ACIArb, Academic Strategic Lead, the Law School at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK, and Chair of the Northern Chapter of CIArb’s Scottish Branch. The speech was moderated by Dr. Waleed El Nemr FCIArb, Vice Chairman & Education and Training Officer, CIArb (Egypt Branch).
The speaker focused on the differences between the jurisdictions of England-Wales and Scotland and approached the interesting topic of concurrent delays. Interactive discussions followed the speech outlining concepts such as "time at large" and the often-debatable topic of time bar clauses in the UK and Egyptian jurisdictions. Participants from Egypt, Iraq and Japan represented law firms, private and public sector companies (construction in particular), and academics.
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