In 1989, Essam Al Tamimi established what is now the largest law firm in the Middle East, Al Tamimi & Company and currently holds the position of Senior Partner at the firm. Essam has over thirty four (34) years of experience in litigation and arbitration in the UAE and the GCC countries covering almost all fields of law, both private and public law, including matters relating to corporate and commercial law, banking and financial law, real estate and property law, across several industries and sectors.
He has been involved in drafting laws and regulations and has assisted federal and local governments in drafting laws and regulations relating to a range of sectors. These have included the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, Dubai Internet and Media City free zones, the Abu Dhabi government in privatization of water and electricity and played a major role in drafting the privatization and ADWEA laws and regulations, assisted the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry in drafting the Federal Industrial law and implementing regulations, contributed to the drafting of the relevant laws for establishing several Free Zones in the UAE, assisted Dubai International Financial Centre Authority in drafting number of laws and regulations relating to the DIFC Authority, the DIFC Court and the DIFC Arbitration Centre and have been actively involved in commenting and reviewing most of the federal laws including the Arbitration law, Commercial Companies law and the Consumer Protection law. He has extensive experience in regulatory matters and has assisted local and federal governments on regulatory issues.
Essam’s principal place of practice is Dubai, United Arab Emirates but he also has extensive experience in advising and assisting clients throughout the Arab region where he has worked and advised and attended to projects in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt and Iraq.
In addition to his role as counsel in numerous arbitration matters, Essam has also acted as an expert witness in a wide array of litigious matters. Essam has also been appointed as an arbitrator and chair of arbitral tribunals in arbitration proceedings under ADCCAC, CRCICA, DIAC, LCIA, ICC and PCA Rules.
He is on the ICC Court, serving as Vice-Chair of the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR, Paris, former Chair of the ICC UAE Commission on Arbitration and ADR, now member of the Steering Committee of the ICC UAE Commission on Arbitration and ADR, served as Chairman and is Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He is the Founder and Patron of the UAE Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, member of the International Bar Association, served as member of the LCIA Court, served as President of the LCIA Arab Users Council. He has served a number of years as member of the board of The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). He is actively involved in development of arbitration laws in the region and for the training and development of arbitration in the UAE and the region. His practice focuses primarily on local and international clients in shipping, banking, intellectual property, commercial agency, joint venture, construction and commercial litigation. Essam has published a number of articles and books on litigation and arbitration in the UAE and setting up business in the region. He has received Gulf Legal Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding contribution to the Gulf Legal Market. He is on the editorial advisory board of the ICLR and GAR, former Co-Chair of the IBA Rule of Law Forum, member of the Review Committee of Energy Arbitrators List, member of the Advisory Board of IBA’s Eyewitness to Atrocities, member of the Advisory Board of the BCDR International Arbitration Review, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the DIFC Arbitration Institute (DAI), member of the FIAA Board of Trustees, member of the American Law Institute(ALI), member of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA), received Lifetime Achievement Award from International Financial Law Review (IFLR), is a member of the Arab Arbitration Group of the ICC, member of the SIAC Users Council and is a fellow and faculty member of the International Dispute Resolution Academy (IDRA).
Professional memberships, publications and speaking engagements
Essam Al Tamimi’s international expertise has been enhanced and recognised through membership of key regional and international arbitration panels including:
- GCC Commercial Arbitration Centre, Manama, Bahrain
- Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC)
- Centre for Dispute Resolution (CEDR), United Kingdom
- International Chamber of Commerce Court of Arbitration, Paris, France
- UAE Representative of the International Chamber of Commerce
- Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) 2009-2012
- Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration (KLRCA) 2017-2020
- Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration (SCIA) 2014-2017
Essam is the author of a number of leading UAE dispute resolution publications including Arbitration Law in the United Arab Emirates (1997), A Practical Guide to Litigation and Arbitration in the UAE (2003), United Arab Emirates Court of Cassation Judgments 1989-1997 (2003) and United Arab Emirates Court of Cassation Judgments 1998-2003 (2005). He is also the author of The Practitioner’s Guide to Arbitration in the Middle East and North Africa (2009) and has written extensively on arbitration matters in leading international publications.
1984 – LL.M., Harvard School of Law
1983 – LL.B., Al Ain Law School