International Commercial Arbitration



International Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) have been at the core of our practice since its inception. In the past ten years, Fareya Azfar has acted as counsel representative in over 200 arbitration and ADR proceedings in the UAE and in England – from inception through to resolution. 

Fareya holds a prestigious leadership position within the arbitral community, serving as chair, co-chair, committee member and member of international arbitration institutions, she is one of the finest arbitration lawyers in the region.

Core Competencies

Our core competencies include:

  • Case assessment and strategic advice.
  • Assistance with settlement negotiations before or during arbitration proceedings.
  • Representation in commercial arbitration proceedings, whether ad hoc or under institutional rules (DIAC, ADCCAC, ICC, LCIA, SEPANI, Swiss Rules, OR UNCITRAL).
  • Advice regarding the enforceability of arbitral awards or the possibility of setting them aside.
  • Representation in parallel and related state court proceedings across the world, including interim relief, enforcement, and challenge proceedings.

Drafting Agreements

  • Clients come to us to draft enforceable jurisdiction clauses, multi-tier arbitration clauses, and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) clauses. Among our core competencies are:

    • Contract drafting and review, including jurisdiction and arbitration clauses
    • ADR strategy development
    • Our representation extends to all forms of alternate dispute resolution, such as mediation, expert panels, and dispute boards
    • as well as international judicial assistance
    • and legal opinions pertaining to UAE law on all aspects related to Arbitration
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If the arbitration agreement does not specify the institution whose rules will govern the arbitration, the arbitration is conducted ad hoc, meaning by the parties themselves. Parties administer the proceedings themselves and therefore need a lot more guidance and support in ensuring that the procedure complies with the mandatory laws of the seat of arbitration. When it comes to ad hoc arbitrations, we know the tactics and how to tackle them, we know the arbitrators and the laws of the most popular choice of seats, including, Dubai, Singapore, London, Paris and Geneva.


The firm has experience with the most sophisticated and globally respected arbitral institutions, including but not limited to the rules of:

  • International Court of Arbitration (ICC),
  • London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA),
  • Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC), and
  • Abu Dhabi Commercial Conciliation and Arbitration Centre (ADCCAC).
UNCITRAL Model Law is part of a prototype of arbitration law that countries can use when they draft, reform, and modernize their own arbitration laws. Model law reflects internationally accepted principles and procedures of arbitration and is a vehicle designed to harmonize arbitration laws across nations, thus eliminating disparities and inadequacies in national arbitration laws. 

The UNCITRAL Model Law is not itself enacted legislation, but a template that can be adapted by countries to the extent they desire. The Model Law as the name suggests is only a model, an exemplary set of arbitration law that the country is encouraged to adopt as the arbitration law of their country.

Specifically, the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules for Commercial Disputes provide a comprehensive set of rules that parties can agree upon to form the basis of a proceeding which arises out of their commercial relationships, and which are used in both ad hoc arbitrations and administered arbitrations throughout the world.


Disputes go to arbitration – to the exclusion of the courts – if the contracting parties have agreed to it, either under the main contract between them, or subsequently at the time of the occurrence of the dispute. There are several independent institutions in the world who administer and supervise the arbitration process according to the institution’s rules of arbitration. More often than not, an arbitration agreement will specify the institution which would govern the arbitration.

An escalated or multi-tiered dispute resolution clause will usually include pre-conditions to arbitration. Since the arbitrator’s jurisdiction comes from the arbitration agreement, if the contract stipulates that certain conditions must be met before the dispute may be submitted to arbitration, the arbitration agreement won’t be activated until those conditions have been met. It is imperative that the claimant proves that the conditions have been met, otherwise the notice of arbitration will be premature and the arbitral tribunal will lack jurisdiction. 

An injunction is a court order requiring a party to do or prevent a specific action. We have represented clients in obtaining these orders and in resisting them.

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