• Home
  • News
  • Stephenson Harwood strengthens leading marine practice in Middle East

04 Mar 2024

Stephenson Harwood strengthens leading marine practice in Middle East


Specialist team grows to largest in the region

Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has strengthened its top-tier marine and international trade practice in the Middle East, with the arrival of two partners, Mohamed El Hawawy and Khurram Ali, and a team of five fee earners.

"Stephenson Harwood stands apart from other law firms in the maritime space because of our unique market position," said Eifion Morris, Stephenson Harwood CEO. "We have an enviable and rich maritime heritage, and while most other firms have experience weighted towards one area or the other, we have premier ship finance and maritime practices in one firm.

"In the Middle East, the arrival of Mohamed and Khurram strengthens our practice there, which has grown into the largest specialist maritime, trade and insurance team in the region."

Mohamed, who joins the marine and international trade team to help lead the firm's Middle East shipping and insurance practices, specialises in litigation and dispute resolution, particularly in the shipping, insurance and aviation sectors. With expertise across both wet and dry shipping, Mohamed is frequently instructed on the largest and most complex maritime disputes in the region, including ship abandonment issues, vessel collisions, allisions, casualties, groundings, salvage and emergency response, as well as disputes arising out of sale and purchase contracts, trading, charterparties, bills of lading, contracts of affreightment, and other contracts of carriage. Mohamed also advises clients on a wide range of insurance matters, from reviewing policies and advising on regulatory issues in the Middle East, to insurance coverage and re-insurance disputes. He joins the firm from Ince & Co Middle East LLP where he was joint managing partner of the firm's Dubai office and led the shipping practice across the UAE and the wider region.

Khurram specialises in dispute resolution with a particular focus on maritime, transportation, ports/terminals, oil and gas, and international trade disputes, as well as general commercial litigation. He brings more than two decades of experience advising a range of clients including shipowners, charterers, terminal and port operators, logistics companies, P&I Clubs, traders, offshore operators and shipowners, as well as governmental bodies. Khurram, who also joins from Ince & Co Middle East LLP, has specialist knowledge of the markets in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

"Mohamed and Khurram are exceptional lawyers who are highly regarded by clients and peers," said Rania Tadros, office managing partner of Stephenson Harwood's Dubai office. "Their knowledge and expertise compliments the strength of our existing specialist team and is another milestone in the development of our Middle East practice."

Mohamed and Khurram's arrival - alongside the team of lawyers and support staff – means Stephenson Harwood has one of the largest specialist maritime, trade and insurance dispute resolution teams in the Middle East, with six partners and 14 dedicated associates and advisers.  

Stephenson Harwood has a rich history in the Middle East, where the firm has been advising regional and international clients on some of their most complex, highly significant, and sensitive contentious and non-contentious matters for more than two decades. From its regional hub office in Dubai, where it has more than 70 people, including 14 partners, the firm acts for a wide range of international and local listed and private-owned companies, institutions, private equity firms, sovereign wealth funds and high-net worth individuals and families throughout the Middle East.

Notes to editors

List of partners in the marine and international trade practice in the Middle East:
Khurram Ali, Partner 
Saif Almobideen, Partner
Mohamed El Hawawy, Partner and head of shipping and insurance Middle East  
Menelaus Kouzoupis, Partner
Mark Lakin, Partner
Rania Tadros, Dubai office managing partner



Mohamed El Hawawy

Mohamed El Hawawy
Partner and head of Middle East shipping and insurance

T:  +971 4407 3900 M:  +971 50 827 6675 Email Mohamed Office:  Dubai


Andrew Rieley

Head of communications and PR

T: +44 20 7809 2886
Email Andrew