Awards

Saif Almobideen Partner

Saif is a bilingual (Arabic and English) partner based in Dubai with deep knowledge of the UAE shipping industry, given his experience in representing major clients in both litigation and arbitration proceedings.
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Saif primarily focuses on big-ticket shipping disputes in the region, including wet claims (collisions, casualties, fire, salvage, grounding, and oil pollution) and dry claims (charterparty disputes, cargo claims, crew claims, ship arrests, trade finance disputes, enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitration awards, and insurance coverage issues). Furthermore, Saif is regularly instructed by international P&I Clubs and their members to assist with the repatriation of abandoned crew members.

Saif has established himself as a leading maritime lawyer in the market by successfully setting up precedents before the local courts in complex civil law disputes. He recently managed to set up – for the first time in the history of civil courts in the region- a limitation fund for the owners of a Ro-Ro Cargo vessel before Aqaba Court – Jordan, following a major oil pollution incident. He also recently resolved one of the most landmark cases in the history of the UAE judicial system, whereby the Dubai local court applied the English law principles and awarded the client full recovery of legal fees, loss of profits, and consequential losses as a result of the insurers acts in delaying the settlement of a CTL claim.

In addition to his shipping practice, Saif's expertise extends to civil and criminal disputes related to fraud, regulatory and cybersecurity issues.

Saif is recognised by his clients as a commercially and strategically astute expert who is responsive and straight to the point. His analytical and technical skills allow him to set a strategic approach in considering commercial perspective to provide efficient solutions.

He is ranked as an 'Up and Coming Partner' for Shipping: Dispute Resolution in the Chambers and Partners Global 2024 Guide and is listed as a 'Rising Star' for Shipping by Legal 500 EMEA 2023. Due to his reputation in the market, he was shortlisted for the 'Young Leader of the Year' award at the 2023 Middle East Insurance Industry Awards. Said has also led the core team, who recently received an honourable mention for 'Insurance Team of the Year' at the 2023 Oath Middle East Legal Awards.

"Saif Almobideen's expertise in complex cross-border litigation - particularly in the areas of shipping, insurance and crisis management - make him a valuable asset to the team... Saif Almobideen consistently provides valuable insights and recommendations. His level of commitment and dedication to our case is impressive, making it clear that our success is his top priority."

Chambers & Partners Global 2024

  • Marine casualty
  • Finance litigation
  • Dispute resolution
  • Marine and international trade
  • Shipping

Advised Standard P&I Club and its members concerning UAE law issues following the catastrophic and deadly fire onboard a container ship. This included advising under the Basel Convention, Hazardous and Noxious Substance disposal issues in various states on the vessel's voyage from the Indian Ocean to the UAE and in relation to the regional anti-pollution legislation and conventions.

Assisted a leading underwriter regarding an explosion and fire onboard an oil tanker off the coast of Sharjah. This included investigating the cause of the incident and interviewing crew members and contractors on board to assist the underwriters in marine coverage issues.

Advised P&I insurers and their assureds in investigating a major oil pollution incident in the port of Aqaba and setting up, for the first time in the history of Jordan, a limitation fund before Aqaba Courts to avoid potential arrests of the assureds' vessel under the local laws and international conventions.

Advised West of England P&I Club and its members (predominately owners of oil tankers and bulk carriers) following the blockage of the Suez Canal, Egypt, by the "Ever Given" container ship. This included advising on the potential liabilities of the owners of the "Ever Given" and the Suez Canal authorities, as well as various liability aspects towards their charterers, traders, consignees, and suppliers in response to the traffic of shipments and goods in both directions of the Suez Canal.

More: Marine casualty

Enforcement of a US$320 million New York judgment before the onshore courts in the UAE against the debtor's assets, affiliates, and subsidiaries, after using the DIFC Court as a conduit jurisdiction.

Pursued claims before the Dubai Courts by using lenders' powers under the security documents to recover debts of over US$30 million from a UAE-based guarantor of the borrower's customer. This involves utilising a POA coupled with an interest to establish lenders' locus standi.

Pursued a US$20 million claim before the DIFC Court and precautionary attachments before the UAE local court against various defaulted borrowers and guarantors in facility documents.

Pursued a US$19 million claim against a global oil trader for the wrongful delivery of 25,000 MT of cargo and unjust enrichment. This case involved elements of fraudulent misrepresentation and conspiracy to defraud the investment firm.

More: Finance litigation

Acted for a global auction house in pursuing cross-border civil and criminal proceedings against sellers following a breach of express warranties.

Assisted a high-profile Saudi individual from the royal family in LMAA arbitration proceedings for early termination of a sale and purchase agreement for a superyacht worth €47 million.

Represented a global shipping line and their P&I Club in bringing proceedings before the Dubai Courts against a shipper based in the UAE and a freight forwarder for an indemnity claim following a fine of US$10 million imposed by the Turkish customs authority for cargo misdeclaration and an attempt of smuggling cigarettes.

Successfully represented leading bulk shipowners in resolving one of the most significant insurance coverage claims in the history of the UAE judicial system, whereby both the Insurance Dispute Settlement and Resolution Committee and Dubai Courts applied a general principle of English law permitting the assureds to recover legal fees, economic loss, loss of earnings and consequential losses due to the insurers' withdrawing cover.

Enforced marine mortgages over three oil rigs in the UAE for an approximate US$650 million claim. This was a cross-border dispute involving Oslo, New York, London and Sharjah.

More: Dispute resolution

Advised and represented various owners and their P&I Clubs in lifting arrest orders issued by the Courts of Abu Dhabi, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Khor Fakkan.

Regularly advise and defend bunker claims brought before the UAE Courts.

Enforced marine mortgages over three oil rigs in the UAE for an approximate US$650 million claim. This was a cross-border dispute involving Oslo, New York, London and Sharjah.

Advised and represented owners and their P&I Clubs in various claims under a charterparty, including claims related to a lien on cargo, a lien on freight/sub-hire, outstanding hire, bunker off-spec.

Acted for the bareboat charterers of a vessel in a dispute with headowners concerning the headowners refusal to consent the change of management of the vessel (which had previously been with an aligned company). A mandatory injunction from the High Court in England was obtained which forced headowners to consent to the change of management. Meanwhile, criminal proceedings were initiated against the Master and the technical managers for theft and piracy before Khor Fakkan Court.

More: Marine and international trade

Represented a global shipping line and their P&I Club in bringing proceedings before the Dubai Courts against a shipper based in the UAE and a freight forwarder for an indemnity claim following a fine of US$10 million imposed by the Turkish customs authority for cargo misdeclaration and an attempt of smuggling cigarettes.

Assisted a lead underwriter in investigating an explosion and fire incident onboard an oil tanker off the coast of Sharjah. This entailed investigating the cause of the incident and interviewing crew members and contractors on board.

Advised P&I insurers and their assureds in investigating a major oil pollution incident in the port of Aqaba and setting up, for the first time in the history of Jordan, a limitation fund before Aqaba Courts to avoid potential arrests of the assureds' vessel under the local laws and international conventions.

Successfully represented shipowners in resolving one of the most significant insurance coverage claims in the history of the UAE judicial system whereby both the Insurance Dispute Settlement and Resolution Committee and Dubai Courts applied a general principle of English law permitting the assureds to recover legal fees, economic loss, loss of earnings and consequential losses due to the insurers' withdrawing cover.

Assisted UK P&I Club and their members, Hapag-Lloyd, in bringing proceedings before the Dubai Courts against a shipper based in the UAE and a freight forwarder for an indemnity claim following a fine of US$10 million imposed by the Turkish customs authority for cargo mis-declaration and potential smuggling of cigarettes.

Advised on a claim before the Dubai Courts involving the protection of their rights and defending legal proceedings following a claim brought by a cargo claimant for loss of perishable goods which were rejected by the Dubai Municipality as a result of delay in delivery caused by the blockage of the Suez Canal. Defending the freight forwarder in counter proceedings brought by the shipping line for demurrage and return of empty containers held by the consignee.

Advised on a claim before the Dubai Courts in defending legal proceedings brought by a cargo claimant against a freight forwarder and their shipping agent in respect of damage to vegetables shipped from Pakistan to the UAE due to 'hot-stuffing' in reefer containers.

Advised and represented owners and their P&I Clubs in various claims under a charterparty, including claims related to a lien on cargo, a lien on freight/sub-hire, outstanding hire, bunker off-spec.

Enforced marine mortgages over three oil rigs in the UAE for an approximate US$650 million claim. This was a cross-border dispute involving Oslo, New York, London and Sharjah.

More: Shipping
  • Marine insurance
  • P&I clubs
  • Insurance
  • Art and cultural property

Successfully represented shipowners in resolving one of the most significant insurance coverage claims in the history of the UAE judicial system, whereby both the Insurance Dispute Settlement and Resolution Committee and Dubai Courts applied a general principle of English law permitting the assureds to recover legal fees, economic loss, loss of earnings and consequential losses due to the insurers' withdrawing cover.

Represented Fidelis Underwriting Limited in defending a US$7.6 million frivolous claim brought before Abu Dhabi Court for salvage and wreck removal costs incurred following an allegation that the insured property sank in Abu Dhabi during a dismantling operation. The owners submitted a claim alleging that an insured risk occurred for which the underwriters shall bear costs for the removal of the wreck, pollution and total loss. The case was dismissed before all stages and up to the Abu Dhabi Court of Cassation.

Assisted a lead London underwriter in investigating an explosion and fire incident onboard an oil tanker off the coast of Sharjah. This entailed investigating the cause of the incident and interviewing crew members and contractors on board to assess coverage issues.

More: Marine insurance

Advised Standard P&I Club and Maersk concerning UAE law pitfalls following the catastrophic and deadly fire onboard a container ship. This included advising under the Basel Convention, Hazardous and Noxious Substances disposal in various states on the vessel's voyage from the Indian Ocean to the UAE and in relation to regional anti-pollution legislation and conventions.

Regularly instructed by the International Transport Workers' Federation to represent abandoned crew members in the region, including the UAE and Kuwait, to pursue claims for wages, defend criminal proceedings and liaise with various authorities to repatriate the crew.

Represented and advised TT Club's members, before the Dubai Courts, in defending legal proceedings brought by a cargo claimant against members in respect of alleged mis-delivery of goods in Kuwait.

Represented and advised West of England P&I Club and their members, Fleet Management Ltd, in relation to issues arising under the MLC cover. Acting for the crew members of MT Maharshi Vamadeva in securing a class action and arrest of the vessel in Fujairah, UAE, leading to a full recovery of the wages and costs of repatriation.

More: P&I clubs

Acting for a leading regional shipyard and its London underwriters in defending over US$10 million civil claim and criminal proceedings brought against it and its personnel, respectively, following a major fire incident on a customer's tanker during the installation of a scrubber.

Assisted a lead underwriter in investigating an explosion and fire incident onboard an oil tanker off the coast of Sharjah. This entailed investigating into the cause of the incident and interviewing crew members and contractors on board.

Represented Fidelis Underwriting Limited in defending a US$7.6 million frivolous claim brought before Abu Dhabi Court for salvage and wreck removal costs incurred following an allegation that the insured property sank in Abu Dhabi during a dismantling operation. The owners submitted a claim alleging that an insured risk occurred, for which the underwriters shall bear costs for the removal of the wreck, pollution, and total loss. The case was dismissed before all stages and up to the Abu Dhabi Court of Cassation.

More: Insurance

Advised and acted for a leading auction house operating within the art industry in relation to a high profile cross-border litigation dispute concerning the misrepresentation of an Islamic manuscript's provenance at the time of the auction by Middle Eastern sellers. This case dealt with issues concerning cancellation of the sale, pursuing a criminal complaint in the United Arab Emirates and seeking recovery of the sale proceeds paid to the Sellers before the English Courts.

Represented a market-leading auction house in defending civil proceedings brought by a seller's family member before the Dubai Courts following a dispute over the ownership of paintings produced by one of Egypt's leading artists, Mahmoud Saïd, which was auctioned in the annual Modern and Contemporary Art in Dubai.

Advised and represented an international holding company and its affiliate located in Dubai in relation to an alleged non-compliance of regulatory requirements within the United Arab Emirates concerning fundraising activities following a charitable auction.  The dispute was initiated and investigated by the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department and the UAE local authorities. Saif's role in this matter entailed advising the client on the regulatory requirements for fundraising in the Emirate of Dubai in accordance with the United Arab Emirates' Federal Law and the Emirate of Dubai's local laws relating to the "Regulation of Donations" within the United Arab Emirates.

Advised one of the world's renowned auction houses on the legitimacy of conflicting demands received from alleged authorised representatives of a corporate seller in various lots of high-end jewellery, which is incorporated in the United Arab Emirates. This was a highly complex and sensitive matter which involved verifying and advising the auction house on the various implications of the dispute between the corporate seller's authorised representatives and the eligibility to give instructions to the client and receive auction proceeds from them.

More: Art and cultural property

  • The Middle East

Advising and representing P&I insurers in investigating a major oil pollution incident in the port of Aqaba and successfully setting up, for the first time in the history of Jordan, a limitation fund before Aqaba Courts.

Acted for WEST P&I Club and its Members in leading the security and settlement negotiations with the General Company For Ports of Iraq ("GCPI") and the representatives of the heirs following a collision in the channel to the South of Umm Qasr port between the M.V. Royal Arsenal and a diving support vessel owned by and operated by the GCPI, resulting to causalities, total loss of the diving support vessel, salvage and wreck removal.

Advised a leading Offshore Oil and Gas supplier, which was acting as a disponent owner of a Self-Propelled Self-Elevating Accommodation Jackup Barge, on a charterparty dispute with its headowners and sub-charters concerning issues related to the commencement date of hire, delivery and redelivery of the barge, given that the underlying charterparties' terms were not back-to-back. This entails highlighting the liability exposure and assisting the client in protecting their legal interest while maintaining the commercial relationship with various parties, including the employer in the project.

Awards

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