Awards host Shadia Bseiso (left) and Rob Nelson-Williams (far right), head of contract solutions Middle East, Arcadis, with the Dentons team

Finalists: Al Tamimi & Company, Berwin Leighton Paisner (Highly Commended); Charles Russell Speechlys; Hogan Lovells; Holman Fenwick Willan.

Dentons this year took home its third construction team award for its work helping a global engineering company pursue a dispute with a state-owned entity in the Middle East.

The company was claiming $250m in losses related to a landmark building project. The scale of the dispute and time constraints meant Dentons needed to utilise its construction specialists from across its Middle East offices, as well as secure expert witnesses to back up the engineering company’s claims. One potential issue immediately surfaced – the contract was under the state-owned entity’s domestic law, which meant pursuing the claim in that country’s court, raising concerns about the global company’s prospects of success.

Therefore, Dentons offered a creative solution: pursue damages under the bilateral investment treaty between the state in question and the country where the engineering company is headquartered. This approach meant the company would have the option of arbitration in the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, where any award would be final.

“An innovative solution for an issue towards the latter part of negotiations,” a judge commented.

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