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For the second edition of their joint conference, ADGM and ICSID are gathering world experts on investment arbitration in Abu Dhabi on 10 May 2023 to discuss investment protection and armed conflict. Speakers will discuss the substantive protections available in the event of armed conflicts and the types of protected investments, the defenses that may be raised by the host State, as well as select issues regarding procedure, provisional measures, and enforcement of awards.


9:15 - 10:00 am


10:00 - 10:10 am

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Speakers: Linda Fitz-Alan, Registrar and Chief Executive of ADGM Courts (Abu Dhabi), and Paul Jean Le Cannu, Senior Counsel and Team Leader, ICSID (Washington, DC)

10:10 - 10:55 am

Investment Protection in Situations of Armed Conflict: Evolution and Relevance

Speaker: Alain Farhad, Partner, Mayer Brown (Dubai)

In this Ted-style-talk, Mr. Farhad will set the scene and show how investment protection in situations of armed conflict has evolved over time, highlighting the relevance of such protection to investors, States and other stakeholders, and using examples from the Middle East region and beyond.

10:55 - 11:15 am: Coffee Break

11:15 am - 12:30 pm

Investment Protection in the Event of Armed Conflict: What Protections, for Which Investments and on Whose Territory?

Moderator: Ahmed Abdel Hakam, Partner, Volterra Fietta (London)

Noor Davies, Partner, White & Case (Paris)
Dr. Raëd Fathallah, Partner, Bredin Prat (Paris)
Samaa A. Haridi, Partner, King & Spalding (New York)
Christoph Schreuer, former Professor of International Law at the University of Vienna, and Of Counsel, Zeiler Floyd Zadkovich (Vienna)

This session will focus on the applicability of investment law in situations of armed conflict, and delve into the substantive obligations investors may invoke to protect their investments.  Panelists will also discuss the types of assets, physical and digital, that may be targeted and protected and on whose territory, including where such territory is disputed.

12:30 - 1:45 pm: Lunch Break

1:45 - 2:45 pm

State Defenses to Investment Claims in Armed Conflict Contexts

Moderator: Dr. Randi Ayman, Senior Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute Luxembourg

Prof. Dapo Akande, Public International Law, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford
Zeynep Gunday Sakarya, Partner, Squire Patton Boggs (New York)
Dr. Borzu Sabahi, Partner, Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP (Washington, DC)
Mohamed Shelbaya, Partner, Gaillard Banifatemi Shelbaya Disputes (Paris)

This session will discuss some of the defenses that States may raise in armed conflict situations, including treaty provisions (e.g. security clauses), and principles such as supervening impossibility of performance and fundamental change of circumstances, necessity and force majeure, attribution issues and contributory negligence.

2:45 - 3:45 pm

Select Issues on Procedure, Provisional Measures and Enforcement in Armed Conflict Contexts

Moderator: Dr. Hassan Arab, Partner, Regional Head of Dispute Resolution, Al Tamimi & Co (Dubai)

Laurie Achtouk-Spivak, Partner, Cleary Gottlieb (Paris)
Amani Khalifa, Counsel, Freshfields (Dubai)
Floriane Lavaud, Counsel, Debevoise & Plimpton (New York). 

In this interactive discussion, panelists will exchange views and experience on select issues of procedure (such as issues of competing claims to represent the government of the host State, default by a party, or participation of non-disputing parties in proceedings), the availability and efficiency of provisional measures, obstacles and paths to enforcement, and broader case strategy.

3:45 - 4:00 pm

Closing Remarks

Speaker: Samy Markbaoui, Partner, White & Case (Dubai/Paris)

4:00 pm: Thank You and Adjourn to Reception
Linda Fitz-Alan, Registrar and Chief Executive of ADGM Courts (Abu Dhabi)