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Arshad Ghaffar

Arshad Ghaffar

Master Arbitrator, Mediator & Negotiator [UK]

Arshad Ghaffar, a barrister, arbitrator and mediator called to the English Bar, is a highly regarded and trusted commercial dispute resolution lawyer. His experience encompasses the full spectrum of the business cycle. His clients are based in numerous jurisdictions, earning him unrivalled experience of cross-jurisdictional matters as well as different, and often challenging, bodies of law. He represents his clients in a broad array of resolution forums, from the English commercial chancery high court and appellate courts through to domestic and international arbitrations, and frequently receives nominations to sit as an arbitrator and as a mediator in areas of his expertise.


In addition to his persuasive oral advocacy skills, Arshad is renowned for his commendable written advocacy. His pen is said to be mightier than a sword, and he uses it precisely to state in writing the basis of his arguments, subsequently to be brought to life before a court or arbitration panel. His clients regard him as “exceptionally proactive” during the life of a dispute resolution process and “remarkable” in his ability to identify and present solutions that are intellectually creative, legally robust and commercially sound. Whilst maintaining a firm grasp of the strict legal aspects of a case, Arshad ensures he also works to achieve his clients’ ancillary commercial and strategic objectives.


The disputes in which he is instructed often involve the interplay between the interpretation of complex commercial contracts and their technical underpinnings, such as is the case with large infrastructure projects, and involve the laws of multiple jurisdictions. With arbitration becoming the prevailing forum to address such disputes, his more recent instructions have built up a catalogue of experience in international and domestic commercial and corporate disputes through the process of arbitration at both institutional and ad hoc levels. He has conducted arbitrations under most of the most frequently used institutional rules, including those of the ICC and the LCIA and is also familiar with the UNCITRAL rules.


Arshad also has a non-contentious branch to his practise in which he is often called upon to opine on questions concerning the interpretation of laws and regulations

High level summary of Arshad’s instructions and experience (for more details refer to individual specialisations):


  • In AMG Global Nominees v SMM Holdings and THZ Holdings Arshad acted for a client based in South Africa in respect of asbestos mines in Zimbabwe

  • In Trans-World Aluminium (TWA) v Cornelder (Singapore) Arshad was retained by Trans-World Aluminium in respect of a proceeding in the Singapore Admiralty Court concerning a cargo of alumina in China warehoused by a Singaporean company

  • In an on-going confidential arbitration claim Arshad is representing two Nigerian construction companies in a joint venture dispute with a Turkish company

  • In Pearl Petroleum v Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq, Arshad acted for the KRG before the DIFC Court

  • Arshad has acted for numerous Omani clients both public and private, and in Oman as well as in other jurisdictions including, to name but a few, Petroleum Development (Oman) (PDO), Shaikh Suhail Bahwan, Sogex, the Ministry of Defence Pension Fund (MODPF) and the Public Authority for Electricity and Water (PAEW) and has also, unusually for an English Barrister, been retained by Omani law firms to draft pleadings which have been translated into Arabic for use in Omani Court proceedings, including in the Omani Supreme Court

  • Arshad has been instructed in a variety of DIFC Court matters as well as Dubai seated arbitrations, including the KRG case, being the highest value attempted enforcement of an arbitration award in the DIFC Courts

  • Arshad has sat as an arbitrator in London, New Delhi, Muscat and Dubai

  • Arshad has also been involved in arbitrations in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand

  • In the UK Courts Arshad has been involved in cases involving allegations of illegality and fraud (Saeed v Ibrahim), sham transactions and forgeries (Godfrey v Torpy) and mismanagement of a mosque (Wycombe Islamic Mosque and Mission Trust)

  • Arshad has acted as counsel and as arbitrator in DIFC-LCIA Arbitrations; LCIA Arbitrations and ICC Arbitrations, the details of which are confidential

  • He has also in the last 5 years received numerous party nominations as an arbitrator, and now increasingly also as the chairman of the tribunal as well as joint nominations as a mediator

  • Arshad has drafted standard terms and conditions for recovery agents and been involved in drafting contractual documents for a 3G telecoms operator as well as for power producers and integrated tourism developments. He was also heavily involved in producing the first drafts of the Oman Commercial Arbitration Centre (OCAC) arbitration rules and its Board bye laws, in 2019.

Arshad’s international practice is incredibly wide-ranging and diverse. It has ranged from advising on anti-corruption legislation internationally to questions concerning sanctions against individuals in Zimbabwe. He has been instructed by lawyers from a variety of jurisdictions, including Nigeria, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Oman, the UAE, India and Pakistan. The range of Arshad’s work and the number of jurisdictions he has worked in truly reflect him to be a global citizen comfortable wherever he is and sensitive to issues of cultural and geographical diversity.

Discover more about Arshad through his CV on our Advisor page.

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