Dr Karim A Youssef is the managing partner of Youssef & Partners Attorneys in Cairo, Egypt. Youssef & Partners is a full-service law firm whose flagship practice is commercial and treaty arbitration in addition to high-end, diverse litigation, with a focus on complex, high-value claims.
Dr Youssef’s practice focuses on commercial arbitration, investment treaty arbitration and international law, and he heads the respective practices of the firm. Karim is noted for his special expertise in complex multiparty arbitrations, and in the field of investment treaty arbitration.
Karim has acted as counsel, party-appointed or presiding arbitrator in more than 80 international arbitrations under a variety of arbitration rules including the ICC, CRCICA, DIAC, UNCITRAL and ICSID; he has also acted in ad hoc arbitrations governed by national laws.
Karim represents regional and international clients in high-profile local and regional disputes as well as large-value claims, across a wide array of industries and key sectors, including energy, mining, hospitality, construction, development, technology, telecommunications and infrastructure.
Highlights of Karim’s lead counsel work include representing foreign investors in investment treaty claims, including in Cementos La Uniõn SA & Aridos Jativa SLU v the Arab Republic of Egypt, and previously successfully representing the CBC television channel in commercial claims against the Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef and others.
Karim also acts as counsel or arbitrator in some of the largest commercial claims arising out of the Arab Spring, including disputes concerning the post-2011 unwinding of Mubarak-era privatisation transactions and disputes relating to a number of mega projects in Egypt and the Middle East. Among other cases, Karim is representing the investors in claims arising from the unwinding of the privatisation transaction of Al-Nasr company for steam boilers.
In addition to his role as counsel and arbitrator, Karim has also testified as an expert on numerous occasions in arbitral and foreign court proceedings relating to the Middle East or involving Middle Eastern parties.
Karim was educated at Yale Law School (where he received LLM and JSD degrees), the University of Paris (Sorbonne) and Cairo University. During his time at Yale, Karim was a Howard Holtzmann Yale fellow in international dispute resolution.
Dr Youssef is a member, inter alia, of the board of reporters of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA) and is its reporter for Egypt. Dr Youssef is also member of the editorial board of the Journal of Arab Arbitration.
Dr Youssef’s distinctions include, inter alia, Chambers Global (dispute resolution – Egypt, 2016); Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration (2016); and Arbitration Law Experts (Egypt). Chambers and Partners (2016) states: “Karim Youssef ... garners praise from clients for his methodical approach, with one saying: ‘He is very strategic and meticulous. He doesn’t take a step without thinking where it will lead and he is always looking for the details.’ He is noted for his expertise in the field of investment arbitrations.”
Karim is author, inter alia, of Consent in Context: Fulfilling the Promise of International Arbitration, Multiparty, Multi-contract and Non-contract Arbitration (West, 2009–2012; preface by Jan Paulsson); “The Quest for Cosmopolitan Law and Arbitration in the Arab World – Where Do We Stand Now?”, in Festschrift Ahmed Sadek El-Kosheri: From the Arab World to the Globalization of International Law and Arbitration (Kluwer, 2015); "Universal Arbitration Between Freedom and Constraint: The Challenges of Assessment and Control of Jurisdiction in Multiparty Multi-Contract Arbitration" in Arbitration: the Next Fifty Years, (ICCA Congress Series, 2011); and "The Independence of International Arbitrators: An Arbitrator's Perspective" (ICC International Court of Arbitration Bulletin, 2007 Special Supplement, 2008; with Professor Ahmed S El-Kosheri).
Karim is fluent in English, French and Arabic, and has working knowledge of Italian and Spanish.
WWL says: The "detail-oriented" Karim Youssef is praised for the quality of his strategic thinking and his international outlook; sources describe him as "one of the top practitioners in this field in Egypt".
This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Arbitration which can be purchased from our Shop.