Girgis Abd El-Shahid is “a rising star of arbitration in Egypt and the Middle East” according to sources, who note he is “very active in large international arbitration cases”.
Girgis Abd El-Shahid is the managing partner of Shahid Law Firm in Cairo, which has grown to become one of the leading international law firms operating in Egypt and the region since its inception in 1987.
Girgis specialises in dispute settlement, with a particular focus on energy-related disputes; mergers and acquisitions; corporate and commercial agreements; joint venture arrangements; banking and finance; securities offerings; telecommunications; and intellectual property.
He is one of the youngest Egyptian lawyers to be appointed to tackle some of the most difficult arbitration cases in Egypt and the Middle East. He is identified among the world’s leading practitioners in WWL: Future Leaders 2018 and WWL: Energy 2017.
Girgis is also recognised by The Legal 500 as “extremely personable” with a “vast knowledge of Egyptian law”. The guide adds that he is “extremely responsive” with “a unique international outlook”, and is “smart, articulate, knowledgeable and business-oriented,” and “simply excellent, very bright and entrepreneurial” with advice that is “always spot on”.
He is also featured as a notable practitioner in the Chambers Dispute Resolution guide, which recognises him as “impressive – very driven and very business-oriented”. According to WWL, clients have remarked that he "has, time and time again, proved himself able to successfully, and swiftly, navigate the complexities and challenges that Egyptian law routinely poses".
Girgis is a member of the International Court of Arbitration, the world’s leading arbitral institution, and is currently serving a three-year term. He is also a regular panellist and speaker in many local and international conferences on arbitration, energy and infrastructure projects.
The “outstanding” Girgis Abd El-Shahid is well versed in various areas of the energy value chain and is a trusted advisor for clients.
Girgis specialises in energy matters, with a particular focus on energy-related disputes; mergers and acquisitions; power purchase and transfer agreements; joint venture arrangements; and related financing and bankability.
Some of the work Girgis has rendered to clients includes assisting conventional and renewable energy companies in negotiations with potential and existing business partners and ministries in Egypt, as well as managing disputes between developers and Egyptian governmental entities.
Girgis has assisted international developers in the establishment of over 30 renewable energy companies since March 2015, in connection with the feed-in tariff (FiT) programme, BOO and other schemes.
His expertise further includes drafting and reviewing agreements, including power purchase, land usufruct cost, sharing and network connection agreements; liaising and negotiating with the various renewable energy authorities; providing sector-specific corporate and employment law advice; financing; M&A transactions and restructuring; real estate and regulatory advice; and handling administrative proceedings.
Girgis’ work highlights in energy arbitrations includes co-counselling East Mediterranean Gas (EMG), and its shareholders in four complex arbitrations against the Arab Republic of Egypt and Egyptian state entities before the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA), and an investment treaty claim before Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in disputes involving the termination of gas supply from Egypt to Israel and breaches of investment treaties.
Girgis has provided significant input on all matters relating to Egyptian law, notably the structuring of entities involved in the supply of gas to Israel and the role of the Egyptian government in controlling the actions of such entities; principles of contractual interpretation and rules applicable to force majeure and unforeseen events; penalties for breaching contractual obligations under Egyptian law; and detailed input on Egyptian corruption legislation and jurisprudence.
Some of the recent recognition Girgis has received in international legal guides includes The Legal 500, which describes him as “extremely personable, [having] vast knowledge of Egyptian law”; and “extremely responsive and having a unique international outlook” with advice that is “always spot on”. The guide adds that he is “smart, articulate, knowledgeable and business-oriented”, and “simply excellent, very bright and entrepreneurial”.
He is also featured as a notable practitioner in the dispute resolution chapter of the Chambers guide, where he is praised as "impressive – very driven and very business-oriented” and recognised for his "solution-oriented, thorough and strategic" approach.
Girgis has also been recognised in Chambers Global (2017) for his "good reputation", and dubbed “rising” in recognition of his role in leading the expansion of the firm's arbitration practice.
Further, on 21 June 2018, the World Council of the ICC appointed Girgis as a member of the ICC International Court of Arbitration, representing Egypt. The term of this prestigious appointment is three years, effective as of July 2018.
In addition to his practical expertise, Girgis has also written extensively on matters of energy, oil and gas, and dispute resolution procedures (litigation and arbitration).
Girgis is a former public prosecutor, and has received an LLM in international legal studies from Georgetown University Law Center, USA; an LLB from Cairo University; and a BA in economics and business administration from the American University in Cairo.