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Global Leader

Arbitration 2021

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

Peers and clients say

"Karim is highly energetic and thorough"
"Relentlessly hard-working and professional"
"Top-tier - a thought leader"
"He provides a high quality of service"


Dr. Karim A. Youssef is founder of Youssef & Partners, a Global Arbitration Review (GAR) 100 law firm, and a regional leader in dispute resolution. Karim leads the international arbitration and international law practices at the Firm. His practice focuses on commercial arbitration, investment treaty arbitration, complex high-value disputes, and international law, and he is world-renowned in the respective fields. Karim represents key Egyptian and regional clients and some of the World's most significant global corporations in high-profile local, regional, and purely international disputes and large-value and complex claims. Karim has featured and continues to feature as counsel, arbitrator, or expert in some of the highest-profile and largest commercial and investment treaty claims in the MENA region. Karim also spends part of his time giving strategic advice to some of the region's most powerful corporations across a wide array of key industries and sectors. He also heads the Firm's high net-worth individuals practice.    

Karim has received some of the highest distinctions from peers and clients. Among others, he has been described as "a leading light in international arbitration" (Legal 500, 2018), and "Karim Youssef is recognized in the market as a "top arbitration guy." He has an impressive, region-spanning practice that sees him represent international companies in investment treaty disputes and other arbitration claims against state entities. With expertise in international law, he frequently represents clients in multibillion-dollar arbitrations seated around the World. A client was glad to say that Youssef has "proved to be an effective advocate." (Chambers Global Guide, Arbitration and Dispute Resolution, 2020). Karim has also been described as "a highly regarded arbitration specialist who is praised by peers for his high caliber practice. He has a vast range of arbitration experience, having acted as counsel in numerous commercial and investment treaty cases. One of his clients enthused: "He has an incredible knowledge of international law, and his negotiation skills are also impressive." (Chambers Global Guide, 2019). Karim's distinctions also include earning the 2018 GAR Award for best global speech and being appointed to CRCICA's Advisory Committee. He also wrote a well-known book on multi-party arbitration and consent issues prefaced by Jan Paulsson.

Karim's docket of arbitrator and counsel work exceeds 121 international arbitrations across four continents, focusing on the MENA region and GCC countries, as well as major cosmopolitan seats, including Cairo, Dubai, Paris, London, New York. Karim's "sharp intellect" and "responsiveness as an arbitrator" make him a favorite on the international arbitration circuit." (Who's Who Legal, 2018). He is frequently represents clients from the construction and oil and gas industries. Karim also spends a significant portion of his time acting as a legal expert on Egyptian and Arab laws and has testified on numerous occasions in arbitral and foreign court proceedings in high-profile regional disputes. Karim's testimony and cross-examination have often had an outcome-determinative effect on proceedings in which he is involved reflecting the Firm's phenomenal success rate. Karim was educated at Yale Law school (LL.M, JSD) and Paris 1 (Sorbonne), and Cairo universities.

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