Karim Youssef is "relentlessly hardworking and professional" while "providing a high quality of service". One peer effuses, "It was a genuine pleasure working with Karim and his team: he was outstanding."
Dr Karim A Youssef is the managing partner and head of international arbitration and international law practices at Youssef & Partners in Cairo, Egypt, a GAR 100-ranked full-service law firm, whose flagship practice is commercial and treaty arbitration and high-end and diverse litigation, with a focus on complex and high-value claims.
Karim’s practice focuses on commercial arbitration, investment treaty arbitration and international law, and he is a regional leader in these fields. Karim is renowned for his expertise in complex multiparty arbitrations.
Karim has acted as counsel, party-appointed or presiding arbitrator in over 114 international arbitrations under a variety of arbitration rules including the ICC, CRCICA, DIAC, LCIA, SCC, 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 and 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 counsel work include representing investors in investment treaty claims, including in Cementos La Union SA & Aridos Jativa SLU v the Arab Republic of Egypt, as well as representing investors in a bet-the-company dispute worth over US$2 billion involving a Middle Eastern seaport.
Karim played a major role in Arab Spring disputes in Egypt and the region, including in disputes concerning the post-2011 unwinding of Moubarak-era privatisation transactions and disputes relating to mega-projects in Egypt and the Middle East. Karim acted for investors in claims arising from the nullification of the privatization transaction of Al-Nasr Company for Steam Boilers.
In addition to his role as counsel and arbitrator, Karim has also provided opinions pertaining to Egyptian and Arab laws and testified as 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.
Karim’s editorial positions include the board of reporters of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA) for Egypt and the editorial board of the Journal of Arab Arbitration.
Dr Youssef’s distinctions include, inter alia, Chambers Global (band 1, dispute resolution in Egypt, 2017–2019); Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration (2014–2019); and The Legal 500 (leading individual for arbitration in Egypt, 2018), which described him as “a leading light in international arbitration”. Chambers and Partners (2018) states: “Karim Youssef is a respected figure in the arbitration arena, frequently representing clients from the construction and oil and gas industries. Market sources describe him as ‘super-smart, very much at the top of his game’. One client added: ‘He’ll be our first choice for any future matter.’”
Karim is author of Consent in Context: Fulfilling the Promise of International Arbitration, Multiparty, Multi-contract and Non-contract Arbitration (West, 2009–2012; preface by Jan Paulsson), as well as many other articles. Karim handles proceedings in English, French and Arabic.