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Future Leaders

Future Leaders

Robert Stephen

Robert Stephen

DIFC-LCIA ARBITRATION CENTREAl Fattan Currency House Tower 2 Level 8Dubai International Financial CentreDubaiUnited Arab Emirates

Future Leader

WWL Ranking: Future Leader

Peers and clients say

"Mr Stephen is a bundle of energy. He is a professional, thorough and meticulous individual"

"His institutional and arbitration experience is beyond impressive, as is his vast knowledge of international arbitration"

"Robert understands the complexities of arbitrations seated in certain jurisdictions, including the UAE"

"He is extremely good at explaining complex issues to people who do not have the detailed knowledge he possesses"


Robert is the Registrar of the DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre. He is an experienced arbitration specialist who has been based in the United Arab Emirates since 2011. Robert practised with Herbert Smith Freehills in London, Paris, Moscow and Dubai for more than 10 years before joining the DIFC-LCIA in May 2017.

Robert is credited with building one of the world’s fastest growing arbitral institutions and the leading arbitral institution with operations in the Middle East and Africa. In 2020, the DIFC-LCIA was awarded the GAR Guide to Regional Arbitration Award for Arbitral Institution that Impressed and Robert is recognised in the Guide as having built a “real team” of experienced arbitration practitioners who now administer in excess of 140 active commercial disputes in Dubai. He is said to have earned the trust of parties, legal representatives and arbitrators, which has led to more than three consecutive years of growth in terms of the number of cases registered by the DIFC-LCIA.

Robert has advised and represented clients on international disputes across a wide range of industry sectors, including the energy and natural resources, construction and real estate, and finance and banking sectors. He has advised and represented clients in international arbitrations under the DIAC, DIFC-LCIA, ICC, LCIA, and SIAC Rules, as well as in ad-hoc proceedings and DIFC and English Commercial Court litigation. He has also sat as an arbitrator.

He is the former Chair of the UAE Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Young Member's Group and a former member of the Global Steering Committee of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Young Member's Group.

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