Chief Legal, Regulatory & Corporate Governance Officer, Ooredoo Group
Hilal Al-Khulaifi was appointed Chief Legal, Regulatory & Corporate Governance Officer of Ooredoo Group in March 2023. Prior to joining Ooredoo, he was Director of Legal Affairs at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI).
Throughout his distinguished career, Hilal Al-Khulaifi has taken on several leadership roles, including Chairmanship of the Anti-Concealment Committee, the Tender & Auction Committee of the Supreme Council for Economic Affairs and Investment, the Health Insurance Law Drafting Committee, and the Qatar Chamber Election Committee. Additionally, he has served as Secretary of the Supreme Council for Economic Affairs and Investment. Moreover, he has represented the State at the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).
Hilal Al-Khulaifi is currently an active member of various committees, including the Court of Trade and Investment at the Supreme Council of the Judiciary, the Financial Sanctions Committee at the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (CRA), and the Permanent Residential Committee at the Ministry of Interior.
Hilal Al-Khulaifi is a member of the International Association of Legislation (ILA) and a certified arbitrator at the Qatar International Centre for Conciliation and Arbitration (QICCA).
He earned his Bachelor of Law from Qatar University and an LL.M from the University of Portsmouth (UK).
Deputy Registrar, Qatar International Court
Abdullatef Al-Mohannadi was appointed in 2019 as Deputy Registrar to support the Registrar in case management for the Qatar International Court and the QFC Regulatory Tribunal.
Previously, Abdullatef served as a Prosecutor Assistant in Public Prosecution and later founded his law firm, where he managed various corporate, criminal, labour, leasing, liquidation, and civil lawsuits. Abdullatef acts on behalf of the Court and the Tribunal to ensure that government institutions comply with and enforce the Court and Tribunal’s orders and decisions.
Abdullatef holds a Bachelor of Law from Qatar University.
MUBARAK AL SULAITI
Founding Partner, Al Sulaiti Law Firm
Mubarak Al-Sulaiti is the Chairman and Founding Partner of Al Sulaiti Law Firm. He obtained a Bachelor of Law from Beirut Arab University in 1997 and is currently admitted to the Qatari Bar Association as a Cassation Advocate. He is also a certified arbitrator in Qatar. He is a member of the board of the Qatari Bar Association and is the President of the Qatar Lawyers Association.
Senior Legal Counsel, Essa Al Sulaiti Law Firm
Ricardo Cid is Senior Legal Counsel and Head of the International Division at Essa Al Sulaiti Law Firm. He is a member of the Portuguese Bar Association, a board member of the Portuguese Business Council in Qatar, and a former member of the Disciplinary Committee of the Portuguese Rowing Federation. Ricardo is also an arbitrator with the Qatar Sports Arbitration Tribunal.
Utilizing his language proficiency in Portuguese, English, French, and Spanish, Ricardo has offered his expertise and legal services to a diverse range of clients across Europe. As legal counsel, he has provided legal services to governmental institutions and construction, commodity transport, and distribution companies in Portugal and the wider European market.
Partner, K&L Gates
Matthew Dicke is a Partner in K&L Gates’ Chicago office. He specialises in all facets of patent prosecution, freedom to operate and opinion work, and due diligence, as well as patent litigation and licensing.
Matthew serves a worldwide client base, acting as a strategic advisor and global patent portfolio manager for clients throughout the United States, the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and Australia. He has patent litigation, domestic and foreign prosecution and opinion experience involving a variety of technologies, including software, AI and machine learning.
Matthew's prowess extends to arguing before courts such as the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the US Patent Trial and Appeal Board. He also collaborates with international colleagues, ensuring a comprehensive IP strategy. With a depth of diverse knowledge, Matthew adeptly guides clients from initial concept to licensing or litigation, providing insightful counsel at every stage.
Managing Partner (Qatar), DWF
Kirk Durrant has been a construction law specialist based in Qatar for over ten years. The range of Kirk's work covers both non-contentious transactional matters as well as contentions claims/dispute matters.
Kirk is very experienced in the FIDIC suite of contracts and public-private partnerships (PPP) across a number of business sectors and has expertise in claims management, negotiation and dispute resolution. His experience includes advising on many major infrastructure developments for public and private sector entities in Qatar including airport, port, and rail projects and he has represented entities in the real estate and hospitality sectors in the Gulf region.
Kirk has also worked on matters further afield including a number of urban transport projects in Pakistan, Tanzania, and Rwanda.
DR. PASCAL DUTRU
Advisor to the Minister for Digital Economy, Minister of Communications & Digital Economy
Dr. Pascal Dutru is a Senior Executive and Corporate Strategist with more than 30 years of functional experience managing the strategic direction of prominent organisations.
As Advisor to the Minister for Digital Economy, Dr. Pascal Dutru has supported Qatar's digital transformation and its ambition to become a regional data hub, including the Digital Agenda 2030, the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector Governance matrix and the development of local capabilities in terms of system integration, talents and innovation. He also drafts laws pertaining to the ICT sector and followed through the legislative process and prepares negotiation of international treaties related to digital cooperation, access to data, and data flows.
Prior to his current position, Dr. Pascal Dutru was General Counsel at Qatar’s Communications Regulatory Authority.
Dr. Pascal Dutru has a doctorate in law and in Intellectual Property Rights from Paris-Pantheon-Assas University (France) and an LL.M from the College of Europe. He also has an MS in Finances and Control from ESSEC Business School (France).
Partner - Corporate & Tax Law Litigation and Arbitration, Thani Bin Ali Al Thani Lawyers and Legal Consultants
Mustapha has extensive knowledge and more than 20 years of experience in undertaking legal matters related to commercial, corporate and tax law, such as incorporation of companies, performing due diligence processes, mergers and acquisitions, shareholders agreements and commercial contracts. Mustapha capitalizes on his educational background in Business and Accounting to provide clients with outstanding legal consultations covering corporate law, tax and finance law. In addition, Mustapha’s deep understanding of state administrative regulations helps clients identify potential administrative claims and navigate complex administrative litigation. He handles administrative lawsuits arising from taxation, administrative decisions and administrative contracts related to the performance of public construction works and supply agreements.
Mustapha is well-trained in FIDIC conditions of contract and business litigation, particularly tort and contract claims as well as other emerging areas of business litigation. His other areas of specialization include real estate law, construction law, and arbitration.
Managing Associate, Sultan Al-Abdulla & Partners
Mohamed Fouad has been in the legal profession since 2003 and has had the privilege of working in various Middle Eastern jurisdictions.
At Sultan Al-Abdulla & Partners, Mohamed is involved in contentious and non-contentious work and frequently advises clients on a range of corporate issues including matters related to commercial contracts, arbitration, due diligence, joint ventures, IPOs, and inward investment.
Mohamed holds a Bachelor of Law from Alexandria University and is a member of the Egyptian Bar Association.
Special Counsel, K&L Gates
Guillaume Hess is special counsel in the K&L Gates’s Doha office and is a member of the Construction and Infrastructure practice. He specializes in complex dispute resolution through arbitration, litigation, mediation, and negotiations. He has over a decade of experience representing public and private owners and contractors in resolving disputes arising out of the construction and the operation of major projects.
While Guillaume primarily focuses on construction disputes, he also has broad experience in general commercial disputes and in investment treaty disputes. He has handled a broad range of disputes under the auspices of most of the major rules of arbitration (including the ICC, LCIA, ICSID, DIFC-LCIA, ADCACC, DIAC, ADCCAC, SICAC) and before the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts, where he has full rights of appearance.
Guillaume studied law both in France and in the State of New York and is qualified in the State of New York. He has extensive experience in the Middle East and is comfortable working in either a Common Law or Civil Law environment.
DR. AHMAD HIJAL
Partner - Civil & Commercial Litigation and Arbitration, Thani Bin Ali Al Thani Lawyers and Legal Consultants
Dr. Ahmad Hijal is well-versed in arbitration, civil law, property law, corporate law and commercial law in multiple jurisdictions, spanning Qatar, Lebanon, UAE, Iraq, and Egypt. His legal services include legal consultations, representations and drafting business and civil contracts.
Dr. Hijal is currently a Professor of Law at the Lebanese University and at Saint Joseph University in Dubai, where he also works as a supervisor and member of the dissertation advisory committee. Dr. Hijal lectures on Civil Law, Commercial Law, Civil and Commercial Procedures Law, Enforcement law, and International Trade Law. He also lectures in seminars for training foreign lawyers wishing to practise in the UAE as part of the requirements of the Ministry of Justice for the enrollment of foreign lawyers and in administrative training seminars for public sector employees.
Dr. Hijal has published numerous articles on the UAE’s Executive and Civil Procedures Law.
AMR HOSSAM ELDIN
Head of Arbitration, Al Sulaiti Law Firm
Amr Hossam Eldin joined Al Sulaiti Law Firm in 2014 and currently serves as the Head of the Arbitration Department and as Senior Legal Consultant. He has extensive knowledge and experience handling complex and high-value institutional and ad hoc arbitration and litigation in MENA jurisdictions. His knowledge includes construction, commercial transactions, technology, public property and administrative law, corporate law, and intellectual property rights. He is an arbitrator, legal expert, and lead counsel in a number of international arbitration bodies, including the ICC, UNCITRAL, QICCA, and FIDIC DABs. He appears before arbitral tribunals as a legal expert, providing legal expertise and demonstrating the application of Qatari laws and their provisions. He has represented a wide range of stakeholders in significant disputes, including state entities, regulators, owners, developers, contractors, operators, design-builders, consultants, and suppliers.
Amr holds a Bachelor of Law degree from Assuit University, Egypt and an LL.M. in International and Comparative Law from the American University in Cairo, Egypt. He is a member of the Egyptian Bar Association and the International Bar Association.
Commissioner, QFC Employment Standards Office
Luigia Ingianni is an employment lawyer and policymaker with 30 years of exponential experience in labour laws, conciliation, mediation and adjudication of labour disputes, leadership, organisational behaviour and change management, across different countries and legal systems (common and civil law jurisdictions).
She holds a Master Degree in Law, a Post-Degree Master in Human Resources and Communication, an Executive Women in Leadership Program with London Business School, and is a qualified conciliator and mediator of labour disputes certified by the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organisation (ITCILO), trained by Harvard Law School – Program on Negotiation (PON) and accredited by the Centre for Effective Dispute resolution (CEDR).
She has established the first administrative employment dispute resolution centre in the Middle East operating under the ILO guidelines and is also a certified ITCILO Participatory Gender Audit (PGA) Facilitator, specialised in gender and organisational change.
Policymaker and advocate for gender equality and women empowerment, Luigia has designed innovative legislation and policies with particular focus on gender equality, decent work, harassment and violence in the workplace, justice and partnerships - UN SDGs 5, 8, 16 and 17 - and is also a member of the WHO working group of the World of Work Dialogue.
Luigia is an Adjunct Professor at Hamad Bin Khalifa University College of Law and regularly lectures on employment laws, negotiation and mediation, gender equality and leadership at different universities including Qatar University, Carnegie Mellon University Qatar, Georgetown University Qatar, Aberdeen University and cooperates with the European University of Rome, HEC Paris, University of Parma and the ITCILO on topics related to the world of work.
General Counsel, KEO International Consultants
Paola Kattar is a distinguished senior legal practitioner and construction claims consultant with over 21 years of experience in the MENA and GCC regions.
Paola commenced her legal career in 2000, serving as a lawyer at an international law firm in her native Lebanon. In 2008, she relocated to Qatar, where she joined a prominent construction claims and project management company. Here, Paola provided invaluable legal counsel and helped shape management procedures for several landmark projects.
In 2019, Paola joined KEO International Consultants as Legal Manager before being promoted to Head of the Legal Department. In this role, she oversees and leads the corporate matters, legal, contracts, and claims departments, and manages the project-related contractual and legal matters. Her strong leadership and legal acumen have been pivotal in ensuring the success of KEO’s projects and operations throughout the region.
Paola has worked with and represented renowned contractors, employers, and consultants on major development projects. Her expertise extends beyond legal matters as she regularly collaborates with local and international legal counsel and technical experts, contributing to the successful resolution of major claims and complex arbitration and litigation cases.
Managing Partner – Middle East, Crowell & Moring
As managing partner of Crowell & Moring’s Middle East headquarters and a prominent individual within Qatar’s legal circle, Charbel M. Maakaron has a deep-rooted understanding of Qatari legislation and adaptive problem-resolution skills that his clients rely on. Renowned for his astute approach when working with clients, Charbel represents and assists local and international entities in areas including corporate law, M&A, hospitality, and regulatory matters. He also has extensive experience advising clients on commercial transactions, corporate structuring, finance and securities, commercial litigation, and capital markets.
Charbel is also frequently called upon to share his extensive knowledge of Qatari legal issues, both domestically and internationally. He also advises government clients on legislative projects and has contributed toward the development of numerous laws and regulations across sectors in Qatar and in neighboring countries.
Prior to joining Crowell, Charbel was the managing partner at an international law firm’s Doha office. Previously, he worked for one of Beirut’s top law firms, where he handled complex litigation matters in civil and commercial law and gained considerable experience in corporate and business matters.
Counsel, Crowell & Moring
Catherine Martinez is a counsel in Crowell & Moring’s Doha office. Combining extensive international experience in banking, finance, and capital markets with in-depth knowledge of the Qatari legal market, Catherine is proficient at handling complex matters and providing clients with unique solutions.
Catherine’s practice focuses on representing private and public issuers on cross-border Rule 144A and Regulation S equity and debt capital markets transactions. Catherine also has experience advising private and governmental entities, corporate sponsors, and financial institutions on secured and unsecured loans and other forms of finance lending. Additionally, she routinely acts for international corporations that have a presence in the Middle East, Turkey, and Europe.
Catherine previously worked in London as a senior associate in the U.S. capital markets team at a leading Magic Circle law firm and subsequently in Doha as a transactional lawyer at Commercial Bank.
Catherine holds a J.D. from Duke University Law School and is a New York-qualified lawyer.
Senior Intellectual Property Expert at Qatar Research Development & Innovation Council
Rosena is a Senior IP Expert at the Qatar Research Development and Innovation Council (QRDI), where she has contributed her expertise since 2018. Prior to her role at QRDI, she served as an IP Portfolio Manager at Qatar Foundation managing a portfolio of over 300 IP assets.
Within QRDI, Rosena plays a pivotal role in shaping and implementing IP policy and procedures. She offers comprehensive IP advisory services to government entities, private enterprises, and knowledge institutions. Her responsibilities extend to conducting impactful IP awareness programs and evaluating research proposals and their outcomes from an intellectual property perspective.
Rosena Nhlabatsi is a qualified solicitor and holds a Master of Laws (LLM) from the University of Warwick (UK). She holds the coveted recognition of a Recognized Technology Transfer Professional (RTTP) by ASTP, a European association dedicated to knowledge transfer professionals. Additionally, she is an esteemed member and registered mentor at AUTM, a non-profit organization at the forefront of advancing professionals committed to catalyzing research for global impact and innovation.
As a passionate advocate for the legal, IP, and innovation domains, Rosena is an avid author, offering insightful commentaries. Her contributions have earned her accolades, including the Best Author award in the IP category and the distinguished Legal Innovator award from LexisNexis® Middle East.
Legal Counsel, Essa Al Sulaiti Law Firm
Hailing from Greece, Paraskevoula Ntai obtained her Italian lawyer qualification in 2013, specializing in European Laws and Regulations. Her professional journey has been marked by a deep commitment to serving international clients, be it individuals or companies, through collaborations with Qatari law firms.
Paraskevoula Ntai's core competence lies in mediation and litigation proceedings governed by Italian Civil Law. Her wealth of experience ensures effective representation and resolution for her clients. With an academic background in law and practical negotiation and contract administration skills, Paraskevoula Ntai offers comprehensive legal consultations. Her expertise is instrumental in helping clients navigate complex regulations and find pragmatic solutions to their legal challenges.
Fluent in Greek, Italian, and English, Paraskevoula Ntai's multilingual abilities enable her to engage with diverse expatriate communities in Qatar. This linguistic versatility is a significant asset when providing consultancy on their rights and obligations. Paraskevoula Ntai has a deep understanding of inheritance law, she provides expert advice and support in insurance matters, offering guidance on clients' coverage and ensuring their contractual agreements are in their best interests. Her expertise extends to debt recovery and bankruptcy proceedings, where her strategic guidance is invaluable in resolving complex financial disputes. In the realm of Criminal Law, she offers risk analysis advice for corporate offenses and ensures compliance with EU legislation on corporate crime prevention, safeguarding her clients' interests.
GEORGES ABI SAAB
General Counsel, Ooredoo Group
Georges Abi Saab is the General Counsel at Ooredoo Group, where he plays a pivotal role in managing and overseeing all legal aspects of the Group. In this capacity, he provides vital support to the Chairman and the Board of Directors on legal matters, develops the overarching legal strategy for mergers and acquisitions, and ensures the successful implementation and dissemination of these strategies.
Georges collaborates closely with the strategy, digital, and finance teams to optimize financial, tax, and transaction structuring.
One of Georges’ notable achievements has been leading the implementation of the first compliance framework agreement at Group level. This groundbreaking initiative aims to enhance understanding of the relevant laws and regulations across the company’s business units.
Georges is also active in board governance, currently serving as the Board Secretary or Ooredoo Myanmar and Ooredoo Tunisia. Additionally, he is a member of the Executive Committee of both companies and holds the role of Audit Committee Secretary at Ooredoo Algeria.
Georges holds a bachelor's degree from the University of La Sagesse (Lebanon).
Chief Legal Innovation Officer, SADER Legal
Rany Sader represents the 5th generation of the oldest and most distinguished family-owned Arab Legal Information Provider (SADER Legal), established in 1863.
Under Rany Sader’s leadership since 1996, SADER Law Research Center (established in 1921) has noticed a revolution in the Arab legal research and legal informatics fields. He conceived and executed many regional legal tech and Rule of Law projects. He also created several leading legal publications and series in the Region, such as SADER Annotated Codes Series (Ar/Eng).
Rany Sader is the co-founding Partner of SADER & Associates (Advocates & Legal Consultants), which is considered the leading IP Law firm in Lebanon. As a legal strategist, he has over 24 years of experience advising many Fortune 500 leading international clients in different businesses, as well as SMEs and Start-Ups, on Intellectual Property Rights, New technologies, and creative industries laws.
He is also the creator, project lead, and member of the advisory board of the Sports Law Middle East, the first platform in the MENA region as well as the first trilingual sports law platform in the World.
Rany Sader is an active member in several local, Arab, and International Legal Associations where he is always invited to speak around the Globe.
DR. ZAIN AL ABDIN SHARAR
Counsel to the CEO, Qatar International Court & Dispute Resolution Centre
Dr. Zain Al Abdin Sharar has over 23 years’ experience in the legal field. Prior to joining the QICDRC, Dr. Sharar was the Director of Legal Affairs & Enforcement at the Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA). Dr. Sharar also served for three years on the QFMA’s disciplinary committee.
Dr. Sharar has taught corporate law and corporate governance at a number of Australian universities and has provided advice to board members of several Australian publicly listed companies. He worked at Qatar University for three years as an Assistant Professor of Commercial Law, where he taught companies law and arbitration law. He has also taught commercial law and maritime and aviation law at the Ahmad Bin Mohammed Military College in Qatar and has lectured on many topics at the Legal and Judicial Studies Centre at the Qatar Ministry of Justice.
Dr. Sharar is a certified mediator at the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution in London and a qualified arbitrator at the GCC Commercial Arbitration Centre. He has provided mediation and arbitration services in many commercial and construction cases. He also participates in ADR training programmes.
Dr. Sharar has a Bachelor of Laws, a Master’s in International Trade Law, and a Doctor of Legal Sciences from Bond University in Australia, specifically focused on corporate governance.
Senior Partner and Country Head at MASIN
HK Suresha, an engineer and surveyor with 23+ years of experience, serves as the Senior Partner and Country Head for MASIN in Qatar and Saudi Arabia. His expertise lies in delay and quantum analysis, particularly on large-scale projects. HK Suresha excels in simplifying complex issues for resolution and has a track record of providing expert testimony in international arbitrations (ICC, LCIA, QICCA, DIFC, DIAC). He has also served as a mediator and has led numerous claims negotiations. His project portfolio spans diverse sectors, including oil & gas, airports, metro rail, power, and infrastructure.
HK Suresha is an RICS Registered Expert Witness and is affiliated with professional bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, the Society of Construction Law (SCL), and the American Association of Cost Engineering (AACE International).
DR. JON TRUBY
Director, MENA Executive Training and AI Law Professor, Newcastle University
Dr. Truby is an AI Law Professor and director of MENA Executive Training, a law, legal skills and LegalTech professional training company headquartered in Doha, Qatar. He has worked in higher education and legal research in Qatar since 2010, formerly a law professor at Qatar University and director of the national university’s legal research and policy centre which studied AI and emerging technologies law. He is the region’s first AIGP (Artificial Intelligence Governance Professional Certification) trainer. He has established MENA Executive Training to become the Gulf region’s IAPP-Authorised Training Partner for data privacy.
At MENA Executive Training, Dr. Truby and his team help enterprise and government upskill workforces with cutting-edge skills and knowledge training needed for Qatar’s digital transformation, such as data privacy and data management, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. The organisation helps GCC lawyers fulfil continuing legal education and professional development needs through high-quality certified training programmes. He has established Qatar’s first Accredited Commercial Mediator Qualification for the Arabian Gulf, offering IMI certified meditator training programmes in person in Doha and online.
Dr. Truby is a visiting professor at Newcastle University and a highly cited legal academic in AI and emerging technologies law.
Partner, DLA Piper
George Vlavianos has extensive experience handling and resolving energy and construction disputes. His substantial experience encompasses providing advice to owners, contractors, and engineers involved in complex multi-party disputes and arbitrations across Europe, the Middle East, and North America. Additionally, he has notable proficiency in handling insurance claims arising from large-scale construction projects.