2020 Judging Panel

Feras Alkasab
Associate General Counsel
Sidra Medicine

Feras Alkasab is a senior lawyer with over 15 years’ experience advising clients in the United States and the Middle East. He is currently Associate General Counsel at Sidra Medicine where he handles a wide range of corporate, commercial, IP matters, and supports Sidra’s clinical and research operations and its Board of Governors.

After qualifying in the United States, Feras practiced as an IP litigation attorney with the international law firm of Sidley Austin where he supported leading US and international companies and individual inventors in securing and commercializing their IP rights.  Prior to joining Sidra, Feras practiced at the Middle East offices of an international law firm where he advised local and international corporations and leading educational and research organizations on commercial transactions and IP matters.

Feras obtained his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Houston Law Center.  He also holds a B.S. in Civil & Environmental Engineering from the University of Houston.

Feras is admitted to the State Bar of Texas.

Francis NII Botchway
Professor of Law and Sir William Blair Chair in Alternative Dispute Resolution
Qatar University

Francis NII Botchway is a Professor of Law and Sir William Blair Chair in Alternative Dispute Resolution at Qatar University. He has additional responsibility as Head of Contracts and Compliance at Qatar University Research Office. He also served as Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies for five years. Francis educational background includes law degrees from leading universities in Canada, Ghana, the U.S and the UK. He teaches and researches in International Economic Law, specifically, International Investment Law, International Law, Natural Resources Law, Comparative Law, Arbitration and Negotiations.  He has also taught at the University of Warwick Law School for six years and briefly at Hull University in the UK. Formerly, he was Adjunct Professor at Leuven University in Belgium, Warwick, and Visiting Professor at the University of Puerto Rico. He is a member of TradeLab, providing legal services to governments, NGOs and businesses.  He is a member of the London Court of International Arbitration and also on the ICSID roll of arbitrators. He is consulted by law firms in the UK, the US, the Middle East and the continent of Africa, on litigation, arbitration as well as international business transactions. He has published books and dozens of articles in leading International journals in Europe, United States, Australia, Asia and Africa. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Global Journal of Comparative Law. His latest edited book is entitled Natural Resource Investment and Africa’s Development. His forthcoming book is on Defences in International Investment Law, to be published by Routledge, UK.

Dr Mohammed Al Khulaifi
Dean of The College of Law
Qatar University

Dr. Mohammed A. Al Khulaifi is Dean of the College of Law (Qatar University) and serves as Assistant professor of Commercial Law in the same University. Dr. Mohammed A. Al-Khulaifi is also a lawyer at Abdulaziz Al-Khulaifi Law Office (since 2011), a Legal Consultant at Qatar Financial Center Regulatory Authority (since 2012) and a Visiting professor at Carnegie Mellon- Qatar (since 2013). Dr. Al-Khulaifi‘s legal researches mainly focus on Business Law (See for example: “Banking Secrecy in light of the Qatari Law”: Journal of Sharia & Law, University of United Arab Emirates, 2014; “Acquisition of Commercial Companies: Comparative study between Qatari and Australian laws”: Legal and Judicial Studies Journal, Ministry of Justice, Doha – Qatar, 2014). Dr. Al-Khulaifi received HH The Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani’s Award at the Education Excellence Day (PhD Category) and a fellowship from the Institute of International and Regional Studies at Georgetown University – Qatar for the academic year (2013-2014).

Dr Muna Al-Marzouqi
Assistant Professor of Maritime & Commercial Law
Qatar University College of Law

Dr. Muna Al-Marzouqi, is an Assistant Professor of Maritime and Commercial Law at Qatar University College of Law. She received her LL.B from Qatar University College of Law.
She obtained her Masters in Law LL.M from University of California Berkeley.
From Tulane University, she obtained her doctorate degree S.J.D. in the field of Maritime Law.
She is an alumna of Qatar Leadership Center & a licensed lawyer.
She teaches Maritime Law and Commercial Law at Qatar University College of Law.

Melissa J. Deehring
Clinical Assistant Professor of Law
Legal Skills Department, College of Law - Qatar University

Melissa Deehring is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Qatar University College of Law in Doha, Qatar. She was the founding director and creator of her college’s Externship Program and has taught advocacy, ethics and professionalism to Qatari law students since 2011. Melissa’s research focuses on SDGs 5 (gender equality) & 16 (peace, justice & strong institutions), the women, peace and security agenda, and how culture affects local legal professions, legal education, and professional responsibility notions. Prior to teaching, Melissa was court-appointed defence counsel on juvenile dependency (child abuse) cases before the San Francisco Superior Court. She maintains her law licence in California. ... see more

Dr Ehab Elsonbaty
Senior Legal Counsel
Head of Governance and Government Affairs
Qatar Investment Authority

Dr. Ehab Maher Elsonbaty has been Senior Legal Counsel, Senior Advisor to the General Counsel in Qatar Investment Authority since February 2014. Dr. Ehab served for six years as a Senior Legal Advisor to the Office (Amiri Diwan) of H.R.H. the Emir of the State of Qatar and was a member of the Council of Ministers Permanent Committee for Legislative Affairs and several other legal and policy committees. He has drafted and contributed to several laws and regulations of Qatar the GCC, and the Middle East.

Dr. Ehab holds two master’s degrees and PhD. He speaks Arabic, English, Italian and French. He writes and lectures in various universities and research institutes and has provided consultancy to the ITU, UNODC, UNCITRAL, UNECA, Council of Europe, UNCTAD, UNESCO, Arab League, and ARADO.

Christopher Grout
Qatar International Court & Dispute Resolution Centre

Christopher Grout is a barrister (England & Wales) and Registrar of the Qatar International Court and Dispute Resolution Centre. He holds a LL.B degree from Newcastle University and a LL.M in Canon Law from Cardiff University. He is a Deputy District Judge in England & Wales (assigned to the South Eastern Circuit) and is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Luigia Ingiani
Employment Standards Office
Qatar Financial Centre

Luigia Ingianni is a legal scholar and lawmaker with almost 30 years of exponential experience in employment and labour law, privacy and data protection, negotiation, conciliation and adjudication of labour disputes across different countries and legal systems - civil and common law jurisdictions. She holds a Master Degree in Law, a Post-Degree Master in Human Resources and Communication and is a qualified conciliator and mediator of labour disputes certified by the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ILO), also trained by Harvard Law School – Program on Negotiation.

Luigia joined the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Authority in 2015 to design and establish the first administrative employment dispute resolution centre in line with the International Labour Organisation  (ILO) guidelines.

In her capacity as Commissioner of the Employment Standards Office of the QFC, she drafts employment legislation and policies, promotes equality and diversity, prevents conflicts and resolves workplace disputes through conciliation, mediation and adjudication, also supervising the Data Protection Directorate.

A certified Data Protection Officer by the European Centre for Privacy and Cybersecurity from University of Maastricht, Luigia established a Data Protection Directorate in May 2018, responsible for Data Protection within the QFC.

Susan L. Karamanian
Hamad Bin Khalifa College of Law and Public Policy 

Susan L. Karamanian is Dean of the College of Law at the Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) and was previously Associate Dean for International and Comparative Legal Studies at the George Washington University Law School. She has lectured at law faculties around the world, and at the OAS Academy of International Law and the Hague Academy of International Law (Director of English Studies). Susan is a member of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law (ASIL) and was previously Vice President of ASIL. She is a Trustee of the Center for American and International Law (CAIL), where she also serves as chair of the Southwestern Institute for International and Comparative Law. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Council on Germany, the American Bar Foundation, and the Texas Bar Foundation.

Dr Damilola Olawuyi
Hamad Bin Khalifa University

Damilola S. Olawuyi is an associate professor of petroleum, energy and environmental law at Hamad Bin Khalifa University, College of Law, Qatar, and chancellor’s fellow at the Institute for Oil, Gas, Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development (OGEES Institute), Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, Nigeria.
A prolific and highly regarded scholar, Professor Olawuyi has published several influential peer-reviewed articles, books, and reports on climate finance, energy infrastructure, and extractive resource governance. His most recent publications are The Human Rights-Based Approach to Carbon Finance (Cambridge University Press 2016) and Extractives Industry Law in Africa (Springer, 2018). Professor Olawuyi was formerly an international energy lawyer at Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, Calgary, where he served on the firm’s global committee on extractive resource investments in Africa. He has lectured on energy and environmental law in over 40 countries in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and the Middle East. He serves on the executive committees and boards of several organizations and is global Vice Chair of the International Law Association.

Dr Minas Katchadourian
General Counsel
Qatar International Center for Conciliation and Arbitration

Dr. Minas Khatchadourian is the General Counsel of the Qatar International Center for Conciliation and Arbitration (QICCA). He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, the International Bar Association, and the representative of Qatar at the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA) of the Centre for American and International Law.
He holds a PhD. Degree in International Arbitration and is a visiting professor in several universities. He has authored many articles on international commercial and investment arbitration. He has advised several public entities in arbitration cases before ICC, AAA and SCC.
Dr. Khatchadourian acts regularly as party-appointed arbitrator in disputes related to international trade contracts, construction contracts, joint-venture agreements, mergers and acquisitions, commercial agency and distributorship agreements, licensing contracts, etc. He collaborates in the “Doing Business Annual Report” prepared by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Martin Schulz
General Counsel

Martin Schulz is General Counsel of Ooredoo Qatar. Before his current position, he was General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of the German multinational technology company SIEMENS for Qatar and the Levant Region (Lebanon, Jordan, Syria). In this role he was awarded with the Inhouse large team of the Year and the General Counsel of the Year award back in 2017. Prior to his assignments in Qatar, Martin worked at Siemens Headquarter in Germany, was in private practice at a German top tier law firm in Berlin and worked as a scholar at a German think tank in Hamburg.

Martin is a qualified German lawyer. He holds an LL.M. degree from the University of Canterbury (NZ) and an M.A. degree in Korean Studies from Hamburg University.

Dominic Winfield
General Counsel
Qatar Rail

Dominic Winfield joined Qatar Rail back in 2013 to assist with the legal delivery of several major D&B contracts and key subcontracts. He was appointed General Counsel of Qatar Rail in March 2020. Prior to joining Qatar Rail, he worked both in private practice and inhouse across the GCC and London.

Dominic has an LL.B from Kings College, London.

Farouk Yala
Senior Legal counsel
Qatar Petroleum

Farouk Yala is a French qualified barrister and solicitor with 20 years of experience, encompassing 8 years spent in the private practice in France (Avocat à la Cour, barreaux des Hauts-de-Seine and Paris), and 12 years as in-house counsel in the Oil & Gas industry, holding several positions, first with a major US oilfield service company based successively in Tripoli (Libya) and Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates). Mr Yala is currently Senior legal counsel at Qatar Petroleum, the national oil company of the State of Qatar. He holds a JD and an LLM from the University of Pantheon-Assas Paris 2 School of Law.