Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla

Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla brings over 33 years’ local know-how, extensive global resources, and one of the largest litigation teams in the UAE with full rights of audience before all UAE and DIFC courts. As the first international law firm to fully merge with a UAE firm, we deliver unmatched on the ground support that reflects a deep understanding of local legal, regulatory and commercial practices. Our multidisciplinary team of nearly 60 lawyers offers a full range of local and international legal advice across our offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, in both English and Arabic helping businesses optimize opportunities and mitigate risk in the Middle East and North Africa.

Baker McKenzie has been active in the Middle East and Africa for over 35 years, and as a pioneering firm, was most notably the first to enter both the Saudi Arabian and Egyptian markets. The firm has since established a substantial presence - this began with an associated office in Riyadh in 1979 and today we are present in 10 cities (in 8 countries) in the region.

Baker McKenzie helps clients overcome the challenges of competing in the global economy. We solve complex legal problems across borders and practice areas. Our unique culture, developed over 65 years, enables our 13,000 people to understand local markets and navigate multiple jurisdictions, working together as trusted colleagues and friends to instill confidence in our clients. (

Represented by:

Dr. Habib Al Mulla


Dr. Habib Al Mulla is Chairman of Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla and is one of the UAE’s most highly respected legal authorities. He has over 33 years’ experience in UAE law and has drafted many of the modern legislative structures in place in Dubai today. Dr. Habib is a strong advocate for the improvement and modernisation of UAE Laws, and is often consulted to draft and advise on Federal and Emirate level laws. He created the concept of financial free zones in the UAE and was the architect of the legal framework establishing the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the first financial free zone in the UAE.

Dr. Habib focuses his practice on litigation and arbitration. He is Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) and is also Chairman of the UAE Committee of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb).

In addition to founding the law firm Habib Al Mulla in the UAE 33 years ago, Dr. Habib has also served as legislative committee chairman of the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), Director of the Institute of Advanced Legal and Judicial Studies, Chairman of the UAE Jurists Association, and Vice Chairman of the DIAC Board.

Dr. Habib holds an LLB in Shari’a and law from the UAE University, a Master of Law from Harvard Law School and a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. He is fluent in Arabic and English.

Andrew Mackenzie


Andrew Mackenzie is a partner and head of Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla's Arbitration practice in Dubai. He is a Solicitor Advocate and arbitration law specialist. He works extensively across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, acting for governments and international corporations on complex commercial disputes under a variety of civil and common law systems.

Andrew handles construction, engineering and energy disputes, while also advising clients on insurance litigation including professional negligence, construction all risk and coverage disputes, specialising in mega infrastructure projects. He has tried cases in all of the major arbitration forums including ICSID, ICC, LCIA, SIAC, UNCITRAL and DIAC. He also holds full rights of audience before the DIFC Courts, sits as an arbitrator and has written and presented at numerous international conferences on arbitration and dispute resolution.

Andrew has a commercial focus and is particularly adept at partnering with his clients and understanding their business. He is listed in MENA Insurance Review's Power 50 for 2016, is recommended for dispute resolution in Legal 500 and Chambers Global and is listed in Who's Who Legal as one of the world's leading construction lawyers.

Andrew is admitted in Scotland and England & Wales as a Solicitor Advocate with higher rights of audience before the Supreme Court (UK) and before the DIFC Courts with full rights of audience (Part II). He holds an LLB from University of Glasglow and a Diploma in Legal Practice from Glasglow Graduate School of Law.

Céline Abi Habib Kanakri


Céline Kanakri is a Counsel at Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla, based in Dubai, and has been practicing in the Middle East for over 12 years. Céline specializes in arbitration and is experienced in both UAE and international arbitration across a variety of areas including real estate, construction, corporate, commercial, companies law and banking and finance.

Céline’s arbitration expertise is underpinned by her understanding of UAE real estate and construction law, corporate and commercial law, companies law and her experience in the structuring and restructuring of governmental and semi-governmental entities. She is well-versed in UAE laws, having commented on draft laws and regulations, and drafted decrees, laws and regulations. Céline also has extensive experience in drafting expert legal opinions in a variety of areas including civil, commercial and construction law in support of arbitration proceedings.

Céline holds a BA in Lebanese and Comparative Law from the Saint Joseph University, Lebanon. She is fluent in English, Arabic and French.

Sally Kotb

Senior Associate

Sally Kotb is a Senior Associate at Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla and has been practising in the Middle East for 11 years. Sally specializes in arbitration across a variety of industry sectors and has gained particular experience in conducting arbitration references under leading institutional arbitration rules, including in particular ICC, DIAC, CRCICA, ADCCAC, in both Arabic and English. Sally has extensive knowledge of UAE law and has assisted leading practitioners with drafting legal expert reports on complex issues of UAE law.

Sally regularly acts as a sole arbitrator and co-arbitrator in arbitration cases involving real estate and construction disputes under the Rules of the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC). She has also gained particular experience in enforcement of international and domestic awards in the UAE.

Sally holds an LLB from Alexandria University, Egypt, and an LLM in International and Comparative Law from Indiana University, USA. She is a member of the Egyptian Bar Association and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and is the author of numerous articles and guides on arbitration. Sally is fluent in Arabic and English.

Khalil Mechantaf

Senior Associate

Khalil is a member of our arbitration team in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. He specializes in international commercial and construction arbitration under the auspices of various arbitration centers, such as the ICC, DIAC, DIFC-LCIA and ADCCAC. Khalil has practiced in the Middle East for over nine years and has extensive experience in advising clients on construction, engineering and energy disputes, as well as disputes arising from shareholders and distribution agreements.

Khalil is dual qualified in Lebanon and England & Wales and is fluent in English, French and Arabic.