Rupert Reed QC

Year of Call: 1996 Year of Silk: 2014

‘A recent silk who has a fine reputation. He is regularly involved in matters concerning property developments and investments, many of which have an international or Middle Eastern flavour.’ ‘He is super bright.’ ‘He has a calm and easy manner as an advocate that is very effective.’

Chambers UK Bar 2016

Practice Overview

A significant part of Rupert’s property and commercial practices, both in England and the Middle East, arises in arbitration, in particular under the LCIA, UNCITRAL, ICC, LMAA, DIFC-LCIA and DIAC Rules and seated in London, Paris and the Middle East.

Early in his career, he assisted in the long-running arbitral claims in Bankers Trust v City of Moscow, arising from the Respondent’s failure to repay loans of some 200m Swiss francs.

More recently, he has acted in the long-running DIAC arbitration between the Meydan Group and the Dubai branch of WCT Berhad in respect of contractor claims arising from the construction of the Meydan race-course and leisure complex in Nad al Sheba in Dubai, and in proceedings in the DIFC Court in resisting recognition and enforcement of the award in the DIFC. He further acted as lead advocate at the evidentiary hearing of a major DIFC-LCIA arbitration in Dubai of debt and guarantee claims pursued by a Chinese group against a major Saudi conglomerate.

Rupert has a working knowledge of the Civil Codes of the Middle East derived from the Egyptian Civil Code of Professor Al Sanhouri. He has significant experience of working on the underlying texts and in particular the French Code Civil and Al Waseet fi Sharh al Quanoun al Madani al Jadid, often with the assistance of experts from the UAE and other Arab jurisdictions.

He has advocated on issues of UAE law both in international arbitrations and, following the adoption by the DIFC Courts of the international approach of presenting issues of foreign law, in advancing submissions on UAE law, both in writing and orally, as for example in WCT Berhad (Dubai Branch) v Meydan Group LLP [2016] DIFC, ARB 003: Please click here to view video

Rupert has also acted in relation to the conduit jurisdiction of the DIFC Courts used by successful claimants to enforce their awards and judgments first in the DIFC and then, pursuant to the reciprocal enforcement mechanisms between the DIFC and Dubai Courts, against property and assets in Dubai, as for example in Bocimar International NV v Emirates Trading Agency LLC (31 January 2016) CFI 008/2015 [2016].

More recently, he acted in obtaining a worldwide freezing order in the DIFC Courts in support of an award rendered in an LCIA India arbitration even before his client, the award creditor, had been able to apply for the recognition and enforcement in the DIFC of the award.

He regularly advises lawyers and clients in London as to the relative merits of their enforcement options in a number of jurisdictions in particular in the Gulf and wider Middle East.

Rupert was part of a working group that assisted the Chief Justice of the DIFC Courts in drafting a practice direction, Practice Direction No. 2 of 2015, which provides a model arbitration clause to allow parties to refer to DIFC-LCIA arbitration any issues arising on the enforcement of judgments by the DIFC Courts. This development has been the subject of widespread discussion among both academics and practitioners in the field of international arbitration.

He has been appointed and acted as arbitrator in a number of LCIA, DIFC-LCIA and DIAC arbitrations in hearing financial, commercial and property disputes.

Recent cases include:

Acting with Dentons in a DIFC-LCIA arbitration in defending claims by a Chinese supply chain management group against a Saudi entity on an alleged parent-company guarantee of the liabilities of a European fashion chain [2018].

Acting with Freshfields in the DIFC Court in successfully resisting an anti-suit injunction against US proceedings in support of a DIFC-LCIA arbitration and against Saudi arbitral proceedings: Federal Express International Inc v. Abdul Latif JUameel Transportation Co Ltd [2018] DIFC CFI 038 (15 July 2018).

Acting with Dentons on a LMAA arbitration in dealing with issues as to the functionality and performance of a crane and vessel chartered on BIMCO terms [2018].

Advising a major UK clothing retailer on arbitral claims advanced by franchisees in various East European and Middle Eastern jurisdictions in respect of the pricing of the retailer’s goods on sale to the franchisees [2016].

Acting for a Belgian shipowner in successfully seeking the enforcement in the Commercial Court and then the DIFC Court of LMAA arbitral awards for over USD $114 million; Bocimar International NV v Emirates Trading Agency LLC, Claims No. 2014 Folio 826 and 827 (London); [2015] DIFC CFI 008 (26 January 2016); and obtaining a Worldwide Freezing Order and related injunctions to be enforced in Dubai: [2015] DIFC CFI 008 (31 January 2016)

Acting for the Meydan Group in resisting the enforcement in the DIFC Court of a DIAC arbitral award for AED 1.1 billion in arguing that the Court should not accept jurisdiction in view of significant defects in the award on issues of UAE law going to the underlying jurisdiction of the tribunal: WCT Berhad (Dubai Branch) v Meydan Group LLP, [2015] DIFC ARB 003 [2016]; Please click here to view the video.

Acting with King & Wood Mallesons in a DIAC arbitration for a major infrastructure developer in defending contractor claims for AED 1.1 billion by a former member of a joint venture in circumstances where the joint venture and its claims were severed by agreement and order of the tribunal [2015].

Acting with Clyde & Co in the DIFC Courts in obtaining interim relief in support of a DIFC-LCIA arbitral claim by a funder against its client to recover its investment and return [2014].

Advising a major litigation funder on claims for USD 118m arising from breaches of a chain of crude oil processing agreements being pursued in an arbitration under the UNCITRAL Rules in the Cairo Regional Centre for ICA [2014].

Acting with CMS Cameron McKenna in obtaining declarations in a LCIA domestic arbitration as to the construction of contracts for the effective sale and lease-back of a national property portfolio [2013].

Acting in an ICC arbitration against French and Saudi employer entities on claims for SAR 135m arising from the termination of a contract for the construction of four gas treatment centres in Saudi Arabia [2013].

Advising on a DIFC-LCIA arbitration for the main contractor in the construction of an Abu Dhabi hospital in defending claims for US$10m by a sub-contractor and on related DIFC Court proceedings for a freezing injunction in support of those arbitral claims [2012].

Acting with Ince & Co for a substantial British P&I Club in pursuing LMAA arbitral proceedings for contributions from former ship-owning members of the club [2011].

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Education & Qualifications

BA Hons (First Class with Distinction) History and Modern Languages (French), Oxford
MA Hons (Double First) Law, Cambridge
LLM Harvard
Scholar of Lincoln College, Oxford, and Downing College, Cambridge
Kennedy Scholar at Ha


1999: Called (ad hoc) to the Bar of the Cayman Islands
2000-2005: Attorney General’s C Panel of Treasury Counsel
2009: Registered as Advocate before the DIFC Courts


Chancery Bar Association
Commercial Bar Association

BSB Registration

John William Rupert Reed QC

VAT Number


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