Robert Whitehead Partner and Head of DIFC

Languages : English

Location : Dubai

An International Dispute Resolution Specialist with Experience Handling A Wide Range of High-Value Commercial Disputes through Arbitration, Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Robert has a broad commercial and financial dispute practice, with specialist focus in agreements arising out of property, infrastructure, finance, banking and shareholder disputes, as well as wider fraud.

He practised at Clyde & Co LLP in England in claims before the Commercial Court and Chancery Division of the High Court and Court of Appeal where he handled large loss claims for international blue-chip clients from a variety of commercial industries in complex, multi-party and cross-jurisdictional disputes.

He has substantial international experience before arbitral tribunals and in the courts of offshore jurisdictions, in particular, the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts (“DIFC Courts”). Robert’s work involves issues as to applicable law, jurisdiction and cross border enforcement including handling multi-jurisdiction enforcement of judgments and arbitral awards.

He regularly represents clients in arbitrations governed by various institutional rules including DIAC, DIFC-LCIA and ICC and has represented several high-profile individuals in the region in high-value employment disputes.

Dubai International Financial Centre Courts (Dubai)

  • Acting for a leading financial services entity in a claim for USD 90 million based on fraud allegations made in DIFC proceedings relating to equity commitment letters filed in support of a “go private” bid to acquire a global internet gaming company, Amaya Inc: KBC Aldini Capital Ltd v. (1) David Baazov (2) Canaccord Genuity Corp [2017] DIFC CFI 002 (14 October 2018)
  • Acting for the liquidators of various DIFC and US companies in successfully resisting a jurisdiction challenge brought by a Swiss bank in resisting claims by the liquidators to have certain pledges made by fraudulent directors declared invalid: (1) Orion Holdings Overseas Ltd (2) Orion Global Financial Services LLC (3) Orion Capital Ltd v (1) Mohammed Abdel Khaleq Mohammad (2) Nidal Abdel Khaleq Mohammad (3) Privatbank Ihag Zurich AG [2015] DIFC CFI 033 (8 February 2018)
  • Acting and advising a former Managing Director following a DIFC Court judgment that was secured in the Court of First Instance in respect of the Article 18 penalty provision under the DIFC Employment Law (CFI-015-2014 Asif Hakim Adil -v- Frontline Development Partners Limited).
  • Advising an international businessman regarding the existence of a lease of two units named LP5 and LP6 within Limestone House, DIFC: Vegie Bar LLC v Emirates National Bank of Dubai Properties Pjsc [2016] DIFC CFI 009
  • Acting for the Claimants’ seeking to Re-Amend its Particulars of Claim pursuant to Rule 18.2(2) of the DIFC Courts (Ilyas Gaffar Saboowaka v (1) Soman Kuniyath Kunjunni Nair (2) Mini Soman Thoruvil Veluthedrath (3) RAG Foodstuff Trading LLC – CFI-037-2017)
  • Acting for the Defendants in an application for the hearing of a preliminary issue in respect of the applicability of Article 40(2) of the Law of Damages and Remedies (DIFC Law No. 7 of 2005) to the case and a challenge to the jurisdiction of the DIFC Courts to hear and determine the claimant’s claim for damages for breach of contract (Tavira Securities Limited v (1) Re Point Ventures FZCO (2) Jai Narain Gupta (3) Mayank Kumar (4) Saroj Gupta – CFI-026-2017)

Commercial Court and Chancery Division Cases (England and Wales)

  • Representing an international businessman in claims for defamation, trespass, and nuisance in separate multi-track claims before the Vice Chancellor in the Technology and Construction Courts.
  • Advising a Fortune 500 multinational corporate conglomerate in a complex multi-party claim against an electrical contractor.

Other Courts

  • Acting for a UK supply generator company in a claim for breach of contract for failure to supply generator sets to Kenyan Farmers in the High Court of Kenya

These examples include work that Robert has carried out at other law firms

Academic Qualifications
>Commercial Litigation
>Banking & Financial Services
>Property Disputes
>Employment & Pensions Disputes
>Maritime Disputes
>Intellectual Property Disputes
>Construction & Contractual Disputes
>Professional Negligence
>Civil Fraud
>Regulatory and Investigations
>Shareholder Disputes
>Banking & Finance Disputes
>Corporate & Commercial Disputes
>Media & Sports Disputes
>LLB Hons. degree in Law, Durham University, 2.1 degree class – 2008
>Legal Practice Course, York College of Law – 2009
> Registered as a Legal Practitioner, DIFC Courts – 2017
> Registered as a Legal Practitioner, Dubai Legal Affairs Department – 2017
> Member of the Law Society of England and Wales – 2012
> Admitted as a Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales – 2012