Karim Youssef, J.S.D.
FOUNDER & MANAGING PARTNER
HEAD OF INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION
HEAD OF HIGH NET-WORTH INDIVIDUALS
Dr. Karim A. Youssef is founder of Youssef & Partners, a Global Arbitration Review (GAR) 100 law firm, and a regional leader in dispute resolution. Karim leads the international arbitration and international law practices at the Firm. His practice focuses on commercial arbitration, investment treaty arbitration, complex high-value disputes and international law, and is world-renowned in the respective fields.
Karim represents key Egyptian and regional clients and some of the World’s most significant global corporations in high-profile local, regional and purely international disputes, and large-value and complex claims. Karim has featured and continues to feature as counsel or arbitrator in some of the highest-profile and largest commercial and investment treaty claims in the region. Karim also spends part of his time giving strategic advice to some of the region’s most significant corporations across a wide array of key industries and sectors, and he also heads the firm’s high net-worth individuals practice. Karim has received some of the highest distinctions by peers and clients. Among others, he has been described as “a leading light in international arbitration” (Legal 500, 2018) and “Karim Youssef is recognized in the market as a “top arbitration guy.” He has an impressive, region-spanning practice which sees him represent international companies in investment treaty disputes and other arbitration claims against state entities. With expertise in international law, he frequently represents clients in multibillion-dollar arbitrations seated around the world. A client was glad to say that Youssef has “proved to be an effective advocate.” (Chambers Global Guide, Arbitration and Dispute Resolution, 2020).
Karim has also been described as “a highly regarded arbitration specialist who is praised by peers for his high caliber practice. He has a vast range of arbitration experience, having acted as counsel in numerous commercial and investment treaty cases. One of his clients enthused: “He has an incredible knowledge of international law and his negotiation skills are also impressive.” (Chambers Global Guide, 2019). Karim’s distinctions also include earning the 2018 GAR Award for best global speech and being appointed to CRCICA’s Advisory Committee. He also wrote a well-known book on multi- party arbitration and consent issues prefaced by Jan Paulsson.
Karim’s docket of arbitrator and counsel work exceeds 116 international arbitrations across four continents, with focus on the MENA region and GCC countries, as well as major cosmopolitan seats, including Cairo, Dubai, Paris, London, New York. Karim’s ““sharp intellect” and “responsiveness as an arbitrator” makes him a favorite on the international arbitration circuit.” (Who’s Who Legal, 2018). He is “a respected figure in the arbitration arena, frequently representing clients from the construction and oil and gas industries. Market sources describe him as “super-smart, very much at the top of his game.” One client added: “He’ll be our first choice for any future matter.”” (Chambers Global Guide, 2018). Highlights of work include representing Cementos La Union SA v. the Arab Republic of Egypt and the CBC Channel in claims against Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef.
Karim has law degrees from Yale Law School (where he earned LL.M. and J.S.D. degrees), and Paris and Cairo Universities.
Honors & Distinctions
- GAR Award, Best Lecture or Speech, 2019
- Chambers Global’s Dispute Resolution: Arbitration – Egypt, Band 1 ranking
- Who’s Who Legal – Arbitration, 2014–2019
- Who’s Who Legal Arbitration’s ‘Future Global Leaders 2017’
- Legal 500 Leading Individual: Dispute Resolution, Arbitration – Egypt
- Al Dispute Resolution Awards 2015, Middle East Arbitrator of the Year
- Expert Guides: The World’s Leading Lawyers Chosen By Their Peers
- Newton Arbitration – Gold Ranking: Karim A. Youssef
- Oil & gas
- Power generation & supply
- Renewable energy
- Ports & sea port agreements
- Banking & finance
- Real estate & development
- Hotel management & hospitality
- Media and entertainment
- Cement & steel
- Commercial agencies & distributorship
- Imports & exports
- Transport & road networks
- Certification services