Dr. Belal Talal Ghazzawi has been practicing law since 1984. His specialized areas of practice are international trade, business law, corporate law, admiralty and maritime law, international business transactions, commercial disputes, foreign investments, real estate, joint ventures, litigation, arbitration and Shari’ah law. He is engaged in handling a wide range of legal services, including legal research and review of case matters, appearance before Shari’ah and Commercial Courts and Arbitration Tribunals, depositions, negotiation session, client conferences, dispute resolutions, mediation and conciliation and drafting of various types of contracts and agreements, both in Arabic and English, with a view of providing a first-class legal service to the firm’s clients, who include large sized industrial, commercial, banking and other business organizations in Saudi Arabia and overseas.
Legal 500 EMEA 2012 commented in its Saudi Chapter that Dr. Belal Ghazzawi “is recommended”.
- 1984 – Bachelor of Law and Sharia, Kuwait University, Kuwait
- 1985 - Introduction to U.S. Law, Duke University, and Intensive English language courses, Harvard University, USA.
- 1994 – Master of Law, Maritime Law, King Abdul Aziz University, Saudi Arabia.
- 2001 - Doctor of Laws (Cum Laude), Islamic Comparative Law, Al Azhar University, Egypt.
- Advising a renowned Saudi construction company with respect to several US $ multi-million construction disputes including claims for EOT, delay, disruption and prolongation, damages and costs for the rectification of defects, the removal of completely defective works and materials, re-execution of works and replacement of materials and etc. before Saudi courts and arbitration (including arbitrations subject to the ICC Arbitration Rules, arbitrations subject to UNCITRAL and arbitrations subject to the Saudi Arbitration Law).
- Advising a group of the heirs of a very well-known Saudi family on inheritance under Shari’ah with respect to the dispute that arose between the heirs in relation to their large estate in the amount of approximately SR 18 billion that included companies, commercial agencies, stocks and real estate, negotiating a settlement with the other team of heirs and drafting a detailed settlement agreement between them;
- Advising a group of the heirs of a very well-known Saudi family on inheritance and breach of fiduciary duty under Shari’ah in relation to the dispute that arose between the two groups of heirs themselves, and between the heirs and a leading global financial services firm acting as a trust manager, in connection with the heirs’ large estate that included several companies, trusts, securities and real property between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and several off-shore commonwealth jurisdiction countries, in the amount of approximately US $ 320 million before the Royal Court of Jersey;
- Handling a long pitched dispute between two groups of heirs over their huge estate valued over SR 1 billion spread across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which included several limited liability companies, investments in different jurisdictions and representing our client before several judicial and quasi judicial authorities;
- Advising a major Saudi oil company (Saudi Aramco) on their dispute with a contractual petrochemical company, which was successfully litigated before the Board of Grievance Commercial Committee, the value of the claim being SR817million;
- Advising and representing a leading Saudi food industries company on its arbitration case before the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce against a world’s leading Swiss food manufacturing company on claims for financial damages and losses based on breach and unlawful termination of contracts, the value being around $173million, which have been awarded in favor of the Saudi company;
- Advising a leading bank in the Kingdom of Bahrain in claiming monies over US$100 million against two prominent entities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the claims were successfully settled in favor of the bank;
- Advising a major Saudi Industrial Joint Stock Company in its dispute with its partner, a leading German Company before Jeddah Chamber of Commerce Arbitral Tribunal, claiming damages of over US$ 171 Million, termination of the JVA and dissolution of their commercial relationship. An Award was issued in favour of the client. Although it was in an amount lesser than the claimed one but stands satisfactory to the client and it has been successfully enforced;
- Advising a Saudi family member in a successful court case to establish and claim her shares and accrued dividends in a multinational company before the Shari’ah court, Board of Grievance Commercial Committee and the Finance Committee formed by a Royal Decree, in amounts exceeding SR300million;
- Advising a Saudi leading mega power plant construction and general contracting company on an arbitration case before the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (Paris), defending the client against the claim filed against it and filing counterclaims of $25.66million against its claimant on the principles of Sharia and laws of Saudi Arabia, governing the parties’ contract, and achieving an award that was more favourable to the client;
- Representing a mega Indian motor vehicles manufacturing company on negotiating the terms of a settlement agreement between the client and their Saudi distributor for waiving the claim launched by the Saudi distributor against the client in the amount of approximately SR25 million in addition to other claims for compensation before the Board of Grievance Commercial Committee, and the termination and deregistration of their distributorship agreement with the Saudi distributor from the registry of the Commercial Agency Department at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, which was successfully negotiated on the process leading up to the signing of the settlement agreement for the amount of SR.14,830,660 and the enforcement of the settlement agreement after it had been signed;
- Representing a prominent Saudi businessman in a successful court case in Jeddah to enforce the partners’ agreement to liquidate their holding company and its subsidiaries;
- Representing an international airline on its claim in connection with a sale of goods contract at the Board of Grievance Commercial Committee;
- Advising a global hotel group on various legal issues related to the operation and management of one of their hotels in Saudi Arabia, which has been included in an enforcement action against the owner pursuant to a commercial paper dispute; and
- Advising British American Tobacco on advice related to the lawsuit of the Saudi Ministry against all tobacco distributors in Saudi Arabia and advice related to the increasing difficulties imposed on trading tobacco in Saudi Arabia.
- Advising a Spanish-Saudi consortium on its $8.25 billion Phase 2 of the Haramain High Speed Railway Project connecting the two Holy cities of Mecca and Madinah via Jeddah and advising on its overall transaction management in Saudi Arabia and on Shariah law;
- Advising a leading Chinese railway construction company as the main contractor on a SR4.5 billion Mecca Metro Project (Al-Mashaaer Al-Muqaddassah Metro) on all its legal issues relating to the Mega Project, drafting various agreements and contracts and coordinating and liasing on behalf of the company with all concerned ministries and agencies;
- Advising a mega Saudi development company on its SR2.5 billion rights issue to finance the development of the Jabal Omar project in Mecca and advising from a Shari’ah perspective the legal grounds for the ownership by the company of the lands located on the Omer Mountain facing the Holy Mosque in Mecca for the purposes of Rights Issue;
- Advising a company managing one of the four economic cities in the south of Saudi Arabia, encompassing commercial, industrial and residential use, on its overall transaction management and on Shari’ah law;
- Advising a company under the commercial arm of the Municipality of Jeddah, on setting up tenders to invite international consortiums in developing various real estate projects known as Jeddah East, and Jeddah Cultural & Social Centre, a 170,000 Square Meters Corniche to be rehabilitated and renovated and the Khozam Palace, a 690,000 Square Meters land and in reviewing and advising on the relevant requests for proposals, the information memoranda, the development agreements and the joint venture agreements, and supervising the required legal due diligences, including advice on the tender process and all regulatory mattes;
- Advising Investcorp Gulf Opportunity Fund on various acquisitions in Saudi Arabia, including its acquisition of a majority stake in leading Saudi Arabia jewellery manufacturer and retailer in the context of $280 million;
- Advising a French and Spanish consortium on their bids for the operation and management of water and wastewater systems in Riyadh and Jeddah respectively with the Ministry of Water and Electricity and in reviewing and advising on the agreements from Shariah perspective and supervising the due diligence exercise;
- Advising a major Saudi company (which is in association with a pioneer international cargo/courier company) on all its Saudi agreements, i.e. the dry lease and wet lease agreements, and all related business agreements as well as in the restructuring of its relationship with its international partner and assisting in the assignments that include spinning off the existing company, creating two different companies and drafting and reviewing all agreements relating to the acquisition of shares, transferring of all the licenses, assets and employees etc. to this company, by obtaining the investment licences that allows the foreign company to hold equity in the Saudi company;
- Advising an Austrian industrial company in its two major projects, one for the expansion part of the existing steel making plant and other for a new direct reduction iron facility, both projects were executed through a consortium within the steel plant sites at Saudi Arabia, the value of these projects were in excess of €100 million through a consortium, on its contracts with Saudi entity from a Saudi law perspective and other legal issues with regard to Saudi laws and regulations;
- Advising an investment company partnering with a leading telecom company with respect to large equipment projects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia including reviewing and advising on certain agreements concerning these projects.
- Advising an investment company (part of a consortium with a leading UK mobile company) in the entire process of bidding for the second GSM licence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and on various legal aspects of Saudi law on the bidding process; and
- Providing M.H. Alshaya Co. with advice on Saudi law concerning contentious and non-contentious matters and their business in Saudi Arabia. M.H. Alshaya Co. is a huge retail franchise operator with more than 70 consumer retail brands across the Middle East and North Africa, Russia, Turkey and Europe. The company currently operates more than 2,800 stores in seven sectors – Fashion & Footwear, Health & Beauty, Food, Optics, Pharmacy, Home Furnishings and Leisure & Entertainment – and employs more than 44,000 people.
Banking and Finance:
- Advising Lazrad (a leading financial advisory and asset management firm) with respect to the Capital Market Authority Regulations and their operation in Saudi Arabia;
- Advising SAIB BNP PARIBAS ASSET MANAGEMENT COMPANY LIMITED with respect to investment portfolio management agreements under Saudi law;
- Advising the ISLAMIC DEVELOPMENT BANK on its proposed equity participation in a company in Saudi Arabia and carrying out the necessary due diligence study for the proposed transaction; and
- advised a Saudi joint stock company which is a leading jewellery manufacturer and retailer (L’azurde) with respect to their corporate governance.
- Advising a major GCC financial institution (Kuwait Finance House) on their financial dispute before the Committee for the Settlement of Banking Disputes under the Saudi Arabia Monetary Agency related to the financial guarantee submitted in support of the client’s offer in the amount of US $200 million to become the master developer of a mega multi-use government development project which is one of its kind in Saudi Arabia;
- Advising a leading Swiss-based Islamic Finance institution in a successful court case on its dispute with a Saudi borrower involving amounts in excess of SR27million; and
- Advising a major Bahraini Bank in its dispute with a number of Saudi Customers before the courts, involving loan agreements and negotiable instruments and enforcement of judgments before different concerned agencies in Saudi Arabia.
- 16/01/2006 - Saudi Arabian Ministry of Justice Legal Practice - included in the list of approved Arbitrators issued by the Saudi Ministry of Justice.
- 2020 – Member of the Saudi Bar Association.
- 2010 - Certified member of the commercial arbitration centre GCC countries and nominated as qualified arbitrator.
- American Bar Association (ABA).
- 2007 - International Bar Association (IBA).
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