Client Alerts

Client Alert: Volterra Fietta welcomes new partner: Ahmed Abdel Hakam

Volterra Fietta Client Alert
24 February 2023

The partners of Volterra Fietta are excited to welcome their newest member into the partnership, Ahmed Abdel Hakam, from 1 March 2023.

Prior to joining Volterra Fietta, Ahmed worked in the public international law and international arbitration groups of a number of major US and UK global law firms, from their London offices.  In his most recent role, based in London as counsel to a major UK global law firm, he was ranked in the legal directories and accolades.  For example, on the basis of client and peer referrals, the Legal 500 2023 legal directory described Ahmed as ‘a future star – very impressive knowledge of public international law and very easy to work with.

Ahmed is qualified as an English solicitor-advocate, a French Avocat and a lawyer in Egypt.  He is a highly regarded specialist in public international law, investor-State arbitration and international commercial arbitration.  Ahmed teaches and speaks widely on these topics and regularly publishes in the most prestigious journals and publications.  Starting in September 2023, Ahmed will take up a role as a Visiting Scholar at the University of Cambridge’s Lauterpacht Centre for International law.

Ahmed works with equal facility in English, French and Arabic.  He has led teams representing governments and global businesses in some of the world’s most important and well-known disputes before international courts and tribunals.  He has experience in investment and commercial arbitration proceedings under the rules of all the major arbitral institutions, dealing with disputes covering a broad range of sectors, with a focus on oil & gas and mining.  Much of Ahmed’s work is focused on Africa and the Middle East, in cases which raise complex questions of international law such as exploitation of natural resources in disputed territories, the status of private and public property following state secession, and the impact of civil unrest/war over the operation of energy and construction projects.  For example, Ahmed has represented the State of Libya in three separate investment arbitrations concerning alleged contractual breaches by State-owned entities and the consequences of the civil war on the claimant’s activities.  Ahmed has also represented the largest independent oil & gas company in the Middle East in an LCIA arbitration against one of the largest Western European energy companies in relation to the operation of significant gas fields in the so-called “disputed territories” in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.  Ahmed has also represented the Republic of South Sudan in ICSID proceedings brought by Sudapet Co. Ltd. concerning the ownership of significant oil field interests following South Sudan’s secession from the Republic of the Sudan.

Ahmed has an extensive practice in non-contentious and advisory work for clients around the world.  He regularly advises on structuring and restructuring of investments and complex issues such as: State consent to arbitration under the Agreement on Promotion, Protection and Guarantee of Investments amongst the Member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference; the consequences of civil war on a State’s rights and obligations towards foreign investors; and legal issues arising from the existence of competing governments.  Ahmed also advised the Republic of South Sudan in its oil sector negotiations with Sudan concerning pipeline transit and transportation fees and related international law issues concerning the status of its contractual relationship with foreign oil & gas companies following its secession and independence.

Ahmed is a member of the Association of International Energy Negotiators.  He also serves on the Y-ADR Steering Committee of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR) based in New York.  In 2019, Ahmed was selected as a “Young Leader” by the Franco-British Council.

Commenting on Ahmed joining Volterra Fietta’s partnership, partner Robert Volterra said: “Everyone at the firm is excited to have such a talented international law specialist join the team.  Ahmed’s directory rankings, accolades, scholarly achievements and practice experience are a testament to his many intellectual and practical talents.  The fact that he has generated significant new clients and billing work already as a counsel confirms that Ahmed is recognised in the global market as an exceptionally outstanding lawyer.”

Partner Peter Flint added: “I am delighted to welcome Ahmed to the partnership at Volterra Fietta.  We think that our firm is the perfect home for a talented lawyer like him, who has a successful track record of business development and deserves to be rewarded for that.  I look forward to introducing our clients to Ahmed.”

Partner Gunjan Sharma said: “I have known Ahmed for over a decade and have had the pleasure of working with him closely during my career.  He has a well-earned and accurate reputation as an excellent lawyer, a real professional and a team player.  He has deservedly been ranked in the various directories and accolades for years as a rising star and future market leader.  There is no doubt that Ahmed will be successful in leveraging the significant BD support provided by Volterra Fietta to take his – and our firm’s – practice to the next level.”

Ahmed said:  “I am excited to be joining the partnership at Volterra Fietta.  I share VF’s commitment to provide clients with unmatched public international law and arbitration expertise at the highest level.  Volterra Fietta has been ranked in the directories and accolades for more than two decades as the leading public international law and arbitration practice in the world.  I am thrilled to be joining a team that has fun doing what it does while at the same time enjoying a market reputation for being the bet-the-country and bet-the-company firm for international disputes globally.”

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