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Sami Tannous


International arbitration |

Sources praise his abilities as an advocate, and one interviewee remarked that he is "possibly the best arbitration lawyer in Dubai."

Chambers Global 2020

Profile details

About Sami Tannous

Sami is a Middle East disputes specialist focusing on investor-state and international commercial arbitration.

He has represented clients in international arbitrations under all major arbitration rules including the ICC, LCIA, ICSID, DIAC, SCC and UNCITRAL rules, with seats in London, Paris, Dubai, DIFC, Geneva, The Hague and Washington, and also sits as arbitrator.

Sami has advised and represented clients on disputes in a broad range of industry sectors, including oil and gas, banking, real estate, defence, travel, media, and construction.

Sami has spent a decade in the Middle East, based in Dubai. Before relocating to Dubai, Sami worked in Freshfields’ Paris office, and in London.

Recent work

  • Representing a leading global technology company in a DIFC-LCIA arbitration under distribution agreements with a Middle Eastern distributor.
  • Representing a group of individual investors in arbitrations under the OIC treaty and a BIT involving a Middle Eastern State.
  • Representing a consortium of oil and gas companies in an LCIA arbitration regarding their interests in Iraq and the Kurdistan region.
  • Representing a Middle Eastern financial investor in a post-M&A arbitration under the DIFC-LCIA Rules. 
  • Representing a Dubai-based real estate developer in DIAC arbitrations involving various real estate projects. 
  • Representing nine Pakistani independent power producers in LCIA arbitrations in connection with their entitlement to receive capacity payments under the terms of power purchase agreements.
  • Representing the Government of Romania in an ICSID arbitration initiated by a Swedish investor.
  • Representing the Kingdom of Cambodia in an ICSID arbitration initiated by an American investor in connection with a combined cycle gas turbine power plant.
  • Representing a leading French bank in an SCC arbitration involving a dispute under the terms of a share purchase agreement.
  • Representing a global travel company in an ICC arbitration against a major airline organisation.
  • Representing a gas wholesaler in a gas price review arbitration under the ICC rules against a major European gas supplier.
  • Representing a nuclear power plant developer in an ICC arbitration in connection with the development of a nuclear power plant.



  • Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England & Wales


  • London School of Economics and Political Science, UK (LLB law with French law)
  • Université Robert Schumann, Strasbourg, France (Diplôme d’Etudes Juridiques Françaises)

Professional memberships

  • Vice President of the LCIA Arab Users’ Counsel
  • Member of the ICC UAE Steering committee


  • International arbitration Top Trends 2022 Perspective

  • With Samantha Lord Hill and Amr Omran, 2016 United Arab Emirates country chapter in the ‘International Handbook on Commercial Arbitration’

  • International Law Office, 25 August 2016 (with Samantha Lord Hill) Arbitration in Abu Dhabi Global Market – another common law jurisdiction in the Middle East

  • International Law Office, 9 July 2015 (with Matei Purice) No BIT available? Multilateral investment treaties in Middle East and North Africa

  • International Law Office, 18 December 2014 (with Joseph Chedrawe) Arbitration Clauses and the Dubai Government

  • Arbitration International, Vol 25, No 2 (2009) (with Reza Mohtashami) Arbitration at the Dubai International Financial Centre: a Common Law Jurisdiction in the Middle East