Philip Punwar is an international arbitration and dispute resolution partner at Baker Botts LLP. He has been resident in Dubai since November 2005.
In the real-estate field, Philip has significant Mega Projects experience gained through his representation of developers and sub-developers involved in multi-billion dollar disputes referred to arbitration. He has also acted as arbitrator in high-value real-estate disputes arising out of agreements for the development of administrative, residential, leisure and sporting facilities.
In the construction field, Philip has represented Main Contractors, Sub-Contractors and Employers in disputes arising out of agreements for the construction of a variety of large mixed-use developments. He has also acted as arbitrator in disputes of a similar nature, both in the Middle East and Europe.
Philip was born and brought up in Kent. He holds an undergraduate degree in Philosophy from the University of Birmingham, a post-graduate degree in Law from the City University (London) and a postgraduate degree in International Studies and Diplomacy from SOAS (the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University). He was called to the Bar of England & Wales by the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple in November 1989 and elected a Master of the Bench of the Inner Temple in October 2013. In addition to being an Advocate of the DIFC Courts and a Practising Barrister (England & Wales), Philip is a Chartered Arbitrator (CIArb) and an Accredited Mediator (CEDR).
Philip has been involved in a number of government initiatives in the UAE relating to arbitration. From 2007 to 2008 he worked with the UAE Ministry of Economy on the production of the 2008 draft Federal Arbitration Law. During the same period he was also a member of the Dubai International Financial Centre's 2008 Arbitration Law Steering Committee. Philip is a member of the ICC Commission on Arbitration & ADR.
Philip's recent arbitrations (either as counsel or as arbitrator) have involved disputes arising out of aircraft charter agreements, agreements for the provision of armed security and logistics in areas of conflict, construction agreements, licensing agreements, project development agreements, operating agreements, production sharing agreements and distribution agreements.
In the course of his practice before the DIFC Courts, Philip obtained the first Freezing Order issued by the DIFC Courts and appeared in the first appeal to the DIFC Court of Appeal. In 2014 he was the first Supervising Lawyer appointed by the DIFC Courts and in 2015 he oversaw the execution of the DIFC Courts' first Search Order.