Dr Karim A Youssef is the managing partner and head of international arbitration and international law practices at Youssef & Partners in Cairo, Egypt, a full-service law firm, whose flagship practice is commercial and treaty arbitration and high-end and diverse litigation, with a focus on complex and high-value claims.
Karim's practice focuses on commercial arbitration, investment treaty arbitration and international law, and he has extensive experience in these fields. Karim is noted for his expertise in complex multiparty arbitrations, and in the field of investment treaty arbitration.
Karim has acted as counsel, party-appointed or presiding arbitrator in over 85 international arbitrations under a variety of arbitration rules including the ICC, CRCICA, DIAC, LCIA, SCC, UNCITRAL and ICSID. He has also acted in ad hoc arbitrations governed by national laws. Karim represents regional and international clients in high-profile local and regional disputes and large-value claims, across a wide array of industries and key sectors, including energy, mining, hospitality, construction, development, technology, telecommunications and infrastructure.
Highlights of Karim's counsel work include representing investors in investment treaty claims, including in Cementos La Union SA & Aridos Jativa SLU v. the Arab Republic of Egypt and, previously, representing the CBC Channel in commercial claims against Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef.
Karim acts as counsel or arbitrator in some of the largest commercial claims arising from the Arab Spring, including in disputes concerning the post–2011 unwinding of Moubarak-era privatization transactions and disputes relating to certain mega-projects in Egypt and the Middle East.
In addition to his role as counsel and arbitrator, Karim has provided opinions pertaining to Egyptian and Arab law and issues of jurisdiction and non-signatories, and testified as expert on numerous occasions in arbitral and foreign court proceedings relating to the Middle East or involving Middle Eastern parties.
Karim was educated at Yale Law School (where he received LLM and JSD degrees), the University of Paris (Sorbonne) and Cairo University.
Karim's memberships include the board of reporters of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA) for Egypt and the editorial board of the Journal of Arab Arbitration.
Dr Youssef's distinctions include, inter alia, Chambers Global (Band 1, Dispute Resolution – Egypt, 2017); Who's Who Legal: Arbitration (2017); and Arbitration Law Experts (Egypt). Chambers and Partners (2017) states: 'The "very meticulous and very creative" Karim Youssef of Youssef & Partners is admired by a wide range of sources for his outstanding track record in arbitration. Commentators highlight his proactive approach and in-depth understanding of the market. One peer said: "He is definitely a leading counsel in the field."'
Karim is fluent in English, French and Arabic, and has working knowledge of Italian and Spanish.