Charlotte Bijlani
Partner, Dispute Resolution


T: +971 4 278 2300
D: +971 4 278 2308


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Summary Open

Charlotte is a Partner in the firm’s Dispute Resolution team based in Dubai.

Charlotte is an experienced dispute resolution lawyer with full rights of audience before both the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) courts and the higher courts of England and Wales.

She regularly acts for employers, contractors and funders in construction and engineering disputes across the Middle East, as well as major corporates, developers, investors, financial institutions and high net worth individuals in all types of contentious matters both regionally and in the UK. Her practice extends to litigation, international arbitration, expert determination and mediation, as well as advisory work on litigation risk and avoidance.

Charlotte has been described by Legal 500 as a “superb litigator”, a “rising star”, an “outstanding operator” as “strategically-minded” and “cool-headed” a “tough, seasoned litigator” and says that she provides “an unrivalled combination of dedication and shrewdness”. Chambers UK/Global describes Charlotte as “impressive, very professional, very approachable and very proactive”, and as a “very, very pleasant lawyer who knows her stuff.”

Experience Open

    Charlotte’s experience includes advising:
    Middle East experience
    • In relation to various matters concerning the Louvre, Abu Dhabi and the development of Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi.
    • An international client in an internal investigation related to potential breaches of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 1977, the Bribery Act 2010 and potential breaches of the Iran Sanctions.
    • A multinational financial institution in a high value employment dispute in the DIFC Courts and successfully obtaining an order for immediate judgement.
    • A significant ferry operator in relation to the enforcement in the UAE of Arbitral Awards arising from a London seated ad hoc arbitration.
    • A UAE government entity in connection with a high value complex joint venture dispute with LCIA arbitration proceedings seated in London and connected court proceedings in Cyprus and Russia.
    • A UAE government-owned developer in connection with a sizeable defects claim against a contractor.
    • A leading global industrial lifting company in connection with a DIAC arbitration seated in Dubai for over US$58m.
    • A leading oil and gas service provider in connection with ICC arbitration proceedings in relation to a major construction project in Abu Dhabi.
    • In connection with disputes arising from delays to the Barakah nuclear energy project in Abu Dhabi.
    • A major French energy company in connection with a DIFC-LCIA arbitration concerning a delay claim for US$50m against a Korean contractor in connection with a power plant in Pakistan.
    • A leading chemical manufacturing company in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in connection with a multi-million US$ dispute with a Korean Contractor in relation to complex EPC Contracts concerning an ethylene plant. Acting in relation to the LCIA arbitration seated in London and injunction and attachment order proceedings in South Korea concerning demands under Performance Bonds issued by a Korean bank.
    • In connection with a dispute under a Waste Disposal Contract relating to a Waste to Energy plant in Bahrain.
    • The Dubai Financial Services Authority in connection with insolvency proceedings in the DIFC courts in relation to ES Bankers (Dubai) Ltd, part of the Portuguese Espirito Santo Financial Group. Securing the appointment of provisional liquidators and an order for the compulsory winding up of the bank.
    • A global engineering and technology services company in relation to DIAC arbitration proceedings against a Saudi entity for breach of an international Distribution Agreement.

Education Open

  • 1996 – 1997: College of Law, London – Legal Practice Course
  • 1993 – 1996: City University – Business Law LLB (Hons), 2:1

Author/Speaker/Awards Open

  • Seminar on Construction Disputes with Keating Chambers and PWC, Key Speaker – October 2014.
  • CIArb Branch International Conference on Guerilla Tactics in Arbitration.
  • Seminar on effective contract management in the Middle East, Key Speaker – September 2015.
  • Client briefing on the impact of falling oil prices on Middle Eastern projects, March 2015.
  • Client briefing: Capita v Drivers Jonas – valuers hit by multi-million pound negligence claims, March 2013.
  • Client briefing: DIFC approach to enforcement of judgments by converting them to arbitral awards.

Membership of Professional Societies Open

  • Solicitor, qualified in England and Wales
  • Solicitors’ Association of Higher Court Advocates
  • Registered in DIFC courts Register of Legal Practitioners with full rights of audience
  • Appointed to the Committee of the Society of Construction Law (Gulf)
  • LCIA Arab Users’ Council

Employment Record Open

  • 2018 – present: Partner, Watson Farley & Williams
  • 2016 – 2017: Partner, Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla
  • 2011 – 2016: Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright
  • 2010 – 2011: Of Counsel, Norton Rose Fulbright

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