Arbitration, both domestic and international, forms a major part of Arshad’s practice. The bulk of Arshad’s work however has an international dimension, either involving foreign clients or legal or arbitral proceedings in other jurisdictions. Arshad has been or is involved in arbitrations taking place in New York, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Oman, the UAE, Qatar, India and Indonesia. Arshad has in addition considerable experience of investment treaty arbitration having been retained in respect of proceedings before ICSID in respect of a claim under the UK-Kenya BIT and having advised parties to various claims under the Energy Charter Treaty. Arshad has also advised a Pakistani investor in respect of a claim against Saudi Arabia under the OIC Investment Protection Treaty.
Arshad has particular expertise in the energy sector and has acted in various disputes concerning power plants in Oman, including as to their construction and as to their operation and maintenance. He has also advised in respect of claims arising under numerous Power Purchase Agreements. Additionally, he has experience in the hospitality and tourism sector and has been involved in a numerous arbitrations regarding hotel management contracts as well as in relation to the construction of Integrated Tourism Complexes. Arshad was also counsel in the landmark case of Egan & Eggert v Efa & Eava, in which he was instructed to challenge the jurisdiction of the DIFC Court to enforce a New York Convention Award which had no nexus whatsoever with the DIFC and in which the so-called “conduit” jurisdiction of the DIFC Court was first articulated.
In the past 3 years, Arshad has, inter alia, acted for the successful party in the following, the details of all of which are confidential, unless otherwise indicated:
- a Zurich seated, Dubai located, ICC arbitration concerning the sale and purchase of shares in an Omani marble mining company;
- a London seated, Nigerian Law, ICC arbitration valued at about $40 million in relation to a failed joint venture agreement between a Nigerian and a Turkish construction company regarding a joint venture in the construction services sector;
- a London seated, UAE Law, LCIA arbitration concerning the supply of equipment for the manufacture of wood based panels and boards.
- a DIFC-LCIA arbitration with a value in the tens of millions of dollars in relation to a shareholders’ agreement concerning shares in a company established to set up and operate an Antimony roaster and in which one of the parties was a sovereign wealth fund
- an ad hoc construction arbitration in Oman concerning a major integrated tourism development;
- an LCIA arbitration concerning the provision of consultancy services by a US company to a Saudi Arabian aerospace company;
- an ad hoc arbitration in Oman for the Public Authority for Electricity and Water concerning the construction of a sea water reverse osmosis desalination plant;
- a $50 million ad hoc arbitration in Oman concerning a sewage treatment network (Galfar v Haya);
- a $10 million LCIA arbitration concerning the distribution of travel goods;
- an ICC arbitration regarding an aborted trade in Medium Term Notes;
- a Hong Kong arbitration regarding liability for damage to cargo caused by inadequate lashing under the Gencon 94.
Currently, amongst others, Arshad is retained as counsel in an ICC arbitration concerning an international Onshore Drilling contract and the provision of oil rigs thereunder; a DIAC arbitration (Case 58/2019) regarding a major construction project in Dubai; and an ad hoc arbitration in Oman for the Military and Security Services Apparatuses Pension Fund (MASSAPF) concerning the construction and fit out of a hotel complex.
Arshad has also acted as counsel in i) an LCIA arbitration for a partly government owned Omani client regarding wire manufacturing machinery; ii) an ad hoc arbitration regarding the management of a hotel in Duqqum, Oman; iii) an ad hoc charterparty arbitration involving failure to pay the purchase price of 2 vessels chartered on hire- purchase terms (seat London), iv) an LCIA arbitration regarding the sale of scrap metal; and v) continues to be involved in various shipping arbitrations under LMAA rules acting both for charterers and shippers and in one of which, relating to the hire of various tug boats, he was retained by a foreign government. In the past Arshad has acted in shipbuilding and ship repair arbitrations, both for the yard and the purchaser, and has also been engaged in an arbitration concerning liability to obtain an exemption from the IMSBC Code.
Arshad also acted as counsel for a major international company in an arbitration concerning the construction of a sewage treatment plant. Arshad was instructed by Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle in this matter.
On the domestic front, Arshad was counsel in an arbitration involving a regional police force following their termination of a contract with vehicle recovery agents. Arshad was also junior counsel in the first case to reach the House of Lords (and sole counsel in the lower courts) on the interpretation of the Arbitration Act 1996: Inco Europe v First Choice Distribution  1 WLR 586;  1 WLR 270.
Additionally, Arshad has appeared in the High Court on applications under the 1996 Act, including for example, in The Pamphilos  EWHC 2292. Arshad is frequently instructed in respect of the enforcement of arbitration awards and acted for Cyrex Nigeria Barge Ltd in successfully enforcing and executing an arbitration award of over $12m against the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In 2017 he was instructed to resist enforcement of a $2 billion award in the DIFC Court on behalf of the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq (Pearl Petroleum Company Limited & Others v The Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq  DIFC ARB 003). He has also recently been retained to resist the enforcement of an LMAA award by the DIFC Court on the basis that there was no arbitration agreement between the parties. In 2023 he successfully resisted a challenge to the enforcement jurisdiction of the DIFC Courts made on the basis that the award sought to be enforced following the abolition of the DIFC-LCIA arbitration centre was a nullity: Dubai Expo 2020 LLC v Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC (ARB-020-2022).
Since 2012 Arshad has increasingly been sitting as an arbitrator following three appointments in respect of arbitrations in the Indian energy sector, concerning the supply of power machines. Subsequently he was appointed in an ICC arbitration seated in Dubai regarding a hotel management contract and in December 2014 was appointed in a $50m ICC arbitration with its seat in London but subject to Emirati Law. In August 2015 he was nominated in an LCIA arbitration regarding a distribution agreement. In recent years Arshad has been appointed as a party nominated arbitrator in ICC arbitrations 22609/FZ and 22318/PTA and proposed as a party appointed arbitrator in an AIAC arbitration concerning a 3G mobile telecommunications network; as the Chairman of a DIAC Panel in an arbitration regarding a golf course in Dubai and as the sole arbitrator in a dispute regarding the laying of fibre-optic cable in Oman. Arshad is currently sitting as a co-arbitrator in amongst other matters, DIAC Case 211/2021, with Sir Peter Gross (chairman) and Dominic Kendrick KC.
Arshad is also on the CEDR Panel of Neutrals and as such has frequently sat as sole arbitrator in London in respect of disputes arising under the ABTA arbitration scheme. He is also on the Ofgem Panel in respect of disputes involving National Grid Electricity Transmission as well as on the RECC Panel as regards renewable energy disputes. Further, he sits as an adjudicator under the WATRS scheme.
Additionally, Arshad is, to mention just a selection, on the panel of arbitrators of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO); the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC); the Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC); the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA); the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC); the Istanbul Arbitration Centre (ISTAC); The Kigali International Arbitration Centre (KIAC); The Lagos Court of Arbitration (LCA); the Centre for International Commercial and Investment Arbitration (CIICA); the Indian Council of Arbitration (ICA); the Nani Pakhiwala Arbitration Centre (NPAC); the IMC International Arbitration Centre (IIAC); the Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration, Lagos (RCICAL); the Delhi International Arbitration Centre; the BVI International Arbitration Centre, the GCC Arbitration Centre; the Oman Commercial Arbitration Centre (OCAC); the Energy Disputes Arbitration Centre (EDAC) in Turkey as well as the panel of arbitrators and mediators of the Hainan international Arbitration Court.
Arshad has also been placed, by the Attorney General of Pakistan, on the panel of international lawyers to be used by the Government of Pakistan in international arbitrations maintained by the Federal Law Ministry and is the founding member and a vice-president of the Pakistan Branch of the International Law Association. He is also a life member of the Indian Council of Arbitration (ICA) and a member of ICCA, LCIA and the ICC. Arshad is a member of the ICC Commission for arbitration and ADR as well as of its Task Force on ADR and Arbitration and was a member of its Task Force on the Arbitration of Climate Change Related Disputes. He was also an Ambassador to the ICC Commission on Belt and Road Disputes. Arshad has also been elected as the Chairman of the Steering Committee formed to set up a Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in Oman.
Arshad frequently lectures on and publishes articles on various aspects of arbitration law. He is a regular speaker at the XXIV Annual Dubai Conference. In May 2022 he spoke at the inaugural CIArb (Pakistan Branch) Conference, held in Lahore, Pakistan, on recent developments in arbitration practice globally. In February 2019 he delivered a paper at the joint CIArb / CRCICA conference on arbitrating banking and finance related disputes, held in Cairo Egypt. In November 2019, he was a member of a panel which discussed the presentation made by Professor Lucy Reed for the Pakistan Branch of the ILA on Pakistan’s experience of investment treaty arbitrations. He has also, in 2018, spoken at the third annual CIICA Conference held in Lahore, Pakistan with the support of UNCITRAL, on the resolution of disputes arising under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). In 2017 he also spoke on CPEC disputes at a conference organized by the UMT School of Law and Policy in Lahore as well as on arbitration law in Pakistan at a conference organized by the Sheikh Ahmed Hassan School of Law at the Lahore University of Management Sciences which was featured in the GAR Article “Winds of Change in Pakistan.” In November 2016 he spoke on the Omani Arbitration Law at the ICC Young Arbitrators’ Forum on Revitalising Arbitration in the Middle East, which took place in Muscat, Oman. Arshad has also spoken at various law firms on escalation clauses and the decision in the case of Emirates Trading Agency v Prime Mineral Exports  EWHC 2104 (Comm) and has published a case note on the decision in Habas Sinai v VSC Steel Co  EWHC 4071 (Comm) in Arbitration, November 2014, Vol.80, No.4, p.463. He is also an accredited course leader and exam marker for the CIArb Fellowship and Membership courses. Since 2019 Arshad has also been extensively involved with the creation and establishment of the Oman Commercial Arbitration Centre (OCAC) in Muscat.