Nick Carnell


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Nick Carnell has specialised in construction and engineering law, arbitration and insurance law for almost 30 years, originally in the UK, and over 12 years in the Middle East. During that time he has acted for all members of the construction team including developers, funders, contractors, specialist sub-contractors professionals and insurers. He has received numerous appointments as an Arbitrator. He is also the author of “Causation and Delay in Construction Disputes”. Nick has extensive advocacy experience in all forms of dispute resolution and is a Registered Practitioner in the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts (where he issued the first claim form). He is a Chartered Arbitrator and a CEDR Accredited Mediator.

Nick is ranked as a Leading Individual in Construction in Chambers Global and clients see him as being highly responsive and having an in-depth knowledge of the law.

Notable matters have included​

  • Acting for ITD Nawarat JV in relation to arbitrations relating to the Royal Amwaj Hotel Dubai seeking sums over AED100 million together with extensions of time and associated relief;
  • Acting for reinsurers in arbitral proceedings in India defending claims arising out of cyclone damage to a refinery in North West India in which sums involved were in excess of USD 2 billion. This was at the time the largest domestic arbitration ever conducted in India and occupied some 63 days of hearings spread over 9 months;
  • Acting for Contractors in a major dispute over the construction of manmade islands in Bahrain;
  • Acting for Architects in relation to the termination of a contractor on a major sporting facility in Dubai;
  • Acting for turnkey contractors on the construction of DRI steel plants in Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Dubai;
  • Acting for specialist sub-contractors on the reconstruction of Salalah Airport Oman;
  • Acting for specialist sub-contractors on the extension of King Abdul Aziz International Airport, Jeddah, KSA;
  • Party appointee for Muscat City Desalination Arbitration – case largely concerned with a rather abstruse point of English law;
  • Party appointee for Duqm Drydocks dormitory arbitration;
  • Chair of DIAC Arbitration for a hotel claim in Dubai – sum involved c. AED150m;
  • Party appointee on OMR 22 million arbitration arising out of sewage treatment plant in Muscat.
  • Sole Arbitrator in DIAC dispute between D & B Contractor and Consultant – issue concerned scope of services, valuation of services and liability following termination
  • Sole Arbitrator in LCIA dispute between State Oil company and shipping company (8-day hearing during lockdown conducted remotely and including witnesses giving evidence through translators.)˃Sole Arbitrator on Dispute in Bahrain between Building Owner and Refurbishment Contractor particularly relating to design liability for upgrades to IT systems.
  • Chair of DIAC Arbitration concerning Dispute between Contractor and Employer – partial award on jurisdictional objections (by both parties).
  • Party appointee on ICC Arbitration concerning Building Management System at Airport – highly technical evidence concerning causes of delay to the installation of Building Management System.
  • Acting for Claimants in a series of related disputes concerning design and construction contracts for Oil Storage facilities in a UAE Free Zone including a subsidiary dispute relating to a Joint Venture Agreement between the parties  (parallel arbitration proceedings under different contracts under ICC and LCIA rules and related High Court Proceedings in London).

Focus Areas

News & Blog Highlights

  • New UAE cybercrime law: Detailed insights into crimes and penalties
    In an era where cyber security is more crucial than ever, understanding new legal frameworks is vital for individuals and businesses. The UAE has recently updated its cybercrime laws, introducing stricter penalties and broadening the scope of recognised offences to protect data integrity better. Our latest blog post thoroughly explores […]
  • The ultimate guide to understanding the UAE's wage protection system (WPS)
    The UAE’s Wage Protection System (WPS) is a crucial initiative designed to ensure the timely and accurate payment of wages to employees. Developed by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE), the WPS requires all salaries to be paid through approved electronic means, helping to safeguard workers and streamline […]

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