Background - Practices (Details)

Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Practice

The Crowell & Moring Middle East and North Africa (MENA) team provides comprehensive and strategic advice to companies and individuals across the globe on a broad spectrum of matters related to their business in the MENA region, and to MENA-based companies doing business in the US, UK, Europe, and Asia. We have counseled clients across diverse industry sectors to comply with local and regional laws and regulations, resolve litigation and international disputes, navigate international investigations, and structure, negotiate and close domestic and cross-border transactions.

We have a sophisticated understanding of cultural and political issues in the region and are able to handle matters in both English and Arabic, among other languages.

Key Areas:

International Dispute Resolution

When clients face legal or regulatory hurdles, when contractual commitments are breached, deals encounter obstacles, or partnerships break down, our international dispute resolution team has a proven track record of delivering strong outcomes in arbitration or through litigation. We pride ourselves on working closely with our clients across the globe to help to resolve the full spectrum of their commercial or investment disputes in a variety of fora.

We have represented clients including in the U.S., MENA, Europe, Asia, Latin America and Russia in litigation and arbitration matters all over the world. However, we recognize that resolving disputes requires nuanced approaches. We specialize in all forms of alternative dispute resolution, including mediation, and have routinely helped our clients settle their disputes amicably thereby avoiding the costs and risk of formal legal proceedings.

Our Dispute Resolution team focuses include:

  • Commercial Arbitration
  • Investment Treaty Arbitration
  • Cross-Border and Domestic Litigation
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution and Mediation
  • Risk and Crisis Management


Crowell & Moring advises international market participants in the Middle East, including sponsors, developers, contractors, equipment suppliers, investors, lenders, and governments, on their most complex and challenging infrastructure projects. Our team has worked at the forefront of innovations in the use of public-private partnerships (PPPs) for the delivery of economic and social infrastructure since its inception. We have extensive experience operating in the many related models of PPPs, including but not limited to Design, Build Operate, Build-Operate-Transfers and Design Build, Finance and Maintain.  We work with our clients in the Middle East for the delivery of efficient and flexible outcomes, through partnerships between public and private sector participants, that deliver value for money and long-term benefits. This work encompasses all aspects of infrastructure, including project finance, secondary market acquisitions, and ownership.  We have advised diverse parties across the full contract life cycle, including developers, project sponsors, infrastructure funds, government bodies, lenders, contractors, and operators.

We have decades of experience with PPPs, counseling both privately owned and publicly traded businesses on projects that create, develop, and expand a broad range of critical infrastructure and services, including airport and aviation facilities, highways, railways and rail corridors, bridges, tunnels, utilities, energy and natural gas generation and distribution, military housing and facilities, stadiums and mixed-use facilities, health care, housing, and schools and universities, among many other engagements. We advise clients in the state, federal, and international markets with regard to these joint initiatives.

Our infrastructure team focuses on the lifecycle of a project including:

  • Shaping, Anticipating and Realizing Opportunities
  • Engaging with Federal and State Actors
  • Advising on Navigating Infrastructure Project Disputes
  • Advising on Government Procurement and Regulatory Approvals
  • Assisting with Mitigating the Range of Legal and Policy Risks

Recent Representative Matters include:

  • International construction consortium – Representation related the build of a large military installation within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
  • Air Force Construction Contractor – Overseeing a US$350 million Air Force construction contract involving 20+ construction projects for military bases, runways, government buildings, barracks, and bridges throughout Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Claims Dispute Act (CDA) claim – Involving allegations of mutual mistake and US$2.5 million in reliance-incurred upgrades to telecommunications infrastructure.
  • An international corporation – Advising with regard to a Request for Proposal (RFP), teaming agreement, and risk analysis for a large design-build subway construction project in a major U.S. city.

International Trade

Our international trade group engages in dispute resolution forums worldwide and recognizes that negotiation and settlement can be as effective as litigation. In conjunction with the firm's full-service international policy and regulatory affairs consulting affiliate, C&M International, we also help facilitate communications with national governments and international trade agencies across North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Our International Trade team focuses on:

  • Anti-Money Laundering (AML)
  • Antiboycott Legislation
  • Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS)
  • Customs Law
  • Export Controls
  • International Trade Investigations
  • Sanctions and Embargoed Countries
  • Unfair Trade Investigations and Litigation
  • WTO, FTAs and Market Access

Government Contracts

Our Government Contracts group represents U.S. and foreign entities in the MENA region that contract with U.S. federal, state, local, and/or non-U.S. governments on numerous large-scale and prominent projects. Working across the firm, our Government Contracts lawyers grasp the intricacies of often massive, complicated contracts and assist clients from all areas on best practices for managing these projects and seeing them through to completion.

We represent clients in government contracts matters arising out of the construction of highways, bridges, power plants, water treatment facilities, and other heavy infrastructure projects in the U.S. In addition, we provide extensive counseling on the domestic preference aspects, as well as the mitigation of foreign ownership, control, or influence (FOCI) under the National Industrial Security Program related to classified work on infrastructure projects within the United States. We also are particularly adept at handling litigation and other disputes arising under prime and sub-contracts.  By way of example, we recently represented the prime contractor on a $27 million claim arising out of demolition and disposal contracts at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar.  We are also overseeing a $350 million Air Force construction contract involving 20+ construction projects for military bases, runways, government buildings, barracks, and bridges throughout Iraq and Afghanistan.

Our government contracts team focuses on:

  • Contract negotiation and drafting
  • The Procurement Process – project tendering, structuring, bidding and securing commitments for financing
  • Operational Concerns and Local Approvals and Permits
  • Compliance Issues - including local regulations, legislation, taxation, environmental, and labor and employment matters
  • Suspension and Debarment Proceedings
  • Financial Product Development and Documentation
  • Origination and Structuring of Finance and Equity Investments