Sarwat is the Chairman and Founder of Shahid Law Firm. He is a former judge and counselor of the Egyptian State Council (Conseil d’Etat), and is a registered patent attorney.
Since his entry into private practice, Sarwat has provided legal advice on various matters including mergers and acquisitions, local and international public securities offerings, corporate finance and restructuring, securitization, investments, estate and tax planning and insurance.
Some of the industries that have benefitted from Sarwat’s expertise include pharmaceuticals and healthcare, insurance, banking and finance, construction and real estate, infrastructure – including BOT and BOOT schemes, logistics and transportation, oil and gas, and renewable and clean energy.
Sarwat also has over thirty years of experience with regard to contentious matters including litigation and arbitration – appearing before courts of all levels across Egypt, and the enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitral awards; and is also a regularly appointed arbitrator at the Cairo Regional Center for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA). In addition, he is very active in the Egyptian business community.
Furthermore, Sarwat is usually appointed as an expert in various English Courts, and was also chosen recently among the list of arbitrators recommended by the Ministry of Justice.
Some of the recent recognition Sarwat has received in international legal guides is as follows:
- “ ‘Experienced practitioner with considerable litigation expertise from his background as a former judge of the Egyptian State Council. Regularly handles complex arbitrations for high-profile international clients.’ “– Chambers Global 2017
- “knows the Egyptian legal market inside-out” – Chambers Global 2016
- “an excellent professional across all aspects of transactional work” and “understand[s] [his] clients and provide[s] advice that is always “bang on” and pragmatic”– Legal 500 2016
- “skillful, responsive attorney with good business sense” – Legal 500 2015
Sarwat is a member of the American and International Bar Associations and is a member of the Board of Directors of many multinational joint venture companies in Egypt as well as of the Board of Directors of various leading Egyptian companies.
Sarwat received an LL.B. and an LL.M. in Public Law and International Private Law from Ain Shams University.
Dispute Resolution Experience
- Stayed an order by the Cairo Economic Court for Abbott to pay EGP 50 million to a small Egyptian distribution company on the background of an alleged breach of contract until review by the Court of Cassation.
- Steered a settlement of multi-million-dollar arbitration under the ICC rules between an International Hotel Management Company and the owner of a hotel facility.
- Represented two major regional media companies in a multi-million-dollar multi-party dispute involving litigation and arbitration under UAE law concerning breaches of a number of licensing and broadcasting agreements (CRCICA Case No. 1012/2014).
- Represented a major international auto manufacturing company against its Egyptian distributor/dealer in a multi-million-dollar CRCICA arbitration (CRCICA Case No. 856/2012).
- Represented an International hotel management company against a local owner of a hotel facility in multi-million Egyptian pounds arbitration under the CRCICA rules in a dispute involving the unjustified termination of a Hotel Management Agreement.
- Acted as co-counsel for Respondent in the matter between Arab Banking Corporation (Claimant) v. Société Générale Du Surveillance (Respondent). Claimant requested an award for damages equivalent to US$ 5 million, but a settlement agreement was reached for less than 10% of damages sought.
- Acted as counsel for Respondent in a shareholders’ dispute for damages equivalent to US$10 million, and its related settlement.
- Acted as counsel for Respondent in the matter between Sout El-Fan (Claimant) v. Alam El-Fan (Respondent).
- Advised a subsidiary of a multinational oil and gas company on the first quasi class action profit-sharing arbitration claim in the oil and gas sector in Egypt. The matter is now referred to the Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court for the review of the constitutionality of certain provisions affecting the arbitration.
- Acted as co-counsel for East Mediterranean Gas and a number of its shareholders in major international oil & gas disputes against the Arab Republic of Egypt and various State entities (ICSID Case No. ARB/12/11; ICC Case No. 18215/GZ/MHM; CRCICA Case No. 829/2012 and PCA Case No. 2012-26).
- Acted as co-counsel for Claimant in the matter between Hussain Sajwani, DAMAC Park Avenue For Real Estate Development SAE, DAMAC GAMSHA Bay for Development SAE v. Arab Republic of Egypt (ICSID Case No. ARB/11/16).
- Acted as lead counsel for Claimant in the matter between Middle East Cement Shipping and Handling v. Arab Republic of Egypt (ICSID Case No. ARB/99/6).
Construction and Real Estate Disputes
- Acted as counsel for Respondent in the matter between the Consortium of International Dredging Companies (Claimant) v. the Egyptian Red Sea Ports Authority (Respondent). The Claimant pleaded for variation costs and damages exceeding US$ 40 million, but the tribunal finally awarded them variation costs of US$ 2 million (which the Respondent was actually not contesting).
- Represented Claimant in the various matters between a Belgian Construction Company (Claimant) v. a Saudi Egyptian Group of Companies (Respondent). The final award came in favor of the Claimant and ordered the Respondent to pay an amount in excess of US$ 10 million.
- Acted as counsel for Soma Bay Group of Companies (as Claimant and Respondent) in the various arbitrations (5 cases) against Kajima Corporation. All said arbitrations ended in an amicable settlement.
- Steered the settlement between the Golden Pyramids Plaza Company v. Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC) & Orascom Construction Industries (Respondent) in relation to the construction of the City Stars Complex.
- Represented Respondent in a matter between a US Power Company (Claimant) v. Arab Steel Manufacturing Company (Respondent) in relation to the construction of a power plant.
- Acted as Counsel for Claimant in the matter between an Arab real estate & tourist group of Companies (Claimant) v. a US construction Company (Respondent).
Arbitration cases in which Sarwat was appointed as member of the tribunal
- Co-Arbitrator in multi-million-dollar arbitration under the CRCICA rules in a dispute involving agreement for building and operating the passengers waiting area with facilities in Hurghada International Airport under BO system (CRCICA Case No. 275/2002).
- Co-Arbitrator in multi-million-dollar arbitration under the CRCICA rules in a dispute involving the unjustified termination of an Agency Agreement for Money Transfers (CRCICA Case No. 831/2012).
- Chairman of the Tribunal in multi-million-dollar arbitration under the CRCICA rules in a dispute involving the breach of an equipment transportation agreement (CRCICA Case No. 882/2013).
- Nominated as a member of the Dispute Adjudication Board constituted under a FIDIC Turnkey Contract for the construction and installation of Telecom Facilities.
- “Legal Privatization Issues in Egypt,” Euromoney Publications, 1999/2000 (with Rania Bata).
Short Articles and Blog Posts
- “The Phenomenon of Existence of Plenty of Criminal Judgments in absentia in Egypt Due to the Non-Acceptance of Hearing the Defense of the Absent Accused Person in Felonies”, Al-Ahram Weekly, March 5, 2015. Also, the article appeared on June 25, 2015 in Egyptian Justice (www.egyptianjustice.com).