Lawyers

Mohamed Shelbaya is a founding partner of Gaillard Banifatemi Shelbaya Disputes. Recognized as “a leading figure in arbitration,” he previously was a partner at Shearman & Sterling LLP where he practiced for more than twelve years, focusing on disputes in the oil & gas sector or disputes related to the Middle East.

Mohamed has represented companies, States and State-owned entities in more than 80 commercial and investment treaty matters, including many multibillion-dollar disputes involving novel questions of international law and geopolitical issues.

He has secured a number of landmark victories for his clients, including, recently, in a string of precedent-setting awards on the application of the ICSID Convention and the English law of assignment, which fully dismissed claims exceeding USD 4 billion that were brought against our client in connection with the operation of an LNG Liquefaction plant and an associated long-term gas supply agreement. He also recently achieved a full victory in an arbitration on behalf a leading European energy company against three Asian State-owned nuclear power companies. The dispute arose from corporate measures adopted by the Respondents that would have de facto deprived our clients of one third of their future profits over the course of the project.

Mohamed acts as President, Sole arbitrator, or co-arbitrator in commercial and investment treaty arbitrations under the ICSID, UNCITRAL, ICC, LCIA, and CRCICA rules.

He also advises energy companies regarding their contractual portfolio and on how to manage potential liability and mitigate litigation risk through dispute-minded contract drafting and corporate structure optimization. He advises governments and State entities on the restructuring of their respective energy sectors.

Mohamed teaches investment arbitration at Sciences Po Law School. He also serves as a member of the LCIA Court and as President of the LCIA’s Arab Users Council.

The latest edition of Chambers Global notes that Mohamed “holds a strong reputation for his impressive handling of complex international arbitrations,” “has an excellent track record” and “handles a multitude of commercial and investment treaty cases in the energy and mining sectors.” Clients interviewed by the publication describe him as “one of the best lawyers globally in oil and gas dispute resolution,” highlighting that “he is extremely smart, sophisticated and commercial,” “is brilliantly skilful at what he does,” and that he “is always keen to help, is always reachable and has good insights into commercial matters from a legal perspective.” Clients in previous editions of Chambers and other directories have commented that he “does amazing work,” that they were “really impressed by him,” and described him as “one of the greatest arbitration minds of his generation,” and “a calm, composed and efficient practitioner who has the ability to turn prima facie losing points into winning arguments.” They have also praised him for being “persuasive and very smart,” “an excellent negotiator” who “thinks outside the box,” “a brilliant lawyer,” with “a pragmatic approach, perfectly balancing legal and commercial considerations,” and “an outstanding strategist, with excellent analytical skills and a unique ability to come up with innovative solutions to solve difficult problems.” Mohamed was featured in the 2023 edition of Global Arbitration Review’s “45 Under 45”, a list, compiled once every decade, of the 45 most prominent arbitration practitioners worldwide under the age of 45.