Damages in the Middle East and Africa 2021: Trends from Recent Cases and Some Challenges

01 June 2021
Dr. Fabrizio Hernández, Timothy McKenna, and Ralph Meghames

The Middle East and Africa (MEA) region is particularly active in international arbitration. Among cases in the region, three main characteristics stand out. First, the majority of cases are linked to large infrastructure-related disputes. Second, among recent cases, investor-state disputes appear to be more frequent than commercial disputes. Third, the most frequent allegations for arbitration are expropriation and breach of contract, including breach of shareholders’ agreements.

Despite some similarities in the issues and sectors affected by the trends mentioned above, from a quantum perspective, each displays features that need to be assessed in the specific context in which they arise. As such, a correct understanding of the role of country risk, foreign exchange (FX) rates, and fiscal regimes is key to the proper calculation and discounting of cash flows.