Nasser Alrubayyi is Co-Chair Middle East & North Africa Practice and leads the practice in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He acts as counsel representing and defending international as well as domestic corporations in a wide assortment of litigation and arbitration cases in the construction, telecommunications, securities, tax, insurance, and real estate sectors.
Mr. Alrubayyi is one of the first lawyers to argue cases before the Saudi Administrative Supreme Court and has won three cases before it. He is a former advisor to the Saudi Ministry of Justice in relation to the reform of the Saudi judicial system.
Before starting to practice in Saudi Arabia, Mr. Alrubayyi trained at the International Court of Arbitration (ICC) in France and JAMS in the United States.
Legal 500 ranked Mr. Alrubayyi in 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023, noting “[he] is a fearless and confident litigator, and the type of lawyer you would want standing next to you in “house on fire” situations and high stakes matters. He is very well reasoned and able to simplify complex issues and come up with innovative solutions. He is very attuned to his clients’ concerns and needs.” Also, Legal 500 has listed Mr. Alrubayyi in its inaugural “Arbitration Powerlist – Middle East Region”.
Chambers and Partners ranked him for the year 2020, noting he is “a high-calibre practitioner,” for the year 2021, stating he is “an astute practitioner with deep strength in Saudi disputes ... [and] a strong background in Islamic law”, and for the year 2022, noting “[h]e is very strategic and well structured in his thinking; he offers very clear strategies. He is also very well reasoned, super responsive and very flexible and accommodating.”
Arbitration experience highlights:
- Advised the Saudi government in connection to a construction arbitration case filed by DSG Yapi Sanayi Ticaret Anonim Sirketi before an ICSID arbitral tribunal.
- Successfully represented an energy company in a USD 250 million construction arbitration case concerning the installation of natural gas pipelines. The case involved quantum and defect claims.
- Represented Etihad Etisalat Company (Mobily) against Mobile Telecommunications Co (Zain) in a USD 500 million arbitration concerning claims for breaches of a commercial agreement. The case was public.
- Successfully represented an international company in a construction arbitration case in relation to an infrastructure project in the western province of Saudi Arabia with claims exceeding USD 130 million. The case involved claims resulting from termination for cause. The arbitral tribunal had to consider delay, quantum, and geotechnical claims.
- Defended an energy company in an arbitration case brought by a security establishment concerning the termination of three security contracts. The claims in question exceeded USD 110 million and included allegations of payment delay and a counterclaim for the cost to complete the original scope.
- Successfully represented an energy company in a construction arbitration case concerning a crude oil pipelines project with claims of the value of more than USD 13 million. The case involved the appointment of international quantum and delay experts.
- Represented two large corporations against a group of Saudi companies in an ICC arbitration case. The case involved claims concerning the respondents’ breaches of a share capital sale and purchase agreement.
- Defended one of the international energy companies in three separate arbitration cases concerning vessels where the value of the claims in question was over USD 186 million. The cases involved claims for downtime payments and change orders.
- Successfully represented an international financial institution against a Saudi company in an arbitration case concerning financing agreements with claims of the value of more than USD 70 million.
- Successfully represented an Islamic international bank against a Saudi company in an arbitration case involving claims exceeding USD 30 million. The case involved claims for failure to comply with the terms of a financing agreement.
- Successfully acted for an energy company in a construction arbitration case concerning a residential project in the western province of Saudi Arabia. The case involved dealing with quantum and delay claims.
Litigation experience highlights:
- Acting for a government entity in the bankruptcy proceedings in relation to the liquidation of Saudi Ogier. The government entity’s claims against Saudi Ogier exceed USD 7 billion and involve requests for enforcement against pledged securities, including pledged real estate.
- Successfully defended an energy company against claims totaling over USD 500 million brought by a Saudi energy-listed company, SARCO, before the Saudi Administrative Supreme Court, concerning a shareholder dispute. Mr. Alrubayyi was successful in convincing the Supreme Court Judges to dismiss all the claims brought by SARCO.
- Acted for an energy company in bankruptcy proceedings filed by the construction company, Azmeel Contracting Company (Azmeel), before the Commercial Court. The energy company’s claims were in relation to the cost to complete five major construction projects that Azmeel has failed to complete.
- Successfully represented an international energy company against a Saudi company before the Administrative Supreme Court concerning breaches of an energy agreement. One of the main claims was whether the international energy company breached the agreement based on the prices applied to the kerosene supplied to the Saudi company. Mr. Alrubayyi personally argued the case and was successful in convincing the Supreme Court Judges that his client applied the right kerosene prices and to award his client USD 224 million for unpaid kerosene supplied to the Saudi company.
- Representing a group of international banks against the Saudi conglomerate company, Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi and Brothers, before the Saudi Enforcement Court in relation to claims exceeding USD 133 million.
- Successfully represented an international company against a group of Saudi companies before the Saudi Administrative Supreme Court. The case concerned whether the international company had the right to decide not to contract with certain companies given that it was a state-owned company. Mr. Alrubayyi personally argued the case before the Court and was successful in convincing the Supreme Court Judges to unanimously dismiss all the claims brought by the plaintiffs against his client.
- Represented a multinational computer technology corporation in a number of tax cases. Those cases involved objections to tax assessments issued by the Saudi Tax Authority in relation to income tax, and claims for refund concerning withholding and income taxes.
- Representing the Japanese corporation, Sumitomo Corporation, against the former exclusive Komatsu agent in Saudi Arabia, Abdullah Saeed Bugshan & Bros (ASB), concerning the sale of Komatsu heavy equipment.
- Successfully represented a Fortune 500 corporation before the Saudi Enforcement Court to enforce one of the first international arbitral awards in Saudi Arabia, an arbitral award that awarded our client more than USD 58 million.
- Successfully defended an international energy company in a real estate case brought by the owner of a residential compound, Qitaf Al Ardh Real Estate Development Company, before the Saudi General Court. One of the main claims was whether the energy company had breached the lease agreement of the residential compound. Mr. Alrubayyi was successful in convincing both the General Court and the Court of Appeals to dismiss all the claims brought by the plaintiff.
- Successfully represented a Swedish corporation and Saudi company against a Saudi limited liability company, Saudi National Establishment Company Limited, concerning payment default on sales contracts. Mr. Alrubayyi succeeded in presenting the case before the First Instance Court, the Court of Appeals, and the Enforcement Court.
- Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University School of Law
(LLM, International arbitration)
- Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University
(B.A., Shari'ah law)
- The Saudi bar