Martin Khoshdel

Senior Associate,
Dubai, UAE

T. +971 4 528 5555

Martin is a senior associate in the arbitration and dispute resolution practice of BSA.

He commenced practising as a Barrister of England & Wales from 2014 until 2017 with a criminal defence practice and then developed a commercial and employment practice. In 2021, Martin relocated to the United Arab Emirates and developed a construction disputes practice with a local firm before joining BSA.

As a proficient and confident advocate, Martin has been regularly conducting advocacy since the second six months of pupillage appearing before various Judges and against prominent opponents including King’s Counsel representing both individuals and companies. In the UAE, Martin has appeared in various hearings and trials before the DIFC Courts and arbitration proceedings.

Martin’s specialisms cover complex and high-value construction, engineering and infrastructure disputes, in particular delay related claims with technical aspects, representing Employers and Main Contractors. His practice also covers commercial disputes including shareholders, directors, professional negligence, employment and insurance disputes.

Martin utilises his advocacy skills before arbitral tribunals whether ad hoc or institutional, and before the DIFC Courts, ADGM Courts and the Courts of England & Wales.

He was admitted as a Barrister to the Bar of England and Wales in 2010, and in 2021 Martin was admitted as a DLAD Legal Consultant and as a DIFC Courts Part 2 Registered Practitioner. 

He has been a member of the Society of Construction Law since February 2023. 

Martin is also a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, since October 2023.

Areas of expertise
  • Litigation
  • Environment, social and governance
  • Arbitration
  • Construction and Engineering
  • Energy
  • International Trade, Transport & Maritime
  • Family-owned Businesses
  • Private Client
  • High Net Worth Individuals
Highlights of experience
  • Five Real Estate Development LLC v Reem Emirates Aluminium LLC [2020] TCD 009 – lead counsel representing Dubai based employer in proceedings concerning the development of a new 5 star hotel in JVC involving challenge to engineer’s determination, fire related delays, non-fire delays, variations, contra charges, extension of time with prolongation costs, and recovery of employer related losses under indemnity clause, with the total value of the claims being approximately AED 20m.
  • Zaya Living Real Estate Development v China State [2022] CFI 051 – lead counsel representing claimant in Part 8 claim seeking declaratory relief for DIFC-LCIA arbitration where Defendant initiated local court litigation with the main issue concerning construction of arbitration clause in light of Decree 34 of 2021.
  • Ledger v Leeor [2022] DIFC CA 013 – lead counsel representing applicant seeking interim anti-suit injunction prohibiting main contractor in construction project pursuing claims in breach of an arbitration clause.
  • Lead counsel representing subcontractor against employer seeking to set aside default judgment having failed to acknowledge service raising various jurisdictional and abuse of process arguments.
  • Lead counsel representing main contractor in ICC arbitration proceedings for a AED 9.5 million claim for delay damages, and other breach of contract related payments against subcontractor defending counterclaim for extension of time with prolongation costs and other miscellaneous payments in excess of AED 14m in relation to the construction of 2 substations in Dubai.
  • Representing employer in DIAC proceedings defending claim for extension of time, prolongation costs, variations and other payments concerning 3 hotel and residential building projects for a claim in excess of AED 60 million.
  • Re: MA – advised property developer and investor of high-rise apartments on the enforceability of a ‘long stop’ date and ‘non-fault delay’ in addition to the imposition of legal charges and related insolvency matters.
  • Matthew Wilson v Marryat Ltd – represented Defendant in a breach of contract dispute surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic with focus on interpretation of ‘cancellation’ of the contract and application of Force Majeure clause.
Education & qualifications
  • Bar Vocational Course, Nottingham Law School, United Kingdom, 2010
  • Law LLB, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom, 2008
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