Paul specialises in joint venture and shareholder disputes as well as commercial fraud and regulatory work. He is also regularly instructed on DIFC enforcement actions and has recently been instructed on two leading DIFC Court cases creating new law in the process. Paul's practice is split between international arbitration and the DIFC Courts which he combines with in-depth knowledge of local UAE law. He has also acted on a number of regulatory investigations and inquiries (both public and private).

Paul's experience includes:

  • Brookfield Multiplex v DIFC Investments and another (CFI-020-2016): Instructed by Brookfield Multiplex to bring anti-suit proceedings against the DIFC Authority. Brookfield argued that commencing a summary expert procedure in the local Dubai courts represented the commencement of proceedings in breach of the arbitration agreement. In doing so, successfully secured protective undertakings from the Defendant to discourage further pursuit of onshore court proceedings. 
  • Pearl Petroleum & Others v Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq (ARB-003-2017): Instructed by the KRG to challenge an order issued by the DIFC Court for recognition and enforcement of two partial arbitration awards (issued in London under LCIA Rules). We were instructed to apply to set aside those orders and succeeded in challenging the lawfulness of service. 
  • Instructed by UK law firm to bring confidential enforcement proceedings in the DIFC arising out of a high value arbitration award. 
  • Instructed by several UK and European retailers to advise on the legality of franchise and commercial agency agreements and optimal forum for pursuing disputes. Advising on strategic approach given multi-jurisdictional nature of disputes. 
  • Instructed by New York counsel to advise on strategic interplay between UAE and DIFC Courts in order to manage global risk to litigation. 
  • Instructed by leading global bank on high value finance litigation disputes across several jurisdictions including UAE & UK 
  • Representing high profile GCC retail group in LCIA arbitration arising out of a breakdown in a joint venture and complex multi-jurisdictional shareholders dispute
  • Instructed on high profile (confidential) international commercial fraud investigation
  • Representing a litigation funder seeking to protect damages awarded including a successful application for a freezing order in the DIFC Courts
  • Acting for an international oil and gas equipment supplier in commercial fraud case in the DIFC Courts
  • Defending group of directors in directors' duties action brought in the DIFC Courts as part of a wider shareholder dispute
Articles / Bulletins
Professional memberships
  • Registered practitioner in the DIFC Courts
  • Young International Arbitrators Group (LCIA)
  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Associate)
  • University of Leeds, BA Hons Politics
  • French

"As well as showing authority and leadership in difficult and complex multi-party litigation, Paul Hughes also demonstrates a great human touch in his client approach. He explains the issues and proposes solutions, rather than stating problems without laying out a strategy. In addition, he is patient, persevering and perceptive and maintained focus and momentum in the unending series of issues litigation tends to present to secure a very favourable result. A real credit to the AG team.Bluebird Investissements

"Addleshaw Goddard’s Commercial Litigation team is very impressive – providing premium service and advice with invaluable add-ons like linking up seamlessly with its international offices when necessary, as well as many others – which is a winning combination . . .Jashanmal Group

GCC Commercial Litigation products

Cost Control Guide

With challenging market conditions and an increasing reluctance to expend cash reserves on potentially costly litigation, the need for banks and commercial entities to properly manage their legal costs budgets is increasingly important. Businesses are becoming more aware of the need to manage litigation cost and risk and are looking for innovative costs solutions to help them remove legal costs from their balance sheet or at least to manage them with an element of budgetary certainty.

At the same time, there have been a number of important recent developments in how international courts and arbitral tribunals deal with the changing landscape of litigation funding, opening the door to a variety of potential cost solutions.

Addleshaw Goddard remains at the forefront of these changes, delivering alternative funding solutions as the costs environment develops, as well as providing its experience and expertise to resolve your dispute in the most cost and time efficient manner.

This guide provides a brief overview of different funding and costs options that Addleshaw Goddard is able to offer and sets out how these options (whether alone or in combination with each other) can offer businesses the budgetary certainty they need in an increasingly uncertain global market.

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Managing Corporate Relationships

Having seen a significant increase in the number of Joint Venture (“JV”) disputes in the GCC, Addleshaw Goddard’s Commercial Litigation and Corporate teams have pooled their expertise to provide a JV ‘toolkit’ which reviews the most common causes of JV disputes and how they can be avoided.  Whilst the focus of this guide is JV disputes, the lessons learned and the pitfalls to be avoided apply equally across all manner of corporate relationships in the GCC from distribution agreements to franchise arrangements, and from mergers to acquisitions.

Download the JV 'toolkit'

Debt Recovery

As market conditions in the GCC remain challenging due to a combination of weak global growth, the continuation of low oil prices and the straining of fiscal policies, the need for financial institutions and business owners alike to collect cash and realise their debts has never been more compelling.

It is for this reason that we at Addleshaw Goddard have assembled a regional team of dedicated commercial debt recovery specialists to assist you in managing your debt portfolio and recovering money you are owed quickly, efficiently and with the support of the latest advancements in technology.

Taking advantage of our extensive team and unique HighQ case management product, we can now offer you that all important fixed fee budget certainty to chase down your debtors and, if necessary, pursue legal proceedings in the appropriate forum.

Addleshaw Goddard’s experienced team in the GCC ensures a strategic approach to debt recovery, relying on a significant investment in innovative technology and know-how to achieve the quick resolution of disputes rather than engaging in a protracted and costly process. This means you can focus on what you do best whilst we pursue your debtors without any hidden financial surprises.

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Download our PDF guides for expertise in the GCC

Supporting retailers in the GCC


Master Community, Strata and Jointly Owned Property Schemes in the GCC

Real Estate Credentials