Shelbaya, Mohamed

Mohamed Shelbaya


Mohamed Shelbaya is a partner in Shearman & Sterling’s International Arbitration Group. He is based in the firm’s Paris office and has represented companies, States and State-owned entities in more than 30 commercial and investment treaty arbitrations, with a particular focus on arbitrations in the oil & gas sector and/or arbitrations involving interests in the Middle East. He also has extensive experience advising energy companies regarding their contractual portfolio as well as negotiating on their behalf with their major upstream and downstream counterparties.

Clients quoted in Global Arbitration Review described Mohamed Shelbaya as “a brilliant lawyer, who understands how each case involves different interests, priorities, concerns and goals and has a pragmatic approach, perfectly balancing legal and commercial considerations” and as “an outstanding strategist, with excellent analytical skills and a unique ability to come up with innovative solutions to solve difficult problems.” Chambers Global and Legal 500 also reported that clients describe Mohamed as “persuasive and very smart” and “an excellent negotiator” who “thinks outside the box.”

Selected Experience

Selected matters handled by Mohamed Shelbaya include representation of:

  • Two international construction contractors as Respondent in an ICC arbitration in London initiated by a Middle Eastern State-owned company. The dispute concerns the development of a world-class medical facility in the Middle East. The law of the Claimant's State applies.
  • Egyptian State-owned companies Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) and Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC), as well as the Arab Republic of Egypt, in four arbitrations seated, respectively, in Geneva, Cairo, The Hague and Washington, DC. The arbitrations involve claims in excess of USD 8 billion and arose from the termination of an English law gas supply agreement relating to the export of Egyptian gas to Israel.
  • The Dow Chemical Company in an ICC arbitration in London against Kuwaiti Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC) arising out of the failure of the latter to close a large joint venture transaction governed by English law. Dow was awarded more than USD 2.47 billion.

Selected Publications

  • Nature of Rules and Conflict of Laws (Doctoral thesis, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne, in progress)
  • The Applicability of Non-National Rules to International Contracts (Thesis, Oxford University, 2008)
  • The Distinction Between Direct and Indirect Application of Foreign Mandatory Rules of Conduct: a critical assessment of methods (Thesis, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne, 2007)
  • The Influence of the Will of the Parties on the Scope of Application of Arbitration Agreements (Thesis, Université Panthéon-Assas, 2007)

Recent and Upcoming Speaking Engagements

  • “Using and abusing the boundary between commercial and investment arbitration,” UNCITRAL 50th Anniversary Conference (hosted by CRCICA), Cairo, 9-10 December 2017
  • “Treaty and case law solutions to the problems arising from mimultoplt proceedings,” LCIA European Users Council Symposium, Tylney Hall, 17-19 September 2017 
  • “The Do-Over: Gas Price Review Arbitration — What We Have Learned,” ICDR Conference, Looking Ahead: Effectively Arbitrating Complex Disputes in the Global Energy Sector, Houston, 20 April 2017
  • “Rationalizing Investment Protection,” AILA Conference, A Paradigm Shift in International Investment Law, Cairo, 2 April 2017 
  • “The Principle of non-interference of State courts in arbitration under the French and Emirati arbitration law,” 1st Annual French-UAE International Arbitration Conference, Paris, 28 March 2017
  • “Le recours en interprétation devant le CIRDI,” Un demi-siècle africain au CIRDI - Regards rétrospectifs et prospectifs, Paris, 27 March 2017
  • “The One Thousand Faces of Double Recovery,” Columbia Law School Arbitration Day, New York, 3 March 2017
  • “The Application of the New York Convention in France, Egypt and Jordan – Four Practical Scenarios,” UNCITRAL, Third International Conference for a Euro-Mediterranean Community of International Arbitration, Milan, 18 January 2017
  • “Manifest Disregard of the Law: a breach of the arbitrator’s ethical duty?,” ICC YAF Conference, Ethics and antics - How Can We Hold Counsel and Arbitrators to Account?, Cairo, 4 December 2016
  • “The Anatomy of Price Review Clauses and the Disputes to which they Lead,” LCIA Symposium on Gas Pricing Related Disputes, Cairo, 10 October 2016
  • “Dual Nationality of Individuals,” ICSID-CRCICA Joint Conference - Key Issues in International Investment Arbitration, Cairo, 28 September 2016
  • “The Impact of the Current TTIP Negotiations on the Investment Policies between EU and MENA Countries,” UNCITRAL, Second International Conference for a Euro-Mediterranean Community of International Arbitration, Cairo, 12 November 2015


  • Oxford University, Magister Juris (Weidenfeld Scholar)
  • Université de Paris I-Panthéon-Sorbonne, Master 2 (LL.M.) in Private International Law and International Business Law
  • Université de Paris II-Panthéon-Assas, Master 2 (LL.M.) in Litigation, Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Université de Paris I-Panthéon-Sorbonne, Maîtrise (Bachelor of Law)
  • Cairo University, Bachelor of Law




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