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Mediation Forum

mediation forum qicdrc

The QICDRC Mediation Forum brings together a panel of experts in the field of mediation and dispute resolution to discuss key issues relating to mediating in Qatar, the Middle East and beyond.

This half day forum will comprise interactive sessions which aim not only to impart invaluable information relating to mediation but also to foster discussion among panelists and attendees.


10:45 -11:00

Arrival of Guests

11:00 - 11:05

Welcome Note

Faisal Al-Sahouti, CEO, QICDRC

11:00 -11:15

Introduction to Mediation Skills

Dr. Zain Sharar, Senior Legal Counsel, CEO’s Office, QICDRC

11:15 -12:00

Mediation in Qatar: Qatar’s New Mediation Law and the QICDRC Mediation Service

Dr. Ehab Elsonbaty, Partner, DLA Piper LLP

Mr. Christopher Grout, Registrar, QICDRC

12:00 -12:30

Effectiveness of Virtual Mediation

Mr. Victor P. Leginsky, International Arbitrator and Mediator, Abitralis

12:30 -13:30


13:30 -14:15

Singapore Convention on Mediation

Dr. Zachary Calo, Professor of Law, Hamad bin Khalifa University and Senior Counsel, McNair International

Mr. Gary Birnberg, JAMS Mediator and Arbitrator

14:15 -15:00

The Future of Mediation in Qatar and the Middle East

Mr. James MacPherson, International Dispute Resolution Specialist, IDRS


Event Close


Faisal Rashid Al-Sahouti

Chief Executive Officer

Faisal Rashid Al-Sahouti leads the strategic development and administration of the Qatar International Court, the QFC Regulatory Tribunal and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre. 

Prior to his appointment as Chief Executive Officer, he worked closely with the Court’s senior international judges on case management and projects related to the growth and development of the Court. He is also a member of the Judicial Advisory Board, where he contributes to drafting the laws and regulations of the Court and leads the delivery of the Qatar Law Forum.

Faisal holds a Bachelor of Law from Qatar University and an LL.M. in International Trade Law with Public International Law from Nottingham Trent University in the UK. He is also an accredited mediator by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) in London.  

Christopher Grout


Christopher Grout oversees the management of cases before the Qatar International Court and the QFC Regulatory Tribunal. He is also a member of the senior management team and the Judicial Advisory Board.

From 2007 to 2009, he worked for the Ministry of Justice at the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) in the Royal Courts of Justice, London. In 2009, he joined 15 New Bridge Street where he specialised as a criminal defence barrister appearing in the Magistrates Courts, Youth Courts, Crown Court, High Court and Court of Appeal, before joining the QICDRC in 2012.

He holds an LL.B. degree from Newcastle University and was called to the Bar of England and Wales by the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple in 2007. He is currently studying for his LL.M. in Canon Law at Cardiff University.

In 2019, Christopher was appointed as a Deputy District Judge in England and Wales. He is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb).

Dr. Zain Al Abdin Sharar

Senior Legal Counsel, CEO's Office, QICDRC

DR. ZAIN AL ABDIN SHARAR is Senior Legal Counsel IN the CEO’s Office at the Qatar International Court and Dispute Resolution Centre (QICDRC). He has over 23 years’ experience in the legal field.

Prior to joining the QICDRC, Dr. Sharar was the Director of Legal Affairs & Enforcement at the Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA). Dr. Sharar also served for three years on the QFMA’s disciplinary committee.

Dr. Sharar has taught corporate law and corporate governance at a number of Australian universities and has provided advice to board members of several Australian publicly listed companies. He worked at Qatar University for three years as an Assistant Professor of Commercial Law, where her taught companies law and arbitration law. He has also taught commercial law and maritime and aviation law at the Ahmad Bin Mohammed Military College in Qatar and has lectured on many topics at the Legal and Judicial Studies Centre at the Qatar Ministry of Justice.

Dr. Sharar is a certified mediator at the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution in London and a qualified practitioner arbitrator at the GCC Commercial Arbitration Centre. He has provided mediation and arbitration services in many commercial and construction cases. He also participates in ADR training programmes. He also has published numerous articles in scholarly journals.

Dr. Ehab Elsonbaty

Partner, DLA Piper LLP

Dr. Ehab Elsonbaty focuses his practice in the area of corporate law, focusing on the Middle East, Gulf countries and Qatar.

Ehab joins from the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, where he served as senior legal counsel and head of corporate governance and government affairs and senior advisor to the general counsel on special projects from February 2014 to January 2021. He was responsible for strategic, corporate and special projects and transactions valued at billions of dollars as well as was a member of several management committees including the Management Investment Committee and the Crisis Management Committee.

He served for six years as senior legal advisor to the Amiri Diwan, the office of the Amir of Qatar at the Royal Court. During this time, Ehab was also a member of many policy and legal committees, including the Permanent Legislative Committee and the Committee for Review of Legislation of the Council of Ministers, as well as a member of the National Committee to Review Commercial Laws of the Ministry of Economy and Trade. Ehab drafted and contributed to several laws and regulations of Qatar, GCC and Middle East. 

Mr. Victor P. Leginsky

International Arbitrator and Mediator, Abitralis

Victor Leginsky is a Chartered Arbitrator and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He is certified as a mediator through the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (London) [CEDR] and works frequently in respect of mediation with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (London) [RICS] and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.  He holds a JD (Juris Doctor) degree and a B.Ed. (Bachelor of Education), both from Canada.  He has served as Arbitrator in well over 100 cases, conducting both institutional and ad hoc arbitrations, and conducts mediation including construction-related.  He confines his practice to that of a neutral (arbitrator / mediator), largely in construction and energy-related disputes.  He is a past MENA Chapter Director of the Association of International Energy Negotiators (AIEN).

Victor is resident of and has been working in the Middle East for 15 years.  He is Regional Pathway Leader for the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) and tutors Award Writing amongst other courses.  He lectures frequently on dispute resolution in construction, oil and gas and general dispute resolution matters.

Dr. Zachary Calo

Professor of Law, Hamad bin Khalifa University and Senior Counsel, McNair International

Zachary R. Calo is Full Professor of Law at Hamad bin Khalifa University and Senior Counsel at McNair International.  He serves on international dispute resolution panels with Sport Resolutions UK and the Qatar Sports Arbitration Tribunal. He is also Professor of Law (Adj.) at the University of Notre Dame Australia, Visiting Professor at The Open University (UK), Visiting Professor at Tashkent State University of Law (Uzbekistan), Visiting Professor at Northwestern University in Qatar, and Lecturer at the Qatar Olympic Academy.  He was previously a fellow at the Brookings Institution and an associate attorney with Buckley Sandler, LLP in Washington, DC.  He holds a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, B.A. and M.A. from The Johns Hopkins University, Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, M.A. in ethics from the University of Virginia, and LLM in dispute resolution from the Straus Institute at Pepperdine University School Law.

Mr. Gary Birnberg

JAMS Mediator and Arbitrator

Gary Birnberg is an arbitrator and mediator specialized in cross-border commercial disputes, including matters involving aviation, sports/entertainment, art, life sciences, financial industry, and insurance/re-insurance. A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a Distinguished Fellow of the International Academy of Mediators, and a court certified mediator, he has completed over 500 cases with aggregate value of billions of Euros. Gary is associated with JAMS and affiliated with, and/or has worked on cases administered by some fifteen other institutions, including CAfA, CAM-CCBC, ICC, and ICDR. Past Co-Chair of the IBA Mediation Committee and past Chair of the CIArb Florida Chapter, his work has been recognized in the latest editions of Leaders League (Mediation Brazil) and Best Lawyers in America (Mediation and Arbitration USA). He holds degrees from INSEAD, University of Pennsylvania, and Boston University School of Law and has been admitted to four bars in the USA. He works in English, French, and Portuguese and speaks frequently at seminars and conferences.

Mr. James MacPherson

International Dispute Resolution Specialist, IDRS

JAMES MacPHERSON is a leading International Dispute Resolution Specialist with over twenty-five years’ experience within public & private sectors as a Neutral (arbitrator, mediator & facilitator) , ADR Trainer, Advisor and Systems Designer - including creating three world-class international ADR Centres in the GCC.  

  • Oman Arbitration Centre (OAC) - inaugural Board and Committee Member .
  • Retained as Leader to co-found Saudi Centre for Commercial Arbitration (SCCA).
  • Co-Founder, inaugural CEO, Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution (BCDR-AAA) 
  • Advising businesses and government agencies in Africa, Asia, Middle East and North America on ADR systems design and legislative policy, he also delivers ADR training around the world.
  • International Mediation Institute (The Hague) - former Board Member,
  • Panelist on international ADR rosters across the world, he is a bilingual (English/French), dual national (Canada/US) ADR practitioner.

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