Dr Ali Almihdar

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Dr Ali Almihdar is a barrister dually qualified to practise in England and Wales, and in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He has a wide-ranging practice for which he splits his professional time between London and the Middle East. He acts as counsel, expert on foreign law and arbitrator mostly in multi-jurisdictional commercial and administrative matters.

His specialist area of expertise has included advising clients in negotiation of contracts, formation of Saudi Companies, foreign capital investment licences for temporary or continuing commercial activities in the Kingdom and general advice in Saudi, Gulf States and Yemeni commercial and corporate matters and disputes.

Dr Ali can work in either English or Arabic and is well positioned to represent clients in the English and Saudi courts and official circles and in any other jurisdiction where his dual qualifications will gain him rights of audience. He also holds an official Saudi Translation Licence: Arabic to English and English to Arabic issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Investment in KSA.

His expertise typically arises from disputes relating to corporate, commercial, construction, energy, IP, shipping, private client, family and succession, agency and distributorship and labour laws. This normally involves parties from the Middle East, Asia, Europe and the USA. The disputes are mainly resolved in international arbitration fora in which he assumed roles under ICC, ICSID, DIFC-LCIA (now DIAC), PCA, UNCITRAL and JCAA rules.

Dr Ali was educated in law at Churchill College, Cambridge (BA, MA & LLM). His legal career started as Legal Adviser to the Saudi Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, and then expanded (through Almihdar Law Firm established in Jeddah, now expanded and named Almihdar, Yamani & Baroom (AY&B) LLP) to handling work for that Ministry and many other corporate and private clients from around the world. He holds a PhD degree from Alexandria University in Egypt for his thesis on “Fairness in Contracts”, now published as a book in Arabic. Ali was also the Honorary Legal Adviser to the British Consulate in Jeddah from 1998 to 2010.


  • Commercial and construction law dispute under ICC rules, seated in London.
  • Commercial and international treaty dispute under ICSID rules, seated in Washington DC.
  • Commercial dispute under DIFC-LCIA rules, seated in Dubai.
  • Commercial dispute under ICSID rules, seated in London.
  • Multi-layered Commercial dispute under DIFC-LCIA rules, seated in Dubai, and related proceedings in the High Court in London.
  • Commercial dispute under Rules of Japan Commercial Arbitration Association, seated in Tokyo.
  • Commercial dispute under PCA rules, seated in Dubai.
  • Commercial dispute, listed in Saudi Administrative Court, Riyadh.

Ali is frequently invited to speak on his areas of specialism, both in the UK and abroad. Some of his lectures and panel discussions are:

  • “The Means of Proof in the Shari’ah System of Law”, SOAS, University of London
  • “The Applicability of Shari’ah Principles in Legal Practice”, at the International Bar Association’s 2nd Biennial Conference on Islamic Banking and Finance, Dubai
  • “The law does not protect fools… or does it?” Saudi – British Society at the Arab – British Chamber of Commerce, London, 14 April 2010
  • “Tracing Assets in Saudi Arabia”, C5’s inaugural conference on Fraud, Asset Tracing and Recovery in the Gulf, Dubai, 24 January 2011
  • “Placing the 2010 Bribery Act in the global context with particular emphasis on existing legislation in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East”, Bribery and Corruption Seminar, Bedell Cristin, Jersey, 30 March 2011
  • “A Comparative Discussion of Cultural Differences and Approaches to Negotiating and Contracting in Various Jurisdictions”, State Capital Group International Meeting, Istanbul, Turkey, 24 June 2011
  • “Comparisons between certain aspects of the Shari’ah and the Common Law”, Cambridge Muslim College, 2014
  • “Aspects of the fairly new Arbitration Law in Saudi Arabia and the brand new Commercial Arbitration Centre”. Panel discussion, Hadef & Partners, Dubai, 2014
  • “Dealing with Fraud Under the Common Law and Shari’ah Systems: A Comparative View” at C5’s 2nd Annual Fraud, Asset Tracing & Recovery in the Gulf Conference
  • “Succession planning for wealthy Arabs: how to ensure transfer of assets to the next generation?”, panel discussion, the Private Investor: Middle East Conference in London in September 2018

Related updates

Dr Ali Almihdar is regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and holds a current practising certificate. If you are not satisfied with the service provided, please click here.

"The go-to expert on Saudi law. He is eloquent, commercially minded, has a deep and practical understanding of the arbitration process, produces clear well-written expert reports and can explain to the tribunal complicated issues of Saudi law in a simple and persuasive manner."

Middle East - Commercial, Legal 500 2023

"A rare example of a lawyer qualified in London and Saudi Arabia."

Commercial Law, Legal 500 2021

To find out more, contact Sam Carter on +44 (0)203 989 6669 for a confidential discussion.

Our dedicated practice management team can help you identify the right barrister for your case.

  • Arabic (native)
  • English (fluent)
  • French (basic)
  • Italian (basic)

  • Co-author of “International Construction Contracts in Saudi Arabia: Demystifying Saudi Law and Shari’ah Principles in the Kingdom”, published in  International Construction Law Review, Part 1, January 2023, citation: [2023] ICLR 4.
  • Chapter in “Lissack and Horlick on Bribery” entitled: “Combating Bribery under the Shari’ah and Modern Arab and GCC Laws” (3rd edition, 2020, LexisNexis)
  • Co-author of the Saudi Arabian Chapter in  “International Succession Law” (last updated in 2022), Bloomsbury Professional (online) now in its 80th issue, last published in 2024.
  • Al’adalah fi Al’oqoud (in Arabic, meaning Fairness in Contracts: A Comparative Study of the laws under the Sahri’ah and the positive laws of Egypt and the Common Law and Civil Law systems), published by Dar Al-Kitab Al-Masri, Cairo, and Dar Al-Kitab Al-Lubnani, Beirut, 2017

  • In February 2016, Dr Ali Almihdar was the first Saudi national to receive the Al Rawabi Holding Award. This is an annual award which is presented to two individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to furthering Saudi – British relations by the Saudi British Society. See his acceptance speech here.

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