Zahra Al-Rikabi

“An excellent junior in the ascendency.

 

Legal 500 2020

Overview

Zahra has a broad practice with a particular focus on general commercial disputes, public international law and public law. She is ranked as a leading junior by Legal 500 and was selected for the Lawyer’s Hot 100 in 2020. While her experience to date is primarily in court litigation, she has a growing practice in the field of international arbitration, in particular investment treaty arbitration. She speaks fluent Arabic, which puts her in a good position to deal with disputes where the background documents or the applicable law is in Arabic. In that regard, she has experience of dealing with foreign law experts on Egyptian, Iraqi, Qatari and UAE law.

Prior to coming to the Bar, Zahra worked as an assistant to the Legal Advisor to the Prime Minister of Iraq; as a judicial assistant to Lord Justice Maurice Kay, then Vice President of the Court of Appeal; and as a research assistant at the Law Commission for England and Wales.

Expertise

  • Contractual disputes
  • Professional Negligence
  • Telecommunications
  • Public Sector

Experience

Contractual disputes

Zahra has substantial experience advising on contractual disputes in a number of different sectors, including IT, project finance, education, and supply of goods and services. Cases include:

  • Fortunate Drift v Canterbury Securities, acting for the claimant in a $20m claim in the Cayman Islands concerning the construction of a brokerage contract;
  • Canary Wharf v European Medicines Agency [2019] EWHC 335 (Ch), acting for the claimant, Canary Wharf, in a claim concerning whether Brexit would frustrate the EMA’s lease.

Professional Negligence

Zahra has acted in a number of cases raising issues of professional negligence, including:

  • BTI v PwC [2019] EWHC 3034 (Ch), acting for PwC in a substantial auditor’s negligence claim
  • Successfully defending a solicitor sued for professional negligence in the conduct of an employment case.

Telecommunications

  • Zahra is currently acting in a substantial arbitration in the telecommunications sector in South East Asia.

Public Sector

Zahra has acted in several disputes concerning the public sector, a number of which have been in the energy sector, including:

  • Utilita Ltd v Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, acting for the claimant in a number of challenges to the Government’s smart metering programme
  • Tempus Energy Ltd v Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, acting for the claimant in a challenge to the UK Capacity Market

Professional Qualifications

  • BA in Jurisprudence, University of Oxford (First)
  • LLM in Public International Law
  • London School of Economics and Political Science (Merit)
  • Bar Professional Training Course
  • College of Law (Very Competent)

Career History

  • 2013 – Present, tenant at Brick Court Chambers .
  • 2012 – 2013, pupillage, Brick Court Chambers.
  • 2012 – Judicial Assistant to Lord Justice Maurice Kay, Court of Appeal (Civil Division).
  • 2010 – 2011 Research Assistant, Law Commission for England and Wales.
  • 2007 – 2008 Assistant, Office of the Legal Advisor to the Prime Minister of Iraq.