Melissa is a Dispute Resolution Partner practising in commercial litigation and international arbitration. She provides strategic advice on complex domestic and cross-border disputes. Melissa has acted in a wide range of high-stakes disputes and has particular expertise advising on disputes with a foreign element. She has lived and worked in the United Kingdom, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Australia, giving her insights into these markets.
Melissa is also experienced in managing and mitigating risk to avoid potential pitfalls.
Many of the cases Melissa resolves involve multiple proceedings in different countries. She conducts international arbitrations under a variety of governing laws and institutional rules as well as ad hoc arbitrations.
Before joining Keystone Law, Melissa was a Partner at a leading disputes firm in Dubai and before that practised at a leading international law firm.
Melissa is English and Australian qualified. She speaks English and Italian. She also speaks some Russian.
- International disputes
- Cross-border arbitration and litigation
- Corporate and commercial contract disputes
- Commodity pricing disputes
- Real estate development
- Finance and investment fund disputes
- Acted for a major public utility against a consortium of major gas sellers in a significant and commercially sensitive gas price review and arbitration under a long-term gas supply agreement (impacting on the price of electricity payable in the state). This complex arbitration also involved parallel court proceedings, third-party issues and a confidentiality regime.
- Acted for one of the world’s largest steel producers on a pricing dispute involving Switzerland-seated ICC arbitration proceedings and freezing order proceedings concerning more than US$400m of assets (first time ordered by an Australian Federal Court in support of foreign arbitration proceedings).
- Acted in one of the largest Dubai arbitrations against a Dubai government-owned master developer concerning an infrastructure and major project development dispute in Dubai. Also involved public order and jurisdictional issues, interim measures and parallel proceedings.
- Advised on a complex USD$1 billion arbitration claim concerning a substantial development dispute in Dubai.
- Acted in a London-seated LCIA arbitration concerning European parties, involving allegations of illegality, jurisdictional and contractual interpretation issues.
- Advised on a multi party LCIA London seated cross border joint venture dispute involving the interplay of common law and civil law.
- Advised on multi tier dispute resolution clauses and enforceability.
- Advised an international bank on an LCIA arbitration and enforcement.
- Acted in an adhoc London seated commercial arbitration with international parties and foreign court proceedings.
- Advised on an international arbitration concerning defects and delays.
- Advised clients on interpretation of arbitration clauses, jurisdictional issues, interim remedies, satellite court proceedings and enforcement.
Energy & Resources
- Advised on a substantial pricing and supply dispute involving court and arbitration proceedings.
- Acted for one of the world’s largest steel producers on a pricing dispute involving ICC arbitration proceedings and freezing order proceedings concerning more than US$400m of assets.
- Acted for a major public utility against a consortium of major gas sellers in a large gas price review arbitration under a long-term gas supply agreement.
- Acted in an LCIA arbitration in London regarding a dispute under a gas supply agreement, allegations of illegality, and jurisdictional and contractual interpretation issues.
- Acted for one of the world’s largest E&P companies providing regulatory advice across multiple jurisdictions.
- Acted for a multinational project company regarding one of the world’s largest LNG fields.
- Acted in a dispute concerning the supply of gas under a gas supply agreement.
- Advised on sustainable energy deals.
- Acted in one of the largest DIAC arbitrations against a Dubai Government-owned master developer.
- Advised on major real estate deals in Eastern Europe and the Middle East in relation to litigation avoidance and risk management.
- Advised on an international arbitration concerning defects and delays.
- Advised a real estate developer in its USD$1 billion arbitration claim concerning a substantial Dubai development.
- Acted for a Middle East bank taking representative action on behalf of multiple claimants in court proceedings concerning delays in completion of an off plan real estate development.
- Advised on disputes concerning mixed use developments in Dubai Creek area, UAE.
- Acted against a major property development company in ad hoc arbitration proceedings with parallel court proceedings.
Corporate and Commercial
- Advised on an investment fund dispute.
- Acted for a £1.34 billion software company concerning a commercial dispute in the London Commercial Court and its successful resolution on terms favourable to the client.
- Acted for a Cayman company in an acrimonious multi-jurisdictional shareholder dispute involving multiple proceedings, civil law and common law.
- Advised in a protracted shareholder dispute involving action by minority shareholders.
- Acted in an investment fund dispute for an offshore fund and general partner including freezing order proceedings and settlement.
- Advised on a partnership dispute involving arbitration and court proceedings.
- Advised on a protracted dispute under a partnership agreement involving English arbitration proceedings and parallel High Court proceedings, successfully settling on terms favourable to the client.
- Acted in arbitration proceedings with parallel court proceedings regarding a protracted dispute involving various publications by advertisers, newspapers and a major property development company.
- Trusted advisor to a Middle East conglomerate with offshore holding company.
- Acted for European clients resolving commercial contract disputes.
Technology & Telecoms
- Advised a £1.34 billion software company on defending a cross-border commercial claim in the Commercial Court, London, and successfully negotiated settlement on terms favourable to the client.
- Acted for a leading data provider in relation to its dispute concerning an investment company.
- Advised a global bank on various regulatory matters including account requirements in more than 50 jurisdictions, solving multi-jurisdictional conflicts and streamlining processes.
- Acted for a global investment bank solving multi-jurisdictional regulatory conflicts regarding an investment product across 14 jurisdictions.
- Acted for a global foreign exchange trading company in its multi-jurisdictional dispute concerning regulatory, corporate and intellectual property issues.
- Advised one of the world’s largest E&P companies in relation to its treasury services.
- Advised a major European bank on mitigating cross boarder regulatory risk.
Hotels, Hospitality and Leisure
- Advised a global luxury hotel resolving a dispute at short notice relating to defamation and reputational risk mitigation.
- Advised on cross border risk regarding a luxury hotel in Eastern Europe.
- Acted in a dispute concerning a luxury development in Dubai.
- Advised on a dispute regarding a 5-star hotel in the Middle East including delays and defects.
- Advised on document reviews concerning a luxury leisure development.
Banking & Finance
- Advised on an international joint venture and financing, working with transactional team providing risk mitigation advice, analysis of multiple court cases and impact.
- Acted in various securities class action involving the US and UK.
- Acted in bait and switch class actions in the US and UK.
- Advised and provided solutions to a global bank in relation to a joint venture with a Russian bank on mitigating risk (including jurisdiction, regulatory, litigation and enforcement risk).
- Advised on the mitigation of jurisdictional, regulatory and litigation risk and provided solutions in relation to a financing involving a Russian bank.
- Acted for a creditor enforcing a foreign judgment under a finance agreement, and successful liquidation of evasive debtor.
- Acted in an LCIA arbitration regarding an English law finance dispute concerning a gas project in Eastern Europe.
- Acted for a major state government in a substantial litigation.
- Acted for an Italian manufacturer in Commercial Court London proceedings, jurisdictional issues and parallel proceedings in Italy.
- Advised a substantial Eastern European transport company regarding an international dispute.
Please note: The experience list above may include examples of work completed prior to joining Keystone Law.
Melissa has been a keynote speaker and panellist at industry events including the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Kluwer Law and Global Arbitration Review conferences.
Melissa qualified as a solicitor in 2004. Prior to joining Keystone Law in 2018, she worked at the following firms:
- Hadef & Partners (Dubai)
- Clifford Chance
- SNR Denton