PROFESSOR DR. NAYLA COMAIR-OBEID
Our firm’s founding partner, Professor Dr. Nayla Comair-Obeid has repeatedly been recognized as one of the world’s leading business lawyers by the Who’s Who Legal Guides. She specializes in international business law and Middle Eastern legislation and is often called upon as a legal expert on numerous aspects of Lebanese law in foreign courts and arbitral proceedings. She is a member of both the Beirut Bar and Paris Bar.
Prof. Comair-Obeid obtained a PhD in Business Law from the University Paris II, Panthéon-Assas (1994), a D.E.A. in Business Law (1980), and a Masters Degree in Lebanese and French Law from St. Joseph University (Lebanon)/Lyon II Jean Moulin University (France).
Prof. Comair-Obeid is a professor of international commercial arbitration at the Lebanese University and alternative dispute resolution at the Lebanese Judicial Institute and a former visiting professor at the University of Paris II, Panthéon-Assas. Prof. Comair-Obeid has also taught the principles of civil law at the Lebanese University for many years. Prof. Comair-Obeid also publishes prolifically and is regularly invited to lecture at world renowned academic institutions where her articles and scholarly publications are often cited as reference works. Of particular note is her book The Law of Business Contracts in the Middle East (Kluwer Law).
Throughout her career, Prof. Comair-Obeid has held and continues to hold pre-eminent positions in many of the major international legal institutions. At present, she is a member of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Executive Board; Companion of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb); member of China’s International Commercial Expert Committee of the Supreme People’s Court; member of the LCIA Court in London, and Trustee of the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration Board of Trustees (CRCICA). She also sits on the ICSID panel of arbitrators and conciliators and is a member of World Business Law of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris. Prof. Comair-Obeid has acted as the President of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) (2017) and was a former Chair of the Institute’s Board of Trustees. She is also a former vice chair of the arbitration committee in the International Bar Association and former commissioner of the United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC) in Geneva.
Prof. Comair-Obeid has extensive transactional and trial experience. She has been and continues to be involved in some of the most significant mandates and cross-border contentious and non-contentious matters in the region, including the largest cases currently pending before the Lebanese courts. She has noteworthy expertise in state contracts and matters such as the “Negotiation, Drafting, Managing of International Contracts and Conflict Resolution in the Middle East”, a topic she frequently addresses at the International Court of Arbitration in Paris. Prof. Comair-Obeid is recognized as being "pre-eminent in her field", with the Who’s Who Legal describing her as having: “an immense practice spanning 30 years and is noted as “an absolutely brilliant advocate who is as relentless in serving her clients as any lawyer I’ve ever met”.
Prof. Comair-Obeid has been actively involved in more than 100 domestic and international arbitrations as party-appointed arbitrator, chairperson, sole arbitrator, counsel, and expert in various parts of the world in ad hoc arbitrations and under the Rules of the ICSID, ICC, LCIA, SIAC, DIAC, CRCICA, BCDR, DIFC-LCIA, UNCITRAL, etc.
Prof. Comair-Obeid is fluent in English, French, and Arabic.