Akbar Ali

Principal of AFA LAW

Akbar Ali is the principal of AFA LAW with more than 39 years experience in international commercial law.

He is a State Scholar and graduated with honours in law from the University of Sheffield following which he qualified as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales in 1976.

He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, the International Bar Association and a registered arbitrator with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce. He is also admitted to practice as an attorney-at-law of the Supreme Court of Trinidad & Tobago.

After qualification, Akbar joined Cementation International Limited as a Legal Adviser advising on all aspects of international construction projects including infrastructure and project finance in jurisdictions such as Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Oman and Pakistan.

After leaving industry in 1983, Akbar became a Partner at Masons in the City of London working  as a specialist construction lawyer. In 1988 he Joined Nabarro Nathanson as a Partner and was involved in a series of major ICC and UNCITRAL arbitrations against the Government of Ghana  and the Ethiopian Roads Authority for a leading German construction company operating in West Africa. Akbar was also responsible for setting up the firm’s Dubai practice which ceased to operate following his departure.

In 1995, he joined Davies Arnold Cooper as a Partner and was Head of the Business Services Department and a member of the firm’s Management Committee before leaving in 2006 to form his own practice. Whilst at DAC, Akbar worked on a number of major projects and assignments both contentious and non contentious for the state owned Petroleum Company of Trinidad & Tobago Limited (‘Petrotrin’) and the National Gas Company of Trinidad & Tobago Limited (‘NGC’).

Akbar Ali’s experience extends to the preparation and negotiation of international civil, process and mechanical engineering contracts and joint ventures in relation to roads, bridges, cement plants, gas and hydropower projects, oil refineries and smelter plants in jurisdictions such as Bahrain, Columbia, Dubai, Egypt, Guyana, Ghana, Jamaica, Pakistan, Nigeria, Russia, Trinidad & Tobago and Venezuela. He has worked extensively with EPC, ICE, FIDIC, and MF/1 forms of contract.

He also has substantial experience in acting for Claimant or Respondent in major international commercial and investment arbitration disputes and in the case of mega-disputes he has performed the role of co-ordinating multi-disciplinary teams of claims consultants, technical advisers, forensic accountants and counsel to ensure that all relevant factual and legal issues are properly presented and argued before the tribunal.


He has represented state owned and private companies in major energy related project and examples of his work include:


He has represented  employers, contractors and state owned companies in  international construction, engineering and other commercial disputes. Brief experience includes:


Appointed by GORTT to work with forensic accountants in conducting investigations in Trinidad into a number of state owned enterprises following allegations of corruption, misuse of public funds and breaches of tender regulations.


Acted for a German company against the Government of Ghana in relation to an investment dispute pursuant to a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) between Germany and Ghana conducted under the auspices of the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).