Dubai International Arbitration Centre Appoints Robert Stephen as New Registrar


Dubai, UAE — The Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) announces the appointment of Robert Stephen as its new Registrar. Stephen, who officially takes up his new role on July 3rd, 2023, has been a member of the Advisory Committee to the Board of Directors of DIAC since April 3rd, 2023.

Stephen is an internationally recognised arbitration expert and the former Registrar of the DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre and Dubai Financial Services Authority’s Financial Markets Tribunal. Until recently, he was a partner and Chief Operating Officer of UAE-based specialist arbitration boutique Ghaffari Partners, and he practiced with Herbert Smith Freehills in London, Paris, Moscow, and Dubai for more than a decade until May 2017.

Stephen commented on his appointment, “I am thrilled to be taking up this appointment and look forward to contributing to the further development of DIAC as it works towards being the ultimate global destination for dispute resolution. Users, party-counsel, and arbitrators are at the core of everything we do, and together with the new Arbitration Court and recently expanded Secretariat, I am certain that DIAC is now well positioned to provide a competitive level of service and face tomorrow’s challenges.”

Dr. Tariq Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board of Directors, expressed his enthusiasm about Stephen’s appointment, “I am delighted to welcome Robert as our new Registrar. He is very experienced and has actively supported the Board of Directors and Centre in various capacities during what has been an unprecedented period of change. 2021 and 2022 were challenging years, and we can think of no better person to lead the Secretariat and work with the Arbitration Court to develop the practice of the Centre.”

The appointment of Robert Stephen comes as a part of DIAC’s recent efforts to strengthen its Secretariat. In April 2023, Christoffer Coello Hedberg, a former legal counsel at the SCC Arbitration Institute, joined DIAC as its first Deputy Registrar. The Secretariat now comprises one senior legal counsel and six experienced legal counsel, supported by a team of casework administrators and paralegals. In May 2023, the Centre announced the appointment of Jehad Abdulrazzaq Kazim, an experienced ADR professional and the first Emirati woman to lead DIAC, as the new Executive Director.

DIAC continues its journey towards establishing itself as a leading international hub for dispute resolution, underpinned by a commitment to innovation, excellence, and the continuous enhancement of its service offerings better to serve its users, party-counsel, and arbitrators.

About Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC):

DIAC, the largest and most diverse arbitration centre in the Middle East, provides the international business community with a comprehensive suite of arbitration and conciliation services. With over three decades of experience, DIAC remains dedicated to excellence, advocating for ADR and supporting the ADR communities. Its operations are headquartered in Dubai, firmly establishing it as a central hub for international dispute resolution.