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Dean O'Leary, Partner

Dean O’Leary LLM, MA, MBEng (Distinction), MSc, BSc (Hons), DipLaw, DipArb, DipICArb, DipICL, DipLaw (O&G), DipICDR (Arb), CertAdj, FCIArb, FCIOB, FASI, FDBF, MCMI, Adjudicator, Arbitrator, Mediator, Barrister (England and Wales) is a Partner at BLK Partners, based in Dubai.

Dean has been involved with construction disputes for over 30 years.  He practiced as an independent barrister from India Buildings Chambers in England, and prior to that, he worked as a quantity surveyor, after a period of service in the Royal Marines Commandos. In 2006, he moved to Dubai and since then he has been involved in some of the largest construction and engineering arbitrations in the region.

Dean’s primary area of practice is handling construction and engineering disputes (with a particular focus on on domestic and international arbitrations), he also deals with disputes relating to upstream and midstream Oil & Gas and other Energy-related matters. He regularly represents employers, contractors (including joint ventures), subcontractors, consultants and suppliers in mediations, adjudications, expert determinations, arbitrations and litigation. He is regularly listed in the annual Who’s Who Legal for Construction and is ranked in Chambers and Partners for Construction in the UAE.


Dean has extensive experience in working with the FIDIC, ICC, NEC and JCT forms of contract along with many bespoke forms too. His day-to-day practice sees him working with the FIDIC suite of contracts (main contracts, subcontracts and consultancy forms) and he has conducted arbitrations under the auspices of the UNCITRAL, DIAC, ADCCAC, DIFC-LCIA, QICCA, BCDR-AAA and ICC Arbitration Rules as well as numerous ad hoc arbitrations under various lex arbitri.

Dean is conversant with the substantive and procedural laws of England, the DIFC and several civil law jurisdictions in the Middle East.

In addition to acting as counsel, Dean also accepts appointments as arbitrator, adjudicator, or mediator.