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Aseel Barghuthi

Aseel Barghuthi


Aseel is an Associate in our New York office specializing in international arbitration and public international law, with a focus on disputes in the Middle East and Africa



Aseel's international experience includes representing clients in international commercial arbitration and investment-treaty arbitration proceedings.  She has represented clients at every stage of the arbitral process, from advising on prospects of successfully bringing or defending claims, to preparing multi-jurisdictional enforcement and annulment strategies.  She has acted for clients in high-stakes cases under the ICC, ICSID, UNCITRAL, and DIFC rules, and has particular experience representing sovereign states in ISDS proceedings. 
In addition to her arbitration practice, Aseel advises clients on the legal framework for investment in the Middle East and Africa; she has experience advising on investment protections under various bilateral treaties, in addition to multilateral treaties such as the Riyadh Convention, the Unified Agreement for the Investment of Arab Capital, and the OIC Agreement.
Aseel is regularly invited to speak at international arbitration conferences and events.
Prior to obtaining her J.D., Aseel worked with the World Bank, Middle East and North Africa Department, in Washington, D.C. where she participated in drafting World Bank economic development strategies for Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon.  Aseel also worked at the Office of King Abdullah II – Economic Affairs Directorate, and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.  
Aseel's experience includes:
  • representing a North African company in ICC arbitration proceedings arising out of a supply and distribution dispute in the manufacturing sector
  • representing and advising a North African state in multiple investment-treaty arbitrations arising out of events associated with the "Arab Spring" of 2011*
  • representing an international salvage contractor in ICC arbitration proceedings against a state-owned entity, arising out of a salvage operation in the Persian Gulf*
  • representing a Middle Eastern state in a ICSID arbitration arising out of a dispute in the telecommunications sector*
  • representing an East African state in a US$ 1.4 billion ICC arbitration arising out of a dispute in the energy sector*

* prior to joining Herbert Smith Freehills


Aseel obtained her J.D. from the George Washington University Law School and graduated with a pro bono recognition award for founding the GW Law chapter of the International Refugee Assistance Project.

She holds a M.Sc. in International Public Policy from the University College London, and a B.A. in Literature & Cultural Theory from Duke University. 

Aseel is a native English and Arabic speaker and has intermediate proficiency in French.  

She is admitted to the New York State Bar.