Haifa Khonji

As the Managing Partner of KBH in Bahrain, Haifa Khonji possesses more than 22 years of experience working in prestigious multinational firms. Her area of expertise lies in corporate and commercial litigation, where she finds particular enjoyment in alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation and arbitration. Haifa has been involved in various litigation cases relating to inheritance, real estate, insurance, commercial, and corporate disputes her main focus has been solving legal problems facing various corporations from shareholders conflicts to joint ventures disputes and directors’ mismanagements, representing a diverse clientele ranging from international and local multinational companies to privately owned businesses and individuals.

Haifa’s approach to resolving disputes is systematic and practical, customizing her strategies to fit the specific circumstances of each case. Her dedication to her clients’ needs allows her to offer personalized services to tackle their legal challenges.

Haifa advises clients in respect of commercial matters particularly involved in drafting and negotiating business formation and restructuring documentation and advising on corporate structuring issues. He leads matters that involve prominent parties, often with global presence.

Haifa has advised on several prominent cases and transactions in the region, including but not limited to company formations, insolvency, joint ventures, mergers, cross-border acquisitions, and corporate restructuring. In addition, she assists corporate clients with restructuring and advises on regulatory compliance and contentious issues, including family succession and estate planning. Haifa also is a licensed private belief certified/ appointed by the Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs in the Kingdom of Bahrain. 


  • Admitted as a practicing lawyer – Ministry of Justice – Kingdom of Bahrain 
  • New York Bar 
  • Admitted as a licensed bailiff – Ministry of Justice– Kingdom of Bahrain 


  • Arabic
  • English


Haifa has written several articles on arbitration law developments in Kingdom of Bahrain, on Mergers and Acquisitions and Dispute Resolution in the Kingdom of Bahrain and on company formations. Her articles have been published in reputable journal like Mergers & Acquisitions Review, Dispute Resolution Review and PLC.

Commercial Litigation
Notable Representations
Acting for the Defendant in a family dispute where the Defendant was the subject of an injunction and freezing order in the context of extant proceedings in the Dubai Courts. Challenging jurisdiction as well as the DIFC court’s authority to give a Black Swan injunction.
Acting for a Claimant in a financial mis-selling case and defending an strike out and immediate judgment application in court

Acting for the Defendant, the subject matter of an injunction and freezing order arising out of a judgment from the High Court in London.

Acting for the First Defendant, an investment management firm, in a claim relating to the transfer and storage of bitcoins. This is the first cryptocurrency case in the Technology and Construction Division of the DIFC Courts and was heard in December 2021 before the former Court of Appeal Judge Justice Sir Richard Field (judgment pending).

Acting for the Defendant in enforcing provisions of a lease where, citing the Covid-19 pandemic, the Claimant is seeking to rely on a force majeure clause to avoid its obligations under the lease.

Acted for the Defendants in seeking a declaration as to the applicability of the Treaty between UK and UAE on Judicial Assistance in Civil and Commercial Matters 2006. In addition, represented the Second Defendant in a Part 71

Acting on behalf of a Defendant and successfully applying for a security for costs order.

Acted for a Claimant against the owner of the world’s largest online gambling company and its financial advisers, relating to equity commitment letters filed in support of a go private bid to acquire a global internet gaming company, Amaya Inc.

Acting for the Defendants in successfully discharging an injunction before former Deputy Chief Justice Sir David Steel. Set down for trial before the former Court of Appeal Judge Roger David Giles, a former Judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, in a claim for damages and out of a breach of warranty.

Acted for the Claimants in proceedings before the former Chief Justice Michael Hwang, former Judicial Commissioner of the Supreme Court of Singapore, involving a breach and subsequent termination of an SPA in the absence of a contractual termination clause in the SPA.

Acted for the Respondent at the return date hearing, pro-bono, in respect of an application for a freezing injunction and search order before the former DCJ Sir John Chadwick.

Acted for the Claimant in proceedings in the High Court in London in one of the highest priced match-fixing cases in cricket.

Acted for the Claimant addressing open contracts by which purchasers reserved property.

Acted for the Claimant in respect of a breach of an SPA and the enforceability of a force majeure clause.

Acted for the Second and Third Defendants in respect of a breach of a services contract, before the former Deputy Chief Justice of the DIFC Courts, Sir David Steel, former Judge of the Commercial and Admiralty Courts, England & Wales and the former Chairman of the European Commercial Judges Forum.

Acted for the Claimants in the largest financial mis-selling case in the GCC region, before the former Deputy Chief Justice of the DIFC Courts, Sir John Chadwick, formerly the Lord Justice of Appeal in England & Wales.

Acted on behalf of a liquidator of various DIFC and US companies in successfully resisting a jurisdiction challenge brought by a Swiss bank in resisting claims by the liquidators to have certain pledges made by fraudulent directors declared invalid as well as subsequent enforcement proceedings against the Bank in Switzerland. Examination.


Advising a high-net-worth individual in respect of being sold leveraged, and highly risky, bespoke investment products, against an international investment bank.

Advising minority shareholders in respect of a complex shareholder dispute.

Advising a DIFC liquidator in respect of DIFC liquidations.

Advising a group of investors onshore in respect of mis-selling of investments.

Instructed by a Singaporean law firm to provide an expert report on DIFC Regulatory Law in relation to proceedings in the Singapore Court in relation to financial mis-selling.

Acting for a Private Equity Fund in the DIFC in the Financial Markets Tribunal, dealing with multi- jurisdictional issues across the Cayman Islands and onshore Dubai, dealing with issues in respect of the Regulatory Law, Collective Investment Law, COB Rules, GEN Rules, touching on issues of misconduct, integrity and fitness to practice of an Authorised Individual.

Advising and representing a company in breach of the UAE Financial Regulatory Law and the Dubai Financial Services Authority Rules.

Advising an UHNWI as an exiting shareholder in respect of his exit from a billion-dollar GCC company.

Notable Representations

Acting for the Managing Partner of DWF in relation to a contractual claim

Acted for the Defendants in claims brought by a former employer in the UK for procuring a breach and a breach of contract/injunctive relief against itsformer broker, respectively. Despite the fact that the contract was governed by a UK jurisdiction clause, the DIFC courts seized jurisdiction on the basis the new employer was located in the DIFC, and the DIFC Court was able to apply UK law as a foreignlaw. The matter was listed down for a hearing for two weeks at the end of 2020 but settled. It coincided with the Black Lives Matter movement garnering international media attention as theformer broker was black and was claiming constructive unfair dismissal because of his race.

Acted for the Claimant in his claim for discrimination on the grounds of religion.

Advised twobrokers in respect of their claims for constructive unfair dismissalin the context of proceedings brought by their former employer in the High Court in London for breach of contract and injunctive relief.

Acted for the former Regional Chief Executive, of SCB, Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan in respect of his claim for breach of a settlement agreement in respect of a future bonus payment.

Acted for the Claimant inhis claim for termination benefits. Setting a precedent on the applicability of a penalty payment under Article 18(2) of the old Employment Law, where the employers failed to pay the employee’s termination entitlements within 14 days. The Court ofAppeal affirmed the construction of Article 18(2), which resulted in a change in the law.

Acted for the Claimant, a senior employee of the Defendant, in respect of his claims for discrimination, pursuant to which a pre-action disclosure application was pursued for information relating to the practices of the bank in promoting Emirati Women.

Acted for the Defendant in a successful application for security for costs against a former employer.

Acted for the Respondent before the DIFC Court of Appeal as to the test for ‘reasonable employer’ under the old DIFC Employment Law.

Acted for a pregnant employee in relation to claims of discrimination.

Acted for the Claimant before the former Deputy Chief Justice SirAnthony Colman, former High Court Judge of the Commercial Court, England & Wales, in respect of a breach of an employment contract.

Acted for the employee in relation to what amounts to a ‘reasonable employer’ under Article 59A of the DIFC Employment Law.


Advising a senior executive of a major conglomerate in respect of the enforceibality of his terms of employment.

Advising a senior employee of an international bank in relation to claims against against the bank.

Advising a high-profile employee in relation to his redundancy package offered in the UAE, considering the fact that the laws of England and Wales governed his employment contract.

Advising a senior and highly-regarded banking executive in the UAE in relation to the termination of his employment without warning and with a very modest redundancy package.

Advising a former employee in relation to his end of service entitlements pursuant to UAE Labour Law.

Acting for a senior partner in an extremely confidential and highly sensitive matter, negotiating his exit from an international law firm.

Acting for senior counsel in a very sensitive and highly confidential case, concerning discrimination on the grounds of gender and being subjected to discriminatory conduct by the management team.

Advising a client in respect of his end of service entitlements and post-termination restrictive covenants along with his options for settlement or pursuing a potential claim in the DIFC Courts.

Advising a former Business Head and Accountant in relation to his end of service benefits and payments due under his employment agreement and payments arising out of settlement agreement.

Advising a high-net-worth individual in respect of his exit arrangements from a large investment fund.

Advising an employee in respect of his duties as an employee pursuant to a Dubai Financial Services Authority investigation.

Advising a former Senior Executive at an internationally-reputed Private Equity and Global Investment Company in respect of discrimination on the grounds of age and being subjected to discriminatory conduct by the company.

International Arbitration

Acting for the Respondent in an ICC arbitration in respect of a marine construction dispute

Acting for the Respondent in a DIFC-LCIA respect of an option agreement as well as defending an injunction and freezing order obtained in the DIFC Courts in aid of the arbitration.

Acted for the Claimant in a DIAC Arbitration claim for damages involving breaches arising out of a franchise agreement with a Saudi entity.

Acted for the Respondent in a DIFC-LCIA arbitration in relation to breach of a litigation funding agreement.

Acted for the Clamant in an ICC Arbitration dealing with breach under an SPA and the failure by the developer to hand over by the anticipated completion date.

Acted for a Claimant in a DIFC-LCIA Arbitration dealing with issues relating to the notice provisions in the DIFC Real Property Law, as well as the cure provisions provided for in Article 80 of the DIFC Contract Law.

Acting for the Claimant in a DIFC-LCIA Arbitration in connection with the recovery of USD 25 million from the borrower (together with those individuals and entities who had guaranteed the borrower’s liability) under a credit facility agreement. Concurrent possession proceedings were commenced in the UK against a residential property used as security.

Acting for the Respondent in a DIFC-LCIA Arbitration in connection with a distributor agreement.

Acted for the Respondents in respect of USD 180 million DIFC- LCIA Arbitration concerning a Shareholders Agreement as well as an option agreement with a time of essence clause.

Advising in a third-party disclosure exercise in a DIFC-LCIA arbitration.

Acted for the Claimant in an ICC Arbitration, under a provision for services contract relating to an infrastructure project in Pakistan. The seat of the arbitration was Paris, and French law was applicable.

Instructed in an ad-hoc DIFC-LCIA arbitration in Bahrain under the FIDIC Silver Book.

Acting for the Claimant in successfully obtaining a worldwide freezing order in the DIFC Courts to freeze assets up to USD 80 million in value to secure an Indian arbitral award that was to be enforced in the DIFC and Dubai Courts.

Acting for a Claimant bank in a DIFC-LCIA Arbitration relation to a facility in the sum of USD 25,000,000. Commenced possession proceedings in the UK in relation to security under personal guarantees, which was stayed following a hearing in the High Court, and in respect of the enforceability of an arbitration agreement in the facility agreement.

Arbitrator Appointments
I have had several appointments both as a co-arbitrator and as a sole arbitrator in DIAC and DIFC-LCIA arbitrations
Haifa Khonji

Managing Partner - Bahrain