Iryna Akulenka FCIArb



United Arab Emirates


Infrastructure, engineering & construction, oil & gas, and energy sectors.

English, Russian

Arbitration Practice & Procedure and Arbitral Award Writing (Distinction), RGU, Aberdeen, UK
MSc, Construction Law & Dispute Resolution, BUiD in Association with King’s College London, UK
BE, Electrical Engineering, Gomel State Technical University named after P.O. Sukhoy, Belarus

“Mediation: Some Topical Considerations”, CIArb UAE/ CIArb Qatar, April 2022
“How digital data is transforming claims investigation and dispute resolution in the Middle East”, MEED/ HKA, March 2022
“Strategies and tools for achieving early and speedy dispute resolution”, CIArb UAE/ CIArb French Chapter, March 2022
“Operating in uncertain times: How can the Middle East construction industry adapt to a ‘new normal’?”, RICS World Built Environment Forum, February 2022
“Arbitral Insights: Arbitration and Diversity in the Gulf”, Reed Smith podcast, February 2022
“How to get your first appointment as an arbitrator?”, DIAC/ CIArb UAE, February 2022
“The rising momentum in Technology, Sports and Maritime disputes - will Construction disputes remain the mainstream?”, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, November 2021
“International Arbitration in South America”, CIArb/ Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla, November 2021
“Core Concepts for International Construction Arbitration Practitioners: Delay, Disruption, and Acceleration”, ICDR, November 2021
“Women in Business - The benefits of allyship”, Kennedys Law firm, October 2021
“The increasing role of expert evidence in infrastructure disputes: A necessary evil?”, 9th ICC MENA Conference, February 2021
“Building Ties with Academia”, Women in Construction Summit, ME Consultant, November 2020
“Women Who Build”, Roundtable Discussion, Drees & Sommer, February 2020
“YSIAC-ADGM Advocacy Workshop”, SIAC - ADGM Arbitration Conference 2020, February 2020
“Women's leaders in Arbitration”, IAEE & CPR International Conference, December 2019
“Experts should only be appointed by the parties”, Oxford Style debate, DIFC-LCIA symposium, Dubai Arbitration Week, November 2019
“The Impact of the Great Lockdown on Construction Industry Arbitrations”, Webinar, ICDR, May 2019
“Women in ADR Special”, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Event, April 2019
“Finding Alpha: Diversity in International Construction Arbitration: from DABs to Tribunals”, 7th ICC MENA Conference, March 2019
“Expertise: a Woman's No Man's Land?”, 6th ICC MENA Conference, May 2018
“Women in Arbitration”, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Event, March 2018

Chair, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, UAE Branch
Arbitrator, DIAC, VIAC, AIAC, HKIAC, ARBME, IAC, TIAC, LCIA, EDAC, ISTAC, Chamber of Arbitrators Belarus
Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
RICS Registered Expert Witness
Panel Member, UK Adjudicators
Member of the Global Advisory Board, ICDR Y&I
Regional Representative for MENA, Russian Arbitration Association (RAA40)
Member, Advisory Board for the School of Engineering, American University in Dubai
Member of the Advisory Group, Faculty of Business & Law, British University in Dubai
Member of: Society of Construction Law, ICC YAF, Young ICCA, Arbitrator Intelligence, Caspian Arbitration Society, AIAC YPG

A qualified engineer with 15 years of experience, including seven years of managing construction and engineering projects, and thereafter in contractual claims preparation and defence, dispute resolution and expert work. Fellow with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators acting as an arbitrator in construction disputes.

I specialise primarily in contracts and quantum and known for my ability to quickly get to the roots of the issues and develop strong arguments whilst keeping an eye on details. Prior to joining HKA, I held project management positions with consultancies in the United Arab Emirates, managing the commercial, financial and technical delivery aspects of numerous design and construction projects, and focusing on developing client relationships in the MENA and CIS countries. This valuable experience, coupled with an extensive skillset, has enabled a smooth transition into contractual claims and dispute resolution, where I assist clients in any facet of contractual disputes in the infrastructure, construction, oil & gas, and energy sectors.
My experience includes many prestigious projects throughout the Middle East and beyond (Algeria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, KSA, Kuwait, Malaysia, Montenegro, Morocco, Oman, South Africa, Tanzania, UAE & UK), including leisure and entertainment, residential, hospitality, mixed-use developments, power plants, NGL recovery plants, housing developments, manufacturing facilities, hotels, amusement parks, convention centres, office towers, and man-made islands.
I am chairing the UAE Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and teaching International Arbitration with the Institute.
I also provide training in Cost Planning, Project controls, Procurement, Claims and Disputes, and Contract Administration.

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