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Ifriqya Online Directory

An added value Directory of North African International Arbitrators & ADR practioners verified and qualified by IAF.

Short Biography

Ahmed Ouerfelli

Sami Houerbi started his legal career in 1992 with French and German law firms in Munich (Germany) and in Paris (France).

From 1999 to 2005, he was deputy counsel to the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), where he was responsible for the management and supervision of hundreds of international arbitration proceedings.

From 2005 to 2021, Sami Houerbi acted as Arbitration and ADR Director of the ICC International Court of Arbitration for the Mediterranean, Middle East and Africa. He was in charge of organizing capacity-building trainings and creating strategic partnerships with all legal stakeholders including State representatives, in-house Counsel, lawyers and judges…

Sami Houerbi acts regularly since 2006 as Counsel and arbitrator under ad hoc and institutional international arbitrations under the ICC, DIAC, ACIC, CRCICA and Swiss Rules with proven experience in the implementation procedures of international awards.

In 2008, he founded Houerbi Law firm, where he developed a recognized expertise in the field of business, energy and construction law and international dispute resolution.

  • Attorney at law, founder of ‘Ouerfelli Attorneys & Counsel, in March 2015. 

Specialized in business law, including: arbitration law (commercial, investment and sport), corporate law, energy law, banking law, tax law, general commercial law, personal data protection law, general civil law – registered with the Tunisian Bar Association.

Promoted by the Tunisian Bar Association as attorney at the Cassation (high courts) level: April 2016.

Counsel for Tunisian and foreign parties before prestigious arbitral institutions: ICSID, ICC, LCIA, DIFC…, ad hoc arbitral tribunals and other forums (anticorruption hearing officer in a sport doping case,…). 

  • Arbitrator and (or) counsel in arbitration cases  

Arbitrator, in civil, commercial, investment matters (international and domestic, including ICC Cases in English and Arabic, DIAC, CRCICA, CCAT, CNAS, ad hoc arbitral tribunals), pending and /or concluded.

Arbitrator at the Comité National d’arbitrage Sportif (CNAS, Tunisia, specialized in sport disputes, gratis) 2012-2016. 

Counsel for Tunisia in an ICSID Case (Lundin Tunisia BV vs. Republic of Tunisia) and for several clients including the Government of Tunisia in a number of ICC arbitrations.

Adviser for Tunisia in a second ICSID Case.

Chairman of a CRCICA international arbitration Tribunal.

Sole arbitrator in a DIAC (Dubai) commercial arbitration. 

Counsel for several private clients in domestic and international arbitrations (ICC, LCIA, DIFC, AHO (Anticorruption Hearing Officer) under the rules of the International Tennis Federation -ITF, ad hoc…).

  • Law lecturer

Teaching arbitration law (in Arabic) at the High Institute of the Lawyers (2023-2024)

Teaching Commercial law (including corporate law and insolvency law) at the Institut Supérieur de la Magistrature (Tunisia) for Congolese trainee judges. 

Teaching “Sport Law”, in the Tunis Faculty Law and Political Science since 2017-2018.

Co-teaching a course on “Fighting against corruption” with Mr. Shaker Mzoughi, at the ‘Faculté de Sciences Juridiques, Politiques et Sociales de Tunis’. Course sponsored by the UNDP, 2013-2014.  

Commercial companies’ law (High Institute of Lawyers, 2009-2010)

Civil law, tax law, arbitration law and international trade law (The Tunis Faculty of Law and of Political Sciences (1996-2008).

Criminal tax law and commercial companies’ law (The High Institute of the Judiciary (Institut Supérieur de la Magistrature), 2002-2004).

International trade and arbitration law (Faculty of Legal, Political and Social Sciences, 2010-2014).   

Training lawyers and inhouse counsel in several issues of commercial and tax law.

  • Training 

Our law firm provided training sessions to lawyers, law specialists and board of directors and high officials of commercial companies, including oil companies, banks and financial institutions. I served as trainer in training sessions in Tunisia and elsewhere (Saudi Arabia, Dubai/UAE…). 

  • Speaker 

Speaker in hundreds of international and local conferences, seminars and colloquia held in more than 20 countries, in Arabic, French and English. Most of those conference deal with: arbitration law, civil procedure law, civil law, commercial law, corporate law, tax law…

Trainer in several training sessions in Tunisia and several Arab and non-Arab countries. 

  • Legal Advisor in Chief to the President of the Republic 

Legal adviser of the three post-Revolution Presidents of the Republic of Tunisia (15 March 2011- 15 February 2015). 

  • Magistrate:

From September 2000 to 14 March 2011:  Researcher Judge in the Center of Legal and Judicial Research –CEJJ– (2000-2006) where he was promoted to become Chair of a Working Group (2006– March 2011). The key responsibilities he was in charge in the CEJJ consisted of: studying the legal framework relating to business, investment and trade, including civil and commercial procedure and dispute resolution, and proposing the main reforms that have to be made in the light of the development of comparative law (European, American, Islamic countries, EU law…).

Judge in the Court of First Instance of Ariana (1995-1997), Then in the Tunis Court of Appeals (the First President’s Section, 1997-2000, ruling mainly on arbitration-related cases).  

Magistrate, graduated from the High Institute of the Judiciary (1995). 

  • Short experience in the banking sector 

The first job I had in my professional life was working in legal department of CFCT Bank (1993). It was a short but enriching experience. 


Key achievements

  • As a lawyer: 

Winning a number of major cases before arbitral tribunals and state courts. 

Leading claimants in arbitral cases against Ouerfelli’s clients to settle the disputes amicably and pay compensations to the respondents (Ouerfelli’s client). 

  • In the Presidency of the Republic (15 March 2011-February 2015)

Providing advice to the President of the Republic on the legal aspects of various issues, mainly relating to the transitional process in Tunisia, constitutional law issues, anticorruption, transitional justice, institution building and vetting…  

  • In the Center of Legal and Judicial Research (CEJJ) (2000-2011)

Team leader in charge of: investment law, including BITs, the amendment of the rules on the execution of judgments and court rulings (2002); amendment of the 1995 law on the reorganization of firms facing economic difficulties (2003); conceiving and drafting the new comprehensive of the Tunisian insolvency law (2003-2010, law promulgated in 2016); amendments of the Commercial Companies Code with the aim of simplifying procedures, and strengthening transparency and governance (mainly 2007 and 16 March  2009)…

Respondent to Doing Business, member of the Doing Business national Committee, member of a working group on the reform of the legal framework of the relationship between Tunisia and the European Union.  

  • In the Tunis Court of Appeal (1997-2000):

Member of the Premier Président’s Section, ruling mainly on arbitration cases. Most decisions are published in Tunisia and abroad and commented in several languages.

  • Master degree in private law (1995) – “Faculté de Droit et de Sciences Politiques de Tunis”.
  • Graduated from the High Institute of the Judiciary (1995). President of the Republic’s award. 
  • Graduated in business law (bachelor “maîtrise” 1993) – – “Faculté de Droit et de Sciences Politiques de Tunis”.

In the field of sports  

  • Teaching Sport Law in Tunis Faculty of Law and Political Science since 2017 (Master degree – English)
  • Member of the Independent Elections Commission, which supervised the elections of the Tunisian Olympic Committee (March 2017)
  • Chairman of the National League for Professional Football (2012).
  • Member of the Independent Commission Supervising the Elections of Sports Federations (2011-2013).
  • Arbitrator at the CNAS (Comité National d’Arbitrage Sportif) since 2012.
  • Author of several articles and commentaries in various fields of law (commercial, taxation, corporate), published in Tunisia and abroad.
  • Author of a book titled: “Handbook on Sport Law”, Latrach eds, Tunis 2015.


  • Secretary General of “Ifriqya Arbitration Forum” 
  • Member of the High Committee of the Arbitration Centre of the Arab Banks Union 
  • Member of the Scientific Council of the Tunis Centre of Conciliation and Arbitration (CCAT) until 2020   
  • Chair of the Association “JuriCercle”.
  • Member of the “Tunisian Association of Tax Law”.
  • Handbook on Sports Law’, Latrcah eds, Tunis, 2015 (Arabic).
  • ‘Manual of Corporate Laws’ الوسيط في قانون الشركات التجارية, (Arabic), Latrach eds, Tunis, 2015.
  • Handbook on Sports Law’ المختصر في القانون الرياضي, (Arabic), Latrcah eds, Tunis 2015.
  • « L’arbitrage dans la jurisprudence tunisienne » (French), Latrach-LGDJ eds, Tunis-Paris 2010.
  •  « Handbook on Corporate Law » (الوجيز في قانون الشركات التجارية), GLD eds, Tunis 2009, and 2nd edition, 2010. 
  • « Etudes en Droit Fiscal II » دراسات في القانون الجبائي 2 , (trilingual : Arabic – French – English), GLD eds, Tunis 2007.
  •  « Code of Commercial Companies – Annotated » مجلة الشركات التجارية معلقا عليها (trilingual : Arabic – French – English), co-authored with Judge Kamel Ayari, CEJJ eds, Tunis 2007.
  • « International Arbitration in Tunisian and Comparative Law » (Arabic التحكيم الدولي في القانون التونسي والقانون المقارن), GLD eds, Tunis 2006.
  • « Arbitration Code annotated- Domestic Arbitration » (Arabic : مجلة التحكيم معلق عليها- التحكيم الداخلي), CEJJ eds, Tunis 2006.
  • « The Distribution of Company’s Dividends » (Arabic توزيع أرباح الشركات التجارية), Alexandria, Egypt 2006.
  •  « Styudies in Tax Law » (Arabic دراسات في القانون الجبائي), L’Expert eds., Tunis 2003.
  • « International Handbook on Commercial Arbitration », suppl. 56 « Tunisia », ICCA, Dublin 2009. Published on kluwer law online

 Author of more than 120 published surveys and articles in Tunisian, French, Swiss, Egyptian, Dutch, Lebanese, German, Iraqi, Yemeni and Moroccan journals and reviews, in Arabic French and English.

  • Arabic
  • English
  • French

Sami Houerbi is a Court Member at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce International Arbitration Centre (LACIAC), a Board member of the Tehran Regional Arbitration Center (TRAC) and a Member of the Panel of Arbitrators of Hong Kong Arbitration Center (HKIAC) and Shanghai Arbitration Center (SHIAC).

Furthermore, he is a member of the International Bar Association (IBA), the German Institution of Arbitration (DIS), the International Arbitration Institute of the French Committee of Arbitration and the Swiss Arbitration Association.

Sami Houerbi speaks four languages which are Arabic, English, French and German.

  • Lawyer at the Tunis Bar
  • M, University of Ludwig Maximilian, Munich
  • Postgraduate Diploma on international law at the University Paris II
  • First law degree at the University Paris II
  • Pre-law degree at the University of Saarbrucken, Germany

Sami Houerbi is a contributor in several publications in the field of international arbitration. The most recent: “Wolters Kluwer – Arbitration in Africa: A Practitioner’s Guide: Author of the Chapter on North Africa”.

Send a message

Contact Ahmed

Ahmed Ouerfelli is an :
- Attorney at law
- Arbitrator and/or counsel in arbitration cases
- Law lecturer

Email US DIRECTLY ahmed.ouerfelli1@gmail
Tunis Adress
Résidence Golden Towers, Bloc A, En face de Clinique Pasteur, 5ème étage, bureau n° 5, Avenue Tahar Gharsa, croisement Rue Ahmed Snoussi, Centre Urbain Nord, Tunis 1082 - Tunisie
(+216) 70 033 064
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