Shabnam Karim

Norton Rose Fulbright (Middle East) LLP

United Arab Emirates
T:+971 4 369 6317
United Arab Emirates
T:+971 4 369 6317
Shabnam Karim

Shabnam Karim



Shabnam Karim is a dispute resolution lawyer based in Dubai.

Shabnam has particular experience in liability and insurance disputes, including professional and management liability, cybersecurity risks and insurance policy coverage disputes across the Middle East and India.

Her practice focuses specifically on D&O/management liability, professional negligence litigation (including medical malpractice disputes), contentious cyber mandates and insurance policy coverage advice and litigation.

Shabnam has practised in the Middle East for more than five years and has worked on the most complex and high-profile matters across the region and is regarded for her significant experience in D&O, cyber liability and healthcare malpractice.

Prior to joining us, Shabnam worked at another law firm in the UK, and in Dubai for ten years. She has undertaken secondments to Zurich Insurance in London and AIG in Dubai within their professional and financial lines claims teams.

Professional experience

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  • Solicitor qualified in England & Wales 2008



  • A UAE law firm - in defending a claim against it by an international law firm, alleging deficiencies in the handling of complex multi-party UAE litigation.
  • Multiple healthcare providers and professionals– in defending over 100 medical malpractice claims across the Middle East, from attendance before healthcare regulators to all stages of litigation, as well as out-of-court resolution.
  • Reinsurance brokers - in connection to a claim for alleged negligence in placing a UAE reinsurance policy.
  • Numerous international reinsurers - on multiple instructions in relation to a range of policy coverage issues, such as late notification and the applicability of exclusions and general advice on the applicability of wordings.
  • A senior manager of a regulated financial institution – in successfully defending a high-profile DFSA enforcement action, including responding to a section 80 Notice and preparation for attendance at a compulsory interview.
  • The international reinsurance market - as coverage and monitoring counsel, following multiple D&O liability and professional liability claims and high-profile investigations in multiple jurisdictions, including by the US DOJ against a private equity firm in Dubai.
  • Insurers - in relation to a litigated onshore UAE D&O liability policy coverage dispute relating to civil and criminal cases, amounting to hundreds of millions of US dollars in multiple jurisdictions as well as the issuance of Interpol red notices.
  • International reinsurers - on D&O liability policy coverage following a high-profile international bribery and corruption investigation into management individuals, involving government officials and private companies in the Middle East.
  • An international healthcare provider – on a data breach by a malicious insider threat in relation to civil and criminal recourse and management of the event.
  • Several regional and international businesses - in respect of ransomware breaches and managing exposures to them, following the incident, including a FMCG manufacturer and a UAE logistics firm.
  • A regional private equity firm - on a DIFC-LCIA arbitration concerning a M&A dispute relating to a breach of representations and warranties.
  • A global FMCG manufacturer - following a Competition Protection Agency Notice relating to alleged dominance and anti-competition behaviour in specific Middle East markets.
  • A global Financial Institution - in relation to the default of a promissory note amounting to hundreds of millions of US dollars and progressing enforcement and recovery action in multiple Middle East jurisdictions.

UAE Insurance, The Legal 500

UAE Insurance, Chambers & Partners 

"persistent and solution-driven"
"Shabnam is a leading expert when it comes to insurance/reinsurance liability and coverage matters in the region".

  • Shabnam is frequently quoted in UAE newspapers and publications on her topics of specialism, including cybersecurity risks and medical malpractice liability.
  • Speaker at a seminar on Cyber Risks and Security with Millenium Brokers in Dubai (November 2016).
  • Speaker at the 2018 Dubai World Insurance Congress on cyber risks and legislation.
  • Speaker at a 2018 onshore energy conference in Dubai on "Cyber: The energy sector's next big challenge".
  • Speaker at various market events on medical malpractice liability in the Middle East and risk malpractice.
  • Panel participant at an event on UAE cyber risks in October 2021.
  • Speaker at event on "Middle East Financial Lines Claims trends" in November 2021
  • Speaker at TATA-AIG event on "managing cyber risk and key considerations around ransomware" in December 2021
  • English
  • Hindi
  • Italian