FDI Interviews: Hesham El-Wakeel, Junior Associate – Matouk Bassiouny

Interview with Hesham El-Wakeel, Junior Associate of Matouk Bassiouny, and Teaching Assistant at Cairo University. Talking to us on the academic prospects of mooting on the sideline of the first national rounds of the FDI in Egypt.

Interview and Edit by Yasmine Soliman.

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Q: Could you kindly introduce yourself?

A: My name is Hesham EL-Wakeel; I am a teaching assistant at the faculty of law at Cairo University. I am also an arbitration lawyer at Matouk Bassiony & Henawy. I graduated from the faculty of law English section at Cairo University in 2018 and I was always a person who is fond of the moot court experience.

Q: Could you briefly describe the FDI for the audience?

A: The FDI is a foreign direct investment moot court. Which is a replica of investment arbitration disputes which arises of an investor-state dispute. It’s a replica of what happened in an international forum such as the ICSID which is a body of the World Bank, it refers to disputes which arise in relation to an investor that has a certain investment in a country and such investment is faced with certain troubles. For example, if it got expropriated or nationalized, what is the remedy of this? hence, resulting in Investment Dispute Resolution.

Q: How does it feel volunteering today as a judge for the FDI?

A: It feels great because I’ve been a participant in such a moot court. I’ve been a participant in international commercial and international investment arbitration moot courts so it’s a very good experience for me to deliver this experience as an arbitrator to the students who are seeking to be a part of these moots.

Q: Now that moot courts have become quite popular in Egypt and its legal community, how does the FDI fit in this community, regarding the target audience, the benefits of the firms, the organizations and the CSR RELATIONS?

A: Regarding the students, it benefits them in the faculties of law all over the country. It is very important for them because it fosters certain skills that they do not learn during their time at the faculty such as; soft skills and skills in relation to what happens in real-life disputes, this is very important. In regards to the firms, it’s actually quite a challenge for law firms because they have a responsibility to deliver and to be responsible for the organization and the fostering of these moot courts and for giving an opportunity to students to be part of it as in Matouk Bassiony & Henamy we are trying to foster this as a part of our corporate social responsibility.

Q: Where does the FDI fit in the legal studies in the Egyptian Universities?

A: In general, it fits where the investment arbitration or the arbitration in general so in certain universities, there is a course for the dispute resolution. This is something that is very important. In universities, I believe, there could be certain student’s activities or certain models that could foster the FDI or certain moot clubs.

Q: Could mooting be considered as a substitute for the legal training

A: Well it’s an addition, a very important one. You get certain legal training you get your studies from the university as well as being part of the moot courts, every one of these is a part of a puzzle that fills and fits in.

Q: From a personal point of view what knowledge does the moot court add to the participants

A: Firstly, it adds soft skills related to communication skills, the ability to do eye contact, the ability to have certain voice tone, it delivers a lot of soft skills also it delivers knowledge of law and knowledge of the basic standards they are going to face in the future after they don’t get that from the university in addition. And finally, it’s an important challenge for them because everything, when it comes into practice, is very different than it in theory

Q: Thank you so much for your time, Hesham.

A: thank you.

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