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Mahmud has many years of experience providing bilingual (English & Arabic) legal services on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious matters. Mahmud advises on all aspects of Libyan law, with a focus on commercial law, corporate law and dispute resolution. He also advises on matters related to criminal law and procedures, including issues in connection with anti-money laundering and anti-corruption laws and regulations. 


Whilst working at prominent Libyan law firms, Mahmud has advised international companies, government bodies and foreign investors on various Libyan law matters. As a Libyan local counsel, Mahmud has assisted several international law firms on high-profile arbitration proceedings involving Libya. 


Mahmud’s professional journey has included working at renowned global law firms, such as Allen & Overy. During his tenure, he provided bilingual legal advice and support across various contentious and non-contentious matters with a focus on the MENA region.


Mahmud’s accomplishments include leading a team in developing several draft legislations in the areas of corporate law, public-private partnerships and secured transactions, as part of a programme to reform the legal framework of doing business in Libya.  


Mahmud earned his LLB from the University of Tripoli, graduating as one of the top three students in his class with an outstanding overall score of 82%. Subsequently, he pursued an LLM in International Commercial Law at the University of Reading in the UK, achieving Distinction. His LLM dissertation was dedicated to the reform of Libya's petroleum sector, with a specific focus on the NOC, aligning it with international best practices.

Mahmud is widely published on matters related to Libyan and international law. His notable contributions include:

  • "Key Insights on Libya’s New Arbitration Law", Kluwer Arbitration Blog, 27 November 2023. 

  • "The LSC’s Principles", the Oath Legal Magazine, 1 October 2023. 

  • “Guide to Dispute Resolution in Africa 2022 - Libya Chapter”, Herbert Smith Freehills, 22 March 2022 (Lead Contributor).

  • "Attribution of liability and enforcement in Libya", Global Arbitration Review, 20 July 2020.

  • “Libya’s Legal System and Legal Research”, GlobaLex, Hauser Global Law School Program at NYU School of Law, 1 November 2019.


  • LLM in International Commercial Law, University of Reading.

  • LLB, University of Tripoli.


  • The Libyan Bar Association.

  • The Libyan British Business Council.

  • English.

  • Arabic.

Mahmud Sawan


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