x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

DIFC Courts start 2012 with resolution

DIFC Courts has resolved its first case not involving a company within the free zone since opening its doors to any business wanting to resolve a dispute.

DIFC Courts has resolved its first case not involving a company within the free zone since opening its doors to any business wanting to resolve a dispute.

It settled a row between two Dubai SMEs about the non-payment of an invoice.

The court's remit was expanded last year to allow non-DIFC companies the option of having their disputes heard there.

"This is a very significant step in the history of the DIFC Courts," said Shamlan Al Sawalehi, SCT judge and judicial officer at the DIFC Courts. "The recent jurisdiction extension has clearly had particular resonance among the UAE's SME community."

DIFC Courts are promoting themselves as a cost-effective and efficient dispute settlement option for companies.

In recent years a firm could only bring a claim in the DIFC Courts if they could show a sufficient connection with the free zone.

However, on October 31, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, issued a decree extending their jurisdiction. The law significantly expands the reach of the courts by allowing parties without any connection to the DIFC to have their disputes heard there.

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