x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

DIFC unites litigation and arbitration bodies

Law No 7 of 2014, announced by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid on Wednesday, amends the DIFC’s founding law and mandates the establishment of a Disputes Resolution Authority within the centre.

The DIFC’s litigation and arbitration functions are to be consolidated under a new single dispute settlement umbrella body, under the terms of a new law issued by Dubai’s ruler.

Law No 7 of 2014, announced by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid on Wednesday, amends the DIFC’s founding law and mandates the establishment of a Disputes Resolution Authority within the centre.

The authority will consist of the DIFC Courts, an “arbitration body”, and “other subsidiary committees or institutions established under the laws and regulations of the DIFC”, according to a statement from the Dubai Media Office.

The new Disputes Resolution Authority will be headed by Chief Justice Michael Hwang, the current president of the DIFC Courts.

“The amendments to Law No 9 build on the achievements of the DIFC Courts and Dubai World Tribunal, and create a trusted one-stop shop for litigation and arbitration, with the capacity for additional expansion over time,” said Mr Hwang in a statement.

“By allowing all those operating in the Emirate to choose how best to resolve their disputes, through litigation or arbitration, the authority will increase confidence and promote growth, representing another important step in the journey to make the UAE one of the best places in the world to do business.”

The new law comes in line with the UAE’s Vision 2021, which “calls for the provision of an effective and sophisticated disputes settlement so that the UAE becomes the first destination globally to attract business and finance”, according to the statement.

The timing of the establishment of the Dispute Resolution Authority was not disclosed.

While the announcement did not specifically identify the arbitration body, a source close to the situation confirmed that the wording refers to the DIFC’s arbitration centre, run in conjunction with the London Centre for International Arbitration (LCIA). The partnership with the LCIA is not expected to be affected by the centre’s incorporation under the new authority.

A spokeswoman for the DIFC-LCIA declined to comment.

jeverington@thenational.ae

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