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United Arab Emirates > Legal Developments > Corporate & Commercial > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Press releases and law firm thought leadership

This page is dedicated to keeping readers informed of the latest news and thought leadership articles from law firms across the globe.

If your firm wishes to publish press releases or articles, please contact Shehab Khurshid on +44 (0) 207 396 5689 or


How to resolve B2B Disputes?

The Department of Economic Development (DED) of Dubai has recently instituted Business Protection Department (BPD) solely for reconciling commercial disputes between businesses and will act as a local commercial dispute-resolution authority.

Insider Trading: Legal or Illegal?

Insider trading is exploitation of confidential information which is based on the sale and purchase of financial instruments of a corporate entity referred to as insider. The information pertaining to financial instruments can influence the public at large if disclosed. An act will be called insider trading if such information is provided to a third party who benefits from his investment activities post receiving such information. It is a term used commonly in the securities market and usually relates to illegal conduct.

DUE DILIGENCE: Importance In Acquisition

Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) can be as critical as it seems exciting for any entity's growth and development. If successful, it can assist both the companies to gain a significant share in the market and earn profits. If not successful, it can lead to a different story altogether. 

New Administrative Fines Imposed by the UAE Insurance Authority

March 2019 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Afridi & Angell.

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On 6 January 2019, UAE Cabinet Resolution No. 7 of 2019 Concerning the Administrative Fines Imposed by the Insurance Authority was published in the UAE Official Gazette, which lists a total of 204 items that are considered to be violations by the Insurance Authority and their corresponding penalties. This resolution will come into force on 6 April 2019 and will apply to any person, company or insurance-related professional that commits any of the violations listed in the resolution. 

DIFC Entities: Are You Compliant with the New Ultimate Beneficial Ownership Regulations?

The deadline to comply with the Ultimate Beneficial Ownership Regulations was 12 February 2019. However, the DIFC is offering a 30-day grace period. Our Senior Associate, Priyasha Corrie summarised the key points you should take note of, if complying with the new UBO regulations. At Fichte & Co. we assist in filing UBO details on the DIFC client portal, and also with preparing UBO register.

New Regulations for JAFZA Offshore Companies 2018-Some Key Changes You should Know

JAFZA Offshore jurisdiction has seen a lot of evolution in the last few years and has become the most desirable jurisdiction for owning or holding Dubai freehold properties in the UAE.

The free zone authority has recently announced Offshore Companies Regulations which completely replaces the Jebel Ali Free Zone Offshore Companies Regulations 2003. In the below article our Company Setup Specialist, Neelesh Pillai talks about this new more investor-friendly and flexible Offshore Company policies and regulations.

Director Liabilities Under UAE Laws

Clearly outlining the duties and liabilities of managers and directors of commercial companies is essential. Looking at the legal aspect of this, the Commercial Company Law ("CCL") is the most referenced legislation when dealing with directors’ duties and day to day management of their companies.

The Importance of Registration of Trademark in the UAE

After brainstorming and investing heaps of money and time on your new business set-up, how sure are you that your company's identity is secured, no other company would use the goodwill of your business or your credibility is safe enough?

Five Practical Steps to Transferring Shares in a Limited Liability Company in Dubai

Any sale or transfer of shares in a United Arab Emirates (UAE) limited liability company (LLC) raises certain documentary and procedural requirements in the Emirate in which the company is registered.

In the below article, our Senior Associate, Priyasha Corrie talks about 5 practical steps to transfer shares in the LLC in Dubai.

DIFC Issues New Laws and Regulations (November 2018): Key Action Points and Changes

The new DIFC Companies Law came into effect on 12 November and brings with it a number of important changes. In the below article, our Senior Associate, Priyasha Corrie talks about the key action points, changes and what it means for your business.

All that you should know about the New Anti-Money Laundering Law

As part of the requirement of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a Federal Decree No. 20 of 2018 on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism was issued on 23 September 2018. 

New Long Term Residency Visas

February 2019 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Afridi & Angell.

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After much media coverage, Cabinet Decision 56 of 2018 (the Decision) has been gazetted which introduces new long term residency visas to, amongst others, four categories of persons in the UAE. 

Merger Clearance Matters

February 2019 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Afridi & Angell.

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The United Arab Emirates (the UAE) promulgated legislation to specifically address the regulation of competition (being Federal Law 4 of 2012, or the Competition Law) several years ago but until recently, it has been the case that the requisite implementing regulations and processes were not in place. This is no longer the case. Not only have the much anticipated implementing regulations been issued, the UAE Ministry of Economy (the Ministry) (being the regulator in charge of administering the UAE competition regime) has now formed the required committee and issued the anticipated guidance and forms to allow concerned parties to make merger clearance submissions to the Ministry where required to do so pursuant to the Competition Law. 

New Promotion Regime for Domestic Funds

February 2019 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Afridi & Angell.

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In late November 2018, the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) announced that they had reached agreement on facilitating the licensing of domestic funds by each authority for promotion across the UAE. 

Federal Penal Code Amendments

January 2019 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Afridi & Angell.

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In the latest development in an eventful year, Federal Decree-Law 24 of 2018 introduces amendments to the Federal Penal Code, originally enacted as Federal Law 3 of 1987. 

The amendments are designed to make the Penal Code consistent with other recent federal legislation and current federal enforcement policies. Only ten provisions of the statute have been affected, out of the more than 400 total articles contained in the statute.

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New Anti-Money Laundering Law

December 2018 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Afridi & Angell.

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The new anti-money laundering (AML) law of the UAE took effect at the end of October 2018. Containing features recommended by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the new law introduces subtle but important changes to the AML landscape in the UAE. 

pdf Read more... 

Confidentiality Under Renewed Focus

December 2018 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Afridi & Angell.

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The UAE federal government has recently issued a raft of important legislation, addressing and in many ways updating areas of law that are key to businesses in the jurisdiction. Amongst this legislation is Federal Decree-Law 14 of 2018 concerning the central bank and the organisation of financial institutions and activities (the New Banking Law) and Federal Decree-Law 20 of 2018 concerning anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing (the New AML Law). Both the New Banking Law and the New AML Law repeal and replace the previous legislation on their respective subjects. Importantly, the New Banking Law and the New AML Law have together enhanced the protection afforded to confidential information under UAE law, in particular where financial and legal service providers and their customers and clients are concerned. 

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Get 100% Foreign Ownership Today in Dubai

Freezones have always been the topic of discussion in the U.A.E. Amongst the various benefits, 100% foreign ownership is one of the advantages which is enjoyed the most by investors in these freezone companies. In the below article, our Company Setup Specialist, Neelesh Pillai talks about everything that you need to know about setting up a Freezone branch in Mainland.

Seven Things to Know About Filing a Bankruptcy Petition in the UAE

The absence of a legal framework for bankruptcy has long been a hindrance to UAE business. In the absence of proper bankruptcy laws, even a bounced cheque could land an entrepreneur in jail. The implementation of the relatively new bankruptcy law in the UAE is a huge step forward in improving the country’s economic and regulatory environment.

Endofa could be stuck with million dollar claim in Dubai

A claim of close to USD 1 million against Endofa in Dubai is not likely to go away even though the bunker company is now closing its company in the desert state, says a local lawyer specialized in shipping. The claim stems from a failed oil transaction in Africa.

UPDATE: FTA Clarifies the VAT Treatment of Compensation Payments

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has recently published a clarification on VAT treatment of compensation type payments. Our Associate, Sarra Alsamarrai summarized the examples of situations where the compensation payments may or may not give rise to a "supply" for a taxable purpose.

UPDATE: New Foreign Direct Investments Law

The game-changing UAE investment law, which is expected to change nation's business landscape by attracting increased foreign direct investments, has come into effect. In the below article, our Associate Sarra Alsamarrai highlighted the main provisions of the FDI Law as it currently stands.

The New Foreign Direct Investment Law

November 2018 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Afridi & Angell.

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News on the new federal law on foreign direct investment in the UAE has many people asking: Does this mean I can now form a new company with majority foreign ownership?

The answer is the same as previously, "No, not yet".  Read more...

ADGM Announces Tech Start-Up Licensing Regime

November 2018 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Afridi & Angell.

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The Abu Dhabi Global Market (the ADGM) recently announced the launch of a commercial license specifically catered towards tech start-ups that allows entrepreneurs to obtain an operational license in the ADGM and access to a Professional Services Support Program aimed at allowing entrepreneurs entry to a community of businesses, financial services and professional advisors.  Read more...

A 10-Point Guide on Antitrust and Competition Law in the UAE

Until the issue of the Federal Law No. 4 of 2012 on the Regulation of Competition, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) lacked a composite law on competition, with elements of competition law strewn over various legislations. In 2013, the said law came into force, aiming to curb anti-competitive practices and regulate economic concentrations.

UPDATE: FTA Clarifies the VAT Treatment of Compensation Payments

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has recently published a clarification on VAT treatment of compensation type payments, such as payments to settle disputes, and other contractually agreed compensation. Where a payment or fee is not a consideration for a supply, there is no VAT due. Often times, there are penalty clauses or liquidated damages clauses in a contractual agreement between two parties, and when triggered, it is unclear whether this is considered as a supply for VAT purposes.

Cautious Optimism on 100 per cent Foreign Ownership

Recent media reports have suggested that 100 per cent foreign ownership of companies in the UAE will now be permitted. The reports are based on a government press release regarding a UAE Federal Cabinet (Cabinet) meeting held on 20 May 2018. pdf Read more...

Thoughts on the Extradition Rules under the UAE Laws

This article assesses the feasibilities and outline of the process of extradition in the UAE. The article also reviews how extradition succeeds through judicial collaboration internationally.

The Public-Private Partnership Law Review 3rd Edition

The Philippine chapter of The Public-Private Partnership Law Review 3rd edition was contributed by SyCipLaw partners Marievic G. Ramos-Añonuevo and Arlene M. Maneja. The chapter includes information on public-private partnerships (PPPs) in the Philippines, including general framework, bidding and award procedure, contractual arrangements, financing, and recent developments and decisions.


November 2016 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Motei & Associates.

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The reality: Honeymoon-Rough-Bold

Despite all best efforts to maintain the “honeymoon” period, there will come time during the relationship where the franchisee and franchisor may not agree or see things differently; this is the “Rough” period… very likely, such period will evolve to a clear disagreement the “Bold” period which, if not managed properly, it can lead down an emotional and costly path.This is the reality in any relationship. 

It may be that franchisee feels that the new items introduced on the menu are not going to do well in the market, or that he lacks support from franchisor, or too much control from franchisor, or that he pays a high fee for the services he receives.

Certainly, when signing the franchise agreement, the last thing the parties want to think about is what happens if the relationship goes bold.

Below, I shall discuss the most common ways to resolving franchising disputes such as Negotiation, Mediation, Litigation and Arbitration, and the considerations to bear in mind when choosing Litigation or Arbitration in a dispute resolution clause.

Changes to Company Norms

Zouhdi Yakan, Partner at Law House Advocates & Legal Consultants, explains the implications of the new Federal Law No. 2 of 2015 concerning Commercial Companies on private joint stock companies.

Changes to Company Norms

Zouhdi Yakan, Partner at Law House Advocates & Legal Consultants, explains the implications of the new Federal Law No. 2 of 2015 concerning Commercial Companies on private joint stock companies.

Business law

June 24 2014

Camille Chamoun of Law House explains how a new law in the UAE is laying the foundations for knowledge-based economy

A decision to ratify an arbitral award has been overruled by Dubai Court of Appeal

Motei & Associates was instructed by the Respondent in recent legal proceedings between two parties (details for which must remain confidential) before the Dubai Courts in relation to the ratification of an arbitral award issued by the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC).


New rules for UAE companies

New rules for UAE companies 

Camille Chamoun, Partner at Law House, explains how the UAE’s new Commercial Companies Law will impact businesses in the UAE The eagerly awaited new Commercial Companies Law came into effect on 1 July 2015 as UAE Federal Law no. 2 of 2015, (CCL). Despite what was anticipated, the new law did not live up to the market’s expectations on several counts; primarily because it does not include the relaxing of the 51 per cent local UAE national ownership in Limited Liability Companies, which might be dealt with under a new Foreign Investment Law instead. The CCL does however introduce some new concepts, a couple of which introduced new dynamics and flexibility to the market and might assist the UAE to attract more foreign investments. Two of the concepts introduced in the CCL are holding companies and single shareholder companies.

Buying Property by Expatriates in Abu Dhabi

The basics of buying freehold property in Abu Dhabi are the same as anywhere else in the United Arab Emirates. However, unlike Dubai, Abu Dhabi does not till date have specific laws/regulations regulating sale and purchase of real estate by foreigners (i.e. off plan sale, real estate brokers and agents, escrow accounts, jointly owned property (Strata Law), etc). Such being the case one needs to be even more careful and exercise greater due diligence while purchasing property in Abu Dhabi.


November 2013 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Hadef & Partners.

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The much awaited new commercial companies law is widely expected to enable the grant of registered pledges over shares (or, quotas) in limited liability companies. The effect of the possible legislative development and its potential to aid financing transactions may need to be carefully considered.


Choice of jurisdiction - a new layer of considerations

It is beyond doubt that the ground breaking change to the courts law at the end of 2011, by which the DIFC Courts’ jurisdiction was extended, is a significant and positive step for Dubai. However, any decision to opt into the DIFC Courts’ jurisdiction is one to be approached with care and knowledge.

The new UAE law on commercial companies - what does it mean for foreign investors?

The long-awaited UAE law on Commercial Companies which, at the date of writing, is in a draft form (New CCL) is expected to be promulgated in the coming months. The New CCL will introduce a number of new provisions, which set out major, and generally welcome, departures from the existing UAE Law on Commercial Companies (Existing CCL).

Guide for foreign companies setting up in the UAE

There are a variety of corporate structures available to foreign companies seeking to set up in the UAE. In this article, we take a look at those most commonly used.

The challenge of defining an administrative contract in the UAE

In Middle Eastern jurisdictions, contracts concluded by the governments are subject to a particular regulatory framework, both in terms of governing law and dispute resolution. Rana El Hussieni demystifies the position of administrative contracts and the prevailing judicial system.

Summary Of The Draft Bankruptcy Law

February 2012 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Al Tamimi & Company.

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by Richard Catling -

The proposed Federal Law on Financial Restructuring and Bankruptcy (the “Law”) revolutionizes bankruptcy rules, for both individuals and companies, currently comprised within the civil law. 


January 2012 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Afridi & Angell.

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International businesses must devote ever increasing resources to avoid involvement in anti-corruption offences. Of course, for decades the strict provisions of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or FCPA, have applied to American corporations, defined broadly to include entities whose securities are listed on American stock markets. These provisions have led to many non-U.S. corporations being caught in FCPA violations.


March 2010 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Afridi & Angell.

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Country Q&A United Arab Emirates - There are several free zones in the UAE and each free zone has its own regulations for creating security interests by entities licensed within that zone and/or over property located within it. However, aside from the creation and enforcement of security interests in the UAE, this chapter is restricted to security interests in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and in the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA), the first free zones in the UAE around which the laws of most other free zones are modelled.

Understanding Commercial Leases in Qatar

Ian Bode of Al Tamimi & Company’s Qatar office introduces the issues relating to commercial leases in Qatar. [Note: depending on the lease form, references in a lease can either be to “landlord and tenant” or to “lessor and lessee”. In this article, “landlord” and“tenant” are used]. Property lawyers in Qatar assume substantial responsibility when preparing commercial leases. They establish contractual relationships between landlords and tenants which govern the use and occupancy of property often for a period of years. One inappropriate word in a covenant, could expose a tenant to an unintended financial liability or a landlord to an unintended obligation.

Restructuring of Qatar’s Banking and Finance Cluster

By Ahmad AnaniBanking & Finance Department - Qatar The State of Qatar has one of the strongest and fastest growing economies in the world. The Qatari economic numbers are astonishing with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) standing at 52.7 billion US Dollars in 2006 and per capita income averaging to 76,000 US Dollars (2007). The GDP of Qatar is mainly derived from its oil and gas production (60%). Nevertheless, the Government of Qatar has a detailed plan to diversify the economy based on the oil and gas revenues that are surging due to the international increase of oil prices.