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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.

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United Arab Emirates > Legal Developments > Litigation & Dispute Resolution > 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


Arbitration Article Series V: Challenging an Arbitration

In this case the losing party will file an annulment case. However, it may be possible to argue that the parties have accepted the tribunal’s jurisdiction, or have waived any right to object, or have lost that right by not objecting at the first opportunity.

Arbitration Article Series IV: Enforcing Arbitration Awards

In this case the losing party will file an annulment case. However, it may be possible to argue that the parties have accepted the tribunal’s jurisdiction, or have waived any right to object, or have lost that right by not objecting at the first opportunity.

Arbitration Article Series I: Rise of Arbitration

The UAE has rapidly emerged as a leading financial centre, attracting large global investors and businesses. As international developers and contractors continue to invest in construction projects, there has been an increasing trend in the use of arbitration in Dubai. The arbitration process is the preferred method to resolve disputes by commercial companies. As the certified language of arbitration proceedings is in English, a specialist tribunal can be appointed as opposed to the more broad UAE courts, and arbitration is generally more cost-effective and less time-consuming. This has led businesses and investors in the UAE to ensure that arbitration clauses or agreements are inserted into their contracts. Furthermore, the downturn in economic conditions in the real estate market over the past few years has led to an increase in disputes in general, and parties are more likely to issue court proceedings than to try to recover their losses through other ventures.

Arbitration Article Series II: Appointing Arbitrators

An arbitrator can be appointed directly by name (this is not the common method used), through the court or through the arbitration centre. If you agree for the court or arbitration centre to appoint an arbitrator you need to make an application. The arbitration provisions of the Civil Procedure Code contain mandatory provisions concerning the appointment of an arbitrator. There must be an odd number of arbitrators, although there is no limit set on the number of arbitrators.

Arbitration Article Series III: Terms of References

Parties wanting to enforce an award under the New York Convention must satisfy the requirements of the UAE Civil Code. In practice, enforcing arbitration awards can be a lengthy and unpredictable process. It is common for the UAE courts to require the foreign award to satisfy the rules and procedures of the UAE, and they may refuse to enforce it if there is a violation of local laws. One potential difficulty arises in convincing the UAE court that it did not have jurisdiction to hear the dispute in the first place (irrespective of the arbitration agreement between the parties). The UAE courts normally have a fairly broad jurisdiction over disputes including, for example, claims connected to money or assets within the UAE and claims arising out of contracts executed or to be performed in the UAE, as well as claims over foreigners who are resident in the UAE. Therefore, it is difficult to prove that the UAE court did not have jurisdiction over the order.

Midnight Arbitration Clause v. 8:00 a.m. Clause

By: Ashraf El Motei LL.M., MCIArb

In the past, contractual dispute resolution provisions were commonly known as ‘midnight’ clauses because commercial lawyers only come to discuss them in the closing stages of contract negotiations. Nowadays, taking into account the complications which may arise from badly drafted arbitration clause, they are better referred to as the 8 o’clock in the morning clauses.

Dubai Court's Ruling Against Developer

Dubai Court ordered developer to compensate buyer for the shortfall in the size of the sold property and all its supplemented areas.

When A Marriage Breaks in the United Arab Emirates

Shedding light on the application of the UAE Personal Affairs (‘Sharia’) versus foreign laws. The case of a Hindu divorce granted by the Sharia Court in the UAE to the wife with full custody of the kids as well as alimony.

New York Convention: Lack of jurisdiction prevents enforcement in UAE

The arbitration enforcement proceedings brought by Construction Company International (CCI) against the Ministry of Irrigation of the Government of Sudan (MOI), for whom our firm acted, has now passed through all three tiers of the Dubai Courts. The Dubai Court of Cassation (Case No. 156/2013 Civil Cassation) rejected CCI's arguments and upheld the judgments of the lower Courts. This means that all three tiers of the Dubai Courts, having considered the applicability of the New York Convention, refused to recognise and enforce two ICC Paris arbitration awards on the ground that under the UAE's procedural laws the Court had no jurisdiction. This result is likely to be viewed with concern by arbitration practitioners based in Dubai and worldwide.


Arbitration in Dubai, March 2013 by Daniel Brawn, Galadari

The Emirate of Dubai has long been a centre for trade and commercial activity and such activity will inevitably generate disputes. In Arabic culture, traders endeavour to settle their disputes by negotiation, either between themselves or under the guidance of a leading citizen. The growth of international trade and investment has brought a wider range of disputes and Dubai has sought recently to place itself as a centre for commercial dispute resolution. Parties to international contracts are generally unwilling to submit their disputes to the Dubai Courts, with proceedings conducted in Arabic, and therefore international contracts generally include provisions for disputes to be resolved by arbitration. The law is developing rapidly in Dubai and the purpose of this article is to provide an insight into current arbitration practice at this exciting stage of its development.

Enforcement of foreign arbitral awards against UAE counterparties

The merits and de-merits for seating arbitration in the DIFC using the DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Rules for contracts with UAE counterparties are explored by Reema Ashraf, Jonathan Brown and Valeria Lysenko.

United Arab Emirates

Haider K Afridi and Chatura Randeniya
Afridi & Angell

How is commercial arbitration used in your jurisdiction? What are the recent trends? What are the general advantages and disadvantages of arbitration compared to court litigation in your jurisdiction? 

Country Q&A: Arbitration 2010/11

Please give a brief overview of the use of commercial arbitration in your jurisdiction, including any recent trends. What are the general advantages and disadvantages of arbitration compared to court litigation in your jurisdiction?

UAE - Dispute Resolution 2009/10

Commercial disputes in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are generally resolved through litigation in the courts or arbitration. Arbitration is becoming an increasingly popular way to resolve disputes. The UAE recently signed the UN Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958 (New York Convention).

Draft Arbitration Laws Published by Ministry of Economy and DIFC

If enacted, two draft arbitration laws released for consultation in February 2008 stand to put the UAE at the forefront of arbitration in the Middle East.