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30 March 2013 — DIFC Courts Publish Code of Best Legal Professional Practice

30 March 2013 — DIFC Courts Publish Code of Best Legal Professional Practice

March 30, 2013

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Chief Justice calls for Highest Professional Standards

New Legal Ethics Guide for Lawyers in the DIFC

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 30 March 2013: The DIFC Courts, Dubai’s established English language, commercial common law judicial system, announced on Wednesday the introduction of the new “Code of Best Legal Professional Practice.”

In launching the new Code, Chief Justice of the DIFC Courts Michael Hwang stated that the Code would set the highest standards for professional conduct by all lawyers who operate within the DIFC – whether authorised to appear as advocates before the DIFC Courts, or otherwise licensed to conduct business in the DIFC itself.

The new Code is based on established professional conduct rules drawn from different jurisdictions. It relates in particular to issues of conflict of interest, confidentiality and advocacy – plus all aspects of relations with clients, other lawyers and the DIFC Courts. It will be refined as the need for defined ethical standards in different aspects of legal practice develops.

The new Code will complement the Courts’ existing and mandatory “Code of Conduct,” which was introduced in 2009. However, it also includes conduct not covered by DIFC Courts’ existing code, and it extends to cover non-contentious work as well. It is designed to codify best practices, and to encourage optimum standards of professional legal behaviour that are widely practised internationally.

A draft of the code was prepared with the assistance of regional and international firms, in particular Essam Al Tamimi, Senior Partner at Al Tamimi & Company, and Graham Lovett, Regional Managing Partner at Clifford Chance. A final draft was then sent out for public consultation amongst a wider group of firms.

Chief Justice Michael Hwang, DIFC Courts, commented: “The DIFC Courts’ new Code of Best Legal Professional Practice will venture onto fresh ground for Dubai. The current code was a first step when DIFC Courts were a smaller operation. More sophistication is now required – the provisions in the new Code which deal with court work will in due course be migrated into our current court code.”

He continued: “Adherence to the new Code will result in a standard of conduct which is the hallmark of the global legal profession and is important to the open administration of justice.”

The Code of Best Legal Professional Practices can be found on the DIFC Courts’ website www.difccourts.ae.

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