Shortlisted for Two International Excellence Awards
Dubai, United Arab Emirates; 13 August, 2014: The DIFC Courts have been shortlisted by the UK’s Law Society for two prestigious Excellence Awards. This is the latest recognition of the DIFC Courts’ focus on service excellence and follows its 2013 accolade of becoming the only court in the world to achieve the high service standards required by The International Customer Service Institute (TISSE), as well as winning the UAE Customer Service Award for four consecutive years.
The DIFC Courts’ Pro Bono Programme, the first of its kind in the Middle East when it was established in 2009, has been shortlisted for the “Excellence in Pro Bono” award alongside leading international law firms and charities. For their work championing high legal standards for international commerce, the Courts are also contenders in the “Excellence in International Legal Services” category of the international awards bestowed by the body representing solicitors in England and Wales.
Reem Al Shihhe, Head of Human Resources and Business Excellence for the DIFC Courts, said: “The DIFC Courts are widely considered to be among the world’s leading commercial courts and recognition by the UK’s Law Society in two Excellence Award categories is further affirmation of the work we do to protect and support international commerce, as well as our commitment to business excellence and customer service. Our Courts have earned the trust and confidence of the international legal community and our advanced legal processes are helping to empower businesses across the Middle East and make high quality justice accessible to all.”
Mark Beer, OBE, Chief Executive of the DIFC Courts, added: “I am delighted that the DIFC Courts have been shortlisted for these international excellence awards, and that the incredible work of the DIFC Courts’ team is gaining recognition around the world. As Dubai is one of the best places in the world to do business, it is vital that the DIFC Courts operate as one of the best commercial courts in the world, serving the needs of all those doing business in, with and from Dubai. As a judicial system, our role is to support and protect business, ensuring contracts are honoured. We are very proud of what we have been able to achieve since 2011, when our jurisdiction was opened so that every business in the UAE and beyond could use our services, and we will continue to advance through our commitment to service excellence in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
NOTES TO EDITORS
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Liam Turner / Tameem Alkintar
The UAE’s DIFC Courts administer a unique English-language common law system – offering swift, independent justice to settle local and international commercial or civil disputes. The Courts, based in Dubai, provide certainty through transparent, enforceable judgments from internationally-recognised judges, who adhere to the highest global legal standards. The DIFC Courts are independent from, but complementary to, the UAE’s Arabic-language civil law system – offering a choice that strengthens both processes while ensuring public access to world-class justice.
In October 2011, a decree of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, opened the DIFC Courts’ jurisdiction to businesses from all across the GCC region and beyond to provide the international business community with access to one of the most advanced commercial courts in the world.
The DIFC Courts were established under laws enacted by the late HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai in September 2004. The laws establishing the DIFC Courts are designed to ensure that the DIFC Courts provide the certainty, flexibility and efficiency expected by Court users. Nearly 500 cases have been resolved through the DIFC Courts since 2008, while over 90% of Small Claims Tribunal cases are concluded within three weeks. The Courts’ community-focused approach encourages early settlement, while their successful track record supports Dubai’s growing status as an international business hub.
In line with HH Sheikh Mohammed’s vision, the DIFC Courts serve to develop the UAE national workforce and enhance the competitiveness of Emirati advocates. The DIFC Courts are spearheading training programmes predominantly aimed at local Emirati lawyers, which offer knowledge of, and qualifications in, the English-language common law system.
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