Justice Sir Richard Field, Head of the DIFC Courts Technology and Construction Division
Among the many drivers of the region’s economy, construction is perhaps one of the most well-established and technology one of the fastest-growing. While they are at different stages of maturity, the two sectors do share an important similarity: the potential for highly complex commercial disputes.
In the construction industry, for instance, disputes involving complicated engineering solutions, fires or multiple sub-contractors can take considerable time and expertise to resolve. Equally, a dispute resulting from an emerging technology, say an accident involving a driverless car, poses complicated questions around issues such as liability. If the concept was created in in the US, the software developed in France, the chips manufactured in UK and the car assembled in Japan, the potential for a complex, transnational legal dispute is high.
While the best modern commercial courts are certainly perfectly capable of dealing with such cases, there is agreement among many of the world’s top jurisdictions that these particular sectors of the economy can benefit from additional judicial support.
Enter the new DIFC Courts Construction and Technology Division (TCD). Drawing on specialist judicial expertise and dedicated rules, the TCD offers companies both a faster, more certain resolution mechanism for particularly complex disputes, and an attractive, potentially lower-cost alternative to arbitration.
The response from both the legal and business communities has been highly encouraging. For those directly involved in the TCD’s operation, what is particularly interesting is not only the types of cases it will deal with today, but also those it will handle in the future.
New technologies and trends such as artificial intelligence, 3D printing, drones, autonomous vehicles and blockchain will change the way companies do business and in turn the nature of commercial disputes.
The job of the TCD is to stay in step with these technological developments as they unfold to offer business added certainty in an era of rapid change.
To see the full list of Rules for the new Technology & Construction Division (TCD), please visit https://www.difccourts.ae/rules-2/part-56-technology-construction-division/