DIFC Courts

One of just two people that received the accolade

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 10 November 2011: Amna Al Owais, Deputy Registrar and Small Claims Tribunal Registrar of DIFC Courts, the Dubai International Financial Centre’s (DIFC) independent, common law judicial system, has received an Honourable Mention in the International Bar Association (IBA) Young Lawyers’ Committee Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year Award which is held in Recognition of William Reece Smith Jr.

Ms. Al Owais was one of only two people from around the world to receive the accolade, and was officially recognised at the IBA meeting held in Dubai last week.

Michael Hwang, Chief Justice of the DIFC Courts said: “We are delighted that Amna’s hard work and commitment to helping build and maintain Dubai’s judiciary’s position at the forefront of justice in the region and beyond, has been recognised with such a remarkable accolade. She has achieved a great deal for the Courts, for the Special Tribunal Related to Dubai World and personally, and it is therefore no surprise that she has been recognised as one of the top three outstanding young lawyers in the world.

Rouven Franz Bodenheimer, Chair, IBA Young Lawyers’ Committee said: “The standard of the nominations was very high, which made the decision making process very difficult. Although Amna was not chosen as the overall winner of the award, the judges decided that her achievements and contributions are of such a high standard that they should be recognised with an Honourable Mention. We are even more pleased to be able to make this announcement after holding our annual conference in Dubai.”

Amna Al Owais, Deputy Registrar of DIFC Courts, commented: “I feel extremely honoured to receive such a prestigious award. I also feel blessed to work alongside such a strong team of professionals at the DIFC Courts, who have also contributed a great deal to making the DIFC Courts one of the most advanced and professional courts in the world.”

Since their inception, the DIFC Courts have strived for the highest international standards, and have launched many ‘firsts’ for the region, such as a Pro Bono scheme offering free legal advice to those in financial hardship, and the Small Claims Tribunal, which resolves 90% of disputes in under three weeks.