DIFC Courts

New threshold for swift resolution

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 7 September 2011: The DIFC Courts, the Dubai International Financial Centre's (DIFC) independent, common law judicial system, announced today that the limit on employment cases that can be heard by the small claims tribunal has been increased to AED 200,000 from AED 100,000, following feedback from the business and legal community.

The increase means that any employment case involving an amount up to AED 200,000 can be heard by the small claims tribunal, saving litigants time and money. The SCT is able to hear cases of any value where both parties agree in writing.

Cases are largely heard by the small claims tribunal without the involvement of lawyers, and more than 90% have historically been resolved within three weeks of lodging the claim.

Chief Justice Michael Hwang, DIFC Courts said, "The DIFC Courts were created to provide the business community with the most efficient and accessible regime for case resolution, and the expansion of the limits on the SCT's jurisdiction gives more options for people with employment disputes. We constantly seek to innovate and improve our services to meet the needs and challenges of the community, and this rule amendment serves these goals."

The change follows the increase in 2010 in the limit on non-employment cases to AED 500,000 (provided both parties agree to using the small claims tribunal) and has come as one of the recent amendments to the Rules of the DIFC Courts, to further enhance the efficiency of proceedings before the DIFC Courts. The rules are based on the highest standards of commercial court procedures from around the world, and are widely acknowledged for efficiency and promoting parties to settle disputes before trial.



For more information please contact:

James Hawksworth Capital MSL Tel: +971 4 367 6158 Email: james.hawksworth@capitalmsl.com

Maram Alkadhi Capital MSL Tel: +971 4 367 6160 Email: maram.alkadhi@capitalmsl.com

About the DIFC Courts

The DIFC Courts is an independent court system set up to uphold the provisions of DIFC laws and regulations. They provide the protection of an English language, common law court system, with an internationally renowned bench of judges versed in commercial disputes, to ensure transparent and efficient justice in civil and commercial matters in or relating to the Centre. The overriding objective of the DIFC Courts is to deal with cases justly and swiftly and to help parties settle cases. Designed to deal specifically with the sophisticated transactions conducted within the DIFC, the DIFC Courts provide comprehensive legal redress in civil and commercial matters. Along with offering the highest standards in legal dispute resolution and a judicial system based on international best practices, DIFC Courts provide a small claims tribunal which is unique in the region. In January 2008, DIFC Courts appointed the first female judge in the UAE and announced that two Emirati judges had become common law International Judges. The DIFC Courts were established under laws enacted by The Late His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai in September 2004. The DIFC Courts are an independent judicial system which has jurisdiction over matters arising from and within the DIFC. The DIFC Courts were established under two new laws enacted by His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai. Dubai Law No. 12 of 2004 established the Judicial Authority at the DIFC and sets out the jurisdiction of the court and allows for the independent administration of justice in the DIFC. The laws establishing the DIFC Courts are designed to ensure the highest international standards of legal procedure thus ensuring that the DIFC Courts provide the certainty, flexibility and efficiency expected by the global institutions operating within the DIFC.

About the DIFC

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is an onshore hub for global finance. It bridges the time gap between the financial centres of Hong Kong and London and services a region with the largest untapped emerging market for financial services. In just three years, over 600 firms have registered at the DIFC. They operate in an open environment complemented with world-class regulations and standards. The DIFC offers its member institutions incentives such as 100 per cent foreign ownership, zero tax on income and profits and no restrictions on foreign exchange. In addition their business benefits from modern infrastructure, operational support and business continuity facilities of uncompromisingly high standards.