DIFC Courts

Third DIFC Courts Lecture of 2015 attended by over 100 UAE lawyers

Dubai, United Arab Emirates; 21 June 2015: Over one hundred UAE lawyers and members of the public gathered for the third DIFC Courts Lecture of 2015 to learn about the rules for the new Wills and Probate Registry.

The Registry operates under the jurisdiction of the DIFC Courts, which handles all probate claims related to registered wills. The CourtsChief Justice, Michael Hwang, also gave an address on how new DIFC Courts rules set out in RDC Part 55 relate to the functioning of the Registry.  Part 55 covers the probate processes through the Courts and are complementary to the DIFC Wills and Probate Registry Rules. Both sets of rules were enacted on April 29, 2015.

This was followed by a Q&A session with a panel including Dubai-based legal practitioners who discussed the rule drafting process, principles of wills construction, and the relevance of international laws. The panel comprised Diana Hamade, Founder of International Advocate Legal Services, Cynthia Trench, Principal of Trench & Associates, Alastair Glover, Principal Associate of Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co LLP, and Mihaela Cornelia Moldoveanu, Senior Manager of the DIFC Wills and Probate Registry. The full lecture video is accessible for viewing online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dlft4RnKoi4.

Chief Justice Hwang said: “The Wills and Probate Registry is based on international common law principles but is designed to be easily accessible to lawyers in the UAE, whatever their professional background. The large number of attendees to this lecture is reflective of the highly positive response to the Registry since its launch, and is meant to assist UAE legal professionals in their efforts to ensure they can advise their clients fully on this important new service.”

An initiative of the Dispute Resolution Authority (DRA), the Wills and Probate Registry aims to provide non-Muslim expatriates the ability to register English language wills that allow their Dubai assets to be transferred upon death according to their wishes. The rules reflect the spirit of UAE laws, which provide non-Muslims the right to choose the way in which their estates are distributed. The service only covers estates located in the Emirate of Dubai for both residents and non-residents.