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Commercial disputes, Banking and financial services, Civil fraud and asset recovery, International / offshoreTuesday 20 December 2022

No obstacles to enforcement of an English costs order in the UAE

In a recently published judgment in Invest Bank v El-Husseini and Others [2022] EWHC 3008 (Comm), Mr Justice Bryan dismissed applications for security for costs by four defendants against the Claimant, a bank based in the UAE. The defendants contended that security should be ordered in circumstances where there was a real risk that an English costs order would not be enforceable in the UAE, either onshore or offshore (in the DIFC). In dismissing the application, the Judge rejected the extensive expert evidence on UAE law submitted by the defendants to the effect that there was a real risk enforcement could be refused because of absence of reciprocity of enforcement between the UAE and England, and/or because enforcement of a costs order would be contrary to the public policy of the UAE.

In rejecting that evidence, the Judge held that it is clear that there is reciprocity of enforcement of judgments between the English court and the UAE courts, and that enforcement of a costs order is not contrary to the public policy of the UAE. The Judge also found that “a straightforward route” to enforcement of an English costs would be to enforce the judgment in the DIFC and then to enforce the resulting DIFC judgment in the UAE.

Alan Gourgey KC (leading Marc Delehanty of Littleton Chambers) acted for the Claimant bank, together with PCB Byrne’s team led by Trevor Mascarenhas.

A copy of the judgment is available to read here.

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