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Dubai Seminar Series 2014

Monday 19 May 2014

Jonathan Seitler QC, Rupert Reed QC, Harris Bor, Jonathan Chew and Tom Roscoe of Wilberforce Chambers will be presenting a choice of 5 x 15 minute in-house seminars in Dubai from 19th May – 21st May 2014. Each 1 hour session will consist of 2 or 3 of the seminars plus a chance for questions and general discussions.

Where are we now on force majeure?

Jonathan Seitler QC

  • How did we get to Rohan? Which of the rules, in which common law jurisdictions, help to understand it?
  • What does it mean in practice? To what extent is its impact dependant on its particular wording, albeit common wording in Dubai property development? What are the key elements that lawyers need to understand to avoid their own liability?
  • Where are we going next on force majeure?

Islamic Finance for the Banking litigator

Rupert Reed QC

In 1974, the Dubai Islamic Bank opened as the first Islamic commercial bank. A survey of some 500 Islamic financial institutions less than 40 years later revealed that there were some £1.3 trillion of global Islamic assets, up 150% over 5 years that included a global economic crisis.

Rupert will look at the various underlying ethical principles that are applied in determining whether a transaction is Shari’ah compliant or riba (usury), with a view to understanding the structure of most common financing contract, the Murabahah, and a common form of investment contract, the Mudarabah. He will finish by considering how Islamic law can be deployed under English law in construing a financial instrument, how the English Courts have approached Islamic contracts written under English law subject to Shari’ah law, and the limited extent to which a contract can be invalidated under English law for Shari’ah non-compliance.

Arbitration red alert: Emergency Arbitrators and interim measures

Harris Bor

A number of new and proposed new arbitration rules now provide for the appointment of an Emergency Arbitrator. The provisions are intended to allow parties to obtain urgent interim relief without the need to wait for the constitution of the tribunal or apply to court. Questions, however, are being asked as to the efficiency and effectiveness of the new system:

  • What is the ambit of the Emergency Arbitrator’s power?
  • How does the mechanism work in practice?
  • Are Emergency Arbitrators’ decisions as enforceable as arbitration awards?
  • Can the Emergency Arbitrator ever replace a national court?

Harris Bor will address these questions and ask whether the Emergency Arbitrator procedures are likely to be useful or a recipe for disaster.

Exit strategies: preparing effectively for joint venture termination

Tom Roscoe

The flexibility of joint venture structures is making them increasingly attractive in many jurisdictions, including in the Middle East. Care must be taken, however, to ensure that an effective “exit plan” is agreed at the outset – a failure to do so can lead to deadlock and expensive and time-consuming litigation when relationships break down. Tom will:

  • Present an overview of practical benefits and disadvantages of some commonly encountered termination provisions in joint ventures.
  • Identify some of the pitfalls which arise in the particular context of international joint ventures.
  • Consider how dispute resolution provisions might mitigate some of the commercial and reputational risks facing parties upon the termination of a joint venture.

Developments in DIFC Court Procedure

Jonathan Chew

Recent DIFC Court decisions have tended towards using procedure to give efficient and effective justice including developing the Court’s inherent jurisdiction and clarifying the disclosure regime. Amendments to the Rules of the DIFC Courts have supported this approach in providing a framework that is more attractive to Court users and provides more flexibility in litigation. Ahead of the launch of the latest edition of the Wilberforce commentary on theRules of the DIFC Courts, Jonathan Chew will explore these trends and draw out practical tips for the litigator to use these procedural developments to their advantage.


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