Michael Black QC quoted in Financial Times and Global Arbitration Review

20 November 2017

Michael Black QC quoted in Financial Times and Global Arbitration Review on the problems currently affecting international arbitration in Dubai and the UAE.

In an article in the Financial Times on 13 October 2017 entitled, “Legal wrangles dent Dubai’s image as region’s financial centre” Michael was asked about the amendment of Article 257 of the UAE Penal Code in 2016, which makes it a criminal offence for arbitrators failing to act with “integrity or impartiality”; he was quoted as saying, “This law has created alarm in the arbitration community. Many now refuse to sit in Dubai, or accept appointments in UAE arbitrations, while others have resigned or moved pending venues to other jurisdictions.”

 On 25 September 2017, the UAE Minister of Justice passed Ministerial Resolution No 972 of 2017, amending the country’s Federal Legal Profession Law, prohibiting any who is not on the role of practicing lawyers to represent anyone before arbitral tribunals. To be on the roll the lawyer must be an Emirati national.

In an article in Global Arbitration Review on 17 November 2017, entitled “Has Dubai shot itself in foot again with “locals only” law?” (http://globalarbitrationreview.com) Michael is quoted extensively. He said it was “depressing” to see “an attack on the fundamental rights of parties to be represented by persons of their choice – whether lawyers from another jurisdiction, non-lawyers or even their own employees…. It also affects arbitral tribunals – read literally the executive order makes it illegal for them to entertain submissions in any form from anyone who is not on the roll of practising lawyers. Unless and until this misguided regulation is revoked the safest course is to seat any UAE arbitrations in the Dubai International Financial or Abu Dhabi Global Market where it does not apply.”

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