A holistic overview of Qatar Financial Centre Trust Law
David Russell QC has been recently published in the Qatar Business Law Review. In his article, David provides a holistic overview of the nature, functionality, and practical administration of trusts in Qatar and highlights analogues that may be found with the Common Law of trusts and principles in England and Wales.
David begins the article by noting that the law of trusts is codified in the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Trust Regulation No. 12/2007. These QFC foundations David notes have a comparable outcome in private international law terms, and unlike in neighbouring Abu Dhabi, should be regarded as providing general application. As a starting point, Article 78 of the amended regulations defines a trust as “a right, enforceable solely in equity, to the beneficial enjoyment of property to which another person holds the legal title”. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given this definition, the article notes that the Common Law of trusts and principles of equity in England and Wales are intended to be supplementary to the QFC regulations. This supplementary nature means the common law does not supersede any QFC regulations but instead provides a “source of law to which the Court can have resort along with the law as applies in other Common Law jurisdictions” as seen in Re DIFCA’s Application  DIFC CA/02/20.
Interestingly, David also provides historical context on the analogous development of AWQAF trusts in the Islamic world which have seen a contemporary revival as wealth and concurrent philanthropic interest rise in the region. AWQAF trusts literally translate as endowments. These types of trust David believes will see further legislative action in light of an updated Endowments law shortly coming into enactment.
The full article can be found here.
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David Russell QC is an Australian barrister who specialises in international tax law. He currently practises in Dubai, London, and Abu Dhabi, Sydney and Brisbane.
Barristers: David Russell QC
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