Outer Temple Chambers has expertise in DIFC law, both in terms of the application of existing DIFC Law to ongoing disputes, drafting of same and active legal commentary. Spanning several years, Outer Temple Chambers’ members have provided the DIFC Authority with advice on its laws for the following projects:

  • Companies Law, leading to the enactment of Companies Law DIFC Law No.5 of 2018
  • Companies Regulations and Prescribed Company Regulations
  • Trusts and Foundations Laws
  • Family Arrangements Regulations; and
  • DIFC Employee Workplace Savings Plan, a ground-breaking trust-based end-of-service benefit arrangement design to align the DIFC and expatriate Dubai government workforces with global retirement savings standards
  • Drafting of legislation relating to digital assets, smart contracts, open banking and open finance

Members have also been involved in some of the leading disputes in the region, covering Commercial Contracts, Financial Investigations, Banking, Fraud and Asset Recovery, Fintech and Employment.

Some examples of our recent Commercial Litigation work include significant cases involving matters relating to force majeure and material adverse change clauses arising out of the Covid pandemic, High-profile multi-jurisdictional proceedings concerning allegations of civil fraud in the context of corporate insolvencies, Claims arising out of cross-border financing transactions and securities in an insolvency context, Joint venture disputes relating to alleged losses allegations of civil fraud and breach of confidentiality, High profile financial services regulatory cases, Multi-party professional negligence actions, Unfair prejudice petitions concerning raising novel valuation issues arising out of the Covid pandemic, Landmark cases on the interpretation and application of indexation provisions (in particular in trust documentation), Complex claims for the rectification of trust deeds and contracts, Disputes concerning franchise agreements, Cross-border claims by insolvency practitioners against company directors involving novel disclosure issues, Cases concerning international supply contracts.

Commercial Litigation in the Middle East Experience

  • Massun v Mousi and ors [2022] DIFC CA 004 – dispute successful dismissed. The Claimant had claimed to have a beneficial interest in the shares of certain companies at the top of two corporate structures. Two large assets were held in these corporate structures, registered to companies at the bottom of the structures. The Claimant claimed that the companies had tried to misappropriate these assets, claims denied by the Defendants.
  • Barclays Bank Plc v Shetty (DIFC) – Claim for over USD 130 mln against a guarantor for alleged default under ISDA Master Agreement in relation to FX trades.
  • Fal Oil v Sewa (DIFC Court 2021) – Successfully represented an international energy company in DIFC Court proceedings enforcing a non DIFC judgment valued at over US$300 million. Contested enforcement proceedings involving issues of international jurisdiction and state immunity.
  • DIFC Court of Appeal in Lakhan v Lamia [2021] CA 001 – Dispute on jurisdiction of the Joint Judicial Committee (“JJC”) in an attempt to obstruct proceedings before the DIFC Courts, arising from contractor engaged with a third party subcontractor for the supply and installation of swimming pools and landscaping works in a prominent hotel development.
  • Enforcement of a judgment for circa US500m and successful in contested proceedings, matters of private international law and one of the few cases on state immunity in the DIFC Court.
  • Commodities/fraud concerning the ownership of US30m worth of low sulphur oil. Litigation against 3 swiss banks in DIFC. DIFC Arbitration proceedings against the terminal owner. Successful in the arbitration (online hearing). Successfully achieved 2 world-wide freezing order. Negotiated settlement with the banks after successfully overcoming a jurisdictional objection (which was resolved by the Union Supreme Court).
  • Instructed by a syndicate of 8 international banks to recover a debt of USD300m against 18 defendants, principal borrower, personal and corporate guarantors. Complicated jurisdictional objections involving parallel proceedings in the DIFC Courts and the Abu Dhabi Civil Courts.
  • Childescu v Gheorghiu and ors [2019] DIFC CFI 074 and [2020] CFI 032 (DIFC) which is a dispute arising from a $30+ million civil fraud dispute. The dispute raised novel issues of the application of principles of “reflective loss” and reflective freezing orders in aid of foreign litigation in the DIFC Courts.
  • Erik Rubinghv Veloqx RSC [2020] ADGMCFI 0006[1] (ADGM) which is an employment dispute in which a judgment for $1 million was obtained, case raised novel issues in respect of the ADGM’s enforcement procedures that have previously been untested.
  • Claim before the DIFC Courts by a business against a bank for negligence and breach of contract, in relation to a number of fraudulent transactions that it processed.
  • The only application to date under the DIFC Court’s advisory opinion jurisdiction, concerning the application of the DIFC Trust Law and Foundations Law; and
  • The changes to the jurisdiction of the ADGM Courts to recognise arbiral awards consequent upon the abolition of the conduit jurisdiction of those Courts.

Commercial Litigation in the Middle East Barristers

James Counsell KC

Call: 1984 Silk: 2017

Nicolas Stallworthy KC

Call: 1993 Silk: 2011

David Russell KC

Call: 1977 (Australia) Silk: 1986

Andrew Spink KC

Call: 1985 Silk: 2003

John McKendrick KC

Call: 1999 Silk: 2016

Philip Punwar

Call: 1989

Peter Linstead

Call: 1994

Sean Yates

Call: 1996

Dr Ali Almihdar

Call: 2003

Alex Haines

Call: 2007 (England & Wales); 2019 (New York); 2020 (Ireland); and 2024 (District of Columbia)

Nicholas Hill

Call: 2008

Justina Stewart

Call: 2010

Stephen Doherty

Call: 2013

Bianca Venkata

Call: 2014

Stephen Butler

Call: 2014

Alex Cisneros

Alex Cisneros

Call: 2015

Gus Baker

Gus Baker

Call: 2015

Lucian ILIE

Call: 2021 (Solicitor Advocate since 2018); 2016 (Bucharest); 2013 (Paris)

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