The link between contracts and litigation

Question: Could I still have the English law but be subjected to the IFC court?

Yaman: Yes, that is correct. That is what I think makes this jurisdiction quite unique because you have that option. Now there are exceptions to those that opt-out or opt-in rather in the IFC, as you have heard. So, you have to be careful. But in general contracts, you can subject it to the IFC courts definitely. Pursuant to the IFC law, there are explicit bases or grounds to use or to fall within the ambit of the jurisdiction of the DIFC Courts, but even if you don’t satisfy those, so you are not the IFC entity. Your contract was not signed in the IFC, and there is no DIFC connection at all. You can still contact any IFC, but the only thing that I would add to that is even if there is an angle or an aspect or ingredient of the contractual ratio that is in the IFC, but your contracts say Dubai courts and stops, or the courts of Dubai and I am sure that Craig will tell us the difference in terms of how the IFC courts have interpreted that. But you fall into the risk, so you better say the IFC courts explicitly.

Craig: I don’t disagree with a word you said, and the DIFC is a unique selling point here. The DIFC does have the compulsory jurisdiction of certain things. The truth is that those things don’t come up that often. The people who are based in the DIFC are generally people in the world of law, accountancy and finance. So, if you’re looking at standard commercial transactions, it’s really the opt-in. I totally agree, and if you simply say the courts of Dubai, while the DIFC courts are the courts, so are the municipal courts. At the very least, you’re opening up yourself for a fight, and you are probably not in the DIFC if you want to see it. If you want Paris to say that, but you know in DIFC, you can opt-in to, and that is generally respected. The DIFC is by far the most established common law option in the region. It’s not the only one. There are the new Abu Dhabi global markets, for example, and Doha as a court, but they don’t have the track record, the publicity, and the platform the DIFC have. DIFC is 15 years ahead of everybody else, and I think it remains certainly, in my view, the leader by a heck of a long way.