DIFC Courts Reinforce Multibillion-Dirham UAE-India Bilateral Trade



  • Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts sign Guidance Note to strengthen contract enforcement and collection of money judgments in DIFC and India
  • UAE-India bilateral trade stands at $58 billion in 2017; on track to exceed $100 billion by 2020

Dubai, United Arab Emirates; 26 September 2018: The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts has brought additional certainty to UAE-India commerce with the signing a Guidance Note with Nishith Desai Associates, covering enforcement of civil and commercial judgments through DIFC Courts and the Courts of India.

The Guidance Note, with one of the leading law firms in India, builds on the DIFC Courts’ strategy of taking practical steps to promote judicial convergence, in this case with the UAE’s third largest foreign trade partner. With over ten years’ track record of handling complex, transnational disputes as an English language, common law international commercial court, the DIFC Courts is well-positioned to provide detailed guidance to parties seeking recognition and enforcement of civil and commercial judgments in India and the DIFC.

Currently 26,000 Indian firms and over 40,000 UAE-based firms owned by non-resident Indians (NRIs) operate in the UAE, and bilateral trade is estimated at $53 billion last year, leading to ever-greater economic interdependence. Increased foreign trade has resulted in a steep rise in the number of cross-border transactions and a proportionate rise in commercial disputes, leading to a greater need for contract and judgment enforcement.

As a result, amendments to India’s 2015 ‘Commercial Courts Act’ were introduced in 2018 to allow state governments to establish commercial courts at the district level. This timely guidance from the DIFC Courts and Nishith Desai Associates will help businesses trading between UAE and India benefit when it comes to recognition and collection of money judgments, reducing risk and fostering greater certainty.

Michael Hwang SC, Chief Justice, DIFC Courts, said:An increasing number of emerging economies have recognised that investing in efficient and globally connected courts is necessity to compete for world trade and investment - and India is no exception. This Guidance Note with one of India’s leading law firms will enable greater trade security between our two markets and provide much-needed guidance on civil and commercial judgments in both India and Dubai.”

Moazzam Khan, Head – Global Litigation Practice, Nishith Desai Associates, said: “With the UAE-India trade relations reaching new heights, effective dispute resolution and management are indispensable for ease of doing business. A judgment from a court against a party gives birth to a fresh proceeding for execution of that judgment. This Guidance Note is a comprehensive key for parties seeking enforcement of civil and commercial judgments in India and in the DIFC Courts.”

The Guidance Note was signed in India, following a DIFC Courts delegation visit to meet Honourable Justice Manmohan, Judge, High Court of Delhi, and Gaurav Pachnanda, Senior Advocate at the Indian Bar and member of Fountain Court Chambers.

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About the DIFC Courts

The UAE’s DIFC Courts administer a unique English-language common law system – offering swift, independent justice to settle local and international commercial or civil disputes. The Courts, based in Dubai, provide certainty through transparent, enforceable judgments from internationally-recognised judges, who adhere to the highest global legal standards. The DIFC Courts are independent from, but complementary to, the UAE’s Arabic-language civil law system – offering a choice that strengthens both processes while ensuring public access to world-class justice.

In October 2011, a decree of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, opened the DIFC Courts’ jurisdiction to businesses from all across the GCC region and beyond to provide the international business community with access to one of the most advanced commercial courts in the world.

The DIFC Courts were established under laws enacted by the late HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai in September 2004. The laws establishing the DIFC Courts are designed to ensure that the DIFC Courts provide the certainty, flexibility and efficiency expected by Court users. Nearly 1,180 cases have been resolved through the DIFC Courts since 2008, while over 90% of Small Claims Tribunal cases are concluded within three weeks. The Courts’ community-focused approach encourages early settlement, while their successful track record supports Dubai’s growing status as an international business hub.

In line with HH Sheikh Mohammed’s vision, the DIFC Courts serve to develop the UAE national workforce and enhance the competitiveness of Emirati advocates. The DIFC Courts are spearheading training programmes predominantly aimed at local Emirati lawyers, which offer knowledge of, and qualifications in, the English-language common law system.

About Nishith Desai Associates

Nishith Desai Associates (NDA) are a research and strategy driven international firm with offices in Mumbai, Palo Alto (Silicon Valley), Bangalore, Singapore, New Delhi, Munich, and New York. The team comprises of specialists who provide strategic advice on legal, regulatory, and tax related matters in an integrated manner basis key insight carefully culled from the allied industries.

As an active participant in shaping India’s regulatory environment NDA have the expertise and more importantly – the VISION – to navigate its complexities. Ongoing endeavours in conducting and facilitating original research in emerging areas of law has helped NDA develop unparalleled proficiency to anticipate legal obstacles, mitigate potential risks and identify new opportunities for our clients on a global scale. Simply put, for conglomerates looking to conduct business in the subcontinent, NDA takes the uncertainty out of new frontiers.

As a firm of doyens, NDA prides itself in working with select clients within select verticals on complex matters. Its forte lies in providing innovative and strategic advice in futuristic areas of law such as those relating to Blockchain and virtual currencies, Internet of Things (IOT), Aviation, Artificial Intelligence, Privatisation of Outer Space, Drones, Robotics, Virtual Reality, Ed-Tech, Med-Tech & Medical Devices and Nanotechnology with our key clientele comprising of marquee Fortune 500 corporations.

The firm has been consistently ranked as one of the Most Innovative Law Firms, across the globe. In fact, NDA has been the proud recipient of the Financial Times – RSG award 4 times in a row, (2014-2017) as the Most Innovative Indian Law Firm.

NDA is a trust based, non-hierarchical, democratic organisation that leverages research and knowledge to deliver extraordinary value to our clients. Datum, its unique employer proposition has been developed into a global case study, aptly titled ‘Management by Trust in a Democratic Enterprise,’ published by John Wiley & Sons, USA.

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