Dubai International Financial Center appoints top global law firm



Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has appointed leading international law firm, Clifford Chance, to assist in drawing up the laws and regulations, which will govern the operations of the DIFC.

It is expected that the first phase involving the preparation of a full legal blue-print will be finalised before the end of May and that work on the detailed drafting of the necessary laws, regulations and codes will begin shortly afterwards. This work will build on the initial high-level framework developed by the US based legal firm, Skadden Arps. The completion of the entire legal structure is scheduled for the last quarter of 2002 to enable the DIFC to license financial institutions by year-end. The purpose is to establish a world-class regulatory regime, which will be overseen by independent regulators with experience of major financial centres around the world.

The overall design concept behind the DIFC laws and regulations is to examine and build upon best practice from a number of leading international financial centres, such as New York, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore as well as some of the world's leading institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund, Bank of International Settlement, IOSCO, FATF etc. Clifford Chance will work in close cooperation with the DIFC Regulatory Council chaired by Ian Hay Davison.

Once completed, the DIFC laws will consist of a clear, fully transparent legal framework based on internationally accepted and understood concepts of business and fair dealing. The laws and regulations will also be designed to be flexible enough to encourage and facilitate new product development and innovation in the region to enable DIFC licensed financial institutions to keep abreast with developments in international financial markets.

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