H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai Appoints Two Judges to DIFC Court

  • Sir Anthony Evans P.C. appointed Chief Justice
  • Michael Hwang S.C. to serve as Deputy Chief Justice
  • First two judges of DIFC Judiciary to be appointed

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) today welcomed the appointment of two judges to the DIFC Court by His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai. This announcement follows the enactment in December 2004 by His Highness of two laws creating the DIFC Judicial Authority and the establishment of the DIFC Court with the status and function of a Dubai Court.

Sir Anthony Evans P.C. has been appointed Chief Justice of the DIFC Court and Michael Hwang S.C. has been appointed a Judge of the DIFC Court, and will also serve as Sir Anthony’s deputy. In accordance with the recently created laws, the judges are appointed for a period of three years.

As Chief Justice, Sir Anthony will be responsible for the overall management of the administrative affairs of the DIFC Court and will preside over all appeals. Additionally, his role will encompass the establishment of circuits and divisions of the DIFC Court, the appointment of its staff and its judicial officers, as well as the appointment of judicial officers as members of its tribunals.

Both Sir Anthony and Mr. Hwang have enjoyed long and illustrious careers in the legal profession.

Called to the Bar in 1958, Sir Anthony was appointed Queen’s Counsel (QC) in 1971. A former judge on the High Court and the Court of Appeal in the UK; Sir Anthony sat in the Commercial Court in London and was judge in charge of the Commercial List in 1991/2. He is an honourary fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, a Vice-President of the British Maritime Law Association and was Treasurer of Gray’s Inn in 2000. Between 1998 and 2001 Sir Anthony was Honourary President of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and he now practices as an International Arbitrator from Essex Court Chambers.

As well as being sole proprietor of his eponymous firm, Michael Hwang has held high judicial offices in Singapore. In addition to two law degrees from Oxford University, Mr Hwang holds professional qualifications from institutions in the UK, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia. He is a trustee of the Dubai International Arbitration Centre, Singapore’s Non-Resident Ambassador to Switzerland and a member of the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce. Formerly, Mr Hwang was a United Nations Compensation Commissioner.

Commenting on the appointment, DIFCA Director General, Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman, said,

Having developed a body of laws in consultation with major global institutions and following international best practice, it is essential that judges appointed to the DIFC Court are of the highest possible calibre. His Highness, Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, has without doubt, appointed two men of the very highest standing within the international legal community and, critically, companies establishing themselves at the DIFC can rest assured that the DIFC Court will be independent, credible and effective.”

He continued,

The DIFC continues to bring international standards to the Middle East. We said at the outset that ensuring we had the right people on board would guarantee that we would develop institutions that the world would want to do business with. The appointment of Sir Anthony and Mr Hwang is without doubt consistent with this vision.”

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