Hamish Lal Quoted by Law360 on International Arbitration in Dubai

Akin Gump international arbitration partner Hamish Lal has been quoted in the Law360 article “Work Remains In Elevating Dubai’s Int’l Arbitration Status,” regarding the current state of arbitration in the Middle East.

The article reports that many local companies in the Middle East have gradually begun to embrace the concept of arbitration. This has happened amid a push by governments there, including in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, to increase outside investment.

Lal said that while the jurisprudence around UAE law is maturing, there is still a significant amount of unpredictability compared to common law systems when it comes to certain articles within the country’s Civil Procedure Law of 1992, which is the law that currently deals with arbitration. One example of that, he said, is a provision within the Dubai International Financial Centre law that provides for setting aside an arbitral award if it is in conflict with the UAE’s public policy. Lal noted it is not necessarily a problem that is going to be resolved overnight.

“They’re not simply able to say we’re going to do away with the UAE civil code and we’re going to replace it with common law. So there are certain things that are fixable, and there are certain things that are immovable,” Lal added. “Sure in Dubai things are getting more efficient, more commercial, more international, but there's still some distance when you compare it to places like London, Paris or Singapore.”