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Dec 12 2010

DIFC Courts' Pro Bono Programme Helps Litigants In Need

DIFC Courts' Pro Bono Programme Helps Litigants In Need
Second Pro Bono representation underway with Kilpatrick Stockton -LLP's participation

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 12 December 2010: The DIFC Courts, the Dubai International Financial Centre 's ( DIFC ) independent, common law judicial system have placed a second pro bono litigant with a volunteer law firm, this time to be represented by lawyers from Kilpatrick Stockton LLP.

The case has recently been lodged regarding an individual who is allegedly owed eight month's salary and numerous other amounts.

Launched a year ago, in October 2009, the DIFC Courts' Pro Bono Programme remains novel in the Middle East. Over the past year, the programme has witnessed strong support from the legal community in the UAE, as the DIFC Courts continue to promote public interest and allow litigants access to justice despite possible financial constraints.

Amna Al Owais, Deputy Registrar and Pro Bono Programme Leader at DIFC Courts said: "We are pleased that this individual has been able to pursue his case as a result of the DIFC Courts' Pro Bono Programme. Over the past year, the legal community both inside and outside of the DIFC has embraced the scheme. We have been encouraged by case applications made to date, applications have been regular and feedback on the system has been extremely positive. Such strong participation from the legal services community is unprecedented in the region and is testament to the value of such a scheme. The Programme reflects DIFC Courts' mission of providing timely, fair, clear and accessible justice to all, and is another fine example of the DIFC legal community giving something back."

To date more than twenty leading law firms have registered their voluntary services with the DIFC Courts' Pro Bono Programme, namely: Al Tamimi, Clyde & Co, Clifford Chance, Norton Rose, DLA Piper, Chadbourne & Parke LLC, Herbert Smith LLP, Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, Lovells (Middle East) LLP, Hadef & Partners, Freshfields Bruckhaus & Deringer LLP, Al Roken and Bin Eid, Afridi & Angell, Dewey & LeBouef, Latham & Watkins LLP, JSA Law, Kennedys and Busit Advocates & Legal Consultants and Kilpatrick Stockton LLP, who are representing the claimant in the second pro bono case before the DIFC Courts'.

The DIFC Courts' Pro Bono Programme enables individuals who cannot afford a lawyer the opportunity to seek free advice from lawyers participating in the scheme. Services offered as part of the programme, ranging from basic advice to full case management and representation in proceedings, are accessible to eligible individuals, approved by the DIFC Courts' Registry office. Individuals who meet the eligibility criteria are assigned legal representation, selected from a register of volunteer lawyers.

Alec Emmerson of Clyde & Co. and Member of the DIFC Courts' Court Users Committee said: "The Pro Bono Programme is an excellent development that ensures that individuals who cannot afford a lawyer have access to advice and representation in the DIFC Courts. This type of community based effort led by the DIFC Courts has been well received by law firms and provides individuals much needed support and access to world class justice. I am sure the Programme will soon be replicated across the region and feel that this is a great example to all."

-Ends-

About the DIFC Courts
The DIFC Courts is an independent court system set up to uphold the provisions of DIFC laws and regulations. They provide the protection of an English language, common law court system, with an internationally renowned bench of judges versed in commercial disputes, to ensure transparent and efficient justice in civil and commercial matters in or relating to the Centre. The overriding objective of the DIFC Courts is to deal with cases justly and swiftly and to help parties settle cases. Designed to deal specifically with the sophisticated transactions conducted within the DIFC , the DIFC Courts provide comprehensive legal redress in civil and commercial matters. Along with offering the highest standards in legal dispute resolution and a judicial system based on international best practices, DIFC Courts provide a small claims tribunal which is unique in the region. In January 2008, DIFC Courts appointed the first female judge in the UAE and announced that two Emirati judges had become common law International Judges. The DIFC Courts were established under laws enacted by The Late His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai in September 2004. The DIFC Courts are an independent judicial system which has jurisdiction over matters arising from and within the DIFC . The DIFC Courts were established under two new laws enacted by His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai. Dubai Law No. 12 of 2004 established the Judicial Authority at the DIFC and sets out the jurisdiction of the court and allows for the independent administration of justice in the DIFC . The laws establishing the DIFC Courts are designed to ensure the highest international standards of legal procedure thus ensuring that the DIFC Courts provide the certainty, flexibility and efficiency expected by the global institutions operating within the DIFC .

About the DIFC
The Dubai International Financial Centre ( DIFC ) is an onshore hub for global finance. It bridges the time gap between the financial centres of Hong Kong and London and services a region with the largest untapped emerging market for financial services. In just three years, over 600 firms have registered at the DIFC . They operate in an open environment complemented with world-class regulations and standards. The DIFC offers its member institutions incentives such as 100 per cent foreign ownership, zero tax on income and profits and no restrictions on foreign exchange. In addition their business benefits from modern infrastructure, operational support and business continuity facilities of uncompromisingly high standards.

About Kilpatrick Stockton LLP UAE
Opening a door to the Middle East and North Africa, Kilpatrick Stockton opened their Dubai Office in 2008. The Dubai office focuses on Construction and Infrastructure practice in response to the growing demand for specialized experience created by the enormous level of engineering and construction activity in the MENA region. Dubai is the gateway to one of the fastest growing economic regions in the world. The firm is committed to expanding its breadth of services to better support new and existing construction and infrastructure industry clients that already have a local presence or are looking to grow their businesses in the region.

For more information please contact:
Maram Alkadhi
Capital MS&L
Tel: +971 50 436 7274
Email: maram.alkadhi@capitalmsl.com

Orna Theboul
Capital MS&L
Tel: +971 50 100 6775
Email: orna.theboul@capitalmsl.com

© Press Release 2010


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