DIFC Courts says 447% rise in value of claims in first half of 2015

The average value per claim in the Court of First Instance increased 490 per cent to Dhs 106.4m



The value of claims filed at Dubai’s DIFC Courts surged by 447 per cent year-on-year during the first half of 2015, a statement said.

The total value of claims filed in the DIFC’s Court of First Instance (including arbitration related cases and counter claims) from January to June 2015 reached Dhs 2.27bn. That compares with Dhs 1.76bn for the whole of last year.

Meanwhile the average value per claim during H1 rose 490 per cent to Dhs 106.4m.

The DIFC Courts’ Small Claims Tribunal also reported a 134 per cent rise in the number of cases filed, with their value up 162 per cent to Dhs 4.6m.

DIFC attributed the surge in cases to enhancements made by the courts to their services and increasing international connectivity.

DIFC Courts has signed MoUs with the Supreme Court of Singapore and the US Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York this year, adding to agreements with courts in the UK, Kenya and Australia. It is also seeking an agreement with Chinese courts, according to officials.

It has also set up a department to handle the enforcement of all DIFC Courts’ decisions locally and internationally.

DIFC Courts CEO and registrar Mark Beer said: “We are clearly seeing the results of our efforts to make DIFC Courts one of the world’s leading commercial courts and the preeminent centre for English language dispute resolution in the Middle East.

“The value of claims filed so far this year exceeds the total value of claims filed in the whole of 2014, which itself was almost double the value of claims filed in 2013.

“This is a direct consequence of the initiatives we have put in place to enhance each court user’s experience and promote greater efficiency, accessibility and transparency,” he added.

A judge at the tribunal and deputy CEO and deputy Registrar of the DIFC Courts Amna Al Owais, said that 90 per cent of SCT cases were resolved in less than four weeks.

“Cases in the SCT are resolved in an expeditious, cost-efficient manner without the need for lawyers,” she said.

“The SCT therefore promotes greater confidence, especially for the country’s SME businesses. This should inevitably translate to more investment, more growth and more jobs for local people.”