Exclusive: All Dubai World cases to be heard by 2013 end

Tribunal expects to finish hearing all 83 cases between February and December 2013

The Special Tribunal related to Dubai World expects to clear all its cases by December 2013, the registrar of the tribunal has told Big Project ME.

While the Tribunal will continue to be available to receive cases, Mark Beer said that he was not expecting a ‘resurge of litigation’ involving Dubai World. At present, 83 cases have been filed in front of the tribunal, not counting the restructuring of Drydocks World, he said.

“That’s 83 substantive cases, and now that cases involving Nakheel will go back to either the Dubai Courts or the DIFC Courts, we’re not expecting a huge number of cases because Dubai World has been successfully restructured,” Beer explained during an interview with BPME.

“The courts and tribunals are always there to provide protection to those who need it, but in an environment where an organisation is back on its feet and doing well and succeeding, we’re not expecting to see much litigation because it’s a growing concern that’s doing good business,” he added.

Sir David Steel, a Dubai International Financial Centre judge, was recently appointed as the fourth member of the tribunal. Beer said that his appointment would help the Special Tribunal be ready to hear all disputes put in front of it and allow it to meet its target of clearing cases by December next year.

“We still have to deal with the 83 cases and that’s why we realised that, as the trails are starting to come through, that there’s going to be a lot of trial work that’s going to take us through to the end of next year. It was absolutely vital for us to have four judges on the panel, so that we could always field enough judges to get to the trial stage, making sure that the tribunal is always ready to hear the final stages of any dispute,” he explained.

“We should never, as a tribunal, delay any litigation because we’re not ready. When the lawyers are ready to come to trial, we have to be ready to go to trial. We’ve never delayed a case because we’re not ready, and therefore, because of the calendar coming through from February through to the end of next year, it was absolutely vital for us to have four judges on the panel.”


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