Key stages of

Dispute Resolution in the Middle East

Taking you through the various stages of onshore and offshore litigation and arbitration in the Middle East, this guide will equip you with a better understanding of the often unfamiliar and sometimes challenging dispute jurisdictions in the region. Download the tool in its entirety or select a stage using the drop down menu below.

1

Power of attorney

A Power of Attorney (PoA) is a legal document which empowers one party ("agent") to act on behalf of, and bind, another party ("principal"). In the onshore, civil jurisdictions of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a PoA must be produced before a lawyer (as agent) can appear on behalf of his/her client in court, arbitration or in front of any government authority.

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Power of attorney

  • General overview

  • Onshore litigation

  • Offshore litigation

  • Arbitration

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2

Pre-action

The pre-action stage covers any stage before the commencement of the formal claim. The pre-action stage may therefore also include the commencement of actions for interim and/or conservatory remedies (such as injunctions or freezing orders over assets). 

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Pre-action

  • General overview

  • Onshore litigation

  • Offshore litigation

  • Arbitration

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3

Commencing a claim

It is essential that all required procedural steps are followed when commencing a claim to avoid delay and/or adverse consequences which may arise as a result of non-compliance. If a party fails to properly comply with the applicable requirements, it risks falling at the first hurdle and incurring unnecessary delay (and costs), which may ultimately jeopardize the successful prosecution of its claim. The relevant procedural requirements are often provided in the applicable laws or rules set by the government and/or the relevant authority.

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Commencing a claim

  • General overview

  • Onshore litigation

  • Offshore litigation

  • Arbitration

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4

Service

Service of process is an internationally recognized concept in the context of disputes. Each jurisdiction will generally have its own rules on the service of process. There are also international conventions on service, such as the Convention of 15 November 1965 on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters.

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Service

  • General overview

  • Onshore litigation

  • Offshore litigation

  • Arbitration

  • Cross-border / cross-jurisdiction service of court proceedings

  • Appendix

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5

Jurisdictional challenges

Jurisdiction is the authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or forum (ie court or arbitral tribunal) to administer and decide legal matters. Jurisdiction clauses in contracts usually specify the court or tribunal which will have (exclusive or non-exclusive) jurisdiction to determine the disputes that may arise out of, or in connection with, the contract.

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Jurisdictional challenges

  • General overview

  • Onshore litigation

  • Offshore litigation

  • Arbitration

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6

Default judgment

Default judgment is the term given to a judgment made by an administrative act, rather than a judgment reached following a full trial. Typically, a default judgment is reached following a failure by one party to comply with a fundamental procedural requirement.

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Default judgment

  • General overview

  • Onshore litigation

  • Offshore litigation

  • Arbitration

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7

Interim and conservatory measures

Interim and conservatory measures, which are also referred to as interim remedies, precautionary measures or provisional relief, are orders of a court or arbitral tribunal that are usually granted at an early stage in the proceedings, or before the merits of a dispute are examined. These are distinguished from final remedies which ordinarily form part of the final judgments, orders or arbitral awards that dispose of a dispute.

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Interim and conservatory measures

  • General overview

  • Onshore litigation

  • Offshore litigation

  • Arbitration

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8

Case management

Case management is the process through which the court or arbitral tribunal and, to a lesser extent, the parties control the dispute resolution process by the application of specific rules. It comprises a series of events during the lifecycle of a case. The way in which proceedings are managed has a direct impact on the time spent and costs incurred by the parties. Whether proceedings are managed efficiently often depends on both the approach taken by the court or arbitral tribunal and the motivations of each party. 

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Case management

  • General overview

  • Onshore litigation

  • Offshore litigation

  • Arbitration

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9

Settlement

This volume focuses on how settlement of a dispute can be achieved through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms in both the onshore and offshore jurisdictions of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  ADR is a collective term for the various means by which a dispute between parties may be amicably resolved without recourse to the determination of a court or, in the case of arbitration, an arbitral tribunal.

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Settlement

  • General overview

  • Onshore litigation

  • Offshore litigation

  • Arbitration

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10

Document production

Document production is a key element of any dispute. Whether a dispute is litigated or arbitrated, the overriding principle behind document production is to ensure that both sides are given an opportunity to present their cases in order to secure a fair and just outcome. Having said that, the requirements for document production vary widely depending on the legal system in which the dispute is conducted.

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Document production

  • General overview

  • Onshore litigation

  • Offshore litigation

  • Arbitration

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11

Evidence

The purpose of presenting evidence is (i) to ensure a party provides sufficient support for its case and (ii) to assist a court or an arbitral tribunal in determining disputed issues of fact or expert opinion. The rules relating to evidence are therefore important to understand. In short, effective evidence management can win cases and poor evidence management can lose them.

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Evidence

  • General overview

  • Onshore litigation

  • Offshore litigation

  • Arbitration

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12

Preparations for trial

This volume aims to set out some of the final steps that should be undertaken in preparation for trial. After months, or years, of dedicating time and resources to the dispute resolution process, the final stages of preparing for trial can often be a stressful time because the end is in sight, yet a number of uncertainties remain.

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Preparations for trial

  • General overview

  • Onshore litigation

  • Considerations applicable to offshore litigation and arbitration

  • Offshore litigation

  • Arbitration

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13

Trial

This volume sets out some of the key features and steps during trial. After months, or even years, of dedicating time and resources to the dispute resolution process, the end is in sight. Careful management and preparation leading up to and during trial will ensure that parties are adequately prepared for trial and are focused on the hearing and other important matters.

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Trial

  • General overview

  • Onshore litigation

  • Offshore litigation

  • Arbitration

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14

Appeals

The avenues for appeal of decisions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) depend upon whether the dispute is being heard in court (onshore or offshore) or arbitration proceedings.

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Appeals

  • General overview

  • Onshore litigation

  • Offshore litigation

  • Arbitration

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15

Enforcement

This volume deals with the various options available for the enforcement of court judgments and arbitral awards (both foreign and domestic) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and addresses the difficulties that parties may typically face when attempting to enforce in this complex region.

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Enforcement

  • General overview

  • Onshore litigation

  • Offshore litigation

  • Arbitration

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16

Costs

A key element of any dispute is understanding the costs involved. It is not only important to budget for the potential spend, but also to understand: the constituent parts comprising the total costs of the dispute; when they are likely to be incurred; and the extent to which such costs may be recoverable.

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Costs

  • General overview

  • Onshore litigation

  • Offshore litigation

  • Arbitration

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