It has been an enormous privilege to visit the United Arab Emirates this week as part of the GREAT Legal Services campaign, in my capacity as an Advisory Board Member of the London Chamber of Arbitration and Mediation (LCAM) and as a member of the International Committee of the Law Society of England and Wales, and as the co-head of the international arbitration team at Fox Williams LLP.

The legal connections between the UK and the UAE have become very strong indeed.

The UAE has become a hub for professional services in the MENA region, and commercial contracts signed there are often subject to English law, as one of the most popular choices of commercial law across the globe. Equally, commercial parties in the UAE often refer disputes to international arbitration or litigation in London – one of the most popular seats of arbitration and dispute resolution worldwide.

There are also many English-qualified solicitors and barristers who are resident in the UAE, and many UAE lawyers cooperate closely with counterparts in the UK to provide solutions for their clients.

The scope of this cooperation was highlighted in particular at the International Legal Services Symposium that took place in Abu Dhabi on 18 May 2022.

The Symposium was organised by GREAT Legal Services and Hadef & Partners, a leading UAE law firm, and it was hosted by the Abu Dhabi Global Market, home to the ADGM Courts and the ADGM Arbitration Centre.

The topics discussed at the Symposium included the new federal corporation tax in the UAE; reciprocal enforcement of court judgments; data protection and cyber security; and the evolving landscape of international arbitration both in the UAE and in other countries. After the Symposium, LCAM was delighted to host a drinks reception for the many attendees from across the UAE.

LCAM is one of the oldest arbitration institutions in the world, having first administered arbitrations in 1903; although for much of the 20th century it referred cases to other institutions and only in recent years has it re-established itself as an administering authority.

LCAM is now helping to resolve commercial disputes all over the world, including in the MENA region, and this visit to the UAE has been an excellent opportunity for it to re-introduce itself to the UAE business and legal community.

In particular, LCAM has been able to describe its three key operating principles of diversity, cost-effectiveness, and innovative technological solutions, and to explain its mission of offering services that help to keep the wheels of business turning.

As part of the fabric of London’s world-leading legal services landscape, LCAM is proud to bring to the fore the strength of British engagement in the global rule of law and British legal expertise, and to champion London’s position as the preeminent global city for business.

LCAM was delighted to be alongside the Ministry of Justice GREAT Legal Services team in the UAE during this week. Thank you to GREAT Legal Services for leading this valuable initiative, connecting legal professionals in the UK and the UAE and flying the flag for English law and the UK legal services sector.

Ben Giaretta, Member of LCAM Advisory Board and Partner at Fox Williams LLP