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DIFC launches division for construction and tech disputes

by Jumana Abdel-Razzaq on Sep 17, 2017

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

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Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts is launching a new technology and construction division (TCD) that will handle some of the more complex disputes in the sectors.

The division will draw on specialist judges and a new set of industry-specific rules to fast-track dispute resolution, providing greater certainty to businesses in court.

Parties located anywhere in the world are able to opt-in to the DIFC Courts’ jurisdiction, if both parties agree in writing, according to a statement by the DIFC.

Requests to have claims heard by the TCD will be made as part of the initial filing, with the Courts’ decision based on the written evidence provided.

Complicated engineering disputes as well as technology-related cases such as cybercrime incidents will be heard within the new division.

Disputes over the ownership and use of data, and issues relating to emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence or connected cars.

Justice Sir Richard Field will be heading the new TDC division, initially joining the DIFC Courts in 2015 following his tenure as Judge in Charge of the Commercial Court in London.

“It is a privilege to be chosen to lead the TCD, which represents an important addition to the UAE’s dispute resolution infrastructure.

“By forming a specialist division to handle complex - and sometimes new - types of construction and technology disputes, the DIFC Courts are working to secure businesses both now and in the future,” he added.

The announcement came in the same week as the launch of DIFC Courts' new electronic case management system.

The system will be able to upload heavy bundles of documents in an entirely electronic Small Claims Tribunal (SCT) section with faster easier searchability of PDF case documents; as well as integration with Emirates ID.