CD: To what extent has there been an increase, or otherwise, of commercial disputes in the Middle East over the past 12 months? What types of dispute are typically being seen and in which sectors are they most prevalent?

Beer: As a benchmark, in the DIFC Courts the volume of commercial disputes has generally remained constant over the last 12 months. However, the value of cases filed in 2016 increased by nearly 400 percent as compared to 2015, signalling the significance of these disputes. Furthermore, although the number of cases has been constant, the steady volume of disputes in 2016 comes after a marked increase from 2014 to 2015 and thus the region remains busy with dispute resolution. An extended dip in oil prices has caused adjustments in the economy which may lead to conservative growth outlooks, stalled projects and further disputes in the near future. Many ongoing disputes revolve around failure to pay or complete work in the construction industry and thus construction-related dispute resolution is on the rise in every form. The DIFC Courts are seeing an increase in cases related to technology, as well. The growth of disputes in these two key industries has triggered the development of a new Technology and Construction Division of the DIFC Courts, intended to take effect in October 2017, to streamline these types of proceedings, ensuring expert judges and tailored case management for technology and construction related disputes.

Oct-Dec 2017 issue

DIFC Courts

DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre

King & Spalding

Norton Rose Fulbright (Middle East) LLP