The Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) is an international financial centre established in 2015 in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE. Established pursuant to a Federal Decree, ADGM is to play a pivotal role in positioning Abu Dhabi as a global centre for business and finance, exploiting the UAE’s geographical positioning between the growing economies of the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

English law is the law of the ADGM

Any effective financial centre needs a robust legal system with which to enforce the rule of law. The ADGM has achieved this through the establishment of the ADGM Courts and the adoption of English law as the law of the ADGM. The Application of English Law Regulations 2015, as amended, provides that the common law of England (including the principles and rules of equity), as it stands from time to time, shall apply and forms part of the law of the ADGM, save where contrary to other express provisions of ADGM law. ADGM law is further complemented by the application of many well-established English statutes on civil matters. The ADGM courts do not have jurisdiction in criminal matters and therefore references in the English statutes to criminal offences have been amended to refer to breaches of the ADGM Courts regulations or rules only, punishable by monetary fines.

Thus, without unnecessary expense or complication, ADGM has adopted perhaps the world’s most favoured and well-understood legal system for investment business.

The ADGM Courts

The ADGM Courts, consisting of the Court of First Instance and Court of Appeal, boast an impressive ‘bench strength’ of senior international judges. The chief justice, the Rt. Hon. Lord David Hope of Craighead, is one of the most respected UK judges with over 50 years of legal, judicial and parliamentary experience.

Jul-Sep 2018 issue

King & Spalding