Nearly 95% of legal cases settled before going to trial - DIFC Court

Dubai's improved economic stability is also likely to see the number of cases decrease going forward
Nearly 95% of legal cases settled before going to trial - DIFC Court
By Shane McGinley
Mon 25 Nov 2013 10:01 AM

Around 95 percent of legal cases before the DIFC Courts are settled out of court before they come to trial, a senior court official told Arabian Business.

Set up in 2009 as the legal backbone of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the DIFC Courts reported a record 40 percent year-on-year increase in its caseload last year, while the value of cases rose more than 400 percent in the same period from $33m to just over $169m.

However, Mark Beer, CEO and Registrar of the DIFC Courts, said the vast majority of cases were settled out of court before going to trial.

“Our focus is always to help the parties to settle... 95 percent of cases don’t get to trial... There is so much certainty in the system now as, with 600 or so cases behind us, lawyers can sensibly advice clients that if this goes to court these are your chances.”

While the number of cases increased in 2012, Beer said a turnaround in economic stability, after the financial crisis of 2008, is likely to see the number of cases start decreasing going forward as companies work around issues rather than resort of legal channels.

“The trend is that in the depths of a recession people tend not to go after each other... [and] at the peak of an economic boom no one is falling out with each other as they don’t have the time as they are making too much money.

“As it is changing, that tends to be where to you see the peak in cases and you could say that would explain 2011 and, to some extent, 2012. Companies trust the court to deal with the cases and the other side to be able to pay.

“If you follow the trends... this year we will probably see a tailing off of cases and that will stay steady as the economy stays in the growth phase and only when, or if, that changes will we see more come in,” Beer said.

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