New Abu Dhabi financial zone appoints UK judge

Abu Dhabi Global Market is drawing up legal framework for Q4 launch
New Abu Dhabi financial zone appoints UK judge
Lord David Hope of Craighead
By Sarah Townsend
Mon 05 Oct 2015 02:05 PM

Abu Dhabi’s new financial free zone has appointed the UK’s Lord David Hope of Craighead as its principal judge.

As chief justice of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) Courts, Lord Hope will be responsible for overseeing and upholding the legal framework that governs the free zone through the ADGM Courts of the First Instance and of Appeal.

The courts will have jurisdiction over both civil and commercial disputes on Al Maryah Island, where the free zone is located.

His appointment has been described as a significant milestone in ADGM’s plans to become fully operational by the fourth quarter of 2015.

Lord Hope was a member of the UK’s highest courts for 24 years prior to his retirement in 2013. He is currently the convener of the Cross Bench Peers in the UK parliament’s House of Lords.

Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, chairman of ADGM, said: “Lord Hope is one of the most respected and experienced senior judges in the UK.  His appointment is a testament to our resolve and commitment to delivering a truly world class international financial centre. 

“Lord Hope will be instrumental in ensuring that our member institutions will be fully supported by ADGM’s robust and reliable international legal system when we become fully operational later this year.”

Lord Hope added: “Our aim is to establish an independent and first class judicial system, equipped with world class judges of unrivalled experience and integrity, to serve the needs of Abu Dhabi Global Market as a business-friendly and well regulated centre for global commerce.” 

Draft regulations to govern financial services firms in ADGM was published for consultation in June, and the free zone said earlier that month that it had already begun accepting licence applications  companies in the retail, food and beverage and office services and supplies sectors.

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