DIFC COURTS ISSUES ENFORCEMENT GUIDE
21 June 2012; Khaleej Times
Adrian Chadwick, Partner at Hadef & Partners said: “This extremely significant development is a notable step for the UAE judicial system. Recognition of DIFC judgments outside the country brings a large level of certainty to the legal community. It enables us, as lawyers, to reassure our clients that the pursuit of justice need not end at the UAE’s borders.”
to read this article.
MIDDLE EAST BANKING & FINANCE EXPERT CAROLINE O'HARE JOINS HADEF & PARTNERS
18 June 2012; Zawya
Leading UAE law firm Hadef & Partners is pleased to announce today that renowned Middle East Banking & Finance expert Caroline O'Hare is joining Hadef & Partners as Head of Financial Services & Regulatory.
YOU CAN INSPECT DUBAI PROPERTIES ON AUCTION
13 June 2012; Emirates 24/7
Ashraf Sayed, Associate, Hadef & Partners, says bidders of auctioned properties should consider carrying out inspection checks.
ALEX MCGEOCH, HEAD OF EMPLOYMENT PRACTICE AT HADEF & PARTNERS
11 June 2012; Business Breakfast, Dubai Eye 103.8
Delves into the use of emails to spread office gossip
'DON'T BUY UNLESS YOU FULLY UNDERSTAND THE RISKS YOU ARE TAKING'
25 May 2012; The National
Michael Lunjevich is a partner at the law firm Hadef & Partners. As the head of the company's commercial and property practice in Dubai, Mr Lunjevich says there are laws to protect property investors, but it is an expensive process to exercise those rights if legal action is required.
AL HAMLI: "THE HYBRID [INSOLVENCY] LAW WILL BE TAILORED FOR LOCAL CIRCUMSTANCES"
20 May 2012; Zawya
Richard Briggs, Executive Partner at Hadef & Partners: "The order for payments of preferential debt will be amended and the UAE courts may sanction cramdown where the rights of creditors and shareholders are not affected by the proposed structuring plan. Some judgments can be made in eight months in Dubai. Abu Dhabi is making great efforts to speed up the process. But many judgments take three to four years. While there is an existing law, with the slowdown in the economy in 2008, the need for an insolvency law was really put to the test since the UAE had never faced a major downturn and the big companies and the government companies had never faced insolvency issues."
HOMEOWNER DRAFT LAW IN DUBAI STIRS CONTROL ISSUE
2 May 2012; The National
Article 11 of the draft Investor Protection Law suggests developers will retain control of common areas where such rights are contained in the original sales and purchase agreement, according to Michael Lunjevich, a property lawyer at Hadef & Partners in Dubai. … Jeremy Scott, a senior associate at Al Tamimi & Company, said that the clause may relate only to managed apartments rather than all residential property.
NEW PROPOSED DUBAI INVESTOR PROTECTION LAW MAY UNDERMINE RIGHTS OF OWNERS' ASSOCIATIONS
1 May 2012; Business Intelligence Middle East
Hadef & Partners has reviewed the English and Arabic versions of the recently released draft Investor Protection Law. The Law has many positive protections for investors, however, these are focused on addressing the balance on disclosure requirements and delivery requirements in favour of investors for off-plan property.
CANCELLATION FEES A WINDFALL FOR DUBAI DEVELOPER
29 April 2012; The National
"Dubai law allows a developer to cancel an agreement and retain a portion of money paid depending on what stage construction is at on a development," said Brent Baldwin, a property lawyer at Hadef & Partners. "We get a lot of cases where the developer is not building or the purchaser is not paying." "For the smaller investor, the cost of going to court can be prohibitive," said Mr Baldwin. "A lot of developers are relying on the unwillingness of a purchaser to go the whole way." Like many developers in the emirate, DPG is moving away from generating income from property sales, focusing instead on steady lease revenue.
PRIMARK COPIER COULD FACE LEGAL BIND
26 April, 2012; The National
The owners of a Dubai firm allegedly faking Primark, a well-known European chain of clothing stores, could face federal fines of Dh10,000 (US$2,722) and up to a year in jail if found guilty of trademark violations, lawyers said yesterday. Tarik El Bakri, the head of intellectual property at Hadef & Partners law firm in Abu Dhabi, said the Primark case was "unique" and an "oddity", given the developed trademark laws in the UAE.
CONSTRUCTION LAW AND CASES AGAINST CONTRACTORS AND DEVELOPERS IN DUBAI
16 April 2012; Business Breakfast, Dubai Eye 103.8
Anthony Edwards, Partner and Head of Engineering & Construction at Hadef & Partners, discusses construction law and cases against contractors and developers.
WILL INSOLVENCY PROCEEDINGS LEAVE DRYDOCKS WORLD HIGH AND DRY?
15 April 2012; Arabian Business
Local officials have been working on a draft of the bankruptcy law, which is likely to be completed by the end of the year. The new legislation will include several elements of Decree 57, says James Farn of Hadef & Partners, which, along with Clifford Chance, is helping to draw up the new legislation. “Decree 57 has certain features, which you get in the new [bankruptcy] law,” he says. “The general aim of the new law is to create a more modern, debtor-friendly insolvency regime, with particular emphasis on the rescue of a debtor’s existing business or the restructuring of a debtor’s liabilities where the debtor gets into financial difficulties, rather than formal liquidation or bankruptcy,” he adds.
LEGAL DANGERS OF USING SOCIAL MEDIA
31 March, 2012; Gulf News
From a legal point of view, issues such as breach of anti-discrimination provisions (for which the employer may be held responsible), defamatory or damaging publications, including inadvertent disclosure of company confidential information, and the cost to the business of working time lost to social media are very real concerns. By Mandeep Kalsi, Special to Gulf News. The writer is an associate at UAE law firm Hadef & Partners.
TELLING THE WORLD CAN LAND YOU IN HOT WATER
27 March, 2012; The National
Online sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are potential legal landmines for employees as well as employers. Here, Mandeep Kalsi, an associate with the Hadef & Partners law firm in Dubai, discusses the changing dynamics online.
SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE WORKPLACE
22 March 2012; Dubai Eye 103.8
In this radio interview, Mandeep Kalsi, Associate, and Alex McGeoch, Head of Employment, discuss the ownership of social media information and the use of social media while at work.
US HEDGE FUND WINS $72M DRYDOCKS WORLD SUIT
Legal experts said the court judgement in London did not necessarily mean the ruling was applicable in the UAE, and that it depended on the legal treaties in place. Monarch could pursue Drydocks assets in countries outside the UAE, such as Singapore and Indonesia, if those places had enforcement treaties with UK legislation, lawyers said. "An English High Court judgment issued against a Dubai-based debtor would therefore not automatically be enforced in the UAE without further court action in the UAE," said Erik Muthow, a partner at Hadef & Partners in Dubai. "The judgment creditor would then have to prove to the UAE court that the foreign judgment meets the enforcement criteria as set out in the civil procedure code."
BRIDGING THE GULF: CAN ISLAMIC FINANCE AND PRIVATE EQUITY FILL THE FUNDING GAP IN MIDDLE EAST SHIPPING?
March 2012; Lloyd’s List
“Shipowners are struggling with low rates and with lending requirements that might be difficult to comply with in the current market,” says Erik Muthow. “The lucky ones will have lenders that understand this and will ride out the storm with them. It’s certainly not been an easy time for shipowners and operators, but it hasn’t been easy for banks either.”
ARABIAN RANCHES' IOA MULLS 'FORECLOSURE' TO RECOVER DUES
8 March 2012, Emirates 24/7
Hadef & Partners, a Dubai-based legal firm, says there were legal remedies to recover legitimately outstanding amounts for service charges.
LEGAL LIMBO STYMIES BANKS’ RECOVERY OF DUBAI GOVT DEBT
23 February 2012; Asian Legal Business
The authorities have recognised its limitations and a new insolvency law is being drafted, according to James Farn, a partner at Hadef & Partners, which along with Clifford Chance is drawing up the legislation.
LEGAL LIMBO STYMIES BANKS' RECOVERY OF DUBAI GOVT DEBT
22 February 2012; Reuters
The authorities have recognised its limitations and a new insolvency law is being drafted, according to James Farn, a partner at Hadef & Partners, which along with Clifford Chance is drawing up the legislation. "It attempts to bring in best practice from insolvency regimes in a number of other major legal jurisdictions," Farn said.
DUBAI MALL OPERATOR IN $9.6M LEGAL BATTLE WITH EX-EMPLOYEE
19 February 2012; Arabian Business
Dubai legal firm Hadef & Partners reported it had successfully obtained a Court of Appeal judgment against the mall operator, which counts the Mall of the Emirates and Ski Dubai among its portfolio.
EX-EMPLOYEE GRANTED DH35M PAYOUT OVER DISMISSAL
19 February 2012; The National
"It's good to see the Court of Appeals be bold enough to hand down a decision like this to uphold contractual rights," said Clare Raven, a Hadef & Partners lawyer who worked on the case.
DUBAI HOMEOWNERS URGED TO COME FORWARD FOR OA REGISTRATION
19 February 2012; Arabian Business
“It’s a no-man’s land,” Brent Baldwin, an associate at Dubai’s Hadef & Partners told Arabian Business previously. “Some developers want to get out and they’re trying to leave the owners to it. But [until registered] owners don’t have the legal status to do it so they need the developer to be involved.”
FORMER MAF STAFF WINS DH35M COMPENSATION
17 February 2012; Gulf News
Hadef & Partners, the law firm that represented the unnamed senior officer, said in a statement that the Court of Appeal judgment was a record in the UAE and marked a victory for ‘employee justice'.
DRAFT OF UAE BANKRUPTCY LAW TO BE COMPLETED BY END OF 2012 – DUBAI OFFICIAL
16 February 2012; Arabian Business
A draft of the UAE’s first ever bankruptcy law is likely to be completed by the end of the year, a senior Dubai government official confirmed on Wednesday. “Although the new law applies more widely, it will not apply to government entities or entities incorporated and licenced to operate in a financial free zone such as the DIFC,” James Farn, partner and head of banking and finance at legal firm Hadef and Partners, told Arabian Business.
NAKHEEL'S FORMER CEO WINS $3M CLAIM AGAINST DEVELOPER
10 February 2012, Gulf News
Anthony Edwards, head of Hadef and Partners' Engineering and Construction practice in Dubai, told Gulf News that the issue of jurisdiction could become trickier in future … "The position is not clear as to whether or not Nakheel is still under the jurisdiction of the Dubai World Tribunal, particularly in relation to new claims, because the ownership of Nakheel itself has not been made wholly clear," he said.
CONTRACTOR SUCCESSFUL IN RETAINING A JUDGMENT AGAINST NAKHEEL
10 February 2012; STEEL GURU
Partner Anthony Edwards head of Hadef & Partners' Engineering & Construction practice in Dubai said that "This is a significant victory for our client TAGC in its efforts to recover its costs incurred under the terms of the contract it entered into with Nakheel. The DWT affirmed it had jurisdiction to hear this case and there was clear evidence the settlement agreement had been entered into and that Nakheel had failed to prove the amount had not been agreed."
FORMER CEO WINS LAWSUIT AGAINST NAKHEEL, AWARDED $3 MLN
9 February 2012; Reuters
It is Nakheel's second loss this week. The developer was ordered to pay about 60 million dirhams to Technical Architects General Contracting Company (TAGC) earlier this week, as compensation for a 950 million dirham project that was halted.
CONTRACTOR SUCCESSFUL IN RETAINING JUDGMENT AGAINST NAKHEEL
9 February 2012; Business Intelligence Middle East
Hadef & Partners appeared for TAGC at a hearing on the 7 February 2012 where it successfully retained the judgment against Nakheel.
CONTRACTOR VICTORIOUS OVER JUDGEMENT AGAINST NAKHEEL FOR OVER AED 58 MILLION
9 February 2012; CPI Financial
Head of Hadef & Partners' Engineering & Construction practice in Dubai, Partner Anthony Edwards said, "This is a significant victory for our client TAGC in its efforts to recover its costs incurred under the terms of the contract it entered into with Nakheel. The DWT affirmed it had jurisdiction to hear this case and there was clear evidence the settlement agreement had been entered into and that Nakheel had failed to prove the amount had not been agreed.
NAKHEEL TOLD TO PAY CONTRACTOR DH58M
9 February 2012; Gulf News
In a statement yesterday, law firm Hadef & Partners welcomed the DWT decision, which rejected an appeal by Nakheel that the compensation figure had not been agreed to and that the firm had not received the original papers from TAGC.
NAKHEEL ORDERED TO PAY $20M TO CONTRACTOR
9 February 2012; Construction Week Online
“The DWT dismissed Nakheel’s three grounds of challenge and allowed the judgment to stand for a total sum converted into $20,062,644 and awarded TAGC its costs of the action and further interest,” Hadef & Partners’ said.
NAKHEEL ORDERED TO PAY $20M TO CONTRACTOR
8 February 2012; Arabian Business
“This is a significant victory for our client TAGC in its efforts to recover its costs incurred under the terms of the contract it entered into with Nakheel,” Anthony Edwards, head of Hadef & Partners’ Engineering & Construction practice in Dubai, said in an emailed statement.
CONTRACTOR SUCCESSFUL IN RETAINING A JUDGMENT AGAINST NAKHEEL FOR OVER AED58 MILLION
8 February 2012; Zawya
Hadef & Partners appeared for TAGC at a hearing on the 7 February 2012 where we successfully retained the judgment against Nakheel. The DWT dismissed Nakheel's three grounds of challenge and allowed the judgment to stand for a total sum converted into US$20,062,644 and awarded TAGC its costs of the action and further interest.
PROPERTY EXPERTS CALL FOR CLARITY ON DISPUTES
5 February 2012; Arabian Business
Real estate solicitor Brent Baldwin of Hadef & Partners said the market might also benefit from a fast track resolution option, allowing investors and developers to resolve their issues more quickly.
KICKBACK CULTURE HIKES SERVICE FEES IN DUBAI, SAY EXPERTS
1 February 2012, Arabian Business
There does need to be some sort of fast track mechanism for owners to resolve disputes within their developments that relate to owners associations” says Brent Baldwin from Hadef & Partners.
DEBT DILEMMA - DRAFT UAE BANKRUPTCY LAW
17 January 2012; Emirates 24/7 Television
James Farn is interviewed by Emirates 24/7 Television on the new draft UAE Bankruptcy Law. The interview commences at 6 minutes and 32 seconds.
BANKRUPTCY NO LONGER CRIME UNDER DRAFT LAW
12 January 2012; Gulf News
Government stakeholders are reviewing the draft before it is presented to the UAE Cabinet, according to James Farn
PARTNERS UNTIL THE PARTING
4 January 2012; The National
Some executives who help manage small and medium-sized companies in the emirates are discovering - the hard way - that they are not the partners nor shareholders they were led on to believe. "This is a significant issue, and not only crops up with CEOs," says Barton Hoggard, a partner in the corporate department of the law firm Hadef & Partners in Dubai.
PROPERTY MARKET IS BEING REBUILT
27 December 2011; The National
A fundamental shift is taking place in the UAE property market, requiring new initiatives to spur the market, industry experts say. … "It's good for Dubai
," Richard Briggs, the executive partner at Hadef & Partners, told The National when the change was announced. "It will change the nature of litigation in Dubai
as more claims work their way through the DIFC."
STILL A WAY TO GO FOR UAE MARKETS
26 December 2011; The National
"Anecdotally, the business of settlement is a problem," says Alan Rodgers, the head of banking and finance in the Dubai
office of the law firm Hadef & Partners. "Brokers have no means to immediately render cash without first having the documents to hand, so it's not so easy." … Regulators could follow the example of more developed exchanges, Mr Rodgers says. It's important to have the easiest regulations with the least red tape possible and an astute regulator."
DUBAI ACTS TO REVIVE FREEHOLD PROJECTS
18 December 2011; Gulf News
The Dubai Land Department has introduced two initiatives, Tayseer and Tanmia, to revive and support the real estate market in Dubai. Bianca Gracias, Ashraf Sayed and Saleh Al Obaidli, Special to Gulf News.
OWNERS GROUP SEEK LEGAL ACTION AGAINST SERVICE CHARGE DEFAULTERS
13 December 2011; Emirates 24/7
Despite IOAs formed, owners still have to take NOCs from developers
Brent Baldwin, Associate, Hadef & Partners, mentions there are a range of options available for collection of service charges, but this is still a challenging issue.
WHY DUBAI'S OWNERS' ASSOCIATIONS STILL CAN'T OPEN BANK ACCOUNTS
12 December 2011; Emirates 24/7
Interim Owners' Associations have no legal standing; developers continue to manage buildings.According to Brent Baldwin, Associate, Hadef & Partners, most OAs are utilising bank accounts held in the name of the developer or some other third party pursuant to a contractual arrangement, rather than having a bank account in their own name.
NAKHEEL EYES POOL FEES FOR DISCOVERY GARDENS TENANTS
12 December 2011; Arabian Business
“If rights to common facilities have been sold to owners as part of purchase of the unit then it’s going to be legally very difficult for a developer – any developer – to deny access to those facilities to an owner or to rent them out and open them for public access without the permission of the concerned owners,” said Baldwin, associate at Dubai-based law firm Handed & Partners.
UAE DEVELOPERS RELUCTANT TO GIVE UP CONTROL TO PROPERTY OWNERS
11 December 2011; Emirates 24/7
Brent Baldwin, Associate, Hadef & Partners, however, has a different view.
“There is a growing recognition among developers that these laws are here to stay. We should see many more developers complying over the next 12 months.”
DUBAI TRIBUNAL BLOCKS NAKHEEL BID TO CHALLENGE RULINGS
7 December 2011; Arabian Business
The ruling suggests a law that strips the DWT of its power to decide on cases linked to Nakheel would need to be passed before existing lawsuits would transfer to Dubai Courts, said Adrian Chadwick, partner at Hadef & Partners.
PALM SPAT RAISES FEARS OVER HOMEOWNERS’ RIGHTS
16 November 2011; Arabian Business
Homeowners that failed to check the small print in their sales and purchase agreement (SPA) may find they do not own the rights to communal facilities, potentially clearing the path for developers to now privatise them, said Brent Baldwin, associate at law firm Hadef & Partners.
DUBAI INVESTORS IN THE DARK OVER NAKHEEL LAWSUITS
26 October 2011; Arabian Business
“In my view the letter… still leaves unanswered the issue of what, if an, jurisdiction is retained by the Dubai World Tribunal over Nakheel and its subsidiaries,” said Adrian Chadwick, a partner at Dubai law firm Hadef & Partners, who is involved in a number of Nakheel cases filed with the tribunal. “The current uncertainty will continue unless and until a new decree is issued or the DWT itself renders a judgment on the scope of its jurisdiction.”
FARAJ AHNISH: LIBYA'S LEGAL CHAMPION IN THE UAE
18 September 2011; The National
Faraj Ahnish is one of the UAE's sharpest and busiest legal minds. The prominent lawyer advises the Government on legislation, and as managing partner of Hadef & Partners in Abu Dhabi, he oversees day-to-day operations at one of the biggest Emirati local firms. More recently, he has begun to help to arrange aid for Libya and draft a constitution for a new government in the country where he grew up.
DOUBT HANGS OVER TRIBUNAL FOR NAKHEEL LEGAL CASES
15 September 2011; The National
"At the moment there is complete uncertainty about what will happen," said Adrian Chadwick, a partner with the law firm Hadef & Partners.
HOMEOWNERS FACE $4,000 CHARGES TO PAY SERVICE FEES
24 August 2011; Arabian Business
OAs still waiting for Dubai Land Department approval are stuck in a legal limbo, said Brent Baldwin, associate at Hadef & Partners. “The issue is that for someone to be able to open a bank account they have got to have some sort of legal personality; you have to be an individual or a properly incorporated company or a registered partnership,” he said.
GET BUSY DURING RAMADAN
14 August 2011; Gulf News
Companies face the challenge of maintaining output whilst respecting beliefs.
"For employers in particular, religious observances such as Ramadan raise two competing interests: business continuity and performance on the one hand and cultural sensitivities on the other," Mandeep Kalsi, of the UAE business law firm Hadef and Partners, said.
REEM ISLAND WORKERS IN LEGAL CATCH-22
7 August 2011; The National
Alex McGeoch, a senior legal consultant and head of employment at the law firm Hadef and Partners, said the Reem Island workers may not be aware of their options.
"Legally, their standing is rock solid, but in practical terms, it's very different," Mr McGeoch said. "These people may not know what their rights are, or where to turn."
THERE'S JUST NO TIME TO RETIRE, OLDER WORKERS SAY
19 June 2011; The National
OWNERS' ASSOCIATIONS BRIEFED ON HOW TO MANAGE JOP LAW REQUIREMENTS BY HADEF AND PARTNERS
14 June 2011; AMEinfo
Leading UAE law firm Hadef and Partners hosts a seminar on the jointly owned property law for existing and intending board members of Owners' Associations on June 8 at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel.
WHY FORECLOSURE REMAINS A FINAL RESORT
12 June 2011; The National
"They don't want to own the property," says Michael Dark, a senior legal consultant with Hadef & Partners, a law firm. "What they want is somebody who will pay them." … "There is nothing you can do as borrower except try to reach agreement with the bank," Mr Dark says. "But you still have personal liability."
DEVELOPERS NOT TO CHARGE OVER DH500 FOR NOC
9 June 2011; Emirates 24/7
A senior Dubai Land Department (DLD) official has said they will not be able to negotiate or lower charges of no-objection certificate (NOC) if the developer and the seller have mentioned a specific amount in their sales and purchase agreement, but generally they are asking developers not to charge more than Dh500 for a NoC required to register sale of a completed property. … “Some developers are a charging an illegal, blanket fee of Dh5,000 for registration and Dh1,000 in handling fees,” said Michael Lunjevich, a partner in the firm, and author of the report.
TRIBUNAL HEARS DRYDOCKS FRAUD CASE
9 June 2011; The National
"The allegation of fraud made by Drydocks World against Auld Alliance Trading is totally denied and rejected," said Adrian Chadwick, a partner at Hadef and Partners in Dubai. "A legal notice will shortly be sent to Drydocks World demanding that the allegation of fraud be withdrawn [and] retracted, failing which [Auld Alliance] reserves the right to take appropriate action to protect its position and reputation," he said. "The allegation appears to be made by Drydocks World in an attempt to avoid paying sums contractually due to [Auld Alliance] pursuant to a valid agreement between Drydocks World and [Auld Alliance]."
DUBAI DEVELOPERS CHARGING ILLEGAL FEES, IT IS CLAIMED
8 June 2011; Property Wire
Property owners in Dubai are being charged thousands of dirhams in illegal registration fees by developers who are blatantly trying to increase their profit margins, according to a report from lawyers. Legal firm Hadef & Partners claim in a report that fees of AED5,000 are being charged for registering a property and AED1,000 as a handling fee.
PROPERTY BUYERS FACE IMPROPER FEES
2 June 2011; The National
Developers in Dubai are routinely overcharging home buyers thousands of dirhams in registration fees and for service charges, property experts say. The practice is "massively widespread", said Michael Lunjevich, a partner in the law firm Hadef & Partners.
HADEF & PARTNERS: THE COST OF OWNING FREEHOLD PROPERTY IN DUBAI
2 June 2011; Zawya
In its second recent survey of the Dubai real estate market, Hadef & Partners assessed issues involving the property registration process, the levying of charges in respect of registration, duplication of records between the Dubai Land Department (DLD
) and developers and the issues concerning service charges in Dubai. Over 350 completed responses were received and many respondents took the time to provide detailed and extensive comments.
DUBAI DEVELOPERS NET ILLEGAL FEES FROM BUYERS
2 June 2011; Arabian Business
Dubai developers are charging homeowners thousands of dirhams in illegal registration fees in a bid to ramp up profits, a report by law firm Hadef & Partners said.
LAWYER'S SIGN MUST ON STRATA DECLARATION
10 April 2011; Emirates 24/7
The Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA), the regulatory arm of the Dubai Land Department, has made it mandatory to get Jointly Owned Property Declarations (JOPDs) under the Strata Law approved and signed by lawyers prior to submission.
LITTLE CLARITY AS STRATA LAW ARRIVES
13 January 2011; The National
With little clarity about penalties from Dubai's property regulators, many developers are expected to miss a deadline today to disclose a wide variety of information to buyers. The disclosures are required by the Strata Law.
TENSIONS SPIKE AS SERVICE CHARGE DEBATE RAGES ON
9 January 2011; Gulf News
The vexed issue of service charges — and more pertinently who now has the right to set them — is ensuring that developer-property owner relations continue to boil.
DUBAI HOMEOWNER GROUPS STRUGGLE TO FLIP SWITCH
OFFSHORE FIRMS NEED JAFZ NOC TO REGISTER FREEHOLD TITLE
3 November 2010; Emirates 24/7
Dubai-based Hadef & Partners have confirmed that titles to freehold properties will not be registered at the Land Department unless a "no-objection certificate" is procured from Jafza. However, in its property update, it said the department has started implementing a new policy effective October 26.
STRATA LAW LEADS TO ELEVENTH-HOUR SCRAMBLE
14 October 2010; The National
Property developers were scrambling to meet yesterday's deadline to comply with the new strata law as fears grew that the regulator would impose fines on those that had not begun to form homeowners associations. Lawyers said there was still a large contingent of developers that did not appear concerned about missing the deadline. Michael Lunjevich, a partner at Hadef & Partners, said the increase in inquiries around the deadline was "not significant enough to make us believe developers are worried about the deadline".
NEW LAW MIGHT SEE COMPANIES FIGHT CASES ABROAD
6 October 2010; Emirates 24/7
Foreign arbitration option may soon become more attractive as there is a new UAE arbitration law being drafted which plans to simplify a number of aspects, including the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards, according to Hadef and Partners. “If the local UAE company is prepared to agree to such an arrangement, and this may not be a bad choice for the local company, then the next matter that the foreign company must consider is how easy or difficult it will be to enforce a foreign arbitration award in the UAE,” Michael Dark and Mahmoud Awad, authors of the report, said.
DEVELOPERS CLUELESS AS STRATA REGISTRATION DEADLINE LOOMS
1 September 2010; Gulf News
With the October deadline to register Jointly Owned Property (JOP) Declarations looming, a vast majority of developers seem ill-prepared for this colossal task. While the bigger government developers seem to have braced themselves to comply with the regulations, the smaller ones seem to be unaware of their obligations. "Rera (Real Estate Regulatory Agency) appears to have the power to take whatever appropriate action it considers necessary to enforce the obligation to register a JOP Declaration. This is a very wide discretion and it will be interesting to see how it will be exercised, given the impending October deadline for registration of JOP Declarations. There is a possibility that Rera may extend the October deadline, but that hasn't happened yet," explains Brent Baldwin, associate at law firm Hadef & Partners.
23 August 2010; Emirates 24/7
Auction may not be the preferred option for developers since it might not fetch them the desired value, legal experts said. According to Brent Baldwin, Associate, Hadef & Partners, if foreclosure happens in relation to off-plan property, then this may help developers as the bank may step in and take over the payment obligations, or sell the unit to a new purchaser who will pay.
DEVELOPERS HANG ON TO DEFAULTERS INITIAL PAYMENTS
22 August 2010; Emirates 24/7
Developers in Dubai are no longer moving court against defaulters but are cancelling their sales and purchase agreements (SPAs) instead, retaining whatever monies have been paid till the time of default. “We find that developers are generally looking to cancel sale and purchase agreements (SPA) using the provisions of Decree No 6 of 2010 with the assistance of the Land Department of Dubai, rather than take investors to court,” Brent Baldwin, Associate, Hadef & Partners, told this website.
BUILDINGS AT RISK OVER INSURANCE SHORTFALLS
21 August 2010; The National
As many as 80 per cent of buildings in Dubai are either uninsured or underinsured, according to the chief executive of the country’s biggest insurance company. The law does not require buildings in the Emirates to have insurance. Richard Briggs, an executive partner at the law firm Hadef and Partners, said a further issue was the absence of a link between homeowner insurance and the insurance taken out to cover specific buildings. “There is a lot of disconnect, where the two sides are either doubling up on insurance or not covering certain things,” he said.
CHALLENGE 'FORCE MAJEURE' IN CIVIL COURTS: EXPERTS
9 August 2010; Emirates 24/7
Property buyers will have to file a civil case to seek judicial remedy, unlike the earlier system of approaching property courts, if a developer invokes the "force majeure" clause and refrains from paying compensation, experts say. We would like to see Rera play a bigger role in this respect and regulate/penalise developers that delay without pre determined reasons,” Ashraf Sayed, Associate, Hadef & Partners, told Emirates 24/7.
EIB TO HELP GET PROJECTS MOVING
4 August 2010; Gulf News
Emirates Islamic Bank (EIB) is the first Land Department-accredited bank to lend under Tayseer, the new initiative by the Dubai Government to guarantee financing for certain property developments, announced at the end of June. Michael Lunjevich, partner at the UAE business law firm Hadef & Partners, pointed out continued uncertainty relating to projects that should have been cancelled a long time ago is unsettling for the market.
MIXED REACTION AS PROPERTY DIRECTIVES ROLL OUT
29 July 2010; Hotelier Middle East
Dubai Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) has issued directives that impact heavily on hotel owners and operators in mixed-use and multi-owned Dubai properties. Associate at law firm Hadef & Partners Brent Baldwin said the days of developers “riding roughshod over owners” was over. “There have been complaints about a lack of transparency surrounding service charges. Those days are gone and owners are going to find they have much greater control over the way their buildings are operated,” he said.
DEVELOPERS USE “FORCE MAJEURE” TO SKIP COMPENSATION
29 July 2010; Emirates 24/7
Majority of developers in Dubai try to invoke “force majeure” provisions in their contracts to explain delays, while a very few are willing to pay compensation, according to realty experts. We are aware of only a handful of developers who willingly agree compensation is due for delays, whereas the majority of developers try to use the contract to invoke ‘force majeure’ provisions or other acts beyond the control of the developer to explain delays,” Ashraf Sayed, Associate, Hadef & Partners, told Emirates 24|7.
MILESTONE FOR INVESTORS’ RIGHTS
18 July 2010; The National
Yesterday’s decision by a Government committee to raise the price paid to minority shareholders in Aabar Investments sets a precedent for shareholders’ rights and paves the way for new regulations on mergers and acquisitions, lawyers believe. Elsie Habib, a lawyer at Hadef and Partners in Dubai, wrote in a brief after the plan to delist Aabar was revealed that there were procedures in place under which SCA could make a fairness ruling and protect minority shareholders’ rights.
DUBAI HOMEOWNER ASSOCIATIONS IN LIMBO
16 July 2010; Gulf News
The October deadline for the formation of homeowners associations in Dubai's freehold developments is in sight, but the stakeholders in the process continue to drag their feet. It's not just the developers alone, but the homeowners as well. By law, developers will have to appoint an independent auditor and refund any money of the charges collected that were improperly spent, said Brent Baldwin, associate at Hadef & Partners.
STRATA LAW AND REGULATION KEY TALKING POINTS AT REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY CITYSCAPE CONNECT EVENT
15 July 2010; AMEinfo
The Cityscape Connect business breakfast was held ahead of Cityscape Global which will be staged from 4 - 7 October 2010 at the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre. Attended by more than 80 property executives, legal advisers and investors, the business breakfast was called to explore the legislation and regulation of the real estate market. Michael Lunjevich, partner, head of commercial and Real Estate, Hadef & Partners, mentioned the importance of the Escrow law - which came into effect in 2007 to regulate the sale of off plan property. He said this was the 'first major step towards regulating a market.' "Lessons that can be learnt from the Escrow law are that when you try and regulate a market, you need to consider the economic issues around the industry."
REGULATION URGED IN MENA REALTY
15 July 2010; Gulf News
Investors in real estate in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region have done an about-face from two years ago and are now asking governments to play a larger role in regulating the industry. Regulations and transparency were the theme running through yesterday's Cityscape Connect breakfast meeting. Experts in the real estate sphere questioned whether regulations were as affective as they could be. Michael Lunjevich, Partner, head of commercial and real estate, Hadef & Partners, pointed out that self-regulation didn't work welcoming the major steps taking in introducing various regulations, but pointed out there was room for improvement
AABAR DELISTING PLAN GOES TO COMMITTEE
13 July 2010; The National
A committee of government agencies is set to weigh in today with its opinion on an offer by Aabar Investments biggest shareholder to buy out minority investors. The committee is expected to provide clarity on whether officials see the offer as fair and how the buyout will proceed if it is given the go-ahead. “It is in their power to accept or reject that decision to delist,” said Murad Abida, a corporate partner at the law firm Hadef & Partners in Dubai.
STUDY START-UPS BEFORE OPENING SHOP
30 June 2010; Gulf News
A belief of sorts exists that only those with a long and direct exposure to the local marketplace can set up and successfully run a business here. But as is the case with firm beliefs, this one too might be misplaced. Until the recession intervened, there were quite a few entrepreneurs who had made the one-way trip to Dubai to enter businesses as far apart as running a restaurant to launching a real estate brokerage firm. "Trying to set up a company in Dubai can be a laborious process — it can be expensive and quite time-intensive," said Sameer Huda, a partner at Hadef Partners, a law firm.
NO CONTRACTS LEAVE PROPERTY BUYERS VULNERABLE
28 June 2010; The National
A rising number of property disputes in Abu Dhabi are hinging on an often brief document known as a “reservation agreement”, lawyers say. While Dubai has a raft of laws and regulations to govern the property market, Abu Dhabi has only a basic land registration law. In addition, where developers have not set out construction milestones – a type of schedule of progress that they will make on a building – the courts have been deciding that any agreement itself implies that the developer will proceed with building in an orderly way. “This potentially means that the strength of a developer’s claim or defence is now potentially affected by its progress with the development in general and what it is able to display to the court as its level of genuine commitment to the transaction,” said Akram El Huda, a senior associate in the Abu Dhabi office of Hadef & Partners.
AABAR DELISTING HIGHLIGHTS NEED FOR A ROADMAP
26 June 2010; Gulf News
With Aabar Investments Board deciding on Thursday to hold a shareholder meeting on July 26 to discuss its proposed delisting from the Abu Dhabi stock exchange, it means the public shareholders have simply to wait and watch. In the context of the UK, Philip Jolowicz, head of Financial Services and Regulatory at Hadef & Partners adds, company delistings most often arise in circumstances where a takeover offer is made to all shareholders and whereby once the statutory threshold of ownership and acceptances is reached, any residual shares are subject to compulsory purchase.
GOVERNANCE UPGRADE A WORK IN PROGRESS
12 June 2010; The National
Many publicly listed companies are still working towards compliance with the UAE’s new corporate governance regulations even after the May 1 deadline. The new rules, which were announced three years ago, require the companies to create an internal control system to safeguard shareholder rights, improve transparency and specify the duties of boards of directors. The rules are enforced by the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), which is working with companies and allowing a grace period to help them comply, said Tarik el Bakri, a partner at Hadef and Partners, a law firm in Abu Dhabi.
EMAAR MOVES ON NON-PAYERS
15 May 2010; The National
Emaar Properties, the country’s largest developer, has started to send letters to owners of units in the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, warning that they will lose their apartments and 40 per cent of the property’s value if they fail to pay their overdue installments within two weeks. “After two years of stagnancy, the market is starting to get cleaned out,” said Michael Lunjevich, a partner at the law firm Hadef and Partners. “Pressure has been building and building. Now these notices are being issued and it’s going to take a huge amount of man hours to solve the questions that come up from these actions.”
LONE CASE IN DUBAI TRIBUNAL
10 May 2010; The National
While Dubai World has high-level negotiations with the some of the world’s largest banks and investment funds over the restructuring of its $24.8bn (Dh91.09bn) of debt, one young Egyptian woman has gone a step further. Asmaa Abd el Ghaffar Khalil, 31, has filed the only claim against a Dubai World company in the special tribunal set up last year to hear cases in the conglomerate’s restructuring. “When the economic downturn really struck, we did notice a huge increase in contentious employment matters,” said Alexander McGeoch, a partner in the employment practice at Hadef and Partners. “This is starting to have an impact on the way companies hire staff now in terms of the way the contract sets out compensation.”
COMPANIES LOOK TO LAW AS SHIELD IN FUTURE CRISES
10 May 2010; The National
The financial crisis may have sharply reduced many fortunes but businesses are preparing themselves against future economic trouble by boosting their legal spending. The same companies that were burnt by the crisis are paying closer attention to fine print and devising stronger contracts to protect their interests, lawyers say. “The financial crisis has fundamentally affected the drafting of contracts,” said Tim Travers, a senior legal consultant at the law firm Hadef and Partners. With companies much more likely to sue business partners, there is greater focus on establishing jurisdiction to settle disputes. The Dubai International Financial Centre Courts, which have emerged as the jurisdiction of choice for many lawyers because it is more efficient than local courts, has seen cases recently in which claims were thrown out because jurisdiction could not be established. “Contracting parties are now much more likely to seek to exercise their legal rights and proceed to enforcement in the courts where there are defaults, and especially where the non-defaulting party has its own financial position to protect and needs to move quickly to avoid losing corporate value,” Mr Travers said. Some companies now include arbitration clauses in their contracts to avoid the expensive and time-consuming court process, said Michael Dark, an associate on Hadef and Partners’ dispute resolution team.
TERMINATION LEGALITIES IN DISPUTE
30 April 2010; Gulf News
Cancellation notices enforced by Dubai Land Department do not affect the legal rights of investors and can be disputed. A discussion has been raging over the legality of developer's termination notices served to investors, endorsed and enforced by the Land Department. "It is worrying to see the LD has assumed a role that purports to allow it to terminate agreements," said Michael Lunjevich, partner at the law firm Hadef & Partners.
RENT DISPUTE CASES IN DUBAI DROP 40% IN 2009
29 April 2010; Emirates 24/7
Michael Lunjevich, Partner, Hadef & Partners, said: "The drop in cases is most likely market driven. The demand and supply dynamic has forced landlords and tenants to meet each others' expectations on rents, number of cheques and tenancy terms. Therefore, we are not seeing disputes where landlords are trying to vacate tenants to get better rents."
NEW COMPANY RULES NEEDED IN SMALLER EMIRATES
Relaxed laws on foreign ownership and investment are essential if the UAE’s smaller emirates want to attract international businesses, a Dubai lawyer has claimed. Sadiq Jafar, managing partner of Hadef & Partner’s Dubai office, said rules allowing outside investors 100 per cent control over their UAE interests could fuel further investment in less developed emirates. “Because the Northern Emirates don’t have the resources of Dubai or Abu Dhabi, in order to be more competitive they will make it much easier for foreign direct investment,” he said. “The new companies law, for example; there are suggestions that it won’t be a blanket lifting of foreign ownership, but exemption case-by-case so the smaller emirates can take advantage on industrial projects. “So if you want to build an industrial project in the UAE, you might want to consider Um Al Quwain where the costs might be lower and the foreign ownership high.”
JUDGE REJECTS CASE AGAINST DAMAC
A judge has thrown out a highly publicised case brought by a German investor against Damac Properties because the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Court does not have jurisdiction over the claims. Michael Lunjevich, the head of the property practice at Hadef and Partners, said the initial decisions of the DIFC Courts showed the jurisdiction needed to be clearly spelt out in contracts and was likely to dissuade some buyers from filing cases. But Mr Lunjevich said the DIFC Courts was a preferred venue for disputes because its laws provided for a discovery process that allowed each side to get more information to argue its case. “The stakes are higher, the costs are higher, but when you get down to arguing the real facts, I think the DIFC Courts help,” he said.
NEW RULES EXPECTED TO OFFER MORE SECURITY IN DUBAI
Whenever there is a whiff of change in regulation, the market jumps to attention, and recently there have been a few that have generated interest. One was the Dubai Land Department deciding to suspend the registration of titles in the name of foreign offshore companies. This includes developers' real estate units and land. One may be forgiven to wonder whether that is to have a firmer legal hold. Also, some companies often float marketing arms whose names may differ from projects registered. This allows developers with offshore bases to run away more easily in case there is trouble. However, lawyers don't seem to think that is the reason. "Developers often use different companies for separate projects and quite often, offshore entities are used because of ease of establishment and low fees," explains Michael Lunjevich, partner at Hadef & Partners.
RISING TIDE OF LITIGATION FORECAST
Fraud and mismanagement disputes in the Emirates are expected to multiply in a surge of litigation connected with the global financial crisis. Focus on the management practices of Gulf companies has intensified after corporate scandals hit some companies in the region. The Saad and Al Gosaibi conglomerates of Saudi Arabia have been locked in a long-running legal battle with claims and counter-claims lodged in courts around the world, and lawyers expect more cases to emerge, with some civil claims triggered by criminal investigations. “There is increased attention on the corporate ramifications of criminal prosecutions of directors and officers, as some of these cases may give rise to civil liability,” said Sadiq Jafar, the managing partner in the Dubai office of Hadef & Partners.
NEW REAL ESTATE LAWS IN THE UAE OFFER MORE PROTECTION FOR THE PROPERTY INDUSTRY
Two new real estate laws in the United Arab Emirates will improve protection for buyers, investors and landlords. e regulations whilst providing some much needed clarity over many issues also throws up some interesting characteristics such as reinforcing the wide degree of power and discretion the DLD holds in respect of projects,' said a spokesman for lawyers Hadef & Partners.
DEVELOPERS MAY SEND TERMINATION NOTICES TO BUYERS
Property developers may now be able to send contract termination notices directly to investors provided they copy the notice to the Land Department, according to law firm Hadef and Partners.
NEW PROPERTY LAW EXTENDS PROTECTION FOR HOME BUYERS
A new decree by Dubai Executive Council will provide more protection to home buyers as well as increasing the Land Department's (DLD) role as mediator in property disputes. Law firm Hadef & Partners, which has reviewed a copy of the decree, released a brief summary of the regulations awaiting formal publication in the Official Gazette.
MUCH AWAITED REGULATIONS FOR LAW 13 OUT
Michael Lunjevich, a partner at Hadef & Partners, put out a report this morning on the regulations for Law 13, which have yet to be published in the Official Gazette but have been informally given to the law firm. These regulations will have major impacts on the property sector. They hold both the developer and buyer accountable and give much-needed clarity on legal issues that are gripping the whole sector.
RERA’S COMMERCIAL LEASE FORM UNLIKELY TO COVER MARKET DEMANDS
A standard form commercial lease issued by the Real Estate Regulation Agency (Rera) may not be detailed enough to cover the unique demands of the majority of commercial landlords and tenants, says a legal analyst. "Commercial leases tend to be more technical and this often requires a unique document tailored to the specific property with a number of specialised terms," Brent Baldwin, an associate with Hadef & Partners, told Emirates Business.
AGENT ESCROW ACCOUNTS CAN ENSURE PAYMENT OF COMMISSION TO BROKERS
Enforcing the real estate agent trust account law in Dubai will ensure real estate agents receive their commissions on time, according to legal experts. Georgina Chan, Associate, Hadef & Partners, said: “For verbal agreements, where no agreement has been made or in instances where no dispute resolution clause is set out in the agency agreement, the injured party must file a civil claim in the Dubai Court of First Instance seeking recovering of all monies owed.”
NEW DUBAI LAND LAW PROMISES PROPERTY REFUNDS
Property investors in Dubai will be eligible for refunds or replacement property if they fall victim to unscrupulous or failing developers, under laws planned for this year.
As more buyers default on their payment plans and developers fail to deliver buildings on time, legal disputes are expected to remain a dominant theme in the UAE this year, lawyers say. “2010 is still the year of fighting,” said Michael Lunjevich, the head of the property practice at Hadef and Partners. “It will be about consolidations, legal claims, liquidations and insolvencies. The market needs to clean itself out.”
FORECLOSURE TO BE TRIED AND TESTED
A judge or regulator will have to decide the outcome of these cases in a way that is considered fair to restore confidence to the property market, lawyers say. “It’s great that there is finally some movement on these cases,” says Michael Lunjevich, the head of property at Hadef and Partners. “But if they are going to foreclose on buyers, they need to foreclose on developers who are not building, too. There is a responsibility to look at each side’s role and judge accordingly.”
MARKET LOOKS FOR PROPER VALUATION AND MORTGAGE BOOST
A lack of accurate property valuations, delayed handovers, a mortgage shortage and the absence of comprehensive rental contracts are some of the major challenges faced by the UAE's commercial sector, say real estate experts. "There are challenges for commercial properties in the UAE with respect to valuation and lending for borrowers," said Michael Lunjevich, a partner at Hadef & Partners. "Furthermore the provisions of rental contracts are not explicit with respect to payment terms.
OPENING OF ESCROW ACCOUNT DOESN’T GUARANTEE COMPLETION OF A PROJECT
Opening of an escrow account does not guarantee completion of a project in Dubai and investors have the right to examine the account records, lawyers said. When asked whether the opening of an escrow account guarantees completion of a project by a developer, Ashraf Sayed said “Not necessarily. Dubai Law No8 for the year 2007 on escrow accounts for real estate development (the escrow law) was issued to regulate developers in an attempt to safeguard purchasers money in respect of off-plan purchases in Dubai. Unfortunately, off-plan property buyers sometimes misunderstand what this means and it does not guarantee the completion of the project. If a buyer chose to invest in a bad project that cannot be delivered due to the project's viability then it is possible the escrow law is unable to help him”
DON’T PUT THE BRAKES ON FINANCIAL REFORM
The rally in global financial markets has provided welcome relief to the UAE economy. But experts warn that it may be coming too soon for the country’s long-term economic health. With global institutions under new pressure to reduce risks, investors have imposed new demands for disclosure on emerging markets everywhere, including the UAE. “Whereas before people were more worried about speed, about missing opportunities, they’re more aware now of the need for documentation,” says Sadiq Jafar, managing partner at Hadef & Partners in Dubai.
FREE LEGAL SERVICE BOOSTS DUBAI REALTY COMMUNITY
The new free legal service to support people embroiled in real estate-related court cases has emerged as a fair way to protect the interests of Dubai's real estate community. One of the local law firms involved in the initiative is Hadef and Partners. Michael Lunjevich, partner at the firm, told Gulf News that "justice for all" is the objective behind the initiative.
GULF BUSINESS CONFIDENCE GROWS
Confidence is growing among business people in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) about their outlook for their companies in the third quarter. In general, people were confident in most aspects of their business, including turnover, profit margins and meeting targets, according to the HSBC Gulf Business Confidence Index. Sadiq Jafar, managing partner of the Dubai office of UAE law firm, Hadef & Partners, said a level of confidence has been returning in some sectors but there has not been a general recovery because of some specific considerations.
PROOF OF FRAUD NEEDED TO FILE CRIMINAL CASES AGAINST DEVELOPERS
Investors can file a criminal case against a developer only if the reason for developer's default is criminal in nature and there is evidence to prove it, according to a lawyer. However, Ashraf Sayed, Associate, Real Estate, Hadef & Partners, said this depends on the location of the development and the actions of the developer. "In general, unless executives of the developer have committed clear criminal acts, it is unlikely that a criminal case would be taken up by the police/public prosecutor," he added.
HURDLES REMAIN FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
According to analysts, the law is likely to take time to be implemented at the local level since several emirates, including the largest three, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, have their own economic departments. “Based on press and legal commentary so far this month, there appear to be some divergent views among business and legal professionals regarding the possible advantages and disadvantages of the new Article 227,” said Sadiq Jafar, managing partner of the Hadef & Partners Dubai office, referring to the amended minimum capital requirement article of the 1984 law. http://www.gulfnews.com/business/General/10342189.html
DOING BUSINESS IN THE UAE MADE EASIER
The minimum capital requirement of Dh150,000 for the establishment of a limited liability company (LLC) in the UAE was abolished on Monday by Presidential Decree. "It's a step forward toward streamlining and opening the environment in the UAE for investments," said Faraj Ahnish, managing partner of Hadef & Partners. Read full story here
NEW LAW TO SAFEGUARD PAYMENTS
A new law intended to give legal certainty to payments and create confidence in transactions involving securities in the financial services industry has come into force. Philip Jolowicz, head of Financial Services at Hadef and Partners, a law firm in Dubai added that the new law was to be welcomed. "Where you have companies that go into insolvency, the moment things go wrong, there can be large numbers of payments for securities in limbo. "It is extremely helpful to know what's going to happen to a security once it goes into the system - the idea is that you know you can get your money back, or get back what you bought."
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FACE-TO-FACE: IS THERE LIQUIDITY IN THE MARKET?
Does the increase in contractor’s claims indicate a feeling that there is liquidity in the market? Anthony Edwards, Head of engineering and construction at UAE-based Hadef & Partners, says I do not correlate increases in claims with liquidity re-entering the system. Such cash comes, on occasions, from returns of prior advance payments and the issue of letters of credit only redeemable later on. Claims are necessitated by projects being stopped and their profitability being annihilated. Contractors won’t see Dubai’s bond issuance as an opportunity to get rich quick.
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LAWYERS' FEES AND RECRUITING SURGE
Sadiq Jafar, Managing Partner at Hadef & Partners' Dubai Office, said: "During the past 12 months we have experienced a noticeable rise in contentious matters, predominantly in real estate, construction and general dispute resolution.
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CASH PROPERTY BUYERS UNWILLING TO TAKE INSURANCE COVER
"Insurance is clearly an additional expense when purchasing a property and many homeowners would not wish to incur this extra cost if they could avoid it," said Brent Baldwin, an Associate at Dubai-based legal firm Hadef & Partners.
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SUCCESS STORY ENDS IN FLIGHT FROM DEBT
“The real core of the issue is that fraud, which is criminal in all countries, is linked here to bounced cheques,” said Sameer Huda, a partner at the law firm Hadef & Partners. “But fraud requires criminal intent, effectively deception to secure an unfair or unlawful gain. If a business suffers a downturn because of the macroeconomic climate or failure of its own business model, then this shouldn’t be linked to fraud if there was no intent to deceive on a payment obligation.”
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ASK A LAWYER: THE STRATA LAW
This week we turn to Michael Lunjevich, a partner at Hadef & Partners, to talk about the strata law. This law is of major importance because it establishes rules for the maintenance of jointly-owned areas of buildings like hotel lobbies, parks, gyms and swimming pools.
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DUBAI VISA RULES EXPLAINED
According to Natalie Morrison, an associate at Hadef & Partners, your visa options are limited when your job ends.
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LEADING UAE LAW FIRM SPONSORS DUBAI RED-TAPE EXPLORER
Sadiq Jafar, Managing Partner of the Dubai office of Hadef & Partners, comments:
'We are proud to support the Dubai Red-Tape Explorer as we have always found it to be a useful tool in helping residents navigate our ever-changing city. Laws, regulations and processes within the Emirate continue to develop and we believe that this guide provides useful step-by-step pointers for those wishing to live, work or do business in Dubai.'
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DUBAI TO REVEAL NEW PROPERTY LAWS
One problem with the law by itself is that many cases fall outside of the situations described in its wording. One example is a purchaser who has paid 80 per cent on a home, but defaults on the remaining amount after completion of the unit. Law 9 says in this case, the buyer loses all their money, which would be clearly “unfair”, said Michael Lunjevich, the head of the property practice at Hadef and Partners.
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HARD-TIMES LAW SUITS ON RISE IN UAE
"There has been a noted increase in litigation since October last year, not just in real estate and construction, but also in shipping litigation and general litigation," said Richard Briggs, executive partner at law firm Hadef & Partners."The financial crisis has led to a lack of liquidity in the system, leading to chains of debt and a subsequent increase in litigation and arbitration," he said in a statement.
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NEW PROPERTY LAW HELPS SOLVE PROPERTY DISPUTES
The laws governing the UAE real estate sector are designed to regulate the industry for creating a stable and sustainable property market. “We are confident the regulations will boost investor confidence and eventually prove favourable to all stakeholders,” Michael Lunjevich, Partner, Hadef and Partners, said.
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PROPERTY CONTRACTS TO BECOME SIMPLE
Lawyers agree that the main points of the contract will remain the same but there will be room for other clauses. "The standard contract is for finished properties between the buyer and the seller, so the secondary market. But you can't legislate everything, you need an element of freedom in a contract. "So it will have standard terms in line with market norms and then any changes will go to a separate [section] to make it fair," Michael Lunjevich, partner at Hadef and Partners, said.
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NO TERMINATION BY INVESTORS
"Courts are a lot busier with terminations& there is certainly a huge rise in legislation right now," Michael Lunjevich, partner at Hadef and Partners, said. Not allowing buyers to cancel their contracts would prevent a lot of people from trying to take advantage of a down market. "If the law allowed people to cancel, there would be a huge influx of people wanting [to cancel]," Lunjevich explained.
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ARE NEW SECURITIES LAWS ON THE WAY IN THE UAE?
They could be, if the uncertainties in the current laws are any indication. In a recent legal brief, Philip Jolowicz at Hadef & Partners outlines a couple of the main areas in which current laws lack clarity and could spur legal reform. Mr Jolowicz goes into them in detail, but I'll focus here on two key areas for those of you who don't have time to read the whole thing. Keep in mind, Jolowicz is talking mainly about laws that apply outside of the DIFC, a tightly-regulated environment where there's far more clarity about securities regulation.
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SARKOZY TO OPEN GULF BASE TODAY
“The treatment parties have received through the current cash crisis ... has revealed a very fragile situation for many contractors,” said Anthony Edwards, head of engineering and construction at Hadef & Partners.
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FIRMS PREFER RECONCILIATION TO WARD OFF UNCERTAINTY
“Many companies are going in for mutual work-out arrangements with debtors as it saves them the risk of uncertainty, losses and may also enable them to exercise options facilitating a closer watch on the company they have lent money to,” Murad Abida, Partner and Head of Corporate at Hadef, Legal Consultants and Advocates, told Emirates Business.
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EXPERTS CALL FOR EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT AND MITIGATION OF UNPAID CREDIT
“An effective management and mitigation of credit risks will improve cash flow, allow businesses to focus on sales effort, secure business growth, ensure trade finance, inculcate disciplined payment terms besides being able to sustain during the global downturn,” explained Murad Abida, partner at Hadef Al Dhahiri Associates, one of the leading legal organisations dealing with credit risk cases.
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JOINT MORTGAGES COULD HELP BOOST REALTY TRADE
Sharia law does not prohibit joint mortgages, but rather the banks are reluctant as they want to secure credit risks, according to Murad Abida, partner at law firm Hadef Al Dhahiri and Associates.
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DUBAI: EXPERTS CALL FOR EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT AND MITIGATION OF UNPAID CREDIT
Speakers at the event included Mr. Mahan Bolourchi, Middle East Head of Risk Management for Euler Hermes, the world's leading credit insurer, along with Mr. Anil Berry, Regional Manager for Euler Hermes, and Mr. Murad Abida, Partner at Hadef Al Dhahiri Associates, one of the leading legal firms dealing with credit risk cases.
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BIDAYA STARTS MENTORSHIP PROGRAMME WITH INDUSTRY LEADER SUPPORT
Bidaya, the education and leadership programme from Zabeel Investments and Nakheel has launched an innovative new student mentor programme with 16 high profile UAE corporates and associations taking part.
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UAE LAW FIRM SELECTS LEXISNEXIS INTERACTION FOR CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT
As a progressive law firm in a highly competitive market Hadef Al Dhahiri is well aware of the need to maintain an edge, and offer a highly professional service to its clients. Using InterAction the firm will be able to deliver a high level of service to its clients by allowing fee earners to access client information rapidly.
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JASPER CAPITAL EXTENDS NETWORK TO INCLUDE ABU DHABI, UAE
Dr Faraj Ahnish, Managing Partner of leading Abu Dhabi law firm Hadef Al Dhahiri & Associates, joins the team of highly experienced consultants as local sponsor and legal advisor to the branch. A number of prestigious assignments are currently underway for several foreign and local companies seeking to establish a presence in the region.
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