Biography

Diego is a commercial litigation practitioner; his main areas of expertise are Banking, Real Estate and Financial mis-selling disputes with regulatory aspects before the DIFC Courts, Dubai Courts and International Arbitral Tribunals. Diego has advised on a considerable number of matters that have established legal precedents in England and the DIFC Courts.

Prior to joining Al Tamimi Diego worked for a Boutique Litigation Law firm in the DIFC and Linklaters LLP in London where he assisted on the antitrust compliance element of the high profile transatlantic merger between Deutsche Börse and the NY Stock Exchange and later moved to Hogan Lovells’ Commercial Litigation practice also in London. Prior to commencing a career in Law, Diego was elected and served as the Vice-President of the University of London Union.

Diego graduated from Queen Mary University of London with a BA in German and Economics before obtaining an LLM from BPP University.

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Recent Experience

  • CFI 026/2009: Al Rafed Abdul Mohsen Bader Al Khorafi & 2 Others v Bank Sarasin–Alpen (ME) Limited & 1 Other. This is a significant judgment, which established the landmark precedent on the jurisdiction of the DIFC courts and mis-selling of financial products in the DIFC. The Court analysed many complex legal and factual issues relating to alleged regulatory breaches, it was also the first case in the region to be partially funded by third party litigation funding. The case continues to be closely monitored by practitioners and judges across the common law world as it is likely to have a major impact on financial institutions in the region. It could also lead to further changes in the law in the scope of the DFSA and COB rules, which regulate the activities of banks and financial institutions in the DIFC.
  • CFI/026/2014: Standard Chartered Bank v Investment Group Private Limited – The claim is worth USD 130 million and arises out various loan facilities and securities. The Defendant requested that the DIFC Court decline jurisdiction of the claim on forum non conveniens grounds, which had not been fully tested before the court.
  • CFI 024/2010 and CFI 008/2013: Corinth Pipeworks SA v Barclays Bank PLC consolidated with Barclays Bank PLC v Afras Ltd (Part 21) – Instructed by the Part 21 Defendant (Afras Ltd) in a complex tri-partite action in the DIFC Court. The Claimant alleged that the Defendant (Barclays) conspired with the Part 21 Defendant to defraud the Claimant. As a result of the alleged fraud, the Claimant sought to recover losses in excess of USD 24 million. The Defendant in turn sought an Order for indemnity against the Part 21 Defendant if found liable. This is another commonly cited case setting out the parameters of the jurisdiction of the DIFC Court.
  • CFI 034/2012 and CFI 046/2012: Amit Dattani & Masood Rahman v Damac Park Towers Company Limited (consolidated proceedings) – This was the first time that the DIFC Court was required to consider the question of what possession and occupation means in a real estate context. In a judgment given by Chief Justice Hwang, it was held that Damac’s failure to hand over units, which were safe for possession and occupation, entitled the Claimants to terminate the SPAs. The Court of Appeal dismissed Damac’s appeal in upholding the CFI judgment and awarded the Claimants their costs. This is a landmark real estate case in the DIFC, which will alleviate investor concerns in relation to developer delays in completing off-plan projects. Further enforcement proceedings were issued, which resulted in the Park Towers development being attached and forced Damac to pay the judgment sums before being allowed to dispose of its DIFC Park Towers inventory.
  • [2013] EWHC 1039: Grupo Hotelero Urvasco S.A. V Carey Value Added S.L. – The reported judgment followed a nine-week trial in the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court of England & Wales, involving sixteen witnesses of fact and six areas of expert evidence.  This is a landmark case on the interpretation of material adverse change. The case also raised issues of accountancy, Spanish law (including interpretation of the loan agreement), quantity surveying, planning and programming (in a construction context) and the business and operation of hotels.
  • CFI 015/2015: Asif Hakim Adil v Frontline Development Partners Limited – This dispute has created a new precedent on the interpretation of article 18 (2) of the DIFC Employment Law, namely where an employer fails to pay wages or any other amount owing to an employee upon the termination of the employment, the employer is liable to pay the employee a penalty equivalent to the last daily wage for each day the employer is in arrears.

Language(s)

  • English
  • Spanish
  • German

Education

2015 – LLM, BPP Law School

2011 – Legal Practice Course, BPP Law School

2007 – BA in German and Economics, Queen Mary University of London and Freie Universität Berlin

Admission

2014 – Solicitor, England and Wales

2014 – DIFC Courts, Registered Part I Practitioner

2014 – The Government of Dubai, Legal Affairs Department, Legal Consultant (unrestricted)