Peter Smith is a Senior Associate in Al Tamimi’s International Litigation practice in Dubai.

He is recommended as a ‘Rising Star’ in the Legal 500, 2020 (Dispute Resolution: Arbitration and International Litigation: Tier 1) and as “notable” in the Legal 500, 2019.

Peter is a barrister with experience of a wide range of civil and commercial disputes and sectors, including banking and finance, employment, media, real estate, technology and construction, and professional negligence.

Peter advises on law in the ADGM, DIFC and QFC, and is an advocate before a range of courts and in arbitration.

Memberships: the DIFC Courts Pro Bono Committee; the ADGM Courts Rules Group; and Al Tamimi’s Innovation and Efficiency, Private Wealth and Law Update Editors committees.

He is interested in legal technology, including remote participation in proceedings and document automation.

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Thought Leadership

Recent Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, “Update on the DIFC Courts”, Linklaters, DIFC, March 2020
  • Speaker, “Dispute resolution in the UAE – arbitration or litigation in on-shore or off-shore courts: is there too much choice?”, World Litigation Forum, Dubai, January 2020
  • Speaker, “Family Business Council Legal Roundtable”, DIFC, November 2019
  • Speaker, “Dispute resolution options for media professionals”, In5 media/Dubai Production City, September 2018
  • Speaker, “Jurisdiction of the DIFC Courts”, presentation to clients, Al Tamimi Abu Dhabi, February 2018
  • Speaker, “Commercial and business contracts: a practical guide to protecting your interests”, Dubai Design District, February 2018
  • Speaker, “Update on the Joint Judicial Committee established by Decree 19 of 2016”, briefing for clients, Al Tamimi DIFC, May 2017
  • Speaker, “Joint Judicial Committee established by Decree 19 of 2016”, briefing for clients, Al Tamimi DIFC, March 2017

Key Publications

  • Frequent contributor to Al Tamimi Law Update
  • Report on Family Business Dispute Resolution in conjunction with the Family Business Council – Gulf (2020)
  • United Arab Emirates-DIFC chapter in Encyclopaedia of International Commercial Litigation (Kluwer Law International) (2019 and 2020; co-author)
  • United Arab Emirates litigation including DIFC and ADGM know-how chapter in Global Arbitration Review (2019)
  • Frequent Lexology contributor including Litigation – Enforcement of foreign judgments in the DIFC 2019
  • Astana’s New Dispute Resolution Institutions: Developing GCC and Kazakhstan’s Relations, UAE Arbitration Yearbook 2019 (LexisNexis)
  • Sovereign Immunity and the Enforcement of Arbitral Awards, UAE Arbitration Yearbook 2017 (LexisNexis)
  • Regular contributor to the Entertainment Law Review (Sweet & Maxwell) on privacy, defamation and data protection cases (2015 to present)
  • Have the cases on relief from sanction under the Civil Procedure Rules, from Mitchell onwards, gone too far? Winner of the London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association Jonathan Brock QC Memorial Prize Essay competition 2014


  • Scholarship from South East Circuit to attend International Advocacy Course, University of Florida, 2015
  • Bar Council Scholarships Trust / London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association International Legal and Professional Development grant to visit Sierra Leone, 2013
  • Bar Mock Trial competition, school assistant, 2014 and 2015
  • South Eastern Circuit International Advocacy Course (Keble College, Oxford), 2012
  • Panel volunteer, Bar Pro Bono Unit (including advising an NGO on pre-publication matters), 2011 to 2016

Recent Experience

  • Recent DIFC & ADGM litigation experience including:
    • (1) Orion Holdings Overseas Limited (2) Orion Global Financial Services LLC (3) Orion Capital Limited (all in liquidation) v (1) Mohammed Abu Al Haj (2) Nidal Abdel Khaleq Abu Al Haj (3) Privatbank IHAG Zurich AG [2015] DIFC CFI 033
    • Mashreq Al Islami Finance Company PJSC (formerly Al Badr Islamic Finance Company PJSC) v Babar Rehman [2017] DIFC CFI 016
    • Tavira Securities Limited v (1) Re Point Ventures FZCO (2) Jai Narain Gupta (3) Mayank Kumar (4) Saroj Gupta [2017] DIFC CFI 026
    • Sunteck Lifestyles Limited v (1) Al Tamimi and Company Limited (2) Grand Valley General Trading LLC [2017] DIFC CFI 048
    • GlobeMed Gulf Healthcare Solutions LLC v Oman Insurance Company PSC [2017] DIFC CFI 015
    • Tatiana Mikhailovna Akhmedova vs (1) Farkhad Teimur Ogly Akhmedov (2) Straight Establishment [2018] CFI-011 and [2018] DIFC CA 003
    • (1) Vinod Sharma (2) Avalon Global Education Services Limited (3) Avalon Heights World Private    School LLC v Sheikh Khaled Saeed Rashid Humaid Al Nuaimi [2018] DIFC CFI 022
    • Laktineh & Co Ltd v (1) Ahmed AlHatti (2) Cayan Real Estate and Development LLC [2020] ADGM CFI 013
    • Request for interpretation in respect of the DIFC Trust and Foundations Law [2020] DIFC CA 002
    • Erik Rubingh v Veloqx RSC [2020] ADGM CFI 0005
  • DIFC enforcement of foreign and domestic judgments and arbitral awards of various seats.
  • Arbitration: proceedings under LCIA/DIFC-LCIA, DIAC and ICC arbitration rules, and ad hoc; applications in the DIFC Courts relating to DIFC-seated arbitrations.
  • Litigation: in the UAE Courts and under UAE law; applications to the Joint Judicial Committee established by Dubai Decree 19 of 2016; expert evidence on DIFC law in support of proceedings in foreign jurisdictions.
  • Legislative drafting: proposed UAE Federal legislation; amendments to existing legislation in Dubai and in DIFC; memorandums of understanding between DIFC DRA and Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah.
  • Foreign laws: the application of foreign laws in proceedings (e.g. New York State, English, Swiss, UAE and other GCC).
  • Employment: advising employees and employers on disputes in the Court of First Instance and the Small Claims Tribunal.
  • Pro bono: assisting in the creation of the ADGM Courts Pro Bono Scheme, including drafting process rules.


  • English
  • French


BA, MA, MPhil – University of Cambridge

Common Professional Examination/Graduate Diploma in Law – City University, London

Bar Vocational Course – Inns of Court School of Law


2019 – Registered practitioner with rights of audience, Astana International Financial Centre Court and International Arbitration Centre

2018 – Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators

2017 – Dubai Legal Affairs Department Legal Consultant

2016 – DIFC Part II Registered Practitioner

2008 – Bar of England & Wales


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