Peter Smith is a Senior Associate in the Litigation practice in Dubai. He is recommended as “notable” in the Legal 500, 2019 (Dispute Resolution: Arbitration and International Litigation: Tier 2)
Peter is a barrister with experience of a wide range of commercial disputes, including banking and finance, technology and construction, and professional negligence (acting for both claimants and defendants, including professional indemnity insurers). He has also represented claimants in employment tribunal proceedings. Peter has extensive knowledge of media law including defamation (both libel and slander), malicious falsehood, data protection and media regulation.
Peter came to the firm from the English Bar on a Pegasus Scholarship, during which he spent time at the DIFC Courts and Dispute Resolution Authority. He has wide experience of DIFC Courts’ law and practice. Memberships: the DIFC Dispute Resolution Authority Pro Bono Clinic; the Abu Dhabi Global Market Courts Young Lawyers Liaison Group; and Al Tamimi’s Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship, Private Wealth, Knowledge Management and Law Update Editors committees. He is interested in legal technology, including remote participation in proceedings and document automation.
- Recent DIFC 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  CFI-033 (jurisdiction; permission to appeal)
- Mashreq Al Islami Finance Company PJSC (formerly Al Badr Islamic Finance Company PJSC) v Babar Rehman  CFI-016 (breach of Ijarah residential property agreement)
- Tavira Securities Limited v (1) Re Point Ventures FZCO (2) Jai Narain Gupta (3) Mayank Kumar (4) Saroj Gupta  CFI-026 (breach of contract; jurisdiction)
- Sunteck Lifestyles Limited v (1) Al Tamimi and Company Limited (2) Grand Valley General Trading LLC  CFI-048 (interim injunction)
- GlobeMed Gulf Healthcare Solutions LLC v Oman Insurance Company PSC  CFI-015 (ongoing)
- Associa MENA Owners Association Services v IT-UP-02 Index Tower Residential Body Corporate  SCT-355
- (1)Vinod Sharma (2) Avalon Global Education Services Limited (3) Avalon Heights World Private School LLC v Sheikh Khaled Saeed Rashid Humaid Al Nuaimi  CFI-022 (interim injunction)
- Applications in the DIFC Courts relating to DIFC-seated arbitrations and the enforcement of foreign judgments and domestic and foreign-seated arbitral awards.
- Experience of litigation in the UAE Courts (particularly Dubai 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 (principally Singapore).
- Legislative drafting: proposed 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: experienced in the application of foreign laws in proceedings including New York State, English, UAE and other GCC, and Swiss.
- Arbitration: experience of arbitration proceedings under LCIA/DIFC-LICA, DIAC and ICC arbitration rules.
- Employment: advising employees and employers on disputes in the Court of First Instance and the Small Claims Tribunal in respect of DIFC and English employment law (e.g. restrictive covenants/non-compete clauses; bonus and other clawbacks; injunctive relief; third party disclosure; statutory rights).
- Commercial litigation: disputes involving sales of goods and the supply of goods and services; misrepresentation claims and litigation over distribution agreements; general banking and finance contacts (including derivatives); and real property.
- Alternative dispute resolution: acting for numerous SMEs and sole traders in the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s Interest Rate Hedging Product Review, including very substantial awards of basic redress and consequential losses (MJH Executive Homes Limited and MJH Investments Limited).
- Media: acting on behalf of individuals, charities and companies in disputes involving libel and slander, malicious falsehood, privacy and confidence, and data protection breaches. E.g. one of the first cases to test the requirement of serious harm to reputation under s.1 Defamation Act 2013 (Sam Theedom v (1) Nourish Training t/a CSP Recruitment (2) Colin Sewell  EWHC 3769 (QB) and  EWHC 1364 (QB)). Also involved in proceedings brought against Google, Inc., on behalf of a number of anonymous clients pursuing claims under the ‘right to be forgotten’ principles (NT1 and NT2 v Google LLC  EWHC 799 (QB)).
- Professional liability and insurance: claims against solicitors, accountants and IFAs, including very high value work; acting on behalf of professional indemnity insurers including policy coverage issues. E.g. MCashback Limited (in liquidation) v Nabarro Nathanson (a firm) part of a team representing a company in liquidation in a professional negligence claim against the company’s former solicitors (a ‘silver circle’ London firm), one of the UK’s largest commercial claims in 2014. £10+m in damages were recovered on behalf of the liquidator; the defendant also agreed to pay the company’s costs under the terms of the confidential settlement.
- Technology and construction: contractual disputes involving range of public and private clients; professional negligence disputes in related fields, e.g. engineers, architects and surveyors.
- Costs disputes, including successful detailed assessment of multi-million pound bill of costs involving conditional fee agreements and ATE insurance (MCashback).
Recent Speaking Engagements
- 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
- United Arab Emirates litigation including DIFC and ADGM know-how chapter in Global Arbitration Review (forthcoming, 2019)
- United Arab Emirates-DIFC chapter in Encyclopaedia of International Commercial Litigation (Kluwer Law International) (2019 revision; co-author)
- Frequent Lexology contributor including Litigation – Enforcement of foreign judgments in the DIFC 2019
- Report on Family Business Dispute Resolution in conjunction with the Family Business Council – Gulf (forthcoming, 2019)
- Sovereign Immunity and the Enforcement of Arbitral Awards, UAE Arbitration Yearbook 2017 (LexisNexis)
- Reshaping civil justice – enhancing the inquisitorial system, Society of Conservative Lawyers, 2015
- Regular contributor to the Entertainment Law Review (Sweet & Maxwell) on privacy, defamation and data protection cases (2015 to present)
- The problem of the non-justiciability of religious defamations Denning Law Journal, University of Buckingham, Vol 21, No.1 (2015)
- 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
- Towards the reasonable accommodation of religious freedom Denning Law Journal, University of Buckingham, Vol 1, No.1 (2014)
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