Samer Qudah - Partner, Head of Corporate Structuring - Corporate Structuring

Welcome to November’s Law Update.

As we move towards the end of what has been a particularly challenging year, it is befitting that the main focus of this edition is healthcare. Thankfully, it seems the world has turned a corner with a number of vaccines on the horizon; however, COVID-19 is not the only topic our Healthcare Practice Group explores as they explain and analyse an array of healthcare industry related legal and regulatory developments across the MENA region, as detailed by Andrea Tithecott and Christina Sochacki.

On the Kuwaiti legal side,  a number of key developments are examined commencing with the rapid evolution of the country’s legal system, which, over the past decade, has witnessed positive developments that offer companies and investors (internationally and regionally) certainty and comfort when doing business in Kuwait. The newly approved bankruptcy law, designed to increase protection for troubled businesses as well as provide options to avoid bankruptcy before being forced by the law to declare bankruptcy, is analysed by our Kuwaiti experts who highlight the importance of this law in modernising the country’s legal system. Remaining with the financial sector, our Banking team highlights considerations to be taken into account by creditors when accepting guarantees, which includes warnings of potential pitfalls to avoid.

Our General articles cover a variety of matters, including the new Data Protection Law introduced by the Dubai International Financial Centre, which our lawyers discuss as being critical to protecting confidential, sensitive, and personal information. Mindful of the uncertainty of the current COVID-19 climate, our Private Client team recommends the importance of reviewing and ensuring careful estate and succession planning in the UAE. Another practical implication of the pandemic to be considered is the way in which annual leave has been used and how excess leave, accruals, and carry -overs should be addressed in the UAE. On a lighter note, our TMT practice group considers the lucrative nature of the world of video gaming and the opportunities it provides to clients to potentially diversify their business in this fast changing technological world.

As the trading partnership between the Middle East and East Africa continues to blossom, encouraging developments in the arbitration arena are being reported, with East African countries seeking to align their paths of legal recourse with those of international treaties.

Moving to Qatar, we provide an introduction to the funds’ regime in the Qatar  Financial  Centre,  highlighting the types of funds that may be established as well as discussing the differences between such types of funds.

Last month, a key development to a longstanding staple instrument of business transactions in the United Arab Emirates, the cheque, was introduced via the new Commercial Transactions Law. The new law proposes to relax the penalties relating to bounced cheques, whilst offering new forms of protection for credit-based commercial transactions.

I hope you enjoy this edition. Should you have any queries or comments, please do not hesitate to reach out.