Samer Qudah - Managing Partner - Corporate Structuring

Welcome to Law Update June 2020!

Welcome to our regional Financial Crime Focus special! This month offers a comprehensive roundup of the legal and practical issues that are being generated in this difficult risk area across the Middle East. Covering reinforced anti-corruption provisions in Jordan and enforcement of public protection in Oman, to strategic considerations for global investigations and widespread reform in anti-money laundering frameworks, the specialist articles cover the developments and trends that we are witnessing in the region and how businesses can equip themselves to deal with them.

One theme that appears across the articles in the special focus section is the international nature of financial crime threats, which cross borders and affect the global financial system. We see this in many areas, such as investigations that spread across multiple countries, and through the guidance of international organisations such as the Financial Action Task Force (‘FATF’).

Looking to our General section, our experts in Abu Dhabi examine the various options of doing business offered by the Abu Dhabi free zones whilst underlining the pros and cons of each (An Overview of the Abu Dhabi Free Zones). Also in this section, we consider the new Industrial Qatar Design law which highlights the importance of the concepts of originality and novelty in protecting intellectual property rights (The Qatar Industrial Designs Law of 2020: What Changed and What to Expect). Our construction team in Abu Dhabi considers the risk and challenges faced by industry stakeholders in successfully performing their obligations against the backdrop of COVID-19. Our lawyers take the view that parties to a contract are best advised to look, sooner rather than later, at their respective positions at law and under the contract in order to mitigate their potential exposure to risk (COVID-19 and Construction Contracts: The Risks and Challenges Ahead). Our TMT specialists review various policies under regulations that have been issued by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority in the past 12 – 18 months and offer a clear overview of when certain businesses servicing the UAE’s telecommunications and technology sectors may require a physical presence in the UAE (Being Here: Local Presence Requirements for Telecommunications Equipment and IoT Service Providers in the UAE). Finally in this section, our Transport lawyers explore the concept of force majeure (when triggered by circumstances such as the global health crisis) and discuss when and which parties are responsible in situations where cargo is abandoned (Abandoned Cargo during COVID-19).

In our Judgments’ piece, we observe the incisive decision regarding the clarification on travel bans on children (Big Battles over Little Ones: A Recent Court of Appeal Judgment on Travel Bans). Keeping with court decisions, our litigators take a closer look at a judgment that distinguished between the role and responsibilities of managers and shareholders in the UAE (Dubai Court of First Instance Judgment 207 of 2020: Manager and Shareholders’ Liability for Fraudulent Acts).

We hope you find this month’s issue instructive. Should you wish to discuss any of the issues raised in this edition, please feel free to reach out.