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Abu Dhabi Global Market Courts (ADGM Courts) have issued their Litigation Funding Rules in response to the growing interest in third party funding of proceedings in the Middle East and Africa (MENA) region. The new Rules have immediate effect. They apply to ADGM arbitration and ADGM litigation proceedings.
The Rules are enacted under section 225 of the ADGM Courts, Civil Evidence, Judgments, Enforcement and Judicial Appointments Regulations 2015, which regulate litigation funding agreements (including the duty of a funded party to disclose the existence of funding to the court and the other parties).
Generally, the Rules adopt a “light touch”, and focus in on certain fundamental issues, such as qualifying requirements for third party funders, financial and other interests in third party funders, litigation funding arrangements, and conflicts of interest:
A Funder must satisfy the following at the time the Litigation Funding Agreement is made, and continue to satisfy the following:
A Funder must not be owned (whether wholly or partly, and whether directly or indirectly, and whether by way of shares or otherwise) by a lawyer or a law firm:
The enactment of the Rules follows an extensive consultation process in November 2018, in which the ADGM Courts sought the views of the legal and litigation funding communities. The Rules, which are the first comprehensive framework for third party funding in the MENA region, are designed to provide parties and funders with greater certainty in relation to the enforceability of funding arrangements in proceedings for resolving disputes. The Rules are perfectly timed, as we at Al Tamimi & Company see growing interest by third party funders in funding arbitration and litigation proceedings in this region.