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UAE lawyers shouldn't be shaking in their boots.

Summary: Common law courts have increased jurisdiction, which may take away some business to Emirati lawyers. But Precious de Leon thinks they should look to Wal*Mart victims for inspiration.

All the mom-and-pop stores hate Wal*Mart. A lot of people also love to hate the brand. So how does Wal*Mart continue to grow and make billions of dollars for the Waltons? Because a lot more people love shopping in these gigantic discount retail stores.

And in the warped way that we at Kipp see the world, this is exactly how I see the recent reforms to the legal system is going to affect the lawyers in Dubai.

Yeah you heard that right. The DIFC Courts are like Wal*mart cutting into the business shares of the Emirati lawyers, who are in this case the mom-and-pop stores that are finding hard to survive now that their usual customers have found new favour in the big retailer.

Soon after the Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, issued a decree expanding the jurisdiction of the DIFC Courts courts, The National published an article that talked about the potential for lawyers in the local court system to lose business because people will opt to go to the common law courts instead.

Throughout the article, lawyers and legal advocates were holding their breathes about whether or not the decree was going to be good for the local court system. But mostly, potential court clients were welcoming the decision.

In case you're wondering, Kipp thinks the decree is a good idea. It's Dubai acceptance of a number of things:

that there is a backlog of cases in the local courts that the DIFC court could help alleviate

that there is a vast number of cases that are faster to resolve using the common law courts--Dubai is a salad bowl of expatriates doing business after all.

So while DIFC may be a preferred by a lot of clients, Emirati lawyers can only really do what those mom-and-pop outlets are doing to survive the opening of a Wal*Mart near their store:

Create a unique, personalised service that big anonymous courts may find difficult to deliver.

Reinforce loyalties among current customers

Create a better structured, more efficient way of doing out-of-court settlements to entice and encourage legal-resolve seekers to avail of their services.

While it may take time for cases to be registered under the new decree, it would make good sense for lawyers to do this anyway. Against our nature, Kipp is proud of the fact that we avoided lawyer jokes and puns throughout this whole article. Whew.

2011 Dubai Business | Kippreport. All Rights Reserved.

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Date:Nov 9, 2011
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