(L-R) Awards host Shadia Bseiso; Rovine Chandrasekera, managing partner, Dubai, Stephenson Harwood; awards judge Sahia Ahmad, president, ACC Middle East; Shiraz Sethi, senior associate

Finalists: Al Tamimi & Company (Highly Commended); Clyde & Co; Squire Patton Boggs.

Stephenson Harwood was unveiled as the employment team of the year for its role in advising the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts and Authority on aspects of DIFC employment law.

The firm was hired to produce a comparative commentary on DIFC and UK employment laws to give practitioners insight and guidance into how the laws contrast, creating a body of legal precedents that will help employers better understand the DIFC laws and how they should be interpreted and applied. In addition to that work, the firm was retained by the DIFC Authority to assist it in a review and amendment of existing DIFC employment law, underscoring the firm’s expertise in this area. That involved advising on specific areas of the law, drafting relevant provisions and making proposals for other potential changes where there are gaps in legislation, ensuring the DIFC remains an attractive jurisdiction in which to do business.

The firm will also work with the DIFC Authority ahead of the launch of the new laws by helping raise awareness of the changes to DIFC employers, employees and other stakeholders.

One judge remarked the firm’s contributions have had a significant impact on DIFC employment law and provide the right structure for the future.

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