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Finalists: Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) (Highly Commended); Twofour54 Abu Dhabi.

The DIFC Academy of Law landed the Legal Department of the Year award for a government department, agency or public body in recognition of its efforts to develop the GCC legal system as a platform for economic growth.

The team, which is comprised of two lawyers and two para-professionals, aims to deliver this strategic vision by collaborating with global industry bodies to help local lawyers gain qualifications that would prepare them for international commercial law practice.

For example, through the Academy’s engagement with US bar review-course provider BARBRI, GCC-based students can sit New York and California bar exams. It also provides opportunities for students to sit the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme to become solicitors in England and Wales.

The Academy has a pro bono service that provides free legal advice and community-based legal education programmes, and it also offers scholarships to students through tuition waivers.

Other activities include the publication of DIFC courts commentaries and academic literature, and training and workshops on DIFC laws, court procedures and advocacy.

“The kind of work that [the Academy] is doing is so vital for this region and the submission reflects the wide range and scope of their efforts,” a judge enthused.

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