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Finalists: Al-Ansari & Associates; Baker McKenzie; Charles Russell Speechlys (Highly Commended); Dentons; DWF (Middle East); Hadef & Partners; KBH Kaanuun; Stephenson Harwood.

Clyde & Co collected the Litigation Team of the Year award for helping its client swiftly secure injunctive relief from the DIFC courts to prevent the release of documents that would have been financially painful.

The documents were held under an escrow agreement and the injunction against their release also raised jurisdictional issues, namely what is meant by ‘courts of Dubai’ in the context of provisions related to opting into the DIFC courts’ jurisdiction. The other party in the escrow agreement contested the injunction on the grounds that the DIFC courts lacked authority because the parties had agreed to the jurisdiction of the onshore Dubai courts.

Thanks to the firm’s prompt understanding of the issues and through identifying a strategy to obtain relief for the client (with about $100m at stake), Clyde & Co was able to obtain the initial injunction (courtesy of a late-night dash to deliver documents to the judge at their home) and then argue for the injunction to be upheld (given that the escrow agent was based in the DIFC, and therefore subject to its courts’ jurisdiction).

“Clyde & Co demonstrated remarkable expertise and professionalism and adopted an effective collaborative approach to protect the interests of its client,” a judge said.


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