Sunday, 7 April 2013

DIFC Courts Code of Best Professional Practice

On 27 March 2013 the Dubai International Financial Centre ("the DIFC") Courts published a Code of Best Legal Professional Practice (the "Code"). According to the Foreword by the Chief Justice, Michael Hwang SC, the Code has no statutory or regulatory underpinning just yet but the provisions relating to litigation will be incorporated into the Code of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners (Practice Direction No. 2 of 2009). Moreover, the courts will regard the Code as a benchmark for behaviour and professional standards and any "failure by a DIFC lawyer or a DIFC firm to behave in accordance with the Code is likely to have consequences for that lawyer or firm in the event that such conduct becomes relevant to any case or hearing that comes before the DIFC Courts."

The Code applies to those who appear as advocates before the courts as well as those who conduct legal business in the DIFC and covers non-contentious as well as contention work  The Chief Justice says that the Code is
"based on established professional conduct rules drawn from different jurisdictions. It has been the subject of review by those who practise in the UAE. It has also been the subject of public consultation."
It certain;y seems to have drawn heavily on both the Code of Conduct of the Bar of England and Wales and the SRA Code of Conduct.

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