Dubai’s first dedicated business mediation facility – The Mediation Centre – officially launched on May 16, 2016. This is a significant development that will make available a wide range of internationally renowned legal expertise to the UAE for mediating disputes.
Sponsored by the Private Office of His Highness Sheikh Saeed Bin Ahmed Al Maktoum, and with the support of local and international businesses and leading law firms, The Mediation Centre offers traditional Middle Eastern conciliation practices combined with modern mediation techniques. The Mediation Centre will offer parties the best chance of achieving a commercial resolution to their disputes and avoiding costly and time-consuming court action. Together with its partners, The Mediation Centre will also facilitate accredited mediation courses.
In order to obtain input and advice from its stakeholders, HH Sheikh Saeed Bin Ahmed Al Maktoum has created an Advisory Board which he is co-chairing with former High Court Judge, Sir Gavin Lightman.
The Advisory Board consists of leading international and local lawyers and representatives of prominent businesses, including:
· Lubna Qassim, group company secretary and general counsel of Emirates NBD, a leading banking group in the region;
· Martin Kuriger, construction and commercial specialist of Al Rostamani Pegel, the civil contracting arm of the Al Rostamani Group, one of the largest and oldest business conglomerates in the UAE;
· Andrew Greaves, head of the Dubai office of international law firm Addleshaw Goddard, and construction specialist;
· Jumma Al Bawardi, founder of Al Bawardi Legal Advocates and Consultants, a long established UAE law firm;
· James Abbott, head of international law firm Clifford Chance’s construction disputes practice in the Middle East;
· Michael Kerr, managing partner for the Middle East region of international law firm Dentons;
· Abdulrahman Juma, senior litigator and deputy head of Hadef and Partners’ dispute resolution practice;
· Stuart Paterson, dispute resolution partner in Dubai of law firm Herbert Smith Freehills;
· Diana Hamade, lawyer and founder of Dubai law firm International Advocate Legal Services;
· Neal Brendal, international arbitration specialist and Administrative Partner of law firm K&L Gates LLP;
· Tim Taylor QC, Dubai-based partner and solicitor advocate of law firm King & Wood Mallesons;
· Mohammed Al Dahbashi, founder of MAD Advocates Legal Consultants, a full-service UAE law firm;
· Rebecca Kelly, Dubai-based partner of international law firm Morgan Lewis;
· Yann Mrazek, lawyer and Chair of STEP Arabia, the worldwide professional association for those advising families across generations.
Commenting on the launch, Hisham Al-Gurg, CEO of The Private Office of HH Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed al Maktoum, said, “I am delighted that, after much careful planning, The Mediation Centre is now officially launched. We have timed the launch to coincide with the International Bar Association’s inaugural conference focussing on dispute resolution in the Arab region. Sponsored by The Private Office of Sheikh Saeed Bin Ahmed Al Maktoum (www.the-private-office.com), The Mediation Centre will promote and provide alternative dispute resolution – commercial mediation – within the business community of the UAE. The project has received widespread support from the both the legal and business communities of the UAE and worldwide. We are particularly honoured that Sir Gavin Lightman has agreed to act as co-chair of the Centre’s Advisory Board, and we look forward to helping businesses resolve their disputes amicably and focus instead on continued growth.”