Tim Jenns acted for the Claimant in its successful defence of a challenge to the jurisdiction of the DIFC Court in Dubai, in the first reinsurance case to be heard before the DIFC Court.
Rival claims had been filed by the parties in the DIFC Court and the Abu Dhabi Court. The jurisdiction hearing raised novel issues concerning the application of the principles of forum non conveniens between the courts of two different Emirates of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the limits of jurisdiction between local courts within the UAE and the UAE Union Supreme Court (USC).
The Court concluded that the DIFC Court had jurisdiction over the dispute and that the principles offorum non conveniens did not apply between the DIFC Court and another UAE court but only between the DIFC Court and a non-UAE court. Accordingly, there was no basis for staying the proceedings in favour of the Abu Dhabi Court.
The Court also refused to stay the DIFC proceedings in order to allow the USC to determine an alleged conflict of jurisdiction between the Abu Dhabi Court and the DIFC Court. It held that the USC only had jurisdiction to intervene to resolve a conflict once there were two final and conflicting judgments issued by separate UAE courts. That had not yet occurred.
The judgment can be found here.