Dubai is one of the fastest growing cities throughout the United Arab Emirates as well as across the Middle East. With a very aggressive promotion of Free Zones for foreign investors as well as a welcoming, friendly business sector outside of the free trade zones, this is seen as an ideal location to open a business.
With this increase in moving into the country by foreigner business owners and employees as well as with increasing opportunity for nationals to open businesses, there is an increase in the need for professional services. Lawyers in Dubai are in significant demand both to consult on business and corporate issues as well as to provide legal defense when needed.
This increase in demand for services has resulted in several changes in the legal professional within Dubai. Lawyers in the city are now licensed, which is an important difference to the way things have been done in the past. Additionally, with a large number of international business professionals in the area, there is an increased need for legal services in both Arabic as well as other languages. In many cases, particularly in legal matters dealing with company formation and corporate law, the international legal experience will be a must for the business owner to consider when hiring a lawyer.
As in any country or area of the world, finding the best lawyers in Dubai to represent your interests should be a top priority. Too often people make the mistake of simply choosing a name from an online search, which may result in top representation or it may not. Taking the guesswork out of hiring a lawyer by researching the professional as well as the law firm is time well spent.
Corporate Legal Issues
Finding a lawyer in Dubai for corporate legal issues including business formation, sponsorship agreements, registration of business, trademark laws, real estate or patent law should start very early in the process.
By consulting with a Dubai-based law firm with a solid reputation in corporate and business legal services before making any decisions or choices, foreign as well as national business owners can avoid common mistakes that may end up limiting their options or costing them money in the future.
Generally, these law firms are larger firms in the country and in the city. They typically have offices across the United Arab Emirates, and the top law firms will have international offices as well.
For foreigner investors, this makes getting early legal consultation and support in opening a business in a free zone or with a national outside of the free zones much easier and more efficient. The lawyer will guide the process, ensuring all necessary steps are completed in the correct order, and all required documentation is provided to the correct authority at each phase of the process.
Look for a law firm that is recommended by other business owners. This information is often easy to find by asking for referrals from other foreign business owners or through online reviews of law firms in Dubai. Check specifically with the area of practice that is relative to your case and always ask about experience in representing clients when contacting a representative of the law firm.
There are also law firms that will assist with dispute resolution between businesses. In Dubai, as in other parts of the UAE, direct negotiation, as well as mediation, is seen as a time and cost-effective option to resolve these types of disputes. Involving the courts is a more costly and time-consuming process that is not the same as civil cases in the United States or other parts of the Western world.
For specific types of corporate or business law issues, the Dubai International Finance Center (DIFC) courts may be used. These are independent courts that operate on common law principles, and they are exclusively used for commercial and civil cases involving companies and individuals where the DIFC has jurisdiction
Often foreign individuals in Dubai find they have violated a law and are being charged with a criminal offense. In these cases, unlike in business dealings, the need to find an experienced lawyer often means making a quick decision to ensure the best possible legal representation in a very emotional and stressful time.
The best option to find an experienced criminal lawyer in Dubai is to choose one of the larger law firms that have international attorneys with significant experience in criminal defense cases.
These companies will have attorneys with the necessary licensing for the courts in Dubai as well as meeting all requirements for speaking Arabic and working through the various courts. Expertise in the specific type of case from drug abuse or drug possession or trafficking charges to fraud, extradition issues, and even assault or other serious types of crimes is always essential.
It is possible to have a government-appointed lawyer, which is provided in cases where the death sentence is a possibility. In many cases, and when the accused can afford his or her own lawyer, hiring private legal representation is an important consideration. This will ensure that the necessary legal expertise and resources can be provided for a complete defense of the case.
Foreigners in Dubai need to understand the specific charges or issues at hand for any type of a criminal charge or if there is a business, contract or another type of dispute. The court systems work very differently in Dubai than in Western countries, and often incorrect assumptions about options, procedures, and even possible outcomes are incorrect.
By working with a qualified, respected and experienced lawyer in Dubai, all issues will be completely and thoroughly explained to the individuals involved. In some situations, the lawyer can resolve the issue without the need to involve the court, which provides a benefit for all involved. This is particularly true in civil cases where the speedy resolution of the matter allows everyone to address the issue and create a solution that is fair.
In all courts, it will be necessary to ensure that the legal representative selected, has to experience with that particular court. Specialized courts are not available in Dubai as in other areas of the world, so the lawyer may be presenting a case, in writing, to a judge with limited experience with that specific subject matter.
Understanding how to present information to the court, what notifications need to be made and how to proceed through a complex legal system is essential with any type of case. It will also be essential in criminal matters for the lawyer selected to be familiar with Islamic Shariah Law, to have the ability to access experts to provide information to the courts.
Even with business consultations, the quality of legal advice and information is essential to the business registration process. Having access to a top lawyer and law firm ensures that the business owner understands all choices and options when starting a business in the Dubai free zones or when entering into a sponsorship agreement with a Dubai national.
Take the time to review and research top law firms in Dubai before hiring a lawyer. This is the only way to ensure the legal firm retained has the experience and expertise to provide quality representation for your specific case.