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Al Doseri Law Wins Ruling in English-Language International Commercial Dispute in Bahrain

Firm defends its client in an $18 million commercial dispute conducted in English

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on May 30, 2024, 12:28:13

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international commercial dispute, al doseri lawfirm, dispute resolution

In a precedent-setting case, Al Doseri Law, under the leadership of founding partner Saad Al Doseri, has successfully defended its client in an $18 million international commercial dispute conducted in English.

The ruling, delivered by the Court of Cassation on May 9, 2024, marks a significant milestone for Bahrain as it upholds a previous decision by the Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution (BCDR). The first of its kind ruling in Bahrain emphasises the country's growing prominence as a key jurisdiction for international litigation conducted in English and governed by English law.

The case arose from a Ministry of Justice for Islamic Affairs and Waqf (MOJ) resolution permitting the use of English in BCDR disputes when the underlying contract is in English. It also requires that any challenges to such judgments be heard in English at all judicial levels.

In November 2023, the BCDR initially ruled in favour of Al Doseri Law's client. This decision was notable not only for its content but also for being conducted entirely in English. The BCDR's ruling was presided over by Judge Jan Paulsson, along with Judge Nadine Debbas Achkar and Dr Mohamed Abdel Raouf.

The dispute involved a claim exceeding $18 million and was determined to be governed by English law. The BCDR tribunal concluded that the claimant's claims were time-barred under the Limitation Act 1980, which stipulates that actions founded on simple contracts must be brought within six years from the cause of action.

Al Doseri Law successfully argued that their client's communications did not constitute an acknowledgement of liability, thereby not interrupting the statutory limitation period. The Court of Cassation's decision to uphold the BCDR ruling was significant, with the tribunal led by Chief Justice Sheikh Khalid Bin Ali Al Khalifa, assisted by judges Adrian Cole and Michael Grose. The court accepted the appeal in form but dismissed it on merits, ordering the appellant to bear all costs.

Saad Al Doseri commented: “We are delighted to have successfully represented our client in this precedent-setting case. This is an excellent outcome and sets the stage for Bahrain’s commitment to hearing and ruling on complex and high-profile cases in English and governed by English law.”

The success of Al Doseri Law in this landmark case underscores its expertise in handling multi-jurisdictional and international commercial disputes. It also solidifies Bahrain’s position as a leading hub for international commercial disputes, confirming its role as a major judicial jurisdiction for disputes in English and showcasing its commitment to modernising its judicial system in line with global developments in international commercial litigation.

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