Dubai: The Dubai Design and Fashion Council (DDFC) today signed a cooperation agreement with the DIFC Dispute Resolution Authority (DRA), including DIFC Courts, to pave the way for wider adoption of the English-language, international law courts system.

Companies in the DDFC will be able to opting into the DIFC Courts’ Small Claims Tribunal (SCT) using a standard contract clause. Through the SCT, firms with claims can access a virtual courtroom online from anywhere in the world.

With the option of serving notice via instant messaging and social media, business owners can now solve legal problems using their smartphones or laptops with minimal interruption even as they travel. Eighty-five per cent of cases are settled within four weeks.
Amna Al Owais, deputy chief executive of the DRA, said: “As Dubai is transformed into an international design and fashion hub, new enterprises need protection to innovate and trade securely as well as to safeguard the intellectual property that is their lifeblood. Adopting DIFC Courts as a jurisdiction of choice will give them the ability to draw up English language contracts that can be understood, negotiated and enforced in every corner of the globe.”

The agreement expands access for DDFC members to the region’s first pro bono programme, operated by the DIFC Academy of Law. Eligible businesses and individuals, such as design start-ups on extremely limited funding, will have the opportunity to benefit from free legal advice.