Financial services litigation—United Arab Emirates—Q&A guide
Financial services litigation—United Arab Emirates—Q&A guide

The following Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Financial services litigation—United Arab Emirates—Q&A guide
  • 1. What are the most common causes of action brought against banks and other financial services providers by their customers?
  • 2. In claims for the mis-selling of financial products, what types of non-contractual duties have been recognised by the court? In particular, is there scope to plead that duties owed by financial institutions to the relevant regulator in your jurisdiction are also owed directly by a financial institution to its customers?
  • 3. In claims for untrue or misleading statements or omissions in prospectuses, listing particulars and periodic financial disclosures, is there a statutory liability regime?
  • 4. Is there an implied duty of good faith in contracts concluded between financial institutions and their customers? What is the effect of this duty on financial services litigation?
  • 5. In what circumstances will a financial institution owe fiduciary duties to its customers? What is the effect of such duties on financial services litigation?
  • 6. How are standard form master agreements for particular financial transactions treated?
  • 7. Can a financial institution limit or exclude its liability? What statutory protections exist to protect the interests of consumers and private parties?
  • 8. What other restrictions apply to the freedom of financial institutions to contract?
  • 9. What remedies are available in financial services litigation?
  • More...

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to financial services litigation in United Arab Emirates published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: June 2020).

Authors: Herbert Smith Freehills LLP—Sanam Zulfiqar Khan; Stuart Paterson

1. What are the most common causes of action brought against banks and other financial services providers by their customers?

The United Arab Emirates comprises seven emirates, including the emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Abu Dhabi and Dubai have designated certain geographical areas as financial free zones. Those free zones have separate civil and commercial laws to those that apply onshore in the United Arab Emirates, although they remain subject to UAE federal criminal law and anti-money laundering and combating of financing of terrorism laws. Unlike onshore United Arab Emirates, which is a civil-law jurisdiction, the Abu Dubai Global Market and the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) are financial free zones modelled on common law jurisdictions. As a civil law jurisdiction, in the United Arab Emirates (outside the financial free zones), statute is the primary source of law. The judgments of higher courts are not considered binding on lower courts, although they may be considered as useful guidance.

For this chapter, we focus on:

  1. federal laws operating onshore in the United Arab Emirates; and

  2. the DIFC financial free zone.

Although there remain relatively few claims

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