News 25 Oct. 2007

Curtis Wins First Judgment in Dubai International Financial Centre Courts

October 25, 2007, New York, NY - International law firm Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP (“Curtis”) has won the first judgment handed down by the Judicial Authority of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts on behalf of its client, Daman Real Estate Capital Partners Limited.

Curtis successfully defended Daman Real Estate in an action brought against the company by a minority shareholder, which sought to challenge the company's articles of association, corporate governance and management arrangements. Applying the DIFC's companies law, as well as principles of common law in effect in major common law jurisdictions, Justice Michael Hwang ruled in favor of Daman Real Estate in a judgment handed down on 24 July 2007. The action, which began in May 2006, culminated in a three-day trial.

In ruling in favor of Daman Real Estate, the Court found that the claimant, as a minority shareholder, lacked standing to challenge the company's contractual arrangements, and that its challenge to the validity of the company's articles of association could not be sustained in light of the subsequent validation of the articles by an overwhelming majority of the company's shareholders.

Charles L.O. Buderi, managing partner of Curtis' London office, led the defense of Daman Real Estate. He was assisted by Curtis partner Tom Mackay and associate Chrysoula Kounoupa.

“Winning the first judgment in the DIFC is significant in many ways for Curtis,” said Mr. Buderi. “Besides making a bit of history, our firm's representation of Daman Real Estate in the DIFC reflects our strategic focus in the Middle East and Europe, where we continue to expand.”

Curtis has recently expanded its offices in Muscat, Frankfurt, London and Paris and opened a new office in Istanbul.

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts were established in 2004 and are an independent judicial system which deals with matters arising from and within the DIFC. The laws of the DIFC courts have been based on those of other common law countries and are designed to ensure the highest international standards of legal procedure.