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A Norton Rose lawyer is the first English solicitor to be appointed as an arbitrator in the Middle East's leading arbitration centre, the Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC)
It coincides with the appointment of Norton Rose commercial litigator Charles Evans as the draftsman of Bahrain's anti-terrorism laws, which currently do not comply with UN and Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards. Evans was responsible for drafting Bahrain's anti-money laundering laws, which came into force last year. Nominated by the Bahrain National Insurance Company, the new arbitrator, Norton Rose senior assistant Abd-ullah Mutawi, works in the firm's Bahrain office. This follows the firm's representation of the insurance company in actions relating to property damage sustained during a storm in November 2000, which destroyed part of Norton Rose's Bahrain office. Six Middle Eastern countries are members of the GCC. It is expected to take on more of the disputes relating to the Middle East that are presently handled elsewhere. Mutawi said: "It is cheaper, more simple in terms of procedure, less formal and parties are guaranteed a very fast turnaround, as there's no backlog in its system." The anti-terrorism legislation, which is expected to be introduced in June and to become a model for other Middle Eastern states, broadly covers the primary offence of using funds for the financing of terrorism, forfeiture of property, and establishing reporting procedures. Evans was commissioned by the Bahrain Ministry of Finance and National Economy after the state discovered its anti-terrorism rules did not comply with UN conventions on the financing of terrorism and the FATF rules.