UAE bans ex-pat advocates

Courts in the UAE have implemented legislation barring the use of expatriate lawyers as advocates.

The restrictions in the Lawyers Law, passed in 1991, only came into force on December 1996. The restrictions are aimed primarily at lawyers from other Arabic-speaking regions.

“It is to encourage the development of domestic lawyers – which is good – but it will prevent many good foreign lawyers from practising [advocacy],” said Andrew Clark, an Allen & Overy partner with experience in the Dubai office.