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HomeCompaniesASAR – Al Ruwayeh & Partners co-organized with the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce – Paris (ICC) a seminar on arbitration

ASAR – Al Ruwayeh & Partners co-organized with the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce – Paris (ICC) a seminar on arbitration

Enhancing Kuwait’s arbitration legal framework in order to render Kuwait a more attractive arbitration venue in the region

Kuwait – 10 May 2017

ASAR – Al Ruwayeh & Partners (ASAR), Kuwait’s leading corporate, litigation and finance law firm, co-organized a leading seminar on arbitration with the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce – Paris (ICC). The ICC is one of the oldest and most renowned arbitration institutions in the world and received in 2016, 966 new cases involving 3,099 parties from 137 countries, which constitutes a record year since the establishment of the Court in 1923.

The seminar was held on Tuesday, 9 May 2017 at the JW Marriot Hotel in Kuwait City with the presence of, the French and Ukrainian ambassadors, senior representatives from the ICC, renowned arbitrators and arbitration practitioners from Kuwait and the region and ASAR partners and lawyers, who shared significant insights on the new ICC rules of arbitration and the arbitration legal framework in Kuwait.

The seminar was specifically designed and organized to shed light on the latest amendments to the ICC Rules of Arbitration which came into force as of 1 March 2017 and the arbitration legal landscape in Kuwait which requires certain enhancements to strengthen foreign investors’ protection and encourage them to increase their investment in the country.

The seminar was comprised of two panels and featured key note speeches by ICC senior representatives, Mrs Ziva Filipic and Sami Jouerbi, Prof. Mohammad Abdulwahab (vice President of the ICC International Court of Arbitration), Dr. Yousef Al Ali (former minister of Commerce and Industry of Kuwait) in addition to ASAR’s representatives, Ahmed Barakat and Ibrahim Sattout.

The first panel highlighted the expedited procedures system introduced by the latest amendments to the ICC Rules of Arbitration designed for cases of lower value claims I.e., which does not exceed 2 million US Dollars) with reduced scales of fees.  These procedures aim to accelerate the arbitration proceedings through, among others things, the referral of the matter to a single arbitrator (as opposed to three arbitrators) notwithstanding any contrary agreement between the parties, permitting the arbitrator to decide on the dispute based on the documents exchanged by the parties without the need to held hearings, and issuing the arbitral award within a six months period.

The second panel focused on the arbitration legal landscape in Kuwait and discussed the main challenges for investors with respect to arbitration in Kuwait, including the restrictions set by the Council of Ministers’ decisions of 1988 and 1990 on government institutions, ministries and government owned companies to resort to arbitration with respect to contracts and projects implemented in Kuwait except with the approval of the Council of Ministers, the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards on the basis of the New York Convention of 1958 for the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards, and the various enhancements to the arbitration legal framework and which are critical to strengthen foreign investors’ confidence and to render Kuwait a more attractive venue for arbitration in the region.

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Mr. Ahmed Barakat, Managing Partner at ASAR said: “It gives ASAR great pleasure to have co-organized such a prominent event with the ICC International Court of Arbitration; we are also honored to have had the presence of the French and Ukrainian ambassadors in addition to the prominent and renowned speakers.   We have been working closely with public institutions and ministries in Kuwait and with international customers and have been aware of the importance and role of arbitration in encouraging foreign investments by providing investors with familiar tools to address disputes in the most efficient, fair and impartial manner.

Mr. Ibrahim Sattout, Partner at ASAR said: “Today’s seminar has played a major role in outlining the importance for Kuwait of having a strong arbitration legal framework in line with international standards. It is of prime importance to have these types of platforms organized among the public authorities, industry experts and other key market players to exchange ideas on how to enhance the efficiency, reliability and transparency of the investment market landscape in Kuwait.”

With dedicated offices in Kuwait and Bahrain coupled with its associated offices and relationships, ASAR provides clients across an extensive range of industry sectors with bespoke, practical legal advice and support for their business activities in Kuwait, Bahrain, across the GCC and beyond. The firm has been consistently rated as the leading corporate and litigation firm in Kuwait by reputable legal guides such as the International Financial Law Review (IFLR), Chambers Global Guide, and Legal 500. In 2016, ASAR was acknowledged as the IFLR Kuwaiti Law Firm of the Year; an award which ASAR has been delighted to receive for 8 consecutive years.

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About ASAR – Al Ruwayeh & Partners (ASAR)
ASAR – Al Ruwayeh & Partners (“ASAR”) is Kuwait’s leading tier one corporate law firm and one of the most prominent firms operating across the GCC. ASAR provides clients with comprehensive legal support for their business activities. Together with its office in Bahrain, the firm advises a broad array of local and international businesses in both the public and private sectors. ASAR operates across an extensive list of practices that include banking and finance, capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, privatizations, corporate and commercial transactions, energy, real estate, restructuring, private equity, shipping, employment, environment, franchising, insurance, agencies and distributorships, construction, government projects, intellectual property, securities, taxation, commercial litigation and arbitration. The firm has been consistently rated as the leading corporate and commercial law firm in Kuwait by legal guides such as the Chambers Global Guide, International Financial Law Review and the Legal 500.

© Press Release 2017

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