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Al Doseri Law secures landmark court of cassation ruling in English language international commercial dispute

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Al Doseri Law secures landmark court of cassation ruling in English language international commercial dispute

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The firm successfully defended an $18 million dispute, marking Bahrain's rise in international litigation

In a precedent-setting case, Al Doseri Law, led by Founding Partner Saad Al Doseri, has successfully defended its client in an $18 million international commercial dispute conducted in English, marking a significant milestone for the Kingdom of Bahrain. The Court of Cassation's ruling on 9 May 2024, which was issued in English, upheld a previous decision from the Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution (BCDR).

This ruling, the first of its kind in Bahrain, highlights the country's growing role as a key jurisdiction for international litigation matters conducted in English and governed by English law. The case stems from a Ministry of Justice for Islamic Affairs and Waqf (MOJ) resolution that allows English to be used in BCDR disputes if the underlying contract is in English. This resolution also mandates that any challenges to such judgments must be heard in English at all judicial levels.

The initial proceedings in November 2023 saw the BCDR rule in favor of Al Doseri Law's client, a decision that was significant not only for its content but also for being conducted entirely in English. The BCDR's decision was presided over by renowned Judge Jan Paulsson, alongside Judge Nadine Debbas Achkar and Dr. Mohamed Abdel Raouf.

The dispute involved a claim exceeding $18 million, which was determined to be governed by English law. The BCDR tribunal concluded that the claimant's claims were time-barred under the Limitation Act 1980, which states that actions founded on simple contracts must be brought within six years from the cause of action. Al Doseri Law successfully argued that their client's communications did not constitute an acknowledgment of liability, thereby not interrupting the statutory limitation period.

The Court of Cassation's decision to uphold the BCDR ruling was significant, with the tribunal led by His Excellency Chief Justice Sheikh Khalid Bin Ali Al Khalifa, assisted by judges Adrian Cole and Michael Grose. The court accepted the appeal in form but dismissed it on merits, ordering the appellant to bear all costs.

Saad Al Doseri commented, “We are delighted to have successfully represented our client in this precedent-setting case. This is an excellent outcome and sets the stage for Bahrain’s commitment to hearing and ruling on complex and high-profile cases in English and governed by English law.”

The success of Al Doseri Law in this landmark case underscores its expertise in handling multi-jurisdictional and international commercial disputes. It also reinforces Bahrain’s position as a leading hub for international commercial disputes, confirming its role as a major judicial jurisdiction for disputes in English and showcasing its commitment to modernising its judicial system to align with global developments in international commercial litigation.

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