A New Abu Dhabi court Fees Law, bode better Future of Litigation in Abu Dhabi UAE
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On 26 July 2017, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi issued Law No. 13 of 2017 concerning the Judicial Fees payable in the emirate (“AD Fees Law”).The law, which will came into force on 26/8/2017, regulates the fees payable before the local courts, replacing Abu Dhabi Law No. 6 of 2013.
This article aims to discuss this law, its impact on the dispute resolution landscape in the UAE in general and litigation in particular. The article will look into the future of dispute resolution and whether the new law will create a fertile ground for the adoption of litigation funding in the UAE, and in particular, funding of the court fees incurred by litigants.
The AD Fees Law
The law put a cap on fees payable before the civil courts of first instance, which had been AED 3% of the value of the claim with no cap.
By virtue of this new law the court fees is now 5% with a cap of AED 40000.00 forty thousand only.
The court fees on legalizing the arbitration award was calculated on the amount of claim, by the new court fees law in Abu Dhabi it imposed a specific amount of AED 5000.00 five thousand only.
The law exempts public entities, maids and servants, and employees filing claims against their employers from payment of court fees for all stages of litigation.
The wisdom behind the issuance of the new law, as explained in the preamble of the AD Fees Law, is to enhance competition, ease the burden of filing cases and minimize the amount of malicious
It has been noted by our law firm that the old law of Court fees deterred small business claims especially if defendant is unable to pay or ran away from Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.
High cost of taking someone to court is stopping businessmen from taking legal action against clients for financial fraud, default of payment for financial issues and frivolous cases.
Many legal commentators predicted that the old law of court fees was unpopular and asked for interference from legislator who soon realized that it would need to be amended in response to popular demand to do so.
The old law for court fees made litigators cautious and have often chosen to submit unquantified claims, especially in construction related claims where disputes are not certain (such as variation orders and delay payments claims). They tend to file for the appointment of an expert (which is AED 3,000) in order to ascertain the amount that they are entitled to according to the expert and then decide on the payment of the Court fees.
Most clients with large claims amounts were reluctant to pay the court fees. However, clients with small claims were more conservative. Ultimately, if the court fees are not paid, either the claim will be dismissed by the court, or it may allow payment of the fees to be deferred to a later stage.
But now all litigators will have a full and direct access to court for filing their claims in a direct way because court fees are fair and affordable.
For review or consulting about court fees don’t hesitate to contact our lawyers in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Cairo Egypt, our law firm is ready to file protests against unfair court fees calculations.