Keystone barrister Robert Lawrie was a senior member of the legal team acting for Nest Investments in its appeal against a decision refusing to join a party to civil proceedings in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts.

In a landmark decision, the DIFC Court of Appeal has found that Rule 20.7 of the DIFC Court Rules may be used to join a person outside of the DIFC to legal proceedings where it is desirable to do so. The judgment is the first in the DIFC to consider the scope of the joinder provisions in the DIFC Court Rules.

The appeal overturns the first instance decision not to join Joseph El Fadl as a second defendant in Nest’s action against Deloitte Middle East seeking damages from alleged wrongdoing in its auditing of Lebanese Canadian Bank. The action stems from the Bank’s collapse following the US Treasury Department’s statement in October 2011 identifying the Bank as “a financial institution of primary money laundering concern”.

The judgment was delivered on 13 March 2019 in the Court of Appeal in the DIFC Court before Chief Justice Zaki Azmi, Justice Sir Jeremy Cooke and H.E. Justice Shamlan Al Sawal. The judgment of the Court of Appeal is available here.

This judgment follows an earlier decision of the DIFC which confirmed that Nest’s claim against Deloitte Middle East has a “real prospect of success” and should proceed to trial.