David Leckie_Mark Beswetherick

Clyde & Co represents ABNIC in oil tanker disappearance claim

Global law firm Clyde & Co has successfully represented Al Buhaira National Insurance Company (“ABNIC”) in a marine insurance case in the Dubai International Financial Centre (“DIFC”) Courts.

The Clyde & Co team was led by David Leckie (head of Clyde & Co’s Energy and Marine practice for the Middle East and Africa, pictured left) and Mark Beswetherick (head of insurance disputes, pictured right).

The jurisdiction battle concerned the interpretation of the parties’ agreement to refer disputes to “the Courts of the UAE”.  DIFC Courts ruled in favour of ABNIC, deciding that it has jurisdiction over a USD 70 million claim for the alleged disappearance of an oil tanker.

As the parties have no connection with the DIFC and the contract was not formed or performed in the DIFC, Horizon argued that the parties could not have intended to refer disputes to the DIFC Courts. Horizon contended that it is instead the Federal Courts in the UAE not the DIFC Courts which have jurisdiction. Horizon also claimed that as ABNIC’s insurance activities were governed by the UAE (Federal) Insurance Law this meant the DIFC Courts could not have jurisdiction over the dispute.