HAlMulla

Dr. Habib Al Mulla

Partner
Baker & McKenzie Habib Al Mulla

Biography

Dr Habib is one of the UAE’s most highly respected legal authorities. He has over 36 years’ experience in UAE law and has drafted many of the modern legislative structures in place in Dubai today. Dr Habib is a strong advocate for the improvement and modernisation of UAE Laws. He is a frequent commentator on the legislation and economy of the UAE and is often consulted to draft and advise on Federal and Emirate level laws.

Practice Focus

Dr Habib is Chairman of the CIArb (Chartered Institute of Arbitrators) UAE Committee and most recently served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC). He is also a member of the Board of the Dubai International Chamber.

He created the concept of financial free zones in the UAE and was the architect of the legal framework establishing the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the first financial free zone in the UAE. Dr Habib also served as Chairman of the Legislative Committee of the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).

Dr Habib has held numerous prominent government positions over the years, including being a member of the UAE Federal National Council, the federal parliament of the UAE, member of the Legislative Committee, in charge of reviewing federal legislation, member of the Economic Committee, in charge of reviewing fiscal and economic policy of the federation, Director of the Institute of Advanced Legal and Judicial Studies, in charge of training judges and prosecutors in the Emirate of Dubai and Chairman of the UAE Jurists Association.

He has published many books and articles on the UAE law and economy, including a two part book on his life’s work titled Life’s Harvest, a definitive selection of his writings on the laws, politics and economy of the UAE over the last 26 years. He is also a regular commentator in the media and a prominent speaker at many events and conferences within the UAE and internationally.

Representative Legal Matters

Dr Habib focuses his practice on litigation and arbitration. He has been lead counsel on numerous UAE and international arbitrations across a variety of sectors including construction, finance, commerce and maritime, as both counselor or expert witness. He is experienced in many arbitration rules including the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC), the Abu Dhabi Conciliation and Commercial Arbitration Centre (ADCCAC), the International Chamber of Commerce Arbitration Centre, the LCIA and the ICSID. Dr Habib is regularly appointed as a party nominated expert and court expert in domestic and international arbitration proceedings for his expert opinion on matters relating to UAE law. Some examples of Dr Habib's arbitration cases are listed below:

  • UAE Legal Expert in an ICC arbitration involving the satellite industry.

  • UAE Legal Expert in an ICC arbitration in relation to damages for breach of contract.

  • UAE Legal Expert in a DIFC arbitration in relation to bankruptcy and damages.

  • UAE Legal Expert in a major Hong Kong court case.

  • UAE Legal Expert in a case before the Queen’s Court in the United Kingdom involving banking and real estate transactions.

  • UAE Legal Expert in an ICC arbitration in relation to a contract for the supply of technology.

  • Sole Arbitrator in Qatar based ICC arbitration involving a major construction project in Qatar between two Middle Eastern companies.

  • Co-Arbitrator in a Qatar based ICC arbitration involving a major construction project between an Indian and a UAE company.

  • Party-appointed arbitrator in two London based ICC arbitrations involving disputes over contracts for the supply of iron ore between Indian and UAE based companies.

  • Co-Counseling the Government of Dubai along with an international law firm in a Port Concession Agreement under ICSID proceedings.

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Chairman of the CIArb (Chartered Institute of Arbitrators) UAE Committee
  • Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Dubai International Arbitration Centre 2015-2019
  • Member of the ICC Institute
  • Member of the UAE ICC National Committee
  • Member of Panel of Experts of the Broadcasting and Publications Standards Tribunal of the Technology, Electronic Commerce and Media Free Zone Authority (TECOM) in Dubai
  • Fellow Member of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Director of the Supervisory Board of Rasmala (Regional Investment Banking Group
  • Chairman of the Dubai Financial Service Authority 2003-2006
  • Vice President of the Board of Governors of American University in Dubai
  • Member of Board of Trustees of Dubai School of Government
  • Member of the Federal National Council 2000-2002
  • Member of the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR from ICC United Arab Emirates

Admissions

  • United Arab Emirates (1984)

Education

  • University of Cambridge (Ph.D.) (1993)
  • Harvard Law School (Master of Law) (1987)
  • UAE University (LL.B. Shari'a and Law) (1984)

Languages

  • Arabic
  • English