The Court of First Instance is comprised of a single Judge and has exclusive jurisdiction over

1. Civil or commercial cases and disputes involving the DIFC, any of the DIFC’s bodies or any of the DIFC’s establishments.

2. Civil or commercial cases and disputes arising from or related to a contract that has been fulfilled or a transaction that has been carried out, in whole or in part, in the DIFC or an incident that has occurred in the DIFC.

3. Objections filed against a decision made by the DIFC’s bodies, which are subject to objection in accordance with the DIFC’s laws and regulations.

4. Any application over which the Courts have jurisdiction in accordance with the DIFC’s laws and regulations.

5. Any civil or commercial claims or actions where the parties agree in writing to file such claim or action with it whether before or after the dispute arises, provided that such agreement is made pursuant to specific, clear and express provisions.

The Court of Appeal is comprised of at least three Judges, with the Chief Justice or most senior Judge presiding and has exclusive jurisdiction over:

1. Appeals filed against Judgments and Awards made by the Court of First Instance;

2. Interpretation of any article of the DIFC’s laws based upon the request of any of the DIFC’s bodies or the request of any of the DIFC’s establishments provided that the establishment obtains leave of the Chief Justice in this regard. Such interpretation shall have the power of law.

No appeal shall lie from a decision of the Court of Appeal.

DIFC Courts’ Fees

  1. Originating Proceedings – Court of First Instance (CFI)

Part 7 claim (Money and/or property claims):

Claim Value Fee
Up to and including USD 500,000 5% of the value of the claim and/or the property with a minimum of USD 1,500
USD 500,000 – USD 1 million USD 25,000 + 1% over USD 500,000
USD 1 million – USD 5 million USD 35,000 + 0.5% over USD 1 million
USD 5 million – USD 10 million USD 55,000 + 0.4% over USD 5 million
USD 10 million – USD 50 million USD 75,000 + 0.15% over USD 10 million
Over 50 million USD 135,000

This amount will include the hearing fees for any in-chamber meetings, one Case Management Conference, one Pre-Trial Review and up to 3 days of trial. Any additional filings or hearings will be charged as per Article IV below.

All Other Claims:

USD 5,000 for non-monetary claims. The fees for a Part 7 claim will apply to claims relating to a specified monetary amount.

Filing Proceedings against a party or parties not named in originating proceedings:

USD 500

Reimbursement for settlement:

Where the parties successfully settle the claim filed in the DIFC Courts in full, the following reimbursements shall apply:

(1) For claims settled before the Case Management Conference takes place, 65% of the filing fee shall be reimbursed.

(2) For claims settled between the Case Management Conference and the Pre-Trial Review, 35% of the filing fee shall be reimbursed.

(3) For claims settled after the Pre-Trial Review has taken place, no reimbursement shall be applicable

Notes:

  • All other claims include, but are not limited to:
  • Part 8 claims
  • Winding-up petitions
  • Unquantified damages claims
  • Arbitration claims; and
  • Proceedings for judicial review
  • Where a claim is both for money and for other relief (whether cumulatively or in the alternative) only the higher applicable fee is payable.
  • For a claim made by way of counterclaim, the same fee shall be payable as if the relief or remedy sought were the subject of separate proceedings.
  • Where a claim or counterclaim is amended so that a higher fee would have been payable if it had been so drawn originally, the party making the amendment shall pay the difference.

For more information about the fees please click here

To view the Procedural Flowchart please click here

“To appear before the DIFC Courts at a hearing before a Judge, practitioners may require rights of audience before the Courts and therefore be registered in Part II of the Academy of Laws’ Register of Practitioners. Kindly contact registrations@draacademy.ae for further information or assistance with registration.”