As you may have seen in the press over the last couple of weeks, there has been a significant development in the recognition and enforcement of UAE judgments in India with the issuance of the official Indian Gazette Notification on 17 January 2020 (the Notification). The Notification declares the UAE as a ‘reciprocating territory’ and, going forward, judgments from the UAE courts will be recognized and enforced in India.

What has changed?

Whilst India and the UAE entered into a bilateral treaty in 1999 to implement reciprocal enforcement rules across both states, this mutual recognition mechanism was later withheld and India has historically only given effect to the treaty in relation to the service of summons and other judicial processes.

Following the Notification, UAE mainland, DIFC and ADGM decrees (i.e. judgments) will be expressly recognized and shall be deemed enforceable under the Indian Civil Procedure Code, which requires a judgment to be issued by a ’reciprocating territory‘ in order for it to be recognized and enforced in India. A UAE judgment will now “be executed in India as if it had been passed by the District Court”[1].

What does this mean for you?

This development is particularly significant given the trade relations between India and the UAE as well as the substantial number of Indian owned companies in the UAE. We expect the Notification to have a significant impact on the litigation strategies of financial institutions and corporates in the UAE and, importantly, on potential recoveries and claims.

How can we help?

Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla regularly acts for international, regional and local financial institutions on domestic and cross-border financing disputes involving borrowers and guarantors domiciled in India. We seamlessly work with the top leading Indian law firms and utilize local law and business expertise to provide on-market advice throughout the full transaction cycle. Given our global footprint, we are well placed to support you on any cross-border litigation and/or enforcement.

For further information, please feel free to contact one of the lawyers below or your usual Baker McKenzie contact.

[1] Article 44A(1) of the Indian Civil Procedure Code


Sandeep Puri is the Head of the UAE Banking & Finance practice of Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla, based in Dubai. He has extensive experience advising on all aspects of banking, finance and capital market matters across the Middle East. Sandeep has been based in the UAE since 2003 and has worked on both conventional and Islamic finance transactions across various asset classes, including project finance, corporate finance, asset finance, real estate and capital markets (including sukuk).


Amir Alkhaja is the Head of the UAE Banking Litigation team of Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla. He is an expert in commercial, white collar crime and banking litigation, with over 15 years of experience in the UAE. Amir was previously a police officer in the Dubai Police and is a licensed UAE lawyer with rights of audience in local and federal courts of the UAE.


Andrew Mackenzie is the UAE Head of the International Arbitration and Construction practices of Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla, based in Dubai. He specialises in international arbitration law, with a particular focus on construction, energy, technology and financial institution disputes. Andrew has been based in the UAE for over 10 years and also has full rights of audience in the DIFC courts. He has advised on complex commercial disputes under a variety of civil and common law systems from across MENA and Africa, tried cases in all of the major arbitration forums (both treaty-based and commercial) and also sits as an arbitrator.


Sally Kotb is a counsel in Baker McKenzie's Dubai office, specializing in international commercial arbitration with a particular focus on energy and construction disputes. She has drafted expert legal opinions in support of both international and domestic arbitrations, and is experienced in enforcement of foreign and domestic awards in the UAE. She is the regional representative of the LCIA Young International Arbitration Group (YIAG) and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb).

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