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Corporate & Commercial Contracts

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In brief Earlier last week, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), issued a decree introducing a number of fundamental changes to the UAE Commercial Companies Law (CCL Amendment) and to the UAE’s approach towards foreign direct investment (FDI) in general. The CCL Amendment adopted a new general rule of, in principle, allowing foreign investors to fully own certain types of companies in the mainland of the UAE. The…

In brief The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has made significant changes to its Economic Substance regime, with the UAE Cabinet of Ministers recently issuing Cabinet Decision No. (57) of 2020 (the new ESR Resolution). The new ESR Resolution repeals and replaces Cabinet Resolution No. (31) of 2019, as amended, and Cabinet Resolution No. (58) of 2019, which was published in June 2019. The Ministry of Finance also updated its Guidance via Ministerial Decision No. (100)…

In brief The UAE Federal Law No. 18 of 1981 regulating Commercial Agencies (Law) was amended for the fourth time on 28 May 2020 by Federal Law No. 11 of 2020 (the Amendment). The last amendment had taken place in 2010. The Amendment granted, for the first time, the right for companies incorporated in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that are not 100% owned by UAE nationals, namely public joint-stock companies with at least 51%…

Economic Substance Regulations (ESR) were introduced in the UAE in March 2019 by virtue of Cabinet Resolution No. 31 of 2019 (Cabinet Resolution). The ESR apply to all companies based in the UAE (onshore and free zones), including branches and apply to financial years starting on or after 1 January 2019. The UAE government has delegated the responsibility to regulate and administer the ESR to the various onshore and free zone authorities (such as the…

There have been continuous discussions among law firms and commentators on whether the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic constitutes a “force majeure” event, which is derived from the principle established in French Civil Law. Some say that the principle of force majeure should be applied in the current crisis, as the conditions of a force majeure event are met: sudden, unpredictable and impossible to prevent. Therefore, a contracting party may be exempted from fulfilling its contractual obligations…