The MENA region has close links with the Cayman Islands, as recognised by the Premier in his recent visit to Dubai in December 2009. It is anticipated that these ties will be further strengthened through the proposed Memorandum of Understanding between Cayman and Dubai.
Cayman remains the jurisdiction of choice for the establishment of Islamic finance structures, and since the collapse of Dubai World and the other financial difficulties in Dubai, much more attention has been focused on how investors through such vehicles may be able to enforce their rights and other issues which can arise.
To shed some light on some of these issues, Conyers hosted a breakfast seminar in Dubai on 24 February, at which Nigel Meeson QC, Head of Litigation in the Cayman Islands, addressed restructuring and litigation issues of relevance to those doing business in the Middle East, to an audience of lawyers, bankers, investment houses and other Middle Eastern clients.
The seminar focused on the new Financial Services Division and how the changes to the Cayman Islands Companies Law can be used to assist creditors and investors in relation to Islamic finance structures such as sukuk and Shariah compliant investment funds.
One of the issues discussed was the difficulty surrounding Shariah compliance. There are differing interpretations of the Shariah by different scholars, and there is no single accepted source to refer to or clear body of principles which can be incorporated into contracts. This has often caused the English courts to treat general references to Shariah as too vague to be given legal effect.
There was also particular interest in the use of Cayman’s new oppression remedy by an investor into an intended Shariah compliant investment fund, in the event that he discovers it is making non-Shariah investments.
Conyers Dill & Pearman opened its Dubai office in 2006 and provides transactional advice to Middle Eastern clients.
For further information, please contact:
Nigel Meeson QC,
Head of Litigation & Restructuring
T. +1 (345) 814 7392 or email
E. [email protected]