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Habib Al-Mulla

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Habib Al Mulla is the chairman of Baker McKenzie's Habib Al Mulla, has over 32 years’ experience in UAE law and has drafted many of Dubai’s modern legislative structures. His practice focuses 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 DIAC, the Abu Dhabi Conciliation and Commercial Arbitration Centre (ADCCAC), the ICC, the LCIA and the ICSID.

The UAE Federal Tax Authority (FTA) announced that any person or group proven to have violated the provisions of tax legislation has the right to apply to the FTA to reduce or be exempted from an administrative penalty, provided that there is an excuse acceptable to the FTA, and that there is evidence available justifying the excuse and the violation related thereto, which led to the imposition of an administrative penalty.

The UAE Federal Supreme Court recently dismissed an appeal filed by the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) against taxes and administrative fines and penalties imposed by the FTA against a UAE company, a Dubai-based beverage distributor, in connection with excise taxes. Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla represented the company. The court also ordered that the FTA repay the full amount of the penalties to the company. This was considered to be the first time the Federal Supreme Court issued a judgment in favor of a taxpayer and removed all taxes and administrative penalties levied by the FTA.

On 14 October 2020, the UAE Federal Supreme Court passed its judgment on an appeal filed by the UAE Federal Tax Authority (FTA) in relation to the Court of Appeal’s judgment concerning the imposition of penalties resulting from a voluntary disclosure. The case was handled by a UAE local law firm on behalf one of the UAE’s largest financial institutions.

On 14 October 2020, the UAE Federal Supreme Court passed its judgment on an appeal filed by the UAE Federal Tax Authority (FTA) in relation to the Court of Appeal’s judgment concerning the imposition of penalties resulting from a voluntary disclosure. The case was handled by a UAE local law firm on behalf one of the UAE’s largest financial institutions.

On 29 August 2020, the United Arab Emirates (“UAE“) Government’s Emirates New Agency (Wakalat Anba’a al Emarat, or ‘WAM’) publicly announced that H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, issued Federal Decree Law No. 4 of 2020, abolishing Federal Decree Law No. 15 of 1972 Concerning the Arab League Boycott of Israel (the “UAE Israeli Boycott Law“) (the “UAE Israeli Boycott Repeal Law“).  The UAE Israeli Boycott Repeal Law follows the announcement of the historic peace agreement between the UAE and Israel (known as the “UAE-Israel Abraham Accords” – Treaty of Peace, Diplomatic Relations and Full Normalization between the UAE and the State of Israel) on 13 August 2020 issued jointly by H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  Officially signed on 15 September 2020 , the UAE-Israel Abraham Accords (available in full here) outlines a number of areas of intended cooperation, and the establishment of full diplomatic ties in exchange for Israel’s suspension of further annexation of Palestinian territories, between the two states under Article 5 and supplemented in its Annex.  This includes: (1) finance and investment; (2) civil aviation; (3) visas and consular services; (4) innovation, trade and economic relations; (5) healthcare; (6) science, technology and peaceful uses of outer-space; (7) tourism, culture and sport; (8) energy; (9) environment; (10) education; (11) maritime arrangements; (12) telecommunications and post; (13) agriculture and food security; (14) water; and (15) legal cooperation.

In brief On 29 August 2020, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Government’s Emirates New Agency (Wakalat Anba’a al Emarat, or ‘WAM’) publicly announced that H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, issued Federal Decree Law No. 4 of 2020 (the UAE Israeli Boycott Repeal Law), abolishing Federal Decree Law…

On 29 August 2020, the UAE Government’s Emirates New Agency (Wakalat Anba’a al Emarat, or ‘WAM’) publicly announced that H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), issued Federal Decree Law No. 4 of 2020 (the UAE Israeli Boycott Repeal Law), abolishing Federal Decree Law No. 15 of 1972 Concerning the Arab League Boycott of Israel (the Israel Boycott Law). The UAE Israeli Boycott Repeal Law follows the announcement of the historic peace agreement between the UAE and Israel (also known as the UAE-Israel Abraham Accord) on 13 August 2020, issued jointly by H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Under the UAE-Israel Abraham Accord, the two states agreed to establish full diplomatic relations in exchange for Israel’s suspension of further annexation of Palestinian territories.

The horrific explosion that recently took place at the port of the city of  Beirut is a tragedy for its people. The possible casues of the explosion has brought to mind the cases of maritime fraud that many observers overlook. In recent years, the shipping and maritime trade industry has witnessed a sharp increase not only in the number of fraud cases but also in the diversity and sophistication of fraud. Fraudsters are becoming more creative in laying out and executing their plans, including using modern technology such as computer hacking while also preserving some tried and tested traditional methods, such as document fraud. Ship owners are also finding themselves under pressure to earn new business and, to that end, many of them ignore exercising due diligence when dealing with new business partners. While ports are adopting new technologies this too has the potential to enable new certain types of fraud (such as automating container operations).

As the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread across the world, governments are actively working with global and local health authorities to implement nationwide measures to help curb transmission and mitigate virus-related risks as well as offer relief for businesses and individuals in these challenging times. In response, businesses…

DOWNLOAD PUBLICATION For over three decades, Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla has helped businesses optimize opportunities and mitigate risks in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and wider Middle East. The 2019 edition of the Doing Business in the UAE is your simple but comprehensive guide to understanding the current investment…