It was interesting to read Jonathan Rayners’s profile of litigation solicitor Faridah Sarah and her involvement in the field of dispute resolution in Dubai.
At London Metropolitan University, where we have been developing dispute resolution skills training, we have noticed much demand recently for professional development training in areas throughout the Gulf.
We ran a dispute resolution training course in Beirut, Lebanon in February, in conjunction with the American University of Technology. More than 40 delegates attended, including members of the Beirut Bar Association and other Lebanese professionals.
These delegates ranged from senior partners in corporate law firms and banks, to engineers and other professionals such as NGO representatives involved in assisting Syrian refugees.
The course took place in Beit El Mouhami (‘the place of the lawyers’) in Beirut, which is the headquarters of the Beirut Bar Association. Georges Feghali (group regional mediator for the World Bank and president of the National Committee of the International Association of Lawyers in Lebanon) visited one of the training sessions and explained his current efforts to introduce a mediation statute into Lebanese law.
The region is clearly becoming increasingly aware of the resources the UK has to offer for legal skills and professional development training. Government agencies in the Gulf have, for instance, recently commissioned consultancies to develop Legal Practice Course-style training courses for Arab lawyers in conjunction with UK training providers.
It appears likely that, with increasing interest and investment in the field of dispute resolution, the Gulf region will become a significant area of opportunity for the provision of related UK legal services and training.
William R McKay, senior lecturer (LPC)/solicitor, London Metropolitan University, London E1