Qatar’s state-of-the-art litigation centre is not attempting to poach business from London, its chief executive Bob Musgrove insisted this week.
The Qatar International Court and Dispute Resolution Centre, which opened in 2010, is already gearing up to handle disputes relating to the Gulf state’s £260bn infrastructure investments ahead of hosting the World Cup in 2022.
‘What is happening in Qatar is enhancing services for London,’ Musgrove (pictured), former head of the Civil Justice Council, said.
‘London and the Rolls Building are rightly held up as the world-leader [in litigation],’ he said. ‘But I do take the view that the Rolls Building missed a trick not getting the IT [right].’
The £300m Rolls Building opened in 2011 and is still without a new computer system to replace its £10m failed attempt to upgrade IT.
In contrast, the Qatar centre has the advantage of an effective modern IT infrastructure, he said.
‘We have run cases here virtually where no parties have been present. Clients should be empowered to make choices about how they have disputes, whether its big show case litigation that shareholders want, or whether it’s a quick, economic solutions.’
He said the investment might put pressure on other courts to up their game. ‘If we were providing services more attractive [to global clients] then there would be nothing to stop London from reacting.
‘If they don’t want to evolve, that may impact business in the future.’