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New Reorganization Law Imminent in United Arab Emirates

posted by Jason Kilborn

The key word in the title to this post is "reorganization," as opposed to what one generally finds in the context of laws on business failure--liquidation or "bankruptcy" laws.  The U.A.E.'s current bankruptcy law is a relic of the (British influenced) past, clearly designed more to punish debtors than to protect creditors (yes, I do mean to suggest that these goals have virtually no cause-and-effect relationship, despite constant unsupported rhetoric to the contrary among some commentators).  For several months now, U.A.E. authorities have been promising a new reorganization law to deal with recent spectactular financial collapses in what may well be the Arab world's most advanced and diversified economy.  Along with an advanced economy, they have implicity acknowledged, goes advanced failure, and a safety valve for treating that failure is a must for disciplining creditors and investors at both the investment and the recovery stages.  Even the insolvency law in the Dubai International Financial Center is not particularly forward-thinking, so even though reports are that the new U.A.E. law will not be as reorg-friendly as U.S. law, I hope the drafters drew their inspiration from sources other than British law (no "anti-British" sentiment is intended here).


"virtually no cause-and-effect relationship" seems an exaggeration to me. "Modest" would seem a good characterization. Still, the point that the "efficient-destructive" axis dominates is correct, and more relevant.

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