In October 2021, his Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar, enacted Law No. (21) of 2021 regarding the establishment of the Investment and Commerce Court (the “Investment Court Law”).
The law will enter into force six months from the date of issuance in the official gazette, increasing Qatar’s readiness to develop trade and business legislation making Qatar attractive to international investment.
What should you know about the Investment Court?
A. The Formation:
According to the Investment Court Law, the new court will be known as (the “Investment and Commerce Court”), presided over by a judge whose rank shall not be lower than that of a deputy presiding judge of the Court of Appeal, with such appointment to be made by a resolution issued from the Supreme Judicial Council (the “Council”) upon the proposal of the Chairman of the Council.
The Investment and Commerce Court consists of first instance circuits and appeal circuits, with judges selected by the Council from among the judges of the Court of First Instance and the Court of Appeal. Both circuits are composed of three judges, and is headed by the oldest member.
B. The jurisdiction:
The Investment and Commerce Court concerns commercial claims and disputes that are specially related to:
1. Commercial contracts, including commercial agency contracts and commercial representation.
2. Disputes between merchants in connection with their commercial activities.
3. Disputes between partners or shareholders, or between any of them with the company, in commercial companies, including listed public shareholding companies.
4. Commercial assets.
5. Investments of non-Qatari capital in an economic activity.
6. Marine sales.
7. The operations of banks, commercial securities, insurance companies, financial and investment companies.
8. Bankruptcies and precautionary settlements.
9. Patents, trademarks, industrial models, trade secrets and other intellectual property rights.
10. Protection of competition, the prevention of monopolistic practices and the fight against practices harmful to national products in international trade.
11. Electronic commerce and its transactions.
12. Partnership agreements between the public and private sectors.
C. Important aspects:
The Investment Court Law is comprised of 35 articles and it provides new ways to settle all commercial disputes through more efficient and helpful solutions for both parties with shorter appeal periods. Appeals should be filed within 15 days from the notification date of the concerned parties, shortening the period to 7 days in urgent matters, in addition to a period of 30 days in the case of appeals before the Court of Cassation.
In addition, this law provides that all judicial proceedings related to it may be conducted electronically, through the electronic system as a developed form for filing law suits.
An important point in this law is that the parties can propose to the Investment and Commerce Court to appoint professional, trained experts at any stage of the trial, and the court can accept such proposals, so that the court is no longer required to only appoint experts that are registered with the court, permitting a greater degree of specialist expertise to be appointed to assist the court reach appropriate decisions.
The Investment Court Law allows the application of modern methods in the application of judicial procedures in the field of trade and investment, granting more developed, simpler, and faster ways to resolve disputes between parties, thus making Qatar a stimulating and attractive country for trade and investment worldwide.
Should you have any questions regarding the above, please do feel free to contact us.
About Al-Ansari & Associates
Al-Ansari & Associates is a leading law firm based in Doha, the State of Qatar. Being the fastest growing firm in the State of Qatar, we are proud to have supported both local and international clients with multi jurisdictional qualified lawyers. The firm’s practice is focused on core areas such as corporate and commercial, Banking and Finance, regulatory and compliance, Labour and Employment, TMT, Intellectual Property and Copyright, Real Estate and Contraction, Energy and Natural Resources, Transport and Infrastructure and Dispute Resolution. Al-Ansari & Associates provides its clients legal expertise with international standards.