FAISAL AL-SAHOUTI

Qatar 2020 | ECONOMY | INTERVIEW

QICDRC establishes a unique judicial model that adopts international best practices in dispute resolution.

Faisal Al-Sahouti
BIOGRAPHY

Faisal Al-Sahouti is the CEO and member of the Judiciary Advisory Board of QICDRC. He oversees the administration of the Court of First Instance, the Regulatory Tribunal, and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre. Prior to joining QICDRC in 2014, he worked closely with senior judges from around the world and was involved in projects related to the growth and development of QICDRC. Al-Sahouti holds a bachelor's degree in law from Qatar University and an LL.M. in international trade and commercial law from Nottingham Trent University in the UK. He is also an accredited mediator at the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR).

What have been the main areas of focus and milestones of QICDRC in the last year?
2019 has been a busy year at the QICDRC. In June 2019, we signed a cooperation agreement with the World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) to allow both parties to conduct all or any part of arbitration proceedings at the seat of the other center. This close cooperation is a testament of our capabilities and will promote both the wider use of arbitration and mediation, as well as the exchange of information on alternative dispute resolution methods. Our growing participation in local and international conferences reiterates our determination to gain further exposure within the global legal community to solidify our position as a leading civil and commercial court in the region. In September, we returned to the global conference circuit for the third consecutive year as Gold Sponsor of the International Bar Association Annual Conference (IBA 2019) held in Seoul, during which we hosted a successful seminar on 'The Rise of Commercial Courts in Asia and the Middle East'. Notably, we pursued and achieved associate membership status of the International Consortium for Court Excellence (ICCE) by implementing an approved framework across several areas of court excellence. Our extended partnership with ICCE was an important step in fulfilling our role as a credible justice system for entities established in Qatar and those who do business with them. Overall, we continue to play an active role in Qatar as a specialized judicial authority supporting, among other things, the Qatar Financial Centre in its mission to attract FDI as outlined in the economic pillar set out in the Qatar National Vision 2030.

What is the important role played by your institution in order to ensure the rights of international investors and companies in Qatar?
Since our establishment, our mission has been to maintain an effective and rapid delivery of justice through an authoritative legal framework that helps advance Qatar's reputation as a trustworthy business and investment environment. With the number of companies registered under the Qatar Financial Centre reaching an all-time high of over 700 and total assets value exceeding QAR70 billion, we have steadily been able to position our court as an entity capable of meeting investor needs. As international companies and investors look to expand their work in Qatar, QICDRC is strongly positioned to demonstrate and maintain its assurance of a specialized and efficient legal system, which can be utilized in the case of civil and commercial disputes.

How is your institution promoting the knowledge transfer, maximizing the experience of your interims? What is your new CSR strategy?
Active knowledge-transfer with our stakeholders in academia, business and the public is a key priority in our overall strategy. As a leader in the legal field, we consider it a responsibility to establish and maintain strong exchange ties and further cooperation. We are also in the pre-planning phases for several exciting knowledge-exchange initiatives with the local academic sector that are part of our CSR strategy for 2020. As part of our economic and moral responsibility, we will institute regular annual educational events to promote youth development through discussion forum, informal luncheons, seminars, and awareness sessions.

What are the plans and expectations for QICDRC for 2020 and beyond?
We will continue to work to gain recognition as a leading court for the resolution of civil and commercial disputes, bringing together some of the most revered legal and judicial figures from Qatar and the world, who are known for their independence, impartiality, and professionalism. We are confident that we remain well-positioned to continue to add to the development of Qatar's legal environment and lead regional efforts by spearheading a distinguished and innovative legal model for commercial and civil dispute resolution.