Baker McKenzie probed to investigate Dubai branch’s “gross misconduct and corruption”

Baker McKenzie probed to investigate Dubai branch’s “gross misconduct and corruption”

Following the decision of the British Irish Commercial Bar Association (BICBA) to postpone their planned arbitration conference in Dubai amidst widespread outrage among legal professionals over the involvement of Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) Chairman Habib Al Mulla, and what is seen as the UAE’s general failure to meet international standards of due process, Detained in Dubai founder Radha Stirling has approached Baker Mckenzie for comment on Al Mulla’s alleged legal misconduct. Al Mulla is chairman of Baker Mckenzie’s Emirates branch.

“We have been provided evidence that Mr. Al Mulla may have been guilty of several egregious legal breaches, particularly through his involvement in the case of British National Mohamed El-Haddad, which, if committed in the United Kingdom, would undoubtedly result in his disbarment, and very likely, criminal charges”, says Stirling.

“We have approached Paul Rawlinson, Global Chair of Baker Mckenzie to respond to these instances of grave misconduct.” - Radha Stirling, Detained in Dubai

Among the allegations mentioned in the letter, Al Mulla is accused of representing both opposing parties in a single civil case, and of acting on behalf of a client without obtaining permission or a Power of Attorney. “Habib Al Mulla even confessed to a crime on behalf of Mr. El-Haddad, whom he had no legal authority to represent, which ultimately resulted in a criminal case being filed against El-Haddad without his knowledge”, Stirling explained.

Baker McKenzie markets itself as “the new lawyer for the new world” and is ranked the second largest law firm globally. Yet, the company’s reputation has been suffering due to the rampant allegations of wrongdoing by its Emirati chairman. When BICBA announced its plans to support the UAE’s goal of becoming the world centre for international arbitration, it led to a minor revolt among UK barristers, in no small part because of Al Mulla’s tainted renown.

“There is a very thin veneer of respectability, justice and competence in the courts and arbitration centres in Dubai and many of its law firms. no more so than in DIAC, Dubai and DIFC Courts. The reality, as I know first-hand, is very different. Sadly, in DIAC, like in wider Dubai, law is not about justice, but about whom you know, what nationality you are and how much money you have. It is disappointing that BICBA, like many others, chose to be lured by the false veneer”. Said British solicitor David Haigh of Stirling Haigh.

Baker McKenzie is legally obliged to reply to the allegations.

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