Listed below are some of the questions you may have regarding ADGM Courts. Should you not see the answer you are looking for, please feel free to contact us at

ADGM Courts, comprised of a Court of First Instance and a Court of Appeal, are modelled on the English judicial system. This approach has ensured the establishment of a coherent, recognised and accepted legal framework and judicial system that acknowledges the importance of the impartiality and independence of its Judges.

The Judges of ADGM Courts emphasise the character of ADGM Courts as institutions of international excellence, with a commitment to providing dispute resolution services that are of the highest quality.

Lord Hope of Craighead KT is the Chief Justice of ADGM Courts.

The Judges are:

  • The Right Hon. Lord Mark Saville of Newdigate PC
  • The Hon. Kenneth Hayne AC
  • Sir Peter Blanchard KZNM
  • William Stone SBS QC
  • Sir Michael Burton
  • The Hon. Lord James McGhie
  • The Hon. Sir Andrew Smith

The Judges will sit both in the Court of First Instance and the Court of Appeal. They can also act as arbitrators under ADGM’s arbitration framework.

Please click here to learn more about ADGM's Judges. 

ADGM Courts’ legislative framework comprises a single unified statute, the ADGM Courts' Regulations, which has been tailored specifically to ADGM Courts’ requirements. The Regulations are supported by the Rules, all of which have been drawn from English statutes. 

Please click here to find out more.


No. ADGM Courts cannot hear criminal cases, family cases or disputes involving estates or inheritance.

The Court of First Instance has jurisdiction to hear and determine civil and commercial cases and disputes in accordance with ADGM's regulations and rules and appeals against decisions made by ADGM Authorities.

The Court of Appeal has jurisdiction to hear and determine appeals against judgments and decisions of the Court of First Instance and the interpretation of ADGM’s regulations and rules. 

Yes. Pursuant to section 16(2)(e) of the ADGM Courts Regulations the Court of First Instance has all such jurisdiction as is conferred on it by any request, in writing, by the parties to have the Court of First Instance determine the claim or dispute.

ADGM Courts’ procedures are set out in the ADGM Court Procedure Rules 2016. These are supplemented where appropriate in ADGM Courts’ Practice Directions.

Please click here to access the ADGM Court Procedure Rules 2016 and here to access the Practice Directions.

In addition, ADGM Courts have developed Procedural Guides, the aim of which is to assist parties and their legal advisors in relation to the procedural steps that are required in the various examples addressed by the Procedural Guides.

Please click here to access the Procedural Guides.

ADGM Courts are fully operational and open for business.

In the event any person or organisation has a dispute for determination by ADGM Courts, contact should be made with ADGM Courts via email to

Yes. ADGM Courts will be offering a full range of secure and sophisticated electronic services, including efiling, online case management (including by the Judges) and etrials. Etrials will be flexible and scalable according to the nature and size of the case. Parties will be assisted with ADGM Courts’ electronic services when fully implemented.

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ADGM Courts have not instituted a registration system of lawyers as a pre-requisite for a right of audience. The procedure that ADGM Courts have implemented in regards to rights of audience is that set out in section 219 of ADGM Courts Regulations.

Yes. ADGM Courts have prepared some Guidelines for self-represented litigants.

Please click here to access these Guidelines.

No. ADGM Courts Regulations provide that the sittings, and any other business of ADGM Courts, may be conducted at any place in the world. This will enable ADGM Courts’ Judges to manage their assigned cases with greater flexibility, ensuring that parties and their advisers will have their cases dealt with expeditiously, efficiently and economically.

Yes. ADGM Courts’ hearings will be fully accessible to the public. It is intended that hearings conducted by video conference will be available for real time viewing in ADGM Courts’ courtroom located within the ADGM building.

Yes. The Registrar of ADGM Courts has appointed members from a cross section of law firms and in-house legal terms to join user groups to discuss topics of interest to each group and to provide ADGM Courts with feedback regarding the Courts’ services. The maximum term of membership of each group is three years.

ADGM Courts will conduct all proceedings in English.

All documents are to be submitted in English.

Yes. ADGM’s Board of Directors enacted ADGM’s Arbitration Regulations on 17 December 2015. Those Regulations are based on the Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration published by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (the UNCITRAL Model Law), a widely recognised global standard for arbitration regulation.

ADGM Courts’ Judges will be available to act as Arbitrators under ADGM’s Arbitration Regulations.

To learn more about Arbitration in ADGM please click here.

On 26 July 2017 ADGM announced the establishment of its arbitration hearing centre on Al Maryah Island by early 2018. This significant milestone augments the recent development and agreement with world-leading arbitral institution, the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC Court), to launch its Middle East representative office in ADGM.

To learn more about ADGM Arbitration Centre please click here.