"Three months by the pool! And thanks for letting us keep our hands!"
Four Clyde & Co lawyers working in the United Arab Emirates have been temporarily banned from working after they crossed paths with a powerful Emirati.
The solicitors have been suspended from practising law for three months by the Dubai Legal Affairs Department for a "breach of certain conflict of interest rules".
Details are scant. Unlike legal regulators in the UK, the DLAD does not publish records of its proceedings, judgments and sanctions, nor does it identify lawyers against whom it has taken action. The DLAD did not respond to requests for comment.
RollOnFriday understands that the DLAD honed in on Clyde's four lawyers, as well as local lawyers, after a powerful Emirati successfully overturned a judgment made in 2013 where Clyde & Co acted for the other side.
A source suggested the influential figure had pulled strings to “take revenge”, and that "there appears very little in the way of any wrongdoing or negligence highlighted in the bringing of the sanction".
"It seems to be a case of, 'this case was determined with an incorrect result; you were one of the parties who helped to bring about that incorrect result; a punishment is therefore in order", said the source, who does not work at Clyde & Co*.
At least one of the suspended lawyers is a junior solicitor whose involvement in the case "ran to little more than sharing lists of documentation via email with the other side", said a source.
There has been no coverage of the sanctions locally and no official notice is available, but news filtered out after the lawyers spent the first week of October emailing clients to explain that they aren't currently allowed to provide legal advice.
RollOnFriday understands the firm has notified the SRA.
In a statement, Clyde & Co told RollOnFriday, "We are aware of a decision by the Dubai Legal Affairs Department (DLAD) against a number of lawyers in the UAE. While we are pleased that two of the three allegations that were contained in the original complaint to the DLAD were dismissed, the DLAD has upheld the decision that there was a breach of certain conflict of interest rules. We maintain that our lawyers acted with integrity at all times and are exploring avenues to challenge the decision".
*so please don't suspend more of them, DLAD.
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