Alsuwaidi & Company

Legal Associate in Dubai

Law No. (2) of 2019 Amending Some Provisions of Law No. (21) of 2015 Concerning Judicial Fees in Dubai Courts

Reda Hegazy, Senior Associate

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister, in his capacity as Ruler of Dubai, has issued an amendment to Law No. 21 of 2015 regarding the new fees of the Dubai Courts. The amendment replaced the provisions of Articles (8), (14) and (35) with provisions relating to non-payment of fees, the estimated value of the case, and the relative fees for implementation. The revisions include:

Not subject to fees:

According to the amended Article (8), certain categories, such as, claims, appeals and applications are not subject to the fees initially prescribed by the original law. As such, claims, appeals or applications filed by federal or local governmental authorities in any of the emirates of the country, or claims related to endowments, donations and wills for charitable works, and charitable associations, or claims filed by shareholders against the Board of Directors of a public shareholding company or its executive management –  whenever the percentage of the company’s claimants’ share does not exceed (10%) of its total shares, are not subject to fees.

Furthermore, the fees prescribed by the original law shall not be subject to appeals against alimony judgments, deposit by Trustee in Bankruptcy, bidder’s deposit of the price of the property, and what the federal and local governmental authorities deposit on behalf of the concerned parties. Applications for publicity or proof of Islam, ratification of a social welfare application, and requests for death and heredity are also not subject to fees.

Estimated Value

According to the amended Article (14), claims filed before the courts of first instance, civil suits of a criminal case and claims arising out of commercial business of more than 500,000 dirhams, excluding personal status lawsuits, shall be charged a fee of (6%) of the claim value. The amount of this fee shall be from a minimum of AED500 but not more than AED20,000 if the claim value does not exceed AED500,000; AED30,000  if the claim value ranges between AED500,001 to AED1,000,000; and AED40,000 if the claim value is over AED1,000,000.

The same article stipulates that the lawsuits arising from commercial business brought before the courts of first instance which are worth AED500,000 or less shall be charged 6% of the claim value provided that the amount of this fee shall not be less than AED500 and not more than AED20,000, and this fee of (6%) of the claim value shall be collected from the claimant upon registering the claim. The amount of this fee shall not be less than AED 500 and not more than AED5000. This amendment is in favor of claimants who filed a commercial lawsuit with a claim of less than AED500,000, to pay court fees upon filing a suit with a maximum of AED5,000 instead of AED20,000, as provided for under the original law prior to this amendment.

In addition, it has been stipulated in this Article that this fee paid by the claimant shall be added to the expenses of the adjudged lawsuit and shall be collected from the convicted person by a final judgment. This is equivalent to 6% of the value of the judgment, and not the amount of the claim value, provided that the amount of this fee shall be above AED500 and less than AED15,000.

It is noteworthy that this amendment and these fees set by Law (2) of 2019 apply only to commercial lawsuits identified in the new law, and do not apply to civil lawsuits, precautionary attachment or orders. Such fees remain the same as provided for in the original law.

Labor Lawsuits

In relation to labor lawsuits filed before the courts of first instance with claim value exceeding AED100,000, Article (14) imposes a fee of (5%) of the claim value, and sets a fee limit of AED20,000, regardless of the claim value.

Furthermore, the remaining fees prescribed in the cases and applications submitted to the courts of first instance mentioned in Schedule No. (1) Annexed to Law No. (21) for the year 2015 shall remain unamended.

Execution of Executive Bonds

Article (35) of the amended law states that the fee for the execution of executive bonds shall be (2%) of the value of the required execution.

If the convicted person is not in possession of the money, the applicant will be charged 20% of the fee collected for the proceedings before the courts of first instance, provided that the fee in this case shall not be less than AED200 and not more than AED5000. In labor case proceedings, implementation is excluded from the minimum set for this fee, as the rate set for the implementation fee in the labor case may be less than AED 200, and the fee may be accepted, even if it is less than that amount.

Article (35) also stipulates that the executive bonds issued in cases arising from business not exceeding AED500,000 shall be charged a fee of AED2000. AED1,000 of this fee is payable by the applicant upon the registering the execution file and this fee is added to the execution expenses. An amount of AED1,000 shall be borne by the convicted person upon completion of the implementation procedures.  This may help the applicant reduce the fees he pays upon registering the execution.

Reducing Fees

Article (2) of Law No. (2) of 2019 stipulates that the fees specified in clause (72) concerning bankruptcy or filing for bankruptcy protection shall be reduced, and clause (74) concerning bankruptcy protection, provided in Schedule (1) annexed to the Original Law No  21/2015 shall be AED500 instead of AED2000.

This law was issued on 30th May 2019 and it will come into effect from 15th April 2019.

Should you have any queries related to court fees and costs, please get in touch with our Senior Associate Reda Hegazy at [email protected]