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The Law on Global Claims: An Area Ripe for Development in Egypt and the United Arab Emirates

Erin Miller Rankin & Bryan Dayton

ABSTRACT

The authors consider whether global claims are permissible in the Middle East. Global claims permit a construction contractor to claim for damages without demonstrating the precise causal link between its contractual counterparty’s conduct and the contractor’s claimed damages. The topic of global claims has been thrust into the spotlight as a result of the English High Court’s decision in ‘Walter Lilly & Company Ltd v. Mackay & Anor’, which reaffirmed and expanded the permissibility of global claims in England. However, despite ‘Walter Lilly’, the scope of global claims in England appears limited. This is similar to the position of US law, which permits total loss claims (the US equivalent of global claims) in rare circumstances and prefers the use of other methodologies to calculate damages. While acknowledging that the position in the Middle East is largely uncertain, the authors argue that the obstacles faced by contractors in raising global claims in England and total loss claims in the United States are not as significant in Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. As a consequence, the authors predict that courts and arbitral tribunals applying Middle Eastern laws should be more receptive to global claims than they otherwise would be when applying English and US law.