The Middle East & North Africa

February 27, 2018 - February 28, 2018

Bahrain: CLDP Leads Workshop on Procurement Law Reform

On February 27-28, CLDP organized a two-day inter-agency working group meeting in coordination with Bahrain's Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism (MOICT) to outline a road map to draft a new small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) procurement law in Manama, Bahrain.  The MOICT and US Embassy Manama, requested that CLDP review the draft law and provide comments once the draft is prepared by the working group. In drafting the law, the MOICT has considered incorporating many of the recommendations made by CLDP, including creating a small-business oversight body and technical assistance procurement center for SMEs to strengthen the government procurement system in Bahrain. While the anticipated roadmap includes a preliminary draft delivered by the MOICT and the inter-agency working group (which includes Bahrain's Parliament) by May 2018, CLDP expects to continue to provide technical assistance on SME procurement reform to help establish implementation mechanisms to address small-business set aside programs.  CLDP experts included OGC's Senior Attorney, John Guinan, and experts from the U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Procurement Law.  CLDP efforts to reform public procurement laws in the Gulf will help standardized international best practices and level the playing field for US businesses overseas.

February 23, 2018

Morocco: CLDP Supports High Level Conference on the Role of Bankruptcy in Attracting Investment

On February 23, CLDP co-sponsored an event in Marrakech with the Moroccan Association of CPA’s and the Moroccan Judicial Authority on the role of bankruptcy reform in improving Morocco’s investment climate. For the last 20 years, Morocco has been in the process of amending the bankruptcy provisions of its Commercial Code. Recently, Morocco’s cabinet approved a law that would revise these bankruptcy provisions, however the law has not yet been approved by Parliament. The goal of the Marrakech conference was to develop a roadmap for implementing the new provisions and to identify the tasks needed to successfully implement the new mechanisms, including a reorganization provision. Accountants, trustees, judges and senior officials from throughout Morocco attended the conference and engaged in collaborative discussions on how to ensure that the new law would serve the private sector and attract investment. CLDP has been working with Morocco for several years on the revision and has conducted workshops and conferences on preparing trustees and judges for complex reorganization cases. During the conference, CLDP announced its plans to continue and expand its assistance as the law gets closer to enactment. CLDP experts, including a US Federal Bankruptcy Judge and a bankruptcy practitioner, discussed lessons learned from the US model and the evolution of bankruptcy law in the US.

February 21, 2018

Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka: CLDP Sponsors the 4th Annual Middle East Pre -Moot Arbitrator Roundtable

On February 21, CLDP, in coordination with the Royal University for Women, the Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution, Mena Chambers Bahrain, UNCITRAL, and ICC, hosted the 4th Annual Middle East Arbitrator Roundtable at the Royal University for Women in Manama, Bahrain.  The Roundtable was led by Dr. Stefan Kroll of the Vis Moot Organization, Professor Ron Brand of the University of Pittsburgh’s Center of International Legal Studies, and Ryan Harrington of UNCITRAL. More than 70 arbitrators from around the world participated and in sessions focused on addressing current developments in international trade and investment arbitration.  The program was conducted on the margins of CLDP’s 8th Annual Middle East Vis Pre-Moot program and provided an unique opportunity for current transactional lawyers to connect with the next generation of future arbitrators.  Participants discussed current changes in arbitration law and practice and prepared themselves to serve as judges in simulated arbitration rounds.  The Roundtable has become an annual event that has developed a community of legal practitioners in championing the practice of effective contract enforcement and dispute resolution.

February 19, 2018 - February 23, 2018

CLDP sponsors the 8th Annual Middle East Vis Pre-Moot

On February 19-23, CLDP, in partnership with the Royal University for Women, the Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution, Mena Chambers Bahrain, UNCITRAL, and ICC, hosted the 8th Annual Middle East Vis Pre-Moot at the Royal University for Women in Manama, Bahrain.  The program brought together 15 teams consisting of over 90 students from Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates for extensive clinical training in oral advocacy as well as simulated arbitrations.  The program consisted of three days of training and two days of competition.  The training was conducted by former Vis Moot champions and mentors, and Professor Ronald Brand from the Center of International Legal Studies, University of Pittsburgh.  Additionally, the competition was arbitrated by over 70 legal practitioners from across the globe.  

February 19, 2018 - February 20, 2018

Saudi Arabia/Bahrain: Regional Conference for Saudi and Bahraini Stakeholders on Implementing a Successful Bankruptcy System

On February 19-20, CLDP, in coordination with the Saudi Ministry of Commerce and Investment and the Saudi Ministry of Justice, organized a conference for Saudi and Bahraini judges, government officials, accountants and other stakeholders on how to develop the institutions and capacity needed to implement a bankruptcy system that maximizes credit recovery and stimulates economic growth. The conference was hosted at the newly completed Saudi Judicial Training Institute and included at least 30 Saudi judges in addition to Saudi accountants, government officials and lawyers. The conference also included a high level Bahraini delegation, headed by Abdulrahman Bu-Ali, Chairman of the Bahraini Parliament’s Finance Committee in addition to the principal authors of its draft bankruptcy law, a representative of the private sector and two representatives of the Bahrain Economic Development Board.  The conference sessions were led by two Federal Bankruptcy Judges, Brian Tester and Martin Glenn (Puerto Rico and SDNY), in addition to a bankruptcy lawyer with significant international experience.

The conference took place immediately following the King of Saudi Arabia’s signature of their new bankruptcy law, which revolutionizes the legal framework for Saudi businesses by providing court supervised solutions, such as reorganization and protective settlements, to failing businesses instead of simply liquidation or worse, jail time, as was the case previously in Saudi Arabia for debtors unable to fulfill their obligations. Bahrain is also in the process of developing a new bankruptcy code that would provide similar solutions and its draft law will likely be submitted to its Parliament later this Spring for review. CLDP, with renewed State Department (MEPI) funding, will continue to work with the Saudi and Bahraini governments and judiciaries to develop their capacities to implement these new laws over the next three years to maximize their benefits to the economies and particularly to the small businesses in these two countries.

February 15, 2018 - February 21, 2018

Sponsorship of International Technology Transfer Specialists to AUTM

CLDP sponsored the participation of technology transfer specialists from Algeria, Morocco, Sri Lanka, and Tunisia to attend the 2018 Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) Annual Meeting in Phoenix, AZ from February 18-21, 2018.

February 7, 2018

Kuwait: CLDP Provides Legislative Experience for Economic Development Conference

On February 7, CLDP Senior Counsel James Filpi spoke at the Kuwait annual Knowledge Economy Forum conference organized by the Kuwait Supreme Council of Planning and Development in Kuwait City. The conference brought experts in economic development from around the world to discuss the demands on Kuwait to develop a knowledge based economy and continue to be a robust participant in the global economy. Mr. Filpi emphasized the importance of Kuwait keeping pace with international commercial law standards and the challenges for legislators supporting economic growth in a knowledge based economy. Mr. Filpi provided insights into lessons learned in the Arabian Peninsula and globally for legislative drafters attempting to regulate a knowledge based economy effectively. Since 2004 in the Arabian Peninsula, CLDP has advocated for legislative efforts to modernize commercial law and trained legal stakeholders in international commercial law best practices. CLDP’s focus in the Arabian Peninsula is to provide the legal expertise and training to encourage the countries in the Arabian Peninsula to modernize their commercial laws and create opportunities for local and international companies operating in the region.

February 7, 2018 - February 9, 2018

CLDP Organizes North Africa Regional Workshop on Technology Transfer

CLDP organized a North Africa Regional Workshop on University-Industry Relations in Encouraging Technology Transfer from February 7-9, 2018 in Rabat, Morocco. 

February 6, 2018

Kuwait: Comparative Arbitration Law Seminar

On February 8, 2018, CLDP and the Kuwait Commercial Arbitration Center (KCAC) will conduct a seminar focusing on best practices in drafting arbitration legislation. Enlisting the expertise of international dispute resolution experts in local and international practices, CLDP and KCAC will conduct the seminar for stakeholders interested in arbitration law and practice in Kuwait.