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Joshua
Joshua, Laywer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 24527
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I read with interest your feed regarding UK & UAE reciprocal

Resolved Question:

I read with interest your feed regarding UK & UAE reciprocal agreement.
I have a problem, I left the UAE in a hurry due to personal reasons in January 2007. I owed 44,000 dirhams approx.
Although the bank was aware that I was no longer in the country, they have continued to send bills to my offce at my UAE employer, I asked for it in writing to UK address . Nothing more was heard till this year, they now have claimed over 440,000 with a summons from Northampton CC. Can they do this?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: UK Employment Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 9 months ago.

Joshua :

Thanks for your question. Please kindly RATE my answer when you are satisfied

Joshua :

Do you know if the bank has obtained judgement against you in Dubai and is now seeking to enforce the judgement in the UK or is it suing you in the UK for the monies?

Joshua :

Do you accept you owe any part of the money? If so how much please?

Joshua :

Would you like to continue?

Customer:

They are suing me in the UK, there is no judgment in the UAE, I acknowlede the debt I left behind and wanted to do something about it but they never contacted me at my UK address, Time bar under UK law is 6 years, they are claiming 15 years and huge amounts of interest and late fees I knew nothing about.

Joshua :

Thanks. You can either dispute the courts jurisdiction to hear the claim or accept the courts jurisdiction. If you dispute the jurisdiction of the court then the bank has the option of suing in Dubai and then subsequently seeking to attempt to enforce the judgement through the English courts

Joshua :

As a choice between the Dubai and English legal systems having the case heard in the UK is likely to be an attractive choice but disputing the jurisdiction is an option open to you.

Joshua :

If you decide to accept the courts jurisdiction and there is provision in English law for the courts to hear claims against people living in England then you can seek to reduce the claim by a number of approaches.

Joshua :

If you accept that you owe part of the money claimed you could contemplate a without prejudice letter to the claimant advising that you accept that part of their claim is owed and would have settled the same had they written to you at your correct address and enclose your cheque in the amount you accept which is in full and final settlement of all your obligations towards the claimant and that if they do not accept settlement in this sum that they should return your cheque within 7 days.

Joshua :

If they bank the cheque then there it would be very difficult for them to continue to pursue a claim unless they quickly change their mind and return your cheque.

Customer:

THey have clearly breached their own terms and conditions, as have I, I have a solicitor working for me but he says we need to get legal advice from the UAE, I disagree and think that we can either nullify or substantially reduce the claim based on a number of things not least the time lapse factor and the huge interest fees, I do not have sufficient fund to post a cheque in the amount stated.

Joshua :

If this is unsuccessful then the claim can proceed. The limitation period in Dubai I believe is 15 years however you can seek to argue that their claims for additional sums and costs are unreasonable and cannot be accepted under application of English common law which requires that such claims are reasonable in all the circumstances and mitigated so far as possible.

Customer:

that makes sense, surely any claim under any law must take hed of the prevailing law in the country where the hearing is taking place?

Customer:

I am happy to work with them but the UK solicitor acting for the claimant has been intractible and threatening, the claimant has NEVER contacted me directly since FEB/MARCH 2007.

Joshua :

However you will not be protected by English limitation periods of consumer credit laws. Accordingly you should consider a dual language UAE lawyer to look at the UAE terms from the bank and conduct in order to advise your solicitor on any breaches of the terms of conditions as any such breaches could be extremely helpful to you. The law in the UAE and the terms and conditions will be applied by the English courts so far as it is not incompatible with English common law and the bank will typically supply the court with affidavits together with translated copies of the UAE civil code to assist the court in doing so.

Joshua :

I have heard of a number of cases however where sending a without prejudice letter enclosing a cheque as above has resulted in the cheque being banked and providing you use the suggested wording above, this can be fatal to the claimants claim of additional monies so can be an effective tool to head the matter off before it gets going.

Customer:

I have T's & C's in English, freely available on the internet

Joshua :

If you can find the bank has breached parts of those terms and conditions, if the claim does proceed this will be relevant evidence. The opinion of a Dubai lawyer would be very helpful as there may be further obligations placed on the bank under Dubai law which you nor your English lawyer may be aware of. The main crux of your arguments however would be that part of the debt is accepted however the additional charges and costs are unreasonable and were avoidable by the bank had it contacted you at an up to date address - assuming it had details of your correct address of course. On this basis you can seek to mitigate and reduce its claim.

Joshua :

If without these costs you can reduce the claim down to under £10K it may be worth considering asking for part of their claim to be struck out if they have not quantified it properly as this would mean it could be heard in the small claims court in which they cannot claim costs. You can do this by writing to the court asking that part of the claim (giving the figure) is struck out on the basis of failure to quantify and lack of merit and abuse of process to enable the bank to access the fast or multi track and is being used as a device in part to enable the bank to recover legal fees it would not be entitled to in the small claims court.

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Customer:

no thanks, XXXXX XXXXX

Joshua, Laywer
Satisfied Customers: 24527
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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