Ruler of Dubai Appoints New Judges to the DIFC Courts


Four new judges at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts were today sworn in before His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

​In his capacity as the Ruler of Dubai, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has issued Decree No. (6) of 2021 appointing Lord Angus James Scott Glennie and Sir Peter Henry Gross as Judges of the Court of Appeal (CA) at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts.

The Decree also appointed Nassir Hashem Nasser Abdullah Al Nasser and Maha Khalid Mohammed Al Mheiri as Judges of the Court of First Instance (CFI) at DIFC Courts.

In presence of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council and H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, and President of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), all four judges took their oaths through a virtual ceremony and pledged to uphold the rule of law and justice with full integrity, loyalty, and diligence. HE Justice Nassir Al Nasser and HE Maha Al Mheiri took the oath virtually from the digitally integrated DIFC Courts courtroom, with Justice Lord Angus Glennie and Justice Sir Peter Gross attending virtually from separate locations across the UK. 

Zaki Azmi, Chief Justice, DIFC Courts, said: “The DIFC Courts serves the international business community by maintaining a world-class bench. As well as reinforcing our current panel of judges with additional prominent international expertise, the DIFC Courts has further achieved a new milestone by appointing the next generation of Emirati judges with trans-systemic expertise across civil and common law. We are also very proud to be the first court in the world to appoint a female Emirati judge to a common law court. These appointments will complement our already impressive independent, learned, and experienced bench that has earned trust and confidence, both locally and globally.”

Justice Lord Angus Glennie was called to the bar of England & Wales in 1974 and appointed Queen’s Counsel (QC) in England & Wales in 1990. In 1992 Lord Glennie was called to the Bar in Scotland, where he practiced as a Barrister (as well as in England & Wales), until he was called to the bench in 2005 and appointed to the Court of Session (Scotland’s highest civil court) with the judicial title of Lord Glennie. In 2016, Lord Glennie was appointed to the Inner House of the Courts of Session (equivalent to the Court of Appeal in England & Wales).

Justice Sir Peter Gross has enjoyed a distinguished legal career spanning over 40 years. Sir Peter was appointed to the Court of Appeal of England & Wales in 2010 and Deputy Senior Presiding Judge of England & Wales in 2011, thereafter becoming Senior Presiding Judge from 2013–2015. On retirement from the Court of Appeal, Sir Peter Gross was appointed President of the Slynn Foundation in 2019, dedicated to advancing the Rule of Law internationally. 

HE Justice Nassir Al Nasser was appointed as a DIFC Courts Judicial Officer in November 2012. In 2017 he was appointed as a Small Claims Tribunal (SCT) Judge & Registrar. HE Justice Nassir Al Nasser is also the first Emirati to join the DIFC Courts whose primary legal training has been in English common law.

As the first female Emirati judge appointed to the Courts of First Instance at the DIFC Courts, HE Justice Maha Al Mheiri also becomes the first female Emirati common law judge appointed in the UAE. HE Justice Maha Al Mheiri originally joined the DIFC Courts in 2012 as a Case Progression Officer and was appointed a Judicial officer in 2013, before becoming a Small Claims Tribunal (SCT) Judge in 2017. 

Emirati judges and registry staff have spent over a decade engaged in international training; self-development programmes; drafting rules for the courts; spearheading the introduction of the Small Claims Tribunal (SCT); overseen major commercial and civil cases; forged deep working relationships with regional and global commercial courts; and, driven up service standards and increased administrative efficiency.

Amongst many new initiatives outlined within the DIFC Courts Work Plan 2020 – 2021, the Emirati Advocates Mentorship Programme, as well as the Emirates Development of Judicial Excellence (EDJE) have been introduced, which are designed specifically to fulfil a three-tier strategy of: (i) increasing the number of Emiratis within the organisation; (ii) developing and retaining talent, and (iii) incubating new talent through graduate programmes. 

Following extensive feedback from practitioners and stakeholders, these programmes will serve to develop the UAE national workforce and enhance the competitiveness of Emirati legal professionals.