Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Global Market Courts Collaborate to Further Legal Services in Abu Dhabi

28 April, 2022

Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Abu Dhabi Global Market Courts (ADGM Courts) to jointly establish a bespoke Legal Clinic Programme for Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi’s Department of Law, at a ceremony that took place at the University’s campus today. The ceremony was in the presence of Prof. Silvia Serrano, Vice-Chancellor, Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, and Ms. Linda Fitz-Alan, Registrar and Chief Executive of ADGM Courts.

The Legal Clinic will engage with ADGM Courts Pro Bono Legal Assistance Scheme (Pro Bono Scheme) to create a closely supervised framework for the University’s law students to interact with legal work provided by pro bono volunteer lawyers to persons in serious need of legal advice in disputes for which ADGM Courts has jurisdiction.
Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi and ADGM Courts will also work closely together to organise events that will raise awareness of the law students’ contribution to pro bono legal work, as well as to advance the significance of pro bono legal services in Abu Dhabi.

As part of their corporate social responsibility outreach, both Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi and ADGM Courts seek to offer an essential service to individuals who need urgent legal advice and services but have limited financial means. During the Legal Clinic Programme, students will be involved in real-life cases and provide appropriate legal assistance under the close supervision and guidance of Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi’s professors and the Pro Bono Scheme’s panel of legal volunteers.

Prof Silvia Serrano, Vice-Chancellor, Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi commented: “We are pleased to sign this MOU with the Abu Dhabi Global Market Courts today which aligns with our continuous efforts to partner with industry leaders to exchange expertise and foster a collaboration in areas of mutual interest. In addition, the agreement represents the university’s strong commitment to supporting and equipping students with the experience and skills they will need for their future careers and to prepare them for the job market.”
ADGM Courts strongly believes that an essential requirement for a fair and accessible justice system is that all individuals have access to legal assistance to protect their rights and interests. As such, ADGM Courts introduced its Pro Bono Scheme in early 2020 to provide free legal advice to individuals with limited financial means. Its introduction could not have been at a more pivotal time, given the onset of the pandemic. Under the Pro Bono Scheme, clients who are in financial distress are able to access free legal advice on their rights and obligations in regard to a civil or commercial dispute or other legal issue that falls only within ADGM Courts’ jurisdiction.

Ms Linda Fitz-Alan, Registrar and Chief Executive of ADGM Courts added, “We are delighted to embark on this impactful initiative with Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi. This collaboration provides the university’s law students with the opportunity to ‘shadow’ experienced lawyers and legal professionals and work in real time with clients seeking legal support on urgent legal issues and matters.

The Legal Clinic initiative dovetails well with ADGM Courts’ and ADGM’s strong commitment to advancing the holistic framework of civil and commercial justice in the UAE. We are glad to have the opportunity to support the young minds and next generation of legal professionals, as well as to provide accessible legal services to support ADGM’s and the wider Abu Dhabi community.”