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Saudi developing a ‘fit for purpose’ maritime legal sector

Saudi Arabia’s infrastructure investments under Vision 2030 are well documented and this growth is being backed up with the Kingdom ensuring it has a legal system that is fit for purpose.

Speaking to Seatrade Maritime at the Saudi Maritime Congress recently, Rob Lawrence, Partner with international law firm HFW, discussed some of the developments they had seen in Saudi’s maritime and transport legal regime.

“I think what is also very clear is that in parallel to that the kingdom is very aware that the legal system needs to be fit for purpose, in order to facilitate the growth to ensure that they can meet vision 20 to 2030,” Lawrence said in a video interview.

“One of the big developments was in 2019 with the introduction of the Maritime Code, which was a complete overhaul and first iteration of a comprehensive legal framework for the maritime sector. And since then, we've seen additional regulations be implemented to supplement the underlying law, one of the most recent being the new regulation government ship agents within the kingdom,” he said.

While the Kingdom does not have bespoke forum for maritime or transportation HFW is seeing developments in this respect as well.

“One of those advancements being a recent cooperation and giving agreement between the Transport General Authority and the Saudi Centre for Commercial arbitration whereby they're encouraging all stakeholders to ensure that their contracts incorporate arbitration and with review that all disputes arising from transportation, whether it's in the marine sector, the aviation sector, or the transport, the road sector will be subject to arbitration,” Lawrence explained.

And in a new development non-Saudi qualified lawyers are now allowed to appear at arbitrations.

Watch the video above to see the full interview