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Hassan Saeed Abaragh, Managing partner and Head of Arbitration, AI, Robotics and Blockchain at ICLO.
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Bridging continuity and discontinuity of digital technologies through laws

The International Consultant Law Office, ICLO is an independent law firm based in Abu Dhabi, delivering legal services in the UAE and abroad in many languages. ICLO offers its clients a full spectrum of legal services dedicated to the emerging 4.0 related technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Robotic and Blockchain.

The 4.0 technologies are, by definition, disruptive. They lead by continuous innovation, which creates a structural gap between existing laws and regulation and the need to regulate to the new economic model. The role of a lawyer is very important because they provide via the elaboration of customised contracts and manuals the needed legal frame to do business. Lawyers’ imagination is essential for creative developers.

Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Blockchain have, from a legal perspective, the common similarity of being under regulated nationally and internationally. These technologies are also at the edge of a new industrial revolution that is changing the economic paradigm. Consequently, they appeal to a new legal ecosystem.

But given that the comparative history of law shows that its evolution is more about gradual evolution than drastic disruption, new laws regulating innovative technologies need to combine continuity and discontinuity. Continuity with the historical roots of legal concepts and discontinuity in creating new concepts when needed.

Total disruption in the legal field is inconceivable. The developers of innovative technologies have to be a bit comprehensive that they cannot expand without a certain legal system.

The typical assignments in artificial intelligence include assignments from government agencies and industry associations to draft emerging rules. The assignments also include intellectual property strategies and licensing, security and data protection issues and AI-related contracts.

Hassan Saeed Abaragh, Managing partner and Head of Arbitration, AI, Robotics and Blockchain at ICLO.
Hassan Saeed Abaragh, Managing partner and Head of Arbitration, AI, Robotics and Blockchain at ICLO.

The typical assignments in the Robotics industry are the Joint Ventures between business partners to develop and adapt existing technology to the local market or to transfer it directly into a specific field in UAE. Projects funding, finance agreements and commercial partnerships are also common assignments in this emerging industry.

The typical assignments in Blockchain are related to the foreign investors’ enquiries about the best jurisdiction in the UAE to set up a crypto-assets investment. Comparative studies between ADGM, DIFC and DMCC, are frequent. The assignments also include assistance in obtaining provisional licenses from ADGM or Federal RegLabs.

In all these three categories of innovative technologies, the lawyers need to work with developers to understand their needs. Lawyers added value to developers is more about creative solutions for innovative concepts.

The most exciting aspect about 4.0 innovative technologies is that they are giving the UAE an unprecedented chance to be part of the pool of leading nations that are experimenting with innovative regulation like the RTA regulation on autonomous vehicles testing in force in Dubai from early 2020.

From this perspective, the UAE market is different from other regional or even some global markets because it is more advanced. The recent Crypto-assets regulation enacted last November 2020 is a salient example of what makes the UAE market dissimilar with a distinctive momentum.


Key takeaways

  • The 4.0 technologies are, by definition, disruptive.
  • 0 technologies lead by continuous innovation, which creates a structural gap between existing laws and regulation.
  • The role of a lawyer is important because they provide needed legal frame to do business.
  • Lawyers’ imagination is essential for creative developers.
  • Total disruption in the legal field is inconceivable.
  • Developers of innovative technologies have to be comprehensive that they cannot expand without a legal system.
  • The comparative history of law shows that its evolution is more about gradual evolution than drastic disruption.
  • New laws regulating innovative technologies need to combine continuity and discontinuity.
  • Continuity with the historical roots of legal concepts and discontinuity in creating new concepts when needed.

While history of law shows that its evolution is gradual, new laws regulating innovative technologies need to combine continuity and discontinuity.