July 18

Interview with Hassan Saeed Abaragh_Managing partner and Head of Arbitration, AI, Robotics & Blockchain at ICLO

Writer Hassan Saeed Abaragh

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1-What are the core services that the merged firm Saleh Alobeidli & Co and International Consultant Law Office, will offer in the area of digital technologies?

ICLO is proposing to its clients a full spectrum of legal services dedicated to the emerging 4.0 related technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Robotic, and Blockchain. ICLO's legal expertise covers five main services: Regulatory, Due diligence, Consultation, Setup, Intellectual Property, and Litigation/Arbitration.



2- What is the origin for the need to have legal support for AI, RPA, blockchain type of contracts?

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



3-  What do these three technologies have in common from the legal point of view?

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.



4-   What are the typical legal assignments in the area of AI?

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.

 


5-    What are the typical legal assignments in the area of robotics?

The typical assignments in the Robotics industry are the Joint Ventures between business partners to develop/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.



6-  What are the typical legal assignments in the area of Blockchain?

The typical assignments in Blockchain are related to the foreign investors' inquiries 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, lawyers need to work with developers to understand their needs. Lawyers added value to developers is more about creative solutions for innovative concepts.



7- How are any of the above legal assignments different in the regional market from the global markets?

The most exciting thing about the 4.0 innovative technologies are 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.