UK Islamic Finance Law


UK Islamic Finance Law aims to inform English lawyers about the basics of Islamic commercial law. It seeks to advance and expand the understanding of the principles and spirit underpinning one of the most comprehensive and oldest of the world’s legal systems.

A Frequently Unnoticed Nexus: English Law & Islamic Finance

It is a little known fact that cross-border Islamic financial contracts contain choice of law and jurisdiction clauses placing these contracts under English law more often than any other national law or jurisdiction. As Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd v Shamil Bank of Bahrain EC [2004] EWCA Civ 19 shows the English courts will not adjudicate Islamic law. However this does not obviate the need for the transactional lawyer to understand the Islamic legal underpinning and the state of play in Islamic banking and finance in the UK.

The Incidence & Increase of Islamic Finance in the UK

A variety of large investment projects chiefly in London have been financed by means of contracts informed Islamic law. Indeed Islamic banking and finance now has a history of several decades in England, including 53 Islamic investment certificate (sukuk) listings on the London Stock Exchange and the 2014 debut sovereign sukuk.

Whilst Islam is not a country and Islamic law does not comprise the law of any jurisdiction it features abundant legal and normative resources from which contemporary jurists and practitioners may draw and indeed must draw should they seek to participate and engage in any meaningful way in the emergence of the Islamic financial and banking industry in the United Kingdom.

A helpful start may be the key words (in Arabic) that crop up, but that need no longer be a bar to understanding.

Introduction to Islamic Law        Islamic Contract Law        Cardinal Prohibitions      Quick Arabic

The UK Islamic Finance Law Blog

In order to bridge the gap between Islamic commercial law and its contemporary application and ongoing innovations in Islamic finance UK Islamic Finance Law also includes a blog on recent and unfolding events in the markets and in this financial sector,  with London as an aspiring Western capital (supported by government policy and promotion) of Islamic banking and finance.

The recent UK Islamic Finance Law Blog posts listed to the left seek to fill the gap between the rest of this webpage and unfolding financial and commercial realities in two ways:

  • linking to, paraphrasing or quoting from other sources regarding the development of the Islamic financial market primarily in the United Kingdom and secondarily as events elsewhere in the world impact upon Islamic finance in the UK
  • offering analysis and interpretation of events of the day as well as reflections on the application of Islamic law and UK Islamic Finance Law to unfolding commercial realities.

Although the preponderance of the literature and writing on Islamic banking and finance since its modern beginnings is promotion and publicity rather than disinterested analysis this blog unlike the webpage mines contemporary writing and reporting for the facts and the occasional thoughtful and compelling economic and legal analysis appearing from time to time concerning matters pertinent to Islamic finance law in the UK, including (relatively) recent innovations in Islamic law and its uses in finance, investment and banking.

 SEARCH BOX to the left: UK Islamic Finance webpage and blog