CEO, Detained International
Co-founder, Stirling Haigh
David Haigh is one of the most high profile human rights lawyers and crisis managers focusing on the Middle East today. He is a founding partner in Stirling Haigh, a leading international crisis management and dispute resolution and strategic advisory firm. He is the CEO of British based legal advocacy NGO Detained International founded to assist people who have become victims of injustice and human rights violations in the United Arab Emirates and the wider Middle East. The Detained International team joined from Detained in Dubai, which they helped found, and the team have been helping hundreds of victims of injustice, discrimination and other human rights violations for some ten years. We are an NGO with charitable aims and are acting on a voluntary basis to help Latifa, as are our partners and staff. We are fortunate to be helped by many volunteers and supporters who donate their time and skills.
He is a tireless and successful advocate for victims whose rights have been violated. His high-profile legal and human rights battles have led to many landmark precedent-setting court decisions, millions of dollars for his clients and significant media coverage for his clients. Most recently acting for HRH Sheikha Latifa Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, against her father, the ruler of Dubai, Prime Minster and Vice President of the UAE.
Shortlisted by his peers as one of the best lawyers in the UK and the Middle East, described by the Lawyer magazine as “you wouldn’t want to bet against him” and by Daily Beast as running “an extraordinarily slick – and convincing – PR campaign ostensibly designed to free her [Princess Latifa]”.
David has known Princess Latifa, for almost 8 years through mutual friends when David lived in Dubai. The appointment by HRH Princess Latifa followed David surviving a well publicized 22-month ordeal of torture and abuse in Dubai and, as a result, in addition to advising HRH Princes Latifa, he is now a fierce campaigner for human rights and justice in the UAE and the wider Middle East.
In 2017 at the United Nations period review of the UAE, he co-founded the Geneva based Association for Victims of Torture in the UAE alongside the Swiss leading human rights charity Al Karama Foundation and other UAE torture victims, from Qatar, Palestine and the United States of America.
David has been involved in many high profile cases of injustice, torture and abuse in which he and his partners have campaigned for the release or protection of those falsely accused and abused. He regularly appears on radio and television across the globe to talk of his experiences and those of his clients’. In 2017 his human rights work became so high profile that the renowned BBC HARDtalk program dedicated an entire episode to David’s personal fight for justice and that of others that trust him with their fight for freedom.
As one of the most high profile defenders of human rights in the UAE, David often speaks at the United Nations about human rights in the UAE and is regularly called as an expert witness in cases pertaining to human rights in the UAE, Interpol abuse and UAE extraditions requests.
David now devotes his career and indomitable determination and strength to helping those in crisis and fighting for human rights.
David can be contacted on