Aziz Rahman, Senior and managing partner
Senior and Managing partner Aziz Rahman explains how the firm is adapting to clients’ changing needs
What do you see as the main points that differentiate Rahman Ravelli from your competitors?
Rahman Ravelli has earned a reputation for being passionate and driven in support of its clients’ interests. We are known for not being afraid of getting our elbows out, getting stuck in on behalf of our clients and coming up with innovative strategies. That is a reputation that I am very proud of because that is a quality that the firm looks for in each and every person it employs. It also means that we can call on the best QC’s, experts and other professionals in order to build the strongest possible team to build the best possible case. Our staff are all bright and hardworking, we do not suffer fools or being messed about and satisfactory is not enough - we want the very best outcome every time. We achieve this through robust, proactive defending and by making sure every defence is bespoke to that client. This approach has also led to an increased demand for us to conduct and advise on internal fraud investigations for corporations, professionals, directors and other senior business and financial figures. We always do what we say and we have the experience and expertise to back up our claims. Our work is about dealing with the likes of the SFO, FCA, City of London Police and other agencies to gain the very best result for clients. This work is our bread and butter and we are one of very few firms who can do it well day in, day out.
Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? what are the drivers behind that?
Speaking from the areas of law we operate in, I believe that we will grow in the next 12 months. We have been on an upward trajectory since the firm was founded in 2001. Fraud, bribery and business and financial crime have seen many changes in recent years; with new legislation and the authorities benefiting from more powers, better technology and increased cooperation between themselves. This means that more people may need the proactive and dynamic representation we provide. Other firms working in other fields will certainly have their ideas for growth but we are firmly focused on the issues that affect our clients. Business crime is an area that is being enforced more forcefully and we are there to protect clients against injustice.
What’s the main change you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?
We constantly review every aspect of what we do to make sure we offer the very best for clients. At Rahman Ravelli, it’s about working hard and working smart for those we represent. There is rarely the need for major change. In the past 12 months, however, the main change has been the opening of our base in the Midlands. Just like the successful opening of our London offices five years ago, our presence in Birmingham has made us more easily accessible to clients. We can, of course, now conduct much of our business via technology but at Rahman Ravelli we believe that it is important to be available for clients. Our Midlands office helps with that.
Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients and the services you can provide them?
We use technology to help us gain the maximum benefit for clients. From the electronic serving of huge amounts of paperwork through to more specific analytical tools, technology is a huge aid. But it does not replace the interaction we have with clients or alter the services we provide. In fact, technology helps with the labour intensive aspects of case work, which means we potentially have more time for clients. We were one of the first firms to have a paperless office but technology is not a game changer. It helps us as we keep gaining the best possible results for clients, it helps us ensure the prosecution meets all its obligations to us and it assists our office systems and enhances case management. But our personal interaction with clients remains of paramount importance - and always will.
Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?
We defend people facing major threats to their livelihoods, their businesses, their reputations and even their liberty. Our work is about much more than the issue of adding value to a person’s business. We help people protect everything that is important to them. In the last few weeks, for example, we have successfully defended a number of business people and professionals in cases where millions of pounds and huge amounts of assets were at stake. We do this by mounting the best possible defence case for them and by challenging each and every step taken by the prosecuting authorities. Each case is different but our approach never changes – we do everything possible in order to proactively tackle our clients’ accusers and the allegations they make. Similarly, the corporate internal investigations that we carry out for clients help them identify wrongdoing and those responsible. This can save clients large amounts of money, prevent damage to reputations, keep organisations functioning properly and allow individuals to keep practising without fear of disbarment by their professional body. This all goes beyond the issue of adding value to a business.
Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms? where do you see the firm in three years’ time?
Clients want the best possible outcome from the legal situation that they are in. We give them that. We give them strong, proactive legal representation tailored specifically to them and their case. Stability for them comes from us helping them understand what is happening, giving them direction and by explaining the legal options. Rahman Ravelli gives clients the best chance of a positive result. Our track record shows that we are successful in that. We are successful because we put together the defence case carefully, we appoint the right people to the team and we identify and pursue the most appropriate strategy. Clients facing allegations always want stability. That stability can only come from success in their case. We ensure that they have the best chance of success.