Middle East 2015 – GC Powerlist
GC Powerlist Logo

Middle East 2015

  • Industries

  • Powerlist

Aasma Khan

chief legal officer | Tameer Holding Investment, United Arab Emirates

‘I thoroughly enjoy all the challenges every day brings and the new and creative ways I learn to manage all the myriad of companies across all these different jurisdictions’, Aasma...

Adrian Brown

general counsel | Takamul Investment Company, Oman

Australia and New Zealand-qualified Adrian Brown has been government-owned investment company Takamul’s general counsel since its 2008 inception, supporting some extraordinary developments during this period. Designed to drive forward greenfield...

Afshan Akhtar

FVP- legal | Arab Banking Corporation (ABC), Bahrain

Financials

Aluminium Bahrain (Alba)’s award-winning former general counsel and corporate secretary, Afshan Akhtar was hired to build the company’s legal function from scratch. ‘This was no mean feat considering the size...

Ahmad Swaiss

legal advisor | Astra Foods, Saudi Arabia

A ‘diligent’ and ‘devoted’ lawyer, Swaiss is valued both inside and outside his organisation, for his legal skills and ‘exceptional’ intrapersonal skills. Heading a small legal team Ahmad Swaiss established...

Ahmed Al Juneidi

chief legal officer | Baniyas Investment and Development Company, United Arab Emirates

Heading a ‘nimble’ legal team at Baniyas Sports Club’s majority-owned subsidiary, Ahmed Al Juneidi is known for his successful leadership of major litigation. He has also taken extensive steps to...

Ahmed Hamidou

manager of legal affairs | VIVA Bahrain, Bahrain

Fluent in English and Arabic, Ahmed Hamidou is a highly experienced telecommunications lawyer. As the third industry competitor to enter a former duopoly in 2010, VIVA has faced a myriad...

Albertus Alfridijanta

general counsel | Qatar Petroleum International (QPI), Qatar

UK and US-qualified Albertus Alfridijanta has extensive oil and gas experience spanning Europe, Asia, America and the Middle East. As general counsel to SOE Qatar Petroleum (QP)’s strategic investment arm,...

Alex Ghazi

chief legal officer | Arabtec Construction, United Arab Emirates

Heading a nine-strong team, Alex Ghazi has drawn praise both from internal and external clients, for the steps he has taken to build and consolidate the company’s existing legal framework....

Ali Khalaf

general counsel | Evolvence Capital, United Arab Emirates

‘It’s an exciting time to be GC in the UAE’, Ali Khalaf says. ‘The more light shone on the field will only result in better overall performance and tailoring of...

Amin Saad Abdulla

executive director and general counsel | Al Jazeera Media Network, Qatar

The region’s premier news network, Al Jazeera is at the forefront of a complex and fluid political landscape. As general counsel and executive director, Amin Saad Abdulla plays an integral...

Ammar Alattas

legal manager | GlaxoSmithKline, Saudi Arabia

Leading a compact team, Ammar Alattas manages GlaxoSmithKline’s Saudi Arabian legal function and supports operations across the region. A former Hammad Al-Mehdar and Co in alliance with Simmons and Simmons...

Andrew Ackroyd

senior legal counsel | EmiratesLNG, United Arab Emirates

Set to be UAE’s largest regasification terminal, Abu Dhabi-based PPP EmiratesLNG is scheduled for completion in 2018. When he joined the pipeline project in 2013, Ackroyd had a number of...

Andrew Onley

regional legal counsel and company secretary | Oceaneering International, United Arab Emirates

‘As in-house legal counsel it is also vital to think outside the box and to take on the role of commercial strategist’. Lamprell’s former general counsel, Andrew Onley heads Oceaneering’slegal operations...

Andrew Rae

general counsel | Oman Power and Water Procurement (OPWP) Co, Oman

As OPWP’s general counsel, Andrew Rae is setting the wheels in motion for both Oman’s biggest independent water project and its largest power generation project. Heading all legal and compliance...

Angela Russo

general counsel and head of market regulation | NASDAQ Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Combining ‘innovation’ with impeccable commercial and regulatory expertise, Angela Russo has a unique level of involvement in NASDAQ’s business operations. When she joined the international financial exchange in 2011, her...

Anneliese Reinhold

general counsel and SVP legal and regulatory affairs | du, United Arab Emirates

Award-winning general counsel Anneliese Reinhold is an influential voice in the Middle East’s in-house community, and a bastion for diversity. Reinhold joined du, UAE’s second telecoms operator in 2005, during...

Anuraag Malhotra

general counsel and chief tax officer | Landmark Group, United Arab Emirates

‘We are operating in a very dynamic ‎part of the world’, Anuraag Malhotra says. ‘Businesses are pressurised by changing economic scenarios; tax activism and BEPS and increased global competition coming to...

Anwar El Khatib

executive vice president – head of legal and compliance | Oman Insurance Company, UAE

Insurance

‘A lawyer who knows how to find answers’, Anwar El Khatib has been widely acclaimed throughout a prestigious 20-year legal career across in-house and private practice. During his previous role...

Ashley Whitcher

head of legal – special projects | Etihad Airways, United Arab Emirates

As Etihad Airways’ special projects legal head, Ashley Whitcher has led some of the airline’s most ground-breaking cross-border transactions of recent years. He is also credited for his role in...

Bapsy Dastur

general counsel (head – legal and integrity IMA) | ABB Industries, United Arab Emirates

With an impressive in-house career spanning multiple sectors across the Middle East and Asia, Bapsy Dastur excels in her capacity to ‘hit the ground running’, both as a lawyer and...

Benjamin Coquerelle

senior legal counsel | GDF Suez Energy International, Dubai

Energy and utilities

Leading transactions across the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa, Benjamin Coquerelle stands out for for his leadership and exceptional work ethic. ‘He has performed a lion’s share of the...

Bernadette Baynie

group general counsel | Batelco Group, Bahrain

As group general counsel, Bernadette Baynie has been pivotal in Batelco’s growth from a small regional player, to a global company operating across 14 companies. She has led legal and...

Bertrand Alexis

senior director, legal | Ooredoo, Qatar

‘An outstanding lawyer’, Bertrand Alexis is praised highly for his commercial awareness, ‘integrity’, ‘professionalism’ and capacity to simplify complex situations. As senior director at Ooredoo, he supported the global telecommunications...

Brooke Lindsay

deputy general counsel and head of corporate | Etisalat Group, United Arab Emirates

Fulfilling a dual role as deputy general counsel and corporate head, Brooke Lindsay is firmly entrenched in the business, sitting on Etisalat Nigeria’s board of directors. She has been formally...

Cherine Ghali

general counsel | Dubai Group (a member of Dubai Holding), United Arab Emirates

Dubai Group’s award-winning general counsel, Cherine Ghali is routinely at the helm of high-profile strategic transactions. With 16 years’ finance experience across private practice and in-house, she has previously worked...

Christopher Richardson

general counsel | Mubadala Petroleum, United Arab Emirates

With ‘charm’ and ‘relationship-building skills’, Christopher Richardson is highly respected in UAE’s oil and gas circles. He has tackled a raft of legal and regulatory issues across a broad international...

Clinton Genty-Nott

head of legal services | Oman Investment Fund, Oman

Blessed with ‘charm’, Clinton Genty-Nott impresses both with his technical understanding and the strong relationships he has built inside and outside his organisation. With a dual personality as both public...

Clinton Hermes

general counsel | Sidra Medical and Research Center, Qatar

A ground-breaking hospital, research and medical centre, Sidra is not yet fully operational. During the past two years, Hermes has been developing a comprehensive legal function, which can fully support...

Dalia Al Sayeh

general counsel | Middle East, Honeywell, United Arab Emirates

As the legal head of a foreign multinational moving into the region, Dalia Al Sayeh recognised the benefits of learning from the experiences of others. Accordingly, she formed an informal...

David Dhanoo

group chief legal officer and board secretary | Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Authority, Qatar

As the Qatar Financial Centre’s commercial and strategic arm, the QFC Authority’s primary objective is catalysing growth in the nation’s financial services sector. In 2010 the Authority unveiled a new...

David Hudson

head of legal and compliance | First Energy Bank, Bahrain

Energy and utilities

Heading legal and compliance functions at First Energy Bank, David Hudson joined the institution on its 2008 inception and established the function from scratch. ‘While transactional legal work takes up...

David Kultgen

general counsel and secretary | Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia

As the world’s largest oil company’s legal head, managing a 150-strong global team, David Kultgen remains one of the region’s best known and most respected general counsels. In-keeping with the...

David Mee

general counsel | Qatar Foundation Endowment, Qatar

Former general counsel to Qatar Foundation and Dubai Group, David Mee has over 10 years’ in-house experience and is prominent in the region’s corporate counsel community. Joining non-profit Qatar Foundation...

David O’ Sullivan

head of group legal | Qatar National Bank, Qatar

Financials

Heading a 15-strong team, David O’Sullivan has distinguished himself with his transformation of the legal function into a ‘top-performing department’ and ‘partner to the business’. He has led on a...

Dean Sheehan

vice president and general counsel for Middle East and Africa | PepsiCo, United Arab Emirates

Food, beverages and tobacco

Dean Sheehan is singled out by sources for his creative and pragmatic support to PepsiCo’s expansion strategy. The leading food and beverages company has seen continued growth in the region,...

Dr Khaled Aswad

general counsel | Abu Dhabi National Chemicals Company (ChemaWEyaat), United Arab Emirates

‘Dr Khaled Aswad is an outstanding model of exactly the kind of in-house counsel external counsel wants to work with’, opines one source. ‘Khaled knows his industry inside-out and understands...

Dzul Bakar

vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary | Shelf Drilling, United Arab Emirates

When he became general counsel in 2012, Dzul Bakar’s first and defining task was to lead Shelf Drilling’s historical $1bn Transocean buyout. ‘Achieving independence from Transocean was a challenging and...

Elnitaifa Kurmino

legal advisor | Advanced Petrochemical Company, Saudi Arabia

Elnitaifa Kurmino has made a substantial contribution to optimising efficiency in Advanced Petrochemical Company’s legal function, including a substantial revamp of standard documentation, and innovative IT solutions. An executive team...

Elsamawal Idris

head of legal | Bank Sohar, Oman

Financials

‘A very articulate and knowledgeable lawyer’, Elsamawal Idris stands out from the crowd, according to sources, with exceptional understanding of Oman’s banking system. Formerly legal head to Sudan’s Bank of...

Eman Ahmed

chief administrative officer | Mena Telecom, Bahrain

Heading legal, HR and administrative functions, Eman Ahmed was at the pinnacle of Mena Telecom’s WIMAX network launch, which transformed Bahrain’s telecommunications industry in 2010. ‘We instigated the breaking of...

Emil Pellicer

general counsel | Abu Dhabi Ports Company, United Arab Emirates

During his time as the leading port developer’s general counsel, Emil Pellicer has reduced reliance on external lawyers and heightened efficiency through standardising documentation and processes. He is praised for...

Emma Dickie

general counsel | averda, United Arab Emirates

One of the developing world’s fastest growing environmental service providers, averda announced plans to launch Saudi Arabia’s first underground waste containers in 2015. As general counsel and executive committee member,...

Eyad Othman

general counsel | Alinma Bank, Saudi Arabia

Financials

Publicly-owned financial institution, Alinma Bank, specialises in Sharia-compliant retail, corporate and investment banking. General counsel Eyad Othman is a respected lawyer in the nation’s financial services sector, with previous employers...

Fadi Hammadeh

group general counsel | Al Futtaim Group, United Arab Emirates

‘Softly spoken and transparent’, ‘strategic player’ Fadi Hammadeh ‘presents the best of corporate counsel leaders in the Middle East’. Al Futtaim Group’s general counsel and former Dubai Properties’ legal head,...

Fadi Kahhal

legal affairs manager | 3M Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia

Global brand 3M has established a meaningful footprint across the region’s ICT market, with a continuing pipeline of new products. ‘An extremely detail-oriented person’, Fadi Kahhal has been at the...

Faris Sahra

general counsel | Duqm Refinery and Petrochemical Industries Company, Oman

A joint venture between Oman Oil Company and International Petroleum Industries Company, Duqm Refinery will be Oman’s third petrochemicals complex. Faris Sahra has led all legal and regulatory aspects of...

Fayyaz Mahmood

general counsel | Bahrain Airport Company (BAC), Bahrain

Fayyaz Mahmood has been praised for his role in obtaining Bahrain Airport Company’s UK Health and Safety certification in 2015. BAC was established in 2008 to develop and manage Bahrain...

Firas Oggar

head of legal and corporate secretary | Foulath Holding Company, Bahrain

Fluent in English, French and Arabic, Firas Oggar established the legal function supporting the whole of Foulath Group, including Bahrain Steel, SULB Company, USCO in Bahrain and Saudi SULB. With...

Giles Menezes

senior legal counsel and group company secretary | Mercuria Energy Group, United Arab Emirates

Energy and utilities

Yahlive’s legal counsel and company secretary until 2015, Giles Menezes, who has ‘wit’ and ‘energy’, played a pivotal role in the company’s spectacular expansion across the region and beyond. ‘Giles...

Hani Gharbawi

general counsel and chief corporate affairs officer | King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), Saudi Arabia

Supporting one-of-its-kind ‘megaproject’ King Abdullah Economic City, general counsel Hani Gharbawi is in a unique position, particularly given his broad remit of responsibility. ‘The type of work the team is...

Hessa Al Twaijri

legal affairs manager and the board secretary | Petrochemical Industries Company, Kuwait

Highly experienced in the oil and gas sector, Hessa Al Twaijri has been active in some of the region’s most significant transactions and projects. Leading international ‘mega’ deals, she has...

Iris Edwards

general counsel | Kuwait Finance House Bahrain, Bahrain

As general counsel for the leading regional retail and investment banking institution, Iris Edwards is praised for her role in financing of Bahrain’s $3.2bn mixed-use Diyar Al Muharraq development. She has...

Ismaeel Elnasri

head of legal and board secretary | ALUBAF Arab International Bank Bahrain, Bahrain

Financials

‘Analytical, tenacious and decisive’, ALUBAF legal head Ismaeel Elnasri is praised for his substantial contribution to the function’s effective internal processes, and particularly the bank’s compliance framework. Formerly at Investors...

James Maxwell

general counsel | Ooredoo Oman, Oman

As general counsel, James Maxwell has guided what is now Ooredoo Oman, through every major breakthrough of its 11-year history; from winning the nation’s second fixed wireless to rebranding from...

John Olson

general counsel and corporate secretary | Sadara Chemical Company, Saudi Arabia

Sadara Chemical Company is constructing the world’s largest ever single-phase chemical complex business, through a unique alliance with Saudi Aramco and The Dow Chemical Company. A doyen of the region’s...

Joumana Younes

manager, legal department | Patchi, Lebanon

Heading a cross-functional team across legal and human resources, the ‘dynamic’ Joumana Younes’ unusually broad remit has empowered her to promote greater integration with the business, according to sources. ‘We...

Julian Hicks

general counsel and company secretary | Dragon Oil, United Arab Emirates

Supporting a dynamic business on the rise, Julian Hicks has successfully negotiated multibillion-dollar foreign direct investments amid the MENA and FSU regions’ political instability. ‘Negotiating, implementing and defending very large...

Kandarp Thakar

associate legal counsel | Msheireb Properties, Qatar

Msheireb’s ‘first-of-its-kind’ ‘megaproject’, Msheireb Downtown Doha (MDD), is the five-year $7bn regeneration and preservation of Doha’s historical old city centre. ‘MDD will blend traditional Qatari heritage and aesthetics with modern...

Kenneth Awoonor-Renner

associate chief legal officer | Gulf Bridge International, Qatar

Supporting the Middle East’s first privately-owned submarine cable system, Kenneth Awoonor-Renner adds real value with his capacity to think holistically, across legal and business factors, according to sources. Gulf Bridge International (GBI)...

Lois Allela

head of legal: Europe, Middle East, East Africa | Aggreko, United Arab Emirates

For Lois Allela, her ‘strategic contribution and visibility at board level’ are areas which have been particularly important to her throughout a high-powered in-house career. Supporting European, Middle Eastern and...

Lorenzo Bruttomesso

manager: legal and compliance | ORPIC (Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company SAOC), Oman

Managing legal and compliance functions for ORPIC and its subsidiaries, Lorenzo Bruttomesso’s impressive projects experience includes managing the $2.1bn Sohar Refinery Improvement, Muscat-Sohar’s pipeline and Liwa Plastics. A former Nilands...

Maha Jadallah Harper

chief legal officer | Al Faisal Holding, Qatar

‘One of my proudest achievements is seeing the legal department I first inherited totally transformed, and the new team developing and working well together’. In less than two years as Al...

Maimuna Al-Sulaimani

head of legal affairs | Alizz Islamic Bank, Oman

Financials

An award-winning corporate counsel, and Oman’s first female private sector legal head, Maimuna Al-Sulaimani has made a substantial contribution to discourse in the region’s in-house legal community. She spearheaded Oman...

Malcolm Haack

chief counsel, Middle East and Africa | AECOM, United Arab Emirates

Heading a 12-strong team, supporting the Middle East, Africa and India, Malcolm Haack is revolutionising the structure and effectiveness of the legal function, in the view of some sources. Amongst...

Marie-Therese Auger

general counsel | Qatar District Cooling Co., Qatar

A ‘dedicated’ ‘problem solver’, Marie-Therese Auger works closely with executive management in her leadership of all legal, governance and secretarial functions at the world’s largest district cooling plant operator. Sources...

Mark Craig

deputy general counsel | Oman Oil Company, Oman

Former general counsel to Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE), Mark Craig led Oman Oil Company’s €1.76bn Oxea Sarl acquisition. The company’s largest international acquisition to date, it was also the first...

Marouf Shweikeh

head of legal | Saudi Hollandi Bank, Saudi Arabia

Financials

It is the ‘diversity and complexity’ of work which most motivates Marouf Shweikeh in his current role. ‘Our bank is on high gears when it comes to new products, which...

Matthew Osborne

legal and regulatory director, company secretary | Vodafone Qatar, Qatar

Telecommunication services

Taking a ‘straightforward and refreshing’ approach, Matthew Osborne has a broad international remit, and impresses through his negotiations with governmental and other stakeholders. ‘He rates as one of the most...

May Khalife

general counsel | M1 Group, Lebanon

With a broad international remit, investment holdings group M1 operates across an exceptional spread of sectors. Upon her arrival, one of Khalife’s biggest challenges was bringing legal into line with...

Melanie Collishaw

head of legal | Dubai Properties, United Arab Emirates

‘Proactive, positive and extremely professional’ and ‘one smart lawyer’, Melanie Collishaw has built a sterling international reputation for her role in major property transactions, with particularly expertise in PFI schemes....

Michael Mackin

legal (general) counsel | New Port Project, Qatar

‘A consummate professional’, Michael Mackin heads all legal and compliance support for Qatar’s $7bn project to build a commercial port in Doha’s centre; the world’s largest “greenfield” port development. Mackin...

Mohamed Abdel Hafiz Mohamed

legal advisor and acting head of legal | Bank Dhofar, Oman

Financials

Oman’s third-largest lender by assets, Bank Dhofar announced plans to raise its capital by up to $300m in 2015. As its acting legal head, Mohammed Abdel Mohamed managed some of...

Mohamed El Roubi

general counsel – Asia, Middle East and Africa, and Southern Europe | AMEC Foster Wheeler, United Arab Emirates

Not just a gifted corporate counsel but also a ‘genuinely nice man’, Mohamed El Roubi’s impressive in-house experience spans Europe and the Middle East, with past roles including GE’s general...

Mohamed Yousef

senior legal advisor | National Commercial Bank, Saudi Arabia

Financials

As former general counsel to asset manager Sidra Capital and Al Murjan, Mohamed Yousef has sterling financial services expertise. Supporting one of the region’s leading banks, Yousef is a legal...

Mohammed Osman

associate general counsel | M. H. Alshaya Co, Kuwait

International retail franchise operator, M. H. Alshaya Co, manages and operates over 70 of the world’s most recognisable brands, including the likes of Starbucks, HandM and Le Pain Quotidien. Heading...

Mohannad Al Nabulsi

general counsel | Samsung Electronic Levant, Jordan

The global digital leader made headlines in 2015 with its inauguration of the Samsung Academy and Ultrasound Medical Laboratory at University of Jordan. General counsel Mohanned Nabulsi has drawn high...

Mutlaq Al-Mutlaq

legal affairs senior vice president | Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is the Middle East’s fastest-growing electricity consumer, and the entire industry is undergoing dramatic regulatory reform. As the legal head of KSA’s primary provider, Mutlaq Al-Mutlaq is a...

Nabil Azar

general counsel | United Arab Bank (UAB), United Arab Emirates

Financials

As general counsel for one of the region’s largest financial institutions, Nabil Azar is an influential industry figure. He is particularly known for his role in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank...

Ned Othman

chief legal officer | ACWA Holding, Saudi Arabia

Heading legal and risk functions at water and power specialist, ACWA, Ned Othman reorganised the legal department into a standalone function, in his words, ‘akin to a “law firm”’. He...

Nicholas Diacos

general counsel | Banque Saudi Fransi, Saudi Arabia

A highly respected Middle Eastern corporate counsel, Nicholas Diacos joined Banque Saudi Fransi in 2014, with the task of expanding and restructuring the institution’s now 15-lawyer legal function. As well...

Nicholas Polley

general counsel and company secretary | SEDCO Capital, Saudi Arabia

Former Charles Russell Speechlys LLP partner, Nicholas Polley, is credited by sources for his exceptional international structured finance expertise. As general counsel and company secretary to leading Sharia-compliant private wealth...

Nick Hornung

general counsel | Dubai World, United Arab Emirates

A highly respected corporate counsel within the region, Nick Hornung is praised by sources for his successful defence of Dubai World subsidiary, Istithmar World, in a $750m two-year arbitration. Having...

Noel Motha

chief legal counsel | GEMS Education, United Arab Emirates

Noel Motha came firmly onto the radar with his role in GEMS Education’s 2014 minority-stake sale to private equity funds, including Blackstone (its first ever Middle-Eastern investment). The Dubai-based schools...

Oliver Hallsworth

acting general counsel | Al Khalij Commercial Bank (al khaliji), Qatar

Financials

Supporting legal operations across Qatar, UAE and France, efficiency is key for Oliver Hallsworth’s three-strong team, and as acting GC, he has focused on optimising time and resources. With measures...

Olivier Sulik

general counsel and board secretary | QDVC, Qatar

A joint venture between Vinci Group and leading national property developer Qatari Diar, QDVC’s flagship projects include the City of Lusail, and Qatar’s first rail network. General counsel Oliver Sulik...

Olof Arnman

manager, legal and commercial – Eastern Hemisphere | Grey Wolf Drilling International, United Arab Emirates

‘I think I have demonstrated that a corporate counsel can be much more than just a legal advisor to the company’, Olof Arnman says. ‘By stepping out of the traditional...

Omar Haydar

general counsel and secretary of the board of directors | Ibdar Bank, Bahrain

Financials

‘A polished professional’ who has exceptional experience in the Middle East’s financial services sector, Omar Haydar is valued for his ‘communication’, ‘energy’ and work ethic. General counsel since 2010, he...

Paul Kirkby

senior legal counsel | GDF Suez, United Arab Emirates

By far a high point in Paul Kirkby’s in-house legal career to date was his role in the closure of Kuwait’s first independent water and power project. ‘I was solely...

Raed Al-Saadouni

chief legal officer | Airbus Defence and Space, Saudi Arabia

An ‘outstanding extemporaneous lawyer with a business mindset’, Raed Al-Saadouni is praised for his leadership and common-sense approach. As Airbus Defence and Space’s chief legal officer he has supported the...

Randall Geuy

counsel, practice leader – maritime, aviation, sale and trading | Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia

Randall Geuy led the multi-billion-dollar asset-level transfer of Saudi Aramco’s shipping subsidiary, which created the world’s third largest shipping company. He also restructured the company’s entire maritime, aviation, sales and trading...

Rima Hadid Al Masri

head of legal and corporate secretary | Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company, Bahrain

‘I cannot think of many aspects that I do not enjoy – I consider myself very lucky’, Rima Hadid Al Masri says of her role as Mumtalakat Holding Company’s legal...

Shadi Aldaoud

vice president and general counsel | Siemens, Saudi Arabia

A ‘brilliant’ corporate counsel, ‘calm under pressure’ and ‘softly spoken’, Shadi Aldaoud is, for some, ‘the best general counsel Siemens has ever had’. Throughout his decade-long tenure with the global...

Siddig Hussein

chief legal advisor | Al Rajhi Bank, Saudi Arabia

Financials

Worth $71.2bn, Al Rajhi Bank is one of the largest Islamic finance institutions in the world. ‘One of the prominent legal scholars of our generation’, Siddig Hussein has led significant...

Stephen Hibbert

general counsel | Qatar Railways Company, Qatar

Heading a ten-strong team, Qatar Railways’ highly-acclaimed general counsel Stephen Hibbert established the SOE’s internal legal function from scratch in 2012, and has since delivered contracts exceeding $40bn. A qualified...

Susy Aryani Singgih

general counsel | Investment Corporation of Dubai, (ICD) United Arab Emirates

Government-owned sovereign fund ICD holds an investment portfolio spanning some of Dubai’s most recognisable brands and continues to finance significant regional projects. General counsel Susy Singgih has drawn particular notice...

Teegan Lindsay

VP – legal (projects) | ACWA Power, United Arab Emirates

‘It is an exciting time to be working with such a dynamic company but also has its challenges’. Teegan Lindsay is recognised in our list for developing a sophisticated and...

Toufic Abi Fadel

legal manager (general counsel) | Qatar Development Bank, Qatar

Financials

Toufic Abi Fadel has led some of Qatar Development Bank’s most significant transactions of recent times. Since becoming the bank’s general counsel in 2010, he has built a four-strong legal...

Vaughan Crossley

general counsel | Oman Air, Oman

Heading Oman’s national airline’s legal and compliance functions, Vaughan Crossley is a leading regional expert in aviation law, with over two decades’ industry experience. Formerly a partner at Clark Ricketts...

Yasser Abo Ismail

chief legal counsel | MENA, Eaton, United Arab Emirates

Heading all legal operations across MENA and North Africa, Yasser Abo Ismail joined the company to take up the ‘exceptional opportunity’ of helping to establish new business hubs in Dubai...

Zaid El-Uteibi

head of legal/Middle East and North Africa | Hikma Pharmaceuticals, Jordan

Healthcare

Heading a 12-strong team, Zeid Uteibi has extensively revamped processes during his time as Hikma Pharmaceuticals’ regional legal head. He has also tackled a number of major cross-border deals across...

For 28 years, The Legal 500 has been analysing the capabilities of law firms across the world. The GC Powerlist (formerly the Corporate Counsel 100) is the latest publication from The Legal 500, turning its attention to the in-house function, and recognising those corporate counsel who are driving the legal business forward. The latest edition is the GC Powerlist: Middle East, which identifies an array of the most influential and innovative in-house counsel working in the region.

The GC Powerlist is a series of publications, highlighting the most influential in-house lawyers in business today.

We have canvassed opinions from law firm partners and in-house counsel across the Middle East, to identify corporate counsel that have been instrumental in changing or forming opinions within their company or industry; developing brilliant technical solutions to complex issues; creating innovative structures to ensure that the in-house function is driving the business forward; or providing a business working model that other corporate counsel should follow. Our team of experienced researchers assessed the nominations, speaking both to general counsel and nominating lawyers to finalise each jurisdictional list. GC Powerlist: Middle East features not just information on why that individual has made the list, but also comment from the law firms about how they feel individual corporate counsel have helped shape innovation in the legal industry.

If you have feedback on the GC Powerlist: Middle East, or wish to nominate other in-house individuals (either in the Middle East or global), please do get in touch at corporatecounsel@legal500.com.

We hope that this listing will stimulate debate around the role of the in-house lawyer and help corporate counsel with possible improvements and efficiencies in running their departments.

Al Tamimi & Company

Al Tamimi & Company logo

The Middle East is currently a region with two distinct faces; one of turmoil, with the situation in much of Iraq, Syria and Yemen serving as apt examples; while the other of great opportunity, as many countries in the region, and particularly those in the GCC, continue to successfully diversify their economies away from hydrocarbons, opening up new markets across a wide range of sectors.

Dubai in particular has emerged as a thriving global business destination, with one of the fastest growing economies in the world, with GDP rising by 6% annually. Furthermore the hosting of Expo 2020 is expected to create over 225,000 jobs over the next few years, bringing with it huge economic opportunities for the UAE as a whole. The Emirate has built a vibrant economy based on commerce, tourism, finance and real estate, with Dubai now home to one the world’s largest and active real estate markets.

Capital markets were at their most active for two years in Dubai during 2014, with several UAE based companies going to market and listing their shares on the Dubai Financial Market and Nasdaq Dubai, highlighting positivity and optimism in the market. The recently amended UAE Commercial Companies Law will move the country closer towards international standards and best practice, and thereby boosting the local financial markets and also encouraging new IPO activity.

The introduction of this legislation also demonstrates the UAE government’s commitment to, and evidence that it believes that commercial laws, rooted in international best practice, are vital to the modern economy that has developed in the UAE. IPOs, many of which have been on hold locally over recent months due to the lower oil price, are predicted to return, aided by a more transparent regulatory regime and a favourable business environment more generally. We will be watching closely to see how the market responds. Additionally, the opening of the Saudi Tadawul exchange to foreign investors will impact on other GCC markets and have an effect on many businesses in the Gulf more generally.

Given the way the opportunities in the Middle East are shaping up for local and international businesses, particularly with major events like Expo 2020 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the need for quality corporate legal counsel is more important now than ever before. There are widespread economic and growth opportunities across the region, and effective corporate counsel will help to navigate changing economies and regulations in this environment. Similarly, with the shifting geopolitics of the region, posing a multitude of additional challenges, these too need to be carefully considered and appropriately responded to. Prudent and well informed legal advice is crucial and can often be the difference between success and failure.

In-house legal teams are being called upon to play a more important role in how businesses operate, and they are becoming increasingly involved in operational issues, such as risk management and business strategy. They have the ability to change or form opinions within their industry, create robust structures to drive a business forward, and there are enormous opportunities for innovation, leadership and decision-making at the highest levels. It is important that General Counsel fully understand the corporate, geopolitical and economic environment in which they operate, allowing them to give robust advice to their clients, and partnering with and working closely with law firms to navigate through the region’s changing business and legal environment. Looking ahead, if the same pace of growth and expansion is going to be sustained across the financial sector and various other industries, the need for able and business-savvy corporate counsel in the region will be significant. Despite falling oil prices, the region’s economic outlook remains encouraging and positive and we would expect that there will be more local and regional companies seeking to list their shares on the various exchanges in 2015 and 2016.

We at Al Tamimi and Company are excited by this economic outlook for the region and we would hope to continue to partner and work closely with in-house legal teams to support their businesses and their clients in taking advantage of these opportunities together.

On behalf of the team at Al Tamimi, I extend our congratulations to each and everyone of you who has been included in the top 100. This not only shines a spotlight on the increasingly important role of corporate counsel, but recognises an array of the most influential and innovative in-house counsel working across the region.

GC Powerlist Luxembourg 2024

Our hotly-anticipated Luxembourg GC Powerlist launch, alongside Loyens & Loeff’s Luxembourg Office, undeniably struck a chord with attendees, who praised the event for bringing together an in-house legal community that has less opportunity to meet with one another than their contemporaries in other jurisdictions. Those in attendance made up of the full range of sectors which represent Luxembourg’s economy, a characteristic of our GC Powerlist publications which leads to excellent conversations and the opportunity for those in attendance to network with people who they would not meet under usual circumstances, building connections that may prove useful in the future.

After welcoming the 70 guests to the event at Loyens Loeff’s stylishly modern Kirchberg office and attendees were liberally provisioned with canapés and beverages, the keynote speeches began after an introduction from Powerlist editor Joe Boswell on behalf of The Legal 500 and lead researcher for the project Elena Lewis. The co-managing partner of Loyens’ Luxembourg Office, Frédéric Franckx, took the stage to give his perspective of the current lay of the land for the Luxembourg legal scene, and how in-house and private practice lawyers can work together to best navigate future challenges before introducing our in-house legal keynote speaker: Christian Dohmen of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. As well as charting a successful path through an in-house legal career, Dohmen spoke eloquently about ESG commitments and how general counsel can do more to ensure progressive policies are skilfully enacted in their organisations.

We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to every single general counsel who attended our first-ever Luxembourg GC Powerlist launch. Having such an excellent selection of top GCs attending the event made it a huge success, and stands the community in good stead to pursue greater collaboration in the future. Thank you also to our sponsors for the event, Loyens & Loeff Luxembourg, whose cooperative nature and in-depth knowledge of the in-house legal community throughout the project made researching it a pleasure.