Interview with: Eyad Reda, Managing Partner

Eyad Reda Law Firm | View firm profile

Eyad Reda explains how the firm is adapting to clients’ changing needs

What do you see as the main points that differentiate [Eyad Reda Law Firm (“ERLF”)] from your competitors?

ERLF team bring to their client most valuable and relevant advice combined with best local knowledge and international best standards. Our practice is fully integrated into national and international businesses and is well placed to advise on a broad range of local, regional, and cross-border transactions. The multi-lingual, different experience background as well as firm’s major mandate in Saudi market position us in legal field experts in most relevant practice areas.

Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

Restructuring, M&A, PPP/Privatization, and technology. We believe that these areas are focal legal focus areas in the next 12 months. There are signs and indications of post COVID-19 will change the legal industry in Saudi Arabia, private sector leaders are restructuring, government investment advisors are thinking M&A and privatization, young tech SMEs are booming what used to be normal business practice before COVID-19 is an out of date way of post COVID-19. Legal thinking and needs are also changing in line with these changes.

What’s the main change you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?

Our role is to understand our client’s goals as thoroughly as possible and to deliver the best legal services to their businesses, taking in consideration best practice and business related matters. We started to engage with in-house counsels to assure they play a proactive role and to maintain effectiveness and budget. We frequently keep informed our clients about sector related legal updates and trends.

Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?

Certainly yes. Document sharing, E-signatures, artificial intelligence, communication, and social media business platforms. With a heavy focus on technology and artificial intelligence by the Ministry of Justice and other government entities, client advancement, this gives our firm no option other than implementing E-discovery tools, contract review tools, and locating relevant clauses in many of our day to day work. Dealing with legal documents is becoming more technical but faster and economically better. We do believe it is no longer luxury, it will be soon be a basic demand.

Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?

One of our clients has more than 22,000 employees, 16 subsidiaries, and more than 10 law firms in their panel, total disconnection between different legal activities in different subsidiaries and considerable gap/alignment between law firms. In a holding board level discussion, we have proposed a detailed plan 6 months plan to reorganize their legal activities, combine their teams, propose B2B between their subsidiaries, centralize their legal documentation, centralize legal conflict and decision making. After 6 months of doing the exercise with them, the client has managed to cut their legal cost with more than 35%, increase efficiency and instruct better quality legal work to their external counsels, the board is proud of quality of their in-house legal and less risk and more trust was achieved.

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?

Clients are involving law firms more in strategic and proactive elements, the traditional way of legal help and support is becoming an out of date thing, clients are working smarter, and becoming more sophisticated and accordingly they expect their lawyers not only to be engaged in solving problems but also helping them navigating businesses and future goals. We have been engaged with some of our clients in strategic discussions to evaluate the legal side of their plans. Law firms needs to adapt and become pragmatic, more aware of in-depth practical knowledge rather than law textbooks. Law firms cannot ignore the fast change in businesses and slow creation of laws.