Interview with: Frederic Soliman, Managing Partner

Soliman, Hashish & Partners | View firm profile

What has been your greatest achievement, in a professional and personal capability?

Frederic Soliman: From a professional and personal points of view, I am proud to have a Partner and friend such Mohamed Hashish, in establishing Soliman, Hashish and Partners, which in less than 5 years became one of the leading law firm in Egypt and reaching Legal 500’s Tier 2 at Commercial, Corporate and M&A in in such short period of time. In addition, I am proud of representing hundreds of clients and receiving excellent feedback on our work therefrom during this whole period.

 

Mohamed Hashish: All well-experienced lawyers in Egypt know very well how it is very difficult and challenging, especially for young lawyers, to take a real opportunity at family business firms or even have a fair competition with old and well-connected firms. Some lawyers managed to break this challenge by having association with international firms. This approach is much easier than starting a new firm from scratch and adopting policies that are up to the international law firm’s standards.

 

Soliman, Hashish & Partners with such an amazing and ethical lawyer such as Frederic Soliman was not an easy achievement at all but it is the greatest one that I am/will always be proud of.

 

At the personal level, as most of my friends, peers and clients already know, I have been fighting an extremely rare and aggressive brain tumor since 2017 that resulted in having three (3) critical brain surgeries dealing with the brainstem in December 2017, May and August 2018. However, and despite the long-sufferings I have been dealing with, this aggressive tumor never prevented me from keep working in full capacity and supporting our law firm’s associates and clients.

What do you do differently from your peers in the industry?

Frederic Soliman: We are 100% dedicated to our clients and are rigorous in rending our legal opinions, always thinking of the best interests of our clients and trying to be pragmatic in rendering said legal opinions rather than being too theoretical. We also take seriously our KYC policy and try to focus on international clients rather than having a big number of local clients.

 

Mohamed Hashish: I hope if every lawyer understands the special nature and role of the practice of law. All lawyers should not act as businessmen. Unfortunately, we started to see few lawyers in the market dealing with law firm, and even lawyers, the same way they deal their own investment company/ies. I believe that this approach is not professional and will definitely affect the law practice in Egypt.

 

We, at Soliman, Hashish & Partners, exclusively work with the clients that they follow the highest level of business ethics. That’s why the absolute majority of our law firm’s clients are within the world’s largest multinational companies.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Frederic Soliman: It implies that I am not young anymore, but I would do exactly the same things I did. Even though I made a lot of mistake, I also learned from those mistakes, which made who I am today, so I won’t give him any advice beside being himself/myself.

 

Mohamed Hashish: To stop burning myself with work.

 

Can you give me a practical example of how helped a client add value to the business?

Frederic Soliman: It actually applies to a lot of client, who came to us because they were desperate and wanted to close their business in Egypt. We always try to find alternative solutions to help our clients, from a theoretical and practical points of view. In all cases we faced, the clients were satisfied and continued their business and even expanding their investments in Egypt.

 

Mohamed Hashish: There are companies that they underestimate the legal compliance requirements and the role of lawyers. Sometimes, this underestimation is based on irresponsible legal advices. This will definitely be exploded on these companies one day.

 

We always take the responsibility to guide our clients with all available legal practical solutions to achieve their business goals along with the pros and cons of each solution. This definitely add value to the business by taking the right business decision.

 

Within your sector, what do you think will be the biggest challenge for clients over the next 12 months?

Frederic Soliman: Of course, the first thing will be to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on both the social life and the international economy. The companies will face huge financial issues and will have to reconsider their priorities and therefor their investments abroad. This will probably lead to a lot of bankruptcy/liquidation process in the coming year.

 

Mohamed Hashish: I totally agree with what Frederic’s response above. However, I believe everyone including clients should not only try to recover from the impact of Covid-19 but also learn from this experience to avoid having the same impact again.