Interview with: Hamdan AlShamsi, Senior Partner


Senior Partner Hamdan AlShamsi explains how the firm is adapting to clients’ changing needs

What do you see as the main points that differentiate you from your competitors?

Clients conduct business globally which means handling cross-border transactions on a daily basis. Clients are not passed off to lawyers in other jurisdictions leaving them in third party hands with whom they have no relationship whatsoever. Often, as a result of being appointed international general counsel, instructions are given to resolve business law issues and overcome challenges in a multitude of jurisdictions which clients may otherwise have to face alone or from a zero basis position in legal systems and operating in a language with which they may never have come into contact before. Typically they prefer to have one single point of contact.

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

The higher the levels of taxation in major economies the greater the movement toward locating business in low tax regimes around the world within more regulated environments. This will lead to more tax planning, residency, nationality, re-domiciliation, mergers & acquisitions, corporate structuring.

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

Reducing fixed costs and maintaining a competitive fee structure.

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

Technology has changed the legal landscape for cross border business completely. Complex contracts, issues and matters are handled electronically. Meetings are rarely held saving on travel costs and time. There is hardly a matter much of which cannot be done electronically including preparation for litigation.

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

Availability to clients on a 365 day basis and almost 24/7. Time is the most precious asset there is and its irredeemable. It’s imperative to ensure that one does not unreasonably delay or procrastinate in delivering legal services. This is achieved with the help of a professional team and network in Europe, the Middle-East & the US.

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

In three years there will be increased business growth in handling cross border work and corporate structuring as the US, the EU, China and India compete for foreign investment.