Interview with: Mohiuddin Abdul Kadir, President and Senior Partner
MCLaw Services | View firm profile
The President and Senior Partner of MCLaw services shares the firm’s visions and explains how the firm is responding to clients’ shifting needs.
What do you see as the main points that differentiate MCLaw from your competitors?
MCLaw does not believe in the notion of rivalry as we do not feel that we are operating a business rather, we are here to provide best legal service, pragmatic solution and advice to our clients around the world. We offer absolute solutions to a wide range of legal issues. As a result, we attempt to concentrate on self-improvement. e.g. improving quality services, capacity to render legal services, expediting remedies and so on. Our legal practices and services distinguish MCLaw from other law firms in many ways. We offer one-stop integrated professional services solution in our areas of practice, for example on one hand we have a complete set up for dealing with Admiralty and Maritime law Issues and on the other hand we do entire hand holding of a new foreign investor in terms of legal support in establishing his business in Bangladesh right from facilitating market entrance, establishing operations and expansion thereof, and it specializes in Litigation and Alternate Dispute Resolution (Arbitration & Mediation, Conciliation and Negotiation). Besides, MCLaw is the chosen law firm for numerous foreign and national companies seeking strategic and legal assistance. We are also appointed panel lawyers for various companies and the Legal Correspondent for a number of P&I Clubs.
Furthermore we have a remarkable team of experienced, qualified and professional lawyers and technical experts e.g master mariners, engineers, marine consultants, acclaimed mediators, arbitration professionals and legal experts. They are well-versed in their practice areas, legal research, including the use of technology and web resources. Having recognized both regionally and globally, we are delivering high quality and swift and effective legal services across the country. Having head office in Dhaka, we have other offices in Khulna and Chittagong in Bangladesh and contact office in both India and Singapore.
Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?
MCLaw’s Corporate and Commercial Practice is growing fast in order to match with the needs of its clients. The ever growing financialization of the country’s economy has also inspired us to expand our capabilities and expertise in the field of Banking, Finance and Insurance.
Over the last three decades, there has been an exponential growth in the economy of Bangladesh in terms of business, infrastructure and commercial industries. The country has seen the largest number of the Foreign Joint Ventures and collaborations in the present time. As a result, there has been a growing need of legal advice and assistance in issues concerning commercial and business affairs on various commercial arrangements, corporate transactional matters, commercial contracts and documentation. Besides, given the increasing development, Corporate and commercial law practice is the most sought-after, sophisticated and ever-evolving area of law and a major driver to develop our expertise.
What’s the main change you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?
Offering excellent client care is an integral part of our firm’s compliance and ethics. We have recently acquired Maritime Counsel which is one of the renowned law firm specialised in Admiralty and Maritime law in Bangladesh. Thus, with its recent consolidation in 2020, the firm has doubled its capacity in terms of number, expertise and experience. With that now we have an accomplished team of lawyers with vast experience who are immensely supported by a team of experienced and qualified professionals and technical experts in the field of maritime and other sectors, who have practical knowledge of handling the cargoes as well as the ship. They are so well versed with the shipping documents and issues like demurrage and detention, collision, fire, grounding, salvage, general average, damage or loss of cargo, short landing and crew claims etc. These highly experienced experts guide and provide practical insights to our litigation team and also provide necessary supports to enable our lawyers to represent their matters in Court effectively. Therefore as per the requirement of the matter, each case is now handled by team of a lawyer and a technical expert.
Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?
Yes. Communication with your clients is really important to run a law firm. Your reputation may be made or broken by your ability to communicate effectively with your clients. That’s being said, every time you communicate with a customer, you help them shaping their perception of your work.
It is more than just delivering frequent updates on a case. It entails being proactive and ensure your clients feel really informed and cared for. Therefore, understanding their concerns, our firm has designed a client friendly communication system to facilitate interactions. This technology allows clients to get to our team more quickly and simply by providing quick and easy access to consigning requests and queries straight from our website, email, social accounts e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter.
Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?
Yes, one practical example could be the matter relating to the Customs Penalty upon short-landing of liquid Cargo. Earlier it was a very long and wrong practice of the Customs Authority to impose penalty on the local agents. We represented several local agents and challenged this practice of the Customs Authority at High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh in several matters and after an effective representation at the Court; the Court has declared the action of the Customs Authority unlawful. Later the Customs Authority filed a leave to appeal before the Hon’ble Appellate Court which was dismissed by the Apex Court very recently.
This way, we helped the shipping industry, ship owners in particular to safeguard their interests and we were able to have the nearly 40 years of illegal practice stopped.
Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?
Indeed. Clients expect a law firm to offer constancy, stability, and strategic guidance in essence and personal care.
When clients receive all of these advantages from a single law firm, they are more inclined to remain with that firm for as long as it is feasible. Our firm is working hard to ensure that all of our clientele have the same level of reliability and stability while imparting strategic guidance.
We, MCLaw as a firm, anticipate and intend to grow our corporate and professional networks globally within the next three years while sustaining our ethos of delivering the best quality service to our clients. As we increase our growth and capacity, we intend to increase our collaborations with experienced lawyers and law firms across the world in order to provide our clients one-stop legal services to support them achieving their commercial strategies.
Moreover, this on-going Covid-19 has opened our eyes and we have realized the immense significance of technology during this period. Therefore, we as a law firm aim to keep pace with rapidly evolving technology.