Mohamed Al Mehairi
I am Chairman and Senior Partner of Wragge & Co Legal Consultants LLC, Wragge & Co's offering in the United Arab Emirates. Having worked in-house in many different arms of the UAE government, I am well placed to offer public and private sector clients value for money and top-quality advice.
Tel: 00971 4 327 7702
Best brains in...
International Arbitration - I am a registered arbitrator with the Dubai International Arbitration Centre at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. I have held a number of senior arbitration posts: Director of the Legal Affairs Department and Secretary General of the Conciliation and Arbitration Centre and Head of Arbitration Services at the Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC).
During my time at the DIFC I was responsible for producing the plan to establish and administer the entire arbitration function. I also spearheaded the creation of the common law legal infrastructure through the adoption of American and English laws, with a view to promoting its wider application in DIFC.
Finally, if the worst does come to the worst, I have a wealth of experience in litigation thanks to a former appointment as an Assistant Judge with the UAE Federal Ministry of Justice. I am also a licensed lawyer with the Federal and Dubai Court, a member of the Judicial Council of the Dubai Government, board member of the Judicial Institute and member of Federal Legislative Committee - all enhancing my experience and knowledge in this field.
Highlight of your career so far?
One of the highlights of my career was my appointment as Senior Legal Advisor and Director of Legal Strategy at the Executive Council of the Dubai Government. This appointment allowed me to be at the forefront of UAE legal developments and to be involved with the development, modification and implementation of the legal and justice sector in the Dubai Strategic Plan 2015.
I was also part of the team which drafted the law establishing the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), as well as a whole host of other laws in the healthcare, property and real estate sectors. These include the health funding project and various Free Zone Laws (DIFC, DHCC and Maydan).
One of the lasting legacies of my time with the DIFC was the partnership established between the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and the DIFC Arbitration Service. This partnership not only provides an efficient forum for international arbitration but also works to strengthen UK/UAE links more generally.
One of my personal highlights would also have to be my involvement with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Leadership Programme, one of the top executive training programmes offered by the Inseade Institute in France and Duke University in the USA.
What is the most challenging job which you have ever had?
The most challenging job I have had to date was my role with Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry - dealing with more than 20,000 members who needed legal and commercial assistance.
I also handled complaints and dispute resolution, as well as providing conciliation and arbitration assistance. The role involved dealing with people from countless different nationalities. In each case I had to get into the mindset of individuals from all of levels in commerce, trade and industry, creating many business councils and groups and many other challenges.
What's your top tip for great client service?
Really getting to know the client's needs and requirements! The best legal solutions are those which are realistic in the context of a client's situation. There are a great many factors which can impact upon a client's business, so it is essential that we tailor our advice to each client's particular circumstances.
Thanks to our close positioning with Emirati and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) clients, Wragge & Co's new Middle Eastern offering will upgrade the level of service we provide to our clients. It allows us to tailor top-class western advice to the demands of eastern markets, from a sound cultural platform.
Knowledge transfer is something you're particularly passionate about - why?
The sharing of experience, knowledge and ideas, whether technical, personal or cultural is absolutely fundamental. It allows us to broaden our expertise, develop our skills and ultimately improve the service that we offer to our clients.
This concept is the backbone of "Legal Talents Development Programme" - an initiative which I set up and which ultimately led to the establishment of the "University of Saint Joseph (USJ) - Dubai Law College". USJ is arguably the best law college in the Arab World and I negotiated for its establishment in Dubai. Every year, 40 national students are able to study for a government-sponsored Bachelor of law.
Commitment to knowledge transfer was one of the many aspects which drew me to Wragge & Co. Knowledge transfer lies at the heart of its 'single-team' and it is committed to sharing and nurturing ideas and expertise, both internally and with the wider community.
Why is Wragge & Co the best match for you in the UAE?
I am really impressed with Wragge & Co's focus on providing clients with the best advice and solutions through a value-added approach combined with technical excellence. It is why the firm has already been retained by governments and public and private sector organisations in the GCC and why I believe that we have great potential for significant growth in the region and beyond.
What has been said about you that you are most proud of?
I am most proud of being described as a "multi-function person" due to my extensive experience in many fields related to legal services and dispute resolution. I am a board member of Al Wasl Sports Club in Dubai and the Vice Chairman of Football Dispute Resolution Chamber at UAE Football Association.