Dr Habib Al Mulla: Born to win

  • Share via facebook
  • Tweet this
  • Bookmark and Share

If anyone deserves to put their feet up, it has to be Dr Habib Al Mulla. Over the course of nearly 30 years, he has built his law firm, Habib Al Mulla, into one of the finest, most sought-after and successful in the Gulf. No case too difficult, no challenge too great and no shortage of high-profile victories.

Smart, sharp and shrewd, the UAE’s top legal eagle was also the architect of the legal framework establishing the Dubai International Financial Centre, and was the founding chairman of the DFSA.

So, time to relax? “Oh no, no! That’s not me, no way. If anything, I am about to become far more aggressively involved in this business,” he says.

That is good news not just for the legal profession but for his newly found partners: last week Dr Al Mulla completed an impressive deal that will, from 1 July, see his firm merge with global giant Baker & McKenzie. The new entity, Baker & McKenzie Habib Al Mulla, has high hopes of carving out a huge extra chunk of business in the region, especially in Dubai.

And you can see why: Baker & McKenzie has more than 4,000 lawyers and 72 offices in 45 countries, raking in $2.313bn  in the year to 30 June 2012. Al Mulla’s team is just 40 lawyers strong, but is amongst the most specialised and respected in the Arab world. Dispute resolution, corporate and commercial law, banking, real estate and construction have all been part of the Habib Al Mulla DNA over the last three decades.

Put the two together, and the mix of international access and scale with local expertise looks like a win-win situation.

“When you look at the Gulf today, it is experiencing a phenomenal growth and we expect that growth to continue. This needs the kind of legal services we can offer after the merger, with international ability and local knowledge,” says Dr Al Mulla.

He adds: “We have been working with Baker & McKenzie  for quite a few years now and we thought that with everything going on in Dubai, with Dubai coming back, it is a good opportunity to bring these two companies’ clients together under one roof with single accountability. It has been a very thorough decision but at the end of the day I think this merger brings far more advantages than some of the independence I may lose. And our clients, they are the ones who really will benefit.”

Baker & McKenzie has already been active in the Gulf and MENA region of over 30 years, beginning with an office in Riyadh in 1979. With offices also in Cairo, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Istanbul, Doha and Casablanca, the company has notched up 30 partners and 130 associates across the region.

But the obvious missing link has always been Dubai. Eduardo Leite, chairman of Baker & McKenzie’s Executive Committee, tells Arabian Business that Dubai has long been on the radar.

Article continued on next page

Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

Enter the words above: Enter the numbers you hear:

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Dubai mulls rule change to lure more domiciled funds

Dubai mulls rule change to lure more domiciled funds

Proposed rules would create a new class of funds in the Dubai...

Gulf's rift over Qatar may slow investment, reforms

Gulf's rift over Qatar may slow investment, reforms

Analysts suggest dispute may not hurt immediately but could impact...

Dodgy data obscure reality of Gulf's economic boom

Dodgy data obscure reality of Gulf's economic boom

Economists say that as Gulf opens wider to foreign investment...

Most Discussed
  • 54
    Three UAE women attacked with hammer at London hotel

    I really feel that Arabian Business.Com should now close this comments page. This should be all about sympathy for the families not what it is/has turned... more

    Wednesday, 16 April 2014 1:06 PM - Adrienne
  • 51
    Why Dubai isn't a plastic city

    What is definitely not a plastic city. The Arabs have a culture dating back to several centuries. 50 years back Dubai was just a fishing village. Today... more

    Tuesday, 8 April 2014 3:49 PM - P. MADHUSUDAN
  • 48
    DMCC boss Ahmed Bin Sulayem entertains Robert Mugabe in Dubai

    @fga ''However today, simply because he decided to dispossess a few white farmers of their land and redistribute to the poorer indigenous blacks'' more

    Sunday, 13 April 2014 3:02 PM - Matt Williams