Start up essentials: Meet the lawyers

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Knowing the law is an essential part of starting a business. But all too often people are tempted to bypass lawyers in an attempt to save time, money and effort, leading themselves into trouble further down the line.

Which is a prime reason why the Lawyers Business Group has been set up.

Determined to stop entrepreneurs and small businesses making mistakes at the start of their enterprise, and to dispel the misconception that lawyers are the enemy of start-up businesses, the LBG offers free consultations to businessmen and women who want expert advice on a number of issues.

The group describes its mission as being “to co-ordinate alliance between the business owners on the one side and the lawyers of Dubai on the other,” by providing “full support, guidance, engagement in public policy advocacy, improving community legal education and enhancing community economic development, as well as a multitude of other legal services.”

It’s a bold statement of intent, and one which the members of the group feel passionately about.

Chairman of the LBG, Mr Ali Sultan Al Haddad of Al Haddad & Associates, says: “We want to help society. We believe in doing this job and are taking the opportunity to say thank you to the country that’s provided a lot for us.”

Comprising seven Dubai law firms, with a combined total of about 70 lawyers from various backgrounds, the LBG was formed in April 2012 and provides a unique legal clinic service, as well as helping develop the economic and trade landscape of Dubai.

Group co-ordinator Nadine Jaafar says: “What we do is assist entrepreneurs to stand on their own two feet. We try to make the relationships between us and our clients as close as possible, trying our best to save them from traps they might otherwise fall into.

“Nobody else is doing what we’re doing. The legal clinic is an open clinic available to anybody with a legal business. A lot of law firms take advantage of the fact entrepreneurs need and seek legal advice. They charge by the hour, by the size of the case, or various other things. This is not what the LBG does.

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