The Legal Department offers Group-wide services such as Board secretarial, compliance, information management, and document custody. It comprises 14 professionals and support staff who assist all internal departments and operating and investment companies.
During 2019, the team facilitated several large transactions in private equity and other projects, ensuring Group-wide legislative and regulatory compliance. Numerous legal reforms have resulted from Vision 2030 and the department has deployed significant efforts to monitor developments and provide advice and information.
Legal supported the Group Finance Department with multiple restructuring initiatives for reducing overheads.
New workflow management software was adopted to track projects and processes, as well as facilitating inter and intra departmental coordination. The improved software is better able to coordinate work, store legal documentation, and produce reports and performance measurements.
All attorneys received training in the new software. Training also covered a comprehensive range of professional expertise, with three attorneys qualifying for certification by the Association of Corporate Counsel.
In 2018, the department was ranked as one of the most influential and innovative inhouse legal teams in the Middle East. The evaluation is done every two years by the Legal 500, GC Powerlist Middle East, with the next due in 2020.
The department’s emphasis will continue be on further mitigating external consultancy by providing high-quality services to the Group at a greatly reduced cost. Increasingly, borders are becoming blurred and the team is educating itself on the laws of the various jurisdictions where the Group invests or operates.