INTRODUCTION

The legal sector is rapidly changing – driven by greater use of technology

At Al Tamimi & Company we believe that we cannot support our clients’ evolving needs if we as a firm are not a leader in innovation.

We have created this Zone to showcase our knowledge and expertise with regards to supporting and fostering innovation across the Middle East.

Welcome to the Innovation Zone.

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We are empowering

Governments

Government bodies in the region view innovation as a holistic process rather than a one-off. However, the innovation process is beyond a standard business transformation and can be seemingly complex, because it requires a complete change of track from the entity’s day-to-day routine.

In this context, government departments in the process of innovating are increasingly turning to law firms to aid them in this complex journey. Clients expect their legal advisors to provide them with proactive commercial solutions to their current and potential business issues, rather than reactive legal advice to problems that have already arisen.

Al Tamimi & Company has advised several governmental bodies on the introduction of innovative solutions aimed at improving the services they provide to their customers. We also work with government entities and regulators to help shape the legal framework ensuring a thriving and innovative ecosystem across the region.

SME’s and Start-ups

Understanding the importance and pace of innovation and having a solid understanding of the technical, business and legal implications affecting SME’s and Start-ups looking to innovate is of paramount importance.

SMEs and start-ups are growing and developing at a frenetic pace and this vibrant segment of the economy in many Middle Eastern countries need legal support in order to foster and grow.

But SME’s and Start-ups can find the ever-evolving legal framework difficult to navigate and we recognize that access to good legal services can sometimes be financially prohibitive. This sector of the economy is instrumental to the region’s future growth and we recognize its importance.

In answer to this, we have brought together a team of expert lawyers who see it as their role to be with you on your commercial journey from a start-up position to becoming a mature business entity. Our team will work with you to understand your needs that typically will include advice on your funding requirements to the protection of IP, and day to day corporate and commercial advice. As the leading law firm in the region, we have a vested interest in supporting and ensuring a thriving SME and start-up environment.

Corporates

Companies are looking for legal consultants who can help them drive their business during their innovation journey.

Innovation involves rethinking or rewiring a business process or redesigning a business product that already exists. It requires encouragement, collaboration, and communication, but it also requires managing change in accordance with the current regulatory framework.

Our lawyers have the in-depth commercial acumen required to enable them to understand our client’s business models and their industrial and commercial sectors. We also understand the regulatory landscape within which our client’s operate. This means that we can proactively advise on the introduction of new innovative solutions and technologies within the business that are compliant with evolving regulatory requirements.

Venture Capital

We understand the journey of an emerging company; from conception through to successful financial exit. Our technology specialists have built companies, managed VC firms, and advised on multiple rounds of financing, through to financial exits via IPOs and trade sales. Whether you are a capital efficient B2B SaaS player with amazing organic customer acquisition, a B2C urban mobility platform looking to take on a global giant or a B2B e-commerce player looking to leverage a unique vertical, we will know how your burn rate, team, tech and valuation will evolve over the first few years of your company’s life. This deep insight into what is unique about your company enables us to recommend legal structures for seed, early stage and more advanced venture finance that takes these dynamics into account and anticipates what you and your investors will be looking for as your company evolves. We will also ensure that your IP rights, ESOP, operations and Series C financing all work together for you, your investors and your talent.

Entrepreneurs

We understand the dynamics of how to fund your business in early funding rounds in a way that future-proofs and protects your company against down-rounds, investor and founder misalignment and difficulties you will experience as you build out the next unicorn. We also understand intimately what investors are looking for, how this differs based on the nature of your product, your business model, your go-to-market strategy, and the customer acquisition dynamics of your business.

Al Tamimi & Company is the best placed firm in the region to assist you in navigating the myriad legal challenges that come with multiple free zones, civil laws and tricky corporate structuring choices. As a founder, you need to get visas, to onboard a payment gateway and to secure your intellectual property rights. But you also need to give your shareholders drag rights and liquidation preferences or your employees stock options that vest over time.

We have seen hundreds of start-ups across every vertical and business model – We can anticipate tomorrow’s problems today and help you avoid them.

INSIGHTS

THE TEAM

Foutoun Hajjar

Foutoun Hajjar

Partner, Head of Office - Bahrain

Foutoun is a Partner and head of Al Tamimi’s Bahrain office, and also a member of the Education, Projects, Rail, and Hotels & Leisure sector groups.

Foutoun has extensive experience in a broad range of corporate, commercial and investment matters including mergers and acquisitions, investment funds, corporate restructurings and private equity transactions. During her career Foutoun has represented clients both in private practice and in-house, including banks, family run businesses, and multi-national corporate clients.

Before joining Al Tamimi Foutoun served as the Head of Legal & Compliance (Middle East) for Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance (ME), a 100 FTSE listed company and the UK’s largest general insurer. Foutoun has been practicing law in Bahrain for 14 years.

Allison Hosking

Allison Hosking

Head of Knowledge Management

Allison Hosking is the Head of Knowledge Management at Al Tamimi & Company. She is a member of the firm’s Innovation & Efficiency Group where she oversees the review, testing and adoption of legal tech solutions. Allison established and manages the firm’s Coding Club consisting of a group of colleagues who automate legal and other documents which are used both internally as well as by our clients. She is passionate about supporting general counsel, law firm leaders and colleagues to improve effectiveness and efficiency. Allison is a qualified lawyer and has worked in Chile, India, New York, London and Dubai for Magic Circle as well as local law firms. She has previously taught on post-graduate law programmes, holds a university teaching qualification and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Martin Hayward

Martin Hayward

Head of Technology, Media and Telecommunications

Martin recently joined Al Tamimi & Company as regional Head of the Technology, Media & Telecommunications practice. He has over 12 years’ experience advising on the full range of commercial, outsourcing, telecommunications, technology, intellectual property and information law issues.

After qualifying into the Information, Communications & Technology team at Simmons & Simmons LLP in 2006, Martin spent several years working in their London office before relocating to Dubai in 2009. In 2012, Martin joined an Abu Dhabi government owned IT services provider as General Counsel and Company Secretary, and most recently held the position of Senior Corporate Counsel EMEA and Middle East Regional Counsel at a major US telecommunications solution provider.

Ahmad Saleh

Ahmad Saleh

Partner, Head of Patents & Design (R&D and Innovations)

Ahmad is a Canadian attorney and engineer coming with over 12 years of higher education studies in law and engineering and 12 years of western and local experience in IP and commercial law. He has worked for reputable Canadian and international law firms in the fields of Intellectual Property and Commercial Law before joining Al Tamimi as Head of Patents & Designs (R&D and Innovations) in September 2013.

Ahmad has particular expertise in high technology industries including ICT, computer, software, electrical/electronics, telecommunications, aerospace & defence, optics, biomedical, mechanical, transport, energy and oil & gas. He represents a wide range of clients in these sectors, ranging from individual inventors and entrepreneurs to multinational companies and universities, in the protection, management and enforcement of their innovations locally and internationally.

Abdullah Mutawi

Abdullah Mutawi

Partner, Head of Corporate Commercial

Abdullah Mutawi is a bi-lingual partner in the firm’s Dubai office with over 20 years’ experience practicing in London and the Middle East. Abdullah’s primary area of practice is corporate finance and cross-border M&A with particularly substantial experience in Telecom and Technology investments at all levels of the value chain. In addition to TMT transactions, Abdullah has also undertaken many transactions in the energy, infrastructure, transportation, industrial and retail sectors. Abdullah’s clients include public and private companies, sovereign wealth funds, banks, private equity funds, venture capital firms and family offices and the M&A transactions on which he has led have involved assets in 33 developed and emerging markets and with an aggregate value in excess of US$28 billion.