Samer Qudah - Partner, Head of Corporate Structuring - Corporate Structuring

Welcome to this month’s Law Update.


As we enter the second half of 2021 we can look ahead with hope and optimism. Through challenge comes opportunity and the last year has made us, as a legal community, re-think and push towards being more efficient in all aspects of our operations.


From a business perspective and at an operational level, the pandemic forced us to shift toward a hybrid workforce model and working online has meant we are collaborating beyond the physical office and across jurisdictions even more than we used to. The change in working culture had a positive initial impact on climate change, as we experienced an increase in remote working and consequently saw lower levels of commuter traffic, this meant beneficial reductions in congestion and carbon emissions.


Whilst the initial impact on carbon emissions and the environment was positive, we believe that widespread climate ambition and action is necessary and we can do more to keep the momentum going. As a firm, we have put in place a strategic plan to identify our most significant environmental impact areas as; resource use, energy use, business travel and disposal of waste. We are proactively working to achieve our sustainability goals across all our offices and are proud to be the only law firm headquartered in the region to join the Legal Sustainability Alliance (“LSA”).


Given the importance of the environmental, social and governance (ESG) agenda globally, and climate change being a vital component, this month’s edition of Law Update will delve into how the legal industry is collectively committing to tackle its long-term impact and the positive initiatives in place across the region. Within our climate focus section there is a particular emphasis on waste management, where you will find in-depth commentary from our experts on the waste agenda in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE.


In addition to waste management we share some insights into the challenges and opportunities in the region relating to energy security and sustainability. We cover what Bahrain’s government has implemented to protect its air quality and the environmental regulations and recycling initiatives in Oman.


Other pertinent climate articles you will find highlight responsible investment, specifically, assessing the opportunities and challenges when investing in cleantech and sustainability. We examine the steps taken by the UAE towards sustainable development and Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) compliance. Our lawyers recognise that for businesses it’s not as simple as following regulations, they are being held to task by customers wanting to purchase “eco-friendly” products. Therefore, we discuss “green marketing” and highlight what businesses need to know in the region.


Moving on from our climate focus, we share a number of relevant articles that provide insights into operating as an education provider in the UAE and how the DIFC innovation license is attracting technology entrepreneurs. We also share jurisdiction updates that discuss a number of important themes, such as the legal provisions in Iraq relating to the position of an Authorised Manager and our lawyers provide highlights of the Supreme Iraqi Maritime Authority Act. In addition, you can read about recent developments and the impact “Saudisation” has had on employers.


In this issue you will also find two notable judgements, the first addressing a case relating to the recovery of profits arising from Bitcoin investments, and second the capacity of a parent company to sue on behalf of its Qatari branch.


As we now focus on greener pastures we have to focus on collectively embracing newer more efficient ways of working that have a positive impact on our environment. I hope that you enjoy this issue and should you have any comments or questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.