The 3rd Annual Legal Era Middle East Law Awards 2022
Legal Era Recognizes Legal Excellence and Innovation in The Middle East Region
Legal Luminaries & the Crème de la Crème Lawyers of the Middle East gathered together in the impressive environs of The Palm, Dubai to celebrate legal excellence at the 3rd Annual Legal Era Middle East Law Awards 2022.
Held on Thursday, 8th December 2022, the grandeur of the Gala Awards Ceremony thundered with applause as the winning moments unfolded on stage.
Since the two successful virtual editions in the thick of the pandemic, the 3rd Edition was special conducted at the heart of the ultramodern global city of Dubai! The Legal Era Middle East Awards are an ode to the distinguished legal minds and excellence among counsels and law firms in a region that well known for being one of the most promising cradles of business and innovation in the world.
The awards are categorized into 3 segments Law Firm Segments, In-House Segment & Individual & Premier segment with the Legal Excellence Award and The Lifetime Achievement Awards.
With immense pride, Legal Era also felicitated the business enablers the Leading Corporate Counsel & Chief Legal Officers with a GC Power list in a Premier Segment recognizing Distinguished Legal Minds of Middle East - In-House Counsels.
The selection criteria for the Awards included service type and range, nature of business and operation, and individual/team expertise, among others. The selection process was unique. It included evaluating the performance of the regional and foreign firms in the Middle East through a rating system by General Counsels and the inputs collected from peer nominations & the Jury based review. The team conducted extensive research that assessed the leading regional and domestic law firms in the Middle East region including the UAE, Bahrain, Iran, Israel, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. The filtered ones were then passed on to a jury - an independent fleet of stalwarts from the legal industry and academia. They examined the information and churned out unbiased ranks. From there, only the finest finalists were shortlisted through another rigorous study.
The 3rd Annual Legal Era Middle East Law Awards 2022 was supported by credible specialist communities by Legal Era and corporate counsel associations & the Global Business Lawyers Network
Legal Era-Legal Media Group, leading global publication works towards empowering the legal fraternity worldwide by creating opportunities for discovery & development of the legal ecosystem since 2007. Legal Era is a mega global think tank of expert professionals in law and business. And with the roaring success of the Middle East Awards.
Ms Aakriti Raizada, Founder and Managing Editor, Legal Era-Legal Media Group spoke about the significance of the Middle East Region and the many opportunities it holds for lawyers globally.
"Winning, achievements, recognitions, challenges, opportunities, recognition, and collaboration – These are truly the essence of Legal Era Middle East Awards. What a delightful honour it is for us all to be here together, in person, in of the most innovative cities in the world – Dubai! Dubai has always been setting trends shaping the complex global economy. It is also a particularly entrepreneurial city. Dubai is set to become one of the world's top digital economies and a leading platform for innovations that can shape the future."
That was followed by a Special Address by the Jury Chair Yasser Aboismail, General Counsel & Compliance Officer, MENA, Schindler Group. He expressed his joy and immense pride in the occasion. "I have been associated with Legal Era Middle East Awards for three consecutive years now. It has been a most rewarding journey. Recognizing legal excellence from the promising Middle East Region is a positive and much-welcomed step by Legal Era - Legal Media Group. Added to that, occasions like these are precious - It is so wonderful to connect and spend some fun time with our friends from the Middle East Legal Family!"
He went on to applaud the Middle East Awardees. "The Middle East is a land of opportunities. Lawyers in this region are superheroes as the challenges and uncertainties they have to manage are beyond those expected from a lawyer…My heartiest congratulations to all the finalists today selected through a rigorous process. I believe the legal profession is one of the noblest and most honourable jobs ever. Being a lawyer means we can influence the world to become fairer and more sustainable. And I am proud that there are so many in the Middle East Region making a mark in different roles and capacities!"
With that, the Award Presentation Ceremony began. Middle East's Leading Lawyers, Leading Law Firms, Leading Chief Legal Officers in 30+ award categories, Legal Excellence Award, Lifetime Achievement Awardees, and Distinguished Legal Minds claimed the stage. Each of the awardees at the 3rd Annual Legal Era Middle East Law Awards 2022 had truly earned their place, their niche, and their mark in this vast legal landscape of challenges and opportunities.
Legal Era recognised the Leading In-House Lawyers & General Counsel, who act as Business Enablers & Strategic Advisors in the Powerlist Distinguished Legal Minds of Middle East
Ahmad Azzouni Group Chief Legal Counsel Aujan Group Holding; Ajith Madhavan General Manager - Legal Services Aster DM Healthcare; Ali Khalaf General Counsel Evolvence Group; Arunkhanna KK. General Manager- Legal Export Trading Group; Dr. Ashraf Shabaan Group General Counsel National Bank of Egypt; Bapsy Dastur General Counsel, Head- Corporate Risk Compliance & Legal VFS Global; Brett Hattaway VP & Head of Legal - Middle East Africa DHL; Dr. Abdelkareem Al Kadomi Group Chief Legal Officer Abdul Latif Jameel Co; Dr. Srinivas Pala Group General Counsel Utico FZC; Dr Yasser Aboismail Global Lead Compliance Culture & Training Schindler Group; Faizal Latheef Legal Director AbbVie; Filippo Cossalter Head Of Legal- Pharmaceuticals Johnson & Johnson; Francesca Gori Managing Director Regional Legal Lead Asia Pacific LAT Middle East & Africa Accenture; Hani Gharbawi General Counsel Cruise Saudi; Harish Kumar Senior Director and Head of Legal Americana Group; Hassan Basil Hassan General Counsel Gulf Coca-Cola Beverages (GCCB) Majid Al Futtaim Holding; Islam Abaza General Counsel & Head of Corporate Compliance Middle East and Africa Danone; Lulwa Mutawi General Counsel Gulf Coca-Cola Beverages (GCCB); Minkyu Kim Regional General Counsel LG Electronics MEA HQ; Mohammed Noaman General Counsel Europe Middle East and Africa - Focal Point GE Power; Moutaz Abdullat Head of Legal at Ferrero GCC; Nadim Elias El Haj General Counsel Abu Dhabi National Hotels; Omar Rahman Chief Legal Officer Dubai Islamic Bank; Peter Khokhlov General Counsel Advaita Group; Dominik Engel General Counsel EMEA ABB; Sandeep M. Chokshy Managing Regional Counsel Expro; Tamer Alsmadi Group Head Of Legal Creative Zone; Varsha Gupta Director, Senior Counsel Mastercard; Vinodh Kumar Group General Counsel & Board Secretary Export Trading Group; Yosr Hamza Director Legal & Compliance Gartner
As the evening closed, it was exhilarating to see everyone wearing their unique badges of honour with pride and satisfaction. As well as winning moments, the attendees, cheerleaders, and nominees formed new collaborations and had a memorable evening meeting friends and colleagues from the Middle East and the global legal fraternity. The Middle East is all set to welcome the 4th Edition of the Awards in November 2023.
Here is the complete list of awardees: In the Individual / Private Practitioners from Law Firm category, Melissa Murray, Partner, Bird & Bird LLP won the Intellectual Property Lawyer of the Year; Samer Qudah, Managing Partner, Al Tamimi & Company won the Corporate & M&A Lawyer of the Year; Shahram Safai, Partner, Afridi & Angell won the Real Estate & Construction Lawyer of the Year; Sunita Dalal Singh, Partner, Hourani & Partners won the Private Client Lawyer of the Year; Samir Kantaria, Partner, Al Tamimi & Company won the Employment Lawyer of the Year; Bashir Ahmed, Managing Partner, Afridi & Angell won the Managing Partner of the Year.
In the In-house Lawyers category, Islam Abaza, General Counsel, Danone won the General Counsel of the Year – Small Team; Dr. Ashraf Shabaan, Group General Counsel, National Bank of Egypt won the General Counsel of the Year – Large Team; Dr Srinivas Pala, Group General Counsel, Utico FZC, won the General Counsel of the Year - Energy & Water.
In the In-House Teams category Agri Commodities & Finance Ltd (ETC) won the Legal Department of the Year - Small Team; VFS Global won the Legal Department of the Year - Large Team.
Bapsy Dastur, General Counsel, Head- Corporate Risk, Compliance & Legal, VFS Global won the Women Lawyer of the Year - (In-House); Anneliese Reinhold, Non-Executive Chair, Corporate Board, Browne Jacobson LLP won the Legal Excellence Award as a Lawyer and Leader. The Lifetime Achievement Award was won by Mathieu Savaris, Independent Consultant, Dentons.
In the Best & Leading Law Firms category, Rising Law Firm of the Year was won by RASMA LEGAL; KARM Legal won the Boutique Law Firm of the Year; MAS Advocates won the Most Promising Law Firm of the Year; Bird & Bird (MEA) LLP won the Intellectual Property Law Firm of the Year; DENTONS won the Infrastructure and Energy Projects Law Firm of the Year.
Al Tamimi & Company won the Banking & Finance Law Firm of the Year; Clifford Chance won the Corporate & M&A Law Firm of the Year; Afridi & Angell won the Litigation & Arbitration Law Firm of the Year; DENTONS won the Labour and Employment Law Firm of the Year; Hadef & Partners won the Real Estate & Construction Law Firm of the Year; Gowling WLG won the TMT Law Firm of the Year and the International Law Firm of the Year was won by Eversheds Sutherland.
Law Firm of the Year, Bahrain was won by Al Tamimi & Company; DENTONS won the Law Firm of the Year – Oman; Al Tamimi & Company won the Law Firm of the Year – Kuwait; Abuhimed Alsheikh Alhagbani Law Firm (AS&H) in co-operation with Clifford Chance won the Law Firm Of The Year - Saudi Arabia and Al Tamimi & Company won the Law Firm of the Year – Qatar.
Law Firm of the Year, Mid-Size was won by GOWLING WLG Al Tamimi & Company won the Law Firm of the Year – UAE.