2019 Edition
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The Oath

Judges

Jan Knop is the head of legal & compliance at Airbus Group – Africa and Middle East. Jan is based at Airbus Group’s regional headquarters in the Dubai Airport Free Zone. His role includes coordinating the legal activities of the Group in the Africa and Middle East region as well as leading the Group’s regional compliance function. He is supported by a team of two lawyers and a network of local compliance officers. Before joining Airbus Group in January 2016, Jan had worked as a corporate lawyer with Clifford Chance in Abu Dhabi and in Munich for more than 10 years. Jan is a German citizen and a German qualified lawyer.
Ghada Qaisi Audi is General Counsel of Seddiqi Holding LLC, and formerly Head of Legal of the 750+ employee luxury watch and jewelry retailer Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons LLC headquartered in Dubai, UAE. She currently serves as Vice President of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Middle East. She received a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Richmond (Richmond, Virginia) where she was Associate Editor of The Richmond Law Review.

Dr Tenia Kyriazi holds a BA in Law from the University of Athens, an LLM in International Law with International Relations from the University of Kent at Canterbury, a PhD in International Human Rights Law from the University of Athens and a PG Certificate in Higher Education from Middlesex University. She is a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy and has qualified as an attorney in Greece. Currently, she is a Senior Lecturer in Law and the Head of Law and Politics Programmes at Middlesex University, Dubai.

Through her teaching practice and research publications she examines issues of international human rights law, mostly relating to education, gender mainstreaming, discrimination, migration and trafficking in human beings.

In the course of her current role, she has overseen the launch of the first British Qualifying Law degree in the UAE in 2014 and she has undertaken a number of initiatives to enhance students’ learning experience and foster the development of transferrable skills and sustainable links with the industry, in line with the Department’s strategic priority of bridging academia with practice.

Sameer Khan is responsible for MasterCard’s Law and Franchise Integrity function in the Middle East and Africa region. In this role, he oversees the provision of general and specialised legal support, intellectual property, franchise integrity, mergers and acquisition integration and restructuring and compliance and public policy matters. He joined MasterCard from Cisco Systems Capital where for six years he was the senior corporate counsel for Middle East, Africa, Central Eastern Europe & Turkey. Prior to Cisco, he worked for IBM in Africa as director and manager of Legal Services, as well as Sasol Limited where his roles were group compliance and ethics officer and senior legal advisor. Sameer holds a Bachelor of Arts in Law, Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and is a Certified Islamic Finance Expert.

Linda Fitz-Alan joined ADGM Courts as Registrar and Chief Executive in October 2015. Linda is responsible for leading the administration and operations of ADGM Courts, particularly in the delivery of its comprehensive electronic services, as well as playing a key role in the management of the cases and ADGM’s dispute resolution services.

Linda has more than 30 years’ legal experience, previously serving as CEO and Principal Registrar of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Australia. At the Supreme Court, she was responsible for the successful implementation of the Court’s electronic filing and case management capability, the design, refurbishment and consolidation of the Court’s civil and criminal Registries as well as the development of its human resources and training. Linda has also been a Partner of two Australian law firms and held a senior legal position with a large commercial insurer, located in New York City, USA.

Paul is Chief Legal and Ethics officer for Engie’s portfolio of operational power and water assets throughout the Middle East and wider region. Prior to joining Engie he was a partner at an international law firm in the UK specialising in utilities, joint ventures, projects and general commercial work.

International legal counsel and business leader with 15 years of experience in top tier multinational firms. Yasser is currently managing all legal & compliance matters related to Schindler Group in the Middle East and North Africa Area.

Yasser is selected by Legal500 as one of the most influential 100 general counsels in the ME.

Yasser worked also for E&Y and PepsiCo, Eaton Corporation where he held positions of increasing responsibilities in Egypt, KSA and Dubai. In these roles Yasser gained significant experience in commercial, corporate, compliance and a wide range of general legal areas.

Yasser holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Law from Cairo University, a Master’s Degree in International Business Law from Paris IX University in France, a Master’s Degree in International Business Contracts and a PhD both from the University Montpellier I in France.

Thomas Hogfors is the General Counsel, legal and integrity for ABB Middle East. Thomas is based in Dubai and leads the ABB legal and integrity team which was awarded the In-House Community Legal Team of the Year (Energy and Natural Resources) in 2016. Thomas has been working with legal and integrity related issues in the Middle East for the past 10 years. He joined ABB in 2011 as Country Legal Counsel, responsible for UAE. Before joining ABB he has worked in leading legal positions in multinational companies mainly focusing on energy and oil & gas projects.

Born and educated in the UK, Reza is a legally qualified Compliance and Risk professional with over 21 years global banking/ financial services experience, ranging across Corporate, Investment and Private Banking as well as Insurance, Asset Management, Private Equity and Brokerage.

Reza has worked predominately in the UK and the Middle East setting up and leading Compliance, AML and Risk functions as well as managing Legal and Audit departments. Approved by regulators in the UK, UAE and Qatar, Reza has significant experience of managing regulatory relationships at senior levels across multiple jurisdictions.

Previously heading up Compliance and Risk for Barclays in Africa and the Middle East and for GE Capital in the UK and Europe, Reza is currently the Head of Legal, Compliance & Public Affairs (MENA & India), based in Dubai, for Marsh, a division of Marsh & McLennan Companies, the premier US global professional services firm providing advice and solutions in risk, strategy and human capital. As a member of the regional Executive team and chair of the MENA Risk Committee, Reza leads the Legal and Compliance functions for the business, including regional oversight for Risk and Audit, across the MENA and India regions. Reza is also a Board Director for Marsh in Saudi Arabia as well as Sedgwick Forbes Middle East, which owns the Marsh businesses in the UAE, Bahrain, Oman and Egypt. Reza holds a UK honours degree in Law and Economics as well as professional accreditations in compliance, leadership and project management from the UK, US and South Africa.

Throughout his career, Nicholas has been given increasing positions of leadership and responsibility.  Nicholas has led legal and other functions in the roles of Managing Director, and as an equity partner for corporates and law firms.  ​

Nicholas is presently the General Counsel for the Gulf Finance Holding wholesale and investment banking group, and is based in Bahrain.  Nicholas leads the legal function for the GFH group.  ​

As a senior executive, Nicholas is involved in formulating and guiding strategy.  For each organisation Nicholas has worked with, he has been consistently recognised a top performing member of the team.

Nicholas is a member of various Boards of Directors including SEDCO Development, a Saudi Arabian focussed projects development company.  Previously Nicholas was a member of the Board of Directors of Belleli CPE, an Italian hydrocarbon, industrial and power / water industries design, equipment and process provider.

Prior to joining GFH, Nicholas was Chief Legal Officer and head of Administration for the SEDCO group (for details see www.sedco.com), an international private equity, wealth / asset management and financial investments group of companies.  Prior to SEDCO, Nicholas was an equity partner with the international law firm Charles Russell Speechlys LLP where he was the head of the Banking and Finance groups for the Middle East, and was based in Bahrain.

Market Recognition – Nicholas has at different times been recognised as a leading lawyer in his field by the leading legal publications Legal 500, IFLR 1000, Chambers, the Islamic Finance News Awards and The Oath Legal Magazine.

flydubai has made huge investments in cutting-edge aircraft, and recently took delivery of their first Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft with another 75 of these brand-new machines on order. The multi-billion USD deal to acquire these jets was presided over by Krishan Sinnadurai, and is just one example of the complex and high-value projects that a GC at a major airline has to oversee. Krishan has been with the carrier almost from its inception and established the legal function for the airline - growing the legal team to 13 lawyers at present and ensuring that the legal function is core to the commercial workings of the entire organisation, advising on all manner of projects from – legal and commercial alike. Krishan has been at the helm of other large projects for the airline, including the airline’s launch of business class in 2013, its first bond issuance (an Islamic Sukuk) in November 2014 of USD 500m (oversubscribed 6 plus times), the growth and expansion of the flydubai network (over 93 destinations in 44 countries, growing daily), major aircraft finance deals on a variety of financing structures, a large scale project financing worth over AED 800m and the Emirates-flydubai cooperation that has just been announced and which will set both carriers into an unprecedent growth trajectory. Additionally, Krishan has crisis management, brand and reputation management experience – continuing to lead all aspects of the airlines response, following flydubai’s tragic accident of flight FZ 981 in March 2016. Krishan has immense experience in the aviation sector, having been senior legal counsel for Emirates before moving to flydubai in January 2011. Prior to moving to Dubai in 2008, Krishan was a senior lawyer at a top Australian law firm and had also worked in the Australian Government sector in legal and public trade policy capacities.

Hani Gharbawi became the General Counsel of EEC in late July 2013. This is Hani’s second tenure with EEC, as he was General Counsel and Secretary of the Board during 2008 and 2009. After his first post with EEC, Hani joined King Abdullah University of Science and Technology as senior counsel and then moved up the administrative ladder to become the strategy and planning officer for administration and finance.

Hani had started his career with Saudi Aramco as a trainee in 1993 and progressed towards becoming a process engineer in Ras Tanura Refinery in 1999, with a degree in chemical engineering from Oregon State University.

After a couple of years as a practicing engineer, Saudi Aramco selected him for a scholarship to attend law school at Lewis & Clark Northwestern School of Law in Portland, Oregon. Soon after obtaining his Juris Doctorate in 2004, he joined the law firm of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP in Houston, Texas as a visiting attorney focusing on labor cases and policies. In 2005, Hani returned to Saudi Aramco’s offices in Dhahran as legal counsel working on various corporate and employment matters. In late 2006, Saudi Aramcoassigned him the position of interim chief legal counsel for King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). During this post, Hani established the first legal department for the University and participated in drafting its constitutional documents, such as its charter and bylaws, and obtaining the necessary approvals from the highest authorities in the Kingdom. Hani also advised KAUST’s board of trustees and executive management on various matters, including the establishment and operation of overseas subsidiaries, as well as pertinent policies, practices, and activities.

Hadi N. El Kadi is the Group General Counsel of Al Habtoor Group, one of the leading groups in the region, based at the corporate headquarters in Al Habtoor Group, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Hadi joined Al Habtoor Group after accumulating over 18 years of legal expertise, working in the Middle East and North African region with both local and international groups and law firms, advising both public and private sector clients. In his previous role, Hadi was the Group Vice President Legal and General Counsel/Board Secretary of Al Ghurair Investment group of companies - based in Dubai for over five years, covering over 24 countries worldwide along with his team. Prior to Joining Al Ghurair, over four years Hadi was the Group General Counsel/ Board Secretary of Al Faisaliah Group PJSC, one of the leading conglomerates in Riyadh, KSA. Previously he served as Regional Partner for over five years in Hugh Fraser International Legal Consultancy, a British international law firm based in Dubai, where he covered the Middle East and North African offices. Hadi holds a Bachelor Degree in Law from the Faculty of Law and Political Science in Lebanon and an MBA from the American University in Dubai.
Guy Michael Solling has been General Counsel of the Arab Media Group since 2011. The Group is the Media and Entertainment Vertical of Dubai Holding. Its divisions comprise Global Village, the Arabian Radio Network’s popular stable of ARN radio stations and Done Events, a highly-regarded corporate and live events organiser. Guy is Australian-trained. His 30-year career has been spent working in the investment banking, media, entertainment, property investment and venture capital industries and with the commercial property, government and construction industries.

Fauzia Kehar has been working as a lawyer for over 17 years. She joined Citi in Pakistan in 2006. She subsequently moved to UAE in 2009 and presently designated as Director and Cluster Legal Head for Citi ME Division based in Dubai, UAE. She leads a team of lawyers responsible for providing legal services across all businesses for UAE, Qatar and Bahrain. The team also provides legal coverage for Citi in non-presence countries such as Saudi, Oman and Yemen. Her work experience prior to Citi includes working as Senior Associate at Haidermota & Co (Pakistan) – a reputable law firm where she got the opportunity to specialise in M&A related assignments. She was also appointed as National Legal Consultant for UNCTAD and worked as in-house counsel for ICI Pakistan Ltd.

She has also dabbled in freelance journalism during her years as a college student contributing articles for dailies such as ‘DAWN’ and ‘The NEWS’ (Pakistan).

Fauzia holds a Master of Laws (University of London) (LLM), Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com) and Bachelor of Laws (LLB). She was awarded the prestigious Britainnia Chevening Scholarship to attain her postgraduate law degree (LLM) in the UK.

Lubna is the head of legal at Dubai Healthcare City Authority. Shortly after joining in 2015, she was assigned to create and lead a centralized legal department, responsible for overseeing the legal function of the Authority and its business and investment segments.

In her career spanning 16 years, she has held senior level positions in the UAE and Jordan in both in house and private practice.  Before joining Dubai Healthcare City Authority, Lubna was the Company Secretary of Emaar Properties PJSC, prior to which she was responsible for the legal function of Emaar’s operation in Jordan. Lubna also represented many international and local clients in high value transactions, where she worked as a senior associate for one of the largest law firms in Jordan.

Lubna holds a BA and a master’s degree in law. She is a member of the Jordanian Bar Association, and a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

As General Counsel, Charlie is responsible for managing the legal affairs of GM’s operations in the Middle East and Africa, which includes plants in South Africa, Kenya and Egypt.

Charlie has worked for GM since 2007 in various other regions including Russia & CIS, China, South Africa and Australia. This extensive international experience has given Charlie a proven track record of:

  • quickly adapting to new and complex environments and legal issues
  • partnering with the business to design and implement creative and commercial solutions in high pressure and dynamic situations
  • building high performing teams focused on enabling clients to achieve business goals and mission in demanding environments.

In his 20 year career, Charlie has gained extensive experience across all areas of law, including designing, managing and executing complex projects, joint ventures and restructures, and governance and compliance structures.

Charlie is a Board member of the American Business Council of Dubai and the Multinational Companies Business Group in Dubai.

Bruce McAlister is General Counsel, Global Growth Organization (GGO) for General Electric Company (GE) and is responsible for the provision of all legal, regulatory & compliance services, arising from the operating businesses in the power, energy connections, oil & gas, aviation, healthcare and transportation sectors, across all emerging and developed regions, excluding United States. He leads a multi-disciplinary global team consisting of attorneys, compliance professionals and contract managers. Bruce is also the General Counsel for the GGO Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT) region and resides in Abu Dhabi.

Bruce joined GE in 2000 and has held various roles supporting GE’s Aviation division, located in London. He led Aviation’s legal team in the acquisition of Avio’s aerospace business in a cross-border transaction valued at USD5.8 billion. In February 2014, Bruce was asked to take the leadership of Global Growth Organizations’ MENAT and was responsible for establishing a centre of excellence, which resulted in one team providing shared services for all the GE businesses in the region.

He has extensive experience in corporate acquisitions, disposals and joint ventures in developed and emerging markets, leading complex cross-border transactions, contentious issues, negotiations with regulars, and overseeing the GGO’s compliance organization.

Bruce holds BA and LLB degrees from University of Natal, South Africa, and a Master’s degree from Cranfield University, UK. He is admitted to practice in England and Wales, and South Africa.

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