2019 Edition
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The Oath


Bernadette Baynie is the Legal Affairs Advisor to the Zain Group. She was formerly the Batelco Group General Counsel. Her vast experience ranges from roles in leading Australian law firms to senior in-house counsel roles for leading companies in the banking and finance and telecommunications industries across various geographies. Bernadette has a proven executive leadership capability and strong in-house corporate counsel expertise, in a wide range of areas of law that impact upon the end-to-end operations of large companies. She is focused on achieving the strategic outcomes and performance goals for her organisation. She has a compelling vision that inspires individuals, teams and the organisation to perform at a higher level and embrace change. She was the first female appointed as an executive general manager for the Batelco Group and the first female appointed as a board director to one of its group operating companies, Umniah Mobile Company, a licensed telecommunications operator in Jordan. She is currently engaged in local and international mentoring programs that develop aspiring corporate counsel for our profession.
With over 20 years of commercial experience in Dubai, Caleb manages legal, insurance and risk for Polarcus Limited, an innovative geophysical services provider operating the youngest, most uniform, and greenest fleet of seismic vessels in the world today. Previously, Caleb acted as General Counsel and sat on the Board of Directors for Sea Trucks Group, an offshore construction firm with significant operations in West Africa. Prior to this, Caleb worked for several years at an international law firm in London and Dubai specialising in shipping and maritime issues. Holding a Bachelor’s Degree in English and European Law from the University of Essex (UK) and a Master’s Degree in European Business Law from the University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands, he qualified as a Barrister and, subsequently, Solicitor Advocate.
Francesca Gori is the Regional Director of Legal Services at Accenture for Compliance, Operations, Regulatory and Employment law. She leads a team of approximately 40 in-house talented lawyers across Europe, Middle East and Africa, and is also the General counsel for Accenture in Middle East and Turkey. Throughout her career, she gained extensive experience in major international law firms providing support to multinational companies. During her 18-year tenure with Accenture, Francesca has been part of several global project implementation initiatives, as well as the set-up of new operations and legal entities across the Eastern Europe, Middle East and North Africa, Asia and Latin America regions. She is an active and recognised member of Accenture’s “Accent on Woman” organisation, which helps grow the next generation of female leaders at Accenture. Embracing the core values of integrity, innovation, and growth, Francesca also dedicates time as the Ambassador for AmCham in Abu Dhabi Women Committee and she is a valued coach to women in the Middle East. She is also the author of several publications on Employment Law and Data Privacy and sits on the board of directors of several Accenture legal entities. She is also a member of Accenture’s Geographic Unit Leadership Council in the Gulf Region. Francesca holds a Law degree from L.U.I.S.S. Guido Carli University in Rome, Italy, and has a strong background in Compliance, Employment Law, Immigration and Corporate law, Data Privacy, and Regulatory matters across EMEA. She lives in Dubai with her son Leonardo of 11 years old and enjoys spending time with her family.
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.

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.

General Counsel and senior executive with over 13 years' of international legal experience in advisory and working with all types of stakeholders including key decision-makers, board and senior management as well as advising government and multi-national organisations. In addition to the responsibility for overseeing all legal, contractual, employment public policy and corporate aspects of clients, James also provides strategic and commercial advice. Currently General Counsel, Senior Management of Abu Dhabi Ports Operating Company - PJSC - Abu Dhabi Terminals (“ADT”), a ports operating company managing and running Khalifa Port Container Terminal, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Previously General Counsel, Senior Management of RAK Gas LLC, a company that sources, markets and processes natural gas domestically and the building of a portfolio of domestic and international exploration & production assets. Between 2008 to 2013 James worked for Istithmar World PJSC, a Dubai sovereign wealth entity where he advised across a broad range of asset operational, private equity and venture capital matters during the Global Financial Crisis.
Justin Dowding is Head of Legal and Company Secretary for noon. noon is the Middle East’s fastest growing ecommerce company and was formed with an initial capital outlay of USD1bn by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and H.E. Mohamed Alabbar (Founder and Chairman of Emaar). Justin acts as Board Secretary for the parent company in KSA and is responsible for the legal, compliance and governance functions of noon across the GCC, India, China, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and Egypt. Prior to joining noon, Justin was Head of Legal for Transguard Group in Dubai, he has also worked for Expedia, Royal Bank of Scotland and Allen & Overy in London.

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.

Based in Dubai, Matthew is responsible for providing commercially focused counsel to the Enviromena group of companies, primarily to support the efficient execution of the group’s energy projects and facilitate its business activities. He also oversees the group’s governance and regulatory compliance, as well as performing the function of Corporate Secretary. Originally working for clients on corporate mergers and acquisitions, having trained and qualified with UK law firm Mills & Reeve LLP, Matthew moved into the renewable energy sector over nine years ago and has been working in-house for international developers since. Prior to joining Enviromena, Matthew worked for Stumpf Energy in Abu Dhabi, the energy development and investments division of the Austrian Stumpf group, in his role as General Counsel and non-executive director, and ACWA Power in Dubai. Since working in the UAE, he has advised his clients on utility scale renewable energy public tenders and private wire corporate and industrial power projects with an aggregated capacity of over 2.7 GW, in markets as diverse as South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, UAE, Thailand, Philippines, Mexico and Australia. Most notably, Matthew led the sponsors’ legal team on the bidding process and financial close of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) Phase II 200MW solar park, the first independent power project in Dubai and utility scale solar PV project in the MENA region. Before relocating to the Middle East, Matthew worked for EDF Energy Renewables in London and Paris, helping develop, own and operate the EDF group’s on and offshore wind farms portfolio in the UK; and Wind Prospect Group in Bristol, supporting the company’s renewables captive power development business. Matthew is an English qualified lawyer, licensed to practice by the Supreme Court of England and Wales; holds a bachelor of laws (LLB) awarded by the University of Southampton; and is a graduate of BPP Law School, London.
Minkyu Kim is General Counsel for LG Electronics Regional Headquarters for Middle East and Africa, and is responsible for the provision of all legal, compliance and regulatory services. He leads Dubai-based legal team and legal staff across sites in this region. Minkyu has worked for LG in 2013 and has extensive multi-jurisdictional experience in contentious and non-contentious matters, including tax law, litigation, cross border transaction, antitrust, JVs, regulatory affairs, insolvency and governance. He has also extensive experience as a litigator in criminal, commercial, financial and administrative litigation in Korea. These experience in private practice and in-house has given to him deep-rooted understanding of and ability to harmonise law and business. Minkyu is admitted to practice in Korea, and England and Wales. He is a board member to Korean Society of Islamic Studies.

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.

Salah holds a Bachelor of Laws from Cairo University Faculty of Law (English Department), has diplomas in English Law and Corporate Practice (BPP Law School in London) and is a dual qualified lawyer (England & Wales, and Egypt) with over 18 years of experience working in both private practice (including Simmons & Simmons and King & Spalding) and in-house (PepsiCo and Takeda). Salah has broad experience in a range of corporate/commercial matters including corporate governance, M&A’s, JVs and commercial contracts, with focus on life sciences, FMCGs, technology and startups. He is also an active member of the Association of Corporate Counsel and regularly contributes articles to prominent regional legal publications.
Simon Wilkes is OSN’s General Counsel and Company Secretary. Since joining the company in 2013, he has worked in a number of key Legal roles at OSN and was Deputy General Counsel for two years prior to his appointment as General Counsel in January 2018. Simon joined OSN from Sky (UK), where he was Senior Legal Advisor within the Content and Copyright team and, prior to this, was in private practice in London with Berwin Leighton Paiser. Simon brings to the company not only a wealth of experience in the legal profession but also specific and detailed knowledge of the international Pay TV industry.
Tim has been a partner of an international law firm in (London and the UAE) and the General Counsel of Jumeirah Group. He is the Founder and CEO of Tap the Market™, an online professional services marketplace which has the stated intention of helping individuals and complex companies alike find the right lawyer or consultant for each and every instruction. Merging tech with good old fashioned experience and market knowledge Tim’s aim is to be the oil in the gears and to make instructing professionals easier, smoother, simply better. www.tapthemarket.com
Tony Danilov is Vice President of Corporate and General Counsel of Emerson, Middle East and Africa (‘MEA’). Tony has a unique dual-role within Emerson. In his legal role, he oversees the legal affairs of a multi-billion-dollar organisation in over 50 countries. He is also the head of the company’s MEA corporate function, where his focus is primarily corporate strategy. Tony completed an Executive MBA from Cass Business School in Dubai, where he graduated in 2016 as the program’s top performer and valedictorian. Prior to that, Tony studied in Australia where he earned his bachelor’s degrees in Economics and in Law as well as earning a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice from the Australian National University. He is admitted to practice law as a solicitor and barrister of the A.C.T. Supreme Court and of the High Court of Australia. Tony sits on the Board of Directors (or acts as General Manager) of numerous Emerson subsidiaries, including in South Africa, Nigeria and the company’s MEA headquarters in Dubai, UAE. He also sits on the board of directors of the American Business Council (American Chamber of Commerce) of Dubai and the Northern Emirates. Tony is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma international honours society for outstanding achievement at an AACSB-accredited institution.

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