Our client, the sole custodian of the wealth of the federal government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is currently looking for a Senior Legal Counsel will provide corporate advisory and coordinate external legal support for the organization and the portfolio companies to help it succeed in its duties. Besides this, the Legal Counsel will draft legislation and support relevant government departments with legal advice and counsel. He/she will report directly to the GC (and, when necessary, to the CEO).
Responsibilities and duties
Provide legal counsel in the structuring and execution of transactions
- Provide corporate advisory for our portfolio: Etisalat, Du and other regional entities.
- Work on legislation and government policy as relevant to the company.
- Support Cabinet projects on legislative matters directed to the company.
- Prepare materials for submission to Cabinet for approval.
- Corporate Governance for the company and portfolio.
- Working with other Federal Government entities in respect of the above.
- Evaluate and provide quality legal advice at the highest level on all matters associated with current operations. Advise generally on corporate matters including day to day operations, and commercial contracts
Coordinate external legal support
- Coordinate the involvement of external legal counsel for selected assignments
- Build and maintain relationships with external legal counsel and the panel of preferred advisors
- Work with the GC, co-ordinate the legal services provided to the organization: recommending and managing outside counsel, establishing procedures for evaluating the quality and cost services of outside counsel.
- Work with the GC on corporate governance and compliance matters.
- Coach and mentor UAE nationals, especially in relation, but not limited to the Legal function.
Skills and background
- Graduate Degree in Law, ideally with a Masters from the UK or US
- Qualified in an Arab jurisdiction
Background and experience
- 6-8 years of post-qualification experience at an international or a large local law firm
- Currently working in the UAE with a hands-on knowledge of local laws and regulations
- High level of understanding of corporate law
- Fully bilingual with hands-on demonstrable experience in drafting letters and documents in Arabic
- Should have some experience in drafting legislation
- Business acumen
Knows how the businesses work and understands the role the legal and compliance functions can play in supporting business objectives; uses knowledge of the business and the law to advise on risk/reward trade-offs; sees ahead clearly and can identify how to accomplish future goals; knowledgeable of current and aware of possible future laws, regulations, policies, practices and trends affecting the business; the pragmatism to interact effectively with senior non-lawyers globally.
Ability to influence major decisions having legal ramifications through reasoned analysis and business understanding, willingness to make hard decisions on legal advice and strategic business initiatives, ability to maintain a positive climate in the legal team, ability to build credibility and work well with members of the investment team and senior management team.
- Intellectual flexibility and technical acumen
Demonstrable ability to understand technical issues quickly; possessing strong lateral and analytical thinking skills; being astute at identifying new industry, product or technical knowledge which will be advantageous to the business and awareness of current and evolving customer needs.
Other Personal Attributes
- Professional authority: Borne not just from professional qualification, but also from consistent practice of law in business situations; as an expert in the field, must be able to command the respect of his or her colleagues, staff and peers.
- Personal authority: Sufficient gravitas to be a trusted confidant of the GC; with senior colleagues.
- Strong moral compass: Credible as the guide and conscience of the company who can promote a course of action – no matter how unpopular – and command confidence that it is the right one. A clear view of proper company behavior is essential.
- Strength of character: An ability to put forward a point of view in a winning way, relying not solely on the strength of the argument but also on character and personality. Able to resist pressures, whether from within the business or outside, and to stand by advice if he or she believes it to be right. Able to act alone when necessary without the comfort of others.
- Social and presentational skills: Good interpersonal skills; the role requires much social interaction both within and outside the business. First class presentational skills are essential as addressing internal and external audiences is part of a successful counsel’s role in representing the business.
- Innovative thinker: Whilst the legal advice must be right, imagination in its application to achieve novel solutions is the hallmark of an effective counsel. A lateral thinker with an imaginative intellect.
- Team Player: Able to work as and be part of a diverse and highly professional team, providing proactive input where required, and being approachable for colleagues and stakeholders.
- Ethics: Unquestioned ethics and integrity.