What’s your background?
I am a director in Gowling WLG's Dubai office. I joined the firm in March 2018 to head up, develop and build its Middle East technology practice into a first class, go-to tech practice in the Middle East.
I came to private practice late, having been an in-house technology lawyer for a range of telecoms and technology companies for over 12 years in and across Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, London and now Dubai. I only entered private practice 6 years ago.
I previously worked for an international law firm in London, specialising in TMT and looking after their Middle East practices in Doha and Dubai.
I have always loved international cross-border transactions and work. My travel and scope and locations of my technology practice reflect that. I have worked all over the world, negotiating across the table from all manner of people from different cultures and backgrounds and experienced all manner of transactions, people and approaches to resolving legal issues.
Why did you choose to work here?
Gowling WLG as a firm has always had an excellent IP reputation in the global market. Its tech sector also has an enviable set of skilled people with great experience and a true understanding of technology. Once I had decided to leave my old firm and move to the Middle East where I had established a tech client base, Gowling WLG seemed like a sensible choice. It's a global firm with its feet firmly on the ground, with little hierarchy, lots of great people with a sense of humour and a sense of egalitarianism that other global firms lack. People who work for Gowling WLG like to come into their place of work. For me, that is unusual and in my view a deal clincher!
Gowling WLG also has a vision and a strategy to become a truly global law firm across borders, sectors and service lines. For me, whose ambition it was to develop a first-class tech practice in the Middle East, their vision and support indicated they were serious about what they offered and how much they wanted me to succeed.
What was the recruitment process like?
The recruitment process was very smooth and relatively quick and, as well as seeing if I was a good fit for the firm, the firm made sure that I was able to determine whether it was a good fit for me, which was a refreshing approach.
During the process, I met partners from around the business and from other international offices and I interviewed with board members. I also undertook psychometric testing, which was a very interesting exercise to participate in and one that can be both confronting, but also gives you the chance to learn more about yourself, how you truly deal with particular situations and conflicts and people.
What makes Gowling WLG different from other firms?
Gowling WLG has a friendly, inclusive culture where the efforts of all members of the business are recognised. They have a strong diversity and inclusion platform and policy and are involved in many initiatives in this regard which I find morally, ethically and professionally imperative for law firms today. They live the message and don't just put it on their website!
Gowling WLG in Dubai actively encourages and develops junior lawyers both in respect of their technical legal skills, but also business development and opportunities to engage with clients that one may not always get with larger city law firms. This is invaluable experience for junior lawyers and makes them into better, well-rounded future partners of the firm.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned about working here?
Gowling WLG is egalitarian in its approach to all people in the firm, from the top down. It makes the people and the culture of the firm friendly, professional and fun.
What do you do outside work?
Cook, eat and enjoy the company of my family and friends, travel extensively and enjoy the sun and lifestyle here in Dubai.