As a vital economic and trade hub, Dubai has transformed itself into an attractive destination for regional and international businesses. The city’s stable geopolitical climate and good rule of law has also led Dubai to become an in-demand legal hub.

Top law firms in Dubai are the most sought-after authorities in legal matters in the Middle East region. The capabilities of regional and international corporate law firms in Dubai have driven strong competition and ambition.

However, not all law firms are created equal.

The most successful law firms in Dubai have specific characteristics that separate them from the rest. Highly successful corporate law firms in Dubai display certain characteristics not found in other legal firms.

This article describes the defining characteristics of distinguished legal practices that set them apart from the competition.

1.    A clear vision among partners

The future success of any law firm is determined by the vision outlined by the firm’s senior partners.

Strong, committed and firm leaders build the foundation upon which progress is made. A partner-led vision can determine the strategies and tactics necessary to deliver top-quality legal services.

A clear vision enables lawyers, associates, and legal support teams to focus on serving present clients while growing the business to remain relevant and attractive to prospective ones.

The most successful law firms are ones led by partners who are intellectually curious and continuously learning, and who hold themselves to the same degree of accountability as they hold others.

2.    The ability to weather external drivers of change

The legal sector is constantly going through motions of change.

The most successful law firms understand that change is constant and thus continuously focus on the next five to 10 years. Not only do they foster the development of existing and future leaders, but they also understand the driving forces of change.

External drivers of change are increasingly tough challenges for any law firm to address. Several key drivers include:

  • Risk (regulation regime, cyber security, money laundering, etc.)
  • Deregulation of the market
  • IT and Artificial Intelligence

For any law firm, these external drivers present a challenge.

Successful companies that thrive in changing environments use the right mindset and attitude, and embrace evolution. Their business planning cycle strategically addresses these external factors to remain at the forefront of change.

3.    A wide-ranging client base

The most successful law firms in Dubai understand that clients are at the center of everything they do. Fostering a foundation of client trust is an uncompromising characteristic of top law firms. Putting the clients’ needs first is a strength all top law firms display.

A law firm with institutional core values that prioritize client service is better positioned to understand their clients. Adopting a variety of programs that enhance their service improves client retention, growth, and satisfaction.

This results in growth demand for the law firm, increasing prospective clients, which results in securing business from a variety of markets and demographics.

4.    A commitment to innovation

Most in-demand law firms in Dubai span several jurisdictions, geographical locations, and time zones. Law firms that take an innovative approach to business development efforts establish themselves as thought and innovation leaders.

A modern law firm that will succeed in today’s global marketplace uses key digital platforms to establish dedicated initiatives to inform, advise, and pursue discussions on legal matters that address their clients’ needs.

The effective use of digital platforms enables law firms to maintain a high degree of innovation.

Communicating key legal messages through digital platforms such as e-newsletters, blogs and social media facilitates commercially actionable opportunities which increase client engagement.

5.    A respect for diversity

In order for a law firm to maintain the highest standard of integrity, teamwork, and trust, diversity must be upheld as a priority.

Diversity fosters a work culture wherein relationships are valued and individuals are respected. Diversity supports a firm’s organic growth, contributing to a collaborative work environment where individuals share goals and recognize each other’s unique differences.

In an ever-increasingly globalized world, diversity is an important factor in differentiating the great from the average.

Navigating Dubai’s legal sector

A law firm with a strategic business development plan that encapsulates the key characteristics listed above can lead the competition in a highly lucrative environment like Dubai.

Fostering these key characteristics is not a short-term program, as they take time to develop. Further, these warrant caution. Unless they become indoctrinated as core values of a firm, they will never effectively result in rewarding change.

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