We recruit for a broad portfolio of clients across the GCC and wider Middle East region, from Legal Counsel's up to Legal Director or General Counsel level. Our clients include local companies, regional conglomerates and global multinationals.
The Middle East in-house market is busy across a number of sectors, in particular energy, oil & gas, construction, technology, FMCG, pharmaceuticals, banking and finance, private equity and investments.
Whilst there is a preference for candidates who have gained experience in the region, some employers will also consider applicants with strong academics, relevant experience and good reasons to want to relocate to the region. There is often a preference (and sometimes a specific requirement) for Arabic language skills, but there remain plenty of roles that do not require it.
With Dubai acting as a regional hub, the in-house lawyer will generally be exposed to a variety of work both across the Middle East and into other emerging markets. The in-house lawyer is invariably a ‘fixer’ and an open and practical approach to tackling new legal issues is essential. Increasingly lawyers are being asked to advise on both legal and commercial matters and asked to contribute to risk management scenarios. Cultural sensitivity is also vital, and lawyers will be expected to have not just Middle Eastern awareness, but also a broader emerging markets outlook.
Whilst work/life balance can be a motivator behind a move in-house, lawyers may often find themselves putting in the same hours as their peers in law firms, especially if they are in transaction based roles. Career advancement however is probably better than you would find in other more mature markets and the move into senior positions with managerial responsibilities, can be easier to attain at an earlier point in a career.