|Jawad I AliManaging partner
Could you provide a brief journey of how you arrived where you are today?
In 2002, I moved to London and embarked on a journey that took me across Europe working on behalf of various clients making real estate and private equity investments on a Shariah compliant basis. Between 2002 and 2006, along with my practice group team members, we built a premier tier one award winning Islamic finance and investment practice in Europe and were responsible for a number of “first ever” Shariah compliant structures in European jurisdictions. In 2006, the firm decided to open Middle East offices in Dubai, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi. I took a leading role in the establishment of these offices.
In 2007, I relocated to Dubai and focused on expanding our Middle East practice to include representation of clients throughout the Middle East. I assumed the responsibility of recruiting partner for the Middle East offices. In 2009, I became the deputy global head of our Middle East & Islamic Finance Practice Group and in 2010 I took over from my partner Philip Weems, global head of our Energy Practice Group, as managing partner of our Middle East offices.
What does your role involve?
I am also a practicing lawyer with a heavy work load that requires much travel throughout the Middle East, Europe and Asia so management of time and priorities is critical in order for me to discharge my duties in an efficient manner.
What is your greatest achievement to date?
What are the factors contributing to the success of your company?
The quality of our team and the depth of our collective experience in the Middle East in general and Islamic finance and investment in particular. This experience was gained by our team over the past two decades working on behalf of Shariah-compliant investors and funds structuring acquisitions and financings of real estate and private equity investments in multiple jurisdictions at the asset level.
Second is our focused approach and the fact that we do not claim or hold ourselves to be everything to everyone. We are focused on practice areas and industries that coincide with our firm’s strategic initiatives globally and in which we feel we have great expertise. These practice areas include, Islamic finance and investment, private equity, M&A, real estate, investment funds, financial restructuring, international trade, construction and international arbitration.
Furthermore, we are focused on certain industries that our firm is renowned for globally like energy, healthcare, pharma/biotech, education and real estate.
What are the obstacles faced in running your business today?
Where do you see the Islamic finance industry in, say, the next five years or so?
Name one thing you would like to see change in the world of Islamic finance.