- Tell us a bit about yourself and the journey that led you to where you are now?
My name is Rima Mrad and I am a partner with BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP, a regional law firm with our headquarters in DIFC. I am a corporate commercial lawyer specialising in M&A and regulatory law. I have been living and practicing law in Dubai since 2005. I have always known that I wanted to be a lawyer from a young age and I continue to be passionate about the legal profession and its values mainly rule of law, equality and fairness.
- Tell us about your organization and the vision behind the launch?
BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP is a regional law firm with nine offices across the UAE, KSA, Oman, Iraq and Lebanon. We are a full-service law firm and offer all types of legal services across our offices. What sets us apart is not the nature of services we provide but rather the way we do it. We adopt a progressive and modernised approach when dealing with our clients legal needs and offer a personalised service for our clients.We put the protection of their interests as a priority. This is often translated in the way we communicate and deal with our clients. Our vision is to be the law firm of choice for quality-conscious business leaders across the UAE and the region and we work as a team to achieve this vision whether in our interaction with our clients or with our colleagues, partners and stakeholders.
- What have been some of the challenges you encountered while setting up your business?
I am one of the partners in the firm and our firm was founded in 2001 yet I only moved to be an equity partner later in 2015 when we changed the structure of the firm and our brand name. The most significant challenge I personally believe we faced during that time is continuing to secure the engagement of the team during a time of change. This requires a lot of trust and confidence in management and building a culture of loyalty and commitment. The legal profession is one that is based on human capital much more than anything else and our main asset is the team. Continuing to develop and grow this asset is pivotal to ensure our success.
- Do you believe gender factors in when you are setting up or leading an organization? If yes, is that a positive factor when it comes to the vision?
Totally I still believe women face more challenges when handling executive / managerial positions as they are continuously required to prove their worth and value. This differs between sectors. The legal profession is still mainly dominated by men especially when it comes to management and partner positions. I am however very confident that this will change with the raise of awareness on the importance of inclusion, improvement of labour laws with respect to women’s rights and the growing opportunities that this profession is offering.
- How inclusive is your organizaton and how does it empowers your target audience?
Our firm has a ratio of 60/40 men to women and we pursue many initiatives to support women and empower them either by training or by offering them mentorship. We are always offering pro bono services for women association and for vulnerable women whether on employment or family law related matters. This is allowing us to relate to a wide spectrum of individual and businesses who also align with our values.
- What are some of the most memorable milestones – professional as well as related to your company?
The most memorable milestone is without doubt the new structure we have adopted in 2015 and our partnership with Dr Ahmad Bin Hezeem. This paved the way for us to implement a progressive business plan that allowed us to grow significantly on all levels. It also created a great platform to empower our lawyers and develop our partnerships. As far as it concerns me, I do believe my promotion to partner is one of the most significant milestones in my life. This proved to me that I am on the right track and allowed me to adopt a different mindset to the way I do my work.
- How empowering is it to be a UAE-based company?
We are extremely proud of our heritage and the fact that we started in the UAE to move regionally. Our headquarters remain to be in the UAE and we are always motivated by the successes of the UAE as a reason to keep progressing and developing. There is no doubt that the opportunities offered to us in the UAE are exceptional and allowed us over the years to build strong partnerships, to elevate the level of service to match international standards and to have a success story to tell that is mainly directed by the country’s overall vision and successes.
- Celebrating 50 years of UAE, what would you like to say?
It is timely that we as BSA are celebrating our 20 years anniversary in the same year when the UAE is celebrating its 50 years anniversary. We are proud of the UAE’s history and achievements over the years and we owe a large part of our success to this. We are looking forward to our future in the UAE celebrating more and more successes and building and achieving visions that would contribute to the creation of a better world.
- Any last words?
A word to all women out there: Trust yourself, speak out loud, do not be de-motivated by negative comments and be mindful of the opportunities you have (however little), and take maximum advantage of them.