5 Minutes With…Fareya Azfar, Managing Partner, The Legal Group

The Legal Group’s Fareya Azfar says that the company is currently focusing on debt restructuring of real estate projects in the UAE.

What will your company be focusing on this year?

We will be widening the scope of the work we already carry out in our corporate and commercial departments and focusing on expanding the firm.

Are you concerned that the current volatile global economic climate will affect your strategy?

The markets that we are targeting are not suffering from the volatile fall-out that Western economies are facing. We are focused on advising investors and projects in emerging markets in the Middle East and Africa. In markets such as China central and regional governments are backing local companies and supporting outward investment to these emerging markets. TLG is using its local expertise to assist these companies in meeting their investment goals.

What are the growth areas currently for your industry?

Green technology in the US, mining and project financing in Africa, and debt restructuring of real estate projects in the UAE.

What new products or services will your company launch this year?

Business consultancy and government-relations work.

Will you be expanding into new territory?

Yes, in the longer run we are planning to establish a presence in China, Africa and in the US markets.

What are the biggest challenges for UAE businesses in your sector in 2012?

Although the UAE economy is now comparatively stable, there still may be knock-on effect from the Euro crisis.

Will you be hiring this year?

Yes.

What’s your leadership style?

I would categorise myself as a consultative leader.

What makes the perfect employee?

Dedication.

Define success in five words…

Recognition, respect, power, fulfillment and contribution.

Three tips for becoming the boss…

In my experience, it may require a lot of hard work to become the boss, but it is far more challenging to maintain the position with integrity, responsibility and respect. My advice to any leader would be to be dedicated, leading by example and take a responsible attitude towards themselves and their team.

When I’m not at work I like to…

When I am not at work, I am usually working at home. But when I have free time, I like to paint, and any chance I get, steal a couple of days get-away in the Seychelles.

What are your career goals?

As a successful 25-year-old lawyer and partner at TLG, I have always set and defined my career goals very precisely.

At this stage, I will dedicate the next two years of my career solely towards the expansion and development of TLG’s existing capabilities, adding further areas of expertise and growing the firm’s regional and international presence, opening new offices to strengthen our focus and to support our clients and their requirements where they are doing business.

On a personal basis, my career goal includes enriching of my own academic knowledge, and in 2014, I plan to study an LLM in the United States at one of the top Ivy League law schools.