5 Minutes With… Husam Hourani, managing partner, Al Tamimi & Co

Husam Hourani says Al Tamimi will focus on assisting Asian companies establish themselves in the Middle East.

What will your company be focusing on this year?

We have a number of key objectives for this year which will no doubt continue to roll into 2013. Our priority is ensuring we are capitalising on the opportunities presented in the jurisdictions that we are already in. With 10 offices in six countries in the Middle East, it’s important to ensure that we are providing the best services to our existing clients – always.

We are also continuing to build strong relationships throughout Asia given the increased interest in the Middle East. We have invested significant resources to ensure that we are best placed to assist Asian companies to establish a presence in the region.

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

With what is going on in the rest of the world, the GCC continues to have stable growth. We have seen a substantial shift of wealth from Europe to the Middle East that has generated more business activities in this part of the world. As a result, we have experienced sound growth at the firm.

In the legal environment, our challenge continues to be finding the right caliber of bilingual lawyers who are able to understand complicated commercial transactions and at the same time, who have full understanding of the civil legal system.

What are the growth areas currently for your industry?

There is reasonable growth being shown in most practice areas across the firm with particular growth in litigation related matters along with corporate matters as we see an increased in investment in the region. The increased investment has and will continue to provide growth opportunities for the provision of banking and finance, funds, debt restructuring and employment legal services.

What new products will your company launch this year?

Our focus this year will be to expand our employment, funds, debt restructuring and litigation practices.

Will you be expanding into new territory?

Our strategy has always been to focus on the Middle East. We are constantly looking at opportunities in the region. We have plans to expand in Saudi Arabia and Iraq in 2012.

Will you be hiring this year?

We have made a considerable number of new appointments so far this year and expect to continue to recruit as our practice grows. We’ve seen growth in most of our offices particularly the UAE and Qatar.

What’s your leadership style?

I am constantly encouraging partners to work with me to manage the business. It’s important that they are involved in the decision making process. It’s also very important to institutionalise knowledge and I’ve done so by implementing a structure that is led by committees rather than individuals.

I also believe in promoting and rewarding talent.

What makes the perfect employee?

The perfect employee is one who is continuously seeking to develop and grow within the organisation. One who is ambitious, learns from his mistakes and who is always willing to go the extra mile to ensure he delivers quality work for both his colleagues and their clients. Equally important is someone who is a team player.

Define success in five words…

Success equals achieving your goals.

Three tips for becoming the boss…

• Listen more than you speak
• Empower your team to manage and run the organisation with you – to make decisions with you. This gives them a real sense of belonging
• Do not forget how powerful the word “thank you” is

When I’m not at work I like to…

Spend time with my family, read, practice yoga, travel and simply enjoy life as much as possible.