GLASS half full
What has been YFLG’s response to today’s changing business and legal environments, and how have you innovated to ensure clients remain the primary focus?
The business and legal environments are continuously changing, with catalysts ranging from introduction to new laws and regulations, to extraordinary events such as the COVID-19 pandemic. As a law firm, our mode of doing business has always been based on a ‘partnership’ model, where we partner with our clients to provide them with the right legal support that allows them to adapt quickly to these changes, understand how their business is affected by it, and how to navigate their complexities. The Covid-19 pandemic will undoubtedly create a new historical divide in every sphere of human activity. The legal sector is no exception to this seismic change. Being a leading all-services law firm, YFLG has swiftly changed the whole of our legal ecosystem for remote working and virtual services. In short, we have shifted to virtual operations. Despite the government shutdown and curfews in Kuwait, our team remained available to our clients for full legal support in these critical times through virtual meetings, electronic document collection and sending regular updates of the latest legal developments in Kuwait. The pandemic has unfortunately caused a rise in the number of disputes. Given that the Kuwaiti courts have been closed since the beginning of March 2020 and are due to open at the beginning of July 2020, we have allocated this time to our litigation clients to prepare for any new lawsuits, or revisit suspended lawsuits in terms of maximizing its potential or exploring the possibilities of an amicable settlement.
As a global firm with a significant regional presence, what is your outlook for the region as we begin to bounce back and enter a new world of business?
Despite the momentous challenges of the last few months, we remain optimistic on the region’s ability to recover from the significant implications of the pandemic. It would be naïve to say that the world will go back to what it was before the pandemic, as certain aspects of social dynamics and economic framework have and will remain changed for the long term, which will continue to impact our day-to-day lives, the way we do business, and legal frameworks. Undoubtedly, these changes will all trigger a much larger macro-economic change. However, not all changes will be for the worst. For example, this may pave the way for local governments to change their modus operandi and find ways to ease the way government procedures are carried out. It is possible for certain companies to realize the benefits of having certain functions or employees working remotely, thus creating more jobs for people with disabilities and other workers whose performance can be maximized through such an arrangement. We can also anticipate a shift in manpower to the technology, media, and telecom sector, which has served as an excellent foundation for surviving the pandemic and will continue to support the way we do business. The education sector may also experience a much-needed change in their current model and nourish electronic-based education that may be more affordable and accessible. In order to realize the positive impacts of these global changes, we must remain optimistic and keep a strong mind and empathetic outlook going forward. There must be a clear understanding that we can only move forward by working together, and aligning all stakeholders’ interests.
What are your strategic priorities moving ahead and what is your final message to stakeholders as Kuwait looks ahead to new opportunities?
The strategic priority for Kuwait is recalibrating and re-creating a vision plan visà-vis its commercial and economic tie-ups and cooperation with nations. We must establish and foster relationships with trusted and open and liberal economies over highly-regulated and self-centered ones. This pandemic must be a revelation for all nations including Kuwait to revisit their programs, policies, and priorities of nation-to-nation cooperation including commercial matters.
“Despite the momentous challenges of the last few months, we remain optimistic on
from the significant implications of the pandemic.”
Khalifah Al Yaqout