Maha Bin Hendi reveals just how much can be packed into a boutique law practice, and the simple, but effective method of making it all work
Maha Bin Hendi talks law and opening a boutique firm in d3
“OUR COUNTRY HAS ALWAYS TREATED women with the utmost respect and we are equal in all professional fields,” says Maha Bin Hendi, a UK- and Us-educated lawyer who runs her own law firm. “My driving force for opening my own firm was the fact that I did not see enough females wanting to be involved in this career.”
Her organization, Maha Bin Hendi Law Firm, is the first established law firm that operates out of Dubai Design District (d3). The firm handles legal matters related to a wide range of industries, including fashion and art, employment, dispute resolution, intellectual property, banking and finance, and real estate. Maha Bin Hendi Law Firm is associated with firms in the United Kingdom (London) and in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Riyadh and Jeddah).
However, despite such an extensive bouquet, Maha’s team is small. “We operate as a boutique law firm,” she elaborates. “Our aim is to grow organically with the right candidates. I believe in quality rather than quantity.”
Maha Bin Hendi was one of the first batch of students to receive the EDAAD scholarship from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai and Vice-president of the UAE. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Westminster and her Master’s in law from Fordham University, New York. Her goal is for her firm to be “well-seasoned in the fields that are often neglected by legal representation.”
To achieve this, her methods are simple, but effective: “We have developed a system at Maha Bin Hendi Law Firm: ‘ You teach me yours and I will teach you mine’,” she says. “We work together on cases that may be unfamiliar to one of us, and come out with more knowledge than before, benefitting ourselves and our future clients. What makes us different is our willingness to abandon set strategies that simply no longer work in our day and age.”
Understanding the client is paramount, particularly given their ever-changing needs. “Anyone can know the law, many can apply it well, but to adequately strategize for our clients, we immerse ourselves in their business in order to best represent them,” she explains. “That is why it is important that we use our experience for our clients’ success.”
She also knows that adopting new technology is important. “Lawyers must find a way to make use of certain technologies, especially when it comes to dealing with clients and their legal issues,” she notes. “Innovation is key. If lawyers slack off on dealing with these changes, it will be difficult for them to survive with today’s generation.”
Two such emerging areas are financial technology – ‘fintech’ – and blockchain, which are fields the firm plans to gain expertise in, thanks to one of her team members who has extensive knowledge in IT, media and communication practices in the UK and Europe. This would be especially crucial given Dubai’s plans of becoming a smart city as per its Vision 2021. Two other niche areas Maha’s firm specializes in include art and fashion; they work regularly with artists, designers, haute couture labels and luxury goods businesses to help them with intellectual property rights, brand protection and licensing.
With an eye to the future, Maha plans to expand her firm’s offerings: “We have so many emerging markets that require legal consultancy. Within five years, I hope Maha Bin Hendi Law Firm is able to cater to their needs,” she asserts. “I want to continue to provide quality to my clients, with professionalism and ethics, and become a prominent, respected organization amongst my peers.” Maha Bin Hendi Law Firm +971 4 2405888