A HIGHER BAR

Kuwait 2019 | ECONOMY | INTERVIEW

Providing local services at international standards has proven the most effective path to success.

Philip Kotsis
BIOGRAPHY
A partner and co-head at the Al Tamimi & Company Kuwait office, Philip Kotsis is also head of the Corporate Commercial department in Kuwait. Prior to joining Al Tamimi in 2009, he was a senior legal consultant with DLA Piper, where he focused primarily on the corporate, commercial, banking, and finance sectors. He is a US-qualified attorney with a broad range of experience in local and transnational commercial and corporate transactions, corporate establishments, mergers and acquisitions, corporate/joint venture organization, and banking and finance, and has substantial experience in the commercial and finance aspects of Kuwait PPP projects.

What are the key factors of Al Tamimi's successful expansion in the region?

One of the most important factors for a successful expansion in the GCC was the willingness of the firm and its lawyers to learn, understand, and adapt its practice to the local laws, regulations, and legal practices of each jurisdiction. Additionally, Al Tamimi's lawyers dedicate their time to understanding the practices, procedures, and legal interpretations employed by government authorities and ministries. The firm also offers, either directly or through the hiring of local partners, local litigation services to ensure its clients have access to a full-service law firm and understand how contracts and laws will be interpreted and applied in each jurisdiction. As a regional firm, Al Tamimi has dedicated itself to understanding and advising on local laws in each jurisdiction to ensure that clients are fully protected and receive top-quality advice. This ability to offer advice throughout the GCC and provide a comparative analysis to clients operating in multiple jurisdictions has certainly contributed to our successful expansion. Another important factor for successful expansion has been our commitment to hiring sector-specialist lawyers who are best placed to provide the most effective legal advice and services. For example, throughout the region, in addition to core practices such as corporate, commercial, and banking, Al Tamimi has lawyers specialized in areas that include shipping, insurance, intellectual property, telecommunications, media, hospitality, healthcare, real estate, and tax, just to name a few. Al Tamimi prides itself on providing local law services at international firm standards. It is a distinct and unique concept in the GCC, and Al Tamimi is truly the only firm to have successfully implemented this model.

How does Al Tamimi differentiate itself from other international law firms in Kuwait?

Al Tamimi has taken the same approach to Kuwait as it has throughout the region. It has embedded itself within the local legal environment and culture to ensure its clients receive a full-service legal offering at international standards. Whilst many international law firms focus on the application of foreign laws, Al Tamimi centers its focus on the application of local Kuwait law (or other local laws depending on the jurisdiction). This distinguishing factor, combined with its dedication to international standards, allows Al Tamimi to forge strong and long-lasting relationships with law firms from around the globe to provide local, regional, and international legal services to clients in tandem with these international law firms when the matter requires. Furthermore, in Kuwait Al Tamimi operates through its joint venture partner, Yaqoub Yousef Al Munayae, and hires Kuwaiti, regional, and internationally qualified lawyers that work together with the common goal of providing the best legal service possible. The firm also offers local litigation services through its Kuwaiti partner and has brought in lawyers who specialize in varying areas of practice as opposed to using the same lawyers as generalists for all matters. This way, Al Tamimi can provide the client with the most experienced and appropriate lawyers for the matter at hand. It also offers full English, Arabic, and bilingual services to ensure that all the needs of its clients are professionally met.

How does Al Tamimi support foreign companies that seek to invest in Kuwait?

With offices throughout the GCC and Middle East, Al Tamimi is able to support foreign companies that conduct business in one country or throughout the region. This allows Al Tamimi to support foreign companies that have chosen to invest in Kuwait while also offering clients the platform to support investment throughout the Middle East via one seamless and fully integrated law firm. We are the best placed in the country to support foreign companies with local entities, joint ventures, partnerships, agency and distributorships, and developing client-specific structures focused on the business needs and goals of clients. Importantly, Al Tamimi is also able to provide clients with legal knowledge while taking into account the company's commercial strategy.