5 ASIAN LEGAL BUSINESS – INDIA E-MAGAZINE WWW.LEGALBUSINESSONLINE.COM But setting up shop in Dubai doe not come without its regulatory challenges, with various registration requirements, business structures and locations, categories of practitioners and foreign ownership restrictions. REGULATORY CHALLENGES The first challenge to setting up an office in the UAE was navigating foreign ownership requirements. “While Dubai has made progress in liberalizing foreign ownership, certain sectors maintain limitations. To ensure compliance while retaining control, we engaged local partners or sponsors as needed, aligning our approach with sector-specific regulations,” Singh says. Goswami and Nigam point out that there are also distinct categories of legal practitioners in the country, and only a lawyer who is a UAE national can appear in courts. “An advocate/counsel is authorized to represent clients before the local courts in the UAE. This right is granted to Emirati lawyers. Non-Emirati legal practitioners can get registration as legal consultants, which authorizes them to render legal advice to clients in the UAE, but not appear before the courts.” An Indian firm needs to hire Emirati lawyers or engage with local law firms in order to represent their clients before courts in the UAE. AKS and Goswami and Nigam both say they have met these criteria. LOOKING BEYOND DUBAI The rush of Indian law firms to Dubai highlights the growing belief that India Inc. is now looking at Dubai as a strong avenue for growth. “We see the Dubai market in particular, and the UAE as a whole, to really be a key driver of the next phase of the India growth story. The UAE has constantly reinvented itself to keep pace with the changing business and technology dynamics in the world, and now, we are witnessing a synergy between the technology edge that Indian companies and entrepreneurs bring to the world, and the regulatory and business environment of the UAE, which together can be the tech centre of the world in the coming years,” Goswami and Nigam say. AKS’ Singh says that Dubai is only an entry point into a larger Middle Eastern market, and the firm is looking to launch offices across the oil-rich subcontinent as it looks to diversify. “We anticipate a growing demand for legal services in Dubai and surrounding regions such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman, driven by the region’s economic diversification and the increasing complexity of business transactions. These factors offer numerous opportunities for us to effectively assist clients and open exciting prospects for us in emerging fields.” “Having inaugurated our new branch in Dubai, the firm is also actively considering opportunities to expand into neighbouring regions like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman, Abu Dhabi, and others,” Singh adds. BROUGHT TO YOU BY EMERALD LAW OFFICES Could you please share the inspiration and driving factors that led to the establishment of Emerald Law Offices, and what sets it apart in terms of vision and mission within the legal landscape? The inception of Emerald Law Offices stemmed from the desire to merge my passion for law and entrepreneurship. I have had the privilege of advising visionaries and entrepreneurs throughout my career who have had a deep passion for their ideas and a desire to make a difference. Drawing inspiration from their dedication, I reached a point where I yearned to experience the joy and fulfillment of creating something that authentically reflected my own values and aspirations. Also, a key driving force behind the establishment of Emerald Law Offices was the exceptional team I had the privilege of assembling. This team has not only fortified but also greatly influenced my decision-making process. I’ve meticulously curated a group of remarkable individuals who consistently deliver exceptional results for our clients. The vision of Emerald Law Offices is simple yet powerful: to deliver the finest quality solutions to our clients. In pursuit of this vision, our Firm adopts a well-structured approach to empathize with and comprehend the constantly evolving and competitive demands of the business world, coupled with the ever-changing legal, regulatory, and tax landscape. Our proficiency in deciphering these business requirements serves as the foundation for the Firm, enabling us to provide cutting-edge solutions that act as a potent catalyst, playing a pivotal role in helping businesses achieve their objectives. How did the rapid expansion to Bengaluru align with the firm’s growth strategy, and what key considerations or opportunities influenced the decision to open a second office in such a short timeframe? Bengaluru, India’s Silicon Valley, is a technology and innovation hub. We offer cutting-edge legal services to modern industries, making Bengaluru our natural choice. While Delhi was our initial preference due to our extensive litigation and corporate practice, we chose Bengaluru for its dynamism. We see substantial opportunities to collaborate with innovative companies and startups, solidifying our presence across the country. Looking ahead, what long-term strategic initiatives and goals does Emerald Law Offices have to leverage its experience and expertise to meet the evolving needs of clients and the legal industry in the future? We are on a journey to become one of the leading firms that can meet the dynamic needs of our clients and the ever-evolving legal landscape. We plan to achieve this by strategically selecting niche practice areas, ensuring that we consistently stay at the forefront of all new developments and changes in those specific fields. Our approach will be centered on delivering exceptional quality and expertise, both through nuanced, detailed work and handling substantial volumes of projects. Through these efforts, we aim to become the default choice for clients seeking services in these areas. Indeed, we are actively accelerating our growth journey. We’ve also recently expanded into data protection and intellectual property practices. Furthermore, we’ve made significant enhancements to our general corporate and M&A team, by onboarding Madhavan Srivatsan and his entire team. A conversation with Sachit Mathur Sachit Mathur Managing Partner E: Emerald Law Offices W: