The fourth generation of Zu’bi lawyers, Hatim was born and raised in Bahrain. He received his law degree from the University of Reading in the UK and trained at top international law firms both in London, UK and New York.
Having practised in Bahrain for nine years, he is now a partner in the family law firm, Zu’bi & Partners, and says: “I am most fortunate to work closely with two leading international lawyers and very important role models in my life, my grandfather, our firm’s chairman, Hatim S Zu’bi Sr, and my father, our firm’s senior partner, Qays H Zu’bi.”
He explains the draw of his field, saying: “Law is a very interesting subject and working as a lawyer is most challenging. Our clients depend on us to defend and protect their interests and assist them with establishing, developing and growing their businesses. As a firm, we have successfully initiated and defended major cases in Bahrain, be it before the local law courts or through arbitration. I take pride in my firm having acted on numerous international banking and finance transactions, including mergers and acquisitions and incorporation, and our opinion in most instances was instrumental in closing these major deals.
“We cannot live or exist in a lawless society. To me, respecting the ‘Rule of Law’ is paramount, as is applying the law and ensuring access to justice.”
He adds that the legal profession evolves with global change, with technology driving interesting and complex legal issues, from concepts relevant to Cloud-based technology to driverless vehicles. “Compliance, anti-money laundering and adhering to international conventions on these issues are an important part of our practice,” says Hatim. “As a result of the Free Trade Agreement with the US and other bilateral agreements, Bahrain has become part of the international community on trade, investment, commerce and finance. All of these areas are developing rapidly, creating new challenges and trends.”
For the most part, the firm focuses on litigation and arbitration, both local and international, corporate mergers and acquisitions, commercial, banking and finance and technology. It also advises on various other areas and has recently received an international award for the fourth time. “For several years now, our firm has been nominated for and has won the prestigious International Financial Law Review (IFLR) award for Law Firm of the Year, Bahrain, among others,” says Hatim. “This, in effect, is a guide nominating the world’s leading law firms who handle complex banking and finance deals. It is an honour and privilege as a Bahraini international law firm to be nominated for such an award. I believe this reflects on our firm’s dedication and standing in providing legal services and support to our clients at the very highest international standards and quality.
“We are a melting pot of highly motivated lawyers coming from and qualified to practice law in many jurisdictions, including, but not limited to, Bahrain, the UAE, England and Wales, California, New York, Jordan, Sudan, India, Pakistan and Egypt, to name a few. Since our inception in 1971, at the time of Bahrain’s independence, our firm has continuously been part of and played a vital role in the country’s growth and development — through the oil boom, the introduction of offshore banking, the formation of the GCC, the construction of the King Fahad Causeway, the Bahrain International Circuit, and so on. Some of our lawyers have been with the firm for over 40 years as have many of our clients. We take pride in our professionalism and in applying the highest ethical standards and details to our product, a matter which differentiates us from others.”
For the future he says plans include expanding the firm’s Dubai practice and developing to cope with the challenges of rapidly evolving technology.