At the Corporate Counsel Middle East Awards 2016, the legal team at The First Investor, the investment banking arm of Barwa Bank Group, was awarded the title “Legal Team of the Year’’ in recognition to its innovative investment legal structuring in the field of Islamic Finance and investment banking. The team headed by Mr Allen Merhej, was also shortlisted for “General Counsel of the Year’’ and “In-House Innovation Award’’.
Held at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Dubai on May 12, 2016, the fifth edition of the awards ceremony was jointly hosted by Legal Week, organizers of The British Legal Awards, and the Association of Corporate Counsel - Middle East (ACCME), an international organization that serves more than 35,000 members in 85 countries and the largest membership group for in-house legal counsel in the Middle East. The event is was attended by 350 private practice and in-house lawyers from the region and was supported by Law.com and The American Lawyer.
The First Investor legal team competed against some of the biggest banks and international companies operating in the region including Deutsche Bank, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, DIFC, Emaar, Airbus Defence and Space and others.
The awards aim to recognize exceptional achievement by legal teams of regional and international firms conducting business in the Middle East.
The Corporate Counsel Middle East Awards are one of the most prestigious legal awards and considered as the "Oscar award" of the legal profession. This event is the only event rewarding legal excellence, innovation and achievements in the Middle East, opening participation for in-house legal teams and law firms operating across the region.
In a statement, Mr. Yousef AL-Obaidan, Acting CEO of The First Investor said: “Our investment solutions offered to clients are highly rated and always innovative. We are proud to have our legal team winning this award, as it marks not only their legal expertise but also their value in contributing to the overall success of The First Investor and Barwa Bank Group.” Mr. Allen Merhej, the head of legal who’s team won this award under his leadership, added: “the moral value of the award is tremendous as it is a recognition by the legal profession and our competitors of our team’s hard work and expertise, in providing sound advice to the company and the investors.”