tom-briggs

TOM BRIGGS
PRINCIPAL

Tom has always questioned how the legal community can do more to drive value for its clients, without compromising on quality or delivery, in a user-friendly and transparent way. He believes in providing commercial, practical and cost-effective solutions to complex legal problems through cutting-edge technology.

Tom is devoted to offering his clients international best practice and legal advice tailored to the local market, having spent over half his 20 year career living and working in the Middle East. 

Working at leading international firms in London, Manama and Dubai, Tom has experience advising clients (including sovereign wealth funds, multinational corporates and family offices) across the full spectrum of corporate and commercial law (from M&A and debt and equity investment to joint ventures and complex commercial transactions) in a variety of sectors, including TMT, aviation, finance, oil and gas and construction and real estate. Tom has also acted as an in-house advisor on multiple secondments, including as Acting General Counsel for Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain

Previous Experience

JBA (Dubai)
Ince & Co. (Dubai)
Charles Russell Speechlys (London and Manama)

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kimberley-christiansen

KIMBERLEY CHRISTIANSEN
PRINCIPAL

Kimberley is passionate about building genuine partnerships with her clients and empowering them with the right tools and practical legal advice to innovate and grow.

As co-head of Support Legal’s corporate practice, Kimberley works as an extension of her clients’ teams to execute and deliver transactions regionally and internationally. She brings a dynamic mix of commercial savvy and practical legal advice to her clients’ projects.

Having worked both in-house and at top-tier firms in London, Australia and the UAE, Kimberley’s expertise includes advising clients on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, syndication, fundraising, restructuring and corporate governance. Kimberley has specialist experience advising clients in the financial investment sector.

Previous Experience

DP World, Maritime Services Division (Dubai)
Freshfields (Dubai and London)
Baker and McKenzie (Sydney)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Melbourne)

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Aston Benjamin-Taylor_PRINCIPAL

ASTON BENJAMIN-TAYLOR
PRINCIPAL

Aston’s approach is simple: he provides clear and concise legal advice on complex issues, in an easy-to-understand way. He enjoys getting a real understanding of what his clients do and what they want to achieve – believing that collaboration gets the best results. 

Aston is recognised by his clients as a trusted business advisor. As the head of Support Legal’s Lifestyle Practice, Aston advises clients from the hotel, hospitality, F&B, leisure, social and wellness sectors on a wide range of business affairs and commercial matters. He also advises individuals, brands and companies from a number of diverse sectors on their “business as usual” arrangements, including general terms and conditions, services agreements and partnership arrangements.  

Drawing on more than 10 years’ experience in top-tier firms in London and Dubai, and in-house at a global, luxury hotel company based in Dubai, Aston provides commercial, franchising, joint ventures, IP and strategic advice to clients across the region.

Previous Experience

Jumeirah Group (Dubai)
Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP (Dubai)
Lewis Silkin LLP (London)

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lee-mcmahon

LEE McMAHON
CO-FOUNDER & PRINCIPAL

As a self-proclaimed technologist, Lee was motivated to speed up and lead the adoption of technology in the legal profession which has been lagging behind other industries. Lee co-founded Support Legal knowing that clients will always want top-tier, high-quality senior lawyers but not the historical billing model.

Having the blend of both top-tier private practice, blue-chip in-house experience and being a business owner himself, Lee’s advice in corporate, commercial and projects is pragmatic and that of a trusted advisor to his clients.

Lee is a prominent commentator on legal technology and alternative legal services providers in the media. He has been nominated General Counsel of the Year (2016) and nominated Australian Business Person of the Year – UAE (2019).

Previous Experience

Ferrexpo (Dubai)
DP World (Dubai)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Dubai)
King & Wood Mallesons (Sydney)

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patrick-rogers

PATRICK ROGERS
CO-FOUNDER & PRINCIPAL

Patrick co-founded Support Legal in the belief that law could be practised differently to deliver superior outcomes for clients. He is unwavering in his belief that the legal industry needs to be driven in a fresh and innovative direction in order to maintain its relevancy.

Patrick's expertise, having over a decade of experience in top-tier firms in Canada and the UAE, includes advising clients on M&A transactions, joint ventures, IP licensing and franchising arrangements and corporate governance matters.

Patrick's thoughts on the disruption of the legal services sector have been featured in a range of publications including the FT, The National, Forbes Middle East, Entrepreneur Middle East, Arabian Business and Gulf Business.

Previous Experience

Jones Day (Dubai)
DLA Piper (Dubai)
Stikeman Elliott (Toronto)

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h-mckinlay

HANNAH McKINLAY
PRINCIPAL & HEAD OF KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT

Hannah is eager to see rapid adoption of innovative technologies and working practices in the legal industry. Being a proud Kiwi, the “can do” attitude is in her DNA: she is programmed to be innovative, economical and practical.

As the leader of Support Legal’s knowledge team, Hannah ensures that our consultants and clients are empowered to maximise their performance and deliver results.

With over a decade of experience in top-tier firms in New Zealand and the UAE, Hannah's expertise includes advising clients across a broad range of corporate advisory and commercial arrangements, joint ventures, public and private M&A, corporate governance, regulatory and debt and equity securities matters.

Previous Experience

Linklaters LLP (Dubai)
Russell McVeagh (Auckland) 

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ahmed-arif

AHMED ARIF
PRINCIPAL

Ahmed wants to help lawyers work in the ways that clients want, not the ways the lawyers are used to.

Ahmed has a passion for legal technology and the evolution of delivery of legal services. He aims to deliver sensible, commercial advice to clients efficiently, including through the deployment of new legal technology.

Ahmed specialises in M&A, advising both strategic and financial investors (including banks, family owned business and international and regional private equity houses) across the Middle East, north and east Africa, Turkey and Southeast Asia. He has advised on some of the largest M&A transactions in the region, including a number of precedent-setting deals such as first bank merger in Abu Dhabi, the first bank disposal in Jordan, one of the largest technology investment in the region and the first acquisitions by various international private equity houses into the region. 

Previous Experience

Freshfields (Dubai)
HSBC (secondment, Dubai)

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peter-finan

PETER FINAN
PRINCIPAL

Peter is excited and proud to be part of Support Legal, which he sees as transforming the way legal services are offered.

Now based in New York, he joined the team with over 12 years’ legal experience acquired in Ireland, Australia, the UAE and Morocco.

His experience includes a broad range of corporate, commercial and project arrangements, with a specialty focus on natural resource projects. Recently labelled a "mining wildcard" by an international mining publication, his skills and qualifications allow him to work easily across borders, particularly where language barriers might otherwise exist. He has prepared all forms of project documents including concessions, EPCs, offtakes and finance documents as well as various forms of construction agreements.

Previous Experience

DLA Piper (Australia, UAE and Morocco)
ALDAR Properties (Abu Dhabi)

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ciara-henry

CIARA HENRY
HEAD OF AUTOMATION

Ciara doesn’t believe in the old saying “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” She believes in applying creative solutions to revolutionise traditional ways of working. 

Since the beginning of her legal career, Ciara has been an early adopter of legal technologies and a change agent. As Support Legal’s resident expert in all things legal tech, Ciara helps clients identify and eliminate inefficient processes.

Ciara has a variety of industry experience (including oil and gas, mining, finance and corporate) and specialises in document and workflow engineering. Her experience includes creating the first-of-its-kind digital onboarding process, automation of the company incorporation process for both the Abu Dhabi Global Market and Cayman Islands, and working with one of the region’s largest oil and gas companies to deliver fully automated, self-service digital drafting.

Previous Experience

Bird & Bird LLP (London)
Hogan Lovells LLP (London) 

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florian-albert

FLORIAN ALBERT
SENIOR LEGAL CONSULTANT

Florian is an English lawyer who uses our technology to be available to support our clients wherever they, and he, happen to be. Florian splits his time across continents and works from several locations including London, Dubai, Singapore and the occasional beach hut in Bali.

Florian knows private practice as well as he does the perspective of clients and in-house solicitors, having spent time on secondments in London and Paris. He is a corporate lawyer with expertise including high value public and private M&A deals, private equity investments and capital markets transactions across a range of jurisdictions, from the USA to Kenya.

Previous Experience

Jones Day (London)
Goldman Sachs (secondment, London)
Airbus Group (secondment, Paris)
Citigroup (secondment, London)

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zoe-ireland

ZOE IRELAND
SENIOR LEGAL CONSULTANT

Zoe wants to work with clients to deliver the advice they need when they need it to achieve successful outcomes.

As a consultant to Support Legal, Zoe is dedicated to ensuring clients receive commercial, practical and timely advice and is excited to continue increasing efficiency by utilising Support Legal’s innovative legal technology.

Zoe is a corporate lawyer with a broad range of experience and expertise which includes advising on cross-border M&A, joint ventures, corporate finance, corporate governance and structuring. Zoe has over 15 years’ experience in both the UK and most recently in Dubai, advising on international and cross-border transactions throughout the Middle East with particular focus on the UAE, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait.

Previous Experience

Herbert Smith Freehills (Dubai)
Howard Kennedy (London)

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Fawaz El Maki

FAWAZ ELMALKI
COUNSEL

Fawaz specialises in investment fund formation including private equity, venture capital and hedge funds. He represents funds, and their sponsors, in connection with their formation and also represents institutional investors in these funds. He was formerly partner at Conyers Dill & Pearman and head of its Dubai office where he advised on Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands and Bermuda law investment fund and corporate matters.

Prior to his time in Dubai, Fawaz trained and qualified in Canada before gaining finance and corporate law experience in a Magic Circle firm in London, one of Canada’s largest pension investment managers and a global offshore law firm in Bermuda. Fawaz’s investment funds and corporate practice is recognised by Chambers Global, Legal 500, Who’s Who Legal (Private Funds) and MENA Fund Manager.

Previous Experience

Conyers Dill & Pearman (Bermuda and Dubai)
PSP Investments (Montreal)
Clifford Chance (London)

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helena-orwin

HELENA ORWIN
CONSULTANT

Helena is very excited and proud to be a part of Support Legal and to see first-hand how its cutting edge legal technology can help clients in the best and most efficient ways possible.

Helena is an English lawyer with over 14 years’ experience and is based in the UK. Helena specialises in commercial law and has experience of working both in private practice and in-house. Helena has significant broader commercial experience, too, having run a business division whilst working in-house and is therefore well placed to understand the real needs of a business and to provide pragmatic, practical and useful advice.

Helena has experience of working for a broad range of organisations including FTSE 250 Companies, Public Sector bodies, SMEs, and startups.

Previous Experience

Pinsent Masons LLP
David Brown Group 

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shani-ireland

SHANI IRELAND
SPECIAL PROJECTS CONSULTANT

Shani is a former lawyer who is interested in helping shape the way clients interact with lawyers and law firms by helping to make sure best and innovative practice is running behind the scenes.

As a special consultant for Support Legal, Shani assists in overseeing several core firm functions including general operations, project implementation, insurance, events and human resources.

Shani not only has a background in operations in non-legal industries but has also worked for leading English and Australian law firms and in-house at an international bank.

Previous Experience

Clifford Chance LLP (Dubai)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Melbourne)

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luma-dajani

LUMA DAJANI
CONSULTANT

Luma is a bilingual lawyer whose Arabic/English capabilities bridge the legal communication gap between clients.

As a consultant for Support Legal, Luma ensures consistency and accuracy between languages for our Arabic speaking clients.

During her career, including working in New York for one of the leading Wall Street law firms, Luma has worked on high profile contracts between a Middle Eastern government and a multinational corporation and also participated in various pro bono humanitarian cases that required her Arabic language skills and cultural affinity.

Previous Experience

Zu’bi & Partners Attorneys & Legal Consultants (Bahrain)
Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP (New York)
Bultaji Law Office (Jordan)

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