(L-R): Awards host Shadia Bseiso; Rahul Sharda; awards judge Brigitte Zammit, general counsel, Emirates International Telecommunications

Finalists: Shafiq Jamoos, Deyaar Development (Highly Commended); David Johnson, National Bank of Abu Dhabi; Lylia Mezhoud, Total Marketing Middle East; Hani Abo Samra, Shelf Drilling.

Al Ghurair Investment’s Rahul Sharda lifted the senior corporate counsel prize in recognition of his efforts championing the legal department as a genuine partner to the wider business.

Through workshops and regular visits to the different business units, Sharda has ensured the legal department is seen as an integral and inseparable part of the company. Specialising in areas such as dispute resolution, Sharda has been instrumental in managing the group’s arbitration matters.

On his own initiative, Sharda has drafted pleadings and gained approval to handle smaller disputes in-house, saving the business cash on external legal spend. He has also helped standardise draft agreements covering basic goods and services contracts to more bespoke agreements. In addition to this work, Sharda helped set up the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education charity, which invests the group’s money in education for impoverished Arab youth. Much of the documentation needed to incorporate the charity—the first of its kind in the Dubai International Financial Centre – was undertaken in Sharda’s own time.

Under the supervision of his general counsel, Sharda is responsible for the day-to-day management, contracts drafting and administration of the charity.

“Rahul is an exemplary lawyer who will go far,” commented one judge.

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