Founded in 1974, Bahrain-based law firm Hassan Radhi & Associates exudes as much dignity as the financial centre it operates within. World Finance spoke to founding partner Hassan Ali Radhi to learn what sets the firm apart
Hassan Radhi & Associates has carefully cultivated its reputation over a long period of time, progressing organically without the whistling of bells. Quick-fix solutions and bombastic marketing campaigns are certainly not this Bahrain-based firm’s preferred route to success; rather, it has armed itself with deeply rooted expertise and a high level of professionalism – a strategy that has attracted a respectable roster of clients including Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company, Arab Insurance Group, BNP Paribas and Standard Chartered Bank.
The key figure of the firm is founding partner Hassan Ali Radhi, an esteemed attorney and lawyer with 37 years experience. Since establishing Hassan Radhi & Associates in 1974, he has represented a varied line-up of domestic and international clients across the spheres of banking, finance, telecommunication and construction. Aside from his commitments directly related to the firm that he heads, Radhi also sits on several boards, and is a member of many different bodies. Not only is he an ex-resident associate of the former Coudert Brothers, New York, he is also a member of organisations such as the Institute of World Business of Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce, and had sat on the Board of Trustees of the Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution.
Highly specialised, Radhi chiefly deals with cases of commercial litigation and arbitration, and he serves as co-arbitrator, sole arbitrator as well as chairman of arbitral tribunal. Considered something of a big fish in the industry, he is a member of the LCIA Court in the London Court of Commercial Arbitration, and is also actively involved in a number of related bodies, both on his home turf and abroad. Since the head of the firm is so well-versed in arbitration, it is perhaps not surprising that the firm is often the first choice among clients looking for legal assistance in matters related to arbitration.
The arbitration expertise is not the firm’s only strong point – a pronounced talent for language is another of its strengths. The resident team of 17 lawyers covers several languages between them, including English, Arabic, French, Hindi and Bangla – an advantage that has seen the firm grow particularly popular among international clients.
A cut above
Although Hassan Radhi & Associates is indeed one of the most established firms operating in Bahrain, it is not entirely free of rivals. Other key players in the region include the international names Norton Rose, Baker & McKenzie and Trower Hamlins. What measure has the firm taken to heighten its appeal and beat the competition? “Hassan Radhi & Associates is a Bahraini law firm specialising, among others, in the field of finance and banking, and we have honed our expertise over a substantial stretch of time,” says Radhi. “I believe that our success can be attributed to the fact that we always maintained a professional approach. We strive to provide quality and professional service according to Bahraini laws and court precedents, rather than trying to attract clients via business strategies and elaborate marketing campaigns.”
The quality of which the legal expert speaks is evident not only in the firm’s ability to carefully prepare and complete cases, but it also owes to the firm’s focus on training. “We recognise the importance of staff training, and we consider it imperative that our employees are highly qualified in their respective professional fields, which allows us to provide clients with the highest level of expertise and accuracy,” Radhi says. “It’s a costly approach, but we believe it’s the only way to be able to provide a highly specialised service to our clients and to render a sound legal opinion.”
As a result of the carefully applied training schemes, the firm’s lawyers offer consultation services on every facet of the law of Bahrain – and do so with complete confidence. Local expertise is another important factor at Hassan Radhi & Associates, and the firm would never attempt to diversify into unknown territories only to gain more clients.
Running a law firm focusing on finance and banking in Bahrain makes perfect sense, since the destination serves as the main financial centre in the Gulf Region. Hassan Radhi & Associates was one of the first firms to provide legal services specially catering to clients operating within the local banking sector, and just like the firm itself, Bahrain is well established. “While Bahrain’s roots as a financial hub are firmly established, the advance of Dubai and Qatar has been more instantaneous,” says Radhi. “Still going strong, Bahrain will continue to progress with confidence and astuteness and it will remain the most developed financial centre while at the same time move with the times. Today the market is open and flexible, and foreign investors are increasingly enjoying the privilege of doing business in the tax haven of Bahrain without restrictions.”
Recently, a trade agreement between the US and Bahrain was implemented, a development that reflects the newfound status of the country as a global player. The agreement has also cemented a high level of trust between the US and Bahrain. In terms of the country’s advance as a modern state, the democratic principles and the rule of law have been improved greatly in the past few years, resulting in comprehensive laws being introduced across areas such as banking and commercial activities.
Vision 2030 is another initiative forming part of Bahrain’s commitment to increase the Kingdom’s competitiveness as the financial hub of the Gulf. “Vision 2030 is an initiative masterminded by Bahrain’s Crown Prince, and he remains the main player within the development of the initiative, personally handling the file,” says Radhi. “He is certainly competent enough to do so, as he is highly skilled and trained and educated in the US. We are very optimistic and confident that the vision will be achieved.”
The cross-section of positive change that has taken place in Bahrain lately has benefited Hassan Radhi & Associates greatly. The firm will no doubt continue to make its mark as a trusted legal force in Bahrain and beyond.