En-route to Success
Director and Solicitor Jennifer Arkhurst of Arkhurst & Abdellah talks to Gulf CEO 2015 about the Middle Eastern business landscape and her firmís role in assisting SMEs.
Jennifer Arkhurst, Director and Solicitor
Arkhurst and Abdellah is a niche consultancy practice, providing corporate and commercial services and tailor-made solutions for companies, big and small. With strict adherence to ethical codes, fee transparency and their ability to offer commercially viable advice to businesses, the firm’s core focus is on the SME sector.
“Arkhurst and Abdellah was incorporated three years ago, shortly after I stepped out of the corporate world as an in-house lawyer. We are a family-run business, our goal is to make a difference by transposing good business practices learnt in large corporations into the SME market,” reveals Jennifer Arkhurst, Director and Solicitor of Arkhurst & Abdellah.
Talking about the business landscape in the UAE, Arkhurst reveals, “The SME sector makes up to 70 to 80 percent of the UAE business community, this community requires large-scale assistance to grow. While doing our groundwork, we discovered this particular community is neglected in my sector, we focused on it right from the start.”
A formidable entity boasting seasoned corporate and commercial lawyers, some of Arkhurst & Abdellah’s core areas of expertise includes corporate work and governance, commercial advice, commercial agreements, legal and business risk management, legal and regulatory compliance as well as mediating contractual disputes.
Shedding light on market trends in the Middle East and the UAE business landscape, Arkhurst comments, “I see the Middle East as a more difficult, expensive and riskier for doing business, the chances of failure are pretty high. Nevertheless, in my sector, I have seen many lawyers come into this region and open up branches of their overseas firms. Business is indeed growing and I see this trend continuing into the foreseeable future. Coming to the SME market, access to finance is a major issue and a concern, with basic options such as issuing equity capital to investors not being so easy to achieve. Nevertheless, with the government’s assistance and initiatives designed to help SMEs, several businesses are able to sustain themselves. We, in particular, are happy to be here and look forward to continuing to contribute to a thriving business community.”
Arkhurst &Abdellah came into the market to bridge a very obvious gap in the legal sector as far as SMEs and startups are concerned. “There were, indeed, many obstacles to overcome, but we persevered and with our resilience, effectively communicated our uniqueness. To date, we are one of the very few firms that offers fixed fees for our services – which is very unique in this market. We also offer long-term solutions and help to promote a legal risk-free business culture. We participate in coaching aspiring entrepreneurs at an early stage through the Khalifa Fund and the Young Arab Leaders (YAL),” concludes Jennifer.
With high hopes and a solid future ahead, the firm is posed to achieve tremendous success. Legal publications and expansion to other emerging markets such as the Far East and Africa is very much on the table. It is only a matter of time before Arkhurst & Abdellah becomes one of the most revered entities in the regional legal marketplace.
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