BY AMMARA ISA
Faten Al-Haddad is a multi-award winning lawyer currently practicing in her self-founded law practice, Al Haddad law firm. As a lawyer, Faten is extraordinarily talented with several impressive accolades to her name in her professional and humanitarian work. Educated in Bahrain and the UK, her ambitions have no limits, as she has taken on the challenge of Intellectual Property Rights worldwide
Beginning as a trainee lawyer, Al-Haddad quickly rose up the ranks to become a fully qualified lawyer in an international intellectual property company. This was the start to a promising career. Over the next ten years, she became a prominent lawyer in both the Bahraini and international scene. Even as she made huge leaps in her profession, she still made time to take on pro bono cases and provide legal aid for those less fortunate.
Looking to the future, Al-Haddad’s career shows no signs of slowing down. In 2011, she established her own law firm, which boasts reputable domestic and international clients. From Media, Journalism and Advertising Law to Mergers and Acquisitions, Al Haddad Law Firm offers a huge range of legal services. Her multilingual team has years of combined legal expertise under the guidance of Faten herself. She is an inspiring lawyer and philanthropist with a clear vision of the rapidly changing legal landscape.
Faten Al-Haddad joins us for a riveting discussion on her meteoric rise to founding Al Haddad Law Firm, her internationally recognized law practice.
My main goal was to help people and give back to the community. Growing up, my dream was to become a doctor to cure people or a lawyer, to stand up defending them.
Tell us about your beginnings?
I started as a trainee lawyer in a leading law firm. Then a legal consultant and Bahrain representative to an international intellectual property company in Bahrain, where I had been chosen for my academic and experience qualifications in Intellectual Property. I believe being a lawyer and starting my own law firm are just the beginnings for me as there is a lot to accomplish.
As a lawyer in Bahrain, you are incredibly accomplished. What do you think has played a part in your success?
As lawyers, we always look for things that will keep us continuously challenged and set us apart. Acknowledging the rapid change in international business kept me focused on international and local corporate and intellectual property rights that are being updated along with any updates in real lives. Hence, I would be constantly looking at the legal aspects of new technologies or types of businesses. I believe, being passionate about what you do is the key to success. Also, building relationships with colleagues abroad who share similar goals and interests, which may help to broaden your international network.
What are your accomplishments that you are proud of?
Winning the Arab Youth Council under Arab League Award in Law and Humanitarian Aid for my work on pro bono cases. International cases such as ‘Freedom Flotilla’ in Turkish Courts and working with humanitarian organizations and providing legal aid. Having my law firm listed amongst international law firms providing intellectual property services always gives me great satisfaction as those some of the lawyers listed were and are my idols.
Why did you choose Intellectual Property Rights?
Intellectual property is a creation of the mind.You may be listening to music daily, watching a movie, taking photos and downloading them on applications on your smart phone, reading a book downloaded on your Kindle, wearing brand names shoes or shirts, having a drink bearing a famous trademark or eating at a restaurant that is renowned for its signature dishes and secret recipes.
You are encountering intellectual property on a daily basis. Therefore, you should be aware of the laws and regulations in protecting them. It costs money for its creation, most times, that may reach millions or billions of dollars in case of inventions and in movie industries.
That is why I chose Intellectual Property as it continues to challenge and change in actual life.
It is a boutique law firm providing legal services; we provide all legal services in Bahrain and through our associates abroad. We are specialized in Intellectual Property Rights and Corporate Law. Our clients are international and local companies, individuals and even international law firms who do not have a legal representation in Bahrain.
We have been recently listed in Foreign and Commonwealth Office – British Embassy list of lawyers for British Nationals Overseas and Bahrain and listed in few other international law firms’ specializations list abroad.
We understand that your law firm provides legal services in languages other than Arabic and English. Do you think it is a benefit in Bahrain?
Communicating with clients in their own language is very important; it makes them feel more secure which leads to trusting the lawyer who is representing them. Therefore, we provide legal services in Arabic, English, Spanish and other languages like French, Turkish or Russian upon request.
As you mentioned earlier, the world is changing rapidly and so are technologies and new businesses. Where do you think Bahrain or the region stands?
Everything is changing rapidly! For example, everything is being digitalized. The absence of Data Protection Law and Privacy Law will create many legal issues in the near future so is not having a clear stance on piracy and patents. However, the expertise and efficiency by the authorities play a major role.
How do you build a great team?
Choosing people from different backgrounds, experiences and education. Working together in such a group will create a healthy competitive atmosphere. I consider the fact that we should treat our workplace just as we do our life and fill it with people from different backgrounds and experiences.
Apart from Law, what are your other interests?
Reading is my all time pleasure! Reading about history and ancient religions and beliefs. Lately, I have been chosen as an International Observer for elections abroad by International Organizations. My last election observation mission was in Tunisia – that was a great experience.
Do you have any advice for aspiring lawyers of today?
Broaden your horizons, challenge and use initiative in what you do. Most importantly, be passionate and believe in what you do. Younger lawyers and legal consultants can pave the way to a brighter future in legal aspects as they are more flexible, eager to learn and can be specialized in different majors in law that are new to the region.