18 April 2019

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM | Registration & Morning Networking

9:00 AM - 9:10 AM | Chair's Opening Remarks

Joanne Fischlin, head of corporate, external and legal affairs, Gulf, Microsoft

9:10 AM - 9:50 AM | Opening Keynote: Managing an Increasingly Turbulent Geopolitical Climate

Leading economist, former Chief Economist and Head of External Relations of the DIFC Dr Nasser Saidi will discuss the current global climate and its impact on the GCC over the past year, including recent developments in the USA, Europe and Asia and the outlook for 2019. Topics will include: 
  • Geoecopol landscape and implications for the ME and GCC
  • Economic wars and implications for the GCC: what does General Counsel need to know? 
  • Doing Business and the Investment Climate: Application of international laws, codes and standards into local markets 
  • GCC transition, transformation & reforms, where are we? Where we heading?
Dr. Nasser Saidi, president, Nasser Saidi & Associates 

9:50 AM - 10:30 AM | Understanding How the Tech Revolution will Improve Operational Efficiency and make your Team more Proficient

There has been an enormous amount of hype around AI and the tech revolution, but what can these new software’s and tools do in reality? What can technology do help manage costs and increase efficiency? What can technological developments do to help legal service delivery?
  • How technology is evoloving the in-house team and the services law firms are providing 
  • How can legal departments utilise technology?
  • Examining document management, productivity tools: What tools are available to increase production in in-house teams? 
  • What role will blockchain have in this? 
  • Artificial Intelligence in contracting
Thomas Högfors, general counsel - legal & integrity, ABB Industries
Francesca Gori, managing director, geography compliance, operations, regulatory & ethics – EMEA, Accenture Legal Group

10:30 AM - 10:50 AM | Networking & Refreshment Break

10:50 AM - 11:30 AM | The General Counsels Role in Risk Management

The session will examine operational and strategic risk assessment that moves beyond the role of legal. As the role of the GC has expanded, so too has its role and relationship with managing company risk and legal interaction with various functions in the company. This panel aims to move the conversation forward on where should risk mitigation be allocated and who should accept liability. What should the lawyer’s role be? How should General Counsel and Chief Risk Officers work together? 
Yasser Abo Ismail, general counsel and compliance officer, Middle East and North Africa, Schindler Group
Louise Flanagan, general counsel, IDO Legal Department
Salah Mostafa, head of legal Middle East & North Africa (MENA), Novartis

11:35 AM - 12:30 PM | Interactive Breakout Sessions

The conference will now go into interactive break out sessions. Please chose from one of the following:
A) Developing and Honing your Negotiation Skills
In this interactive workshop style session, examine the key techniques needed to be an effective and skilled negotiator including compromising, listening and expecting commitment.

Andrew Cooke, general counsel, Thinkflash
Kiran Scarr, general counsel, DMCC (Dubai Multi Commodities Centre)

B) Cloud Integration and Regulatory Framework
As the regulatory framework around technology and various tools and software’s being brought into companies becomes more structured, companies are increasingly being encouraged to integrate all data and information onto the cloud. But what does this mean for your information and your company? What are the benefits and potential risks of the cloud?
Ali Khalaf, general counsel, Evolvence Capital

C) Understanding the Financial Aspects of your Business
In this informative session take away tangible and implementable content on understanding your company’s balance sheet, effective budgeting, how to form financial statements as well as reading accounts. All necessary skills need when managing not just legal, but the business as a whole. 
Nabil Azar, director, legal and company secretary, Rakbank

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM | Lunch & Networking

1:30 PM - 2:15 PM | Courts & Tribunals of the Future: How Tech will disrupt the Litigation Landscape

As technology continues to advance, new tools are developed and the legal process becomes more efficient – how will the courts arbitral tribunals be impacted? What does this mean for litigation and arbitration? What will the future courts look like?
This panel will examine: 
  • Developments and trends in the arena of international dispute resolution
  • Impact of AI on the litigation landscape: How AI will handle due diligence, transactions and processing 
  • What role will blockchain have in disrupting the litigation landscape? 
  • Understanding the new solutions and tools available in litigation management 
Ghada Qaisi Audi, general counsel, Seddiqi Holding 
DIFC Courts (speaker to be confirmed) 

2:15 PM - 3:10 PM | Interactive Breakout Sessions

The conference will now go into interactive break out sessions. Please choose from one of the following:
A) An update on Saudi Arabia
The Saudi landscape has changed dramatically in the past couple of years. With reforms and modernisation taking place, coupled with dramatic domestic political and foreign policy moves, and uncertain environment has been created.
Laurent Hensby, senior vice president and head of legal - enablement and integration, First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB)

B) Managing your Work-Life Balance
We live in a time where everyone is busy, pressures and stress are higher than ever and people struggle to separate themselves from work. Gain insight into how to bring more hygiene into your busy wold, and become more efficient, less cultured and ultimately less stressed. How can you prioritise, better manage your time and ensure you maintain a healthy work-life balance?

Olof Arnman, senior director - legal, compliance & risk management, McDermott Middle East

C) Cyber Security: Managing your Reputation through an attack 
With the question now not if, but when an attack will happen, companies need to understand how to react to a cyber crisis. Delegates will be taken through a theoretical case study of an attack, and the steps taken in its aftermath to manage the crisis. Key topics include:
    - Creating alertness and mindfulness to cybercrime in your workforce
    - Strengthening your internal model to protect against a hack
    - Dealing with the aftermath and managing a crisis: what should be done to protect your company’s reputation?
    - Who should be contacted and how can you mitigate damage?
Charlie Daalder, general counsel, GM Africa & Middle East Operations

3:10 PM - 3:30 PM | Networking & Refreshment Break

3:30 PM - 4:00 PM | Mitigating Enforcement Action: Understanding Compliance with Local and International Laws

This session will examine the impact of local laws on your companies global mitigation efforts, especially where you are trying to comply with multiple local and international laws on bribery and corruption, economic crime, and face multiple triggers for reporting, including possible investigation. What risks are involved and what are the requirements? Gain understanding of the changes in Corporate Governance an UAE's changing landscape, and when possible enforcement action could be taken. 
Mohamed el Roubi, general counsel, GardaWorld International Protective Services
Gregor Pannike, group head of legal, Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group

4:00 PM - 4:30 PM | Balancing the Legal Service Providers: Processing your Legal Department

There has been a lot of discussion on developments in technology and the new solutions and softwares available to in-house, but with these new solutions comes alternative legal service providers. With all this choice, how do you know which provider is best and what will work for you? What does this increase in choice and the rise of the big four mean for the GCs relationship with the law firm? 
  • Balancing budget vs getting the best service: knowing what to choose
  • Insourcing vs outsourcing
  • Operational efficiency and productivity: what legal services can do for your legal team 
Bapsy Dastur, general counsel and chief legal officer, Stolt-Nielsen Limited
Vanessa Abernethy, general counsel, Emirates International Investment Company

4:30 PM - 4:40 PM | Chair Closing Remarks & Conference Close

Joanne Fischlin, head of corporate, external and legal affairs, gulf, Microsoft