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Support Legal becomes first “New Law practice” to be granted Legal Consultancy Licence by Dubai International Financial Centre



  • The region’s leading boutique “New Law” firm recognised for pioneering change in the legal sector.
  • New Law model is seen as the way forward for new economy businesses because it is a model underscored by technology and based on the value a lawyer adds as opposed to the traditional model of a lawyer billing by the hour.
  • Licensing Support Legal to provide legal consultancy services within the Emirate of Dubai reinforces DIFC’s commitment to Innovation.
  • Dubai considered one of the top global financial centres, driven by DIFC’s focus on providing an enabling platform for businesses to access opportunities across the MEASA region.

Dubai, UAE, 16 September 2021:  Support Legal, the GCC’s leading boutique New Law firm, has become the first firm of its kind to be granted a Dubai legal consultancy licence byDubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). The breakthrough decision underscores DIFC’s commitment to supporting innovation as part of its contribution to Dubai’s digital agenda, with authorities applauding Support Legal’s role in spearheading radical change in the legal sector.

The made-in-the-UAE firm’s people centric approach to delivering legal services and technology has already unlocked significant potential for entrepreneurs and companies across the UAE, GCC and the region. Established in 2017, Support Legal has rapidly evolved into the market’s leading New Law firm, generating revenues in excess of AED 40 million and supporting more than 1,000 clients. Last year the firm expanded into the United States, as digital transformation and the evolution of regulation shifts client expectations of how law firms should work and deliver value.

Support Legal has established its headquarters in DIFC. The strategic move places it in the heart of DIFC and the new Dubai Future District, where Support Legal aims to become the legal partner of choice for future-oriented companies. The move once again reflects DIFC’s attractiveness as a global business hub, both in terms of the opportunities associated with operating in DIFC as well as the Centre’s continued focus on delivering the future of finance. DIFC is home to the largest FinTech and innovation ecosystem in the region thanks to its comprehensive approach to innovation via a range of strategic initiatives, regulatory measures and enabling support infrastructure.

Commenting on the announcement, Salmaan Jaffery, Chief Business Development Officer at DIFC Authority, said: “As part of DIFC’s vision to drive the future of finance, the Centre continues to promote the innovation needed to create highly productive jobs to drive the next wave of Dubai’s growth. Licensing Support Legal will strengthen our rapidly growing innovation ecosystem allowing firms to access expert legal advice in a way that increases their confidence in the market.”

“Technology is changing the way business is conducted and delivered. The legal profession is no exception, but it has been slow to adapt. As a New Law firm, our business model means we work with our clients as strategic partners and enablers, providing services that cut across every aspect of their businesses. We are a firm built on innovation, a growth mindset and new ways of working where the needs of our clients are kept front and centre,” said Ciara Henry, Head of Legal Operations at Support Legal.

Support Legal’s unique and flexible model places client needs at the heart of its business. A virtual workforce of top-tier senior lawyers from the world’s leading law firms, blue chip corporates, international banks and investment houses, keeps overheads low and lets it deliver value to clients where it counts. The use of innovative pricing models that focus on outcomes, not billable hours. Support Legal hires entrepreneurial talent, which allows it to act as a business partner and enabler, not a costly service provider as is often the perception of traditional law firms. 

While the Covid-19 pandemic has forced traditional law firms to pivot their business operations to adapt restrictions, Support Legal was able to record its strongest revenues to date, a testament to the agility and robustness of its New Law model.

Lee McMahon, Co-Founder and Principal of Support Legal, explains: “2020 saw us expand our footprint in the legal market with new hires, new clients and new product lines. What this tells us is that we are unique and servicing unfulfilled demand in the legal market. It also strongly demonstrates that our New Law business model is fit for purpose. As early adopters of legal tech, we are well placed to forge strong support partnerships with local and regional law firms to share our best practice transformational models to support them in their expansion and growth strategies for the future.”

In transforming the way legal services are delivered, Support Legal has become the go-to legal partner for fast-growth companies in the region and internationally. It has created centres of excellence in specialist areas of law such as venture capital, FinTech, e-commerce and technology, M&A, hospitality and leisure, intellectual property and data protection. It has grown a client base that is deep and broad, working with blue-chip corporates, pre-eminent regional VC firms, family offices and investors, and renowned start-up and early stage companies across a spectrum of industries and sectors.

Passionate about giving back to businesses of the future, Support Legal continues to support government strategic initiatives, such as Dubai Future Accelerators, on a pro-bono basis. It has also committed to building strategic partnerships with essential pro-bono support services to the legal sector including providing internship, training and development programmes to new entrants in the legal market.

Support Legal’s services are ideal for the 400 plus FinTech and innovation firms located in DIFC. They include over 60% of all FinTech firms in the GCC. Using DIFC’s enabling platform, they are contributing to both Dubai and the Centre’s reputation as a global hub for technology and innovation.

As part of DIFC’s vision to drive the future of finance, the Centre continues to promote the innovation needed to create highly productive jobs to drive the next wave of Dubai’s growth. Licensing Support Legal will strengthen our rapidly growing innovation ecosystem allowing firms to access expert legal advice in a way that increases their confidence in the market,” Salmaan Jaffery, Chief Business Development Officer, DIFC Authority

Support Legal becomes first “New Law practice” to be granted Legal Consultancy Licence by Dubai International Financial Centre

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