Choosing an attorney for a business transaction or a legal defense can seem like a challenging task. However, by approaching the choice as a process of learning as much as you can about the attorney and the firm, finding a Dubai lawyer to provide the best representation in your case will be a simple, straightforward process.
There are also more than a few common mistakes that businesses and individuals may use to choose an attorney. Before discussing what should be done to find an attorney, a closer look at mistakes to avoid will be helpful.
Mistake 1: Big Advertising Doesn’t Equal Experience
Most attorneys and law firms in Dubai will use some form of advertising for their services. It is not uncommon for attorneys to advertise in the phone directory as well as online.
However, it is essential not to confuse advertising with expertise in a subject matter. Any attorney or law firm can create a website or an advertisement online or in print that looks impressive; the question is whether or not they can back up those expectations with top professional services.
While there is nothing wrong with considering well-known attorneys and legal firms with familiar names from advertising, don’t assume they can offer the best legal representation. Follow the steps outlined below and verify information before making a choice.
Mistake 2: Hiring a Local Lawyer or Attorney from a Previous Legal Matter
It may be convenient to choose a Dubai lawyer that is in your local area in the city, but choosing an attorney specifically because he or she is in your area is another error to avoid.
The local attorney may be the best option, but to limit yourself to only local attorneys, particularly for significant legal matters, may be decreasing your options and forcing you to choose an attorney that is not as qualified.
The same argument is true for an attorney you may have used in a past case. Not all attorneys are able to work in all areas of civil law, verifying specialization and training as well as experience in the specific subject matter of the current legal case.
Starting the Search
Never rush into choosing an attorney. This is true in Dubai as well as around the world. Take your time to develop a list of potential attorneys, try to consider no more than three to five highly regarded professionals, and then narrow down your selection until you have the ideal professional to meet your requirements.
It is highly recommended to start your search for a Dubai lawyer as soon as possible. Waiting until the last minute restricts the ability to complete due diligence or even collect names to start the search.
If possible, talk to friends, family, colleagues and those you trust to ask for recommendations for top attorneys and law firms in Dubai. It may be difficult to have the conversation, but having a personal referral is a way to find an attorney from a trusted source.
Online searches can also be a very good option. Review the attorney or firm’s website and make notes on the professional areas of specialization and services provided. Most law firms will provide general areas of practice as well as information about the expertise, experience and professional training of their attorneys.
Legal and Licensing Requirements
In Dubai, there is a more complex system of licensing and legal requirements for attorneys representing clients in civil court matters. It will be important to verify that the attorney firm selected is able to litigate your case in court should it not settle out of court.
The law firm’s name must include the specific wording of “Advocates and Legal Consultants” to be able to litigate through the court systems. Legal consultants can provide legal services and advice, but they cannot litigate. Additionally, the attorney and the law firm must be licensed. This license will be granted by the Government of Dubai Legal Affairs Department, which will also verify the training and expertise of the attorney and the law firm.
It is important to note that attorneys from international countries can be licensed and approved by the governing bodies to practice law in Dubai. However, these individuals may not appear in court as that is reserved for Dubai nationals only.
Verify information as to the ability of the attorney and law firm to represent yourself or your company based on the specific issues in your case. Often litigation is not a concern in a case, allowing a broader scope of possible attorneys to choose.
Interview Potential Attorneys
With no more than three researched legal firms and attorneys remaining on your list, set an appointment to meet with each professional. This is a time to have a short evaluation or assessment of your case by the attorney and to also understand his or her communication style.
It is important to ask questions at the meeting to help you to understand the attorney’s initial impression of your case. A top attorney will provide information on the strengths and potential weaknesses of your cases and provide general information about the legal strategy or approach to resolving or settling the issue.
While litigation may be possible, a top attorney in Dubai is also interested in resolving your case as quickly and efficiently as possible. This means working on your behalf in negotiations or mediation and through arbitration if required.
An experienced attorney may be familiar with the other party in the dispute and how they have settled conflicts in the past. They may also be aware of current cases before the courts or that have settled outside of litigation. This information can be valuable in selecting an attorney based on knowledge of the subject matter as well as current best practices in resolving similar disputes.
At this initial meeting or case evaluation, verify the information about the attorney and the firm as it relates to experience and the ability to provide quality legal counsel. Vague or general response from the attorney for specific information about past cases, the number of similar cases handled or about the typical settlements obtaining in past representations should be a red flag that this may not be the professional for your needs.
At some point in this meeting, the attorney should explain the fees and costs associated with the service. This may be provided at an hourly rate or a flat fee based on a specific service. Information should be clear and precise with specifics about what is covered in the quoted fee and what additional expenses may be a factor as the case moves forward.
Make Your Choice
After meeting with the two or three shortlisted attorneys, take some time to review the information provided by each professional. At the same time, look for areas where there are significant differences in how the attorney’s responded.
It will also be essential to take some time and reflect on how comfortable you were with the attorney. Did you feel he or she was accurate with the information provided? Did the attorney make you feel comfortable with the communication and do you trust the professional?
Finding a top attorney is not as complicated of a process if it is broken down into small, manageable step. Complete due diligence, take them time to meet with the professionals and then evaluate your options. Contact STA Law Firm for more information.