Most lawyers that have built a new legal team talk
enthusiastically about the experience. Omar Rahman, general
counsel and head of legal at Noor Bank in Dubai, was setting
one up in an entirely new bank. The CEO told him that he knew
nothing about legal departments, so Rahman was on his own. It
was an absolutely blank slate.
Rahman had experience of working in-house: he came from
Western Union, where he had been regional counsel for two
years, covering the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan. But
that was one part of a much larger team. Neither that nor his
previous work at Denton Wilde Sapte in Abu Dhabi was much
preparation for creating a new department.
Noor Bank itself was set up in 2007 by decree from Sheikh
Mohammed, ruler of Dubai, to give the emirate an outward-facing
financial institution. Dubai has no shortage of banks...