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Interview with Featured Dubai Legal Professional – Stephen Ranger of HL&A


DV: Thanks for your time today Stephen, I appreciate that you are very busy at present.

SR: Yes, we are but I am always happy to highlight the work we do at HL&A

DV: Great. So tell us, what brought you to work with HL&A?

SR: I was introduced to Hussain Lootah personally many years ago in relation to a Russian client, whose affairs I was Managing in the UAE at the time and who had been defrauded of more than AED100 million by an unethical Real Estate Agent.  Hussain’s Law Firm (HL&A) took on the case, we worked closely together on it and negotiated a fantastic settlement for the client, who was eternally grateful.  During that time, Hussain & I became great friends, and he subsequently asked me to become a Director of HL&A; a request of which I gratefully accepted of course, and we have been together ever since!

DV:What have been some highlights of your career?

SR: I was one of the Consultants that restructured and rebuilt Australia’s largest Company (BHP – now BHP Billiton) in the mid-eighties after it was almost taken over by a $2 Company; being technically insolvent at the time under Australian Law.  For five years of my life, I worked on BHP as a full-time Consultant and very successfully and effectively played a role in the re-structure that led to it becoming recognised as not only the largest Mining Company in the World but the most successful!

During the nineties, I founded and ran a Financial Consulting business in Australia known as Superannuation Consulting & Advisory Services (SCAS).  It became one of Australia’s largest independent, privately owned General Agencies and was successfully sold in the late nineties to a very large emerging Dealership.

I moved to Dubai in early 2004, and have since built a personal history, reputation & success story of which I am very proud. All this has culminated in me helping to lead HL&A to become not only one of the largest local Law Firms in Dubai and the UAE but also one held in the highest possible esteem by the Governments of the UAE, clients, the general public and competitors alike.

I am delighted to say I have had the opportunity to serve Dubai & the Rulers office by actively participating on International Trade Missions around the World in conjunction with JAFZA & DWC (Dubai South) in particular. This has been one of the most fulfilling aspects of my work, on a personal level. I have actively taken part as part of delegations to countries including Germany and China as well as to Brazil and Argentina, that has fostered enduring friendships and commercial successes.

DV: What do you enjoy most about working with the firm and its clients in Dubai?

SR: Most importantly I enjoy being with, near and collectively working with my dearest brother, Hussain Lootah and recently his eldest son, Ahmed – to build this Law Firm into a highly respected Internationally recognized and successful operation, for the benefit of all parties and in particular our clients, many of whom I know personally as friends and work with as clients.

While many would say we have already achieved that, we are only part of the way along the journey to achieve and exceed the extremely high goals we have set ourselves.  These men are great people in every sense of the word, and it is my honour and privilege to work alongside them.

Thank God that we have been brought together and I have been given this truly unique opportunity – Humdallah!

DV: How do you think Legal professionals can improve and what do you do to be more client-centric?

SR: Yes, it can improve right across the board generally and specifically those Firms who work virtually exclusively on an hourly basis need to start providing honest value for money in my view and be far more client focused.   Enough said on that issue; I don’t wish to disclose trade secrets!

DV: Do you think there is a reason to be optimistic about the business opportunities in the region and if so, why?

SR: Definitely!  The quite incredible achievements to date by the Rulers of Dubai both past and present and in particular our current Ruler, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and his visionary father, HH Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, have shown us that virtually anything is possible if you are committed 100%.

We live in an Emirate with virtually no natural resources, a climate that most Western people consider very difficult if not impossible to live in but look at what has been achieved; particularly for me in the last fourteen (14) years that I have personally witnessed and directly helped to achieve; we can and will deliver whatever we commit our minds to under the leadership and direction of HH Sheikh Mohammed.

Yes, there are going to be bumps along the road, both isolated and local to Dubai and the UAE and of a Global Scale. The 2008 Global Financial Crisis still reverberates. The current instability caused by the terrorists trying to overthrow the legitimate Yemeni Government and the unacceptable situation in which we find ourselves in reference to Qatar, to name just a few issues. But I firmly believe that we will persist and continue to build our beloved Dubai into one of the safest & most attractive cities in which to live, work and play in the World.  To me, we are living in Paradise already!  I intend to continue to play a leading role in that journey.

DV: How do you think new technology will impact the legal sector in the region?

SR: It will ultimately have a substantial impact, but it will be slower and less impactful than most other Industries.  This is simply because, in my view, success in the Legal Industry is achieved by giving honest quality advice & delivering concrete results to real clients (both Corporate & individual) on a personal & face to face basis. No technology will change that client experience for a very long time, however, we see how technology can overhaul the “backroom” of Law Firms, generally in a very positive way and this is just part of continuous operational improvement.

DV: What are some of the challenges the legal sector faces in the region?


SR:You have identified one of them, accepting and effectively adopting Technological change without negatively affecting the relationship between Firm and client.  Also crucial in my view, is modifying the Fee basis upon which clients are charged, to a more flexible structure which they want & therefore will accept more readily.

I believe that at HL&A we have made great strides in this area.  I also think that we are well ahead of most of our Competitors because of that fact, as well as a genuine focus on client satisfaction.  “Success of our clients is our success” that is the motto & value system by which we measure ourselves at HL&A!

DV: Thanks for your insight Stephen. How might someone contact you for assistance?

SR: I am happy to be contacted on +97143320004 or +971508538620 or

via email:


Interviewed by David Varcoe in Dubai 7th October 2017. All rights reserved.

Scottish Government Launches Animal Welfare Consultation

A consultation on protecting wild mammals in Scotland has been announced by Scotland’s Environment Secretary. It follows a review of the operation of the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002, which was undertaken in 2016.

The Secretary said: “This consultation seeks to explore recommendations to improve animal welfare legislation and the contributions we receive will be of considerable value in informing our thinking.

“Scotland led the way in 2002 by banning the hunting of wild mammals with dogs and we remain committed to improving animal welfare across the board,” she is quoted as saying.

The consultation will run until Wednesday 31st January 2018.

Source: Scottish Legal News: Monday 9th October 2017

Featured Dubai Legal Professional – Stephen Ranger of HL&A


As a leading UAE law firm, HL&A provides a wide variety of legal services for a diverse range of clients, including corporate and commercial transactions, employment law, intellectual property registration and protection, criminal and civil litigation, company formation, and more.

“We focus on meeting our clients’ objectives through ethically grounded, business-focused strategies, earning our clients’ trust by delivering quality services with integrity and professionalism.” Hussain Lootah, Chairman

Established in 1997, HL&A is a leading legal consultancy and advocacy firm for the GCC region, providing expert legal services to public sector entities, individuals, and private enterprises. HL&A’s extensive regional experience and knowledge of local, national, and international laws support a wide range of clients from various industries, including finance and banking, real estate and construction, mergers and acquisitions, hospitality, shipping, and oil and gas.
The firm’s commitment to excellent legal services for all clients means each highly trained and committed legal professional excel in their respective specialities. HL&A’s highly qualified team includes arbitrators, doctors of law, and respected academics with decades of practical experience in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. Our team can also communicate in Arabic, English, Farsi and French, and has accredited local advocates with full rights of audience before all UAE courts.
To better serve its clients, HL&A partners with well-respected firms around the world to provide exceptional legal services and client service from any corner of the globe. HL&A works tirelessly to protect its clients’ interests wherever they may be.

Our Beliefs

• We believe our clients’ interests are the heart of our business, and we owe our clients excellence in all of our services.
• We believe that openness and honesty are the core of our client relationships.
• We believe quality teamwork benefits our firm and our clients, and we support the continuing development of all team members.
• We believe we have a commitment to our community and the legal profession. It is our responsibility to maintain the highest levels of professionalism at all times.

Our Team
Our advocates and legal consultants are committed to the pursuit of excellence in legal services and client support. From the simplest matter to complex cases requiring specialist expertise, our dedication to trust, respect, quality, and our in-depth
understanding of the law ensures our clients receive committed legal representation that protects their interests. HL&A’s extensive knowledge and experience, as well as our close relationship with the UAE federal and local governments, have expanded our core practice areas to provide clients with up-to-date expert advice that reflects
the practical realities of the business world.

Through arbitration, we assist clients in settling complex cases without resorting to traditional litigation. By avoiding the lengthy court process, our clients can resolve their matters efficiently and quickly return to business. Our specialist practitioners have the experience necessary to provide expert representation before arbitration tribunals, including the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) and the DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre.

Banking & Finance
Our team regularly represents key members of the banking and finance industry, including commercial banks, investment banks, and finance companies. Our team focuses on structuring agreements to better position our clients and to minimise risk.

Civil & Criminal Litigation
Sometimes litigation is necessary, but not all litigation is the same. Our experienced team knows how to manage litigation to achieve the client’s objectives whilst using cost-effective methods. With licensed local advocates as team members, each step of the litigation process is handled in-house, which reduces client cost and increases efficiency.

Company Formation & Structuring
Our local experience gives us a unique insight into the vast range of UAE corporate structures available for clients to pursue their business and commercial objectives. Whether onshore, offshore or in one of the many UAE free zones, our team expertly guides clients in selecting the ideal company structure for their needs.

From reviewing standard form agreements to negotiating and drafting complex commercial arrangements, our team provides comprehensive, in-depth advice that reflects the client’s business needs as well as commercial and legal realities.

With the region’s dynamic labour law landscape, our team assists clients with every aspect of employment, including drafting policies, procedures, and contracts in accordance with applicable law, and litigation support.

Engineering & Construction
Our team has experience with all aspects of engineering and construction industries and the importance of understanding commercial aspects at each step. Whether it is the tender process or a full dispute, our team can provide full support for governmental entities, developers, contractors, facility managers, and other professionals.


Family Law
Family disputes and proceedings require specialist knowledge and experience with local procedures and courts. Our team provides compassionate guidance during what is typically a difficult time for clients.

Intellectual Property
Developing a comprehensive intellectual property strategy helps manage and protect a business’s most valuable asset. Our team assists clients with forming an effective plan, including filing patents, trademarks, and copyrights, and protecting these assets from exploitation.

IT Law
IT law requires in-depth knowledge of cutting-edge technology and the latest advances in the communication industry. With our team’s dedication to remaining up-to-date with both legal and commercial developments, we assist clients with securing their positions in this competitive sector.

Maritime & Transport
Shipping and transport are critical economic sectors for the region, and it is vital for industry professionals to understand how legal issues can affect commercial concerns. With our team’s expert guidance, our clients gain insight and assurance to further their business objectives.

Merger & Acquisition
Mergers and acquisitions require detailed attention to every aspect of the arrangement. Our experienced team manages mergers and acquisitions for clients with expertise and care for each element, providing expert advice.

Oil & Gas
The unique challenges inherent in the oil and gas industry require in-depth knowledge of both upstream, midstream, and downstream sectors. Our team assists clients with transactional, regulatory, and drafting for any oil and gas matter.

Real Estate
UAE real estate law is a unique reflection of the region, requiring both understanding and experience for proper advice. With our team’s years of experience, we provide our clients with market-leading guidance.

Wills & Guardianship
Protecting your assets for your beneficiaries depends upon properly adhering to regional regulatory schemes and laws. Our team can assist you with developing a plan that protects you and brings you peace of mind.

For a confidential discussion on any legal matter, contact Stephen on +97143320004 or +971508538620 or via email:

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Vision Tower 1, 17 Floor, Al Khaleej Al Tejari Street 1,

Business Bay, Dubai, U.A.E

Corporate profile brochure-HL&A-PDF version 2017

It’s not just you – the World’s biggest law firms see the first dip in profits since 2010


The world’s biggest law firms have generally seen a reduction in year-on-year profits for the first time in seven years.

Senior equity partners at the 100 biggest law firms drew £1.18 million, a decline of half a percentage point.

Combined revenue at the firms increased slightly, with the top 100 firms bringing in £73.46 billion in 2016, up 2.8 per cent on the previous year.

A league table compiled by Legal Week and The American Lawyer ranked Los Angeles-based Latham & Watkins as the world’s biggest firm by revenue, with Bake McKenzie taking second place.

Third place went to Kirkland & Ellis, while Skadden Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom took fourth.

Transatlantic firm DLA Piper took pole position four years ago but has since dropped to fifth place.

Source: The Scotish Legal News. Consider subscribing here

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