Tuesdays with SOAS Alumni - Abdul-Haq Mohammed



Position: International Managing partner at Trowers & Hamlins Bahrain

Degree: LLB, 1997

What is your position at Trowers & Hamlins' Bahrain practice?

I am the International Managing Partner at Trowers & Hamlins. This means that I have overall responsibility for our overseas business, which is centred on the Middle East and South East Asia. I also lead our International Real Estate team. I first trained as a commercial property lawyer in our London office, helping clients buy and sell office buildings, warehouses and the like. I was offered a post in our Bahrain office back in 2005, when the real estate market in the Middle East was beginning to boom. My remit was to grow our offering in Bahrain and across the region. I started by advising developers of some of Bahrain's biggest projects, which often include hotel, luxury residential, retail and office components. As the global economy went through its troubles and the Middle East experienced the Arab Spring, the provision of things like affordable housing became a pressing concern and I was able to build a new practice for us in that space, sometimes creating entirely new housing law regimes. I also advise investors buying property back in the UK and have worked on airport and seaport projects.

What do you enjoy about working in International Real Estate at Trowers & Hamlins LLP?

One of the best things about working in Real Estate in this part of the world is the opportunity to shape entirely new concepts and create lasting systems. These are still relatively young nations and we are often doing things which are 'first-in-country' or even 'first-in-region' and it is a privilege to be part of that. When it comes to Trowers & Hamlins, I have been here my entire career having trained at the firm. The firm is known for its unique, open and friendly culture. There is no 'Trowers type'. We thrive in diversity and I think the same could be said about SOAS.

Do you have any advice for current SOAS undergraduates who are looking to pursue a career in commercial law, and who would like to qualify in Real Estate?

My advice would be to get the broadest practical experience possible, to travel and learn about new cultures. Languages are a great bonus and are increasingly important in this global age. Legal advice at an international firm, perhaps even more so outside of Western Europe, is all about relationships and being able to understand a client's viewpoint.