Finance Monthly - Legal Awards 2022

Finance Monthly Legal Awards 2022 Saudi Arabia Lawyer Layla Tatwany About Layla Tatwany Layla is a commercial intellectual property lawyer and has been advising clients in commercial as well as corporate works including fintech, investments, data privacy, IP licensing, trademark leasing, digital healthcare, M&A, restructuring, anti-trust, private equity and venture capital and tech startups. Layla got her training with Squire Patton Boggs Law Firm in Saudi Arabia and was admitted to practice in 2015. Layla advises multinational corporations on their acquisitions, goto-market investments and complex commercial transactions and has worked in both in-inhouse and private practice. Layla earned her L.L.M from Fordham University, specialising in intellectual property and information technology law. During her time in New York, she worked at White & Case LLP, focusing on data protection regulation under the GDPR. In summer 2018, she presented her topic on AI and legal rights at the World Intellectual Property Organisation headquarters in Geneva. Prior to that, Layla was a senior legal advisor at Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) in Riyadh and acted as their IT business partner. Layla has worked with Hammad & Al-Mehdar Law Firm at its Dubai office, advising on M&A transactions, venture capital deals, fund structures and lead Employee Share Option Plans (ESOP) structures under the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and Saudi Regulations. She has also advised the first open banking platform in the region, particularly to obtain the required approvals and licenses, and has supported them in the commercial contract negotiations. Layla has advised the Saudi Entertainment Ventures (SEVEN) and has led negotiations on corporate, technical and IP acquisition mega transactions with multinational providers. Layla has accepted a role to join the Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) as a Legal Counsel, Managing Associate and aspired to work on a personal project that will elevate legal services to the next level. An Interview With Layla Tatwany What first led you to pursue a career in law? Growing up, I was very much influenced by business minded surroundings that shaped how I think and drew my interest in financial transactions to invest in technology start-ups. At that time, this was a very unmatured market in the Middle East that is now rapidly growing. I have tried following the “community dream” of becoming either a physician or an engineer, but these professions never truly suited me. I wanted a major and a career path that would suit my outspoken personality and dream of getting engaged with clients, negotiating major deals and overseeing transactions. During my L.L.B studies, I was interested in pursuing a career as a diplomat in international law. Nevertheless, as soon as I started my training, I quickly realised the opportunities and drive available to a transaction lawyer, especially in the Middle East and particularly in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). I say this because the market is very competitive, with great talents that pushed me to perform at my best and provide for much more, both professionally and personally. Pursuing a career path in law became my joy and passion that drove me to get even more involved in as many deals as possible, most recently commercial IP transactions – fintech and technology in particular. The TMT practice is considered a high-demand expertise, especially nowadays, due to the recent steps that the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has taken to promote its well-known 2030 vision. This vision aims to elevate the Kingdom’s standards by introducing mega initiatives, including digitalisation, entertainment, energy, sustainability, sports, and gaming, and with inordinate initiatives come extraordinary talents.

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