Monday 04, December 2017 by Jessica Combes

Support Legal appoints lawyers as SME demand for fixed legal costs surpasses expectations


Support Legal has strengthened its merger and acquisition (M&A) and knowledge management capabilities with the appointment of two new Principals–Hannah McKinlay and Ahmed Arif.

McKinlay and Arif join one of the  fast growing corporate practices as demand for flexible and cost-assured legal services continues to grow. Amassing almost 200 clients and exceeding first-year growth targets in just eight months, the new appointments form part of Support Legal’s plan to service a higher number of entrepreneurs and emerging companies seeking help to navigate the complex legal landscape across Middle East and Africa.

“We are delighted to welcome Ahmed and Hannah to the Support Legal team. The collective knowledge, expertise and experience they bring will strengthen our ability to service a higher number of clients and better support SMEs through every stage of their business,” said Lee McMahon, Co-Founder and Principal of Support Legal.

Arif joins following 10 years’ experience in the Dubai office of Freshfields, having advised on a number of M&A transactions in the region, and guided financial and strategic investors across the Middle East, Africa, Turkey and South East Asia. McKinlay joins as Head of Knowledge Management, where she will play the integral role of keeping the team and clients abreast of legal developments. In her first major project with Support Legal, she was instrumental in the development of ScaleUp–Support Legal’s digital platform offering knowhow, practical advice and automated legal documents to the user without charge.

“The rapid adoption of innovative technologies and working practices are revolutionising the legal industry as we know it. To join a company that is actively pursuing and often pioneering these efforts presents a rare opportunity, and I look forward to bringing my international and regional experience to the benefit of scaling businesses,” said Arif.

Attracted by Support Legal’s new business model, the appointments reaffirm the growing interest from experienced lawyers to move away from traditional law firms in favour of a more flexible approach to legal services. The first in the region to do away with the billable hour, Support Legal is implementing fixed fees and innovative tech solutions to deliver world-class legal services in a manner that aligns with the wants and needs of its clients.


“As the start-up and SME sector continues to thrive across the Middle East and Africa, there is an increased need for legal providers to work as advisors, not crisis managers. I’m eager to incorporate innovation and technology in our daily operations to ensure best working practices and keep the Support Legal family of consultants abreast of latest legal developments,” added McKinlay.


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