One to One with Keith Vaz

Tuesday 28th November 2017 10:38 EST

ASHISH MEHTA, is regarded as one of the Gulf's leading lawyers. He is qualified to practice law in India in  1992 and the United Kingdom since 2000 and in the  United Arab Emirates including before the Courts of Dubai International Financial Centre.


ASHISH, who has been practicing as a legal professional since more than 24 years, is the founder and managing partner of Ashish Mehta Associates, a multi-jurisdictional law practice, providing analysis and counseling on complex legal documents and policies including but not limited to corporate matters, commercial transactions, banking and finance, securitization, property and construction, real estate acquisitions, mergers and acquisitions, financial restructuring for distressed assets, arbitration, mediation and litigation, intellectual property, advising, creating and managing offshore structures for wealth management, family matters, general crime and litigation issues.




One to One Questions


1) Which place, or city or country do you most feel at home in? 


Home is where the heart is!


I was born in New Delhi and moved to Dubai for work in 1989 at an age of 23 years. I now have lived in Dubai for 28 years (longer than I have lived in India, the country of my birth) and therefore feel more at home in Dubai and the UAE. Although I regularly travel to London and India for work as have offices there.  

 2) What are your proudest achievements?

Obtaining a practicing certificate from the Solicitors Regulatory Authority, England and Wales, after completing my law degree, to practice as a solicitor in England and Wales was one of my proudest achievements. 

3) What inspires you?

In my professional life successfully resolving the legal issues / challenges faced by clients inspires me the most. Recognition of the good work done by my law firm for our clients and acknowledgment of this good work by our clients inspires me. This acts as a big morale booster and enhances the levels of positive energy.  


4) What has been the biggest obstacle in your career?


One of the biggest obstacles in my career is to judge if a client or a potential client is making full and frank disclosures to me and is not concealing facts which may or may not affect them whether adversely or otherwise.


5) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date?


The current Ruler of Dubai and the current Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi are two living legends who greatly influence. I am greatly impressed by their hard work, vision, leadership, and ongoing efforts to spread the message of tolerance in society and help particularly helping improve the lives of the under privileged persons globally with their philanthropic and humanitarian work. They are truly humble.   


6) What is the best aspect about your current role?


The potential to excel in the practice of law is limitless. There is never a dull moment with the multitude of challenges that are unique to each situation.


As a member of the student’s council in school and as an office bearer of the student’s outfit of a political party in the university, I actively participated in learning about the grievances of my fellow students and resolving their issues. Subsequently, I developed an interest in assisting others to resolve their grievances and enjoyed public dealings since that time. I chose law as a profession as it synchronises with my persona.   After knowledge of the law, the second most important ingredient in the practice of law is interaction with people from different spheres of life. I thoroughly enjoy interacting with people and participating in affairs affecting common people. 


The practice of law provides the opportunity to come across and deal with different types of legal issues each day where facts vary from one matter to another matter, interact and liase with people from different cultural, religious, ethnic and educational backgrounds. Each day is a learning process. Generally speaking, I enjoy the challenges and ever-changing complexities experienced in the practice of law.


7) And the worst?


At time, it is a thankless job – this is an observation; not a complaint.


8) What are your long-term goals?


Continue to successfully serve the clients of my firm, at the minimum cost to clients and do more pro-bono work for those who can’t afford to engage professional services of qualified lawyers. 


9) If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change?


If I am the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, I will set up a Ministry for Happiness as it has been successfully set up by the government of the United Arab Emirates. As a Prime Minister, it will also be my responsibility to introduce initiatives and take measures to ensure people are happy.  No happiness – No life.   


10) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why?


Queen Elizabeth – who is still alive. She is a living encyclopaedia full of rich knowledge and experiences on international affairs as she has seen it all during the last several decades. I want her to share with me her journey as a queen, her greatest achievements, what she wanted but could not do as a queen as I would like to write a book on her experience of life.

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