Saudi regulatory changes benefit maritime industry

What do you think are the main legal developments in Saudi Arabia to encourage the growth of shipping and maritime industries?

There is a lot of. To name a few: a very modern and up-to-date Commercial Maritime Code, Agencies Law, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia subscribes to many IMO regulations and the advancement of upgrading and updating all regulations and laws related to the shipping industry. Specifically, this is in addition to numerous laws also related to logistics and free zones, which are an integral part of the shipping industry.

Does the Saudi law on new companies have many advantages for the maritime sector?

Certainly a step in the right direction. And it really gives a clear vision to investors who want to come and have Saudi Arabia as a base for their relations. A very important thing in the regulations is that KSA has introduced the Bareboat Charter Registry, which allows dual flagging for vessels and allows vessel owners to come and be registered as bareboat charters, this which is a very important development in the right direction for KSA.

Are government regulations in the Middle East keeping pace with rapid digitalization and other changes in working practices?

I mean, who can? It’s a very, very rapidly changing industry in all aspects. But I see that there are a lot of laws on the pipeline to meet the requirements of digitalization and modernization of logistics systems in particular and to ensure that the entry and exit of cargo and ships from ports, transit, operations, warehousing and all related industries are keeping up with the modern speed of digitalization. It will always be in front of us, but they are definitely on the right ground, they are definitely moving forward in the right place.

Could you give details of your firm’s legal network in Saudi Arabia and say what difficulties the sheer size of the kingdom presents for adequate coverage?

Al Tamimi a corporate law firm is the largest in the Middle East, we are the largest law firm in Saudi Arabia by number, we have three offices in Riyadh and Jeddah and Al Khobar, our dedicated team to the expedition is made up of seven lawyers divided between Jeddah and Al Khobar. There is a lot to do, it’s a huge country with a lot of potential. So being able to capture all the opportunities applied to all the requirements is a challenge, and we can’t grow fast enough, actually to keep up with the ongoing developments within KSA, which is a good problem to have on the long term.

We are also pleased with the Saudiization initiative as it allows us to train and develop much needed bilingual maritime lawyers across the Middle East. Saudi Arabia is the perfect example.

What does maritime law involve and what areas are covered?

It’s a niche. It is a challenging and exciting part of law. It is something that will take you into all aspects of company law, charter contracts, ports, travel, the pressure to analyze the law itself and find creative solutions, especially in an area where this is still developing and right now becoming a specialist area to watch.

It’s always exciting to become a maritime lawyer. Again, this has been an area where international law firms have monopolized for a very long time. Creating a professional bilingual maritime lawyer is a beautiful task in itself. And I’m happy to say that almost all of the international companies are all ex-Tamimi. They are all the product of bilingual lawyers from this firm. And it gives a better way of thinking for these lawyers to grow up and become part of their governments and part of the ministries of transport, ministries of logistics, ministries of free zones, it gives a better mechanism of thought for these capacities come and say, this is who we are, this is how we think. And we can actually achieve a vision for our countries as bilingual maritime lawyers.

What are the opportunities for women in maritime law?

We are proud to be the first firm to have graduated a Saudi female lawyer. And now we have about 50 to 50 female-male lawyers. It’s a bit difficult, given the social background, to have female maritime lawyers to go and jump over ships, take a boat, fight with ship arrests, but honestly, the female lawyers to come, they are up to it, and they’re excited, and they want to be part of it. And we are more than welcoming for the feminine side or the feminine contributions to come to be part of the shipping industry.

Why is it important to be at the Saudi Maritime Congress?

We being in this industry, we look forward to these opportunities to come together and do all the things we are too busy for, i.e. mingle. “Hi how are you? What’s going on with you? What’s going on on the other side? All law firms bring together all the decision makers in the industry in one place. We’re catching up , we have coffee, we have lunch, we have dinner, and in fact, you always come out a little more mature from these events. Because you just learned more and understood better and you come out fresh with more ideas, which is why these events are very, very important.