Willem Smit – Eurojuris ambassador in Dubai

Have you ever wanted to leave everything behind and start fresh somewhere else ?  Look no further and meet Willem Smit. 

Born & bred in The Hague, this attorney didn’t look back long when he decided to sell his 25-year old based business for a fresh start in the Middle East in 2010.

“I had started a business from scratch with my partner back in the day, a firm that had grown quite in size and counted 25 lawyers in 2009. I just needed a new challenge.”

Willem adds : “It was the perfect timing and Dubai offered a large range of opportunities. I had no clue but after just three short visits, I set up shop quite happily”. When you ask him how it impacted his family life, Willem tells you that his children had already left the nest to pursue their higher education at university and his wife, a psychologist leading her own practice, couldn’t have just closed hers. “Dubai is only a 5-hour flight away, I come back to Holland every six weeks, I never miss an important event”. And when it comes to important events, Willem was quite keen on attending EUROJURIS annual conference in Munich last week. “I wouldn’t have missed the conference for the world. I was really impressed by the sheer size of this event, its professional organisation and the number of participants. I didn’t realise how wide this organisation was, with staff & presence in so many countries”.

As a further remark, Willem says “I enjoyed every minute of this event, its informal settings enabling you to meet & greet comfortably. I made great contacts over these few days, just felt frustrated I didn’t have the time to meet more people. If EUROJURIS is up for a second event a year, I am in !”

Dubai is a legally challenging city with many opportunities. Willem’s firm is accredited at the DIFC Courts where the ruling regime is common law and the Court language English. Parties are free to opt for these Courts in their agreements. UAE State Courts are not involved and Arabic doesn’t play a role. By doing so Dubai strives to emphasize its main hub function for the whole of the Middle-East, ideally situated between 2 common law centres of excellence: London and Singapore. As Willem’s firm and officers have the right of audience, no intermediary of local Counsel is needed.

EUROJURIS is the leading network of independent law firms in Europe, with members based in 650 different cities/locations in about 50 countries, not only in Europe but worldwide. Eurojuris International represents about 600 law firms and 6 000 lawyers.