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Commercial Bank of Dubai

Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD) is a UAE banking and financial services corporation headquartered in Dubai, UAE. With more than $20 billion in assets, Gulf Business listed CBD as the 35th largest bank in the Gulf.

Who is Dr. Souhayel Tayeb?

Dr. Souhayel is the Chief Legal and Governance Officer of CBD. With over 20 years of international experience in Banking, Finance and Capital Markets, his portfolio bears amongst the many distinguished names within the industry. After collecting years of solidified experience, he joined the Legal Department of BNP Paribas CIB where he was responsible for the structured finance and derivatives documentation for counterparts (corporates, banks, sovereign entities) in the EMEA region. In 2012, he moved to Mashreq Bank as Senior Legal Manager Vice President after which he joined CBD as the Chief Legal and Governance since December 2013.

An experienced, knowledgeable, and insightful professional only partially defines who Dr. Souhayel is. He is also a kind, compassionate and inspirational individual who has successfully contributed (and continues) to the legal industry in all its aspects. He quite rightly expresses that ‘The only way an industry can see success is when the drivers of the industry actively take part in bettering the community’. Dr. Souhayel has truly proved to be a man of his word, as he constantly embraces this mindset. He is the Founder and President of the International Association of Tunisian Banking and Finance Experts, Leader of the Financial Services Group in the Association of Corporate Counsel (Middle East) and member of key organizations. With all this, Dr. Souhayel aims to challenge the stigma attached to the legal industry, in a way which is in line with the modern concepts of todays society.

Starting off- why App4Legal?

“The legal practice is naturally a paper-heavy process,” explained Dr. Souhayel, “with constant emails, phone calls, contracts, deals; each new case brings more documents than the last. My department was overwhelmed with manual administrative tasks and was looking for a way to help assemble and automate all of this so that we could focus on the bigger picture; CBD’s core values. With multiple matters to handle, remembering each and every important detail related to the case was proving to become increasingly difficult. The team needed to track and keep their dates, deadlines, case briefs, previous hearing details and other notes ready to go, minus the hassle. Essentially, CBD was looking for a solution that took care of such crucial aspects of the department, while still giving us full control and overview of everything that we fed into the system”.   

He continued, “App4Legal provided us with not just a detailed and practical solution, it showed us that the transition to digitizing a legal department is far from difficult. Kudos to the LegalTech experts who have helped us embrace technology and encouraged us to be more comfortable with taking such a step in our company.” 

How has App4Legal played a part in bridging the gap between the legal department and other departments at CBD?

Organized every step of the way 

Dr. Souhayel said, “With App4Legal Core, we are able to streamline the business workflow and enable the in-house legal team to collaborate and communicate with different parties involved. Where we once had files upon files of discombobulated notes, we now have a one-stop hub for all of the important information related to litigation cases, hearings, matters etc. Furthermore, the fact that I can map and retrieve documents neatly in line with the relevant tasks and matters is the icing on the cake. Accessing information has now become somewhat of an enjoyable task, as the relief of knowing that everything is stored systematically and readily available at my convenience is a blessing in disguise; especially for the work that we do in a bank that plays a crucial role in the market.”

Bridging the gap

He continued, “Large companies often find that their culture lacks unity and integration within departments. That is not the case at CBD. With App4Legal Customer Portal, my team is now able to organize and standardize their communications with the requesters from other departments at CBD. Follow-up on matters, cases and contracts are becoming a self-service action for other departments, directly from the Customer Portal. Because of this digitization, we have successfully bridged the gap between the legal department and other aspects of the company, by encouraging a collaborative and transparent workspace. Fundamentally, this is a win-win situation as time and money is saved for all the parties involved.”
To end with, why do you think firms should innovate their practice through App4Legal?

Dr. Souhayel said “It’s the simple things that App4Legal tackles that really make their products worthwhile. Things like having automated reminders, organizational boards, collaboration incentives- all these features merge beautifully into a revolutionary solution that in its core is simple and easy to use. Overlooking the benefits of App4Legal may just mean that you have thrown a bag of opportunities for growth and success out the window (and no legal practitioner ever wants that). 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that moving towards a more digitized legal practice management structure gives legal professionals the ability to access necessary tools to perform their tasks while working remotely.“
- Dr. Souhayel Tayeb
Chief Legal and Governance Officer of CBD

Today, the legal department is at the heart of CBD, offering accurate, valuable and timely advice to internal stakeholders. Every step we take, we make sure to embody and respect the core values of the company. This is why we continue to leverage App4Legal within the roots of our company.”

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