Axis Law Chambers Leverages Globality’s AI Platform to Reach Enterprise Client and Eliminate the Hassle of RFPs
Interview with Waqqas Mir, Partner, Axis Law Chambers
Feb 7, 2019
- Can you help us understand your role at Axis Law Chambers?
I joined Axis Law Chambers as a partner in 2016. I work in the areas of dispute resolution and regulatory advice for local and international clients. I do a fair bit of work in areas of constitutional law, antitrust law, commercial law, and also environmental law litigation as well as animal rights law. The firm’s ambitions were a good fit with what I wanted, i.e., a firm with size and depth where creative thinking and professional excellence are valued.
- How do you go about getting business from international clients today?
Before Globality, I was leveraging my broad professional and personal network from Harvard Law School for referrals to clients, including connections at National Law School in Bangalore.
Pakistani firms are not big enough to be known at the international level and lack offices in other countries or across jurisdictions. There is no single platform that will give you a shot at becoming a part of large deals or the most exciting work that is going around. A lot of it depended on whether you were at the right place at the right time or have connections based on past client relationships.
Over time, I advised a number of American entities on doing business in Pakistan, and some of these firms in San Francisco or New York have reached out to Axis or referred us to their colleagues who need legal services for matters related to Pakistan.
Globality enabled us to get matched with large, exciting deals from enterprises at the international level that we wouldn’t have been able to access with the traditional Request For Proposal (RFP) process.
- What makes you stand out compared to other law firms?
We are trying to break away from the traditional Pakistan model of a one-man show. We had this vision to create a Pakistani entity that runs according to certain principles and offers specialists in certain markets. We wanted to bring together expertise from different areas.
One way we stand out is that we’re run like an actual firm with three distinct divisions:
- Dispute resolution, which covers litigation before Pakistani courts
- International commercial arbitration and investor-state arbitration
- A transactional advisory wing that does a lot of advisory work related to capital markets for public and private businesses, including startups in Pakistan; and a project finance team that supports foreign investors coming into Pakistan to set up projects in the energy sector by working with banks and creating holding companies
We now have seven partners and almost 35 associates. There are two other big firms in Pakistan headed by senior people—I’d like to think that we’re doing things differently as hardworking, younger professionals who have big dreams and want to be part of the global economy.
- What was the process of bidding on projects prior to using Globality?
Traditionally, if we were trying to bid for a particular project, we would have a series of back-and-forth emails, or we would submit a proposal and wait to hear back whether the submission was treated as complete. For example, a number of entities coming into Pakistan will float an RFP for all firms, and sometimes you’re not sure whether certain documentation you submitted was sufficient or not.
- How has your experience been with Globality compared to your previous approach?
Globality’s model is very different than anything we have worked with before. The platform connects you to clients with large deals, and, depending on your specialty, you can be matched with the client’s needs. Setting up our profile was very intuitive and established our expertise in the legal field.
We got matched with a client right away, and we had a fruitful 90-minute discussion with three of their senior team members. It was all remarkably smooth because we knew the kind of work the client needed.
- What ROI do you see leveraging Globality’s AI technology?
Normally I have lots of opinions when I'm dealing with an automated interface and I thought that Globality’s platform was all very logical. It felt as if somebody had actually put themselves in the shoes of a service provider and they had thought about what questions need to flow in a particular order.
Because when I went on the platform, I wasn't sure what type of information would be required so I had a number of documents with me but the questions were all very intuitive, pointed, and clear.
The best thing was there weren’t any glitches and I didn’t have to upload information over and over again. I did not have to email back and forth as I would usually do with an RFP. I was able to complete our profile and get it all up and running in about 30 minutes. Globality’s interface gave me a lot of comfort as I knew I didn’t have to spend several hours poring over the questions in an RFP or worry about not being able to change my answers after submission.
- Based on your years of experience, what best practices would you share with the broader legal community?
Considering the part of the world we’re situated in, a lot of clients aren’t sure of the regulatory regime when they enter the region. One of the things I learned when dealing with foreign clients is how to manage expectations and be clear right from the start regarding situations such as how long it takes for regulators to process an application or the timeline for a court process. By sharing information at every step with the client, they can provide us with constant instructions so we can avoid the uncomfortable situation down the line where the client feels they were blindsided by something.
“Globality enabled us to get matched with large, exciting deals from enterprises at the international level that we wouldn’t have been able to access with the traditional RFP process.”
- Waqqas Mir, Partner, Axis Law Chambers