Interview with Mohammed Al Noor, Group Chief General Counsel & International Advisor at Action Group Holdings (AGH)
What attracted you to Kuwait and when did you first move there?
Kuwait is my birth place. After completing my education in UK and North America, I worked for few years in Canada, and in the late 1990’s, I received an offer to work as a bilingual international corporate lawyer in Kuwait, an opportunity I could not resist. My main role was to work on international and cross-border transactions, advising national GCC businesses and foreign global multinationals operating in the GCC Gulf region.
Can you describe a typical day for you at Action Group?
My role is leading a diverse team on matters and services of the Group for legal, statutory, regulatory governmental, and regulatory compliance in terms of business, investment and commercial operations. A typical day involves being part of a team on taking decisions by combing legal and business experience on driving the Group business growth by connecting cross-section capabilities and building strategies that addresses key growth needs through executing, M&A’s, partnership and JV’s of the group on business deals and transactions. Briefly Action Group Holdings (AGH), is one of the leading and largest family-owned internationally investing company, headquartered in Kuwait, with more than thirty (30) subsidiaries and branches operating in Australia, Western Europe, UK, USA, and MENA/GCC Gulf regions.
What challenges are you facing with the current Covid-19 crisis?
Unlike previous crises, the Covid-19 global crisis impacted every aspect of our lives including the business environment with the element of uncertainty regarding the time it will take to be over and back to normal. The main challenges our group faced, like all other international companies, are various such as: significant labour and employment issues, implications of regulatory amendments and compliance, corporate governance, and contracts renegotiation.
Why do you like living in Kuwait?
Kuwait is a very hospitable and multicultural society, historically has been a prosperous business canter with a strategic trading seaport. Kuwait is known to be the “Pearl of the GCC Gulf”, one of the richest nations in the world , with estimated 9% of the world’s oil reserves with the Burgan Field is the second largest oilfield.
Where is your favourite place in Kuwait and why? What is your favourite activity in Kuwait?
The best place in Kuwait is the newly build Avenues Mall, one of the largest mall in the Gulf that reflects Kuwait modern and historical landmarks. My favourite activity in Kuwait is camping in the desert during the winter, it’s a beautiful landscape for relaxation and peace of mind.
Have you found anything particularly challenging in living in Kuwait and how have you overcome that challenge?
One of the challenges living in Kuwait is the weather, we have an extreme hot summer with temperatures exceeding fifty degree Celsius. In order to overcome this challenge, I had to change my lifestyle by bringing together likeminded professionals that share similar interest of summer hobbies and activities.
What advice would you give to a lawyer moving there?
My simple message to lawyers moving to Kuwait is to network and get involved in the community service activities.