Thomson Reuters launches legal research service in Qatar
May 30 2013 11:17 PM
 Hitmi (left), Haworth (centre) and Bilbaisi at the launch of Westlaw Gulf Qatar.
Hitmi (left), Haworth (centre) and Bilbaisi at the launch of Westlaw Gulf Qatar.

By Hamza Jilani/Staff Reporter

Thomson Reuters, in support with Qatar’s Ministry of Justice, has announced the launch of its leading legal research service, Westlaw Gulf Qatar, which will serve as a one-stop source of comprehensive legal information made available in English for lawyers, advisers and international investors.

“The Ministry of Justice welcomes such initiatives, which are consistent with the aim of facilitating efficient online access to Qatar’s laws and legislation, and in line with the country’s ambitious National Vision,” said Ibrahim Musa Hitmi, under-secretary assistant for legal affairs at the Ministry of Justice.

Designed to improve the way lawyers work in the Gulf by offering comprehensive translations of Arabic-language laws into English, the website subscription platform features an information database of 3,000 translated laws from Qatar and more than 8,000 commercially relevant documents from around the Gulf region.

The platform aims to serve Qatar-based professional lawyers, academics, in-house corporate lawyers and legal consultants as well as investors outside of Qatar. 

“We are delighted to launch our leading legal research service in Qatar and are grateful for the support of the Ministry of Justice,” said Russell Haworth, managing director, Middle East and North Africa, Thomson Reuters.

“Westlaw Gulf provides a wealth of legal information relating to Qatar, expertly indexed and translated, as well as the latest news from across the Gulf, allowing lawyers to keep track of the latest legal developments and reducing valuable time spent on lengthy legal research.”

Westlaw Gulf features a Master Gazette Index which is set up for professionals to search through titles of all laws in English. All translations are carried out by legal experts and overseen by the in-house expert legal translation team at Thomson Reuters, all of whom have experience in the local Qatar market and the wider Middle East. English translations of the 3,000 Qatari laws include links to the original Arabic text, and are sourced from the official Gazette and cover commercial laws spanning from 1961 to 2013.

“Qatar is one of the first two countries in the Middle East region, the other one being UAE, whose legislations are posted on Westlaw Gulf. What this means is, legal professionals from around the world and in the region will be able to use the latest technology to research Qatari laws in English. They can now consult more sources and reference more material with greater accuracy and speed than ever before. It is therefore a great step to increase the level of transparency of Qatari laws to the rest of the world, reinforcing its growing status as a regional and a global player,” said Mohammed El-Belbesi, Head of Legal, Thomson Reuters, MENA.

“Westlaw Gulf - Qatar will improve the workflow of the individual legal practitioner working on Qatari laws bringing down the time spent on legal research from hours to minutes. Westlaw Gulf - Qatar user will also be able to place a research or a translation request to a dedicated team who will be processing the request in a committed time frame and to the highest standards of accuracy. The user will also be offered a market intelligence and insights service through our current awareness newsletter, selecting relevant news from a wide variety of sources and bringing them to the attention of the user as they happen.”


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