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The Bench's Bespoke Approach Recognised in Legal 500 EMEA Results 2021

Since 1991, Legal 500 has been providing readers with an annually updated, impartial, third-party opinion on the leading law firms and lawyers in countries across the region. The EMEA guide provides researched coverage of over 80 countries and over 2,700 ranked law firms. The latest version, the Legal 500 Europe, Middle East and Africa 2021 edition, was published yesterday.

The rankings each year are based on the complexity of relevant projects worked on in the last 12 months, independent research and feedback from clients. One of our favourite client testimonials this year is: 'When dealing with The Bench, I always feel that they are tailoring their services to my exact needs and solving my legal problems with a bespoke approach' (full testimonials below).

The Bench retained all of its four individual and firm rankings again in 2021 including:

  • 'Leading Individual' for TMT (one of only 5 in the UAE);

  • Band 2 firm ranking for TMT (alongside A&O, Bird & Bird, Clydes and Simmons);

  • Band 3 firm ranking for Intellectual Property (alongside BSA, Eversheds and Simmons); and

  • Band 3 firm ranking for Real Estate (alongside A&O, Charles Russell, CMS, Dentons, Norton Rose and White & Case).

A massive thank you to all our clients and peers for your kind words again this year! Comments and testimonials from Legal 500 2021 include:


Legal 500 Comment:

The Bench, spearheaded by its founder Joby Beretta and structured on a consultancy basis, handles a range of work across the TMT space, covering artificial intelligence, software as a service, radio spectrum, telecoms regulation and other matters. Senior consultants Ahmed Thabet, Chris Appleby, Kelly Tymburski and Jouhayna Amr have led notable mandates, often concerning payments and data protection.


  • ‘The Bench team have true IT industry knowledge with many of the team having substantial in-house experience which we like.’

  • ‘My main contact at the firm is Joby Beretta who has a global perspective having worked in the UK, Middle East and Asia Pacific. He was previously a General Counsel at an IT company and has a masters in IT/Telecom law so understands the tech without the need to dumb it down.’

  • ‘The most beneficial aspect of The Bench is that they have good experience in the UK/UAE and NZ, but are small enough to leverage that combined knowledge.’

Intellectual Property

Legal 500 Comment:

The Bench is a boutique law firm with a core focus on the hospitality and TMT sectors. Its key areas of activity include infringement matters, franchising, licence agreements and M&A transactions. Practice head Joby Beretta has a strong background in IT and telecoms law. Senior consultant Peter Hansen is also noted. Clients appreciate the team's 'substantial in-house experience'.


  • The Bench team has true IT industry knowledge, with many of the team having substantial in-house experience, which we like.’

  • ‘Availability, accessibility, multi-disciplined practice. Fair in assessment of charged time and open to conversation before committing to paid time. Persons understand our business and its needs. Provide information identifying hurdles and challenges prior to deciding on course of action. ’

Real Estate

Legal 500 Comment:

At The Bench, Joby Beretta and Elise Gillians have a focus on advising operators and owners on hotel management agreements and similar matters.


  • ‘When dealing with The Bench, I always feel that they are tailoring their services to my exact needs and solving my legal problems with a bespoke approach.‘

  • ‘Joby Beretta is always available and very helpful, even when we change our demands without moving the deadlines, he never gets flustered and just gets the job done!’

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