By R. Jason Huf
Some of you may have obtained entry to the "Monastery" (as I've taken to calling my office) as and when business has required. However, for most of those reading this, I realize that I'm letting you in on a little secret: the advertised address of JHI's NYC HQ office is just a mail stop associated with a shared space & services operation on the 6th floor of good old 11 Broadway. To maintain my strict "No Pop-Ins" Policy, the exact location of the Firm Headquarters Office/ Monastery's actual physical presence is kept confidential, and that confidence is only breached when necessary.
Being able to advertise the mail stop as the office address, and the convenience of renting conference room space by the hour on the 6th floor, both enable me to concentrate on my work with minimal interruption. In addition to this "buffer", availing myself of the shared services when certain tasks need to be performed rather efficiently assists me with keeping costs down, which in turn contributes to my ability to maintaining hourly rates that are very competitive.
(As an old boss of mine used to say, "This is not the Fish Market"; but, with our competitive rates and innovative price structures, there may not be much need for you to bargain when seeking high-quality, world-class International Legal Services that your company can afford)
Perhaps most fundamentally to those of you (still) reading this piece, JHI can make available to your company the seamless provision of professional services spanning just about the entire legal prism, without having to figure massive overhead costs into our hourly rates (or more innovative billing arrangements). The outfit that runs the 6th floor operation only caters to attorneys, and many of these attorneys elect to house their firms and solo practices in physical office space on the site. Irrespective of the level of their arrangement, all who participate in some form or another are listed in a directory and, over time, some of us get to know each other reasonably well.
These attorneys practice in virtually every area of the law, and possess a variety of experience levels. In short, I have at my fingertips a storehouse of legal minds to draw upon, from commercial real estate specialists, to business litigators, to tax professionals - even a very smart fellow who focuses on energy trading. And, like myself, they tend to maintain a relatively unburdensome level of overhead costs, which in turn, permits them to be reasonable with their fees as well.
A few people still tend to think of my practice as rather narrow, until I dispell them of that illusion - JHI is a Commercial, Corporate, Energy & Banking law firm and we perform a wide range of services for clients hailing from a broad variety of industries. We just happen to have extensive experience in the Middle East, which may occassionally give rise to some folks instinctively thinking of JHI as a boutique servicing a particular "specialty" area. However, JHI's capabilities are even broader than I previously reasoned:
Between the NYC HQ, our Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Office, additional reources in the UAE (Abu Dhabi & Dubai) and access to Singapore and various major cities in India, JHI as a Brand is known as a capable provider of professional services in the Middle East and South Asia, ranging from company formation to arbitration, for those who have invested - or are looking to invest - in those regions in the world.
What JHI is not (yet) necessarily known for is our ability to assist businesses based in the Middle East and elsewhere with their expansion into the US "mega-market". Whether you are an individual foreign investor entering through the EB-5 Visa process, or a family-owned conglomerate of businesses looking to invest in US real estate, or a publicly traded company in Riyadh entering a joint venture, or a participant in the new US public-private partnerships designed to reform the nation's infrastructure, JHI is well-placed to help get you started as well as protect your US-side business interests down the road.
We have access to an entire network of intellectual assets encompassing a variety of practice areas ordinarily comanded only by big law firms, without having to factor "big firm" overhead into our fees. So, when investing from West to East, or East to West, consider the cost-effective but powerful option of contacting JHI for your legal needs.
Feel the difference and put our NYC HQ and affiliated Community of Attorneys to work for you in concert with our Jeddah office and/ or resources in the UAE, India & Singapore (wherever you're from!) as we help you and your company Explore the Boundaries of Your Business.
– Jason Huf
Wednesday, August 8, 2017
New York, NY
Aug 8, 2017 7:01 PM
By R. Jason Huf
Oct 21, 2016 2:54 PMIn April of 2016, Mr. Huf was honored to serve as Moderator of two different panel programs offered by the New York County Lawyers' Association (NYCLA). The first program was a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) course concerning the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA/ the Act), the second offered Ethics Credit and concerned Attorney "Branding" & conforming with the Rules of Professional Responsibility.The CLE panel on the FCPA discussed the increasingly broad and robust enforcement of the Act, and the implications for Corporations that do business internationally, as well as its responsible officers and the potential for individual liability/ culpability. The panelists not only discussed what to do in the event of an FCPA problem, but their thoughts on how to avoid such problems in the first place - now and in the future as the law evolves.
(Left to Right: Jason Huf; Jay G. Safer, Wollmuth, Maher & Deutsch; Glenn Jones, Law Offices of Glenn M. Jones; James McGovern, Hogan Lovells; Clara Flebus, Co-Chair, NYCLA Foreign & International Law Committee)The Branding panel provided an overview of marketing methods and the why and how of establishing a "Brand" - the "dos and the don'ts". (Mr. Huf notes that he still has to establish a Youtube page for his firm, JHI!) The panel also discussed how to plan and execute a marketing program that does not run afoul of the Rules of Professional Responsibility and agreed that, in addition to being every attorney's responsibility, being Ethical should, in fact, be a fundamental part of an attorney's Brand.The Rules of Professional Responsibility tend to follow changes in technology, and developing technologies are an important driver in the evolution of legal marketing programs. Accordingly, the panel also discussed trends and the direction the Rules of Ethics might possibly take, including recent recommendations by NYCLA, as rule-makers chase after these rapidly-developing technologies and the ethical implications of their use.
(Left to Right: Clara Flebus; Penn Dodson, AndersonDodson; Richard Brownell; James Q. Walker, Richards, Kibbe & Orbe, and Chairman of NYCLA's Committee on Professional Ethics; Stephen Perih, TransPerfect; Jason Huf)As Co-Chairman of NYCLA's Foreign & International Law Committee, Mr. Huf proudly notes that NYCLA constantly offers interesting, relevant and forward-looking CLE programs and other valuable forums for continued learning on a regular basis; and, states that consumers of such programs can look forward to the steady provision of additional thoughtful and cost-effective programs now and in the future. For more information on NYCLA's CLE offerings, please visit www.nycla.orgMr. Huf will, of course, continue to advise friends and colleagues of CLE programs and other speaking engagements wherein he is a participant in 2017 as the new year approaches.
Aug 26, 2016 4:19 PMBy R. Jason HufYou’re in control. You’re paid to be in control. Its not just professional reputation and “image”, its part of who you are (otherwise, that “image” would never fly and your professional reputation would be quite different).Now, you’re no longer at an age when you’re indestructible. You’re in, say, your early 30s, you’ve started a family, and you have other concerns ranging from personal health to time management that supersede the importance of getting in that occasional puff, right?Time to quit smoking.Congratulations! You are now on the road to better health. Air will smell sweeter, food will taste better. You’ll not have to blow 20+ minutes every two hours riding elevators just to go out into the cold wind and suck one down. You’ll be here on earth longer for your loved ones. And, you’ve just said “Good-Bye” to being in control…
Those of you who are not smokers are going to write this off as fiction. After all, enjoying tobacco is no where near the same league as being a heroin addict, a coke head, or some kind of angry alcoholic who drinks whiskey for breakfast. On several levels, that’s true. In any event, the following doesn’t so much apply to you, so feel free to skip it. Now, for my fellow smokers…As someone who recently suspended his second serious attempt at quitting smoking, I’m confident that I speak with at least some minor amount of authority on this. My first attempt, years ago, ended with friends handing me cigarettes, calling me a pain in the derriere and more or less telling me to have a smoke and shut up. I like being “Mr. Nice Guy”. Knowing I was being something of a monster, I took their advice.Years later, I am in my 40s, I have my own firm, I am unmarried, clients tend to trust me – I just about answer to no one. I am in as much command of all I survey, and my remaining future, as I am ever likely to be. This time it won’t be quite so bad, right? WRONG.It was even worse. Let’s face it, you are dealing with a highly addictive substance (both bio-chemically and psychologically), the use of which is deeply ingrained into your routine. While individual smokers are each going to react to nicotine withdrawal somewhat differently, talking with other smokers it seems not uncommon that (as happened in my case) every bit of good judgment you’ve ever had will go out the window, and you will say and do things that exemplify the exact opposite of your instincts. Its like being George Costanza – on crack.“Water off a duck’s back” is part of my very nature. I lived and worked in, according to many people, the first or second most stressful place on planet earth (no, not New Jersey – the Middle East) for years, and I had a great time.I find what I call “unnecessary drama” to be entirely repellant. I never understood it, it serves no useful purpose and it’s a complete turn-off. For me, it is instantly revolting. And yet, just a few days after quitting smoking, I was the King of Unnecessary Dramas. Putting something into a microwave oven, setting it for two minutes, and then becoming visibly and verbally agitated because two minutes is actually taking two minutes makes no sense. Having the irrepressible, manic need to make sure someone – anyone – knows about your overwhelming sense of frustration, however, is worse than irrational. It is thoroughly obnoxious.If you’ve already lived this nightmare and don’t wish to relive it, avert your eyes, (if you haven’t already). If not, then picture if you will...You will lash out over the silliest things. Every matter great or small, real or perceived, will take on an urgency that one normally associates with a burning building. You will know that this lashing-out is a mistake, do it anyway and then feel embarrassed to the point of being disturbed by your own behavior almost immediately afterward. And then, just five minutes later, you’ll be doing it all over again. Everyone in your orbit will suffer, including you.What this kind of bizarre behavior can do to your image, professional reputation and your career is obvious. And, to make matters worse, as lawyers, these brains of ours are what we work with – it’s the most important tool in the shed. So, naturally, trying to bury yourself in your work as the storm passes seems a rather dangerous solution.
And, what about the ethical implications of insisting on continuing your work??That said, you still have to get stuff done. You can’t isolate yourself. Moving into a cabin without access to electricity in northern Canada for two weeks and wrestling polar bears (or, whatever folks up there do for exercise) isn’t an option. And, for those of you who remember the old TV show “Get Smart”, I’m sorry to break this to you, but the “Cone of Silence” doesn’t actually work…
You can’t just quit quitting – that would be quitting! Another loss of control. The cherry on top of a monumental, multi-layered failure. If we were OK with failure, we wouldn’t be lawyers.You had such high hopes and great confidence when you first decided to quit smoking. Now, you are in this terrible Catch-22. If you continue to ride this out, how much (more) damage are you likely to cause? But, you cannot allow the misery of the previous eternal week or two to have been in vain, and you simply cannot cave in and fail.Yes you can. Hanging your head in shame, you rush off to the store one evening, buy a pack of cigarettes, and before the night is out you have incinerated and inhaled half the contents of that pack. The next morning, you are back to smoking just as much as you used to smoke, and you are a Human Being again… A deeply ashamed one, and certainly a total failure. But, at least you’re a member of the species once more.
And, you can always say that you had to smoke again in order to be compliant with the Rules of Professional Responsibility. No one will have anything to say once you hang your hat on that!Yes, I failed at this. Again…Well, its not failure if its a learning experience. I am not writing this to dissuade you, my friends and colleagues, from quitting smoking. I am providing a heads-up. We don’t discuss this very often specifically because it is embarrassing, and it makes us sound weak.Based on what I’ve learned thus far, here are some (I hope) helpful tips on how to beat smoking without beating your career into a pulp and seeing many years of hard work and cool, reliable performance go down the drain:1. See a doctor before quitting. This little blog article is not comprehensive medical advice and I do not know the state of your health – withdrawal symptoms may vary from person-to-person, and you should seek qualified medical advice before making any serious health decisions. This isn’t just the ordinary disclaimer from one attorney writing to other attorneys (although, that’s in there, too). Visiting a doctor after you’ve started the process of quitting tobacco in the hopes of obtaining something that will help to mitigate the withdrawal symptoms is OK, but its better to see one before you start. Know as much about the current state of your health as you can prior to throwing yourself into the thresher.I will write more broadly about Work/ Life Balance in a subsequent piece. But, for now, if you are under the kind of exhaustion and tension commonly plaguing attorneys – if you are suffering from, say, extreme sleep deprivation, nervous exhaustion, dehydration, a wildly irregular heartbeat or are just plain constantly tired, then address that first. If you are taking in as much as three pots of strong coffee per day to make up for a consistent lack of sleep, then this may not be the best time for you to try quitting smoking.The bottom line is this: while it may sound counterintuitive, be in your best possible shape before you begin the process of quitting smoking.2. On the subject of finding something that actually helps with mitigating withdrawal symptoms, well, “Cold Turkey” ain’t for everybody. It wasn’t for me. That said, be mindful of the side effects of such aids (from appetite suppression to much worse). The most harmless thing seemed the gum, but I found it to be disgusting. More than one person suggested “Vaping”. While I have seen may use it as a substitute, and with some success, I have yet to meet anyone who has since managed to give up the Vaping. I wouldn’t look to swap one harmful vice for another, myself – even if the substitute is somewhat less harmful.Again, see a doctor and sort out exactly which aid(s) works best for you.3. If you do decide to go Cold Turkey, but reduce your daily intake of cigarettes before the appointed time of quitting in the hopes that the symptoms of quitting nicotine will not be so severe, then you may wish to give yourself more than a few days to deescalate. Trust me on this one.4. Finally, and as discussed, you cannot isolate yourself from civilization. But, you can do two things: a. let others know you are quitting; and, b. establish “buffers”.Telling people you are quitting smoking is not setting yourself up for additional embarrassment in the event you fail (and, never be one of those who “Plan to Fail”). In fact, it may help them to understand your embarrassing behavior while you undergo withdrawal. At the very least, it will let them know to keep their distance, even if you personally lose sight of the importance of distance during this period.Buffers can help to maintain that distance, even as you manically attempt to lash out and inflict your new, alien frustrations on the entire human race. Work from home, if you can (and, technology makes it easier than ever). Limit your face-to-face appointments to the extent you can. Get someone else at the firm to do you a solid and appear at the court to file those motions for you during a particularly rough morning. Lock your phone in a desk drawer, check it at specific times. For emails and voice messages, put a minimum buffer time on your response, if one is required (and, during that time, consider what is actually required – do not say anything that is not required). While some of your work is bound to be time-sensitive and good response times are a must in our business, nothing is so super urgent that it can’t wait for a few minutes. A measured response is always better than a weird one and, let’s face it, your client isn’t on Death Row waiting for that last-minute call from the Governor that’s never going to come anyway.I hope that helps.In any event, now that I am smoking again and back to being my rock-solid, famously "Steady" self, I would like to apologize to all those I may have offended these past couple of weeks; and, apologize in advance to all those I may offend in the near future. Because, after I address a few health concerns stemming from that lack of Work/ Life Balance I referenced earlier, I am returning to quitting smoking.As I said, this latest attempt is merely suspended.For now, I’m going to go home, put up my feet, and light one up. I hope you enjoy your weekend as well.– Jason HufThursday, August 25, 2016New York, NY
Mar 1, 2016 5:43 PMBy R. Jason Huf
It is with great pleasure, and not without some sense of humility, that I announce my appointment as Representative (Observer) to the United Nations (UN) by the New York County Lawyers' Association (NYCLA), a Non-Governmental Organization recognized by the UN.Observers have access to certain sessions and other events covering a wide range of topics, and I hope to put this exposure to the best possible use of NYCLA and the legal community as a whole. Naturally, my own focus will be on the Middle East and topics important to those involved in the region, from Womens' Rights (and, Human Rights generally) to Banking, Energy, International Corporate Governmence and Trade.
Of course, I am not a "One Man Army" -- I am working
with a terrific team of dedicated professionals, and I
expect great results as we report back to our
colleagues on issues of importance to international
legal practitioners and other concerned classes of
This is an opportunity - and, an honor - that I am
committed to making the most of as our civilization
marches ahead into an age of rapidly-changing times that
may require some thought be put into changing legal
constructs.And, hey, you can't beat Fun...- Jason Huf
It goes without saying that I will provide a report or two via this space as well. Thank you for your continued interest.
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
New York, NY
Apr 17, 2015 2:22 PMby R. Jason Huf
It has been a while! I haven't had much time for extraneous writing this year. However, there's nothing extraneous about this:
As Co-Chairman of New York County Lawyers' Association's (NYCLA) Foreign & International Law Committee, I was able to make time to accept New York Law School's (NYLS) gracious invitation to help organize and participate in a distinguished panel of international legal practitioners. A couple of weeks ago, we enjoyed sharing our experiences with some of NYLS's bright, internationally-minded students at their International Law Center in downtown Manhattan.
(Left to right: Professor Lloyd Bonfield, Director NYLS Center for International Law; Giulia Previti, Associate, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP [New York]; Patrick Turner, Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, CBS Broadcasting; Jason Huf; Aurelie Bertoldo, JD Candidate - NYLS Class of 2016 & Honoroary Student Co-Chair, NYCLA Foreign & International Law Committee)
The panel on Careers in International Law was moderated by Professor Lloyd Bonfield and included Ms. Giulia Previti from the New York office of the globally renowned law firm Freshfield's; and, Mr. Patrick Turner, Vice President and Assistant General Counsel with the Law Depatment of CBS - and proud NYLS Alumnus.
I provided some career advice and shared some of my experiences as a legal professional working in the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia. However, the real "stars" of the panel were Ms. Previti and Mr. Turner - the insights they imparted to the students were pointed and profound.
For me, just as compelling as my fellow panelists (and, they had some terrific stories to share) were the students in attendance and NYLS itself. The Center for International Law, especially its Assistant Director, Mr. Michael Rhee, pulled out all the stops and extended every courtesy in hosting this event, displaying terrific organizational capabilities. And, as has been typical of past experience during my time in our profession, the current JD Candidates at NYLS in attendance impressed me as serious, but down to earth, hard-working professional scholars brimming with ambition and curiosity. I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with them, fielding their questions and otherwise interracting with them. I have no doubt that the future of the legal profession, particularly the future of US-based international legal practice, is in good hands at the NYLS Center for International Law.
Moments like my participation in this panel are among the most gratifying of my career. It never fails to renew my enthusiasm about being a member of the legal profession.
And, I would like to thank the Honorary Student Co-Chairs of NYCLA's Foreign & International Law Committee, Ms. Shabnam Hajain and Ms. Aurelie Bertoldo, both NYLS JD Candidates in the Class of 2016, for doing so much of the leg work to make this happen. In fact, if memory serves, the whole thing started as Ms. Bertoldo's idea (not surprising, as she is a student at a first-rate law school). My Committee Co-Chair, Clara Flebus, and I couldn't be more pleased with their intellect, committment and work ethic.
I only hope that they, and their internationally-minded colleagues studying law at NYLS, found our discussion at be least half as valuable as I found it enjoyable.
- Jason Huf
Friday, April 16, 2015
New York, NY
Jul 9, 2014 3:37 PMBetween the July 4 weekend and other summer holidays, high summer in the Middle East, the holy month of Ramadan, and some sort of soccer tournament, we find ourselves in the unusual position of having a little free time here at JHI.As such, watch THIS SPACE: In the coming weeks, JHI will post a brief article right here in our Notes & Comments section on Hydraulic Fracturing (colloquially referred to as “Fracking”).
Following Labor Day, JHI will publish a brief note on contracting with parties in Middle Eastern jurisdictions (in particular, Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the United Arab Emirates(UAE)); and, in a subsequent writing, JHI will share some thoughts on Arbitration Clauses when doing business internationally.
And, while there tends not to be many developments in the law anywhere in world during these summer months, JHI will continue to keep our eyes peeling concerning such developments as and when they affect Marcellus Shale Natural Gas, Charter Schools, Municipalities, Middle Eastern jurisdictions (particularly Gulf Cooperation Council jurisdictions), the law of Contracts, the laws of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the UAE (Abu Dhabi and Dubai) and the KSA, and business law generally.In the meantime, we would just like to wish all concerned a safe and happy summertime!
May 15, 2014 12:16 PMby R. Jason Huf
Jokes about snakes in the road aside, I have always considered being an attorney to be a great honor and privilege. I practice law, and the law is the ultimate guardian of equality and fair play. I cannot imagine wanting to do anything else for a living.Some of the really great aspects of being a lawyer, especially one with my particular practice areas, are the things I learn and the people I meet.Meet Renad!
Just last year, young Miss Renad T. Amjad became only the third lady in the entire history of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to officially register as a Female Trainee Lawyer with the Saudi Ministry of Justice.You can imagine how deeply honored I was when Renad asked to meet with me in New York. She is a fascinating, intelligent, courageous and cheerful young lady who, after being one of those to break a Concrete Ceiling, has a bright future ahead of her. In my line of work, this was akin to meeting Jackie Robinson, and was one of the great thrills of my career.
(I should note here that, being modest and outwardly humble, Renad is not entirely comfortable with the comparison to Jackie Robinson, citing her lack of experience as a lawyer thus far. I will also note here that as she becomes more experienced as a lawyer, she will get used to it - because she's stuck with it.)That's on a personal note. Professionally, Renad is a living, breathing demonstration of the fact that change is coming to Saudi Arabia.Such change may be incremental, but incremental does not mean insignificant. Just look this young lady in the eye and tell her that her accomplishments are "insignificant". I dare you.There are those who advocate for a faster pace of reforms in Saudi Arabia on the subject of women's rights, and more generally. However, I strongly believe that King Abdullah has been shrewd in his implementation of incremental, but meaningful, reform. A broader, faster-paced program of reform would risk destabilizing the Kingdom, which would, in turn, risk destabilizing the region and threaten to send economic shock waves throughout the world.Saudi Arabia may be insular, but it's not isolated. Just as events there impact the global economy, international economic activity - including and especially trade - has had an impact on the Kingdom. And, it shall continue to do so.I have never been one to liberally laud Middle Eastern rulers, but King Abdullah knows his people and is familiar with the different elements in his country with whom he exercises power. To maintain stability, his people need to enjoy greater freedom and feel a larger sense of "ownership" of their lives and their country. But, to move too quickly in that direction would innately threaten such stability. It is a difficult balance beam to walk successfully.The subject matters and pace of reforms in Saudi Arabia have been thoughtful, and ably executed, thus far. We will see how things progress from here.For now, I think I will just enjoy drinking tea with Jackie Robinson.- Jason Huf
New York, NY, USA
May 15, 2014