Global Counsel with Diverse Expertise
Heir to a family of legal experts based in Cairo, Egypt, what makes Dr. Mina A. Iskander standout is his determination to learn each facet of the legal profession in his endeavour to become a holistic lawyer.
Recalling how ‘Law’ was a foregone conclusion, Mina tells us, “I descend from a family where most members are working in the legal business – as lawyers, judges or prosecutors. When I was in school itself, I knew I was going to be a lawyer.” Mina is not the person who established a law firm as family business in 1952, but as the Managing Partner of MIP Law Firm (Mina Iskander & Partners), he is working on expanding the business in different regions and having a global presence.
Mina began his career as an Associate in a law firm before pursuing a Masters at Indiana University, USA, where he specialized in Arbitration and International Law. Upon returning to Cairo, he applied for a post in the PPP Central Unit – Minister of Finance’s office, and got selected out of 340 applicants even though he was the youngest.
“It was an exceptional experience to work closely with the Minister. But due to political reasons and rise of the revolution in 2011, the Minister’s office was shut down,” he states. He used this time to learn more about a topic which most lawyers refrained from – Legal transactions related to e-commerce. Mina applied for a Ph.D. in the topic, and was selected as an Assistant Lecturer at the British University in Egypt. After circumstances stabilized, he joined a law firm as an Associate and in just 8 years, was promoted to Partner. At the same time, he received his Ph.D. at the record young age of 27.
Always ready to challenge himself, Mina soon decided to exit his comfort zone and try the in-house experience. He got selected as the Head of Legal Department in one of the largest Real Estate companies in the Middle East. A veritable perfectionist, he was then actively headhunted by one of the largest Fin-tech companies in the world, and joined them as Regional Senior Legal Counsel – Middle East and North Africa. However his previous law firm came calling, and he rejoined as Senior Partner.
Today, Mina is considered an industry leader with diverse Global experience and knowledge – he’s been an attorney in a law firm, legal counsellor in public governmental entities, University lecturer, and in-house counsel in the private sector.
With such accomplishments, Mina has been honoured throughout his career – He was awarded by the Minister of Finance – Dr. Yousef Botros Ghali, and given the Certificate of Excellence; was selected as Egypt’s representative by the International Bar Association in one of its biggest conventions; ranked as one of top 50 lawyers in the Middle East, Africa and Asia by Lex Falcon; selected by International Litigation Forum 2022 to be a keynote speaker in one of the biggest legal conferences in the world.
Humbly, Mina adds, “I am ranked one of the best Real Estate lawyers in the region as I am handling most of the biggest developers in the area. I have also been selected by the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development to act as an Ambassador for their missions and Sustainability projects. Nevertheless, my dearest personal accomplishment and my greatest blessing from God are my wife and two kids.”
Mina makes it a point to compensate for long hours at work by planning a trip or an adventure for the family to recharge together. After all, the legal profession is notoriously harsh. Take Covid for example. Recalling how he thought work would come to a standstill, Mina says, “The lockdown resulted in new work and challenges arising from defaults in contracts, employment issues, arbitration cases, and more.”
Expectedly, Mina rose to the occasion. The passion of accomplishment is what drives him, he says, “My clients consider me a backbone to lean on and just knowing that their trust lies in me keeps me going. Currently at MIP, I am working on an expansion plan to widen our practice in the Middle East and the rest of the regions to make sure our clients are covered all over the world wherever they may go.”
With herculean hard work, Mina is “consistent in what I do and persistent until I do it.” Leaving us with an important message, he says, “Make work your passion and not your profession. But remember, success is not always measured in money. Your employer can replace you in no time, but you are irreplaceable to your family and friends.”