In the hot seat with Helen Barrett, Director Legal & Secretariat
Date: Tue, 01 May, 2018
What has Helen been up to, and what has she got planned for this coming Committee year?
What inspired you to join the BBG Dubai & Northern Emirates Committee?
Being part of an international legal community is rewarding, particularly given the daily challenges we all endure in this fast-growing business environment. I wanted to utilise the legal skills and know-how which I had gained over the last 20 years to make a difference to the BBG and its members.
What does your role involve?
My role involves ensuring the Group’s compliance with local laws and regulations in all activities which its carries out on the members’ behalf. This ranges from seeking Government approvals to ensure that the Group is legally compliant to preparing for the forthcoming AGM. This year, I have also standardised agreements that are regularly entered into by the Group, such as contracts with suppliers for key events, and sponsorship arrangements, in order to safeguard the BBG’s interests and ensure consistency throughout.
The Committee meets once a month to discuss ongoing work and make decisions on key projects and operational issues. They are a very innovative and motivational group of people, whom I enjoy working with immensely.
Is there anything special you have been working on?
Earlier this year, the Committee participated in a Strategy Output day in order to develop the coming year’s objectives, which includes creating more opportunities for members to collaborate with HMG in pursuit of commercial opportunities in both the Government and private sector. In order for us to implement this strategy effectively, a thorough review of the current Constitution was carried out and a new, more contemporary Constitution has been prepared in draft. If adopted at the AGM in May, this Constitution will confer sufficient power upon the Committee to propel the Group towards Expo 2020 and beyond, while imposing greater checks and balances upon them; an essential ingredient in the recipe of international corporate governance.
The next main event on the legal calendar is the AGM, at which the members will be asked to vote in relation to various issues, including the Group’s finances and the proposed new Constitution. If it is adopted, my role will include liaising with the relevant Government departments in order for the revised Constitution to become effective, and to start work on the BBG Governance Code, which will be applied to all future activities carried out by the Committee.
Although significant for its legal purpose, the AGM also provides a platform for members to catch up with familiar faces and meet new ones, and I I look forward to seeing you all there!