As partner at Pinsent Masons, and head of its Middle East operations, Sachin Kerur is in an excellent position to gauge the landscape of regional construction.
“The persistent volatility in the price of oil has continued to have a direct impact on some of our clients, with some reviewing their plans for the future,” he told Construction Week.
However, the past 12 months have also provided Kerur and his team with a window to consolidate and strengthen their regional operations.
“Notwithstanding the market conditions, there is always a flip side to a bearish economy,” he said.
“As a diversified law firm, [it has given us an opportunity to] deal with company restructurings, distressed assets, and companies looking to alternative economic sectors.”
Globally, Pinsent Masons employs 2,900 people. In the Middle East, it boasts a team of 140, of whom 95 are lawyers. Although not at liberty to go into specifics, Kerur and his team provide legal support to many of the region’s biggest construction outfits.
In Kerur’s opinion, Pinsent Masons’ success depends on relationships, both within the professional arena and society as a whole. “As a business generally, our footprint in the wider community matters greatly to us, and not merely from a public relations standpoint,” he said. “One of our guiding principles is to act as a responsible business in all ways.”
Broadly speaking, Pinsent Masons’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy comprises two main strands: environment and community.
“This means managing our impact on the environment, working together with our clients and suppliers to develop sustainable relationships, and creating an inclusive working environment where everyone can achieve their potential,” noted Kerur.
At a staff level, the company has implemented a variety of schemes to promote diversity, from Project Sky, which seeks to empower female staff, to its in-house Disability Group. More broadly, the Pinsent Masons Foundation provides financial support to charities and projects that “inspire young lives”.