Cameron Crawford joined CWB in 2022 as a Partner and Head of Technology, Media and Entertainment. Cameron brings more than 20 years of legal practising experience, including over a decade in the United Arab Emirates, to his role at the firm.
Life at CWB
Why did you join CWB?
My initial interest was in CWB’s impressive client roster, plus my positive experience of dealing with Saba Al Sultani and her team as a client of the firm. When I met with Halim Shehadeh and understood the vision driving CWB, I knew it would be a great fit for me.
What do you most enjoy doing at work?
I most enjoy working in close collaboration with clients, especially those that are passionate about what they do.
Describe the working environment at CWB.
Having spent time at CWB’s office in Beirut as well as at the Headquarters in Dubai, I have found the environment to be professional and hard-working, but the keyword I would use is ‘supportive’. In any workplace, it can be challenging to maintain standards and to achieve goals, but when, as I have experienced at CWB, everyone is helpful and proactive, it makes a real difference.
What are the biggest challenges you face daily considering your position in the firm?
The drive to find new clients and projects is one of the most enjoyable aspects of my role, but it is also the most challenging, requiring a great deal of effort and tenacity.
What has been the biggest lesson you have learned in your career to date?
Managing client expectations from the outset is critical for a sustainable business, even if it is not exactly what they want to hear at first.
What is your biggest career achievement to date?
When I saw my name in the credits for Star Wars, my seven-year-old self gave me a high-five.
Why did you choose a career in law?
When I made the choice to study law at university, I probably didn’t appreciate what was ahead of me. However, I was eager to work with clients in the entertainment industry, in particular the music business. Being an entertainment lawyer sits at the intersection of my skill set and my passion for music and film.
How would you say the industry in the Middle East differs from other jurisdictions?
When I arrived in the UAE, social media and smartphones did not exist. Netflix was a DVD rental service. The overall approach of the authorities was old-fashioned, based predominantly on censorship.
The advent of the digital era has required government to modernize content regulation frameworks. Today, I would say that the industry is supported more by government in the UAE than in other territories with which I am familiar, which is an impressive achievement.
On the inside
If you could meet any person alive or dead in the world, who would it be? And why?
I would like to meet Elon Musk – he would be a dream client.
What do you like to do in your free time? What are your hobbies?
I love to play the guitar, in particular rock and metal. I do kick boxing to keep fit.
Describe yourself in three words.
Communicative, empathetic, versatile.
One last word
Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?
Listening to music.
What was the last book you read? Which is your all-time favourite one?
I last read “Blockchain and the law”, an informative, if somewhat dry, analysis of how legal systems might interact with decentralized technology and the metaverse. If I had to choose an all-time favourite, it would be ‘Life’, Keith Richards’ autobiography.
Is there anything you are still hoping to achieve?
Yes – in terms of professional goals, I want to grow the CWB Technology, Media and Entertainment team and establish it as the region’s unrivalled number one destination for media and entertainment clients.
What advice would you give anybody starting out in the industry?
Find one thing that you are passionate about, dig deep into it in your personal time, and become an expert.