In conversation with Sabina Lalaj

In an interview with Legal 500 Sabina Lalaj, Deloitte Legal leader in Albania and Kosovo, explains how the firm is adapting to clients' changing needs.

What do you see as the main points that differentiate Deloitte Legal Albania and Kosovo from your competitors?

Clients need and seek more than just plain vanilla advice on their matters these days. They want the total solutions to their business issues that we can provide with bundled services delivered in cooperation with other Deloitte service lines such as Consulting, Tax Advisory, and Financial Advisory. Nobody really has one dimensional business problems anymore, certainly not in these times, although those are the only problems traditional law firms are equipped to handle. When you combine high quality bundled services with our genuine passion for the work, then you have what puts us ahead of our competition.

Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

The Covid-19 pandemic has already changed many aspects of the way we live and do business. For sure, clients continue to need more technology-driven solutions to achieve their goals. Technology remains important for businesses. The time to go digital is now and the various service lines of Deloitte, including Deloitte Legal, are uniquely positioned to assist with this strategic pivot.

Also, the banking and financial market in Albania and Kosovo has seen a lot of changes in the last year with new actors entering into the markets and also legislative changes. We are pleased that Deloitte Legal is very engaged in the sector – both providing assistance to several of the new players and assisting the governments in drafting new pieces of legislation or improving current ones.

What's the main change you've made in the firm that will benefit clients?

As said above, a passion for what we do on daily basis and cooperation with Deloitte’s other service lines is what sets us apart. I am proud of what we have achieved so far and am confident of what lies ahead of us. Clients show us their appreciation continuously and this confirms our belief that Deloitte Legal Albania and Kosovo is on the right track. Assembling a remarkable team of excellent lawyers who display that passion on a day-to-day basis to clients is my best achievement, I believe, to benefit our clients.

Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?

Together with our colleagues in other Deloitte service lines, we offer digital niche services to our clients that allow them to deal with any challenges, and to further embrace the fourth industrial revolution. As we are part of the international Deloitte Legal network, we gain access to all the technologies and instruments developed in other jurisdictions and can thus offer and apply them on the Albanian and Kosovan markets. Sometimes these are quite unique and sophisticated offerings, unmatched locally, and put us ahead of our competitors in being able to offer such advantageous technologies that have been developed elsewhere (and with quite some significant initial investment).

We will continuously update our client offering and delivery to ensure that we are always the law firm of tomorrow that can be experienced, today.

Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?

I return to technology and the products we are offering to clients. Another one of them is a bundled service product devised by our digital law lawyers, together with the Consulting and Risk Advisory professionals of Deloitte, that will help clients go digital in every aspect of their business. I cannot emphasize enough how advantageous our multi-disciplinary approach is to clients, particularly in these times, which brings time, money, and project management savings to the projects we do with them.

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms - where do you see the firm in three years’ time?

Strategic thinking and direction, a focus on creativity and innovation, all combined with passion and the highest ethical standards, should be core drivers for all law firms. We at Deloitte Legal Albania and Kosovo really stand out in our market in that regard.

We are getting it right for our clients and intend to continue building on this to retain our position among the top-3 law firms on the market, where we are already positioned. If our track record is of any indication of our future trajectory, our clients can rest assured that we are stable on the market and will be here for whenever they need us in future.

*This interview first appeared in Legal 500.

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