I am Thomas Paoletti, Lawyer, born in Rome, of 53, married with three children, and living in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates since 2008.
I am a third-generation lawyer, specialising in Corporate and Commercial Law. I am particularly involved in joint ventures between/for Italy, the United Arab Emirates and China.
I am the President of the Italian Business Council of Dubai and the North Emirates, where more than 600 Italian businesses are located, both companies and professionals.
My qualifications are accredited at the Italian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, the Italian Consulate General in Dubai, as well as at the Emirates Authorities.
I love my family and dedicate as much time as possible to them.
I love: travelling, the sea (i am a scuba diver), art, theatre and, like all Italians, good food. I appreciate all people, whatever race or class they are, and i am particularly attracted by the oriental culture. I call myself a ‘pragmatic optimist’. I like empathy and i strive to keep a low profile. I can’t stand the know-it-all, the negativity and the sterile controversy. I surround myself, as far as possible, with optimistic and proactive people. I never set limits to learning. I think that life is a wonderful path made of experiences that will never find a goal.
The Paoletti Law Firm was founded in 1947. It was founded by my grandfather Carlo, then handed down to my father Fabrizio, and finally - following his death this year - inherited by me. I entered the firm immediately after my studies, but i became a partner in 1997, only after having worked my way up the ladder.
The new millennium has just started. I began to realise that globalisation would change - in one way or another - the world landscape. I walked in understanding that Italy would not jump on this train or at least not immediately. The Italian market, typically individualist and family-owned, was becoming increasingly far and away from me. I felt the need to broaden my horizons, cultivate solid partnerships, especially abroad, converge interests, expand expertise, in short, grow. Dad liked the idea, but he was a certain age, and the 'system' was now very set up. Who could blame him?
We had a client who needed assistance in Dubai, which is why i started to 'visit' the country. Mission after mission, so the spark has been struck: now or never, i said to myself, i have to get out of Italy. Where? Dubai, of course!
On the other hand, in those days, it was already very fashionable Doha, in Qatar, but during those years, i had already gained some experience in Dubai. I wanted to be part of something more "recent", to be part of a new reality, among Italians at least. And so it was. In the beginning, i alternated between 2 weeks in Dubai and 2 weeks in Rome.
The year is 2008. Annus horribilis: a few months after arriving, the real estate catastrophe broke out, the world crisis. But i didn't give up because - even though i made enormous sacrifices - i felt that there was the basis for developing some interest. So head down and pull. I remember i made an agreement with a local law firm in which i "divided" 50% of what i brought into the office. Then an unexpected opportunity came to me from the most affected sector, real estate. I became a legal advisor for an Italian real estate developer who earned me a good fee. Not bad, considering everything.
Time passes, and slowly we get out of the real estate emergency (if you want to call it that). Things pick up again, and the right time comes to leave my 'protect zone' to resume the path of progress.
2014. I feel that the time has come to capitalise on all the accumulated experiences. I make the leap: I open my own practice. I initially opened my license in Ras Al Khaimah, a town near Dubai. It allowed me to grow without incurring in excessive expenses and investments. Then i closed it and reopened it in Dubai (where i still live), and now Abu Dhabi, which i manage together with my precious colleagues and assistants. The Rome office remains vacant due to the recent death of my father. I took some time to evaluate what to do.
In the meantime, while the year 2015 is running, i meet my current wife, Yueyao, and now we are a happy family with two young children Niccolò, three years old, and Carlo, one-year-old, plus Giulia from my first marriage, who in the meantime has made twenty and is studying economics in Rome. The legacy of my name and my values, not just my work values, are now safe.
During 2016 i joined IR Global, a network of multidisciplinary professional services that provide legal, accounting and financial advice to companies and individuals around the world. 155 countries, over 70 practice areas with more than 1000 Associates, of which i am proudly a part of.
2017/2018. A whole new 'world' opens up for me. I participate in year-long coaching with Asentiv (www.asentiv.com). A programme that has enriched me a lot. I improve my knowledge of principles such as Foundations, Partnerships, why i work as a lawyer. I learn the true meaning of the entrepreneurial "mission/vision". Not only that. Thanks to this coaching programme, i understand the profound value of the expression 'team-building'. The intrinsic relationship that there is between cultivating and preserving serenity in the work environment - surrounding oneself with proactive, resilient colleagues and collaborators - and work performance. But i'm not stopping there. I attend other webinars. One of the most significant is that of a UK law firm, in which the founding member explained a concept very similar to what had been going through my mind for years, but without ever being able to focus on the missing piece, namely the contribution that referral marketing and legal marketing can make to our profession. I've been telling myself this since the 2000s, but you know: in our circles, marketing has always been a bit 'snubbed'. Nothing could be more wrong. The market now agrees with me.
I have been travelling to China regularly since 2014. Thanks to my wife Yueyao i have a better understanding of the values and culture. Obviously, this is also reflected in my profession. I attend Expos, thematic meetings, relations, etc. In addition, becoming a member of IR Global in 2016 makes things easier in this area too. I understand that the connection Italy - Middle East - China could be beneficial. So much so, that these new interests almost naturally lead me to consider expanding my activities. It is 2019 when i decide to open a business unit in Shanghai, in my opinion the best 'western' location. Then comes the year of Covid, 2020. The impossibility of travelling slows down - but does not stop - the activities. The opportunity is useful to reflect and prepare a subsequent recovery plan that hopefully can be implemented as soon as possible.
I turn around and observe my life path. Every now and then it's good to get in touch with my true self. Nothing like taking stock of one's life! I realise that the accumulated know-how (and the money invested) can give life to a project of my own. In the following two years, I put together - like in a puzzle - all the pieces needed to do it. And here we are in 2020.
2020. So i launch my Programme: Paoletti Law Accelerator. I will then explain why this denomination. Of course, the Covid19 slows down, worries and profoundly changes the market. For example, expressions such as smart working, webinars, suddenly become widespread and 'centralistic', but in reality, it does nothing more than make us more aware of what had become a necessity in our daily work. Well, perhaps the time is mature to show definitively, even to the most 'traditionalist', or 'reluctant', that the time has come to make a choice: use this circumstance to understand and change, or suffer it to wander as far as much that is not known.
Fill the form to receive additional information.
Complete and return the online aptitude questionnaire.
Expect a call with me if you have passed the questionnaire.
Wait for the final outcome in max 1 week for the "go / no go".
The participation in the Program includes an application, the subsequent entrance, and a periodic evaluation of the work.
Participation in the Program is subject to the signing of an Agreement – effective internationally – which provides for the acceptance of terms and conditions relating to the duration, use of content and tools, including digital, the use of networks of relationships, as well as the usual professional ethics.