Ludmila Yamalova

Founder and Managing Partner

SUMMARY

Ludmila is the firm’s backbone. She manages the Firm with the utmost diligence, ensuring the clients’ satisfaction, while maintaining the highest level of quality service.  She founded the firm in 2009, and has been passionately managing it since then.

Ludmila is naturally enthusiastic.  She loves sharing her experience with those around her.  Ludmila is observant and resourceful.  Which is why she evaluates matters using a multi-faceted approach and considering all aspects.  As a result, Ludmila advises clients with a deeper understanding of their matters.  She is a gifted negotiator and excellent litigator, with a unique combination of courage, knowledge, and patience.

Ludmila is a determined and zealous lawyer.  In her approach, Ludmila is business-oriented and pragmatic.  Ludmila deals with the toughest of matters – effortlessly.

Ludmila is inspired and inspirational.  She is a mentor, a friend, and a family member, to the Firm’s team and to clients.  It is truly rare to come across an individual such as Ludmila, on a professional and personal level.  The office can be a little quite, but when Ludmila arrives, the office takes on a joyous vibe; as Ludmila’s positive and upbeat energy are contagious.

In many ways, Ludmila is a superhero in disguise.  Constantly fighting for her clients, team members, firm, family, and friends.  Ludmila is selfless, with an unparalleled sense of responsibility.  She is extremely consciousness, and detail-oriented.  Ludmila is a mastermind in her professional and personal life.

BACKGROUND

Ludmila is the founder and Managing Partner of the Firm, actively managing and practicing in the U.A.E. since 2009.  She is a U.S. qualified attorney, licensed by the State Bar of California.  Ludmila has over twenty years of legal experience, six of which were in the Silicon Valley, plus three years of business experience in the same place. Ludmila is also a Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) qualified arbitrator.

Ludmila is a firm believer in knowledge is power, which is the reason why she dedicates substantive amount of time to educating the public about their legal rights, while addressing their questions.  It is for that reason, amongst others, that Ludmila became a radio personality, having been a legal commentator on Dubai Eye, FM103.8

Ludmila is also an active member of the community, constantly providing legal advice on her podcast, Lawgical with LYLAW – the region’s first and only legal podcast.  Also, Ludmila is an active contributor on TikTok, where she offers legal updates on U.A.E. laws regularly.

Prior to moving to Dubai and setting up her practice, Ludmila was Associate General Counsel of a NASDAQ listed company in Silicon Valley, California – Finisar Corporation, a fiber optics company. While at Finisar, Ludmila managed, among other things, high profile patent litigation and global corporate matters.

Before Finisar, Ludmila practiced with DLA Piper in the San Francisco, Bay area, specializing in intellectual property litigation and bankruptcy.

REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS

Ludmila is a general practice lawyer, representing clients across a diverse portfolio of practice areas and industries.  Among other things, Ludmila represents clients in corporate advisory matters, often acting in an in-house counsel role.  In the U.A.E., Ludmila represents clients, directly and indirectly, in the DIFC Courts, arbitration tribunals, special committees, courts and before government authorities.

Dispute Resolution

Ludmila has substantial experience in dispute resolution, having litigated cases in the United States, U.A.E. Courts.  She has represented clients in Court in a variety of matters, including, but not limited to, patents, intellectual property, employment, real estate, and family matters.  Ludmila has set precedents in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts in cases she litigated for clients.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Ludmila is well-versed in alternative dispute resolution.  She has represented clients in multi-million dirham disputes at various arbitrations at the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC), securing awards which were favorable to her clients.  Furthermore, she has also acted as a mediator, and negotiated matters on behalf of clients.  She has managed to mediate a number of disputes relating to real estate transactions, commercial transactions, and family matters.

Family Law

Ludmila has thoroughly represented clients in acrimonious and contested family matters, including divorces and inheritances.  She acted as families’ lawyer, psychologist, business advisor, and friend.  In those capacities, she provided legal counseling, emotional support, business strategy, and company to her clients, during difficult and challenging times.  Through her devised strategy, and intelligent arguments, Ludmila managed to secure favorable judgments for her clients.

Criminal Law

During her time in the U.A.E., Ludmila has zealously represented clients in a variety of criminal matters, representing victims and the accused, in small misdemeanors to felonies.  In her representation, Ludmila provided compelling arguments to the Courts, securing her clients favorable judgments.

Employment

Ludmila has vast experience in employment matters.  Having represented both companies and individuals, she has dealt with substantive matters from both the employers and employees’ sides.  To that end, Ludmila represented clients in employment negotiations, mediations, settlements, and litigation.  Ludmila has managed cross-jurisdictional employment disputes, substantively underestimated end of employment entitlements calculations, Using sound logic, and relying on legal analyses and laws, Ludmila has successfully resolved employment matters in her clients’ favor.

Real Estate

Ludmila is very well-versed in real estate matters in the U.A.E. and the U.S.A.  She has represented clients in tenancy, real estate purchases, and jointly owned properties matters, amongst others.  Ludmila has managed the negotiation and amicable settlement of disputes in connection with multi-million dollar transactions.  She has also litigated large transactions against major developers in the U.A.E. in the DIFC Courts.  Amongst others, Ludmila also represented clients in terminations of sale purchase agreements, on the basis of breaches of obligations.

SPEAKING AND TEACHING ENGAGEMENTS

Ludmila is also an active member of Dubai’s legal community.  She raises awareness of pertinent legal issues through a variety of platforms.  Ludmila has a regular radio show on Dubai Eye, FM103.8, where she provides legal updates and answers legal questions in a live format.  She also regularly publishes legal articles.

Ludmila is also regularly quoted by local and international media as a regional legal expert, including the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Times, Washington Post and Bloomberg.

Ludmila has taught various legal workshops to the business community and academic institutions, sharing practical experience of the rapidly and ever-evolving U.A.E. legal community.

Among other things, Ludmila presents legal workshops at the Dubai Multi Commodity Center (DMCC).  She has been presenting at the DMCC Knowledge Series for the past six years.  Ludmila also hosted panels and presentations in the Mohammad Bin Rashid AlMaktoum (MBRF) Knowledge Summit and Marcomms360.

For a number of years, she taught employment workshops at the Eminent Institute, covering the U.A.E. labor law and regulations. Ludmila was also professor at Al Hosn university in Abu Dhabi on urban planning law.

Most recently, Ludmila is the host of the MENA region’s first legal podcast, Lawgical with LYLAW.  On the podcast, Ludmila provides insight, commentary, and updates covering a wide variety of legal topics relating to the U.A.E. and the MENA region.

PROFESSIONAL STYLE

Ludmila is intelligent, emotionally and professionally.  This intelligence permeates her management and professional style.  She is wise, pragmatic and direct.  In her advice to clients, she focuses on business oriented solutions, keeping the bottom-line in mind. Ludmila holds uncompromising values of ethics, transparency and fairness.

As a passionate and invested lawyer, Ludmila takes on clients’ causes as her own.  To that end, she represents clients vigorously, ensuring their interests are prioritized throughout the proceedings, with the aim of securing favorable results for them.

PERSONAL INTERESTS

Ludmila grew up in the former Soviet Union and moved to the United States in the early 90s.  Her native languages are Russian and Ukrainian.  She is also fluent in English and conversational in French.

Ludmila moved to Dubai in 2008, and has loved it since.  Her wanderlust brought her to Dubai wide-eyed, inquisitive, and eager.  Since then, she has observed, and participated in, Dubai’s evolution – being in the thick of history in the making.

Ludmila is a supportive, involved, and loving family member and friend.  In her personal and professional life, she provides those around her with space and support to grow, and evolve.  Ludmila is a mentor to many, providing constant guidance and help.

Ludmila has become a talented yogi.  She began doing yoga regularly during the 2020 lockdown.  Now, less than a year later, she can do well-balanced headstands and twists.  In yoga, Ludmila has discovered a new passion.  In addition to yoga, she loves spending time with her family, traveling the world and experiencing other cultures.  She is an avid snow skier, paddle-boarder, swimmer, scuba diver, and yogi.  She also has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

Experience
Managing Partner and Founder at HPL Yamalova & Plewka DMCC, Dubai, U.A.E.

May 2010 – Present

Dubai based general practice law firm, specializing in commercial, corporate, real estate, dispute resolution and criminal matters.

Host of Lawgical with LYLAW Podcast

2018 – Present

The region’s first legal podcast, covering a variety of legal topics and updates relating to the U.A.E. and the MENA region. New episodes are posted weekly.  The podcast is available on the Apple and Google podcast apps, and on our website.

Presenter at Dubai Multi Commodities Center (DMCC) Knowledge Series, Dubai, U.A.E.

2014 – Present

Regular presenter at the DMCC Knowledge Series, leading presentations about employment law, corporate matters, meaning and enforcement of contracts, real estate management, etc.

Legal Commentator at Dubai Eye Radio 103.8

2009 – Present

Weekly commentator on legal issues in the U.A.E. Live broadcast.

Managing Partner at Al Sayyah Advocates & Legal Consultants

March 2009 – May 2010 (1 year 3 months)

Dubai based law firm, specializing in real estate dispute resolution and commercial litigation.

Partner at Davidson & Co, Legal Consultants

2007 – 2008 (1 year)

One of the founding partners of the firm. Specialized in real estate dispute resolution. Built and managed own client base.

Associate General Counsel at Finisar Corp.

March 2005 – July 2008 (3 years 5 months)

Managed Finisar’s legal affairs, domestically and internationally. Headed multiple high profile patent litigation cases. Managed shareholder derivative law suits. SOX legal compliance officer.

Associate at DLA Piper US LLP

2002 – 2005 (3 years)

Specialized in intellectual property litigation. Worked on post dot com bankruptcy cases.

Summer Associate at Howrey Simon Arnold & White

2001 – 2001 (less than a year)

Summer associate, specializing in intellectual property litigation and contract drafting.

Business Analyst at Business for Social Responsibility

1998 – 1999 (1 year)

Conducted due diligence and business analysis in connection with providing consulting services to international clients on improving their bottom line by exercising social responsibility. Clients included: Starbucks, Gap, Nike, etc

Business Analyst at Strategic Decisions Group

1996 – 1999 (3 years)

Conducted due diligence and business analysis for international clients in connection with mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring and growth development strategies.

Education
The University of Texas School of Law

Doctor of Law (J.D.), Intellectual Property Law, 1999 – 2002

Université Paris X Nanterre

Master’s degree, European Union Law, 2000 – 2001

Reed College

Bachelor of Arts, Political Philosophy, 1993 – 1996

Université Laval

Summer School, French Language and Literature, 1994 – 1995

Harvard University

Summer School, Junior Thesis, 1995

Researched and wrote junior thesis on post Soviet era social developments.