Helena Samaha is an experienced multicultural, multilingual lawyer and business leader who is recognized internationally as an out-of-the-box thinker.
Helena has lived in London, Paris, and Dubai working across various industries and legal practice areas, in addition to having spent four years in the USA as a student.
She began her career in 1994 as a finance lawyer at Clifford Chance in London, after which an opportunity presented itself to transition in-house and lead the legal department of Sir Richard Branson's global Virgin Group, HQ'd in London. During this time she was appointed as a non-executive director of Virgin Publishing, and a member of the Client Advisory Board of Eversheds law firm. While at Virgin, Helena was named “Industry Lawyer of the Year” by The Lawyer and won an innovation award by Technology Magazine.
Helena was subsequently invited to become a partner at DLA Piper in London where she joined the Technology Media & Commercial practice, advising clients on cross-border JVs and strategic partnerships. During her time at DLA Piper, Helena became involved in the Arab International Women's Forum (AIWF,) and brought DLA Piper into the fold as a key partner of the AIWF.
A family move to Paris prompted a change of direction. There, Helena joined global turnaround and restructuring advisory firm AlixPartners as General Counsel-EMEA, where she served during the global financial crisis that began in 2008. She was based in Paris.
In 2012, Helena was appointed as the Company Secretary and General Counsel of OSN (Orbit Showtime Network), the MENA region’s largest media broadcaster spanning 24 countries and HQ’d in Dubai. In 2014, Helena was named the “Lawyer of the Year” by the Courts Committee of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
Helena returned to London in 2015 and served as interim Head of Legal for global broadband provider Liberty Global, before deciding on a career change and successfully transitioning to a CEO role at Lex Mundi in 2019.
Lex Mundi, the leading global network of premium law firms in 140 jurisdictions, provides resources and services to its member firms including business development, training, technology consulting, and client services support delivery. Under Helena's watch, Lex Mundi has successfully implemented a strategic Diversity & Inclusion initiative across the network. Another strategic project, “STARS” (Skills Training for Associates Retention and Success), is underway, addressing the most pressing challenge firms and businesses are facing worldwide: their talent. In addition, Lex Mundi has now launched “Lex Mundi Forward”, a new think tank with the mission of recreating a sustainable law firm business model.
Helena is a member of the Board of Lex Mundi Ltd, as well as serving as President and Board member of the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation. During her time at Lex Mundi, Helena was named in the “Hot 100” list by The Lawyer.