David Haigh is one of the most high-profile human rights lawyers and crisis managers focusing on the Middle East today.
Shortlisted by his peers as one of the best lawyers in the UK and the Middle East, he was described in The Lawyer magazine as “you wouldn’t want to bet against him” and by Daily Beast as running “an extraordinarily slick – and convincing – PR campaign … designed to free her [Princess Latifa]”.
Following a well-publicised 22-month ordeal of torture and abuse in Dubai, he has dedicated his working life to seeking justice for those denied it in the Middle East. His highest-profile work is in acting for Sheikha Latifa bint Rashid Al Maktoum against her father, the ruler of Dubai, and for Latifa’s stepmother Sheikha Randa Al Banna, the former wife of the Dubai ruler. But he has helped secure justice for countless other cases, some of which hit the news, others have of necessity to be kept quiet.
He is a tireless and successful advocate for victims whose rights have been violated. His high-profile legal and human rights battles have led to many precedent-setting court decisions, significant media coverage as well as financial settlements for clients. In addition, as the first openly gay managing director of a leading football club, David is a crusader against discrimination; as managing director of Leeds United, his ground-breaking LGBTQ initiatives have been publicly credited with paving the way for gay football managers and players.
FIGHTING FOR VICTIMS’ RIGHTS
A personal statement by David Haigh, founder and chief executive of Haigh International Justice
“No one can understand what it is really like to suffer injustice and human rights abuses until you have suffered injustice and human rights abuses. Up against a seemingly all-powerful, influential opponent, in a country that is not your own, a legal system that is unjust at best, corrupt at worst, where many lawyers won’t even take your case as they fear that very legal system, your back against the wall, all hope appearing to have gone.
“It is that very experience, and the determination that it should not happen to anyone else, that gave me the resolve to fight injustice and inequality, and perhaps why it is so important to me to expose wrongdoers and bring them to justice. In 2014 whilst being tortured in a filthy Dubai jail, I decided to establish a new independent legal advocacy and strategic communication group that would secure justice, and prevent injustice and inequality for all, no matter how powerful and influential the opponent.
“In 2016 I co-founded the first mission-driven, independent legal consultancy, media adviser and crisis manager focusing on Dubai and the wider UAE. Stirling Haigh, as we were then called, was dedicated exclusively to UAE-focused national and international legal work to fill the void of accountability and give victims a real voice. In 2018 we expanded to cover the UAE, the wider Middle East, United Kingdom and USA, and with the expansion we rebranded. We also launched our not for profit legal advocacy NGO Detained International as our pro bono arm.
“If you need our help, we are here for you. If you don’t need our help, please consider supporting our work – we can only offer pro bono help if we have financial contributors who support what we’re doing and are happy to play their part. As US President John F Kennedy once said, ‘The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.’ Please join us in protecting human rights everywhere by fighting individual abuses of fundamental human rights.”
Contact David: firstname.lastname@example.org