The Law Firm of A. F. & R. Shehadehwas founded in 1935 by the late Aziz Shehadeh in the coastal city of Jaffa during the period of the British Mandate. It soon developed into one of the foremost law firms in Mandatory Palestine. In 1948, the firm was moved to Ramallah which in 1950 became part of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The founder of the newly re-located firm distinguished himself through two landmark cases, the defense case against the murder of King Abdullah of Jordan and the case of the blocked accounts against Israel.
Within a few years the firm had reconstituted itself as one of the most respected law offices in Jordan. When Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967, the firm faced new challenges. It used its specialized expertise in the law to challenge the Israeli military’s violation of local and international law, regarding land, roads, land use planning and economic obstruction. Its members also published ground- breaking studies on various aspects of local and international law which helped focus the attention of the world on the illegal developments taking place in the occupied territories.
With the signing of the Oslo Accords and the extensive economic development that it ushered, the focus of the firm changed. It concentrated on corporate, commercial and civil aspects of the law becoming an advisor, amongst others, to many International funded projects including projects funded by the World Bank. It also began to represent the newly established banks, large public companies and non governmental organizations both local and international-doing business or establishing projects in the territories under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority. During this time, the membership of the office was expanded to five attorneys, including four partners and one associate in addition the firm employees four paralegals.
Areas of Practice
The Firm is specialized in civil and commercial practice. It has been involved in a number of million dollar projects involving infra structure and natural resources in various sectors including water, electricity and natural gas. It has advised on finance packages involving millions of dollars and has for a number of years represented a number of the major local and international banks. The office has been involved in the planning and establishment of the Birzeit Law School and has advised and drafted a number of major legislation as advisors to the Palestinian Legislative Council.
A number of the distinguished judges in the judicial system received their training as lawyers at the Firm. Some of the senior and most successful lawyers now practicing in the West Bank also trained at the office.
The firm also specializes in personal status, private international and intellectual property laws. Its has one of the largest trademark and patent registration departments of any law office in Palestine acting as trademark and patent agents and handles infringement and passing off cases involving intellectual property.