Melbourne-based Logie-Smith Lanyon Lawyers is one of the first Australian law firms to hire a Shariah law advisor, after it appointed Sheikh Mohamadu Nawas Saleem to provide his expertise as a Shariah consultant.
This unique appointment is indicative of the growing demand for Shariah law experts, as reported by Lawyers Weekly in November 2009, to advise Muslims living in common law based societies as well as the growing market for lawyers with expertise in Islamic banking and finance.
Commenting on Sheikh Nawas' appointment, Hyder Gulam, a senior lawyer at Logie-Smith Lanyon and board member of the Islamic Council of Victoria, said in a statement: "Sheikh Nawas provides a unique expertise in his training under the common law system (as followed in Australia) and his expertise in the understanding of Shariah law."
Sheikh Nawas serves on the executive committee of the Australian National Imams Council and is pleased to be part of the firm given its demonstrated support of the Muslim community.
"It was a great honour to be part of Logie-Smith Lanyon and to be one of the first consultant Shariah advisors to a law firm in Australia," he said in a statement.
Welcoming the appointment, Gulam said there are a number of legal projects for the Muslim community for which Sheikh Nawas will provide his expert Islamic opinion and that many Muslims within the community have expressed their excitement that "Australian law/Shariah compliant products" would soon be available.
Sheikh Nawas obtained a Bachelor of Law and Master in Comparative Laws at the International Islamic University in Malaysia and also works as an interpreter and translator in Tamil for a number of Federal Government agencies.