Walid S. Chiniara is an international finance lawyer, a leading expert, and a recognized pioneer in matters pertaining to legal strategy, governance, and dynastic planning for family enterprises.
In 2021, Walid celebrates 40 years of practicing law across five continents. Twenty-five of those years have been spent serving iconic business families, in the GCC and the MENA region, in his capacity as a trusted advisor and a mediator managing intergenerational conflicts within a family business context. Over time, Walid has forged himself a reputation as the go-to person for mission-impossible family business succession planning.
Walid is, and continues to be, a relentless advocate of family governance both regionally and internationally.
He has extensive and varied global experience. He first joined Sidley & Austin, Chicago in 1982 and later moved to Montreal and joined Stikeman, Elliott. In 1991, he joined Alcatel CIT in Paris, where he became Deputy General Counsel and contributed to setting up its project financing practice across Eastern Europe and South-East Asia.
In 1998, Walid built his first single-family office and in 2001, he established his own virtual multi-family office, and has since worked alongside a large number of business families across the world, building family offices and devising country-specific tools, tailored to address their needs and those of next-generation family entrepreneurs. He acts as a Personne de Confiance to a number of them.
In 2014, Walid was invited to join a major consultancy firm to set up and lead the Middle Eastern Chapter of its Family Enterprise Consulting practice.
Walid is an accredited Mediator and a member of the Quebec Bar. He is also, a member of the Family Firm Institute (FFI), the Society of Trust and Estate Planners (STEP), and The International Academy of Trust and Estate Law (TIAETL).
Walid is a published author and a regular guest speaker at a number of regional and international forums. Also, he facilitates the Family Governance Module, Cercle des Dirigeants, at École Supérieure des Affaires, Beirut.
Walid is credited with the development of The 7-Step Methodology™, an innovative and systemic approach to family business succession planning. He summarized his thoughts in a book released in May 2020 and titled: Dynastic Planning: A 7-Step Approach to Family Business Succession Planning and Related Conflict Management.
He is a graduate of Saint Joseph University (USJ), Beirut, Lebanon and New York University (NYU), New York, where he earned a Bachelor of Laws, and a Masters in Comparative Jurisprudence, respectively.
Walid is a husband and a father of two.