Firms To Watch: Banking and finance

The team at Khalid Anwer & Co.  advises a host of major banks on various high-profile and sensitive contentious matters. It represents banks such as the National Bank of Pakistan in high-value recoveries and has also handled matters such as challenging the vires of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act 2016, a law under which banks were being required to arbitrarily divulge private and confidential information.

Banking and finance in Pakistan

Haidermota & Co Advocates

Haidermota & Co Advocates supports clients across the full spectrum of financial products including syndicated lending, debt instruments, convertible loans, leveraged and acquisition finance and Islamic modes of financing. In particular, it is renowned for its work relating to complex security structures, inter-creditor arrangements and financial restructuring. The practice handles regulatory issues regarding novel structures of debt instruments and convertible loan instruments, as well as minimum capital requirements, AML/KYC, adequacy of security, and banking secrecy laws. Khozem Haidermota manages the team alongside Mohammad Anwer, with both recommended for their work in the corporate finance space. Zahra Abid completes the leadership trio, often advising foreign and local banks, as well as financial institutions.

Practice head(s):

Khozem Haidermota; Mohammad Anwer; Zahra Abid


Testimonials

‘Zahra Abid is excellent on regulatory laws and regulations.’

‘This is a team that really knows their stuff.’

‘Ability to think out of the box. Total solution oriented approach.’

‘Zahra Abid has an excellent attitude and commendable on regulatory issues.’

‘Solution oriented. Up to date on the legal matters. Diversified team. Quick turn around.’

‘This is a team that really knows their stuff – and they are responsive and commercial. In short they are a clear go-to team for complex and bespoke transaction advice and their practical approach to questions and deal complexities makes it a true pleasure to work with them.’

Key clients

The World Bank Group – International Finance Corporation (IFC)


CDC Group Plc


Habib Bank Limited


Zhenfa Pakistan New Energy Company (Private) Limited – engaged by CDC Group Plc and Habib Bank Limited


United Bank Limited


Citibank N.A. Pakistan


Standard Chartered Bank


Bank Alfalah Limited and GuarantCo Ltd


National Bank of Pakistan


EXIM Bank of Pakistan


National Bank of Pakistan


Pakistan Mortgage Refinance Company Limited


Meezan Bank Limited


Credit Suisse International


BankIslami Pakistan Limited


Saudi National Bank


Karandaaz Pakistan


Work highlights


  • Engaged as consultants by IFC to prepare a non-performing loans diagnostic assessment report.
  • Acted as legal counsel for Habib Bank Limited and other syndicate members in relation to local currency long-term syndicated financing facilities of an aggregate amount up to 43.5bn Rs in relation to a 900MW combined cycle RLNG power generation facility (BPQS III) to be constructed at the Bin Qasim Power Station Complex of K-Electric.
  • Advised Standard Charted Bank on Sinosure and Hermes supported foreign currency facilities of an aggregate amount up to $412m in relation to a 900MW combined cycle RLNG power generation facility (BPQS III) to be constructed at the Bin Qasim Power Station Complex of K-Electric.

Kabraji & Talibuddin

Kabraji & Talibuddin advises renowned banks, financial institutions and corporate entities on complex onshore and cross-border financial transactions. The department supports foreign banks in various capital market deals involving the government of Pakistan, including on the issuance of bonds and sukuk transactions. The practice also handles derivatives and swap transactions. Aviation financing matters are another area of focus for the team. The firm is overseen by a leadership quartet comprising Kairas Kabraji, Danish Shah, Syed Ali Bin Maaz and Maheen Faruqui; each of these individuals are well respected for their work across the banking and finance space.

Practice head(s):

Kairas Kabraji; Danish Shah; Syed Ali Bin Maaz; Maheen Faruqui


Key clients

Habib Bank Limited


Seraph Aviation Group


China Development Bank


Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited


China Minsheng Bank Corp. Limited


Postal Savings Bank of China Co. Limited


Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG)


International Finance Corporation


Bank Al Falah Limited


Bank Al Habib Limited


Bank of Communications Co., Limited


Meezan Bank Limited


Summit Bank


Agricultural Bank of China


Work highlights


  • Advised Seraph Aviation Management on the lease of two Airbus A320–200 aircrafts to Pakistan International Airlines.
  • Amended the tripartite agreement executed by the senior lenders of Hub Power Generation Company.
  • Advised the local lenders – comprising Meezan Bank, Bank Al Falah, and Bank Al Habib – on all matters pertaining to Pakistan law concerning the super six projects.

Mohsin Tayebaly & Co

Mohsin Tayebaly & Co acts for a large number of banks and financial institutions on a wide range of transactions. Recently, the firm has been instructed on matters involving the restructuring of financing facilities, as well as various regulatory measures introduced to mitigate the adverse economic effects on borrowers and banks arising from the impact of Covid-19. Practice head Irfan Tayebaly focuses on M&A, joint ventures, foreign exchange laws, and privatisation transactions. Vaseeq Khalid is well versed in issues relating to corporate financing, debt restructuring, project financing and capital markets. Mehreen Manto offers substantial experience in handling competition law matters, project finance transactions and M&A.

Practice head(s):

Irfan Tayebaly


Other key lawyers:

Vaseeq Khalid; Mehreen Manto


Testimonials

‘The firm are amongst the preferred go-to lawyers in the corporate world of Pakistan.’

‘Corporate knowledge, professionalism, efficient advice, effective results and high business acumen are just a few of the qualities that have made them leaders in their sector.’

Key clients

MCB Bank Limited


Meezan Bank Limited


Habib Bank Limited


National Bank of Pakistan


Dubai Islamic Bank Limited


BankIslami Pakistan Limited


United Bank Limited


Standard Chartered Bank (Pakistan) Limited


Askari Bank Limited


Bank Al Habib Limited


RIAA BARKER GILLETTE

RIAA BARKER GILLETTE acts for various banks and financial insitutions on local and cross-border financing arrangements. The team handles a range of bank and capital market financings, security arrangements, debt to equity conversions, as well as syndicated and substantial loan transactions. The practice also offers dedicated Sharia’h law expertise. The team is led by Bilal Shaukat, who is recommended for his experience supporting clients with both conventional and Islamic finance agreements. Ahsan Zahir Rizvi is another experienced member of the practice, capable of advising across the gamut of banking and finance issues. Adil Tirmizey is instructed by banks in relation to short and long-term financing facilities, both on the conventional and Islamic model.

Practice head(s):

Bilal Shaukat


Other key lawyers:

Ahsan Zahir Rizvi; Adil Tirmizey


Testimonials

‘The firm has the accumulated breadth and depth of knowledge that helps a great deal in structuring and documenting any kind of financing and banking deal. Their experience and expertise cut across multiple industries.’

‘The understanding of the commercial issues is very sound.’

‘The foremost thing that makes the RBG team stand out is their positive attitude towards the client.’

‘The relationship between the RBG team and the client’s team is almost unified as one combined team working towards a common goal, which marks them apart from their competitors.’

‘The team’s practice is unique in a sense that they take extra effort in knowing the client personally, take time to understand their concerns, present a balanced opinion with pros and cons, give solutions and find ways forward which the client understands. Moreover, the billing approach is very flexible and clients do not feel any burden whatsoever.’

‘The team is very solution oriented. They don’t stop at highlighting the legal issues but go a step further by proposing ways and means to address and mitigate those issues in an efficient manner.’

Key clients

Consortium of local banks (including MCB Bank Limited, Bank of Punjab, and Allied Bank Limited)


Allied Bank Limited


Syndicate of Banks including United Bank Limited, Askari


Bank Limited and Bank Alfalah Limited


Syndicate of Banks including United Bank Limited, and Bank Alfalah Limited


Habib Bank Limited


A syndicate of banks led by the Bank of Punjab Y


A syndicate of banks led by National Bank Limited, Habib


Bank Limited, United Bank Limited and the Bank of Punjab


Syndicate of Banks including National Bank of Pakistan, Bank Alfalah Limited, Habib Bank Limited, Askari Bank Limited


Allied Bank Limited and Meezan Bank Limited


Elite Estates (Private) Limited


Lakeside Energy (Private) Limited


Indus Wind Energy Limited


Fatima Energy Limited


Siddiqsons Energy Limited


Sapphire Textile Mills Limited (STML)


Lucky Electric Power Company Limited


Pakistan National Shipping Company Limited No


National Bank of Pakistan


Work highlights


  • Advised a syndicate of banks, including Habib Bank Limited, in relation to the restructuring of Chenab Limited’s existing debt.
  • Acted as legal counsel to the syndicate of banks in relation to the project finance, bridge finance, funded working capital facilities, Islamic finance and non-funded standby letter of credit facilities for the 1200 MW RLNG based power plant at Jhang being developed by Punjab Thermal Power (Private) Limited.
  • Acted as a counsel to Lucky Electric Power Company Limite in several transactions including.

Ahmed & Qazi

Ahmed & Qazi is instructed by numerous banks and financial institutions to advise on corporate and investment banking transactions. The practice handles a variety of deals in the banking and finance space, including sovereign sukuk, mortgage finance, restructuring and debt asset swaps. Nazif Ahmed leads the team. Saim Hashmi advises on a range of matters, including project finance deals and debt security issues.

Practice head(s):

Nazif Ahmed


Other key lawyers:

Saim Hashmi


Testimonials

‘Individuals working with the firm have been found to be well versed on their subject.’

‘A high impact and closely knit team which is very ably led by Nazif Ahmed. The firm adopts a pro-active approach and lots of enthusiasm for the clients.’

‘The firm has a team of competent individuals both on the litigation and corporate side.’

Work highlights


  • Advising JS Bank on its arrangement with the Green Climate Fund for investment into Pakistan.
  • Advising Karandaaz Pakistan on various issues pertaining to its portfolio.
  • Advising Summit Bank, Faysal Bank and 102 other creditors on a large scheme of arrangement.

Akhund Forbes

Akhund Forbes is recommended for handling a broad spectrum of complex transactions. Practice head Rabel Akhund acts for clients across a variety of industries including capital markets, power, telecoms, construction and financial services. Sahar Iqbal is another key name to note within the team.

Practice head(s):

Rabel Akhund


Other key lawyers:

Sahar Iqbal


Testimonials

‘Very helpful and professional.’

Provides quality and reliable advice and uses a very robust practical approach.’

‘Rabel Akhund is an exceptional partner and is supported well by his colleague Sahar Iqbal. Both are very well versed with relevant laws and regulations and are able to provide quality services.’

‘They have a very professional team.’

‘Rabel Akhund is very professional and  understands the laws and procedures.’

‘Sahar Iqbal’s advice is clear and she makes herself available to answer queries.’

‘Very helpful, quick return time and very professional.’

‘Very responsive team. Provides quality and reliable advice and uses a very robust practical approach.’

Key clients

Act Polyols (Pvt) Limited


Bank of Punjab


Arif Habib Group


edotco Group Sdn Berhad


Edotco Pakistan (Private Limited)


Aisha Steel Mills Limited


Facebook


Mastercard


Deutsche Bank


Clifford Chance Pte Ltd


Credit Suisse


China Development Bank


Indigo Textiles (Private) Limited


China Power Hub Generation Company Limited


Work highlights


  • Advised Credit Suisse Singapore, as Pakistani counsel, as lender to the Ministry of Finance of Pakistan on the latest in a series of Credit Suisse-MoF financings.
  • Advised Aisha Steel Mills multi-million dollar vendor financing to enable the client to manufacture steel and steel products in Pakistan, including rendering a legal opinion on the Pakistan law aspects of the transaction and advising on the regulatory compliance required for the transaction.
  • Advised China Power Hub Generation Company on the issuance of commercial paper amounting to 20bn Rs in total, in order to manage the increasing price of imported coal in the international market.

Orr, Dignam & Co.

Orr, Dignam & Co. acts for banks, export credit agencies, multilateral institutions, Islamic banks and financial institutions, and government agencies on numerous transactions. The department deals with matters involving acquisitions, asset finance, securitisation, Islamic finance and export credit transactions. While Aliya Yusuf and Asim Nasim jointly manage the Karachi office, Zahir Riaz and Shahid Raza oversee the Islamabad branch.

Practice head(s):

Aliya Yusuf; Asim Nasim


Other key lawyers:

Zahir Riaz; Shahid Raza


Key clients

United Bank Limited


Citibank Pakistan N.A.


Credit Suisse


Faysal Bank Limited


Standard Chartered Bank


BE Energy Ltd


Institute of Bankers Pakistan


Deutsche Bank AG and the Bank of Singapore


Magnus Investment Advisors


Work highlights


  • Advised Citibank on Pakistan banking laws, financial market infrastructure questionnaires, exchange control regulations, ISDA and GMRA matters.
  • Assisted Magnus Investment Advisors with the preparation of a memorandum regarding securities lending and buying by asset management companies pursuant to a circular notified by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan.