Banking and finance in Pakistan

Ahmed & Qazi has an excellent team that is frequently instructed by most of the banks and financial institutions in Pakistan (including some of the microfinance banks). The group is well equipped to handle the full spectrum of banking and finance matters, from mortgage finance and restructurings to  debt and asset swap transactions. It also has substantial experience in Islamic financing. Of note are Saim Hashmi, who heads the agile team, and the well-regarded Nadeem Ahmed. The practice has an impressive roster of clients ranging from lenders, borrowers and investors to fund managers, pension trustees and other key clients such as government agencies and financial sponsors.

Practice head(s):

Saim Hashmi

Other key lawyers:

Nadeem Ahmed

Testimonials

The team is always available and deeply engaged in our transactions, gives us appropriate advice and meets our stringent timelines amicably

Nadeem Ahmed is the one who made this firm stand out amongst other competitors firms. Myself and most of my colleagues readily recommend the team to our clients and peers because of the quality service. Highly recommended

Key clients

Askari Bank Limited

Allied Bank Limited

Al Baraka Bank (Pakistan) Limited

Faysal Bank Limited

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

MCB Bank Limited

Meezan Bank Limited

National Bank of Pakistan

Sindh Bank Limited

Summit Bank Limited

Pak Brunei Investment Company Limited

Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector

The OPEC Fund for International Development

Deutsche Investitions- Und Entwicklungsgesellschaftmbh

Work highlights

  • Representing a consortium of banks in the restructuring of Azgard-9.
  • Advising National Bank of Pakistan and Standard Chartered Pakistan on the granting of a large term finance facility to a company.
  • Advising the lenders – National Bank of Pakistan, Standard Chartered  Pakistan and Standard Chartered Bank (Dubai Branch) – on a large loan to a company.
  • Represented local and foreign lenders on a large financing that was used to facilitate an expansion at a cement plant.
  • Represented BankIslami Pakistan in an Islamic financing and an equity warrant option transaction.

Haidermota & Co Advocates has a first-rate banking and finance practice that advises on the full spectrum of financial products, including syndicated lending and debt instruments as well as Islamic financing. It is also skilled at advising on all forms of financing that are backed by export credit agencies. The group has a proven track record of acting in significant cross-border transactions and routinely works with foreign financial institutions and multilateral agencies. It is a team of choice for financing transactions that involve complex security structures, inter-creditor arrangements and financial restructurings. The team’s experience also extends to advising on the establishment of microfinance banks and institutions in Pakistan. Names to note include senior partner Khozem Haidermota and Mohammad Anwer, who is recommended for his corporate finance work. Zahra Abid is another respected member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Khozem Haidermota

Other key lawyers:

Mohammad Anwer; Zahra Abid

Testimonials

‘We think Haidermota team is skilled and experienced in projects and energy sector (especially for hydropower and transmission line projects) in Pakistan, and has a firm grasp and in-depth understanding of this sector. During our collaboration with them, they are always result-oriented and capable of providing feasible and flexible solutions, even for those pioneering projects which are unprecedented in Pakistan. Their strong legal expertise to transactions is extremely impressive, and their outstanding negotiation ability is also noteworthy.’

‘Compared with other firms we have cooperated with in this sector, Haidermota is more capable of dealing with complicated transactions involving multi-parties and with unique feature, and providing higher-standard of work with more cost efficient billing standard.’

‘Generally speaking, we think all the team members of Haidermota with whom we worked are diligent and responsible. In particular we are impressed by one of the partners Mr. Umar Shereef. Umar is a well-known and reputable legal expert in the sector, especially for independent power producer projects, and he is pragmatic to meet his client’s needs. He is very experienced in both project and banking area, and we are impressed by his commercial and solution-oriented approach as well as his outstanding negotiating skills, which are of great help to the client.’

Work highlights

  • Acted as local counsel to an international consortium of banks in relation to a loan to the government of Pakistan.
  • Providing local law advice on the launch of the overseas Pakistanis savings certificates (OPSCs) scheme.
  • Acted as local counsel for an international consortium of banks in respect of a further large loan to the government of Pakistan.
  • Acted for a consortium of financial institutions in relation to the provision of finance facilities (involving both conventional and Islamic modes of financing) to a major company.
  • Advised in relation to the issuance of a $300m securities bond in the international capital markets by a large fertilizer company in order to fund its manufacturing facility in the US.

Ijaz Ahmed & Associates continues to be actively involved in significant banking and finance mandates and enjoys a regular flow of instructions from international law firms. It has a solid reputation for its work on a diverse range of regulatory and legislative issues and is recommended for its experience in contentious capital markets matters. The team also covers syndicated loans and debt restructurings, as well as real estate finance and microfinance. Ijaz Ahmed and Altaf Qureshi are the names to note.

Practice head(s):

Ijaz Ahmed; Altaf Qureshi

Testimonials

The team’s knowledge of the law and its professionalism, integrity and responsibility are excellent’

‘Ijaz Ahmed’s integrity, knowledge of law and sense of responsibility are outstanding’

Key clients

Allied Bank Limited

Bank Alfalah Limited

Barclays Bank plc

National Bank of Pakistan

Standard Chartered Bank (Pakistan) Limited

Pakistan Kuwait Investment Company (Pvt.) Limited

Pakistan Mercantile Exchange

Asian Development Bank

Pakistan Stock Exchange

PwC A.F. Ferguson & Company

State Bank of Pakistan

Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan

National Clearing Company of Pakistan

Central Depository Company of Pakistan

Work highlights

  • Advising MCB Bank on restructuring the financing of a large corporate.
  • Advising Allied Bank as lender in relation to the project financing of major engineering contractor Descon.
  • Advising the lenders in relation to the project financing of Fauji Oil Terminal & Distribution Company (one of the country’s largest oil terminal and distribution companies) so that it can expand its terminal capabilities.
  • Advising Allied Bank on the financing for a large power plant.
  • Advising Allied Bank on various market lending financial transactions.  

Kabraji & Talibuddin is frequently instructed by major banks, financial institutions and corporate entities to advise on complex onshore and international financial transactions. The team is also known for its work on cross-border securities transactions. Kairas Kabraji is a key member of the team and has extensive experience of advising on a broad range of banking and finance matters, including structured finance and acquisition financing. Maheen Faruqui is well regarded for his work on the financing of power projects in particular. Syed Maaz is another well-known name, while Danish Shah specialises in a range of financing matters relating to projects and energy.

Practice head(s):

Kairas Kabraji; Maheen Faruqui; Syed Maaz; Danish Shah

Key clients

J.P. Morgan Securities plc

Habib Bank Limited

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

Finca Microfinance Bank Limited

Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited

Bank Alfalah Limited

National Bank of Pakistan

Samba Bank Limited

Bank of Punjab

JS Bank Limited

Habib Metropolitan Bank Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented a consortium of banks in relation to the granting of a large credit facility to the Hub Power Company.
  • Represented Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in relation to a large facility that is to be extended to Malik Mij Chunxing Resources Recycling Company.
  • Advised Finca Microfinance Bank in relation to its proposed initial public offering on the Pakistan Stock Exchange.
  • Advised Bank of China (Hong Kong) in relation to a finance facility that was previously advanced to a company incorporated in Hong Kong.
  • Advising J.P Morgan Securities plc in relation to various banking laws in Pakistan.

Mohsin Tayebaly & Co advises on the full spectrum of financial products. It is skilled at advising on areas as diverse as syndicated lending and leveraged financing as well as acquisition, asset and project financings. It is also experienced in other areas including Islamic financing, aviation and shipping finance. Recently it has advised on a significant number of redeemable capital issuances such as term finance certificates, restructurings and settlement agreements. Irfan Tayebalyis a key figure on the transactional side along with Vaseeq Khalid who specialises in corporate syndications, asset and acquisition financing as well as bonds. Mikael Rahim was promoted to the partnership.

Practice head(s):

Irfan Tayebaly

Other key lawyers:

Vaseeq Khalid; Mikael Rahim

Work highlights

  • Engaged as transaction legal counsel for a bank in connection with an additional tier I rated, listed, subordinated, perpetual and unsecured finance certificate.
  • Engaged by a bank as transaction legal counsel to advise on a Tier II privately placed, subordinated and unsecured term finance certificate.
  • Engaged by a company as transaction legal counsel for issuance of Notes in the form of a Commercial Paper.
  • Engaged by a company as transaction legal counsel for a short-term bridge facility.

RIAA BARKER GILLETTE is regularly involved in major local and cross-border financings. The top-notch team frequently advises sponsors, developers and lenders and has considerable sector expertise in areas such as energy, power and mining. Other strengths lie in transport, logistics and infrastructure. In addition, the group is well placed to handle a wide range of bank and capital markets financings under the leadership of Bilal Shaukat. The firm has niche expertise in sharia law and has been active in advising on different Islamic financial structures such as murabaha and sukuk. Other highlights include its expansion at partner level with the promotions of Shafaq Rehman and Adil Tirmizey.

Practice head(s):

Bilal Shaukat

Other key lawyers:

Shafaq Rehman; Adil Tirmizey

Key clients

The Hub Power Company Limited

Allied Bank Limited

United Bank Limited

National Bank of Pakistan

Habib Bank Limited

Master Wind Energy Limited

Shajar Roads Limited

Metro Power Company Limited

Pakistan National Shipping Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised Hub Power Company on various exchange rate risks while it acted as a sponsor to multiple companies on a number of  power projects.  
  • Acted as legal counsel to a syndicate of banks led by Habib Bank in relation to a 1,180MW (gross) regasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) based power project.
  • Acted as legal counsel to a syndicate of banks led by United Bank in relation to the provision of working capital and term finance facilities to a company.
  • Acted for Pakistan National Shipping Corporation in relation to a large financing that was used to acquire three oil tankers.
  • Advised Shajar Roads on the term financing for a 42km road project.

Akhund Forbes is known for its work on high-value and complex transactions involving acquisition financing, Islamic financing and project financing in particular. Practice head Rabel Akhund is recommended for his advice to financial institutions and corporate borrowers on major domestic and cross-border transactions. Sahar Iqbal is another prominent member of the team. The practice is also rated for its work in asset financing (ship finance and all aspects of capital asset financing) and has a solid reputation for real estate financing as it frequently acts for property developers and financial institutions.

Practice head(s):

Rabel Akhund

Other key lawyers:

Sahar Iqbal

Testimonials

The firm is small, but very capable. The attitude of the team is constructive and helpful’

Rabel Akhund is a reassuring lawyer to have working on any transaction. With his experience of working in London, he understands well what is in an international counsel’s mind and can respond accordingly

Akhund Forbes has a diversified team which enables it to provide a one-stop shop solution to clients’

Rabel Akhund has been exceptional due to his availability and problem solving ability. He possesses vast experience of our sector

Key clients

China Development Bank

Aisha Steel Mills Limited

Deheng Law Offices

Edotco Pakistan (Private) Limited

Act Polyols (Pvt) Limited

Mastercard

Work highlights

  • Advised China Development Bank on a syndicated loan for a transmission line project financing transaction.

Liaquat Merchant Associates has an excellent team that is skilled at advising on all aspects of financing, including consumer financing, project financing and electronic banking. Names to note include Faresa Jafarey Ahsan and Darakhsan Vohra. Liaquat Merchant is another key member of the team.

With fully operational offices in Karachi and Islamabad, the team at Orr, Dignam & Co. is particularly recommended for its work on Islamic finance transactions, project finance and acquisition finance matters. The firm routinely handles a wide range of banking and finance matters, including asset financing, securitisation and export credit transactions. It has recently advised on several complex financial transactions involving banks, multilateral institutions and government agencies. Asim Nasim is among the primary contacts at the firm.

Practice head(s):

Aliya Yusuf; Asim Nasim; Zahir Riaz; Shahid Raza

Work highlights

  • Advising Pakistan International Airlines on the dry leasing of aircraft from Macquarie.
  • Advised three power distribution companies on obtaining financing through a large sukuk.
  • Advising the lenders on amendments to a high-value security.

The experienced team at Chima & Ibrahim regularly advises on all types of traditional and Islamic finance transactions, including high-value syndications and project finance. Khalid Ibrahim and Salman Chima are the primary contacts.

Other key lawyers:

Khalid Ibrahim; Salman Chima