Banking and finance in Pakistan

Haidermota & Co Advocates

Haidermota & Co Advocates has a superb team that advises on a whole host of financial products from syndicated lending and debt instruments to Islamic financing. The team is also well-regarded for its skill in advising on all aspects of financing that is backed by export credit agencies. It has a proven track record of acting in major cross-border transactions and often works with foreign financial institutions and multilateral agencies. It remains an excellent choice for advising on complex security structures, inter-creditor arrangements and financial restructurings. The team’s experience extends to advising on the establishment of microfinance banks and institutions in Pakistan. The key figures are senior partner Khozem Haidermota and Mohammad Anwer. Zahra Abid is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Khozem Haidermota

Other key lawyers:

Mohammad Anwer; Zahra Abid

Testimonials

We instruct the firm on high-value matters relating to banks such as opinions on new products, financing/project finance and dispute resolution. As the premier banking and finance firm in Pakistan, Haidermota & Co is a one-stop shop for complex and routine matters alike‘.

‘It is one of the best, if not the best, banking and finance firms in the country. Probably the only one equipped to deal with complex transactions efficiently and with ease. The lawyers I would single out as being particularly good are Khozem Haidermota, Mohammad Anwer and Zahra Abid‘.

Khozem Haidermota is a brilliant, dynamic, innovative lawyer who has the ability to think out-of-the-box. His vast experience in banking and finance allows him to focus on the core legal and commercial risks. I have found him to be very up-to-date with current trends and recent developments in the law. I would say that he is almost in a class of his own in the banking and finance area‘.

Mohammad Anwer is a highly professional and technically sound banking and finance lawyer. I have found him willing to go the extra mile in order to meet deadlines‘.

Zahra Abid provided round the clock support to our team and her attention to detail makes her stand out. Zahra’s commercial awareness and willingness to accommodate tight deadlines proved invaluable during the course of the transaction‘.

I would automatically choose it as the go-to firm for anything innovative/complex that hasn’t been done before in this market. Unlike most corporate focused legal practices in Pakistan HMCO is truly a firm with multiple partners supported by a lot of associates. HMCO universally displays a fantastic work ethic‘.

Briefs are reviewed and responded to efficiently, partners and key personnel are readily available and there is a sincere appreciation of time constraints in transaction situations‘.

‘Khozem has one of the finest legal minds I have had the privilege to work with in the past two decades‘.

Key clients

United Bank Limited

Habib Bank Limited

Karandaaz Pakistan

International Financial Consulting Limited

Gul Ahmed Electric Limited

Metro Wind Power Limited

Act2 Wind (Private) Limited

Artistic Wind Power (Private) Limited

Liberty Wind Power 1 (Private) Limited

Liberty Wind Power 2 (Private) Limited

Nasda Green Energy (Private) Limited

Bank Alfalah Limited

Pakistan Mortgage Refinance Company

Clifford Chance

BankIslami Pakistan Limited

Standard Chartered Bank (Pakistan) Limited

JS Bank Limited

Emirates NBD Bank PJSC

Engro Fertilizers Limited

Citibank N.A.

Noor Bank P.J.S.C.

Engro Polymer & Chemicals Limited

Credit Suisse AG, Singapore Branch

Cinepax Limited

Citibank, N.A., London Branch

National Bank of Pakistan

Work highlights

  • Advised on the establishment of Pakistan’s first corporate restructuring company (Pakistan Corporate Restructuring Company Limited) – the project was started by ten financial institutions and the company is designed to deal with distressed loans.
  • Acting as lender’s legal counsel in a transaction whereby K Electric Limited (Pakistan’s largest vertically integrated electricity company) issued a high-value Shariah compliant Shirkat-ul-Milk Sukuk.
  • Assisted and advised the client on the establishment of a risk sharing facility in the form of a credit guarantee trust fund scheme and  advised on the feasibility of this scheme under local laws.

Ijaz Ahmed & Associates

Ijaz Ahmed & Associates continues to be active in some of the most significant banking and finance mandates in the country. It also enjoys a steady flow of instructions from international law firms. The group has a strong reputation for its work on various regulatory and legislative issues and is also rated for its experience on contentious capital market matters. The versatile team covers syndicated loans and debt restructurings in addition to real estate finance and microfinance. Ijaz Ahmed and Altaf Qureshi are seasoned practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Ijaz Ahmed; Altaf Qureshi

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

Pakistan Mortgage Refinance Company

Telenor Microfinance Bank

Mobilink Microfinance Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Allied Bank on both the bridging loan of PKR3.5bn and syndicated financing of PKR2.5bn for Hub Power Holding Company.
  • Advised Pakistan Mortgage Refinance Company Limited  along with Pak Kuwait Investment Company on the issue of Pakistan’s first secured fixed rate mortgage refinance bond.

Kabraji & Talibuddin

Kabraji & Talibuddin is regularly engaged by major banks, financial institutions and corporate entities to advise on a myriad of complex onshore and cross-border financial transactions.  The team is well-equipped to handle an array of financial matters from capital markets work to sukuk transactions as well as derivatives and swap transactions. It frequently advises on cross-border securities deals too. Kairas Kabraji has considerable experience in a broad spectrum of banking and finance matters including structured finance and acquisition financing. Maheen Faruqui is adept at advising on structured and acquisition financing. Syed Maaz is also recommended along with Danish Shah who is particularly skilled at advising on financing matters relating to projects and energy.

Other key lawyers:

Zara Tariq

Testimonials

The team is extremely thorough when it comes to drafting and structuring finance documents, keeping in mind the requirements of the lenders‘.

Compared to other firms K&T stands out for being solution-orientated and  brings about out-of-box solutions when road blocks appear in transactions‘.

The team has a quick turnaround time – Ali Bin Maaz and Zara Tariq‘.

Key clients

Meezan Bank Limited

Bank Alfalah Limited

Bank AL Habib Limited

International Finance Corporation

Uch Power (Private) Limited

Habib Metropolitan Bank Limited

Habib Bank Limited

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited

The Bank of Punjab

Work highlights

  • Advising the lenders in relation to the working capital facility to be advanced to the Super Six Wind Projects.
  • Advising IFC in relation to its loan to Engro Vopak Terminal Limited for a maximum amount of $40m.
  • Advising IFC in relation to its subscription of 7,436,986 shares in a public listed company, Shifa International Hospitals Limited.

Mohsin Tayebaly & Co

Mohsin Tayebaly & Co has recently been involved in numerous large conventional financing transactions as well as Islamic financing deals, redeemable capital issuances (such as term finance certificates) in addition to various restructurings and settlement agreements. The team is also experienced in aviation and shipping finance. Irfan Tayebaly is a key member of the team along with Mehreen Manto. Vaseeq Khalid is a known name for his work on corporate syndications, asset financing, acquisition financing as well as on bond issues.

Practice head(s):

Irfan Tayebaly

Other key lawyers:

Mehreen Manto; Vaseeq Khalid

Key clients

K-Electric Limited

Meezan Bank Limited

Habib Bank Limited

National Bank of Pakistan

Hascol Petroleum Limited

BankIslami Pakistan

Limited

The Hub Power Company

Limited

Standard Chartered Bank

(Pakistan) Limited

Askari Bank Limited

Amreli Steels Limited

RIAA BARKER GILLETTE

Under the leadership of  Bilal Shaukat  RIAA BARKER GILLETTE regularly advises sponsors, developers and lenders of projects in various sectors including energy, power, mining, transport, logistics and infrastructure. It has considerable expertise in complex financing and security arrangements including debt to equity conversions and syndicated loan transactions.  In addition, the firm has substantial Sharia law expertise and advises on all kinds of Islamic financing modes including Murabaha, Musharika and Sukuk. Ahsan Zahir Rizvi is a name to note for his extensive experience in project financing and corporate finance deals. Hasnain Naqvee is also well-regarded and has advised several banks on various power projects.

Practice head(s):

Bilal Shaukat

Other key lawyers:

Ahsan Zahir Rizvi; Hasnain Naqvee

Key clients

National Bank of Pakistan

Fatima Energy Limited

Habib Bank Limited Pakistan

Habib Bank Limited UAE

Sapphire Textile Mills Limited

Shifa International Hospitals Limited

Habib Bank Limited

Askari Bank Limited

Siddiqsons Energy Limited

Din Energy Limited

Tricom Wind Power (Private) Limited

Lakeside Energy (Private) Limited

Indus Wind Energy Limited

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

Habib Bank Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising its client on the development of a 50 MW wind power project in Jhimpir, Sindh, Pakistan – this project is one of the projects that has been labelled as the ‘Super Six’ by the International Finance Corporation (“IFC”).
  • Acted as legal counsel to a syndicate of banks in relation to the financing aspects of a project for the 1200 MW RLNG based power plant at Jhang – this is being developed by Punjab Thermal Power (Private) Limited (a public sector company of the Government of the Punjab).
  • Advising Pakistan’s only listed hospital company in relation to the debt investment by IFC for the establishment of the largest tertiary care hospital project in Tanzania.

Ahmed & Qazi

Ahmed & Qazi fields a first-rate team that is routinely instructed by a sizeable number of banks and financial institutions in Pakistan (including some microfinance banks). The team is well-placed to handle the full array of banking and finance matters from mortgage financings and restructurings through to debt and asset swap transactions. It also has significant experience in all forms of Islamic financing. Names to note are managing partner Nadeem Ahmed as well as Saim Hashmi. The practice regularly advises financial sponsors, lenders, borrowers, investors in addition to fund managers and pension trustees. Other key clients include central banks and government agencies.

Other key lawyers:

Nadeem Ahmed; Saim Hashmi

Akhund Forbes

Akhund Forbes has a solid reputation for its work on a variety of high-value and complex deals that involve acquisition financing, Islamic financing and project financing in particular. Rabel Akhund heads the team and is well-regarded for his advice to financial institutions and corporate borrowers on substantial domestic and multi-jurisdictional transactions. Sahar Iqbal is another key member of the team. The practice is known too for its work on asset financing (ship finance and capital asset financing). It is also rated for its real estate financing advice as it often acts for property developers and financial institutions.

Practice head(s):

Rabel Akhund

Other key lawyers:

Sahar Iqbal

Testimonials

 ‘If any partner is not available, another partner will take his/her place immediately. He/she can then provide a concise opinion in the required time at reasonable rates‘.

‘The firm is sufficiently small for internal communication to be very good and a consistent service to be provided‘.

‘Rabel Akhund is a reassuring presence with his excellent international experience. Sahar Iqbal is steady and thorough in her work‘.

The knowledge of the law, understanding of issues and timely responses to the queries are all key to what makes this firm stand out from the rest‘.

I have worked with Sahar Iqbal and my other colleagues have worked with the other partners as well. It is pertinent to mention that Sahar is agile in understanding any queries and responds to any queries swiftly‘.

Personal attention from the main partner and understanding of financing documents. Rabel Akhund has a good understanding of the commercial issues that arise out of the financing documents‘.

Key clients

Act Polyols (Pvt) Limited

edotco Group Sdn Berhad

Asian Development Bank

Edotco Pakistan (Private Limited)

Aisha Steel Mills Limited

The Abraaj Group

Facebook

Mastercard

Deutsche Bank

Clifford Chance Pte Ltd

Credit Suisse

Work highlights

  • Advised Asian Development Bank on the provision of a multi-million dollar finance facility to a leading microfinance institution in Pakistan.
  • Advised on the financing aspects of the deal to enable the client to manufacture steel and steel products in Pakistan.
  • Following the execution of the syndicated long-term financing for setting up a major project for the production of consumer products in Pakistan, on which the firm advised the client previously, the firm is now advising the client on various post-closing matters.

Liaquat Merchant Associates

Liaquat Merchant Associates has considerable expertise in corporate and consumer financing, project financing in addition to leveraged and acquisition financing. Other strengths lie in electronic banking and in all areas of Islamic financing and Sharia compliant modes of financing. Under the leadership of Faresa Jafarey Ahsan the team is regularly engaged by both local and foreign banks and other non-banking institutions throughout Pakistan. Hira  Ahmad is another prominent member of the team along with senior partner Liaquat Merchant. There have been changes to the team at a senior level. Darakhsan Vohra left the firm while Shayan Ahmed joined the team.  Hassan Arif has been promoted to the partnership.

Practice head(s):

Faresa Jafarey Ahsan

Testimonials

LMA is our key law firm. We find the team to be  good – exceptional‘.

Key clients

JS Bank Limited

Pak Brunei Investment Company Limited

Bank AL Habib Limited

Faysal Bank Limited

Allied Bank Limited

Work highlights

  • Conducted an extensive legal audit of the finance and security documents for the bank in relation to its conventional and Islamic financing portfolios  – this audit related to over 600 customers of the bank.
  • Drafted various documents for UBL in relation to a large guarantee facility that was extended by the UBL to Hub Power Company Limited.
  • Drafted various documents for the bank in relation to a Stand by Letter of Credit facility of $12.65m that was extended by the bank in connection with the Thar Block II, coal mining project.

Orr, Dignam & Co

With fully operational offices in Karachi and Islamabad, the team at Orr, Dignam & Co is particularly rated for its work on Islamic finance transactions, project finance and acquisition finance matters. It frequently handles a broad array of banking and finance matters, including asset financing, securitisation and export credit transactions. The practice has recently advised on several complex financial transactions involving banks, multilateral institutions and government agencies. Another core area of expertise lies in advising on aircraft leasing transactions. Asim  Nasim is among the main contacts at the firm.

Key clients

United Bank Limited

Citibank Pakistan N.A.

Credit Suisse

Faysal Bank Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Citibank Pakistan N.A. on the enforceability under Pakistan law of ISDA Master Agreements and derivatives transactions and further advising on the enforceability under Pakistan law of Global Master Repurchase Agreements and related transactions.
  • Advising Credit Suisse on the enforceability under Pakistan law of ISDA Master Agreements and related derivatives transactions.
  • Advising Pakistan International Airlines on various aircraft leasing transactions.

Raja Mohammed Akram Co.

Raja Mohammed Akram Co. often represents leading banks and individuals on contentious and non-contentious matters. The firm has also acted for several major banks in landmark constitutional challenges and has also represented banks and financial institutions in a variety of recovery proceedings. Its project finance team has advised on numerous financing matters for renewable energy power plants. Lahore-based Salman Akram Raja and Abuzar Niazi head the department along with Basil Nabi Malik who is based in Karachi.

Key clients

MCB Bank Limited

Allied Bank Limited

Kathai II (Hydro) Private Limited

House Building Finance Company Limited

ORIX Leasing Pakistan Limited

Innovative Investment Bank Limited

Worldcall Telecom Limited

Pakistan Banks’ Association

Work highlights

  • Representing MCB Bank Limited in the sale of MCB Financial Services Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of MCB Bank Limited – approvals were needed to effect the transaction from the State Bank of Pakistan, the Competition Commission of Pakistan, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan and federal tax authorities.
  • Representing Pakistan Banks’ Association in a writ petition (and subsequent appellate proceedings) before the Lahore High Court challenging the validity of the re-enacted Section 15 of the Financial Institutions (Recovery of Finances) Ordinance, 2001.
  • Representing HBFCL in an action that has been filed by Brecast Industries Pvt. Ltd for various matters including the recovery of a significant amount of money.