Capital markets in Pakistan

Akhund Forbes

Akhund Forbes is known for its ability to handle high-value and complex transactions. It advises on the full array of capital markets work, such as advising central depository companies, stock exchanges and real estate investment funds on various issues. The nimble team routinely advises on IPOs, rights and bonus issues as well as on the issue of bonds, sukuks and other capital markets products. Founding and managing partner Rabel Akhund is a recognised name for his advice to Pakistani corporates on a myriad of capital markets regulations and has advised on some of the largest and most ground-breaking recent transactions. Sahar Iqbal is well regarded for her work in this field and advises many leading asset management companies in Pakistan.

Practice head(s):

Rabel Akhund

Other key lawyers:

Sahar Iqbal

Key clients

Arif Habib Dolmen REIT Management

MCB Arif Habib Investments and Savings Limited

Pakistan Stock Exchange

edotco Group Sdn Berhad

UBL Fund Managers Limited

NBP Fund Management Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Arif Habib Dolmen REIT Management on various amendments to its constitutional documents to bring them in line with the revised REIT regulations.
  • Advising MCB-Arif Habib Investments and Savings on various matters.
  • Advising the Pakistan Stock Exchange on the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan’s regulations, licensing requirements and operations.
  • Advising NBP Fund Management on its template portfolio management agreement.
  • Advising UBL Fund Managers on the procedural requirements for the  establishment of a smart e-account and e-account SOP on its electronic platform.

Haidermota & Co Advocates

Haidermota & Co Advocates is experienced in all aspects of debt and equity capital market offerings. It regularly advises on convertible debt offerings, bonds, private placements and accelerated equity offerings as well as IPOs and de-listings. The practice also has significant expertise in listings, real estate investment trusts and other issues such as insider trading and regulatory matters. Clients include domestic and international corporate clients, banks and various financial institutions. Ali Vasi and Mohammad Anwer are key members of the team, which is led by Khozem Haidermota.

Practice head(s):

Khozem Haidermota

Other key lawyers:

Ali Vasi; Mohammad Anwer

Key clients

Central Directorate of National Savings

Citibank N.A.

Greentown Holdings Korea

United Bank Limited

Credit Suisse AG

Noor Financial Investment Company

Dalda Foods (Private) Limited

Pakistan Catalyst Fund 1 LLC

China Financial Futures Exchange

Work highlights

  • Acting as counsel to Greentown Holdings Korea in relation to the issuance of bonds with warrants of $50m to Meritz Securities.
  • Instructed by United Bank in connection with the issuance of a Basel III compliant additional tier 1 perpetual debt instrument.
  • Acted as legal counsel to a bank in relation to a proposed sale of 35 million ordinary shares conducted through a capital markets placement.
  • Acting as legal counsel to Noor Financial Investment Company in relation to the proposed divestment of 9.59% of the total issued capital in Meezan Bank through a capital markets placement.
  • Acting as legal counsel to the joint lead managers in relation to the initial public offering and rights issue of Dalda Foods.

Mohsin Tayebaly & Co

Mohsin Tayebaly & Co routinely acts as legal counsel for both issuers and trustees in relation to the issue of corporate debt instruments by way of redeemable capital and term finance certificates. Irfan Tayebaly is recommended along with Vaseeq Khalid and Mehreen Manto: all are involved on a regular basis in structuring international and local debt and equity financing transactions.

Practice head(s):

Irfan Tayebaly

Other key lawyers:

Vaseeq Khalid; Mehreen Manto

Work highlights

  • Engaged as transaction legal counsel for a large sukuk issue.
  • Engaged by a bank as transaction legal counsel in respect of the proposed issue of a Tier II privately placed, subordinated and secured term finance certificate.
  • Advised the company on the issue of a privately placed term finance certificate.
  • Advised the company on the issue of a rated, unsecured and subordinated term finance certificate.
  • Engaged by a bank to advise on the issue of an unsecured, subordinated, perpetual and non-cumulative term finance certificate.

Ijaz Ahmed & Associates

Ijaz Ahmed & Associates is best known for its work on drafting a considerable amount of the subordinated legislation, regulations and market practice for the country’s stock exchange and commodity exchange. The team is also skilled at advising on capital markets litigation. Ijaz Ahmed and Altaf Qureshi both have a significant reputation for their capital markets work and frequently work with international law firms.

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

State Bank of Pakistan

Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan

National Clearing Company of Pakistan

Central Depository Company of Pakistan

Work highlights

  • Advised Dubai Islamic Bank on the third restructuring of Wateen Telecom, which involved the acquisition of Islamic loan facilities by the group sponsor through an innovative debt sale arrangement.
  • Providing ongoing advice to the Pakistan Stock Exchange on its most complicated regulatory issues.
  • Advised Kashf Foundation on the first issuance by a not-for-profit company registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan of an over-the-counter tradeable debt instrument.
  • Advised Microfinance SPV on a novel bond issuance by a collective group of microfinance institutions.
  • Advised the bank on the financing of the Narowal Power Plant (part of the Hub Power Company group).

Liaquat Merchant Associates

Noted practitioners at Liaquat Merchant Associates include Mustafa Mumtaz  and Darakhsan Vohra, who are recommended for their work on all aspects of capital markets transactions.

Other key lawyers:

Mustafa Mumtaz; Darakhsan Vohra

Orr, Dignam & Co.

Orr, Dignam & Co. has considerable experience in IPOs, company restructurings and due diligence reports. It has advised various entities on all aspects of capital markets-related matters, with a particular focus on assisting companies with any further issue of capital. It is also skilled at advising foreign companies on the legal and regulatory framework for investment in the country. Aliya Yusuf and Zahir Riaz are among the names to note.

Practice head(s):

Aliya Yusuf; Asim Nasim; Zahir Riaz; Shahid Raza

Work highlights

  • Advised Pak Suzuki on various proposed capital markets-related matters including the further issue of capital.
  • Advised IGI on its recent further issue of capital and on other related matters.

Mandviwalla & Zafar

Mandviwalla & Zafar has niche expertise in handling sukuk-related capital markets work as well as substantial experience in M&A and banking and finance matters. Mehmood Mandviwalla is a well-respected practitioner.

Other key lawyers:

Mehmood Mandviwalla


RIAA BARKER GILLETTE has an agile team that is well versed in debt and equity capital markets transactions. It regularly advises on diverse matters from capital-raising issues through to IPOs. Other core strengths lie in public and private debt and equity offerings on both the domestic and international markets. Clients include public, private and institutional entities and venture capitalists, as well as companies in the energy, telecoms, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing industries. Managing partner Ahsan Z Rizvi is a key figure in the country for capital markets work as he is also a former director of the Karachi Stock Exchange.

Other key lawyers:

Ahsan Z Rizvi