Firms To Watch: Labour and employment

Orr, Dignam & Co. frequently advises on a range of employment matters including employee share option schemes, employment contracts and golden handshakes. Sajid Zahid and Asim Nasim are among the key names to note.
Cornelius, Lane & Mufti regularly represents leading local and international companies on a wide array of contentious employment matters. Salman Butt is among the main contacts.

Labour and employment in Pakistan

Akhund Forbes

The employment and labour law practice at Akhund Forbes is thriving. It continues to advise various local, national and international clients on a range of issues. The capable team has been busy too in drafting HR policies and continues to work with some major international law firms on a variety of local law issues. Head of department is Sahar Iqbal is a highly-regarded practitioner.

Practice head(s):

Sahar Iqbal

Testimonials

‘They are very flexible and open to alternative billing methods. They are responsive and efficient with their work. They are accommodating and always willing to jump on a call to handle issues and questions that arise on an urgent basis. They are knowledgeable and their advice is pragmatic. They are solutions orientated. They are invested in the success of our business’.

Key clients

MCB-Arif Habib Savings and Investments Limited

DLA Piper Middle East LLP

UBL Fund Managers Limited

China Power Generation Hub Company

Saudi Research Publishing Company

Media Arabia Pvt Limited

Zoetis Inc.

Allied Advertising LLC

Deutsche Bank

Adidas AG

Osborne Clarke

Cialfo Pte Ltd

Baker & McKenzie LLP

AEI Legal

Mavenir

Microsoft

Proofpoint

Sumitomo

CZEC

Novartis Pakistan

Cisco

Kumon Institute if Education Co., Ltd

Karachi Down Syndrome Program

D1 Brands

Work highlights

  • Advised  China Power Generation Hub Company on the applicability of provisions of labour and employment in relation to payments to employees from workers participation fund and workers welfare fund.
  • Advising MCB Arif Habib Savings and Investment Limited and UBL Fund Managers Limited on an almost daily basis, on a wide range of labour law and employment matters, employment agreements and legal enquiries on key points of law.
  • Updating Mavenir’s standard employment contract and HR policies in-line with the applicable labour laws.

Axis Law Chambers

Axis Law Chambers has a skilled litigation team that specialises in labour and employment law disputes. It is also adept at advising on labour and employment related audits that are conducted by various state agencies. The practice has a strong track record of advising on compliance matters. In addition the agile team also advises on issues such as employment benefits, termination issues and is recommended for its representation of clients at labour tribunals.  Other strengths include advising on a myriad of cross-border labour and employment matters and other issues relating to collective dismissals and corporate reorganisations. Mian Tariq Hassan is a key contact along with Ali Zahid Rahim.

Key clients

Oxford Policy Management UK & Pakistan

Centre for Economic Research in Pakistan (CERP)

Global eCommerce (Private) Limited

Norinco International Cooperation Limited

Pakistan Today

Engro Enfrashare (Private) Limited

Prime Genetics (Private) Limited

Work highlights

  • Recently engaged by AC Nielsen Pakistan (Private) Limited to provide comprehensive advice on labour and employment law matters in view of the company’s business restructuring in the wake of the Covid-19 epidemic. The team reviewed and advised on the termination and severance packages of various categories of employees as well as independent contractors.
  • Retained by Gwadar Development Authority to conduct a comprehensive review of the legal and regulatory framework regarding all forms of harassment in the workplace, including sexual harassment, as well as the mechanism and functioning of bodies conducting oversight within Pakistan. The team then drafted a holistic HR policy that contains specialised structures to prevent all forms of harassment in the workplace and redress any grievances regarding the same, in line with international best practices.
  • Recently engaged by Highnoon Laboratories to provide comprehensive advice on labour and employment law matters in view of the company’s business restructuring in the wake of the Covid-19 epidemic. The team reviewed and advised on the termination of various categories of employees as well as independent contractors, and their severance packages.

Yousaf Amanat & Associates

Yousaf Amanat & Associates has a stellar reputation for its work on the full range of contentious and non-contentious labour and employment matters. It frequently advises mining and oil & gas companies in addition to donor agencies, telecom companies, banks and government agencies. Managing partner Yousaf Amanat is based in Islamabad, and Karachi-based Noman Zahid  is another key figure and regularly acts for banks and shipping lines.

Practice head(s):

Yousaf Amanat; Noman Zahid

Testimonials

‘I have worked with Yousaf Amanat and I have found him to be empathetic and understanding of the actual scenario from the client’s perspective and therefore is able to offer appropriate solutions’.

A professional team with in-depth knowledge of  the regional legal frameworks. They will go out of their way to help the clients to deliver beyond expectations. The support during the pandemic has been phenomenal and the flexibility in the dealings is appreciated. Yousaf Amanat understands the problem and then can provide an optimal solution. Very thorough in his working and appreciate his attention to detail’.

‘The team we worked with is quite experienced and professional at the same time. The knowledge and grip on the subject make them stand out from the rest of the companies. The individual currently dealing with us is cooperative with quick responsive behaviour. We have built trust over the period of time because of the honest and workable advice consistently regarding different matters we came across‘.

‘Dedicated and hardworking team which puts its best efforts to ensure that the client gets optimum results. Focused, honest and straightforward‘.

‘Extremely timely legal support and very knowledgeable of the local context and the sector. Yousaf has been wonderful to work with‘.

‘Flexibility, prompt response  and easy to work with. Highly approachable‘.

‘I have referred three labour cases and all three of them were dismissed in our favour on the legal grounds without touching the merits, which shows the legal understanding that the firm has. I have worked with Yousuf Amanat and Noman Zahid and both of them are very sound lawyers‘.

Key clients

Oxfam GB

Adva Comm UK

Clifford Chance

Agility International Logistics Singapore

E & Y UAE

HMD Global Oy (Nokia Phones)

China Railway Construction

GIZ

Marriot International Hotel

Voluntary Services Overseas UK

Work highlights

  • Advised Clifford Chance on the termination of employment of senior management at Citi Bank.
  • Successfully handling for the Marriot International various employee related litigation and criminal complaints.
  • Successfully represented HMD Global Oy in a labour related regulatory litigation.

ANZ Partners

ANZ Partners frequently works with some major international law firms on a variety of Pakistani employment law issues. The group is recommended for its experience in drafting employment manuals and employee handbooks as well as for its work with numerous embassies on a variety of labour law matters. Nabeel Rehman  and Aqeel Malik  are among the primary contacts.

Practice head(s):

Nabeel Rehman ; Aqeel Malik

 

Testimonials

The team is very friendly, trustworthy and has diversified experience in this field. It is very devoted, enthusiastic‘.

Foreign qualified lawyers, extremely well equipped and delivered well within time. The entire team is very friendly and highly professional and I would say – they are more easily approachable as compared to other law firms. Nabeel Rehman was handling the matter in the most professional and effective manner and was readily available to address all queries and concerns when and where required. When he was not available, his colleague Aqeel Malik made sure that I was well looked after and attended me to resolve the issues at hand. They charged reasonable fees‘.

‘I have to say ANZ partner’s team and especially Nabeel Rehman exceeded my expectations. They were professional, competent and very accommodating. I was very pleased with my experience that I decided to return to them for other legal queries following this experience.

‘Their competence and experience is what made ANZ partners stand out for me. Their versatility too, which I was assured of after observing their wide and diverse clientele. The team comprises of experienced individuals, but the most refreshing thing was that their thinking and innovation is leaps and bounds ahead of any other firm I have seen in Pakistan‘.

Key clients

SAVE THE CHILDREN (SCF) PAKISTAN

MUSLIM HANDS

MUSLIM AID

RELIEF INTERNATIONAL

TROCAIRE

PAKISTAN HUMANITARIAN FORUM

MICRONUTIRENT INITIATIVE

ISLAMIC RELIEF

CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE ENTERPRISE

PAKISTAN CHINA INSTITUTE (PCI)6 YEARS

CAN ASIAN SYNERGIES (PRIVATE) LIMITED

YU-FEI PELAGIC FISHERIES (PRIVATE) LIMITED

PELAGIC FISHERIES (PRIVATE) LIMITED

ENERGY SOLUTIONS AND GREEN POWER (PRIVATE) LIMITED

PCI HOLDING (PRIVATE) LIMITED

AL NOOR TRUST

SOCHAIN ZARA (SZ)

AR FOODS (PRIVATE) LIMITED

AR CASH & CARRY

MADINA CASH & CARRY (MCC)

AR HORECA

ASCENDIA (PRIVATE) LIMITED

BRIGHTERLITE PAKISTAN (PRIVATE) LIMITED

THE EDUCATORS, RAWALPINDI

ELAHI COTTON MILLS LIMITED

ENEKON (PRIVATE) LIMITED

ESPRESSO EXPRESS, RESTAURANT

EU DELEGATION TO PAKISTAN

PAK STEEL MILLS

DISTRICT 6, RESTAURANT

GIBRALTOR CONSTRUCTIONS

GYMSTIQUE

EMBASSY OF FRANCE

KOHISTAN DEVELOPERS & BUILDERS

EMBASSY OF AUSTRIA

INTERNATIONAL REPUBLICAN INSTITUTE (IRI)

ROYAL DANISH EMBASSY

ISLAMABAD DIAGNOSTICSCENTER (IDC)

INTEK CORPORATION

LA MONTANA RESTAURANT, ISLAMABAD

MAROOF HOSPITAL, ISLAMABAD

MH CAB (PRIVATE) LIMITED

PAMIR MARCOPOLO (PRIVATE) LIMITED

PAKISTAN NURSING COUNCIL

PALLADIUM, PAKISTAN

TIANJIN CHINA PETROLEUM DRILLING COMPANY LIMITED (TCPDC)

UCH POWER LIMITED

WESTERN GLOBAL SERVICES (PRIVATE) LIMITED

WESTEREN SERVICES (PRIVATE) LIMITED

INTEK CORPORATION

ESSEM HOTELS

SKT WELFARE (INGO)

Terres Des Hommes (INGO)

Hanns Seidel Foundation (INGO)

International Medical Corp (INGO)

FIGHT FORTRESS (PRIVATE) LIMITED

HYDRA CONSULTING

LEADS PHARMA (PVT) LTD.

ATTOCK REFINERY LIMITED

VETY CARE (PVT) LTD.

CANYON ENTERPRISES (PVT) LTD.

FLOSS FACTORY

Save The Children International UK

Save The Children Movement UK

Friedrich Noumann Foundation (INGO) Germany

Gulf Oil Middle East Limited (UAE)

Siddiqui Group Of Industries

Four Seasons Hotel, Islamabad

Khalid Anwer & Co.

Khalid Anwer & Co. continues to advise several employers on a range of labour and employment matters, from individual caes through to class actions. The excellent team is currently involved in several cases before the Superior Courts of Pakistan. It is a firm of choice for numerous banks on a variety of complex labour related matters. Under the joint direction of Raashid Anwer and Syed Mustafa Ali , the group has also been busy advising former employees of large companies on their pension and retirement benefits.

Practice head(s):

Raashid Anwer  ; Syed Mustafa Ali

Testimonials

‘Excellent team, well versed with industry wide issues in corporate sphere. Special appreciation for Raashid Anwer‘.

This law firm perhaps has the largest practice in labour and employment. The out of the box thinking makes it unique in this area of practice. The team is fully equipped and knowledgeable in this sensitive area of practice. The team is very professional and always available for us in case of any issue‘.

‘We prefer Khalid Anwar & Co due to the team availability at any time as and when their services are required. They always go through the cases very minutely which we hardly find in other lawyers. Mostly interact with Syed Mustafa Ali and found him very energetic and hardworking. The important thing which has to be highlighted is that he is available all the time. He always provides us with research-based responses‘.

Key clients

Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd.

Pakistan Telecommunication Employees Trust

National Bank of Pakistan

Mashreq Bank

Qureshi Law Associates

The employment department at Qureshi Law Associates is part of its corporate and commercial offering and as a result has considerable expertise in conducting due diligence work on the employment aspects of large scale corporate and commercial transactions. It has a solid reputation for its work on a range of employment and labour issues with particular expertise in advising on employee benefits, employee contracts, policies and manuals. Basharat Ali Mehmood leads the employment offering.

Practice head(s):

Basharat Ali Mehmood

Work highlights

  • Advising Hanergy Global Solar Pakistan (Pvt) Limited on various matters including the making of a complete handbook of employment.  
  • Acting for a company on a significant acquisition which included reviewing the situation about the employment of the existing employees and the novation of their employment contracts as well as other employment issues.

ABS & Co. Advocates and Corporate Counsels

ABS & Co. advises on all aspects of employment law in both the public and private sectors. It is skilled at representing clients on a variety of contentious and non-contentious employment issues such as disputes relating to wages, industrial action and issues concerning employee benefits. Other strengths lie in assisting with the drafting of labour and HR policies and advising on other issues such as salary, holiday entitlements and insurance. Ahmer Bilal Soofi  and Imran Ahmed Malik head the department.

Testimonials

‘ABS & Co. is a team of professional lawyers who are committed to their work more than anything. Their strength is responsiveness, good and thorough research and above all proper legal guidance in the best interests of the client’.

‘Ahmer Bilal Soofi is one of the leading lawyers in Pakistan and specialises in all areas of law. He has been and will be the best choice in contentious and non-contentious matters, be they banking, HR, tax, constitutional petitions, criminal cases etc. He has always proved his worth and comes up to the level of expectation’.

‘It is a well reputed law firm in Pakistan with highly regarded and experienced team of lawyers. It has a very good track record of handling complex corporate cases. They performed very well as per their repute and more than our expectations. The firm’s client service is very much satisfactory as the team of experts is always available for any kind of legal assistance. Value for money is exceptional, despite being a well reputed and an expensive law firm, they understood our position and charged a very nominal fee for the services‘.

 

 

Key clients

United Bank Limited (UBL)

Punjab Social Security Institution

Bank of Punjab

Punjab Poverty Alleviation Fund

Punjab Skills Development Fund

Punjab Population Innovation Fund

Punjab Institute of Fashion & Design

McDonalds

Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA)

Work highlights

  • Advised McDonalds in settling multiple tort claims under occupational safety laws arising out of an accidental fire at one of its restaurants.
  • Advised the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination with respect to the devolution of Employees Old-Age Benefit Institution and Workers Welfare Fund following the 18th Amendment.
  • Advised China Three Gorges Investment Company in drafting its internal HR policy in light of the applicable labour laws of Pakistan.

Kilam Law

Kilam Law fields a ‘professional and reliable team’ that is jointly headed by Ali Ibrahim  and Haris Azmat  who are both based in Lahore. It receives a steady flow of instructions from major international law firms and also counts numerous multinational companies as clients. It routinely advises public sector entities, government owned companies, private entities and individuals on all aspects of labour law in Pakistan, from drafting employment contracts to advising on industrial disputes.

Practice head(s):

Ali Ibrahim ; Haris Azmat

Other key lawyers:

Maryam Hayat

Testimonials

‘To me or to us the team at Kilam law is dedicated and credible with strengths like, focused lawyers with knowledge of law, good in time management, prompt in responses by using digital technology and legal research and analysis. We have worked very closely with Ali Ibrahim and found him highly credible, trustworthy and dedicated with extraordinary good judgement which makes him stand out in the market. His personal knowledge of labour laws and conceptual clarity is highly remarkable‘.

‘We usually work with Ali Ibrahim and due to his great communication skills, willingness to listen, specific knowledge about the relevant issues,  strong writing ability  and most importantly his strong sense of judgment –  that makes us stick with this firm‘.

The firm has evolved as our go-to firm in the recent years, in particular for matters in the Punjab province, given their partner availability, responsiveness and ability to provide out of the box solutions. Their fee structure is more flexible compared to other law firms and they continue to consistently exceed expectations and gain our and the clients’ confidence. They have assisted us with a number of employment related matters this year, including termination of key staff for an international client’s subsidiary, appointment of foreign individuals in key positions for Pakistani companies and implementation of new group HR policies‘.

The firm has consistently provided practical advice and assisted with required follow-up with local parties and authorities in a timely and effective manner. Our international clients, including many Fortune 500 companies, have been very satisfied with the support received from the team. The are willing to do most of the employment related work on a fixed or capped fee basis and that is appreciated by us and the clients. Ali Ibrahim, Haris Azmat and Maryam Hayat are recommended’.

‘KILAM Barristers and Legal Consultants provides its clients with a tailor-made approach to cater to their needs, with hands on support to provide complete legal solutions. Kilam through its team of highly qualified legal practitioners, offers a broad range of professional legal services and consultancy services. Haris Azmat is always hands on with providing solutions to his clients‘.

‘Kilam Barristers and Legal Consultants provides the highest level of expertise and skills. They have the requisite enthusiasm and commitment to legal work and possess extraordinary client handling skills’.

‘The Kilam team is a competent , efficient and professional one. Work is always delivered on or earlier than the allotted time. Their research and advice is thorough and precise‘.

‘We have used the services of Kilam Law on a range of labour and employment matters such as termination, dismissal, hiring etc. The firm has also drafted and vetted many agreements for us to be signed with our employees. They have also drafted our employment policy. The use of technology while billing is of immense advantage in this day and age. We are particularly impressed by their timely responses. The senior partner is extremely pleasant to work with. He comes up with extremely innovative and tailor made solutions to all our legal problems‘.

Key clients

Clyde & Co. LLP (Dubai)

National School of Public Policy

Lahore Garment City Company

Sidus Healthcare Pvt Ltd

Regalis Healthcare

New Era Technologies Pvt Ltd

Diocese of Raiwind

Vital Care Medical Systems

Shahraj Textiles

Dairy Land Pvt Ltd

Rizwan Textile

PASCONS Construction Company

Methodist Church of Pakistan

Red Bull FZE Dubai

United Insurance Company of Pakistan Limited

MCB Bank Limited

Multan Sultans (Pakistan Super League Franchise)

Art of Heritage KSA

Punjab Social Security Health Management Company

Ali Murtaza Associates

AlphaBold USA

Evernex

Trowers & Hamlins LLP (London)

Oil & Gas Development Company Limited

Interloop Limited

Federal Board of Revenue

Punjab Revenue Authority

National Radio Telecommunication Corporation

Water & Power Development Authority (WAPDA)

Red Bull Pakistan

SPI Insurance Company Limited

National Highway Authority

Kips Group of Colleges

Work highlights

  • Advised Red Bull on the establishment of a provident fund for its employees who are based in Pakistan.
  • Advised Evernex on a host of  local law labour and employment law matters.
  • Advised Clyde & Co LLP (Dubai)’s client on various labour law issues arising as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown and economic downturn and completed the country questionnaire for Pakistan.

Liaquat Merchant Associates

Under the direction of Faresa Jafarey Ahsan the team at Liaquat Merchant Associates provides legal advice and representation to its domestic and international clients in relation to employment, labour and human resource management issues. The versatile team continues to represent companies, employees and civil servants before the High Courts, Labour Courts and Service Tribunals. In addition it is well-placed to advise on issues as diverse as the termination of employment to a wide range of regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):

Faresa Jafarey Ahsan

Testimonials

 

 

Key clients

Mckinsey & Co.

DLA Piper

PwC LLP

National Bank of Pakistan

Hascol Terminals Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised a client of DLA Piper UK LLP on employment, pensions and benefits issues concerning an M&A deal.
  • Advised a client of DLA Piper Middle East LLP in reference to its proposed business restructuring plans across the Middle East.
  • Engaged by National Bank of Pakistan to update, revise and render legal advice on all the human resource policies of the the bank in light of the relevant laws, rules and market practice. Pursuant thereto the team has modified policies including, the Employee Disciplinary Policy, Code of Conduct, Health Policy, Leave Policy, Persons with Disability Policy, Staff Finance Policy, Salary Adjustment Policy and Grievance Policy.