Firms To Watch: TMT

AUC | Law is recommended for its work on a range of matters such as software agreements, end-user licensing agreements and intellectual property contracts. Ahmed Uzair  is well-respected for his work in this area.
Cornelius, Lane & Mufti regularly handles a myriad of complex licensing and regulatory matters in addition to having substantial experience in telecommunications laws. Salman Butt is well-regarded.
Meer & Hasan Law Associates regularly advises clients on copyright licensing. It has a significant trademarks practice and also undertakes mandates in the telecommunications sector. Salim Hasan is the practice head.

TMT in Pakistan

Akhund Forbes

The TMT department at Akhund Forbes is known for its work in high-value and complex transactions. It is adept at advising on all aspects of technology work and the team is increasingly advising foreign businesses on their proposed business activities in Pakistan. Names to note are the heads of the department Rabel Akhund and Sahar Iqbal. Many instructions come from leading international firms.

Practice head(s):

Rabel Akhund; Sahar Iqbal

Testimonials

‘Have had a good experience working with the team; have found them to have good understanding of law, commercial realities and interests, great negotiation skills and work ethics’.

‘Akhund Forbes stands out for its professionalism. All the contracts were delivered at the time given, all deadlines met, the team was highly accessible and would be there to attend  to calls and answer any query at any given time. This is a great attribute that makes them stand out from all others. Further their negotiation skills and understanding of the practical realities is very sound that has helped immensely in our projects’.

‘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’.

 

Key clients

Edotco Group SDN Berhad

NBP Fund Management Limited

Baker & McKenzie LLP

MCB Arif Habib Investments and Savings Limited

Edotco Pakistan (Private) Limited

Edotco Towers (Private) Limited

Allied Advertising LLC

OPay China Yes Applus

Mastercard

Facebook Inc.

Saudi Research Publishing Company

Media Arabia Limited

Vox Asia Productions (SMC Private Limited)

UBL Fund Managers Limited

Central Depository of Pakistan Limited

Association of Builders and Developers

Nawan Laboratories (Pvt) Ltd.

Addleshaw Goddard

British American Tobacco Plc

Simmons & Simmons

Work highlights

  • Advising Facebook on the regulatory landscape of the provision of telecommunications and IT services in Pakistan.
  • Advising Facebook on their first ever foreign lending/debt funding in Pakistan to Naya Tel (Pvt) Ltd, a telecoms operator in Pakistan.
  • Advised MCB Arif Habib Savings and Investment Limited on a wide variety of matters to enable the client to provide quicker and more efficient financial services to its customers and contribute to the dynamic capital markets of Pakistan, including on the first of its kind social media app to assist members to manage their committees (pooling of money).

Bharucha & Co.

Bharucha & Co. specialises in all aspects of patents, trade marks, designs, copyright and domain names. It is adept at advising on licensing and franchise issues in addition to litigation and enforcement actions. The team, which is led by Mohammad Fazil Bharucha and Abdul Aziz, frequently works with a range of domestic and foreign clients. Bharacha has particular expertise in complex patent matters. The practice acts for a number of international corporations that are primarily from the US, Europe and Asia as well as the Middle East and the Pacific.

Work highlights

  • Advised a foreign client in filing an opposition against the application for the registration of the local company’s trade mark upon its publication in the Trade Marks Journal. The hearing passed an order whereby the firm’s opposition was allowed, and the local company’s application was refused for registration.
  • Successfully advised its client on another contentious matter relating to the registration of a mark.

Liaquat Merchant Associates

Liaquat Merchant Associates regularly advises companies spanning a range of industries on issues such as the acquisition of software applications as well as various software license agreements, outsourcing agreements in addition to software and hardware maintenance contracts. It also frequently advises on service level contracts and escrow agreements. In addition the team continues to advise numerous banks on their software applications with leading IT companies. Faresa Jafarey Ahsan is among the key members of the group.

Practice head(s):

Faresa Jafarey Ahsan

Testimonials

‘The people are exceptionally nice. The billing is on point and transparent’.

‘They have a strong grip on the Fintech and IT sector. They guide us covering all aspects.’

‘Extremely efficient, expert advice and competitive pricing. The whole team is excellent’.

Key clients

MasterCard

Allied Bank Limited

Covalent (Private) Limited

DLA Piper

Archiving Data Solutions (Private) Limited

Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP

Zapp One Systems (Private) Limited

Careem Pakistan

Bank AL Habib Limited

PSI Pakistan

Avanza Premier Payment Services (Private) Limited

Work highlights

  • Completed an extensive regulatory scan questionnaire for MasterCard in respect of its plans of establishing a payment gateway in Pakistan.
  • Completed a global survey for the benefit of AIG on data privacy and protection laws in Pakistan.
  • Rendered detailed advice for DLA Piper Hong Kong in relation to the relevant applicable data privacy laws and telecommunication laws in respect of the Request for Proposal to be submitted by Amdocs to Telenor for cloud services.

ABS & Co. Advocates and Corporate Counsels

ABS & Co. Advocates and Corporate Counsels is experienced in the registration of intellectual property rights both nationally and internationally. Clients include governments, multinational corporations, venture capital investors and high-net-worth individuals. The bulk of its work relates to advising on deals where there are issues such as software licensing, royalty arrangements or patent issues to be considered. Lahore-based Sarjeel Mowahid  and Islamabad-based Muhammad Majid Bashir  co-head the department.

Key clients

Rice Exporters Association Pakistan

Janoobi Private Limited

Electronic Accreditation Certification Council

Telenor Microfinance Bank

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority

Qatar Lubricants Company WLL

Leonine Global Investments Limited

Omar Associates Private Limited

Karachi Kings FZE

My Sports World Private Limited

PakSat NoPIEAS

Punjab Skills Development Fund

Bank of Punjab

EMI Pakistan

National Science and Technology Park – NUST

Work highlights

  • Drafted regulations for the Electronic Certification Accreditation Council  in relation to the accreditation of Certification Service Providers, Crypto apparatus, security and IT auditors.
  • Advised and represented Janoobi Private Limited in a dispute relating to the franchise rights and central pool income from the broadcasting rights to the Pakistan Super League.
  • Advised and represented Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan  in a dispute relating to the registration of Basmati as a Geographical Indication in Europe under Regulation 1151/2012.

Daudpota International

Daudpota International has a wide-ranging practice that advises on all aspects of intellectual property prosecutions and enforcement in multiple jurisdictions. It is adept at managing due diligence, investigation and enforcement in various countries and is well-regarded for its work in diverse areas from trade mark prosecutions to copyright enforcement and ant-piracy matters. Other core areas of expertise include advising on licensing and franchising matters as well as misleading advertising and domain names disputes. Faisal Daudpota , Junaid Daudpota and Khalid Daudpota are skilled practitioners.

Testimonials

‘Faisal has great mastery of his field and is always very reliable to navigate the complex Middle Eastern trademark landscape. Faisal Daupoda is very easy to communicate with, responsive, and responsible‘.

Lex Legal Practice (Solicitors & Attorneys)

Lex Legal Practice (Solicitors & Attorneys) has many IT clients including electronic money institutions, digital non-banking finance companies, e-commerce marketplace platforms as well as fintech start-ups and ride hailing service providers. Other clients include software and application developers, game developers, digital logistics service providers and commercial banks. The team is well-placed to advise on digital transactions and electronic fund transfers. Asad Salahuddin  is the firm’s managing partner and is particularly recommended for his advice to fintech companies.

Practice head(s):

Asad Salahuddin

Other key lawyers:

Zealaf Shahzad

Testimonials

The team at Lex Legal Practice is a dream team to work with for any tech start-up in Pakistan. Their expertise in cross-border transactions in conjunction with the local law made them well equipped to guide us through many processes that were crucial not only from a legal perspective but essential in terms of expanding our commercial portfolio. Being available at all times, carefully listening to our needs and vision, truly caring for our ambition, and supplementing that with excellent legal advice was at the heart of what made our experience with Lex distinguishable and exceptional’.

Asad Salahuddin was at the heart of structuring all our deals in a manner that made them commercially lucrative and offered great protection to the shareholders’.

‘The team at Lex Legal Practice was exemplary. They were diligent in their approach to cover all loose ends and ensured a high standard in the quality of services. They were able to efficiently analyse all potential requirements of the business and provide a mechanism to ensure that all requirements were fulfilled in a timely manner’.

‘Asad Salahuddin paid great attention to detail to all processes and personally oversaw any development that was made throughout the course of the deal. Zealaf Shahzad’s assessment of risk and liabilities, coupled with her efforts to always be cognisant of our ambition was appreciated by everyone associated with the company and is a testament to our long-standing relationship with the firm‘.

‘The legal knowledge and professional expertise of the team have been evident in all the services availed of by our company. Our long-term engagement with the firm owes primarily to the client centric approach of the team, with personal attention from the partners and the around the clock availability. Lex Legal understands our corporate vision and endeavours to utilise their commercial insight when advising us on complex transactions. The company’s ambition has been at the forefront of the services provided by Lex Legal Practice‘.

‘The managing partner at Lex, Asad Salahuddin, is an impressive individual and lawyer, who has given personal attention to our projects. Asad has been an exceptional negotiator for us and has always ensured that our interests are protected in each transaction. His foresight in predicting future issues has facilitated our business at all stages‘.

The firm’s experience in the information technology sector is incomparable. The team is very much in the know of any changes or developments in the sector of information technology law and is well aware of any legal problems that accompany them‘.

‘The managing partner at Lex, Asad Salahuddin has a unique ability to lead complex transactions. Asad Salahuddin’s negotiation skills have always placed our company in a favourable and strong position in each transaction. He has the ability to foresee and adequately advise on all possible disputes, well in advance‘.

Key clients

Finja Private Limited

Bykea Technologies Private Limited

Revolving Games Private Limited

Finja Lending Services Limited

Abwaab Technologies Inc.

Edmatrix Private Limited

Webwork Solution Private Limited

MCB Bank Limited

Smartlane IT Solution Private Limited

Bykea Cash Private Limited

Finja Inc. (Delaware Corp)

Habib Bank Limited

Revolving Games Inc. (Delaware Corp)

United Softlabs Private Limited

Caramel Tech Studios Private Limited

AH-Bridgelinx Solutions Private Limited

Eccountant Private Limited

Rented Lifestyle Private Limited

Soneri Bank Limited

Modemetric Private Limited

Sambaa Bank Limited

Caramel Tech Inc. (Delaware Corp)

Million Ventures GMBH

Work highlights

  • Assisted Finja Private Limited in obtaining Pakistan’s first commercial Electronic Money Institution (EMI) Pilot Approval issued by the State Bank of Pakistan.
  • Advised Bykea Cash about setting up the business operations of the first digital payment marketplace in Pakistan.
  • Advised Smartlane IT Solution Private Limited on setting up Pakistan’s first digital logistics aggregation platform.