ABS & Co. Advocates and Corporate Counsels > Lahore, Pakistan > Firm Profile

ABS & Co. Advocates and Corporate Counsels
9 FANE ROAD
LAHORE 54000
Pakistan

Pakistan > Corporate and M&A Tier 2

ABS & Co. advises on a broad range of matters from company acquisitions, mergers and due diligence exercises to advising on regulatory matters, tax and other issues such as health and environmental laws. The group frequently advises the boards of directors of public and private companies on diverse issues such as internal company policy decisions and directors’ duties. It has advised on a significant number of projects as well as advising some well-known clients in the telecommunication sector. Sarjeel Mowahid  leads the department in Lahore and Shahrukh Iftikhar heads the group in Islamabad. The associates in the team also garner praise.  

Other key lawyers:

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’.

We work very closely with Sarjeel Mowahid Minhas. He is responsive and is always a call away, no matter what time of the day. He is very well versed with the latest laws and judgments that are reported. All meetings with the firm are usually conducted under his supervision and led by him’.

‘The team is very cooperative and easily accessible. The turn around time is commendable as well’.

‘Samar Masood and Ahmed Raza Mirza are our contacts at ABS & Co for litigation and corporate advisory matters respectively. Both of them stand out amongst other associates and the partners. Their advice and turn around time are commendable’.

‘I found them professional, knowledgeable, hardworking and flexible‘.

 

Key clients

Bank of Punjab

Pakistan International Airlines

Precision Wellness LLC

Siddiqsons Group

SAMAA Pakistan

Highland Resorts, Zahid Traders

B ’N’ B Bread ’N’ Butter Private Limited

Imaraat Group of Companies

International Consulting Associates (Pvt.) Limited and World Bank

Siddiqsons Tin Plate Limited

Pepsi

German – Pakistan, Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Eye Button Company Pvt. Ltd.

Murree Brewery Company Ltd.

Engro Corporation Limited

Nazir & Sons

Habib Rafique Pvt. Limited

Future Development Holding Pvt. Ltd.

Smart Future Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

Smart Properties Pvt. Ltd.

Royal Developers and Builders Pvt. Ltd.

Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund

Heavy Mechanical Complex

Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company

Quaid-e-Azam Thermal Pvt. Limited

Samsons Group of Companies

Swat Tourism Company Pvt. Limited

Khyber Tobacco Company Limited

Punjab Population Innovation Fund

Punjab Skills Development Fund

PICANOL NV

China Ghezouba Group Company Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised International Consulting Associates (Pvt.) Ltd on a World Bank funded project with peculiarities concerning the relevant currency subject to World Bank guidelines and tenders granted, advising about joint ventures agreements and various tax matters subject to OECD’s guidelines (BEPS Action Plan) and their implementations at a local level in Pakistan.

Pakistan > Dispute resolution Tier 2

ABS & Co. fields a team that is best-known for its experience in commercial and constitutional litigation in the High Court and the Supreme Court. It also has a strong arbitration practice and it has been growing its white-collar crime offering. Another area of expertise is advising on employment and labour disputes, as well as tax litigation. Ahmer Bilal Soofi  is a key member of the practice along with Salman Hanif Rajput; associate Bakhtawar Bilal Soofi who is based in Lahore is increasingly acting in some major constitutional cases.

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Engro Corporation Limited

Dawood Hercules Limited

PAKSAT

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA)

Siddiqsons Tinplates Limited

United Bank Limited (UBL)

Habib Rafiq Limited

Zabeeh Group

Medipak Private Limited

Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA)

Work highlights

  • Represented National Bank of Pakistan in a major employment dispute with respect to the MTO and non-MTO status of its employees.
  • Represented Mughals Pakistan Private Limited in a major construction dispute in excess of PKR 9bn against EOBI.
  • Representing Paksat Private Limited in more than 20 different arbitrations against various electronic and broadcasting media channels.

Pakistan > Projects and energy Tier 2

ABS & Co. has been actively advising a variety of public and private sector clients on numerous projects including infrastructure projects and projects in the aviation and oil & gas sectors. Other sector expertise includes advising on key projects in the power and energy sectors. Under the direction of Sarjeel Mowahid , Amna Warsi and Ayasha Warsi the practice routinely drafts international and domestic contracts for the government, public entities and private clients.

Testimonials

‘’The team is very cooperative and easily accessible. Their turn around time is commendable as well’. 

 

Key clients

Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority

Karachi Port Trust

Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Ltd (SNGPL)

China Gezhouba Group Company td

Interstate Gas Systems Ltd (ISGS)

Quaid e Azam Thermal Pvt Ltd

National Science & Technology Park, National University of Science & Technology

Mirza Associates Engineering Services Pvt. Ltd.

Lahore Waste Management Company

Samsons Group of Companies

Work highlights

  • Drafted, reviewed and negotiated a gas supply agreement (GSA) between Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Ltd. and Pakistan Electric Power Company.
  • Advising Lahore Waste Management Company on the procurement process for the prequalification of contractors for the collection, transportation and safe disposal of solid waste.
  • Advising Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority on incorporating international civil aviation codes, guides etc. with reference to their annexes into domestic legislation and regulations thereto.

Pakistan > Labour and employment Tier 3

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.

Pakistan > Real estate and construction Tier 3

The property and development team at ABS & Co. Advocates and Corporate Counsels has worked on some important development projects such as advising on the construction, development and financing of housing societies, industrial estates, five-star hotels, resorts, shopping centres, golf clubs, apartment complexes and other high-rise buildings. It frequently works with developers, sponsors, local governments and development authorities. Sarjeel Mowahid Salman Hanif Rajput and Shahrukh Iftikhar are the notable senior members of the team.

Key clients

Engro Corporate Limited

McDonald’s

SIZA Foods Pvt Ltd.

GAM Corp Pvt Ltd.

Highland Resorts Zahid Traders

Royal Orchard

FDHL

Habib Rafique Ltd.

AM99Samsons Group of Companies

Siddiqsons Group

Imaraat Group of Companies

Work highlights

  • Advising Future Development Holding Pvt. Ltd. on the construction and development of the CapitalSmart City Housing Project which spans over an area of almost 15 square kilometres.
  • Providing corporate advice to its client about the construction of high end villas in  the Defence Housing Authority Quetta.

Pakistan > TMT Tier 3

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.

Pakistan > Tax

ABS & Co. is well-placed to advise on a wide spectrum of contentious and non-contentious tax matters under the able joint leadership of Karachi-based Agha Shahid Majeed and Lahore-based Ghulam Ali Raza.

The firm: With over 30 years of experience and a team of more than 40 lawyers spread over two different offices, ABS & Co. is one of the largest and most experienced law firms in the country.

The firm provides a broad range of legal services to its clients, ranging from advice on corporate and transactional matters to dispute resolution and international arbitration.

The firm prides itself on having a strong practice in advising clients on a range of issues that cuts across diverse sectors such as real estate, power, intellectual property, finance/banking, cyber law, sports law, energy, natural resources, petrochemicals, mining and transport.

Similarly, the firm’s expertise in litigation is acknowledged and widely recognised, both locally and internationally. The firm provides its clients with a full range of services in respect of arbitration and alternative dispute resolution including pre-arbitral consultations, preparation of claims and/or defences, conduct of arbitral proceedings, applying or resisting stay applications, anti-arbitration injunction applications and other arbitration related applications in court, and contesting court proceedings in respect of enforcement of foreign arbitral awards. Members of the firm’s team are linked with the United Nations Commission for International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) in Vienna and have extensive experience in arbitrations under the ICC, ICSID and LCIA rules.

Over the years, the firm has developed this reputation due to the it’s consistent and unwavering support to government, government-owned entities, public sector organisations, statutory bodies, diplomatic missions, regulatory agencies, regional and international companies, banks and financial institutions along with high-net-worth individuals and other publicly listed companies.

The provision of a broad range of legal services to such a diverse clientele allows the firm to bring regulatory, commercial and legal perspectives in its approach towards solving complex legal issues. The solutions the firm provides for its clients are comprehensive, innovative and, most importantly, viable.

Areas of practice
Litigation, international arbitration and dispute resolution: The firm has over 30 years of experience in civil, corporate and commercial litigation at all different judicial and administrative forums, including the Provincial High Courts, the Federal Shariat Court and the Supreme Court. The firm provides a full range of legal services in respect of arbitration and alternative dispute resolution.

Corporate and commercial: The firm has substantial experience in advising on a broad range of commercial issues ranging from conducting negotiations and finalising commercial contracts to general advice on commercial transactions.

Foreign direct investments: The firm has developed an impeccable reputation for its advice on public and private investments in Pakistan. The team is recognised for its expertise in examining bilateral investment treaties and/or free trade agreements between the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and other states, taxation treaties and international conventions.

Joint ventures: The firm has extensive experience in advising on joint ventures, strategic alliances and has advised on some of the major joint ventures in Pakistan. It is equally at home with smaller joint ventures, advising either investors or entrepreneurs in the start-up phase. Our firm is known for its expertise in rapidly developing sectors such as publishing, financial services, new media, telecoms, chemicals, aerospace, aviation, shipping, energy and e-commerce, as well as in more conventional markets such as real estate.

Intellectual property: The firm provides cutting-edge and market-leading solutions for its clients regarding the intellectual property challenges that they face. In this regard, the firm’s services include brand selection, availability, search and clearance in trade marks, copyright licensing, logos, patents and other related matters. Additionally, the firm provides innovative solutions to its clients on protection of intellectual property rights, bringing enforcement actions before the courts etc.

Corporate governance: The firm frequently advises its corporate clients on legal issues which regularly affect their businesses. The firm advises on all elements of company law, including corporate restructuring, insolvency law, bankruptcy, mergers and acquisitions and establishment of new corporate vehicles.

Legislation and Policy: The firm regularly advises the Federal and Provincial Governments and various government entities on legislative, regulatory and policy issues.

Regulatory: The firm also provides legal and regulatory advice to corporate and commercial entities including public listed companies. Our deep insight into government and regulation, developed through years of advising the government and various regulatory bodies, ensures that we provide our clients with commercially driven legal advice in respect of all legal matters. To this end, we have advised on oil and gas, mining, aerospace, aviation, competition, anti-trust, environmental and corporate legal regimes.

Investment and free trade agreements: The firm is renowned for its expertise in consultative advice, drafting and policy advocacy related to investment treaties and free trade agreements. In this respect, the firm has developed a network of national and international experts who are available for contentious and non-contentious matters in respect of major economic and trade sectors including domestic regulation, international dispute settlement and offshore litigation.

The firm works by building strong relationships with in-house legal teams to provide reliable advice on matters relating to corporate governance.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Head of Litigation, Dispute Resolution and Int'l Arbitration Ahmer Bilal Soofi
Head of Intellectual Property Majid Bashir
Head of Corporate & Commercial Sarjeel Mowahid
Head of Energy & Infrastructure Amna Warsi
Head of Project Finance Ayasha Warsi
Head of Property & Real Estate Salman Hanif Rajput
Head of Regulatory & Sanctions Law Division Daud Aziz Khokhar
Litigation and Dispute Resolution Amna Abbas
Litigation and Dispute Resolution Iqbal Khan Nasr
Litigation and Dispute Resolution Usman Jillani
Corporate and Commercial Shahrukh Iftikhar
Dispute Resolution Imran Ahmed Malik
Dispute Resolution Ghulam Ali Raza
Jurisconsult Shehzad Haider
Dispute Resolution Bakhtawar Bilal Soofi
Intellectual Property Samar Masood
Corporate and Commercial Ahmed Reza Mirza
Dispute Resolution Jawad Alam Abbasi
Dispute Resolution Scheherezaad Qureshi
Dispute Resolution Ammarah Mahmood
Dispute Resolution Mohammad bin Majid
Corporate and Commercial Zainab Nasir Khan
Dispute Resolution Masood Ahmad Khattak
Intellectual Property Rafia Farrukh Rashid
Corporate and Commercial Zeeshan Ali Tarar
Corporate and Commercial Rawal Kazmi
Corporate and Commercial Muhammad Mufakhir
Dispute Resolution Sohail Asghar Chaudhary
Corporate and Commercial Tajwer Khan
Ali Raza
Dispute Resolution Ali Gillani
Coordinator Naveed Ahmad
Litigation Manager Tahseen Shaukhat
PhotoNamePositionProfile
Shahrukh Iftikhar photo Shahrukh IftikharBarrister Shahrukh Iftikhar is an Associate Partner and heads the Corporate and…
Mr Sarjeel Mowahid  photo Mr Sarjeel Mowahid Partner Head of Corporate & Commercial
Bakhtawar Bilal Soofi photo Bakhtawar Bilal SoofiBakhtawar is a Senior Associate at the firm’s office in Lahore where…
Mr Ahmer Bilal Soofi  photo Mr Ahmer Bilal Soofi Managing Partner
Amna Warsi photo Amna WarsiAmna Warsi completed her graduation and her LLM from the Punjab University,…
Ayasha Warsi photo Ayasha WarsiMs. Warsi completed her graduation and her LLM from the Punjab University,…
Total Number of Lawyers : 44
Total Number of Lawyers in Islamabad : 18
Total Number of Lawyers in Lahore : 26
English
Pashto
Punjabi
Urdu
Contacts : Naveed (info@absco.pk)

Sarjeel Mowahid, Partner, Head of Corporate & Commercial

Sarjeel Mowahid, Partner ABS & CO provides an insight of the firm practice.

What do you see as the main points that differentiate ABS & CO from your competitors?

What makes us unique is our experience of thirty years in law. We command a reputation of excellence, and our team comprises of some of the brightest legal minds in Pakistan and leaders in their fields be it the contentious side or the non-contentious side.

We take pride in the fact that our firm is the ‘go to firm’ for state level matters/disputes and consulted by the Federation for national and international issues.

Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

The mushroom growth of tech startups with foreign direct investments signifies a digital revolution which would mean cyber security & information technology are an emerging area of law.

However, given the recession and inflation I foresee a growth in bankruptcy & Insolvency law as well.

What’s the main change you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?

I have tried to create a positive experience for our clients by:

  • Recruiting the right people
  • Training our staff to develop their skills thereby increasing efficiency
  • Improving accessibility & the turn-around time to existing clients
  • Employing SOP`s for the team to ensure the same standard of service.
  • Nurturing customer relationships
  • Ensuring the right person is utilized for the job at hand.

Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?

During the pandemic our firm evolved as a business. A lockdown was imposed by the government which led us to explore the option of working from home. Zoom & Microsoft Teams were primarily utilized by us for our client meetings. Surprisingly we found it easier to touch base with clients. The time saved on commute/travel or gathering attendees to an agreed location at an agreed city were no longer issues of concern. Remote meetings proved to be more effective and showed us and the clients as well that you could go through lengthy contracts, pleading, opinions etc out of the comfort of your home and save time as well.

Needless to mention we are steadily watching evolution of Artificial Intelligence in law which will have a significant impact on the profession and client services.

Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?

A state level entity had entered a contract with a foreign lender not realizing that the lender had been provided “step in” rights under the master contract. The foreign entity had couched the same with a reference of a future contract to crystalize the said right. We were able to ensure that the “step in” rights were curbed to the maximum through negotiations in Beijing, China thereby salvaging the relationship and ensuring the project would move ahead.

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?

In my opinion local or foreign clients are always looking for a way forward. Simply put the legal practice is no longer just a hand holding exercise as a support function and occasionally lawyers have to take a leadership role i.e. structuring the transaction/project or determining the next course of action in a dispute.

As per the firm I see the same growing in the coming three years. We just started a start-up division for emerging tech companies and recently promoted three Senior Associates to Associate Partners based upon their performance. Needless to mention the firm intends to expand to Southern Punjab in the coming three years.