RIAA BARKER GILLETTE > Karachi, Pakistan > Firm Profile

D67/1, BLOCK 4

Pakistan > Banking and finance Tier 1

RIAA BARKER GILLETTE is distinguished for representing leading multinational banks, corporations, and developers across a swathe of sectors. The firm boasts full-service capabilities in the banking and finance arena and handles a wide range of financing and security arrangements, including enforcement actions, debt to equity conversions, and syndicated and substantial loan transactions, as well as Islamic modes of financing; one client praises it for its 'in-depth understanding of project financing transactions'. Taking an innovative approach to new financial instruments, the firm has represented high-profile banks and financial institutions, for example the Export-Import Bank of China, Citibank, IFC, ADB, and the World Bank. The team is led by Bilal Shaukat, who has particular expertise in power projects financing and is supported by Ahsan Zahir Rizvi, an expert in statutory enactments and regulatory frameworks. Hasnain Naqvee leverages his corporate knowledge and operates from the Lahore office. Adil Tirmizey is another key practitioner who advises some of Pakistan’s largest banks on multiple local and cross-border deals.

Practice head(s):

Bilal Shaukat


‘The ability of the partners to draft agreements in accordance with the innovative structures of deals and also provide legal guidance on transaction structures is exceptional.’

‘Availability and knowledge of partners as well as team members are impressive. This is a major reason why this firm is our first choice for recent transactions.’

‘The experience of the firm in certain sectoral transactions are major strengths of the firm.’

‘The team has excellent negotiations skills and in-depth understanding of project financing transactions.’

‘Thorough knowledge of security packages agreements, professional understanding, good negotiation skills, and a problem solving approach.’

Key clients

National Bank of Pakistan

Lucky Electric Power Company Limited

Allied Bank Limited

Faysal Bank Limited

United Bank Limited

Askari Bank Limited

Bank Alfalah Limited

The Bank of Punjab

Habib Bank Limited

Meezan Bank Limited

Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for National Bank of Pakistan in the provision of a finance facility of up to PKR65bn for Government Holdings Private Limited in connection with the settlement of the disputes to enable the reconstitution of the Reko Diq Project.
  • Representing a syndicate of banks including the Bank of Punjab in relation to the provision of additional working capital facilities for the 1200mw RLNG based power plant at Jhang.  
  • Advised a syndicate of banks including Habib Bank Limited on the privatisation of two power plants.

Pakistan > Corporate and M&A Tier 1

Full-service firm RIAA BARKER GILLETTE excels at cross-border commercial arrangements handling IP and competition aspects of M&A transactions and is noteworthy in the areas of greenfield and brownfield investments in Pakistan. The team boasts particular expertise in cross-border acquisitions in the healthcare and agricultural sectors. Leveraging its cross-sector expertise, it acts for a diverse range of clients from leading companies to non-profit organizations, led by Karachi-based managing partner Bilal Shaukat who is a noted expert in petroleum and mining industries, and Islamabad-based Yousaf Khosa. Mazhar Bangash and Shafaq Rehman are other key names of note.

Practice head(s):

Bilal Shaukat; Yousaf Khosa; Mazhar Bangash

Other key lawyers:


‘The team of RIAA Barker is solution-oriented. Whatever the issue, the team finds out the most practical solution. Other than this, the team is really cooperative and responsive.’

‘The individuals are really focused on details to each and every assignment, making sure not to miss any detail in the assigned tasks. Moreover, every individual we work with has a comprehensive knowledge of their respective tasks.’

‘The unique part about this practice is that they are willing to provide solutions on the go and respond whenever required. Quick thinking and always willing to provide viable solutions.’

‘We have closely worked with Bilal Shaukat who is really well versed and always provides detailed responses.’

Key clients

Imanami Corporation

Inspire Brands, Inc.

NovaQuest Capital Management L.L.C

Syngenta Pakistan Limited

Bhanero Textile Mills Limited

Bhanero Energy Limited

Pakistan Yarn Merchants Association (PYMA)

All Pakistan Paper Merchants Association

Samuda Chemical Complex Limited

Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories


Hyatt International (Europe Africa Middle East) LLC

Venturedive Technology Services Limited


500 Global

Turbo Systems Verwaltung AG and Turbo Systems Switzerland Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised Syngenta Pakistan Limited in setting up a one-stop locations offering end-to-end solutions to farmers across Pakistan and offer essential products and services.  
  • Assisted Hyatt International LLC, a leading hotel brand engaged the firm to assist Hyatt in setting up a franchise in Pakistan.  

Pakistan > Dispute resolution Tier 1

At the core of its litigation practice, RIAA BARKER GILLETTE adeptly handles complex cases before the Supreme Court, tribunals, and regulatory bodies. With four offices across the country, the firm leverages its expertise and 'profound depth of legal knowledge' to represent clients from a wide range of industries. The team is led by Omer Soomro from the Karachi office, whose particular focus is on energy-related litigation and new power producers. Meanwhile, Islamabad-based practitioner, Yousaf Khosa, is a noted expert in the telecoms, oil and gas, and construction sectors. Mayhar Mustafa Kazi is experienced in both foreign and domestic arbitration and has particular expertise in pre-arbitral determination proceedings, and Mazhar Bangash is another key figure.

Practice head(s):

Omer Soomro


‘Very professional firm, able to provide clear, concise and constructive advice. Proven very astute in formulating overall strategies of engagement.’

‘Advise claimants on whether they have a valid claim, and defendants on whether to settle or fight a claim made against them.’

‘The team is very commercial and responsive, which makes them reliable and easy to use.’

‘Mayhar Mustafa Kazi is a pleasure to worth with. He clearly explains the issues and makes recommendations.’

‘We feel extremely fortunate to receive the services of RIAA Barker Gillette to attend all the legal needs of our company. The team has profound depth of legal knowledge with a strategic agility and superior skills of crafting customised strategies. The firm has, and is, representing us in international arbitration matters before the London Court of International Arbitration and have so far brought positive results.’

Key clients

Naya Jeevan Health Quest (Pvt.) Limited and Docthers (Pvt.) Limited

Sindh Nooriabad Power Company Phase -1 (Pvt.) Ltd

Sindh Nooriabad Power Company Phase – II (Pvt.) Ltd

Star Hydro Power Limited

Siddiqsons Energy Limited

National Transmission and Despatch Commission

Central Power Purchasing Agency

Sino Hydro Corporation Limited

Halliburton Worldwide Limited

McKinsey & Company Pakistan (Private) Limited

Alhaushabi Stevedores (Pvt) Limited

South Asia Pakistan Terminals Limited

RG Pharmaceutical (Pvt.) Ltd.

Pakistan Petroleum Limited

Cargill International Singapore Pte Limited

Grant Thornton Anjum Rahman

Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company

Work highlights

  • Acted for a client in filing a suit seeking to restrain Karachi Port Trust from the encashment of a bank guarantee amounting to USD2m.  
  • Acted for a client in obtaining a rarely granted Mareva injunction to freeze the proceeds of encashment and place them in a separate interest bearing account.
  • Advised a client on the application of competence-competence principle in Pakistan and the arbitrability of allegations of fraud.    

Pakistan > Projects and energy Tier 1

RIAA BARKER GILLETTE has played a leading role in Pakistan’s era-defining projects, namely the development of the first independent power project, international airport, and motorway. Boasting ‘in-depth understanding of the energy sector' the team provides clients with wide ranging advice, including on project structuring, EPC contracts, and shareholder agreements. The practice is headed by Hasnain Naqvee, who brings a wealth of experience in power projects and Pakistan’s private power sector. He is aided by Bilal Shaukat, currently advising the Government of Sindh on public private partnership agreements and the development of Dhabeji Special Economic Zone. They are supported by Ahsan Z Rizvi, who specialises in project development and financing documentation in connection with infrastructure and power projects. Yousaf Khosa is another key litigator and leverages his considerable expertise in the telecommunication, oil and gas, and construction sectors.

Practice head(s):

Hasnain Naqvee


‘RIAA has always fostered a good relationship between clients, in-house counsel, and external lawyers by maintaining a prompt and efficient communication channel and a collaborative relationship to reach better levels of trust.’

‘They have a strong commercial knowledge and in-depth understanding of the energy sector and have drafted and negotiated some crucial energy deals with us.’

‘I recommend working with Bilal Shaukat due to his commercial knowledge and in-depth understanding of the energy sector. Further, what is most appreciable is his prompt responses and availability, regardless of whether he is in the country or not. This immediate accessibility has been key in strengthening my relationship and trust with him as the same is considered pivotal for in-house legal department.’

‘Bilal Shaukat’s positive attitude, work commitment and understanding of the company culture and its business needs has played an important role in maintaining and growing our relation together.’

‘Ability to find out-of-the-box solutions, dispute resolution through amicable settlement, carry good repute amongst the stakeholder, and excellent grip on the subject.’

‘The team is well-educated, coordinated, thorough and focused on the objective.’

‘I have a long working relationship with RIAA Barker Gillette and I unhesitatingly say that this is a par excellence team of professionals who provide high-quality professional services to their clients. I have found them to be solution oriented, very thorough in their approach and team players. RIAABG as one of the best firms in Pakistan to provide high-quality services.’

‘Hasnain Naqvi is one of the finest lawyers and corporate counsellors in Pakistan. He has an excellent ability to unravel complex legal question so as to fit them in the solutions required for their clients.’

Key clients

KOAK Power Limited

Engro Powergen Qadirpur Limited

Engro Energy Limited

Mira Power Limited

Government of Sindh

Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation (Pvt.) Ltd.

Ministry of Information & Broadcasting

China Road and Bridge Corporation

Etihad Power Generation Limited

National Transmission and Despatch Commission

Techno Engineering Services (Private) Limited

Zahir Khan and Brothers

Government of Balochistan

Azad Pattan Power (Private) Limited

S K Hydro (Private) Limited

Nepal Water and Energy Development Company Private Limited

GH2 Industries (Private) Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Nepal Water and Energy Development Company Private Limited in relation to the development of a hydropower project.
  • Assisted China Road and Bridge Corporation, China’s leading state-owned company, in successfully obtaining licenses to distribute and supply electricity in designated territories from the national regulator of electric power.
  • Assisting Techno Engineering Services (Private) Limited with drafting project documents.

Pakistan > Capital markets Tier 3

Experienced in equity capital market transactions, RIAA BARKER GILLETTE is well-positioned to guide its clients through complex legislation. With a full-service capability in capital markets, the offering encompasses bot IPOs and sukuk mandates, amongst other transactions. Bilal Shaukat leads the team, which is also strengthened by London-based partner Ahsan Z Rizvi.

Practice head(s):

Bilal Shaukat

Other key lawyers:

Ahsan Zahir Rizvi

Key clients

Bank of Azad Jammu and Kashmir

Syndicate of banks led by The Bank of Punjab

Crescent Steel and Allied Products Limited


500 Global

Work highlights

  • Assisted the Bank of Azad Jammu and Kashmir with becoming a scheduled commercial bank in Pakistan.
  • Advising Punjab Thermal Power Private Limited as the transaction advisor on the issuance of sukuk certificates to a syndicate of banks.
  • Advised Crescent Steel and Allied Products Limited on the private placement of Shariah compliant securities of redeemable capital.

Pakistan > Labour and employment Tier 3

RIAA BARKER GILLETTE frequently litigates on behalf of employers and is equipped to provide advice on employment contracts, trade union matters, leave entitlements, and other HR issues. The team also specialises in providing nuanced advisory work in emerging labour markets, such as contract-based and outsourced labour for global companies. Karachi-based practitioner Shafaq Rehman leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Shafaq Rehman


‘RIAA Barker makes great effort in understanding their clients whereby coming up with, where required, creative and personalised solutions that address the clients’ needs. Great people to work with.’

‘A diligent team.’

‘What has impressed me the most about this law practice overall is the quality of services they provide to SME clients, which is comparable to the quality they provide to much larger corporate clients. This speaks to their values of equity across clients, independent of revenue.’

Key clients

Velocity Global Holdings LLC

ABS Group of Companies Inc.

Avient Pakistan (Private) Limited

Avient Corporation

Baker & McKenzie

King & Spalding LLP

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Cooley LLP

Remote Pakistan (SMC-Private) Limited

Barrick Gold Corporation

CCL Holding (Private) Limited

Dasu Hydropower Consultants

Chevron Pakistan Lubricants (Private) Limited

South Asia Pakistan Terminals Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Velocity Global Holdings LLC on the legal landscape applicable to its business activities in Pakistan and on the setting up of a subsidiary in Pakistan.
  • Advised Barrick Gold Corporation on all regulatory aspects of employing individuals in a gold mine, which will ultimately employ over 7,000 miners.
  • Advised Avient Pakistan (Private) Limited on its day-to-day legal issues, from representing the client before regulatory authorities to advising on various matters under applicable labour laws.  

Pakistan > Insurance

RIAA BARKER GILLETTE is skilled at handling contentious insurance-related matters for leading energy firms and insurance companies, and Shafaq Rehman leads the team, leveraging her technical expertise in complex cross-jurisdictional transactional matters.

Pakistan > Tax

RIAA BARKER GILLETTE is well-equipped to provide advice on a wide range of tax-related issues that extend to dispute resolution and nuanced regulatory and legislative advice. Karachi-based Mayhar Kazi heads the practice.

The firm: RIAA Barker Gillette (the firm) is Pakistan’s premier law firm, with on the ground presence in five major cities in Pakistan: Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar and Faisalabad. The firm practices in all areas of corporate, commercial and dispute resolution law. Its clients include governmental authorities, public sector entities, multinational corporations, Pakistani conglomerates, international and Pakistani financial institutions and private individuals. The firm is also the exclusive member firm in Pakistan for Lex Mundi, the world’s leading network of independent law firms with in-depth experience in over 100 countries worldwide. As part of the Lex Mundi global network, the firm can provide its clients with access to more than 21,000 lawyers around the world.

With substantial on-the-ground capability and over 35 years of history globally, RIAA Barker Gillette has grown to become a leading international group of firms having offices in seven jurisdictions: Pakistan, USA, UK, UAE, Iran, Afghanistan and China. This global expansion has benefited the firm by allowing it to represent its clients in multiple jurisdictions and broaden the scope of services provided. RIAA Barker Gillette not only provides legal services of the highest standard, but also offers commercial insight to enable its clients to achieve their business goals. The firm is consistently recognised as a Band 1 and Tier 1 law firm.

Main areas of practice
Corporate advisory: The firm provides the full spectrum of corporate legal advisory services to its clients. The firm advises officers and directors on their duties and liabilities and negotiates and drafts all types of agreements. Renowned for the precision and swift delivery of advice, the firm focuses on results and devising best possible commercial solutions, and regularly advises on complex business and financing transactions and provides general counsel services on a range of issues. 

Banking and finance: The firm maintains a leading banking and finance practice, and is regularly involved in major local and cross-border financing. Over the past 35 years, the firm’s partners have worked with over 80 different multinational, domestic and Islamic banks and financial institutions (including Citibank, World Bank, IFC, ADB, EXIM Bank and China EXIM Bank) and has comprehensive understanding of financing and security arrangements (including enforcement), debt to equity conversions and syndicated and substantial loan transactions.

Projects and project finance: The firm has an unrivalled track record as Pakistan’s leading projects and energy firm and has been involved in approximately 90% of all power project transactions in Pakistan to-date. The firm has long dominated the project finance market in Pakistan and handles all aspects of local and cross-border project financing. The firm advises sponsors, developers and lenders of projects and handles banking and capital market financings, as well as projects that combine different forms of complex financing models. The firm’s partners are valued for their technical know-how, innovativeness and negotiating ability. The firm also represents clients in negotiations with various regulatory authorities.

 Mergers and acquisitions: The firm has worked on some of the most complex mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and corporate reorganisations in Pakistan and the UAE and its lawyers have ranked as top advisors in handling the highest number and dollar volume of deals. Acting for inter alia large corporations, investment funds and private equity firms, the firm’s services cover the full spectrum of negotiated and contested mergers and acquisitions. The firm also has a strong record advising on takeover bids and shareholder contests.

Trade remedies and international trade: The firm provides expert legal services in the area of international and local trade remedy laws. The firm represents clients in the Superior Courts of Pakistan regarding trade law. As part of its services, it partners up with the international trade law department in order to handle litigation matters and provide clients with the best possible solutions.

The team has carried out numerous investigations under Pakistan’s anti-dumping, countervailing and safeguard laws, structured international business transactions, effectively utilised international trade agreements and availed incentives for exports and protection through tariffs within the allowed parameters of the multilateral trading system.

Dispute resolution: Dispute resolution is part of the very core of the firm’s litigation practice. The variety of dispute resolution matters on which the firm is instructed in various Courts, Tribunals, regulatory bodies and arbitral tribunals, their complexity and the track record of practitioners at the firm sets it apart from most, if not all, the other major law firms in Pakistan.

The firm is the only law firm in Pakistan to have full-fledged resident litigation practices in four offices in Pakistan. At present, former partners of the firm are serving justices of the Supreme Court and of the Lahore and Peshawar High Courts. This is a testament to the high regard in which members of the firm are held by the senior judiciary.

The firm handles all forms of civil, commercial and corporate litigation and has extensive experience in the same. The firm’s arbitration experience includes a range of domestic and international proceedings and it is also adept at alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.

Department Name Email Telephone
Dispute Resolution Yousaf Khosa yousaf.khosa@riaabg.com +92 (51) 111529937
Capital Markets, Corporate, Commercial, Banking & Finance, Mergers & Acquisitions Bilal Shaukat bilal.shaukat@riaabg.com +92 (21) 111529937
Trade Remedies & International Trade Mazhar Bangash mazhar.bangash@riaabg.com +92 (51) 111529937
Projects & Project Finance Hasnain Naqvee hasnain.naqvee@riaabg.com +92 (42) 111529937
Photo Name Position Profile
Ahsan Zahir Rizvi photo Mr Ahsan Zahir Rizvi Senior and Managing Partner Top-ranked by leading legal directories, Ahsan Zahir Rizvi…
Bilal Shaukat photo Mr Bilal Shaukat Partner Recommended as a leading lawyer by prestigious legal directories, Bilal Shaukat…
Number of partners : 11
Number of lawyers : 42
Lex Mundi

RIAA Barker Gillette is Pakistan’s premier law firm, with on the ground presence in four major cities in Pakistan: Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, and Peshawar. The firm practices in all areas of corporate, commercial and dispute resolution law. Its clients include multinational corporations, Pakistani conglomerates, governmental agencies, public sector entities, international and Pakistani financial institutions and private individuals. The firm is the exclusive member firm in Pakistan for Lex Mundi, the world’s leading network of independent law firms with in-depth experience in over 100 countries worldwide.

With substantial on-the-ground capability and over 35 years of history globally, RIAA Barker Gillette has grown to become a leading international group of firms having of offices in seven jurisdictions: Pakistan, USA, UK, UAE, Iran, Afghanistan and China. The global expansion has benefitted the firm by allowing it to represent its clients in multiple jurisdictions and broaden the scope of services provided. RIAA Barker Gillette not only provides legal services of the highest standard, but also offers commercial insights to enable clients to achieve their business goals. The firm is consistently recognised as a band 1 and tier 1 law firm.

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing Partner Bilal Shaukat bilal.shaukat@riaabg.com +92 (21) 111529937
Partner Mayhar Mustafa Kazi mayhar.kazi@riaabg.com +92 (21) 111529937
Number of Partners : 12
Number of Lawyers : 50
Lex Mundi

RIAA Barker Gillette has a team of forty-four lawyers based in four cities across Pakistan. Our lawyers have diverse academic paths and cultural backgrounds, and are fluent in various languages including English, Urdu, Sindhi, Punjabi and Pashto.

The firm currently has fourteen female lawyers and thirty male lawyers. We are committed to increasing the number of women at the firm, especially in senior roles; as a result of the promotions awarded and individuals appointed in 2018, the firm now has two female partners and a female associate partner.

The firm routinely engages in pro-bono endeavours. The firm recently advised Ayesha Chundrigar Foundation, on a pro bono basis, in relation to its collaboration with an education institute to begin a community empowerment project in an underprivileged locality of Karachi. The said project focuses on providing children with basic educational needs and engaging with the local community to empower and enhance their capabilities to make a living to ensure a better quality of life. The firm also assists Injaz Pakistan in complying with corporate procedures on a pro bono basis. Injaz Pakistan is a non-profit organisation, and partners with local as well as the international business community, corporate volunteers and educators to inspire and prepare the underserved young people with special emphasis towards women empowerment to succeed in the global economy.

The firm also welcomes opportunities to assist clients in responsible projects which further economic and social development in Pakistan. The firm’s repertoire of clients consists of various renewable power producers, which are developing projects to combat the power shortage in Pakistan. The firm has significant experience in advising wind and solar power producers on applicable regulatory frameworks, and drafting and negotiating relevant contracts for such power projects. The firm is also assisting the Government of Sindh in developing the K-IV Water Project. The K-IV Water Project is a municipal infrastructure project being jointly developed by the provincial and federal governments in Karachi, Pakistan, to augment the city’s daily water supply. Furthermore, the firm is assisting the Government of Sindh in developing the Dhabeji Special Economic Zone under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor. The Dhabeji Special Economic Zone is being developed as a model for cooperation between Pakistan and China. Additionally, the firm also advised British Council on its operations in Pakistan, which further the cultural and educational cooperation between the United Kingdom and Pakistan, and the development of a wider knowledge of the United Kingdom and the English Language.

CLIENT: Shaharyar Nashat

COMPANY/FIRM: The Hub Power Company Ltd.

TESTIMONIAL: As a client, with considerable experience in the power industry, our expectations (when working with external counsel) are quite high in terms of quality and turnaround time. RIAA Barker Gillette has always managed to effectively harness their team’s knowledge and expertise and deliver a level of service that exceeds client expectations. The firm listens, considers and makes convincing recommendations and that get right to the crux of the matter. The manner in which ‘round-the-clock’ support is provided ensures transactions are completed within tight deadlines speaks volumes of the professionalism and the value they add to matters they are engaged in.

CLIENT: Joy Choynowska

COMPANY/FIRM: Chevron Pakistan Lubricants (Private) Limited

TESTIMONIAL: We have worked with RIAA Barker Gillette for many years on a number of matters, including regulatory issues, labor, general corporate, competition law, and tax matters. Mayhar Kazi is our primary contact, and he has shown himself to be committed to supporting our business as it grows in size and reach, providing excellent multi-discipline advice. We have found high-quality lawyers across disciplines, who are able to balance the requirement for technically sound advice while also being practical and solution-orientated.

CLIENT: Khurram Abdullah

COMPANY/FIRM: ThalNova Power Thar (Private) Limited

TESTIMONIAL: We are incredibly thankful to RIAA Barker Gillette for the services rendered to our company. It has been a pleasure working with the firm members at Karachi and Islamabad offices. We appreciate dedication and the professionalism demonstrated during negotiation of project agreements which were key for our power project to develop smoothly.

We have developed a great partnership with the firm and hope to have their continued commitment going forward. I would specially like to thank Mr. Bilal Shaukat for his able leadership and guidance to his team in providing us services from time to time.

CLIENT: Mujtaba Rahim

COMPANY/FIRM: Archroma Pakistan Limited

TESTIMONIAL: Although RIAA Barker Gillette has represented our company in a broad spectrum of matters, currently, the firm is representing the company in a matter pertaining to environmental law, as well as assisting us in seeking remedies in relation to embezzlement of funds by an ex-employee of the company. We have sought advice multifarious in nature and nuanced legal issues have consistently been explained lucidly.

The team of litigators at the firm are diligent, thorough and accessible. In particular, Mr. Omer Soomro has always exceeded our expectations and we feel we are in safe hands with him as our legal counsel.

CLIENT: Saira Soomro

COMPANY/FIRM: South Asia Port Terminals

TESTIMONIAL: The firm has consistently advised us on the negotiation, execution and implementation of key agreements relating to the development of our deep see container port terminal. Mr. Bilal Shaukat and Ms. Shafaq Rehman have consistently provided comprehensive and timely advice and are always accessible and responsive. Ms. Shafaq Rehman was a strong negotiator in her dealings with the financiers and their legal counsels over the finalisation of project finance documents. The Firm is also currently representing the company in a labour dispute before the provincial labour court. Mr. Omer Soomro provided thorough and well-researched advice to explain the strategy we should adopt going forward.