Ahmer Bilal Soofi

Managing Partner | Islamabad

  • ahmersoofi@absco.pk
  • +92 300 859 1589 (Sec.)

Ahmer is the Senior Managing Partner of the firm and the head of its dispute resolution practice. As an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, he divides his time between the firm’s offices in Lahore and Islamabad.

He has more than thirty years of experience in representing the federal and provincial governments, ministerial departments, regulatory bodies, financial institutions, listed and unlisted companies, high-net individuals including prince(s) and other foreign sovereigns on a broad range of contentious matters that include commercial, constitutional, tax, employment, trade, energy and other investment disputes.

He has been consistently ranked as one of the Leading Individuals in Dispute Resolution by Chambers and Legal 500. He is “highlighted for his long-standing experience in advising on public law, as well as international arbitrations” and is praised for being a “true professional with legal acumen and strength in drafting.

He served as the Federal Minister for Law, Justice & Parliamentary Affairs during the caretaker setup in 2013 under whose watch Pakistan completed its first transition of civilian rule from one elected government to another. He is a Member of the Panel of Eminent Persons of OIC and has served as the Chairman of the UN Advisory Committee on Human Rights in Geneva. He regularly advises the government on international treaties, international sanctions, UNSC Resolutions, BITs and other bilateral and multilateral issues related to public international law and is frequently invited to deliver talks at the National Defense College Islamabad, Command and Staff College Quetta, National Management College Lahore, Naval War College Lahore and several other institutes. He has previously been invited for delivering similar lectures at International Development Law Organization Rome, Regional Centre for Strategic Studies, Sri Lanka, Shanghai University China, Fletcher School USA, Royal United Services Institute, London and Harvard Law School, USA.

  • Islamic Republic of Pakistan as co-agent before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in RMI vs. Pakistan
  • Government of Balochistan and Pakistan in the $11.43 billion Reko Diq arbitration arising out of a mining dispute with TCC before ICSID and ICC
  • OMV Maurice Energy Limited in a contractual dispute arising out of petroleum concession agreement against Zaver Petroleum Corporation Limited and Sadruddin Hashwani before the ICC
  • TAG Engineering & Contracting Company W.L.L in bringing a claim against Public Works Authority, Qatar (Ashghal) for QR 90 million under the OIC Investment Treaty
  • A major European car importer in bringing a potential claim against its principal under the DIFC-LCIA Rules
  • UEC (Pvt) Limited in a contractual dispute with Yokogawa in a Request for Arbitration under the Japanese Commercial Arbitration Association (JCAA) and subsequent mediation under CEDR rules for a total value of USD 15,000,000
  • Pakistan Ordnance Factory on enforcing a judgment in Italy against PIC against supply, installation and commissioning of a Sulphuric Acid Concentration Plant for a total value of Euros 58,000,000

  • Interactive E-Solutions JLT & Diallog Broadband (Private) Limited in a $14,500,000 dispute for rejection of satellite license by O3B Networks Limited
  • Siddiqsons Tinplate Limited against the National Tariff Commission’s imposition of anti-dumping duty on imports from China
  • Fizza Developers in a PKR 2.5 billion arbitral dispute for the construction of a hotel in Islamabad conducted under the Arbitration Act, 1940
  • Mughals Pakistan in a construction dispute against EOBI for a total value of PKR 900 million conducted under the Arbitration Act, 1940
  • Zealcon Engineering in a major commercial arbitration against SNGPL in a dispute arising out of a construction contract
  • Constructors Association of Pakistan against the Pakistan Engineering Council before the Islamabad High Court
  • Habib Bank Limited in recover proceedings for the default of more than PKR 300 million against a major rice producer
  • Porsche Pakistan in a major dispute amongst shareholders regarding the grant of agency and its subsequent termination and transfer

  • Government of Pakistan against A.Q. Khan regarding his detention following allegations of nuclear proliferation
  • Pakistan Vanaspati Manufacturers Association against the Punjab Food Authority and Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority in respect of a dispute following the passage of the 18th Amednment
  • Higher Education Commission of Pakistan in the Supreme Court in a constitutional issue regarding the vires of provincial HECs after devolution under 18th Amendment
  • Senator Sadia Abbasi, sister of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister, in an election disqualification case before the Supreme Court of Pakistan
  • Sumaira Malik, member of Parliament, in an election disqualification case before the Supreme Court of Pakistan
  • Federal Government against a challenge to the construction of the mixed-use Fortress Square Mall in Lahore
  • Tariq Shafi in the landmark Pakistan Steel Millscase where its proposed privatization was successfully challenged and struck down by the Supreme Court

  • Motorway Operation and Rehabilitation Engineering (Pvt) Limited for wrongful imposition of income tax due to misinterpretation of law in PKR 3.1 billion matter
  • All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) in challenging various surcharges and duties in relation to electricity and gas for before the Lahore High Court and Islamabad High Court
  • Federal Board of Revenue against BP Pakistan Exploration & Production and M/s Occidental Oil & Gas Pakistan LLC in the Islamabad High Court
  • Porsche Pakistan in challenging the levy and imposition of regulatory duty on the import of new cars before the Lahore High Court
  • Pakistan Customs in several customs references before the Lahore High Court regarding the import and evaluation of custom duties on imported goods

  • Appointed amicus curiae by the Supreme Court to assist it in the matter of extraditing Hussain Haqqani (former ambassador of Pakistan to the United States)
  • Appointed amicus curiae by the Islamabad High Court to assist it with respect to domestic and international implications of the Transfer of Offenders Ordinance, 2002

  • Special Envoy to Prime Minister of Pakistan on Int’l Convention on Defamation of Religions (2019 - present)
  • Board of Investment (BOI), Member Board (2019 - present)
  • World Wild Life Fund Pakistan, President (2017 - present)
  • UN Advisory Committee on Human Rights, Chairman (2016)
  • Federal Minister for Law, Justice & Parliamentary Affairs, Government of Pakistan (2013)
  • Organization of Islamic Countries , Member of Panel of Eminent Persons
  • National Accountability Bureau, Assistant Prosecutor General (1999)

  • Soofi, Ahmer Bilal (2019). ‘Pakistan’ in Saul, Ben (ed.) Oxford Handbook of International Law in Asia and the Pacific,  Oxford (2019 - forthcoming)
  • Soofi, Ahmer Bilal (ed.) Nuclear Law, Book Home (2017).
  • Soofi, Ahmer Bilal (ed.) UN Law on Terrorism, Book Home (2016).
  • Soofi, Ahmer Bilal (2014). ‘Legal Challenges to Military Operations in Pakistan: The Case of the Federally and Provincially Administered Tribal Areas', in Yusuf, Moeed (ed.) Pakistan's Counterterrorism Challenge, Georgetown University Press.

Areas of FOCUS

  • Int'l Commercial Arbitration
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Constitutional Litigation
  • Public & Private Int'l Law
  • Int'l Sanctions Law & Regulatory Compliance
  • Sovereign Advisory
  • Legislative Drafting

EDUCATION

  • LL.M., University of Cambridge
  • LL.B., Punjab

ADMISSIONS

  • Foreign Qualified Lawyer, UK
  • Supreme Court of Pakistan
  • High Courts of Pakistan