An unrivalled Practice
Our unique position in the legal market allows us to work on issues that help shape – and influence – Pakistan’s political, economic and business landscapes.
- Aerospace, Defence & National Security
- Banking & Finance
- Chemicals & Petrochemicals
- Retail & Consumer Goods
- Food, Drugs, Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals
- Philanthropy & Not-For-Profit
- Public Int’l Law, Sovereign Advisory & Sanctions Law
- Sports Law
- Civil Litigation: Family Law & Custody
- Legislative Drafting
Aerospace, Defence & National SecurityOur team continues to advice some of the most important bodies responsible for the country’s national security on a broad range of issues ranging from the sale of defence equipment, licensing of technologies, registration of patents to employment restrictions, confidentiality and matters involving use of force, cross-border acts of terrorism, international sanctions, financial regulation and public international law. Within the team, Ahmer Bilal Soofi is consulted on a range of bilateral issues including Siachen, Sir Creek and Kashmir back-channel negotiations, Durand Line border, Afghan refugee issues and Line of Control (LOC) issues, the Mumbai Trial and such other incidents involving public international law. He has also been summoned as an expert witness in the past by the Special Commission on Osama Bin Laden and as an amicus by the Chief Justice Lahore High Court on interpretation of UNSC Resolutions. Domestically, the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Authority, the Strategic Division, the Pakistan Ordinance Factory and the Heavy Industries Taxila along with similar bodies created under the umbrella of defence and strategic organisations are some of the major institutional clients that the firm advises on contentious as well as non-contentious matters. The breadth of our experience in this sector extends to the aviation and space industry. In advising the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the regulator of Pakistan’s airspace, our team is on top of the current legal developments taking place in the aviation industry with respect to both regulatory and commercial matters. Likewise, our team also advises Pakistan’s premier space agency, The Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), and has just recently provided transaction advisory services pertaining to the acquisition and launch of space assets including drafting, negotiating and executing project contracts.
Banking & Finance
Our team represents public and private banks, leasing and insurance companies and other such non-banking financial and microfinance institutions on a range of contentious and non-contentious matters. This includes advising lenders as well as borrowers on structuring and executing financing arrangements, restructuring of finance, conducting due diligence, reviewing and inspecting securities and where the matter ends in court, initiating recovery or bankruptcy proceedings. Habib Bank AG Zurich, National Bank of Pakistan, Habib Bank Limited, Askari Bank, MCB Bank, Commercial Union Insurance Company, Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company, Saudi Pak Industrial and Agricultural Investment Company, LTV Leasing Corporation, PICL Leasing Company, Pacific Leasing, Inter Asia Leasing Co, Al-Zamin Leasing and First Leasing Corporation are some of the leadings banks and NBFCs that we have worked for.
Our banking and finance team also advises on corporate finance, leveraged finance, public and private placement of shares and other modes of financing business activities. In the past, we have paired lawyers from our corporate and commercial and dispute resolution practice to advise business conglomerates such as the Deewan Group on restructuring their liabilities for revival of business operations.
Chemicals & Petrochemicals
Given OPCW's increasing oversight and Pakistan being a party to the Chemical Weapons Convention, the chemical industry is subject to unprecedented levels of regulation and control by the government. Many of the laws that regulate the use, sale, production, transport and movement of chemicals have either been drafted by our lawyers or have been framed keeping in view the advice and opinion given by our team.
Our team is therefore very well positioned to help chemical companies navigate through the complex legal and regulatory landscape governing the sector. Some of the biggest players in the market including Sitara Chemicals, Ettihad Chemicals approach ABS & Co. for advice on dealing with regulatory and compliance matters.
Retail & Consumer Goods
We represent many of the world's best-known consumer brands and retailers, operating across the sector, including food and beverage companies, hotels and restaurants, developers, investors, and producers.
Our extremely talented retail and consumer goods group represents clients across the country on a range of contentious and non-contentious matters.
We advised Punjab Beverages, the bottlers for Pepsi, in Faisalabad with respect to negotiations and contractual arrangements with Italian and US equipment manufacturers. We were also the project counsels for McDonalds, Pizza Hut and KFC when these brands first entered the Pakistani market and our team advised the sponsors on bringing in foreign investment, signing franchise agreements, purchased land, developing restaurants, and obtaining the requisite regulatory approvals.
We continue to represent some of these brands and our advice covers the full range of national retail and consumer legal issues including intellectual property and brand protection, marketing and advertisements, food and quality standards, health and safety regulation, consumer finance, corporate transactions, commercial agreements, franchising, logistics, licensing, employment, production regulation, consumer product litigation, foreign investment, export/import and real estate transactions.
Philanthropy & Not-For-Profit
We operate a multidisciplinary practice for NGOs comprised of our lawyers across different practice areas with specialized experience, allowing us to provide legal advice on both domestic and cross-border issues tailored to meet the individual needs of each client.
Our experience relevant to this sector spans a broad spectrum of practice areas and disciplines, including litigation, contracting, regulatory compliances, registration, tax exemptions, labor and employment, corporate and commercial such as funding and repatriation of expenses.
We have advised the International Committee of the Red Cross on foreign funding, MercyCorps on repatriation of expenses under the foreign exchange regulations, WWF Pakistan, The Citizen's Foundation, Inventure and Save the Children on other allied matters.
ProcurementFrom large aerospace and defense contractors to growing government departments and state-owned entities (SOEs), we help clients solve problems and secure opportunities. ABS & Co. regularly counsels clients on both sides of the procurement divide. Matters on which our lawyers regularly counsel includes preparation of bidding documents, drafting RFPs, structuring contractual arrangements, negotiations, compliance and dealing with post-execution matters. and reviewing the bidding process for ensuring compliance with procurement law at both federal as well as provincial levels. Our team recently advised Pakistan Railway on a multi-million dollar procurement contract with GE Electric and helped them navigate through the subsequent merger of GE and Webtech in the United States by ensuring that any such change in the parties did not result in a breach of Pakistan’s procurement law. We are often called upon by clients to conduct internal investigations of possible procurement-related violations. For instance, we conducted a legal review of the bidding process followed by TransPeshawar for the Procurement of BRT System Control Goods and Services for Peshawar Sustainable Bus Rapid Transit Corridor Project, and assessed the high-level areas of concern in light of the applicable legislative framework governing public procurements in Pakistan. Similarly, we were engaged to conduct a legal audit of the Consultancy Services Contract between Punjab Saaf Paani Company North and Urban Unit which included verifying invoices and assessing the quantum of amount payable as per the stipulated deliverables. We also have extensive experience in the prosecution and defense of contract award litigation. We have appeared before grievance committees formed under PPRA law, administrative tribunals and High Courts. Similarly, our team has a lot of experience in representing major defense, healthcare and other government contractors in criminal and civil proceedings relating to the performance of contracts. Clients include Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department, Punjab Skills Development Fund, Punjab Population Innovation Fund and WASA.
Our lawyers have extensive experience in contentious and non-contentious matters regarding the professional sports industry. We have helped our clients negotiate media rights contracts, sponsorship agreements, series agreements and other related issues.
We understand the specific legal needs of those involved in sports and are able to draw from the broad knowledge base and deep experience of our team to meet those needs. We regularly advise the Pakistan Hockey Federation, the Pakistan Tennis Federation and the Pakistan Rugby League. We have previously also advised the Pakistan Cricket Board on restructuring its domestic cricket structure.
Some of our key highlights include:
- Pakistan Tennis Federation in Pakistan vs. Newzealand before ITF Appellate Tribunal, Paris
- Pakistan Squash Federation in arbitration proceedings before World Squash Federation
- McDonalds in its sponsorship and media agreement with Peshawar Zalmi
- Pakistan Rugby League on registration and development of a sports league
- Jehangir Khan, ex-President Int'l Squash Federation, on a range of issues
- Pakistan Cricket Board on restructuring the domestic cricket structure
Civil Litigation: Family Law & Custody
ABS & Co. is one of the only law firms specialising in custody of children particularly related to cross-border issues where the child is removed from his residential jurisdiction by one of the parents leading to trans-national legal battle.
The team has advised parties abroad in restoring children to their residential jurisdiction. Our lawyers have appeared as expert witnesses in highly contested matters in US courts and have also appeared in numerous cases relating to obtaining custody of the removed child both in courts of original jurisdiction in Pakistan as well as in the appellate courts where interpretation of Guardian & Wards Act is to be reconciled with international practices.
Our Senior Partner in his capacity as the Federal Law Minister in 2013 initiated ratification of the Hague Convention on child custody. This has been followed up by extensive efforts and series of workshops conducted by Majid Bashir on pro bono basis for the ratification of the said convention. Currently, our team is extending necessary support to the Federal Ministry for designating a central authority to install the required administrative framework. The team has arrangements with several law firms in England and the United States that work in this area. The firm also advices foreign missions in Islamabad on their queries relating to child custody matters.
Our broad experience in legislative drafting spans the entire breadth of our diverse practice and is a testament of the firm’s market-leading status in the country. There is a reason why the government turns to our team when it comes to legislating on the most complex and convoluted legal, social, financial or economic issues facing the country.
Some of our key highlights include:
- Preparatory research for drafting of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution for deletion of items from the Concurrent Legislative List
- Assistance in drafting the Legislative Rules of Council of Common Interest (CCI)
- Assistance in preparing framework for National Command Authority Act, 2007
- Drafting of Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention Implementation Bill
- Assistance in preparing of Export Control (Licensing and Enforcement) Rules
- Drafting of Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Rules
- Assistance in drafting Federal Board of Revenue Act including the Internal Job Posting Rules, the IJP Appeal Rules, the Human Resource Policy Implementation Rules, the Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS) Rules, Cabinet Committee procedural Rules, the Integrity Assessment Criteria Rules, Notifications (Establishment Division) related to employees, Golden Handshake Scheme Package, the Performance System Maintenance Rules, the Foundation Establishing Rules, the Foundation Internal Working Regulations, the Code of Conduct for Employees, Rules for Commencing of Inquiry and Investigation into Tax Fraud
- Input in Drafting of Anti Money Laundering Act, 2010 (AML) to the Ministry of Finance
- Assistance in drafting CAA Service Regulations including Recruitment/ Selection Terms and conditions, Appointment, Probation, Confirmation, Seniority, Promotion, Posting and transfers, Termination, Retirement, Gratuity, Provident Fund Benevolent Fund and Group insurance, Leave, Medical Benefits, Internal Job Posting; Code of Conduct; Efficiency and Discipline; Right to appeal and representation; and draft scheme for Voluntary Separation
- Input in Investigation of Fair Trial Act, 2011
- Input in FATA/ PATA Action in Aid of Civil Powers Regulations, 2011
- Proposed Draft of Improvised Explosive Devices Act
- Proposed Amendments in various laws related to criminal justice system including the Pakistan Penal Code, the Police Order, the Anti-Terrorism Act; and UN Act, 1948
- Proposed draft of Shaikh Zayed Medical Institute (Administration & Control), Act
- Proposed draft of KPK Probation of Offender Act and rules thereunder
- Drafting of Pakistan Officer Defense Authority Town Planning and Building Control Rules