Solicitors governing body: Pakistan Bar Council
Competition authority: Competition Commission of Pakistan
Financial regulator: Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan
IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction:
Financial and corporate (published October) – Financial and corporate
The Pakistani legal system is influenced by English common law and is based on a much-amended 1973 constitution in addition to Islamic law. Much of the law and legal structures were preserved from the British colonial system, and the constitution is rooted in the Islamic tradition.
The country is often disturbed by unrest as the proscribed group Pakistani Taliban fights to urge the country to fully embrace its version of Islamic law.
Questions about legitimacy are exacerbated by inefficiency, delays, limited quality of legal training, corruption, and the lack of public credibility suffered by the judiciary, with large case backlogs, corruption, and a lack of resources.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif came to power in 2013 and pledged to legalise the group in an attempt to stop the fighting. He previously tried to introduce shariah (Islamic law) in the late 1990s just before he was toppled in a military coup.
The legal market is dominated by a handful of national firms including Amhurst Brown and Kabraji & Talibyddin that lead the way in corporate and commercial work. However, due to a lack of capacity in the local market, most of the larger, cross-border transactional work is handled from outside the jurisdiction.
Candy Chan - Journalist - Asia-Pacific
Kabraji & Talibuddin specialises in project work.
Notable recent work includes acting as local counsel to Export and Import Bank of China, China Development Bank, SilkRoad Fund and International Finance Corporation on investments in the 720MW Karot hydropower project and advising China Development Bank on investing in the 1124MW Kohala hydropower project.
Key clients include IFC, Goldman Sachs, Asian Development Bank, China Development Bank and K-Electric.
“I found the lawyers I dealt with to be very informed and responsive. They had a thorough knowledge of the subject matter and related regulations and provided their advice in a very clear and concise way. I was very impressed.” – Banking and finance
“Kabraji & Talibuddin are the most responsive, even when providing technically complex advice, and are therefore ideal for complicated or bespoke transactions. They tend to take a more conservative view on issues, but can also be pragmatic where appropriate.” – Banking and finance
“The firm has great strength in delivering advice in relation to commercial law, contracts, regulatory framework and other such related works.” - Project development, Capital markets
RIAA Barker Gillette is known for corporate and commercial work.
A recent notable deal was acting as counsel to National Bank of Pakistan in the financing of a liquified natural gas-based electric generation facility owned by National Power Parks Management Company. The firm also acted as counsel to Etihad Power Generation in the development, financing, construction and maintenance of a 74MW power plant, one of the largest bagasse-based projects in Pakistan.
Key clients include Hub Power Company, IFC, Asian Development Bank, Export and Import Bank of China and HSBC Bank.
“They are well versed in the power sector and have good insight into the legal framework of this sector.” – Capital markets, Banking and finance
“Well focused and competent. Because of overload, scarce availability.” – M&A