Corporate, Banking and Contractual Litigation Services:
The Firm has extensive experience in litigating a wide variety of corporate, banking and contractual issues. The Firm has filed and defended cases relating to the rights of minority shareholders. The Firm handled a large number of cases filed by the liquidators of BCCI against a local company. The Firm has also acted for the Privatisation Commission in a number of cases of failed privatisations. Members of the Firm have acted in a wide variety of contractual disputes, including cases ranging from disputes arising out of construction contracts in mega-infrastructure projects to the cancellation of bottling licenses granted by an international manufacturer of concentrates for local manufacture of carbonated beverages.
The Firm has acted in numerous cases filed by and against financial institutions under the various recovery laws of Pakistan. This area of expertise was recognised by the Lahore High Court which appointed one of the partners of the Firm as an amicus curiae in a case challenging the constitutionality of certain provisions in the Financial Institutions (Recovery of Finances) Ordinance, 2001. The Firm is currently acting for Standard Chartered Bank and Soneri Bank Limited in various recovery suits. The Firm is acting for Soneri Bank Limited in defending challenges to the 2001 banking recovery law made in light of the recent amendments to the Constitution. The Firm has advised the National Bank of Pakistan in various matters. In addition, it is representing various borrowers in recovery suits filed by various banks, including MCB Bank Limited, National Bank of Pakistan, Habib Bank Limited and Bank Alfalah Limited. The Firm has also acted for borrowers in suits for damages and/or rendition of accounts against banks.
At present, cases of note in which the Firm is involved include the following:
- acting for Al Meezan Investment Company Limited and Meezan Bank Limited at the trial stage and before the High Court in appeal in respect of a multiparty high value dispute arising out of investments in WAPDA Sukuk bonds and subsequent fraudulent transfers of Sukuks on the Central Depository system.
- acting on behalf of Samsung Gulf Electronic FZE in defending a suit filed by Digital World Pakistan regarding the termination of a licensing arrangement;
- acting on behalf of ARY Communications Ltd. in seeking injunctive relief against employees working for competitors in breach of their employment agreements;
- acting on behalf of a group of former employees of Pakistan International Airlines seeking due compensation owed to them under the terms of their retirement order;
- acting on behalf of an entertainment company seeking specific enforcement of an agreement to lease regarding property designated for the operation of a cinema;
- acting on behalf of certain LPG marketing companies in cases where they have challenged penalties imposed on them for defaults of their distributors (the marketing companies are claiming that the principle of vicarious liability is inapplicable to such quasi-criminal matters).
The Firm has also handled cases involving both corporate and personal insolvency. Again, the expertise of the Firm in this area was recognised by the Banking Law Review Committee of the State Bank of Pakistan which engaged one of the Firm’s partners to serve as the primary draftsman in preparing a revised corporate insolvency regime based largely on the provisions of Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. One of the partners of the Firm also presented a paper in this regard at the Forum of Asian Insolvency Reform at Bangkok in December 2002.
The Firm acts as retained counsel to various leading companies and advises on a broad range of corporate issues. Members of the Firm have experience in drafting agreements such as Joint Venture Agreements, Shareholders Agreements, Share Purchase Agreements, Franchise Agreements, Asset Purchase Agreements, Buyer Agency Agreements, Distribution Agreements, Construction Contracts, Venture Capital and Private Equity Fund Formation Documentation and Banking Documentation.
The Firm has acted for: (i) a Dubai based joint venture in setting up hotels in the Punjab and Sindh; (ii) a renowned Pakistani fashion designer in setting up a joint venture for the GCC region with a Dubai based investment group; (iii) a French transport consultant advising on the establishment of a rapid mass transit system; (iv) a local financial services firm in setting up a joint venture in the Dubai International Financial Centre, with funding being provided by a Gulf-based financing group; (v) a local sponsor in negotiating a multi-billion rupee real estate project in Pakistan with a leading developer from the Middle East; (vi) a local sponsor in establishing a multi-million dollar project in the cinema sector; (vii) a Dubai based telecommunications company in establishing and marketing telecom services throughout Pakistan; (viii) a Dubai based media company in developing a television cable service in Pakistan; (ix) a US based marketing company in acquiring and marketing a leading local fashion label; (x) the owner of a major power generation plant in negotiating and settling the contracts for increasing the capacity of the plant; (xi) a local manufacturing and retailing company in establishing franchised outlets across Pakistan; (xii) a Dubai based media company in entering into a joint venture for acquiring worldwide broadcasting rights for sporting events; (xiii) a local joint venture working with a leading French supplier in establishing a pilot parking meter system; (xiv) a local agricultural research company regarding joint ventures with foreign collaborators for the development of new seed varieties; (xv) the Government of the Punjab regarding two separate joint ventures for the introduction and development of proprietary seed varieties in Pakistan, and in the execution of a tractor subsidy scheme; and (xvi) a firm of international architects and property developers in establishing an apartment building involving a novel trust structure for securing the rights of the apartment owners, particularly in enforcing the appropriate use of the common facilities. The Firm has advised clients from a broad range of industries and sectors, including banks, venture capital and private equity funds, power generation companies, software houses, ISPs, textile mills, cement plants, sugar mills, and governmental organisations.
The Firm regularly advises clients with respect to general corporate, domestic and foreign investment, banking as well as intellectual property issues. The Firm routinely handles employment and labour-related issues on behalf of clients. This includes structuring employment contracts so as to maximise the chances of employee retention, and advice on general labour regulation issues. The Firm has also advised prospective employers on the enforcement of trade-restrictive employment clauses in the contracts of individuals formerly employed by other members of the same industry. In addition, the Firm advises and handles competition related issues on behalf of its clients.