This firm is also ranked in:Global 2021
This content is provided by Akhtar Imam & Associates.
Senior Partner: Akhtar Imam
Managing Partner: Rashna Imam
Partner: Reshad Imam
Number of Partners: 3
Number of non-partners: 11
Languages: English, Bengali and Hindi
Founded in 1980, Akhtar Imam & Associates is one of the leading, full-service law firms in Bangladesh. Akhtar Imam, the founder and Senior Partner, is a Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court and regarded as one of the best legal minds in Bangladesh. The firm is best known for its expertise in company and commercial law, litigation, commercial arbitration, foreign investment, labour and employment, banking, finance and securities laws. The firm's clients' benefit from its extensive networks created and industry knowledge acquired over 40 years. The partners have led landmark constitutional law and company law cases and advised on multi-million-dollar M&As. They regularly drive law and policy reform through public interest litigation, advocacy and engagement with stakeholders at all levels of the Government, NGOs and private sector.
Main Areas of Practice:
The firm advises companies on advertising laws, focusing on tobacco products and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG). Recently, it advised Marico Bangladesh Limited, which is among the top three FMCG MNCs in Bangladesh, on advertising laws and consumer offers. It advised British American Tobacco Bangladesh on permissible scope of trade promotional activities.
Anti-Corruption & Bribery:
The firm regularly advises companies on anti-bribery laws in Bangladesh, including gifts, entertainment, hospitality, potential consequences of violations, etc. It advised Visa on the consistency of its internal anti-bribery policy with the laws of Bangladesh.
The firm regularly handles complex commercial arbitrations, domestic and international, under, among others, the ICC, IATA, UNCITRAL, GAFTA and FOSFA Rules and the Arbitration Act 2001 (Bangladesh). Its lawyers act as both counsel and arbitrator. It has extensive experience in handling litigation arising out of arbitration (for interim relief, enforcement of arbitral award, setting aside of arbitral awards and appointment of arbitrators). It is currently representing the GSA of Gulf Air in enforcement proceedings filed by Gulf Air to enforce an ICC award.
Banking, Finance, Microfinance and Securities:
The firm specialises in bank loan and security documentation, loan syndication, restructuring, dishonor of cheque and broad spectrum of banking litigation. It has extensive regulatory experience on payment systems regulations, mobile financial services, money laundering and terrorist financing prevention laws. It provides strategic guidance to leading financial institutions through board membership. It recently advised an entity of Visa Inc. on payment systems and mobile financial services and DFID, Bangladesh on the legal framework for establishment of a Credit Information Bureau for Microfinance in Bangladesh. The Partners regularly represent the Bangladesh Bank and Pubali Bank before the Supreme Court.
Corporate and Commercial:
The firm specialises in M&A (domestic and crossborder), JVs, re-structuring, corporate taxation, capitalising businesses through debt and equity transactions, corporate governance, shareholder agreements, commercial contracts, company incorporation and company secretarial services. Its lawyers are leading experts on all aspects of company litigation: amendment of objects clauses, winding up, shareholder-management disputes, minority protection, rectification of share register, reduction of share capital and sanction of mergers. It recently advised Marico Bangladesh Limited on the implications of the latest amendment of the Companies Act 1994 and the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) on reform of the Companies Act 1994.
The firm regularly advises private educational institutions including leading English medium schools on appropriate legal structure, registration, licensing, regulatory compliance, management disputes, day-to-day management issues, employment contracts, etc. It has successfully challenged the Government’s decision to shut down Lakehead Grammar School in judicial review proceedings before the Supreme Court.
The firm specialises in advising foreign companies on foreign exchange control, regulatory and tax matters, company formation, establishment and closure of branch, liaison and representative offices, registered office and directorial services, VAT, TIN, trade license, Import & Export Registration Certificate, permission from Bangladesh Investment Development Authority, work permit, etc. It advised Ernst & Young, India on closure of its branch office in Bangladesh, formation of a fully owned subsidiary company, all related foreign exchange control and regulatory matters. Recently, it advised an entity of Visa Inc. in establishing a liaison office in Bangladesh.
The firm advises on a broad range of issues including regulatory compliance, employment contracts, disputes, profit-sharing schemes, employee share schemes, benefits, personal data protection, termination, redundancies, etc. Its lawyers regularly appear before the labour tribunals and the Supreme Court in labour disputes. During the covid-19 pandemic, it advised a broad spectrum of clients on legal modes of severance and termination benefits under the Labour Act 2006. The firm successfully defended Biman Bangladesh Airlines in judicial review proceedings filed by thousands of employees challenging its Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) of USD 50 million.
The firm has leading expertise in company litigation, judicial review of decisions of public authorities (writ petitions), litigation arising out of arbitration, banking litigation and public interest litigation. The partners have acted as lead counsels and amicus curiae in landmark cases before the Supreme Court. Its lawyers regularly appear before the full range of courts and tribunals for local conglomerates, MNCs, Bangladesh Bank, large private banks, financial institutions, eminent businessmen, etc. It recently advised Facebook on potential litigation relating to the extent to which the operations of Facebook in Bangladesh may fall within regulatory purview. It has led landmark cases at the Supreme Court level to enforce health rights.
The firm regularly handles litigation challenging the decisions of the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) and makes representations to BERC on behalf of clients, drafts and negotiates complex EPC contracts, JVs on rental power projects, power purchase agreements and advises on licensing matters.
The firm has significant telecom regulatory expertise, has advised a foreign company on proposed acquisition of passive telecom infrastructure of the second largest telecom company in Bangladesh, advised a local telecom company on acquisition of its shares by Egyptian telecom giant, Orascom, represented telecom clients in arbitrations arising out of complex contractual disputes, and in Supreme Court proceedings on frequency allocation disputes against the regulator.
This firm is also ranked in:Global 2021