Global Senior and Managing Partner: Ahsan Zahir Rizvi
Managing Partner: Bilal Shaukat
Number of partners: 12
Number of lawyers: 45
Languages: English, Arabic, Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto
RIAA Barker Gillette is Pakistan’s premier law firm, with on the ground presence in four major cities in Pakistan: Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, and Peshawar. The firm practices in all areas of corporate, commercial and dispute resolution law. Its clients include governments, public sector entities, multinational corporations, Pakistani conglomerates, international and Pakistani financial institutions and private individuals. The firm is also the exclusive member firm in Pakistan for Lex Mundi, the world’s leading network of independent law firms with in-depth experience in over 100 countries worldwide. As part of the Lex Mundi global network, the firm can provide its clients with access to more than 21,000 lawyers around the world.
With substantial on-the-ground capability and over 35 years of history globally, RIAA Barker Gillette has grown to become a leading international group of firms having of offices in seven jurisdictions: Pakistan, USA, UK, UAE, Iran, Afghanistan and China. The global expansion has benefitted the firm by allowing it to represent its clients in multiple jurisdictions and broaden the scope of services provided. RIAA Barker Gillette not only provides legal services of the highest standard, but also offers commercial insights to enable clients to achieve their business goals. The firm is consistently recognised as a Band 1 and Tier 1 law firm.
RIAA Barker Gillette also has offices in the UK, USA, UAE, Afghanistan, China and Iran.
Main Areas of Practice:
The firm provides the full spectrum of corporate legal advisory services to its clients. The firm advises officers and directors on their duties and liabilities and negotiates and drafts all types of agreements. Renowned for the precision and swift delivery of its advice, the firm focuses on results and devising best possible commercial solutions, and regularly advises on complex business and financing transactions and provides general counsel services on a range of issues.
Banking & Finance:
The firm maintains a leading banking and finance practice, and is regularly involved in major local and cross-border financing. Over the past 35 years, the firm’s partners have worked with over 80 different multinational, domestic and Islamic banks and financial institutions (including Citibank, World Bank, IFC, ADB, EXIM Bank and China EXIM Bank) and has comprehensive understanding of financing and security arrangements (including enforcement), debt to equity conversions and syndicated and substantial loan transactions.
Projects & Project Finance:
The firm has an unrivalled track record as Pakistan’s leading projects and energy firm and has been involved in approximately 90% of all power project transactions in Pakistan to-date. The firm has long dominated the project finance market in Pakistan and handles all aspects of local and cross-border project financing. The firm advises sponsors, developers and lenders of projects and handles banking and capital market financings, as well as projects that combine different forms of complex financing models. The firm’s partners are valued for their technical know-how, innovation and negotiating ability. The firm also represents clients in negotiations with various regulatory authorities.
Mergers & Acquisitions & Privatizations:
The firm has worked on some of the most complex mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and corporate reorganizations in Pakistan and the UAE. Its lawyers have ranked as top advisors, and possess vast experience of advising on deals with high aggregate transaction values. Acting for inter alia large corporations, investment funds and private equity firms, the firm’s services cover the full spectrum of negotiated and contested mergers and acquisitions. The firm has a strong record advising on takeover bids and shareholder contest. Additionally, the firm has also been directly involved in the establishment and growth of private independent investment in state-owned enterprises; and advising and assisting participants, investors, sponsors and financiers in the privatization of projects in the industrial, financial, irrigation, telecommunication and energy sectors.
Trade Remedies & International Trade:
The firm provides expert legal services in the area of international and local trade remedy laws. The firm represents clients in the Superior Courts of Pakistan regarding trade law. As part of its services, it partners up with the international trade law department in order to handle litigation matters and provide clients with the best possible solutions.
The team has carried out numerous investigations under Pakistan’s anti-dumping, countervailing and safeguard laws, structured international business transactions, effectively utilised international trade agreements and availed incentives for exports and protection through tariffs within the allowed parameters of the multilateral trading system.
Dispute resolution is part of the very core of the firm’s litigation practice. The variety of dispute resolution matters on which the firm is instructed in various Courts, Tribunals, regulatory bodies and arbitral tribunals, their complexity and the track record of practitioners at the firm sets it apart from most if not all the other major law firms in Pakistan.
The firm is the only law firm in Pakistan to have full-fledged resident litigation practices in four offices in Pakistan. At present, former partners of the firm are serving justices of the Supreme Court and of the Lahore and Peshawar High Courts. This is a testament to the high regard in which members of the firm are held by the senior judiciary.
The firm handles all forms of civil, commercial and corporate litigation and has extensive experience in the same. The firm’s arbitration experience includes a range of domestic and international proceedings and it is also adept at alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.
Public Private Partnerships:
Pakistan has witnessed a tremendous growth in Public Private Partnerships (PPP) in the recent few years and the firm has been at the forefront of some of the largest PPP deals across Pakistan, providing comprehensive, strategic and commercial legal advice in connection with the development and financing of new PPP projects. The firm has a distinguished record of advising various government authorities, sponsors, lenders and project companies that are participants in PPP transactions.
Private Equity/Venture Capital:
In the wake of global startup culture, a number of start-ups are developing businesses unique to the market in Pakistan. To cater for the growth of such start-ups, private equity and venture capital investments have recently been initiated in Pakistan as well. In view of this trend, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan has promulgated regulations for the establishment of venture capital funds. By advising Lakson Venture Capital Fund Investment on its investment in Bookme Tickets Pvt. Limited, RIAA Barker Gillette has had the unique privilege of representing Pakistan’s first venture capital fund in its first investment in a start-up in Pakistan.