We have long dominated the project finance market in Pakistan, handling the vast majority of the country’s major deals and projects in this space while also maintaining a regional practice involving Middle East projects. We handle all aspects of local and cross-border project financing, and have extensive experience based on our involvement in some of the region’s landmark projects. We advise sponsors, developers and lenders of projects in the full range of sectors, including construction, energy, power, mining, transport, logistics and infrastructure. We handle a range of bank and capital market financings, as well as projects that combine different forms of complex financing models.

We were involved in the drafting of Pakistan’s Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority Ordinance 2002 and the regulatory framework pertaining to the oil and gas sector. We advise on bidding processes, performance of contracts, project finance, contractual claims, and projects-related disputes. Our expertise encompasses the full range of projects, including those in the construction, oil and gas, power, mining and infrastructure sectors.

Members of our team have undertaken the negotiation and drafting of documentation relating to IPPs, cross-border pipeline and transmission line projects, refineries, airports, ports, hospitals, elevated expressways and motorways, telecom projects, LNG/LPG projects and railway projects.

We closely scrutinise the relevant documentation including checklists relating to the conditions precedent, to be satisfied under the financing arrangements (including LCs, constitutional documentation, board and shareholder resolutions, certificates and letters). We work with our affiliated firm, RIAA Barker Gillette (UK) LLP, to arrange requisite English law legal opinions.

  • Airports
  • Cross-border pipeline and transmission line projects
  • Elevated expressways and motorways
  • Hospitals
  • IPPs
  • LNG/LPG projects
  • Ports
  • Railway projects
  • Refineries
  • Telecom projects

  • American Maglev Technology, Inc.: represented client in the Karachi Mass Transit Project.
  • Civil Aviation Authority: represented client in the construction of the Jinnah Terminal Karachi Airport.
  • Engro Elengy Terminal: represented the lenders including IFC in a 3MPTA LNG receiving, storage and regasification terminal project.
  • Engro Energy Limited: represented client in the 225 MW Permeate Gas/Diesel based Project at Daharki, Sindh.
  • Government of Pakistan (InterState Gas Systems Limited): represented client in the development and negotiation of various agreements relating to the USD 7b Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Gas Pipeline Project.
  • Government of Pakistan (InterState Gas Systems Limited): represented client in the development and negotiation of various agreements relating to the USD 4b Iran-Pakistan-India Gas Pipeline Project.
  • Government of Pakistan and the Government of Sindh: represented client in the Karachi Circular Railways Project.
  • Hutchison Port Holdings Limited: represented client in the USD 500m container terminal project at the Pakistan Deep Water Container Port, Karachi.
  • IJM Corporation Berhad: represented client in the Karachi Elevated Expressway Project. Drafted and negotiated the Project Implementation Agreement with CDGK and all ancillary agreements.
  • National Highway Authority: represented client in the construction of the Lahore-Islamabad Motorway, the first ever foreign constructed road project in Pakistan. The Firm drafted and negotiated all the Concession and Financing Agreements on behalf of the client which became the model for subsequent road projects.
  • Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited: represented client in turnkey projects of 200,000 telephone lines throughout Pakistan. Negotiated various transaction and concession documents with Alcatel CIT, Siemens, Ericsson and China Telecom.

Hasnain Naqvee

Nadir Altaf

Bilal Shaukat

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News/Insight

  • Proposed Amendment to Securities Brokers (Licensing and Operations) Regulations 2016
    The SECP has issued a notification for a proposed amendment to Regulation 4 of the Securities Brokers (Licensing and Operations) Regulations, 2016 in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 169 of the Securities Act, 2015. [...]

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    The FBR has issued a notification for including a new Chapter in the Income Tax Rules, 2002 in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 237 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.   [...]

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  • Insurance Rules 2017 notified by SECP
    Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has notified the Insurance Rules, 2017 pursuant to the Insurance Ordinance, 2000 read with the S.R.O. 708(I)/2009, dated 27.07.2009. [...]

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  • Competition Regulations 2016
    Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has promulgated the Competition (Merger Control) Regulations, 2016 on 28 December 2016, and the Competition (Merger Control) Regulations, 2007 have been repealed. [...]

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  • KP’s new mine laws for investment
    Since August the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has received 460 applications so far from prospective investors for new licences for mineral exploitation. [...]

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What clients say...

RIAA’s ‘exceptionally good’ practice is ‘always available’ and ‘has excellent knowledge of the energy sector’. Recommended individuals include[s] Hasnain Naqvee (who has ‘outstanding industry knowledge’).

Legal 500: 2016

Karachi-based Ahsan Zahir Rizvi is the key figure, drawing on his experience as former director of the Karachi Stock Exchange.

Legal 500: 2016

RBG’s longstanding experience in the construction sector, includes the construction and development of hospitals and power and infrastructure projects. Acquisitions, sales, transfers and property leasing are other mainstays, as is project finance…

Legal 500: 2016

In the media space, the team has experience in licensing, and advises radio, television and print clients on operational matters.

Legal 500: 2016

In the media space, the team has experience in licensing, and advises radio, television and print clients on operational matters.

Legal 500: 2016

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RIAA is ‘strong on telecoms-related work’, and has acted on for a number of high-profile clients in this sector.

Legal 500: 2015

RIAA’s ‘experienced’ tax department is praised as ‘top notch’. It is advising several multinational corporate clients on tax structuring to minimise fiscal exposure in Pakistan. Ahsan Zahir Rizvi leads on tax mandates.

Legal 500: 2015

RIAA’s ‘strong’ litigation department advised Clariant Chemical and Clariant International on a High Court dispute, and is also acting for K-Electric on a constitutional matter.

Legal 500: 2015

RIAA’s ‘strong’ litigation department advised Clariant Chemical and Clariant International on a High Court dispute, and is also acting for K-Electric on a constitutional matter.

Legal 500: 2015

RIAA’s ‘strong’ litigation department advised Clariant Chemical and Clariant International on a High Court dispute, and is also acting for K-Electric on a constitutional matter.

Legal 500: 2015

RIAA’s ‘exceptionally good’ practice is ‘always available’ and ‘has excellent knowledge of the energy sector’.

Legal 500: 2015

RIAA’s ‘exceptionally good’ practice is ‘always available’ and ‘has excellent knowledge of the energy sector’.

Legal 500: 2015

Highlights for RIAA’s ‘renowned’ corporate practice included advising Unisys International on the sale of its majority shareholding in Unisys Pakistan to International Brands Limited.

Legal 500: 2015

Operating from five offices across Pakistan, RIAA Barker Gillette has broad experience in debt and equity capital markets and is instructed by a host of multinational banking clients.

Legal 500: 2016

The firm has an active transactional practice and is instructed by clients across the energy, telecoms, financial services and construction sectors. Complementary expertise in tax, employment and competition benefits [their] practice.

Legal 500: 2016

RIAA Barker Gillette’s disputes department handles cases spanning constitutional, employment, trade mark, energy and family law.

Legal 500: 2016

RIAA Barker Gillette’s disputes department handles cases spanning constitutional, employment, trade mark, energy and family law. Omer Soomro is a key contact in the Karachi office, handling High Court and arbitration proceedings.

Legal 500: 2016

RIAA Barker Gillette maintains an active energy practice, where it advises clients on compliance and liability under environmental law, and assists with licensing and regulatory approvals.

Legal 500: 2016

RBG receives instructions from insurance company clients in relation to both contentious and non-contentious matters. Past work includes handling corporate transactions and international arbitrations.

Legal 500: 2016

RBG advises on corporate and commercial agreements relating to power, water and construction projects, and is becoming increasingly involved in matters concerning wind and other renewables.

Legal 500: 2016

Telecoms is an area of strength at RBGIAA Barker Gillette, with the team providing expertise in corporate, commercial and regulatory matters. In the media space, the team has experience in licensing, and advises radio, television and print clients on operational matters.

Legal 500: 2016

Munir Ahmed is another key contact; his practice covers customs, sales tax and income tax.

Legal 500: 2016

Yousaf Khosa acts for numerous clients in the mining and petroleum sectors in both contentious and non-contentious tax matters. Mustafa.

Legal 500: 2016

RIAA Barker Gillette advises multinational corporate clients on tax structuring and restructuring. It is also active in tax litigation and appeals before the High Court.

Legal 500: 2016

Sources state: "[Omer Soomro]'s someone I really trust - he adds a lot to a case."

Chambers Commentary: Asia-Pacific 2016

Among recent highlights, [Omer Soomro] represented IM Technologies in a USD 197m construction dispute with Karachi Development Company.

Chambers Commentary: Asia Pacific 2016

Clients enthuse about Omer Soomro, describing him as "a very articulate practitioner" with a measured, strategic approach.

Chambers Commentary: Asia Pacific 2016

One source notes that he is "always looking to get the best deal for his clients."

Chambers Commentary: Asia Pacific 2016

RIAA Barker Gillette…"It is a powerhouse."

Chambers Guide: Asia Pacific 2016

[Bilal Shaukat’s] work highlights include advising Tapal Wind Energy on its establishment of a USD 90m wind power plant in Thatta.”

Chambers: Global Guide 2016

Sources note [Bilal Shaukat] is "well known in the industry," and report that they "enjoy working with him."

Chambers: Global Guide 2016

Bilal Shaukat has a growing reputation in this sphere, especially in relation to coal and wind power projects.

Chambers: Global Guide 2016

Renowned for his expertise in the power sector, peers highlight him as "one of the most experienced projects lawyers in Pakistan."

Chambers: Global Guide 2016

Ahsan Zahir Rizvi continues to be revered by market commentators, who single him out for his "sharp legal mind."

Chambers: Global Guide 2016

…a client asserts: "I would always recommend him." He acted for The Hub Power Company on the development and financing of a 1,320 MW coal power project.”

Chambers: Global Guide 2016

“Hasnain Naqvee is widely praised for his effective negotiation skills and tenacious approach. Commentators enthuse that they "find him to be skilled and well versed on projects,".

Chambers: Global Guide 2016

“Islamabad-based Yousaf Khosa has a broad practice that includes expertise in construction contracts and telecoms work, among other areas.”

Chambers: Global Guide 2016

“Bilal Shaukat receives plaudits for providing highly commercial advice on complex transactions. He continues to head the firm's corporate advisory practice.”

Chambers: Global Guide 2016

Ahsan Zahir Rizvi is singled out by clients for the depth of his transactional experience and for "bringing a colour and vibrancy to the table."

Chambers: Global Guide 2016

Sources describe Ahsan Zahir Rizvi as "an exceptional practitioner" and "a backbone of the firm."

Chambers: Global Guide 2016

RIAA has provided environmental advice on a number of domestic projects. Omer Soomro is noted for environmental matters.

Legal 500: 2015

“Large and well-reputed practice”

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

RIAA’s banking and finance department is noted for its ‘vast experience’ and ‘strong track record’”

Tier 1: IFLR1000 2015

“Our relationship with the firm started 20 years ago and we have never looked back.”

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

“They really take the time to listen to the case.”

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

“I only use RIAA and no other firm in Pakistan – I have the utmost regard for them.”

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

“’Strong’ litigation department”.

The Legal 500: Asia Pacific 2015

“’Renowned’ corporate practice”

Tier 1: IFLR1000 2015

Ahsan Zahir Rizvi (a former director of the Karachi Stock Exchange) is recommended for capital markets work.

Legal 500: 2015

…banking and finance department is noted for its ‘vast experience’ and ‘strong track record’ on project finance. Clients include the ‘pragmatic’ Bilal Shaukat, and Ahsan Zahir Rizvi, who is rated as ‘excellent’.

Legal 500: 2015

Hasan Rizvi is “technically assured and resourceful” and with "good local market knowledge".

Legal 500: 2015

"Clients enjoy working with Hasan Rizvi... He wins praise from sources for being 'extremely responsive, commercially practical and incredibly diligent'".

Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business

"We have a very positive relationship with them. They are proactive, down-to-earth, thorough and extremely knowledgeable when finding solutions."

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

"I have the utmost regard for the firm; they are first class."

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

"They have vast experience of the power sector, and always provide alternative solutions to problems - they really take ownership of the projects they are working on."

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

What the team is known for: Active on a wide range of conventional and renewable projects, including notable activity on the conversion of power plants to coal.

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

What the team is known for: Offers high levels of expertise in the power sector, advising the sponsors on development, financing and regulatory issues.

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

He keeps things on an even keel and so people trust him, even those on the other side."

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

Sources highlight his strong negotiation capabilities, with one noting: "He can see the other side's perspective, that is his greatest strength.

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

Ahsan Zahir Rizvi is held in high regard for his depth of expertise in the power sector.

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

Ahsan Zahir Rizvi is also praised for "his precision in giving advice. He is very to the point."

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

Senior partner Ahsan Zahir Rizvi is one of Pakistan's most highly reputed transactional lawyers: "He is one of the most individually outstanding people, both from a commercial point of view and a legal point of view."

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

"RIAA has a very strong reputation for handling commercial and corporate matters."

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

"They have been absolutely outstanding. I don't think there is a team more dedicated."

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

Excellent bench of practitioners with a full-service corporate offering. Often mandated on big-ticket M&A deals, particularly for corporations in the energy and power sectors.

Chambers: Asia Pacific 2015

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