Global Senior and Managing Partner

Ahsan Zahir Rizvi is a leading international corporate lawyer with extensive experience of contract negotiations, strategic planning, corporate and financial restructuring, privatisations, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, Islamic modes of financing and project finance.

Ahsan has drafted various statutory enactments and regulatory frameworks for Pakistan, including the natural gas regulatory frameworks, the telecommunication regulatory and the regulatory framework for the country’s securities and corporate sectors.

Ahsan was a director of the Karachi Stock Exchange, Chairman of the Committee on Cyber Laws Legislation and IPR of Ministry of Science & Technology of Pakistan and a Member of the National Bioethics Commission.

Considered a leader in the construction, energy, infrastructure and finance sectors, he has acted in most of the major independent power projects in Pakistan and Afghanistan, on behalf of the Government, foreign sponsors and lenders.

Over the past 30 years, he has drafted, negotiated and documents numerous project development and financing documentation in connection with infrastructure and power projects.

YK-1

YK-2

YK-3

YK-4

  • University of London, LLM, 1981
  • Inns of Court, Bar Vocational Course, 1980
  • London School of Economics, LLB (Hons), 1979

Karachi Airport Jinnah Terminal Project, Lahore-Islamabad Motorway Project, 500,000 Bot Telephone Lines Project, Refinery Projects, LNG Terminal Projects, Deep-Sea Container Terminal Projects, Mineral Development Projects, Power Projects of More Than 10,000mw, Cross-Border Gas Pipeline Projects, Cross-Border Transmission Line Project, Karachi Circular Railway Project, Karachi Elevated Expressway Project, And Oil and gas Joint Venture Projects.
Transactions exceeding USD 15b in aggregate value, M&A transactions of more than USD 5b and privatization transactions including Pakistan Telecommunication Company, Karachi Electric Supply Corporation, Pakistan Steel Mills Corporation, Pakistan State Oil and Pakistan Petroleum.
  • Makro-Habib in the demerger and merger Metro AG.
  • MetLife in divestiture of its Pakistan subsidiary.
  • Magnitgorsk Iron and Steel Works, in the privatization of Pakistan Steel Mills Limited.
  • Pfizer Corporation, in the re-structuring and merger of its subsidiaries in Pakistan.
  • Clariant in the divestiture of part of its assets/business in Pakistan.
  • Occidental Petroleum in the sale of its assets to BP.

  • Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited
  • Karachi Electric Supply Corporation
  • Pakistan Steel Mills Corporation
  • Pakistan State Oil
  • Pakistan Petroleum Limited

  • English
  • Urdu

  • Sindh Bar Council
  • Sindh High Court Bar Association
  • Enrolled as an Advocate High Court
  • Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn

  • Commercial
  • Corporate
  • Dispute resolution
  • Finance
  • Private client

  • Sitara-e-Imtiaz (Star of Excellence) highest National Award conferred on a Lawyer (2004).
  • Ranked amongst the ‘Best Lawyers of Pakistan’ by the Chambers Global Lawyers of the World (2001 to-date).
  • Ranked ‘Top Lawyer’ by Chambers Asia Pacific (2014 and 2015).
  • ‘Best Corporate Lawyer’ award by AsiaLaw (2006 to-date).
  • Former Director of the Karachi Stock Exchange.
  • Chairman of the Select Committee on Cyber Laws (Ministry of Information Technology, Government of Pakistan).
  • Selected to the International ‘Who’s Who of Professionals’ (2007 to-date).
  • Member of the National Bioethics Commission of Pakistan.

Make an appointment / Write a testimonial

Stay in touch

Subscribe to our newsletter

Stay in touch
Sending

News/Insight

  • RIAA Barker Gillette Inducts New Partner
    RIAA Barker Gillette is pleased to announce the induction of Ms. Asma Hamid, Advocate Supreme Court, as a Partner of RIAA Barker Gillette, Pakistan. [...]

    Read more
  • Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation Honors RIAA Barker Gillette with Annual Award for Exceptional Pro Bono Contribution
    Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation's Annual Awards conferred for pro bono services rendered to support social entrepreneurs. [...]

    Read more
  • Panel Appointment – World Trade Organization
    Our partner Mr. Mazhar Bangash, Head of RIAA Barker Gillette’s Trade Law Department, has been appointed as an arbitrator by the Dispute Settlement Body, World Trade Organization in a trade dispute between the USA and South Korea. [...]

    Read more
  • Fresh guidance on L-1 visa petitions
    USCIS clarifies proxy vote use for certain intra-company transferee L-1 visa petitions [...]

    Read more
  • 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. [...]

    Read more

What clients say...

undefined
undefined
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

undefined
undefined
undefined
undefined
undefined
undefined
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

About us