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The Firm handles all kinds of tax matters, including: Income Tax, Sales Tax on Goods & Services, Federal Excises and Customs. We provide tax advice to our individual and institutional clients and also represent them before courts.
We understand that in cross-border dealings, clients often require advice on structuring their transactions or businesses to minimize tax liability. With the Double Tax Treaty framework growing worldwide, the divergences between treaties signed between different countries have also increased. This makes the choice of applicable treaty regime a central question of International Tax Planning of non-resident clients. In this regard, we provide advice to our clients, and assist them in developing the most tax efficient business model. We have a specialized team dealing with matters involving interpretation and application of Tax Treaties and principles of cross border business taxation. We also advise on attribution of profits to permanent establishments and dealings between Associates involving application of Report on Attribution of Profits and Transfer Pricing Guidelines. Due to our multidisciplinary expertise in Taxation, Company Law, Constitutional Law, Commercial Litigation, and Arbitration we offer a 360-degree risk analysis to our clients and offer comprehensive solutions, peculiar to the specific nature of a business.
We regularly advise our clients on future course of action in light of changes introduced by the Government in the taxation regime at the start of every financial year.
Mr. Minto is a Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and a former President of both the Supreme Court Bar Association and Lahore High Court Bar Association. Mr. Minto has taught law at the Punjab University Law College from 1963 to 1983, and was a member of the Pakistan Bar Council from 1966 to 1983. He is regarded as an icon—one of Pakistan’s foremost jurists and constitutional law experts—-with more than sixty years of experience in litigation. Although now retired from active practice, Mr Minto still renders amicus opinions for the superior courts when requested.
The Firm routinely represents persons implicated in inquires, investigations and trials of white collar crimes, particularly those initiated by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) throughout Pakistan.
Some of the clients we have represented or advised include: the former President Bank of Punjab, former Chairman Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, former President Sindh Bank Limited, former President Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited, former Managing Director Siemens Pakistan Limited, former Managing Director SNGPL, former Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, leading auditors, high profile private corporate executives and owners of brokerage houses.
The Firm has considerable experience in the Energy Sector, particularly in Oil and Gas. One of our Senior Partners, Mirza Mahmood Ahmad, was elected member on the Boards of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) for over 10 years. He has also served on the Board of Pakistan Refinery Limited (PRL). He is well known for his in-depth understanding of the Oil and Gas Sector. Serving on the Boards of these companies has enabled him, and other members of the Firm, to gain invaluable technical knowledge of the industry – which substantially bolsters our knowledge of the legal regime governing the sector. Mahmood has been involved with the LNG Sector since its inception in Pakistan and has acquired expertise in several aspects of LNG including establishment of terminals and documentation relating to the entire LNG supply chain.
The Firm has represented SSGC and SNGPL before the superior courts and the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (OGRA) for several years. We have also provided legal services to national and international companies working at various stages of the Oil and Gas supply chain; including companies involved in exploration and production (up-stream), processing (mid-stream) and supply (down-stream).
We have also represented PGP Consortium Limited (PGPC) — the largest LNG Storage and Re-gasification Terminal in the country — before the Islamabad High Court and assisted in their arbitrations before the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA). We regularly advise the Terminal’s owners and management on policy and contractual matters.
The Firm has represented the Ministry of Energy (formerly Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources), and state owned companies in arbitration and litigation before different fora, including the Honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan.
Apart from our experience in representing and advising companies in the Oil and Gas Sector, the Firm has also been involved in the Power Sector. We have represented the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) in proceedings against Kot Addu Power Company (KAPCO) and were part of the WAPDA’s team that negotiated tariff reduction with KAPCO and HUBCO. These negotiations resulted in savings of over US$ 1.5 Billion to WAPDA. The litigation and negotiations required a detailed examination of the Power Policy of the Government as well as the agreements with Independent Power Producers (IPPs). The corporatization of Power Projects was also examined in detail in the context of KAPCO.
Additionally, we provide advisory services to companies in relation to the development of alternative and sustainable means of producing cheap electricity, including clean coal and biogas.
Our Firm is regarded as a leading law firm in Pakistan in the area of constitutional litigation. We trace our tradition of high quality constitutional litigation to our Senior Consultant, Mr. Abid Hassan Minto – recognized as one of the foremost constitutional law experts in the Country. Senior Partners of the Firm, especially Bilal Hasan Minto, have regularly assisted Mr. Minto in seminal constitutional litigation before the superior courts.
The Firm has represented a number of corporate, institutional and individual clients in constitutional litigation before the High Courts, and the Supreme Court of Pakistan. These matters have included: questions relating to the criteria for appointments of Vice Chancellors in public sector universities; challenges to excess of jurisdiction by federal agencies and regulatory bodies; challenge to appointments of federal civil servants in provincial services, and many more matters involving enforcement of statutory provisions and protection of constitutional rights. We also represented the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) in litigation involving a constitutional challenge to its parent statute.
Over the years, our Senior Consultant and Senior Partners have been appointed as amici curiae in a number of cases involving questions of constitutional interpretation and enforcement of Fundamental Rights. They have assisted the superior courts on issues such as: the eligibility of electoral candidates holding dual nationalities, role of prosecution and Analysts’ reports in cases tried under the Control of Narcotic Substances Act, 1997, role of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in complaints received under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016 (PECA), and interpretation of election laws requiring minimum participation of women voters.
At Minto & Mirza, we believe in standing for what is right, and in this spirit, we have been involved in a number of public interest cases. These include: the “Land Reforms Case” (Workers Party Pakistan etc. v Federation of Pakistan etc.) in which the judgment in ‘Qazalbash Waqf Case’ is challenged on constitutional grounds – arguing that concentration of land holdings in the hands of the feudal elite violates the constitution; the “Katchi Abadi Case” (Aasim Sajjad Akhtar and others v Federation of Pakistan) seeking enforcement of right to housing and shelter guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan; the “Qazi Faez Isa Case” (Abid Hassan Minto and another v the Honourable Supreme Judicial Council through its Secretary and others) in which the jurisdiction and procedure of the Supreme Judicial Council in relation to removal of Superior Court judges were questioned; the “Electoral Reforms Case” (Workers Party Pakistan through its General Secretary Mr. Akhtar Hussain, Advocate and others v Federation of Pakistan and others) calling in question the influence of wealth and power on electioneering.
We take pride in our association with Audiri Vox, a renowned International Law Firm specializing in Intellectual Property matters. Audiri Vox has offices, or affiliations, in more than 50 countries and provides unparalleled legal and Intellectual Property services. In partnership with Audiri Vox, we have developed a dedicated team to handle all Intellectual Property related work in Pakistan.
We cater to applying for registration of Trademarks, Copyrights etc. and also represent clients in oppositions and objections.
The Firm also advises clients on Intellectual Property transactional work including licensing agreements. We have undertaken litigation and represented our clients before various fora to protect Intellectual Property rights and to prevent unfair use or market manipulation.
Audiri Vox: https://audirivox.com/
The Firm has represented individual and corporate clients in litigation before the superior courts of Pakistan, including winding-up proceedings, protection of minority shareholders, rectification of share register etc. The Firm also represents clients before the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), and the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) in regulatory proceedings.
We are on retainer of several entities whom we provide general advisory services. We regularly advise brokerage houses and other investment companies on financial regulations and their compliance. We have structured numerous financial and corporate transactions for our clients.
We have also advised start-ups in the education, clothing, printing & publishing, and food & beverage sectors. We have a dedicated team to assist start-ups in achieving their full potential, and we offer comprehensive services including company incorporation, assistance in securing funding from venture capitals and investors, advice on corporate structure and filings with the regulator(s). We have advised companies on the requirements of converting a company from private to public, conducting an Initial Public Offering (IPO) and listing on the PSX.
Minto & Mirza has represented a number of private and governmental bodies in domestic and foreign arbitrations. We have brought about the settlement of some important commercial disputes for both domestic and international parties. Our team has a UK Accredited Civil-Commercial Mediator.
We have been involved in international commercial arbitrations at the London Court of International Arbitration, involving high monetary stakes. We have represented clients in disputes with local authorities, and have secured relief for them under the Arbitration Act, 1940 as well as the Recognition and Enforcement (Arbitration Agreements and Foreign Arbitral Awards) Act, 2011.
We deal in Labour and Service matters, advising clients on issues related to Workers Welfare Fund (WWF), pension, Employees Old Age Benefits, trade unions and Collective Bargaining Agent (CBA) etc.
We handle property related matters including inheritance, land ownership, rental and construction disputes. We cater to and assist with all types of investments, divestitures and on-going matters pertaining to real-estate development. We have represented, and advised, some of the largest real-estate developers in the country. Our work has included setting up of housing societies, structuring transfer procedures and framing of bye-laws for various clients.
The Firm has been involved in several cases involving environmental issues before the superior judiciary of Pakistan, as well as special Environment Tribunals. In our commitment to public welfare, we have challenged the culling of trees in Lahore for the Signal Free Corridor project, and the development of the Ravi Urban Development Project. A member of our team was appointed as amicus curiae in proceedings before the High Court that raised questions about government measures to control smog in Lahore and mitigate its detrimental effects. These proceedings led to the constitution of a “Smog Commission.”
Members of our team have been appointed amicus curiae and local commission in other matters relating to the protection of the environment.
Bilal Hasan Minto has represented individual and institutional clients before various courts of law (including the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the provincial High Courts, civil and criminal courts of first instance, banking, labour and accountability courts). He has been involved (by himself, and alongside his father – Abid Hassan Minto) in seminal constitutional litigation in the country including matters relating to Right to Housing, Land Reforms and Electoral Reforms. He has been amicus curiae to the Supreme Court and the Lahore High Court in several cases relating to interpretation of the Constitution and other laws and has taught at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) for several years.
Mirza Mahmood Ahmad is regarded as a leading expert on capital markets and the oil and gas sector in Pakistan. He has represented and advised banks, brokerage houses, investment advisory entities and financial institutions. He has served as elected director on the boards of several listed companies, including the two state-owned gas transmission and distribution companies (SNGPL & SSGC) for multiple terms and has advised them on legal matters during this time. He played an active role in the introduction and use of LNG to supplement natural gas supply in the country. Mahmood regularly appears before the courts of Pakistan and has also represented various companies before regulatory bodies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, the Pakistan Stock Exchange, and the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority. He has taught at the Quaid e Azam Law College and the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) as visiting faculty. He has also lectured at the Rausing Executive Development Centre, LUMS and the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Pakistan in its directors training program.
After clearing his Central Superior Services (CSS) exams in 2010 (40th CTP), Faheem joined the Inland Revenue Service of Pakistan. His career as a civil servant spanned over ten years after which he resigned from service to pursue a career in law practice. Before joining Minto & Mirza, he was working as Deputy Commissioner, Inland Revenue.
Faheem has vast experience of handling tax matters including Income tax, Sales tax and Federal Excise. During his ten years of service, Faheem was involved in assessments of entities in the corporate sector, generally, but more particularly those relating to steel, beverages, electricity and automobiles. He also represented the tax department before different appellate fora for over three years.
Faheem has been associated with Adam Smith International as Tax Policy Expert providing project based consultancy to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Provincial Revenue Authorities (PRAs) in Pakistan for policy and implementation reform. He has also convened a module on International Taxation at the Inland Revenue Service Academy, Lahore as part of the Mid Career Management Course (MCMC) offered to officers in BS-18 before their promotion to BS-19.
Faheem holds an LL.M from the University of Cambridge, UK. His LL.M studies at Cambridge focused especially on interpretation and application of Double Tax Treaties, Investor-State Arbitration and International Commercial Litigation.
Ammad is a graduate of the University of London. During his time at the Firm, he has gained invaluable experience in commercial dispute resolution and has advised clients in various contentious matters ranging from shareholder disputes to international commercial arbitrations. Ammad is well-versed with the regulatory laws applicable to corporate entities and regularly advises clients on matters of compliance. Before joining the Firm in 2019, he worked as an Associate in several reputable law firms where he led and concluded a number of transactions.
Shan was Called to the Bar at the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn in 2013. He is an alumnus of the University of Buckingham, UK. He has worked as a litigator for several years and advises clients on matters related to contracts, commercial/corporate litigation, labour & service laws, accountability laws, and banking laws. Shan has served as Registrar’s Nominee (Arbitrator) from 2018 to 2019 in the Cooperative Housing Society Department of the Sindh Government. Shan is visiting faculty at the Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto University of Law (SZABUL). He is based in Karachi and leads the Firm’s Karachi office.
Hassaan is a graduate of LUMS. Previously, he has worked as Research Associate at LUMS and undertaken research relating to finance & commercial laws, while extensively reviewing laws related to foreign direct investment. He has also worked at the office of the Advocate General, Punjab. At Minto & Mirza, Hassaan works in the areas of general civil practice, Banking, Accountability and the Securities laws. He represents clients before the lower courts and the High Courts and also assists senior members of the Firm in drafting opinions and pleadings for courts.
Usman is a graduate of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). He practices in civil, commercial, and constitutional litigation and corporate advisory. He is well versed with accountability laws and represents individual and corporate clients before the Accountability Courts as well as the High Courts. During his time at Minto & Mirza, Usman has gained considerable knowledge of the financing sector while being involved in various contentious and non-contentious matters between financial institutions and borrowers. He has been the Firm’s lead associate in a constitutional challenge to federal service laws allowing posting of federal employees on provincial posts. Usman regularly drafts pleadings and assists the Partners in matters before the Supreme Court. Before joining Minto & Mirza in 2017, Usman worked at the National Assembly of Pakistan on a European Union funded project for improvement of parliamentary performance.
Saram was Called to the Bar at the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn in 2014. He became a part of the Firm in 2016 with constitutional and commercial litigation and corporate advisory as his main areas of practice. He has advised and represented listed and non-listed companies before their respective regulators. He has also represented companies, brokerage houses, banks and their officers before the Accountability Courts and the High Courts of Pakistan in white collar criminal proceedings under the NAB Ordinance. Saram regularly advises individual and institutional clients on service matters and has represented them in litigation involving appointments to statutory posts and terms and conditions of their service. He is also regularly engaged by the Federal Board of Revenue to represent it in select cases.
Saadullah Tahir initially joined the Firm in 2016, following his clerkship at the Supreme Court with former Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mr. Justice (r) Anwar Zaheer Jamali. He went for his Master’s in Law (LL.M.) to the University of California, Berkeley (U.C. Berkeley) as a Fulbright Scholar and rejoined the Firm on his return. Saad has extensive knowledge of the oil and gas sector and is well versed with the substantive and procedural aspects of accountability laws. He spearheads the Firm’s practice in commercial arbitration (domestic and international), the oil and gas sector, and NAB related matters. He has considerable experience and knowledge of constitutional litigation and is well-versed with other areas of law also. He appears before the High Courts and the lower courts and assists the Partners before the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
Reeda is a graduate of the University of London. At Minto & Mirza, she works on matters related to general civil practice, banking and constitutional litigation. Reeda regularly assists her senior colleagues in research and in drafting pleadings and legal opinions.
The Firm has represented Banks, as well as customers, in recovery proceedings arising out of defaulted loans under the Financial Institutions (Recovery of Finances) Ordinance, 2001.
We have represented, and continue to act for, a number of Banks, including National Bank of Pakistan, the Bank of Punjab, MCB Bank and Faysal Bank. Additionally, we have rendered services (litigious and non-litigious) to the State Bank of Pakistan, Royal Bank of Scotland, American Express Bank, Union Bank, Prime Commercial Bank, Habib Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, United Bank, Soneri Bank, Askari Bank, the erstwhile National Development Finance Corporation (NDFC) and Pakistan Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation Limited (PICIC). We have also negotiated settlements for several clients.
We have advised clients on structuring finance agreements and drafted standard agreements to be used by Banks in their lending arrangements. We have drafted and negotiated tailor-made finance agreements, and their accompanying security documents for Banks and were involved in the financing of the Mohmand Dam and Hydro Power Project undertaken by WAPDA.
In addition to recovery suits, we undertake other finance related litigation on behalf of clients including winding up petitions, and criminal proceedings under the Offences in Respect of Banks (Special Courts) Ordinance, 1984.
We also conduct legal audit of contracts and security documents.