An overview of Corporate Law in Pakistan

So, what really is Corporate Law? Corporate law basically looks after the ‘business’ side of things to simplify things. Corporate laws’ existence is vital in Pakistan just like any other country. It’s all about promoting growth in the economy and this law exists to make sure that larger firms don’t have loopholes in the law to gain an advantage over smaller firms.

This includes mergers or, incorporation of companies, rights of shareholders and the board of directors. Corporate lawyers also aid companies in the listing or delisting for their subsidiaries or entities, along with informing managers and subordinates about their rights. Corporate law is essential to aid companies in their dealings with individuals or even other institutions. Whether that’d be in regular business dealings, or in the form of takeovers. Business is law today, in Pakistan is necessary as the upcoming generation is well aware of their rights and their standing within companies. Corporate law looks after employment contracts; businesses looking to invest also need to be informed of the legalities involved.

A corporate lawyer is supposed to have an extremely analytical mind and a creative one too. Nowadays, the competition is high in every field one finds themselves in. Considering the fact that, companies don’t just employ one lawyer, lawyers who are individualistic in nature might struggle in cooperating.

In Pakistan, the laws still being followed are, predominantly set for us by the British. When they colonized us. Being an Islamic country, Pakistan has adopted the ‘Shariah Law’ and included it in our ordinances. Furthermore, wholesale changes were made to the property law. This is because of the common feuds that arise over lands and inheritances. However, overall, Pakistan is still running on the British Law that was left for us all these decades ago.

Even though most companies in developed countries employ corporate lawyers, Pakistani companies have started to realize the need for corporate lawyers as well. As the economy becomes more and more digital, with the marketplace being broadened year-by-year, the need for corporate lawyers has risen. This is due to a rise in contractual agreements, collaborations and joint ventures among companies to promote sales. Due to globalization, many companies feel the need for corporate lawyers. The primarily role of these lawyers is to make sure that the business decisions that are being taken, are in accordance with the law of the country (in which the company operates).

The rise of social media in recent years has invited the need for these lawyers too. Contracts with celebrities that are endorsed are looked after jointly by contract lawyers, accountants and other finance people in the company. Corporate lawyers are responsible for drafting up these contracts to strike deals or transactions. The culture of foreign investments and startups in Pakistan has risen, hence why, the need for lawyers has risen as well. Mergers like the NIB Bank and MCB in July of 2017 shows the need for corporate lawyers in these instances. Mergers and acquisitions are complicated and require a lot of work and digging to be made possible.

Corporate lawyers also perform their due diligence during their work. This includes the evaluation of a corporation’s assets and liabilities, along with evaluation of income statements to be informed on profitability.

The demand and supply of Corporate Lawyers in Pakistan

Upcoming lawyers doing their LLB, most of them shy away from Corporate Law, for some odd reasons. Well, you could say everyone has their preference, however, the need for corporate lawyers has never been higher. Multinational companies are starting to setup their operations in Pakistan and even domestic companies have started to take things a lot more seriously. Aspiring lawyers today, often go for being a ‘trial-lawyer’, as in society, those are more well known. Corporate lawyers are still relatively unknown to the mass public. That is changing rapidly.

Law firms in Pakistan have shown an increased need for corporate lawyers as that would allow them to strike deals with bigger companies in the country. More often than not, medium to large sized firms are looking to outsource their work to law firms as that is more efficient and effective.

It’s safe to say that, corporate lawyers will be high in demand moving forward and it could prove to be a lucrative prospect. Law firms demand uniqueness, confidence and strong communicational abilities in corporate lawyers as they are responsible of cooperating with companies’ people. This could include a business’ accountants, financial analysts and planners. Contrary to commercial lawyers, corporate lawyers are specific to a business itself. We can see corporate lawyers making a ‘not-so-surprise’ inclusion in the workforce in the next decade.