The Counsel

Expat Experiences

by Taimur Malik

Legal Advisor, Middle East & North Africa Region, Vale Minerals and Metals

The practice of law in Pakistan is unique in that along with the struggle to earn a decent living it also presents opportunities to the younger members of the fraternity to experience success, confidence and freedom on levels that their contemporaries in other professions cannot traditionally anticipate to achieve. However, the Pakistani legal profession is not entirely a level playing field and indeed reflects our society: it is fragmented and as are the opportunities that the legal profession represents.

For example, as a young lawyer practicing in Pakistan associated with a reputed law firm/senior lawyer (and this may be true of many readers of this magazine), one may find oneself representing the Government, leading business groups in complex business negotiations as well as representing international and local institutions on important cross border transactions having a nexus with Pakistan. If one is lucky and any of these matters evoke an interest in the media, one may even find oneself being referred to as a ‘legal expert’ shortly after being called to the Bar. This often only happens in Pakistan.

The Legal Market in the GCC Region: Challenges and Opportunities
On the other hand, practicing law in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region is a different narrative altogether. Most opportunities for expatriate lawyers that exist in the legal market are for lawyers with 5 – 10 years post-qualification experience. These opportunities mainly exist in the corporate sector for lawyers specializing in the commercial, banking, projects, real estate or energy sectors. Read more here...