Webinar: "Commercial Disputes and Regulatory Issues During COVID-19: A case study of Pakistan’s Oil & Gas Market"

Syed Shahab Qutub is an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan with over sixteen (16) years of dispute resolution experience related primarily to corporate and commercial disputes involving clients from various industry segments including energy, banking, insurance, construction, fertilizer, and food/beverage. Recently Shahab’s practice has been focused on dispute resolution in the power sector where he has regularly represented public and private sector entities in power sector disputes. He also regularly advises on insurance disputes related to the energy sector.

During his practice, Shahab has represented a broad range of clients both from the private and public sector, before the High Courts, the civil courts, administrative tribunals and regulatory bodies. He has appeared in a number of landmark cases related to arbitration, electricity laws, shareholder disputes, and insurance disputes.

Shahab has also been engaged in several significant international arbitrations related to the power and construction sectors. Recently, Shahab was the lead counsel representing the National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) in an ICC arbitration against an Iranian corporation. He was successful in securing an Award of approx. US$ 4.5 million in favour of NTDC. Shahab is also currently acting as counsel in expert determination proceedings related to two separate hydropower projects. He is also advising/representing a major Chinese corporation in disputes and arbitration related to small hydel projects. In the construction sector, Shahab has recently won a significant Award in a construction arbitration related to a fertilizer manufacturing plant and has also led a successful challenge against a PKR 700 Million Arbitration Award related to the construction of a Five Star Hotel Project in Islamabad.

Shahab regularly appears before the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority in proceedings related to tariff and licensing and advises electric power generation companies on issues of regulatory compliance related to the various laws governing the power sector.

He also advises energy sector clients on disputes related to insurance law, and routinely acts as counsel for top international law Firms seeking advice on insurance disputes in Pakistan.

Muhammad Arif joined Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) as Member Gas on 21st November 2019.   Mr. Arif holds degrees of MBA from the University of Strathclyde, Scotland, UK, LLM in Petroleum Law and Policy from the Centre for Energy, Petroleum & Mineral Law & Policy (CEPMLP), University of Dundee, Scotland, UK, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Petroleum Economics from Oxford, England, UK. He is enrolled as an Advocate by the Punjab Bar Council, Pakistan. Mr. Arif is a Member of Society of Petroleum Engineers and Association of International Petroleum Negotiators, USA. He is a Certified Director and has been on the Board of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Oil and Gas Company Limited for a year before joining OGRA.

Prior to joining OGRA, Mr. Arif had over thirty (30) years of experience on the commercial, legal and Joint Venture affairs of upstream oil and gas business initially with OGDCL for about 20 years and then with a private oil company for about 11 years as head of Legal, Commercial and Joint Venture Departments. He has a keen interest in petroleum policy, laws and regulation and possess in-depth hands on experience of petroleum industry contracts, market restructuring and business process optimization.

Mr. Arif has deeply analyzed the various complex and multidisciplinary legal and commercial issues and rendered high profile opinions including on impact of 18th Constitutional Amendment on oil and gas industry of Pakistan and published several articles and rendered opinions covering 18th Amendment, Pakistan’s petroleum policies and fiscal systems. He is author of numerous research papers, articles and books. He is also main author of Books "Energy Law in Pakistan",  published by Wolters Kluwer, Netherlands, and contributed a chapter on Pakistan in book titled "Upstream Law and Regulation" published by Globe Law and Business, UK. He has been a visiting Professor of the International Islamic University, Islamabad teaching Petroleum Laws of Pakistan at LLM level and has so far supervised numerous thesis relating to the oil and gas industry.

Before joining OGRA, Mr. Arif has worked as an independent legal and commercial consultant serving oil and gas industry for about three years.

Yumna Baloch is an Advocate of the High Courts of Pakistan, and is a key member of the litigation and arbitration practice at Axis Law Chambers. She has argued before the civil courts of Islamabad, as well as various tribunals and regulatory bodies, including, inter alia, the Federal Service Tribunal, the National Industrial Relations Commission, and the Competition Commission of Pakistan.

She was part of a team which represented the National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) in a Paris-seated ICC arbitration against an Iranian corporation. The team succeeded in securing an Award of approx. US$ 4.5 million in favour of NTDC. She was also a key member of a team advising on an PCA-UNCITRAL arbitration, in which the firm was engaged as local counsel, pertaining inter alia to the issuance of a gas tariff to an investor entity. She was part of a team which succeeded in resisting the enforcement of a substantial Award issued in a local construction arbitration. Yumna also has significant expertise in the power sector and regularly advises clients on both contentious and non-contentious matters, ranging from licensing and tariff disputes to labour law compliance and procurement of land rights. 

Yumna graduated from the University of Oxford with a B.A. degree in Jurisprudence (2014). She went on to pursue an LL.M degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science (2018), where she graduated with distinction, concentrating in international and commercial law. She has previously served as a Law Clerk at the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Shanza Baig is a highly qualified and results oriented legal and advisory professional with expertise in Civil, Commercial, Corporate, Constitutional and Humanitarian/Human Rights Laws; offering more than 18 years of experience and in-depth exposure to the entire spectrum of activities involved in legal matters with a particular focus on Oil and Gas (E&P) Business. She is currently associated with MOL Pakistan Oil & Gas Co. B.V. as Head Legal.

She has previously worked in Abu Dhabi and Pakistan with various international and local stakeholders. She has been rendering services such as consultancy, legal drafting, case management and contract negotiations. She has successfully managed various legal disputes, commercial litigations and settlements. She is pragmatic, with proven advisory acumen understanding the global energy market environment.

Shanza holds a Masters Degree in International Humanitarian / Human Rights Law and Policy Making from Ruhr-Universität, Bochum, Germany (European Union Erasmus Mundus Full Scholar); a Masters Degree in Political Science from University of Punjab in Lahore, Pakistan; and a Bachelors in law from Lahore, Pakistan. She is a published author in international oil & gas journals.