About Dr Ilyas Zafar

Dr Ilyas Zafar

Dr Ilyas Zafar is the Founder of ZAFAR & ASSOCIATES - LLP, Founder Member of Prae Legal, Senior Economist & Political Analyst, Senior Lawyer & Partner, International Tax Laws Expert, Expert Witness and Advocate Supreme Court of Pakistan. Law Practice Experience encompasses the period 1975 to date. Extensive experience in Constitutional Law, Corporate Governance, Tax Laws, Family & Inheritance Law and other Civil & Criminal Matters before the Districts Courts, Tribunals, High Courts and Supreme Court of Pakistan. A long list of reported judgments of the represented cases is in credit.

Member Lahore High Court Bar, Lahore Tax Bar and Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan, American Bar Association, New York, American Society of International Law, World Jurist Association, Washington, World Association of Lawyers, International Bar Association, London, International Law Association, International Tax Planning Association, Rotterdam, International Association of Constitutional Law, Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, London and International Fiscal Association. Member Executive Committees of Tax Bar and High Court Bar Associations. Member of American Bar Association (ABA) Committees for Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR), Advocacy in Litigation Practice, Tax Matters, Arbitration and Intellectual Property. Awarded Certificate of “Leader in Pursuit of Professional Excellence and the Effective Delivery of Justice” by American Bar Association.

Specialties: Founder of ZAFAR & ASSOCIATES - LLP, Founder Member of Prae Legal, Senior Economist & Political Analyst, Senior Lawyer & Partner, International Tax Laws Expert, Expert Witness and Advocate Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Law Practice & Core Competencies

ZA-LLP Logo Large

ZAFAR & ASSOCIATES - LLP | Founder & Senior Partner

1975 – Present (More than 40 years) | Lahore, Pakistan

Having more than 40 years of experience successfully practicing administrative, corporate, commercial and tax, representing Pakistan and international businesses in a wide range of matters, such as:

  • Steering the overall litigation and opinion work alongside the administrative affairs of the law firm;

  • Legal Advisor / Consultant for various Government, Semi-Government Departments;

  • Advisor to Corporate Bodies including International Finance Corporation, John Hopkins University, London Metropolitan University, Cambridge University, Jhpiego and ACCA;

  • Heading the Research and Publication Wing;

  • In-charge of professional training programmes, workshops and seminars;

  • Chief Monitor of Foreign Projects and Assignments;

  • Negotiating with potential clients and finalising the agreement on behalf of the law firm;

  • Arbitrator in various arbitration references and proceedings;

  • Team Leader in the project “Doing Business, Investment Climate in Pakistan” undertaken by the experts / attorneys of the law firm in the areas including:

    1. Starting a Business

    2. Corporate Governance

    3. Hiring & Firing of Workers

    4. Construction Licensing

    5. Insolvency Case Study

    6. Debt Recovery Procedure

    7. Contract Enforcement

    8. Insurance, Taxation Laws and Regulatory Regime

  • In-charge banking affairs and litigation SME Bank Limited (retainer-ship services) and SMEDA (Consultant);

  • Overseeing the legal affairs of Multinational Companies (a detailed list can had from law firm website);

  • Alternate Dispute Resolution Committee, proactive role as member (American Bar Association);

  • Country Manager – Total Point of Contact (an organisation dealing in Work Permit and related affairs); and

  • Human Rights, Fundamental Rights under Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973.

PraeLegal Logo

Prae Legal | Founder Member

August 2013 – Present (3 years 2 months) | Cologne Area, Germany

Founder member of world's top score alliance of independent law firms.

Volunteer Experience & Causes

Welfare Organisation for Women Logo

Welfare Organisation for Women | Chief Patron

1999 | Human Rights

Acted as Chief Patron & Supporter of the Welfare Organisation for Women.

Professional Memberships

  • Member Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan

  • Member High Court Bar Association, Lahore

  • Member All Pakistan Tax Bar Association

  • Member Tax Bar Association, Lahore

  • Member Tax Bar Association, Sialkot

  • Member International Bar Association, London

  • Member American Bar Association, New York

  • Member International Law Association

  • Member International Tax Planning Association, Rotterdam

  • Member International Association of Constitutional Law

  • Member International Fiscal Association

  • Member American Society of International Law

  • Member World Jurist Association, Washington

  • Member World Association of Lawyers

  • Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, London

  • Member Executive Committees of Tax Bars and High Court Bar Associations

  • Member of American Bar Association (ABA) Committees for Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR), Advocacy in Litigation Practice, Tax Matters, Arbitration and Intellectual Property

Educational Qualifications

B.Com. - Commerce & Accountancy | University of Karachi

1966 | Karachi, Pakistan

D.I.L.L. - Industrial & Labour Laws | Pakistan Institute of Legal Affairs

1967 | Karachi, Pakistan

M.A. (Eco.) - Masters in Economics | University of the Punjab

1969 | Lahore, Pakistan

Ph.D. - Development Economics | Sussex College of Technology

1973 | Highfiled, Dane Hill, Haywards Heath, Sussex, RH177EX, England

Activities and Societies: Awarded the distinction of Doctor of Philosophy in Development Economics by writing thesis "State Enterprise in Developing Economy".

D.B.A. - Business Administration | The School of Accountancy

1974 | Regent House, 2 West Regent Street, Glasgow C2, UK

LL.B. - Legal Studies | University Law College - University of the Punjab

1977 | Lahore, Pakistan

D.A.L. - Arbitration Law | Pakistan Council of Legal Education & Research

1977 | Karachi, Pakistan

P.D.B.A. - Busines Administration (Taxation) | International University

1985 | Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Activities and Societies: Awarded degree of Post Doctorate in Business Administration (Taxation) by writing thesis "Taxation as a Factor in Economic Development".

Summary of Achievements

The World Bank

Doing Business Projects - Obstacles to Growth | The Regional Studies

2005 - 2015 | Team Leader

Monitored the Team in the specific areas assigned by the Investment & Climate Department (World Bank Group). Supervised the concerned Consultant Attorney in the completion of survey regarding the procedures and legal formalities involved in starting a business, company formation, transactions with banking and other financial institutions, commercial registry and land registration systems. The input rendered as Team Leader has been acknowledged and the results formulated have been made part of the Annual Report of World Bank regarding Investment Climate in the Region.

The World Bank

Doing Business Projects - Investment Climate | The Regional Studies

2005 - 2015 | Team Leader

Monitored the Team in the specific areas assigned by the Investment & Climate Department (World Bank Group). Scrutinised the work of Civil Law and Corporate Consultants who conducted surveys in the realm of Contract Enforcement with particular reference to the procedures and laws applicable in four major cities. The Survey Report has since been approved and has been translated in the Annual Report of the World Bank. Summary of the Report can also be browsed at the Website of the Bank.

The World Bank

Doing Business Projects - Corporate Governance | The Regional Studies

2005 - 2015 | Team Leader

Overseeing the work of expert Attorney/Consultant and finalization of Survey Report. An extensive study was conducted in the light of Survey Proforma as to the laws and procedures involved in the existing structure of Corporate Governance in Pakistan with special emphasis as for foreign investors and the fabric of regulatory regime in said four major cities of Pakistan. Scanned the voluminous law and reports on relevant issues including administrative, financial and litigation affairs in business and commercial ventures. Critical analysis was made in other related concerns like obtaining of various licenses, liaising with government agencies and departments and hiring and firing of workers.

The World Bank

Doing Business Projects - Property Rights & Bankruptcy | The Regional Studies

2005 - 2015 | Team Leader

Supervised the work of Attorneys and Consultants and after necessary vetting and improvements, the Survey Reports were prepared. In depth analysis of the laws and procedures in the domain of property rights and bankruptcy was made. Various case studies were conducted and the results thereof were incorporated in the Survey Report. An elaborate study of various modalities and options with specific emphasis on debtor, secured creditors and the issues arising in the event of insolvencies / bankruptcies were diagnosed and remedial courses of actions were dilated upon. The evolution of judicial system of Pakistan was thrashed in the given perspective.

SME Bank

Outsourcing of Legal Functions | Islamabad & Peshawar

2004 - 2005 | Chief Consultant

Supervising and conducting the legal affairs as to various banking transactions. Was appointed as the Chief Consultant to oversee the work of the Bank, provided in-house Lawyers for various branches of the bank and monitored their work on case to case basis. Assisted the Bank in the security of their transactions and supervised the scrutiny of record of various securities and collaterals. Drafting of Deeds and Agreements in various Banking transactions so as to protect and safeguard the rights of the creditors vis a vis the debtors.


Alternate Dispute Resolution Mechanisms | Lahore, Islamabad & Karachi

2004 - 2016 | Arbitrator & Mediator

Rendered consultancy services to various clients/ departments for the resolution of disputes through various alternate remedies. Has long standing experience in ADR and has accreditation and membership of various Organisations, has worked on many assignments for the resolution of disputes through alternative mechanisms. Has worked as an Arbitrator in many references and his contributions has been recognised by various local and international bodies.


SMEDA Network of Legal Services | Lahore

2004 - 2005 | Consultant & Legal Counsel

Rendering advice to various entrepreneurs in their issues concerning loan, financing, bankruptcy & insolvency etc. Imparted consultancy services with regard to formulation of projects in various categories. Being the largest Law Firm in Pakistan and by the dint of his position as Senior Partner has been rendering multiple services under the umbrella of SMEDA. Zafar & Associates LLP has as many as Fourteen Branch Offices in Major Cities of Pakistan with cent percent coverage of the entire country and the law firm is extensively providing expert services to various indigenous industries.

All Pakistan Contractors Association

Legal Consultancy Services to All Pakistan Contractors Association (APCA)

1995 - 2005 | Chief Legal Advisor & Consultant

APCA is the representative body of major construction companies and services have been rendered to the contractors/Directors of the management in their legal-cum-business issues. In the capacity of Chief Legal Advisor has been rendering services in the diversified issues of contractors. In the various meetings and workshops of APCA, rendered positive assistance in various contentious issues. Has been performing lead role in the litigation and disputes of the contractors before various courts and Tribunals and their further settlement through arbitration and other alternative modes.

Welfare Organisation for Women

Welfare Organization for Women (WOW)

1998 - 2005 | Patron-in-Chief

Evaluating, Monitoring and Projecting the Welfare Projects of the Organization. WOW is a voluntary organization working mainly for the cause of women and children and there are various projects functional with specified aims and objects. His main responsibilities have been to oversee the operational activities of the projects. Further details can be had from the website http://wow.zafcointl.com

ZAFCO International

ZAFCO - Business & Investment Facilitation Centre

2004 onwards | Senior Consultant

For the assistance of local and foreign investors, the said facilitation centre has since been established for rendering required assistance on project to project basis. Zafar & Associates LLP, the largest Law Firm of the country was incepted by him in the year 1975. Out of his practical experiences, the idea of establishing a business and investment facilitation centre was conceived and he materialized it in the year 2004. By the dint of Professional niche and with the aid and coordination of team members, ZAFCO has achieved the status of being the pioneer institution rendering multifarious services to the business community. Further details can be had at the relevant website: http://business.zafcointl.com

Detailed Tasks Assigned

  • Review current laws including Islamic laws, regulations, and practices relating to secured transactions in Pakistan and identify major gaps;

  • Consult with stakeholders in assessing the impediments in establishing an effective secured transactions regime;

  • Within the overall guidance of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the implementing agency, organize a consensus-building workshop and develop the workshop program and agenda;

  • Organize expert resource persons who will participate as needed in the stakeholder workshop and also act as resource persons at the workshop;

  • Prepare a draft secured transactions reform framework with legal, economic, and institutional annotations tailored for Pakistan, experience from other countries including two developing countries that have undertaken such reforms and prepare an accessible comparison matrix, stakeholder workshops inputs; specifically review the experiences of other countries, including two developing countries, for enhancing governance in secured financing and identify lessons and harmonize the draft secured transactions reform framework with laws on social protection of debtors, including consumer protection laws as well as efforts to strengthen a market based economy.

  • Within the overall guidance of SBP organize a workshop to discuss the draft secured transactions reform framework; develop the workshop program and agenda; and incorporate workshop findings in the draft secured transactions reform framework, as appropriate;

  • In coordination with other experts recruited under this technical assistance (TA), assist Ministry of Finance (MOF), the executing agency, and SBP in identifying two countries for the study-visits for secured transactions legal and registration systems; assist MOF and SBP in organizing the study-visits; develop a detailed study-visit programs; and provide an outline for preparing study-visit reports;

  • Organize a stakeholder workshop within the overall guidance SBP to discuss the findings of the study-visits; develop the workshop program and agenda; and act as resource persons at the workshop;

  • Use the workshop findings to revise the draft secured transactions reform framework and prepare a policy, legal, regulatory, and institutional design input report;

  • Within the overall guidance of SBP organize a workshop to discuss the policy, legal, regulatory, and institutional design input report; develop the workshop program and agenda; and incorporate the workshop findings, as appropriate;

  • Based on the policy, legal, regulatory, and institutional design input report, develop the secured transactions legal reform framework; and integrate this with the design of the modern registration system developed by the secured transactions expert (registry) and inputs from other experts recruited under this TA;

  • Identify the information dissemination needs for two awareness-building workshops on the secured transactions legal framework and the design of a modern registration system.

  • Organize two awareness-building workshops on the secured transactions legal framework and design of modern registration system; develop the workshop program and agenda; act as a resource persons at the workshops.

Primary Areas of Practice

Tax Law

Tax Law

Domestic & International Tax

Can help you in aligning your tax strategies with your business needs, meeting compliance obligations wherever they arise.

Business Law

Business Law

Corporate & Commercial Services

Whether your business is small or large, we view our role as facilitators to your company's continuing growth and expansion.

Contract Enforcement

Contract Enforcement

Law of Contract and Enforcement

Helping clients to maintain their current and long-term competitive positions, by advising them at every step in contracting process.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Dispute Resolutions

Arbitration and Mediation

Providing a wide range of dispute resolution services to the legal community both domestically and internationally.


Core Competencies


Collaborative Skillset

Collaborative lawyers trust the wisdom of the group; lone wolves and isolationists do not do any good anymore.


Emotional Intelligence

Distant, detached lawyers are relics of the 20th century, the market no longer wants a lawyer who is only half a person.


Technological Affinity

If you can not effectively and efficiently use e-communications, and mobile tech, you might as well just stay home.


Time Management

Virtually a substantial part of lawyers difficulties in this regard lie with their inability to prioritise their time.

What People Say About Us

  • Thank you for your support in this process and for your great hospitality. Your assistance has been of great importance. It was also important to see and experience the high quality of your services and your well known firm.

    Magnus Greko ~ Sweden
  • Thank you for your support in this process. Your assistance has been invaluable. We are looking forward to a long lasting working relationship with you. Also, thank you for hospitality during these past days.

    Lothar Geilen ~ Germany
  • Dear Atty. Iram Fatima: I would like to let you know that my wife came in USA last week. The U.S. Embassy Islamabad approved her visa petition in the lights of all the wonderful endeavors done by you and Mr. Birach. It was a long legal battle of about 7 years. I must say that your law firm is one of the best in the country and you are a highly professional advocate. Dr. Zafar should feel proud to have you in his crew. Finally, again I would say Thanks for all your legal services and I am your best reference.

    Zubair Mufti ~ Texas, USA
  • Dear Dr Zafar and Iram: Thank you very much for timely submission of the excellent opinion letter. It is very well drafted and covers the key points. We very much appreciate your excellent and timely work in preparing the legal opinion.

    Mrs. Iqbal Farrukh ~ San Francisco, USA
  • Dear Attorney Iram Fatima: Thanks so much for all of your kind efforts in this area and I must admit that your legal firm is the best in the country.

    Zubair Mufti ~ Texas, USA
  • The efficiency and effectiveness of your services are much appreciated.

    James Alexander Linton Williams ~ UK
  • Many thanks for this, and thank you for being so prompt. It is very appreciated.

    Alex Gilchrist ~ Somerset, UK
  • Thank you again for handling my case so well, I am honoured to be represented by you.

    Yolanda Slabbert ~ Port Elizabeth, South Africa
  • Thank you very much for your great attention to my case, I see that you're a very serious company and I'm happy that I've choose you.

    Sergio Lujan ~ Bogota, Colombia
  • I really appreciate the help and support provided by Zafar and Associates to our company. I don’t know what to say or how to thank you, but to tell the truth your services are really the best legal services we have ever received. You are truly a professional and effective law firm.

    Adnan Branbo ~ Dubai, UAE
  • Thank you very much for your contribution. We will review the information and incorporate it into the International Citation Manual of Washington University Global Studies Law Review. Your help is appreciated.

    Naomi Levin ~ Washington, USA
  • I wanted to let you know that i got the documents. And i wanted to thank you and the whole team who worked on my case. You all did a good job thanks again.

    Naima Ashraf ~ The Hague, Holland
  • Thank you very much for all the work you have done to ensure that the Death in Service benefit reaches the parents of the deceased. Are they expecting this money and do they understand where it is coming from? We appreciate your assistance and excellent work.

    Susan Bauer ~ London, UK
  • I have no words to express my gratitude to you. People like you are very rare and I have the priviledge to know one of those. May God shower all blessings on to you and your family. I am a small man with only prayers on my lips.

    Dr. Haridev Bhargava ~ Saratoga, USA
  • I must say your handling of this matter has been totally sterling and I shall not have any hesitation in recommending you and your firm to others.

    Rosina Ahmad ~ UK
  • Good morning, I received the documents back yesterday afternoon. Thank you so much for your quick response to the job. We really appreciate it. Looking forward to working with you in the further.

    Mrs. Jan Malcolm ~ Auckland, New Zealand
  • Thank you very much for the case. It is just brilliant! I am so grateful that you went out of your way to help me.”

    Loraine Bhan ~ Suva, Fiji
  • I do appreciate highly the sense of commitment your office wishes to dedicate to the follow up of our question for information. I have transmitted the contents of your email IMMEDIATELY to the contact, together with confirmation of the highest esteem we attribute to the quality of the services rendered by ZAFAR & ASSOCIATES.

    Paul Wouters ~ Istanbul, Turkey
  • Thank you very much for the information and good news. I know you’ve been working too hard and I appreciate every single minute working with you all. It’s an experience to be in the team of hardworking people and I am very proud to be included.

    Evangeline Williams ~ Paphos, Cyprus
  • I would like to thank you for your swift and excellent service that your office recently provided us. I would definitely forward your contact information to my friends and family in reference to seeking legal matters in Pakistan. I would also inform Sean Hogan and his associates to pass on your contact information to any clients that may need assistance in the matters of law in Pakistan.

    Zarar Khan ~ Miami, USA
  • We are greatly impressed with your firm and the professional calibre of the partners. If acceptable, we would like to keep your firm as a reference for future projects. Please let me know.

    Tanaz Pardiwala ~ Barcelona, Spain
  • We are happy to inform you that we have received the original succession certificate via DHL. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your efforts, especially Dr. Zafar, who was kind enough to handle the security deposit at the court. With our best wishes and success for the New Year, to you and your esteemed team, we remain with.

    Mansur Asrar ~ Istanbul, Turkey
  • I am writing to convey to you how much I appreciate your prompt service! My mother called me today and informed me that 2 lawyers from your firm visited her. It is a pleasant surprise to know that such a law firm exists in our very own country. I would definitely recommend your firm to any friend who is in need of professional legal services in Pakistan.

    Naveed Ahmad ~ USA
  • I am truly very impressed with the follow up of your law firm. I never thought a Pakistani firm would be so aggressive and pro-active. Do you even happen to come to NYC? If so, then please look me up here when you visit next.

    Faisal Mumtaz ~ New York, USA
  • I want to thank you for all services you have rendered to us. I really appreciate it and hope on further cooperation.

    Petrov Andrey ~ Moscow, Russia
  • With God's help you have done a great thing for our family. Thank you so much for your diligence and expertise. We are truly grateful to God for all that is possible now. We also are looking forward to meeting you and your staff when we arrive in Pakistan next month. Please let us know if there is anything we can bring for you from the United States as a gift.

    Shaukat Minhas and Colleen Davidson ~ Dallas, USA
  • Your help in investigation case is well appreciated. My brother and I are ever grateful to you for obtaining the document. Thank you and god bless you and your practice team.

    Kevin Lessani - Dallas - USA
  • I greatly appreciate that your law firm is very careful in its preparation of petitions. In fact, the outcome of a legal fight greatly depends on how effectively a law firm has presented its case. If it fails to conceive in advance as to what it will have to face in defense, it can not prepare an effective petition. I admire that ZAFAR & ASSOCIATES - LLP are very careful in their initial step i.e. to prepare petition, around which the whole legal battle is fought.

    M. Iftikhar Sheikh ~ Dhahran, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia