Ali Awais is admitted to practice in Pakistan and is resident in the firm’s Dubai office. He has extensive global experience in matters of infrastructure related banking and project finance transactions, such as power, hydroelectric plants, pipelines, municipal water, wastewater treatment plants, highways, and airports, as well as, mergers and acquisitions for both the public and private sector.
An advisor to investment banks and private equity funds, he handles project placements, equity and debt raising, and setting up structured products, including funds.
He has demonstrated leadership skills with a track record of successful and efficient team building, providing boards of directors and CEOs strategic legal advice on international expansion for business value creation and corporate governance and risk management structures with complex regulatory requirements.
“I am a third generation lawyer after my father and grandfather. Law is pretty much what I have lived and breathed.”
Ali received his Bachelor of Arts and Law with a dual concentration in law and economics, graduating from Punjab University and Punjab Law College, Lahore, Pakistan, (LL.B with honors). Early in his career he practiced at Awais Law Associates, Lahore, Pakistan, working on all aspects of corporate and securities law, including mergers and acquisitions, outsourcing, and corporate governance matters. He also advised leading banks on Shari’ah based transactions.
After receiving his Master of Law from George Washing University, School of Law, Washington, D.C., in 1998, with a concentration in project finance, international business, international commercial arbitration, and environmental law, he became an associate at Milbank in New York, New York, and then returned to Washington, D.C. as Legal Counsel at World Bank. There, he represented World Bank and International Finance Corporation in project finance, sub-sovereign lending, public-private partnerships, and partial risk guarantees transactions, including advising on environmental and social safeguard issues.
Following his experience at World Bank, he became a senior associate at Baker Botts, L.L.P., Washington, D.C. and Dubai, where he represented borrowers and lenders in all aspects of international project development, project and structured finance, and other cross-border transactions, including Shari’ah-compliant project and structured financings. His practice also focused on mergers and acquisitions in the private equity industry. He was then employed as a senior associate at Jones Day, Dubai, focusing on projects and finance in energy, infrastructure, private equity, real estate, and general corporate sectors, covering industries such as power, oil and gas, and infrastructure and commercial real estate.
Just prior to joining Diaz Reus (Dubai), Ali served as the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel for MAS ClearSight Limited, a legacy of Fortis Bank, which came into operation after a successful management buyout of Forits’ Middle East operations in 2010. The company’s focus is private banking, investment banking, aviation, and real estate advisory services.
Provided legal advice to Dubai-based client undergoing a regulatory investigation. Comparing their legal and compliance documentation against the regulator’s alleged charges was able to prove that there was no breach of law, rather some internal irregularities that could be fixed without any regulatory fines. Accordingly the matter was resolved.
Advised multilateral institution client on structuring an infrastructure development Fund for the Government of Afghanistan by taking into account capacity issues of the government ministries and developing training programs to enhance capacity for its successful execution.