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December 7, 2017



PHC bans lawyers from serving over 3 companies as advisers

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Wednesday directed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bar Council to name those lawyers who were serving as legal advisers to more than three companies or departments and appointed legal advisers even after being struck off from the bar council.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Younas Thaheem handed over a list of legal advisors of the KP Bar Council submitted by Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).
A Peshawar-based registrar of the SECP submitted list of the legal advisors in the high court. He submitted that after amendments, a lawyer at a time can only be appointed legal advisor for three companies.
The bench directed the bar council to name the lawyers and submit a report within two weeks to identify those who had been appointed legal advisors to more than three companies so that the list is handed over to the SECP for further action under the law.
However, he said there were 870 companies that had no legal advisors and the commission had taken action against 46 companies in this regard.
The bench was hearing a writ petition by the Peshawar Bar Association (PBA) filed through Zahidullah Zahid. The PBA President Fazal Wahid, a former president Amjad Marwat and Zahid Jamal Bacha, chairman executive committee KP Bar Council, appeared in the case.
Counsels for the petitioner informed the bench that presently there are many lawyers who are legal advisors for more than five companies.
They submitted to the bar there were many senior lawyers who were legal advisers for more than 10 companies against the law.
The PBA had filed the petition seeking order of the court to the SECP to fill the vacant post of legal advisers in the companies, which is mandatory under the law and also limit a lawyer to service on two or three vacancies of legal advisers.
The petitioner requested the court to direct the SECP to ensure implementation of the Companies Act and

particularly that all companies registered with it engage at least one legal adviser in accordance with law, and retention of more than three companies may be declared unlawful.
According to the data, currently a total of 34,649 companies require to appoint legal advisers in eight cities of Pakistan.
The figure covered 3,781 companies based in Islamabad, 10,777 in Karachi, 12,773 in Lahore, 2,864 in Peshawar, 2,103 in Multan, 152 in Sukkur, 1,395 in Faisalabad and 804 in Quetta.
After these companies were issued notices, 22,346 companies appointed legal advisers, while 12,303 have yet to take the required action.