Shahrzad Shamim

Shahrzad Shamim is licensed by the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association to practice law in Afghanistan. She joined SHAJJAN & ASSOCIATES in 2014 as a junior associate. She was promoted to associate in 2015 and to senior associate in 2018. She is also an active member of International Chamber of Commerce Afghanistan and a registered arbitrator with ACDR.

Shamim is a specialized business lawyer. She provides legal counseling, regulatory advice and litigation support on complex legal issues to national and international businesses. She essentially advises clients on a variety of business-related areas including business licensing, joint venturing, business restructuring, business winding up and mergers. Her practice also involves structuring, negotiating and drafting various types of agreements including partnership agreements, shareholder agreements, telecommunication agreements, employment agreements, real estate purchase agreements, and other commercial agreements. Moreover, she advises clients on inbound and outbound tax implications of domestic companies, multi-national corporations and USG/NATO contractors. Shamim studied law at Kabul University and completed her LL.M. studies at Wake Forest University, where she specialized in Business Law. Apart from her practice as a business lawyer, she represents indigent clients in issues related to family law and human rights on pro-bono basis.

Firm Description

In Afghanistan provision of legal services trace back to as early as 1964 when the then Afghan Constitution for the first time stipulated the right to defense counsel. However, the profession suffered a setback in the years to come as the entire justice system was heavily affected by different phases of war from late 1970s to 1990s. Contrary to this backdrop, post-2001 with the advent of the international community, a vigorous campaign was initiated to improve the legal sector and strengthen the rule of law in Afghanistan. This has transformed the justice sector immensely and strengthened the legal institutions to a noteworthy level. SHAJJAN & ASSOCIATES remained an essential contributor to this campaign since it was founded.
SHAJJAN & ASSOCIATES was founded in 2011 by Saeeq Shajjan and registered under the laws of Afghanistan. Soon SHAJJAN & ASSOCIATES established itself as a ‘go-to law firm’ in Afghanistan. The firm’s scope of practice includes but is not limited to legal counseling, litigation, legislative drafting and legal capacity building. Additionally, provision of pro-bono legal services to the needy people is inherited as a core culture in each of our attorneys. Client service is our shared professional value. We believe that SHAJJAN & ASSOCIATES is not about us; it is about services to our clients. This attitude helped us to emerge as the ‘firm of choice’ in Afghanistan and beyond.

 

Saeeq Shajjan

Saeeq Shajjan founded SHAJJAN & ASSOCIATES in 2011. Under Shajjan’s leadership, SHAJJAN & ASSOCIATES achieved recognition for its services not only in Afghanistan but also abroad. With over 16 years of hands-on experience, Shajjan’s practice area mainly covers real estate law, commercial law and contract law. He also possesses expertise in corporate law, civil law, family law, criminal law, property law, citizenship law, constitutional law, Islamic law as well as banking, taxation, labor and employment and human rights.

Shajjan has worked with clients in and beyond Afghanistan. He has advised international clients and leading foreign law firms on the applicability of the laws of Afghanistan. He has represented cases and provided expert testimonies on Afghan law related matters before the courts in the United States and the United Kingdom. He has represented several clients in international arbitration cases as a co-counsel. And he has advised different foreign diplomatic missions and advised and represented various international organizations and contractors before courts and administrative agencies in Afghanistan. Shajjan is member of the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association; registered arbitrator with the Afghanistan Center for Commercial Dispute Resolution of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries and chairman of arbitration and dispute resolution commission of Afghanistan International Chamber of Commerce. He is also board member of Public- Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan, PARSA Afghanistan and interim member of AmCham Afghanistan.

He participated in numerous academic panels in international forums and spoke on diverse legal issues particularly the rule of law in Afghanistan. He delivered talks at Harvard Law School, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Boston University Law School, La Verne College of Law, Williams College, Simmons College, Walker Institute of International and Area Studies and the University of Sciences Po, Paris. In addition, he has done numerous interviews with both local and western media outlets on scores of topics pertinent to legal issues. Prior to starting his own practice, Shajjan worked for the Government of Afghanistan as Senior Advisor on Policies and Legislation with the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission (IARCSC). Since 2003 Shajjan contributed, in different capacities, to the development of legal community in Afghanistan by training Afghan judges, prosecutors, attorneys and fresh law graduates from across the country. He has made promising efforts in advocating the rule of law, furthering principles of constitutionalism and strengthening legal profession.

Firm Description

In Afghanistan provision of legal services trace back to as early as 1964 when the then Afghan Constitution for the first time stipulated the right to defense counsel. However, the profession suffered a setback in the years to come as the entire justice system was heavily affected by different phases of war from late 1970s to 1990s. Contrary to this backdrop, post-2001 with the advent of the international community, a vigorous campaign was initiated to improve the legal sector and strengthen the rule of law in Afghanistan. This has transformed the justice sector immensely and strengthened the legal institutions to a noteworthy level. SHAJJAN & ASSOCIATES remained an essential contributor to this campaign since it was founded.
SHAJJAN & ASSOCIATES was founded in 2011 by Saeeq Shajjan and registered under the laws of Afghanistan. Soon SHAJJAN & ASSOCIATES established itself as a ‘go-to law firm’ in Afghanistan. The firm’s scope of practice includes but is not limited to legal counseling, litigation, legislative drafting and legal capacity building. Additionally, provision of pro-bono legal services to the needy people is inherited as a core culture in each of our attorneys. Client service is our shared professional value. We believe that SHAJJAN & ASSOCIATES is not about us; it is about services to our clients. This attitude helped us to emerge as the ‘firm of choice’ in Afghanistan and beyond.

 

Kawun Kakar

Kawun Kakar, an active member of the California Bar Association, has extensive experience as an attorney, private sector executive, and senior government official. He has worked with both national and international institutions in Afghanistan, the United States and the United Arab Emirates.

Mr. Kakar practice focuses on share purchase agreements, international financing facilities, real estate purchase agreements, partnerships and distributorship agreements, employment contracts, tax matters, and business licenses. He has worked with other attorneys in multiple jurisdictions in Europe, the United States and the Middle East. Mr. Kakar has vast experience in contractual negotiations involving mergers in the mining, real estate development, and logistics sectors. He has also been involved in the development of a regulatory framework for Public Private Partnership (PPP), Islamic Finance, Corporation Law, and Municipality Law.

Mr. Kakar was the Legal Advisor and Director of Business Development for a major international conglomerate with a presence in 40 countries in the Middle East, Central and South Asia, Eastern Europe and Canada. He also served as the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of a commercial bank where he ensured that the bank followed best international practices, the Banking Law and guidelines and instructions of the Central Bank of Afghanistan.

Through a US State Department contract, Mr. Kakar served as a Senior Advisor to the Minister of Justice.

Mr. Kakar has represented high profile clients in Afghan courts and with judiciary authorities. He has successfully argued in front of the High Council of Supreme Court as well as the lower courts.

Mr. Kakar has deep knowledge of the legal and administrative processes, institutions and officials in Afghanistan. As Advisor to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff and later as senior Advisor to Minister of Justice, he worked closely with all law-making and judicial institutions of the country, including the Ministry of Justice, the Attorney General’s Office, the Supreme Court, the Parliament, and the Cabinet. As a result, he was able to shepherd the passage of several important laws.

More recently, Mr. Kakar was a member of the presidentially appointed Electoral Reform Commission. The commission reviewed the Electoral Law and the performance of electoral bodies and made recommendations for improvements.

Mr. Kakar has appeared on a number of international television and radio networks, including BBC, U.S. Public Television, U.S. National Public Radio, Voice of America and Afghan National TV. He has participated in many international conferences—on legal issues, business to business and track II diplomacy—in the U.S., UK, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Pakistan, Spain, Sweden, Tajikistan, Turkey, Austria, Mexico and other countries. He has also published research papers and articles in reputable national and international publications.

Firm Description

Like many post-conflict countries, Afghanistan presents a complex environment with exceptional opportunities and daunting challenges. For national and international businesses, foreign missions, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and defense contractors, navigating this unfamiliar legal landscape can be perilous.

Established in 2013, Kakar Advocates has the expertise and experience to provide a broad range of services to assist you in establishing and managing your operations on a sound legal foundation and to guide you successfully in dealing with challenges and obstacles that may arise.

Our team consists of a number of international attorneys, locally licensed practitioners, tax and corporate consultants, as well as Afghan Government relations specialists. Members of our team have held prominent positions in the public and private sectors, including distinguished law firms, financial institutions, private companies, as well as the Afghan Government, United Nations, and other international institutions.

Our comprehensive grasp of laws and regulations pertaining to conducting business in Afghanistan enables the firm to offer exceptional, specialized legal services to a broad range of clientele. This deep knowledge base, coupled with our close engagement with Afghan and international institutions, enables us to help our clients conduct Afghan commercial affairs confidently and safely.

Kakar Advocates has been ranked as a Band 1 Law Firm by Chambers and Partners since 2017 and recognized as Top Law Firm in Afghanistan by The Legal 500 organization. The firm also received the International Stability Operations Association’s (ISOA) prestigious 2019 Vanguard Award. Similarly, the firm’s Managing Partner and other lawyers have received (top/high ranked) international recognition.

As a leading Afghan firm, we closely monitor developments in Afghanistan’s evolving legal and regulatory environment, regularly publish legal guides, and speak on legal reforms and practices at national and international conferences. In particular, the firm has published comprehensive practice guides for Chambers and Partners in the key areas of mining, employment law, and public procurement and government contracts.

Kakar Advocates has a strategic alliance with DLA Piper, an elite global law firm with lawyers in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific. This alliance enables us to offer clients comprehensive local expertise combined with global reach and expertise. Kakar Advocates has also worked with a number of highly respected regional and major law firms in the U.S., Europe, Central Asia, South-East Asia and the Middle East including Norton Rose Fulbright, Mayer Brown, Baker & McKenzie, Bird & Bird, Wilmer Hale, Allen & Overy, and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer to offer the best solutions for our clients.

We assist our clients in a comprehensive set of services across many sectors, ranging from simple tasks such as setting up or restructuring corporate entities, monthly tax compliance, to advice on complex projects such as power purchase agreements, commercial contracts, tax appeals and litigation in court. Kakar Advocates’ experience encompasses aviation, corporate, mining, energy, oil and gas, labor and employment, dispute resolution, banking and finance, consumer protection and privacy, public procurement, telecommunications, and tax and customs matters.

With our head office in Kabul and a client liaison office in McLean, Virginia, Kakar Advocates is uniquely positioned to assist you with all of your business requirements and needs.

 

Kimberly Motley

Has been a practicing attorney and litigator since 2003 and has worked in Afghanistan since 2008. She is founder to Motley Legal Services and cofounder to Motley Consulting International. At the present, she is the first foreigner who has ever litigated cases in Afghanistan’s Criminal Courts and has a strong litigious practice focusing on criminal, commercial, contract, civil, and employment law matters.

In addition to her legal practice in Afghanistan and the U.S. she has also done extensive research work particularly in the area of juvenile justice that has been reported internationally.

Attorney Motley received her J.D. from Marquette Law School in 2003. She also received a Master’s of Science Degree in the area of Criminal Justice in 2003 and a B.S. in the area of criminal justice with a minor in political science in 2000 from the University of Milwaukee Wisconsin. In addition to this, Attorney Motley also has an earned an A.A.S. in Paralegal from Milwaukee Area Technical College.

Immediately prior to opening up Motley Legal, Attorney Motley worked with as a Justice Advisor with US Department of State funded project in Afghanistan. In this capacity she was given the remit to raise the capacity of Afghan Defense Attorneys and has trained of hundreds of Afghan Attorneys throughout the country.

Prior to working in Afghanistan, Atty. Motley was an attorney with the State of Wisconsin’s Public Defender’s Office since 2003. In this capacity she litigated hundreds of criminal, civil, and juvenile cases of varying misdemeanor and felony matters.

In 2004 Attorney Motley was crowned as Mrs. Wisconsin and competed in the infamous Mrs. America pageant. As part of her platform, she worked in promoting truancy abatement issues for juveniles in the justice system.

She has successfully handled many criminal and civil cases in Afghanistan. Of note she successfully litigated a case involving a British citizen in Afghanistan in the newly formed Anti corruption Courts. She has had many legal successes in Afghanistan which include achieving an early release through the Presidential Office for a client, successfully securing the exit of several foreigners who were victim to counterfeit visas, to name a few. She has spoken world wide on her experience and has been guest speaker to the US Embassy, Marquette Law, Emory Law, Charlotte School of Law, ISAF, UNICEF, European Union, etc.

Both the legal and research work that Attorney Motley has done while in Afghanistan has travelled all over the world and her work has been reported heavily in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, CNN, BBC, Reuters, the Today Show, Weekend Update, ABC Australia and the London Times to name a few. She has internationally published several articles on juvenile justice, and legal issues in Afghanistan.

She is currently writing a book about her experiences in Afghanistan which is to be released in 2012.

Tom Rosenstock

Mr. Rosenstock has been advising clients in Afghanistan since 2008. Mr. Rosenstock advises clients on transactional matters, early stage dispute resolution, and in conjunction with locally qualified attorneys, on matters of Afghan law including registration, taxation, employment law and other interaction with Afghan government departments. Mr. Rosenstock was an entrepreneur and a business consultant before studying law at New York University in the United States. He has been admitted to practice law in the State of New York and began his career in the New York office of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. In addition to his work with RLS, Mr. Rosenstock is a founder and current member of the Board of the American Chamber of Commerce in Afghanistan.

Tax Law Practice:

Rosenstock Legal Services has been working within the tax system since 2008, and has an intimate understanding of the evolving approaches used by the Afghan Government with respect to the enforcement of the Income Tax Law.

The tax environment in Afghanistan has been rapidly evolving over the past several years from one which had minimal impact on the operations of international companies to where we are today, with complex issues surrounding tax exemptions, withholding obligations, and contradictory interpretations of International Tax Agreements.

Because of the nature of the tax environment in Afghanistan, and the uncertainty that has prevailed in the marketplace, most of our clients come to us wanting to discuss both the past and the future. With respect to the past, we can’t change the law, but we can give comfort to our clients about what the real liabilities may be and how to address them. When it comes to the future, we make certain that our clients know exactly what to expect from the current enforcement regime.

RLS’ tax engagements with our clients run the full spectrum from initial advice on the Afghan corporate tax regime, to full-scale implementation where RLS handles our clients ongoing and annual tax filings. RLS also trains administrative personnel to perform ongoing tax filings

Rosenstock Legal Services:

Afghanistan is a challenging place for international companies to do business. The local legal and regulatory system is less transparent than in many other jurisdictions, and local professionals are not always able to provide international companies with the level of comfort they require. RLS has extensive experience helping clients understand and navigate the local corporate registration and tax environment, and advising in connection with local employment law and other interaction with governing bodies.

RLS has advised both buyers and sellers in mergers, acquisitions and other corporate re-organizations. RLS also assists small to medium size international companies doing business in Afghanistan by acting as their outside general counsel, advising in transactional and other matters. RLS combines its international legal skills and local experience, working closely with locally qualified counsel to provide international companies with international caliber legal services applicable to this challenging environment.

RLS’ work for Afghan companies involves assisting them with complex contracts and contract disputes. The Afghan legal community does not have extensive experience in complex contracts, and RLS believes that it’s important to enable Afghan businesses to do business with international private and public organizations on an equal footing.

Zmarak Zhouand

Our firm was formed in January 2011 and provides legal and regulatory advice and strategic government advisory services for the Afghan market at a standard that one would expect from a firm in more established jurisdictions. The firm’s exclusive focus is on providing advice and services on Afghan related matters and projects.

We were the first Afghan law firm in the post-Taliban era to be engaged by the Government of Afghanistan to draft legislation and provide advice and services on significant transactions. In 2012: (a) the firm won the Corporate INTL awards in the following categories: (i) Best Corporate Law Firm; (ii) Best Tax Law Firm; and (iii) Best Regulatory Law Firm; (b) the Firm was Recommended in Corporate Law by Global Legal Experts; (c) Mr. Satchu and Mr. Zhouand were both recognized as Leading Lawyers of Asia by Global Business Magazine; (d) Mr. Zhouand (i) won the Corporate Livewire awards for Lawyer of the Year 2012 – Banking and Finance and for Lawyer of the Year 2012 – Mining and Infrastructure; and (ii) was recommended by Global Legal Experts in Corporate Law. In 2013: (a) the firm was ranked Tier 1 in General Business Law by Chambers Asia-Pacific 2013 and featured in IFLR1000 2013; and (b) Mr. Satchu and Mr. Zhouand were individually recognized in the category of Leaders in their Field in Chambers Asia-Pacific 2013.

Mr. Samir Satchu – Partner – Prior to forming SZ, Mr. Satchu was General Counsel & Head of Government Affairs at Roshan where he worked between September 2003 and December 2010. Mr. Satchu headed Roshan’s legal and government affairs team from December 2006 to December 2010 reporting directly to the Company’s Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Satchu is a graduate of Cambridge University (Trinity College – BA Hons 1994) and Harvard Law School (Juris Doctor 1998) and was admitted to the New York Bar in 1999.

Mr. Zmarak Zhouand – Partner –Mr. Zhouand was born in Kabul and emigrated to Australia in 1982. He was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in New South Wales, Australia, in 2001. Between 2001 and 2008, Mr. Zhouand worked with Henry Davis York and Gadens Lawyers, both leading Australian corporate law firms, where he represented “blue-chip” national and international clients across the corporate, commercial, banking and finance and litigation practice areas. Mr. Zhouand returned to Afghanistan in 2008 to work as Senior Legal Counsel with Roshan, where, until early 2011, he led Roshan’s legal and government affairs team with Mr. Satchu and was also in charge of the legal and regulatory function for Roshan’s wholly owned subsidiary, M-Paisa. Mr. Zhouand has a B.A (SCU) (1998) and a LL.B. (UNE) (2000).

The firm’s practice is supported by a number of commercially experienced international and locally admitted lawyers and tax professionals.

Sectors:

The firm has been engaged by a number of major national and international clients in the USG contracting, telecommunications, mining, information technology, banking and financial services, media, security, logistics, commercial aviation and non-governmental sectors.

Clients:

Our clients include some of the world’s largest corporate organizations, Government of Afghanistan, World Bank, International Finance Corporation, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Asian Development Bank, DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH, Agence Française de Développement, Asia Foundation, Etisalat and International Republican Institute.