Mahnaz specialises in international law and international dispute settlement. She routinely conducts arbitrations for sovereigns and corporations governed by ICSID, UNCITRAL, ICC, LCIA and other procedures. She is often sought for her expertise in investor-state disputes arising under bilateral investment treaties and contracts. Mahnaz is currently representing 3 Governments in significant investor-state claims and has appeared as Counsel in 5 bilateral investment treaty disputes in the last year alone. Mahnaz also has extensive expertise in advising Governments and international law organisations on international investment law issues, developing model treaties and negotiating positions, sovereign guarantees, foreign investment laws and the training of government officials. She has advised over 20 governments and 3 regional groupings across Africa, Asia and Latin America on investment law and has trained over 600 government officials. She also assists individuals and corporations in relation to obtaining investment treaty protection and sovereign guarantees.
Mahnaz is a member of the ICSID Panel of Arbitrators and sits on the editorial board of the ICSID Review.
Mahnaz publishes, teaches and speaks extensively. Her writings are frequently cited in academic journals and appear on syllabi. She is an adjunct professor on the faculty of a US law school, and has been a guest lecturer at King's College London and the London School of Economics. Her professional awards include the prestigious Financial Times Legal Innovator of the Year Award 2007. She has also served as a member of the ICC Commissions on Arbitration and Anti-Corruption. After graduating with a MA in Law from Cambridge University, Mahnaz qualified as an Attorney at Law (New York), Solicitor (England & Wales) and an Advocate of the High Court in Pakistan. She is also called to the English Bar (Lincoln's Inn).
- Successfully represented the Government of Albania in an UNCITRAL arbitration brought by Sky Petroleum Inc. by obtaining the dismissal of a claim worth US$1 billion arising from an oil exploration contract with full costs awarded in her client's favour.
- Successfully represented the Governments of Pakistan and Balochistan in ICSID and ICC proceedings in relation to interim relief applications over gold and copper deposits
- Successfully represented the Government of Indonesia in obtaining dismissal of a USD 75 million claim arising out of the bail out of a major bank pursuant to the UK-Indonesia BIT (Rafat Ali Rizvi v Indonesia, ICSID)
- Counsel to the Government of Indonesia in an investment treaty dispute brought by a Saudi investor pursuant to the OIC Agreement (UNCITARAL) arising from the bail out of a major bank (instructed by KarimSyah in Jakarta)