Aref Amanat Associate Counsel

Phone: 604.558.8044
Fax: 604.681.0959
Assistant: Donna Ward |

Professional Summary

Professional Summary

Aref brings his varied and international experience in law, commerce, government and international organizations to serve First Nations in their path towards self-determination and economic development.

After law school, Aref clerked for the Supreme Court of Canada. He proceeded to a teaching fellowship at Columbia Law School in New York and a stint in the President’s Chambers at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, dealing with cases of genocide and crimes against humanity. Seeking exposure to global commerce and markets, Aref then joined the New York law firm of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, focusing on complex and high-stakes corporate transactions. For several years at the firm Aref assisted public and private companies in the US, Canada and Europe in their mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances and investments in a range of industries.

With a longstanding interest in China, Aref took a role in Shanghai as Asia Pacific General Counsel at a US-based multinational industrial company with over $5 billion in revenue and over 8000 employees. There, he led a legal team handling the company’s full range of legal, compliance and government affairs in 15 countries. He negotiated and oversaw joint ventures with Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian and Indonesian private and state-owned companies, pursued large and small investigations and disputes, handled negotiations with government agencies, and assessed and executed mergers and acquisitions. In a series of projects spanning three years and several countries, Aref worked as part of a small internal team to implement an innovative clean energy technology involving the extraction and processing of natural resources, the construction and operation of industrial facilities and pipelines, and sales into domestic and international energy markets. He also played an internal leadership role in the company, serving as a member of both the global senior leadership team and regional leadership committee, collaborating to set company strategy, managing through significant corporate changes, and handling personnel matters. As part of his commitment to academia and education, during that time Aref also taught a course named the Common Law and Commercial Transactions to Chinese upper-level law students at East China University of Politics and Law in Shanghai, exploring the roots of modern international commercial practices. In all, Aref lived and worked in China for eight years, becoming fluent in spoken and written Mandarin.

Aref feels privileged to work together with the distinguished team at Mandell Pinder to serve First Nations entering into increasingly complex areas of governance and economic development, and is honored to assist First Nations further their processes of self-determination by providing innovative solutions informed by his experience.


LL.B and B.C.L, McGill University Faculty of Law, 2003

B.A. (History), McGill University

Professional Standing & Affiliations

Member, Law Society of B.C. (2018)

Member, New York Bar (2003)