Justice Umar Ata Bandial was born on 17.09.1958 in Lahore. He received his elementary and secondary education at different schools in Kohat, Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Lahore. He got his Senior Cambridge certificate in the year 1973 from St.Mary’s Academy, Rawalpindi and Higher Senior Cambridge certificate from Aitchison College in the year 1975. He secured his B.A. (Economics) degree from Columbia University, USA in the year 1979 followed by a Law Tripos degree from Cambridge University, UK in 1981.
In 1982 he qualified as Barrister-at-Law from Lincoln’s Inn, London. In the same year, he was enrolled as an Advocate of the Lahore High Court and some years later, as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
Justice Umar Ata Bandial established his law practice at Lahore dealing mostly with commercial, banking, tax and property law matters. After 1993 until his elevation, Justice Umar Ata Bandial also handled international commercial disputes. He appeared in arbitration matters before the Supreme Court of Pakistan and also before foreign arbitral tribunals in London and Paris. He remained professionally associated in the Hitachi-Rupali dispute (1998), the Hubco-GoP dispute (2000), the Ghazi Barotha Contractors-WAPDA dispute (2001) and the Bayinder NHA dispute (2004).
Justice Umar Ata Bandial was elevated as Judge of the Lahore High Court on 04.12.2004. He declined oath under PCO in November, 2007 but was restored as a judge of the Lahore High Court as a result of the lawyers and civil society movement for revival of the Judiciary and Constitutional rule in the country.
During his career as Judge of the Lahore High Court, Justice Umar Ata Bandial rendered judgments on a number of important public law and private law issues. These include the affirmation of the autonomy and independence of the office of Chief Election Commissioner; the sanctity of the office of the President as symbol of the unity of the Federation requiring its detachment from political involvement and activity; the necessity of ensuring transparency and competition in governmental licensing of Hajj Group Organizers in a Rs.9.25 billion annual business; holding the Lahore skyline to be public property for purposes of local authority regulation of sky signs; declaring the decisions of the Council of Common Interests in the matter of Kalabagh Dam to possess sanctity and enforceability unless modified according to the Constitution; the enforcement of transparency and merit criteria for appointment of Provincial Public Prosecutors.
Justice Umar Ata Bandial was appointed as Chief Justice of Lahore High Court, Lahore on 01.06.2012 and served in that office until his elevation as Judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan on 17.06.2014.
Whilst practicing as an Advocate he taught Contract Law at the Punjab University Law College for four years until 1987 and remained a member of its Graduate Studies Committee whilst serving as Judge Lahore High Court.