After reading law at Oxford University (Jesus College) from 1973 to 1976, Mahmood did an MBA (1978) at the European Institute of Business Administration (INSEAD) in Fontainebleau, France, persuading them to allow him to study business at Masters level arguing convincingly that such training was vital for any truly effective business lawyer. Mahmood trained in London and Paris at Clifford Turner (which became Clifford Chance), qualifying as a solicitor in 1980.
Mahmood has served as an Independent Member on a panel vetting UK government financial support for businesses that deliver social benefits alongside financial returns and on a charity promoting pluralism and diversity in society. Mahmood was President of His Highness the Aga Khan’s Council in the UK for six years (1996-2002) and thereafter the Diplomatic Representative of the Aga Khan Development Network in Uganda (2006-2016), also co-ordinating the interface of the Aga Khan Development Network with institutions of the East African Community in Arusha (2012-2016), roles which were pursued alongside his law practice. From May 2017, he has also served as the Chairman of the Aga Khan Foundation (UK) National Committee.
Mahmood acts in most aspects of business law, and company/commercial transactions, dealing with mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, corporate restructuring and commercial dispute resolution, very often with cross-border and multi country aspects