Accolades

The Firm and its lawyers have achieved recognition and praise in a number of international legal publications in successive years including “The Legal 500 Asia Pacific”, “Chambers Global – The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business”, “Chambers Asia – Asia’s Leading Lawyers for Business”, IFLR 1000 and Asialaw.

2020 Accolades

General Business Law – Band 1

Ranked Lawyers:

Bernard Tan – General Business Law (Band 1)
James Chiew – General Business Law (Senior Statespeople)

What the team is known for

Remains a go-to choice of counsel for many major international and domestic clients on a variety of Brunei-facing mandates. Regularly advises on complex banking, corporate and property-related transactions, as well as private equity fund formation. Advises on Shari’a-compliant financings and local investment regulatory issues.

Strengths

The firm earns respect from market commentators for its transactional expertise, with interviewees reporting that “they have a good and broad experience of corporate transactions.”

Work highlights

Assisted Baiduri Bank with the acquisition of retail and commercial assets from HSBC Banking Corporation and HSBC Finance.

Advised Bank of China on Bruneian regulatory issues involving its financial and insurance products.

Notable practitioners

Bernard Tan is highly regarded by market commentators for his transactional expertise, ranging from banking and acquisitions to corporate restructuring. He acts for both international and domestic clients. Sources report that he is “reliable, delivers on time and understands what we need.”

James Chiew is a consultant at the firm, with specialised knowledge of Islamic finance. His areas of expertise include corporate transactions, investment funds and securities matters.

General Business Law (Outstanding)
Banking and Financial Services (Highly Recommended)
Infrastructure (Recommended)
Real Estate (Recommended)

Leading Lawyers:

Bernard Tan – Banking and finance, Corporate and M&A (Elite Practitioner)

Analysis:

General business law

Work highlights

Advised Australia and New Zealand Banking Group on issues related to its derivatives trading with entities incorporated and registered in Brunei.

Advised ThyssenKrupp Singapore on the Brunei laws and regulations in relation to its proposed construction and operational activities of its fertiliser project in Brunei.

Advised DotC Holding on its acquisition of a company incorporated in the Cayman Islands with a Brunei subsidiary. The firm conducted due diligence on the company.

Advised State Street Trust (SG) on the duties and obligations of a trustee in the marketing of its unit trusts to the public according to the applicable Brunei laws and regulations.

Key clients
Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Avolon Aerospace Leasing, European Investment Fund, Lufthansa Technik, Prudential Assurance Company Singapore, Solar Turbine, State Street Globallink Asia

Tier 1 firm since 2007

Financial and Corporate (Tier 1)

Leading Lawyers:

Bernard Tan – Investment Funds, Banking, M&A (Market Leader)

Financial and Corporate:

Abrahams Davidson & Co is a market leading firm in financial and corporate work.

The firm has experience in advising international clients on a host of matters including investments and joint ventures, syndicated loans, bonds, Islamic financing, regulatory compliance, and projects.

During the research period the firm advised on matters related to acquisitions, regulatory compliance, aircraft leasing and market entry. Key sectors of activity include agriculture, aviation, insurance, and banking and financial services.

Recent Deal Data highlights

Aboitiz Equity Ventures acquisition of Gold Coin Feedmill

Client feedback

“The law firm’s work is generally good and the lawyers are generally responsive.” – Financial services regulatory

“Very clear, concise and properly thought through legal opinion. Extremely well drafted as well so that definitely saves the client a lot of time when seeking to do transactional/legal diligence in Brunei.” – Financial services regulatory

“The law firm’s work is satisfactory. The law firm is responsive and delivers sound advice.” – Banking

Bernard Tan
“This lawyer has a good understanding of the local market practices and local laws. The lawyer is responsive and delivers sound and practical advice.”

Leading Firm in Brunei (Tier 1)

Abrahams, Davidson & Co. ’s core strength is in banking, property development and corporate work. Other areas of expertise include commercial law and securities as well as funds advice for both local and international clients. Bernard Tan is the firm’s managing partner and heads the firm’s corporate and commercial practice in addition to its securities and funds department. Suan Chin Tan is another known name and leads the firm’s banking and conveyancing department. Ahmad Basuni Hj Abbas’s experience spans commercial work as well as conventional and Islamic banking.

Practice head(s):
Bernard Tan; Tan Suan Chin
Other key lawyers:
Ahmad Basuni Hj Abbas

Key clients
European Investment Fund, State Street Trust (SG) Limited, State Street Globallink Asia Pacific Limited, Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc., Solar Turbine Inc. (subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc.), Lufthansa Technik AG, Prudential Assurance Company, Singapore, ThyssenKrupp Singapore Pte. Ltd, Avolon Aerospace Leasing Limited, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd, Citibank NA and Citicorp, Bank of America/ Merrill Lynch

Work highlights

• Advised the European Investment Fund on the marketing of its fund under Brunei securities law.
• Advised Aboitiz Equity Ventures on the indirect acquisition of Gold Coin Feedmill (Brunei) Sdn Bhd and conducted due diligence on the Brunei subsidiary.
• Advised State Street Trust (Sg) Limited on the duties and obligations of a trustee in relation to the marketing of its unit trusts to the public under the applicable Brunei laws and regulations.
• Advised State Street Globallink Asia Pacific Limited on its proposed offering of FX and metals trading platforms and other market data services.
• Advised DotC Holding Limited on a proposed acquisition of a Cayman Island-incorporated company with a Brunei subsidiary by conducting legal due diligence on the company.

2019 Accolades

General Business Law – Band 1

Ranked Lawyers:

Bernard Tan – General Business Law (Band 1)
James Chiew – General Business Law (Senior Statespeople)

Work highlights

Advised Willis Lease Finance Corporation in a financing and asset securitization transaction involving its lease assets that includes such assets with the local national carrier.

Advised Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited on the rules for doing cross-border business activities in Brunei and the applicable requirements/restrictions on marketing of banking, lending, investment and insurance products targeting retail investors.

Advised Bank Julius Baer in relation to a high value multiple loan and trading facilities granted by it to a locally-incorporated company.

Advised ThyssenKrupp on local corporate and employment matters with respect to the setting up of a reported USD1.3 billon fertilizer plant production facility commissioned by Brunei Fertiliser Industries Sdn Bhd, a state owned entity that is scheduled for completion in 2021.

Notable practitioners

Bernard Tan is well respected for his expertise across banking and corporate matters, with sources describing him as “very experienced and highly regarded.” A client reports that he “is very focused and handles our matters professionally,” while he also earns recognition for his experience liaising with the government.

James Chiew remains well respected among market commentators for his long-standing experience, particularly for his significant knowledge of Islamic finance. He is currently active for the firm as a consultant.

General Business Law (Outstanding)
Banking and Financial Services (Highly Recommended)
Infrastructure (Recommended)
Real Estate (Recommended)

Ranked Lawyers:

Bernard Tan – Banking and finance, Corporate and M&A (Elite Practitioner)

Analysis:

General business law

Work highlights

Advised for Baiduri Bank on its acquisition of the retail, commercial and hire purchase assets from HSBC Brunei and HSBC Finance in Brunei

Advised Willis Lease Finance Corporation on a financing and securitisation involving its lease assets with the local national carrier.

Advised Muara Port Company on its leasing, shareholder and employment matters.

Advised Noble Drilling on the corporate restructuring of its Brunei subsidiary, including amending its articles of association, drafting the shareholders agreement, a call option agreement and all ancillary documents.

Key clients
Bank of China, BRP Bizzozero & Partners, Thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions.

Financial and Corporate (Tier 1)

Leading Lawyers:

Bernard Tan – Investment Funds, Banking, M&A (Market Leader)

Financial and Corporate:

Abrahams, Davidson & Co. is one of the foremost firms in Brunei.

In M&A, the firm acted for Baiduri Bank in the acquisition of assets from HSBC.

An interesting deal saw the firm advising Thyssenkrupp on establishing a plant fertilizer production facility.

Notable clients include Bank of China, Baiduri Bank Berhad, Bank Julius Baer Singapore and Thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions.

Leading Firm in Brunei

Abrahams, Davidson & Co. is one of the largest full-service law firms in Brunei. The team’s core areas of expertise include corporate and commercial advisory work, as well as considerable experience in finance, securities and investment mandates. The practice routinely advises major national and international clients on complex deals, Islamic financing and fund formations. Managing partner Bernard Tan heads the firm’s corporate and commercial department as well as its securities and funds practice.

2018 Accolades

General Business Law – Band 1

Ranked Lawyers:

Bernard Tan – General Business Law (Band 1)
James Chiew – General Business Law (Senior Statesmen)

What the team is known for

Remains a go-to choice of counsel for many major international and domestic clients on a variety of Brunei-facing mandates. Regularly advises on complex banking, corporate and property-related transactions, as well as private equity fund formation. Wins acclaim for its sophisticated handling of Islamic finance transactions.

Strengths

Sources are impressed by the firm’s cross-border offering, admiring its “good bench of lawyers” who possess strong client relationship skills and “good international experience”. This commentator also commends the firm’s ability to handle “innovative Islamic finance work”.

Work highlights

Assisted SBI (B) Sdn Bhd with the formation of a USD 100 million Shari’a-compliant private equity fund.

Advised Standard Chartered Bank on legal issues pertaining to its potential involvement in a sukuk issuance by the government of Brunei.

Notable practitioners

Bernard Tan maintains a stellar reputation in the market, frequently advising international clients on corporate, banking and securities deals, as well as funds. He recently provided regulatory advice to AIA in relation to insurance and fund management matters in Brunei.

James Chiew Consultant James Chiew has a long-standing reputation as a leading adviser on Islamic finance in Brunei. A highly experienced practitioner, he advises clients on a range of general corporate matters, securities transactions and funds.

Ranked in the Asialaw ALP Awards 2017 – Brunei Firm of the Year

Banking & Finance (Outstanding)
Construction & Real Estate (Outstanding)
Corporate / M&A (Outstanding)
Dispute Resolution & Litigation (Highly Recommended)

Leading Lawyers:

Ahmad Basuni bin Hj Abbas – Banking & finance, Corporate / M&A (Market-leading Lawyer)
Bernard Tan – Banking & finance, Corporate / M&A (Leading Lawyer)
Tan Suan Chin – Banking & finance (Market-leading Lawyer)

Analysis:

Banking & Finance

Abrahams, Davidson & Co. is one of the strongest law firms in banking and finance in Brunei for both domestic and cross border matters. Bernard Tan is the leading partner at the firm who specialises in banking and corporate practice with experience in Malaysia and Brunei securities and mutual funds laws as well as structured finance and M&A. Tan advised Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank on a banking survey in carrying out certain activities in Brunei. Tan also advised Standard Chartered Bank (Brunei) on the legal documentation matters in partaking in an Islamic structured finance product (Sukuk documentation) issued by the Brunei Government. Other leading lawyers at the firm include Ahmad Basuni Hj Abbas and Tan Suan Chin.

Construction & Real Estate

Abrahams, Davidson & Co.’s property development team advises and prepares legal documentation for a range of construction and real estate transactions including sale lease and development. Tan Suan Chin heads the banking and conveyancing practice and has more than 23 years of practice experience both in Singapore and Brunei.

Corporate / M&A

Leading corporate firm Abrahams, Davidson & Co. has significant experience in advising on acquisition of local banks, vesting of assets involving foreign bank branches, joint venture and project agreements. Leading partner Bernard Tan advised on the sale of G4S Group Holding’s equity and business to local investors. Tan also advised SBI Islamic Fund II on the arrangement of a new $100 million USD dollar denominated Islamic private equity fund. Tan and his team prepared all the necessary fund documentation and placement memorandum.

Dispute Resolution & Litigation

Abrahams, Davidson & Co. provides regular expert opinion and acts for clients before the High Court in areas such as construction, intellectual property, infrastructure, and corporate law. Ahmad Basuni Hj Abbas leads on litigation matters at the firm and has more than 22 years of experience.

Financial and Corporate (Tier 1)

Leading Lawyers:

Bernard Tan – Investment Funds, Banking, M&A (Highly regarded)