PARTNERS

AHMAD BASUNI HJ ABBAS

QUALIFICATION

LL.B. (Hons); Barrister-at-law, Lincoln’s Inn; Advocate & Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Brunei Darussalam; Dip Islamic Law & Practice; Syari’e Counsel.

AREAS OF PRACTICE

Litigation (Civil & Criminal), Banking, Conveyancing, Property Development Intellectual Property and Syariah.

EXPERIENCE

Awg Ahmad Basuni is a Partner of the Firm and was its Managing Partner from 2007 to 2017. He has been in practice for over 25 years and oversees the litigation department covering both criminal and civil matters.

Ahmad is recognized as market leading lawyer in Asialaw.
Ahmad is a Bruneian and was with His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan’s Government from August 1988 to March 1997 attached to the Attorney-General’s Chambers as Acting Senior Counsel (civil division) and Deputy Public Prosecutor (criminal division) and Deputy Registrar of Companies.

Ahmad is also experienced in commercial work, joint ventures, corporate, banking (both conventional banking and Islamic banking), conveyancing and criminal work. His Syariah based work includes: –

  • advising a client on local laws and related matters concerning a Al-Ijarah Financing with Istisna contract for the manufacture and financing of a special purpose built LNG vessel;
  • acting as a local counsel for an overseas Islamic Offshore Bank in an Al- Ijarah Bit-Tamlik Financing for a hotel/apartment construction/ refinancing;
  • acting as a local counsel for a semi-government company having interests in Saudi Arabia;
  • the preparation of legal documents for banking, securities, operational, treasury of Development Bank of Brunei Berhad (conventional) (including trade financing documentation);
  • the preparation of legal documents for banking, securities, operational, treasury of Islamic Development Bank of Brunei Berhad (Syariah based);
  • advising on the first 2 Sukuk Al-Ijara transactions in Brunei;
  • drafting of first Islamic based Inter-bank Placement of funds agreement; and
  • advising and preparing legal opinions to banks (both conventional and Islamic) on various banking & finance issues.

He has also represented and defended high profile clients involved in corruption cases and other white-collar crimes. He was successful in gaining an acquittal in the first human trafficking case to be prosecuted in the Brunei High Court.
Ahmad’s other previous legal experience include the review, preparation and drafting of legal opinions on defence related agreements and joint venture agreements between international companies and the Government of Brunei. He also has experience advising and representing wholly Government owned companies and statutory bodies. Ahmad has represented the Attorney General’s Chambers in a broad range of matters including litigation, telecommunication and information technology and intellectual property.

Ahmad: –

  • was the first President of the Law Society of Brunei Darussalam and a council member of the Law Society of Brunei Darussalam;
  • is a member of the Islamic Laws Committee, Ministry of Religious Affairs;
  • was a Council Member of the Motor Transport Licensing Authority ofBrunei Darussalam;
  • is a board member of the Brunei Darussalam Arbitration Centre;
  • was a Council Member of the Post Graduate Diploma in Islamic Law, University Brunei Darussalam;
  • ●  was a member of the board of the Executive Committee for E-Business Programme of the Brunei Information Technology Council; and
  • ●  is a Commissioner for Oaths.

TAN SUAN CHIN

QUALIFICATION

LL.B. (Hons) (London); Barrister-at-law, Gray’s Inn; Advocate & Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore and Brunei Darussalam.

AREAS OF PRACTICE

Banking, Conveyancing and Property Development.

EXPERIENCE

Suan Chin is a Partner of the Firm and heads the Banking and Conveyancing Department. She has been in practice for over 25 years in Singapore and Brunei Darussalam.

Suan Chin is recognized as market leading lawyer in Asialaw.

Suan Chin was called to the English Bar in 1988 and the Brunei Bar in 1988. She was admitted as an Advocate and Solicitor of the Singapore Supreme Court in 1989.

Suan Chin is experienced in banking, finance, property development/ conveyancing, corporate governance & due diligence of corporate structures, funds documentation (private), including leases and tenancy agreements and corporate work.

Suan Chin’s notable work includes: –

  • acting for a Singapore garment factory seeking listing in the Singapore Stock Exchange to conduct due diligence on one of its subsidiary companies in Brunei, which included perusing material contracts and advising on local regulatory requirements.
  • advising a local bank who was a subordinated lender and a local agent to a foreign bank who granted a substantial term loan facility to a local telecommunications operator and provider.
  • advising and preparing 2 major banks on the loan and security documentation for a syndicated multimillion dollar loan facility to a foreign property development company undertaking the construction of 2000 houses in Brunei.
  • having advised, conducted due diligence and prepared all security and discharge documents for a local bank in the refinancing of an existing loan taken from a foreign bank in relating to a major telco company.

Suan Chin is a Commissioner for Oaths and is the Legal Adviser to the Taiwan Business Association.

BERNARD TAN THIAM SWEE

QUALIFICATION

LL.B. (Hons) Sheffield; Barrister-at-Law, Inner Temple; Advocate & Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore, the High Court of Malaya and the Supreme Court of Brunei Darussalam; Dip. Business Studies (ICM, England).

AREAS OF PRACTICE

Corporate & Commercial, Securities & Funds, Banking, Conveyancing and Property Development.

EXPERIENCE

Bernard is the Managing Partner of the Firm. He heads the Firm’s Corporate & Commercial and Securities & Funds Department.

Bernard focuses on corporate, commercial, banking and property practice areas with experience in mergers & acquisitions, stock exchange listings, public offerings, capital markets, corporate finance, structured finance, securities and mutual funds legislations, corporate and retail banking transactions, property development, insurance and corporate and debt restructuring schemes.

He has been in practice for over 24 years in Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam. Bernard has been cited and recognized as a leading lawyer in Brunei by Asialaw, in Band I in Chambers & Partners and as a market leading lawyer in IFLR1000.

Prior to joining the Firm in 2003, he practiced law in Kuala Lumpur and was the principal counsel in a number of successfully completed major corporate and debt restructuring workouts in Malaysia where he acted for Special Administrators appointed by Pengurusan Danaharta Nasional Berhad (the Malaysian National Debt Restructuring Agency), investment banks and listed companies on debt restructuring, schemes of arrangements, equity and debt issuance, public listings, securities laws compliance and assets securitization. Significant workouts include: –

  • Idris Hydraulic (Malaysia) Berhad’s debt and corporate restructuring exercise involving debt reconstruction and settlement in the amount of approximately RM857,000,000-00 with, inter alia, 12 banks and credit and finance companies;
  • Austral Amalgamated Berhad’s debt reconstruction and settlement of approximately RM805,000,000-00 of debt and transfer of its listing status to Furqan Business Organisation Berhad;
  • Time Engineering Berhad’s successfully restructured repayment obligations of US Dollar 250,000,000-00 mortgage bonds working in association with JP Morgan Inc and a group foreign syndicated institutional holder;
  • Woo Hing Brothers (Malaya) Bhd’s corporate restructuring exercise involving the acquisition of the entire equity for RM1,560,000-00 and the purchase of 10 asset companies valued at RM256,000,000-00 via a combination of equity and debt securities.

In Brunei, Bernard has advised on a wide range of corporate, commercial, securities and financial transactions. Bernard handles the firm’s international clients and advises them on their investments into Brunei and as well as their joint ventures with local partners. These include matters pertaining licensing, corporate registration and administration, banking and employment. Bernard has been involved in a number of significant transactions and projects in Brunei including acting for:

  • the Brunei Economic Development Board on a number of its major projects and initiatives involving inter alia:

– the setting up of the Sungai Liang Industrial Park consisting of approximately 271 hectares of land to locate up to 4 petrochemical plants;

– the establishment of the Sungai Liang Authority via the Sungai Liang Authority Order 2007 working in conjunction with foreign solicitors;

– the cooperation and project agreements with the Brunei Methanol Company Sdn Bhd for the proposed setting up of a methanol industrial plant in Sungai Liang and the marine export facility; and

– the setting up of the first Brunei SME ICT Incubation Centre (i- Centre).

  • two banking institutions, one in respect of its sale and the other in respect of its disposal, of banking assets and security in Brunei;
  • the Islamic Development Bank Berhad in its B$400,000,000-00 merger transaction with Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam;
  • a local joint venture liquefied natural gas company and its co-adviser in its Brunei $100,000,000-00 issue of Islamic Sukuk (bonds);
  • Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Berhad on its acquisition and transfer of the business and assets in Brunei Darussalam of Aviva Insurance Berhad and its setting up and licensing registration with the authorities;
  • Clients in tender and negotiations for ICT contracts with the Brunei Government and their technical partners in a number of transactions including (i) the e-Government Public Key Infrastructure System (EG PKI) Project with the DTSS, Ministry of Finance, (ii) the Industry and Trade Management System (ITMS) Project with Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources, (iii) the Gerbang Bahasa System (Library) Project, with the Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka Brunei, Ministry of Culture, Youth & Sports and Web Portal Application System Project for the Brunei Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports;
  • a leading banking institution on its multi-million procurement of banking solution and systems software and services from multiple vendors and service providers.
  • Telekom Brunei Berhad on its joint venture with a leading foreign IT software and service provider to set a contact centre in Brunei.
  • Telekom Brunei Berhad on the commissioning of its broadband fibre optic network infrastructure project.
  • a foreign company on the accession documents and guarantee by its subsidiary in relation to a multi- million dollar restructured syndicated loan and bond facilities.
  • a leading listed Singapore entity on its consortium agreement with a local major private corporate group to undertake an EPC Project for a waste management system in Brunei.
  • Soy & World International on its joint venture with a local Brunei company to undertake manufacturing and marketing of soy related products in Brunei and regionally.
  • Advised one of the world’s major integrated oil and gas services and solutions provider on its investment and joint venture with a local partner to develop business in Brunei.

Bernard is a Commissioner for Oaths.