Leading firms in Brunei

Abrahams, Davidson & Co

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

Bank of Singapore Ltd

DotC Holding Limited

MUFJ (previously including Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi)

Baiduri Bank Berhad

Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam

United Overseas Bank Brunei

Standard Chartered Bank Brunei

Malayan Banking Berhad Brunei

DBS Bank Singapore

Wells Fargo

Goldman Sachs Asia LLC

Islamic Development Corporation

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.

Cheok Advocates & Solicitors

Cheok Advocates & Solicitors advises on a broad spectrum of matters from general banking and corporate advisory work to high-value oil and gas litigation. It is also well-regarded for its work on market securities and receives a regular flow of instructions from international law firms. The firm’s intellectual property practice is strong and the group handles a large amount of trade mark filings. Robin Cheok is a well-known practitioner and Christina Lim Li Hui  is another key member of the team.

Dr Colin Ong Legal Services

Dr Colin Ong Legal Services has a strong commercial practice with particular expertise in banking, corporate,  international dispute resolution and arbitration. Other strengths lie in IT, securities and telecommunications matters. The team acts for a broad range of foreign clients and routinely advises clients from China and Hong Kong as well as other countries such as Thailand and Vietnam. Colin Ong is a well-respected practitioner who is admitted as a member of the Brunei, English and Singapore Bars. Koh Shiao Hui is the other key senior member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Dr. Colin Ong; Koh Shiao Hui

Key clients

Standard Chartered Bank

Baiduri Bank

RHB BankNational Insurance Company (Brunei)

Takaful Brunei

Rolls Royce (UK)

BNP Paribas

PT Indominco (Indonesia)

Perusahaan Gas Negara (Indonesia)

Volvo (Asia)

Eversheds Harry Elias LLP

Eversheds Harry Elias LLP has a full-service offering with a strong corporate and commercial practice. It acts for many significant government-linked companies and government investment departments. Other clients include major financial institutions as well as insurance companies and leading private companies. Consultant Rokiah Swed is a key member of the team who has vast experience in a wide range of cases from complex multi-jurisdictional probate cases to commercial matters. Neilia Tan is another known name and is recommended for her work on complicated cross-border commercial transactions and for her advice on joint venture projects with foreign investors in particular. The regional head of IP is  Brian Law who is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Rokiah Swed; Neilia Tan

Other key lawyers:

Brian Law

Testimonials

‘Global service with a local touch/flavour to it as the local firm will be ‘hands on’ even though the matter may be primarily handled by another partner in Dubai for instance‘.

Neilia Tan has a flair for making clients feel comfortable and at ease. She is also very responsive and has a quick turnaround time especially for corporate work, and addresses clients’ concerns quite efficiently‘.

What makes it different from competitors is that you get easy access to a myriad of legal expertise which may not be readily available in Brunei Darussalam‘.

The firm has a good team. It is responsive and attentive. Rokiah Swed is experienced, knowledgeable and patient’.  

Key clients

Bank of China (Brunei Branch)

Telekom Brunei Berhad

Progresif Cellular Sdn Bhd DST Sdn Bhd

MBA Insurance

Jiffee Technology Sdn Bhd

BT Forwarding Sdn Bhd

The Empire Hotel and Country Club

Nur Nabai Sdn Bhd

Brunei Investment Gateway Sdn Bhd

Armada Properties Sdn Bhd

SPHI Marine Sdn Bhd

DNV GL Singapore Pte Ltd

Royal Brunei Airlines

Perbadanan Tabung Amanah Islam Brunei (TAIB)

BIBD At Tamwil

Attorney General’s Chambers Brunei Darussalam  Bandtree Sdn Bhd

JPCC Sdn Bhd

Work highlights

  • Instructed by a Brunei company to advise on the options available to it as its buildings and facilities have substantially encroached onto several pieces of neighbouring private land.
  • Updating the inhouse security documentation and other collateral documents for the local branch of an international bank.
  • Currently assisting a leading telecommunication and information technology company in the review of its inhouse documents and agreements.
  • Advising JLWH Pte on its proposed expansion into Brunei.
  • Advising  a private limited company on a breach of contract matter that relates to the procurement of goods and services.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is active in Brunei-related matters particularly in the infrastructure and energy sectors. It routinely works with corporate and Brunei government entities. The team also has particular expertise in downstream chemical projects as well as upstream oil and gas matters. Members of the highly experienced team include Singapore-based David Clinch. Clinch has advised many international and locally based clients on numerous oil and gas matters as well as on power and other projects in South East Asia. His practice covers acquisitions and disposals, project development and project financing. Other areas of expertise lie in the refining and infrastructure sectors. Hong-Kong based Calvin Ho has considerable expertise in international transactions in the construction, energy and the transport sectors. Hilary Lau who is also based in Hong-Kong and Kuala Lumpur-based Glynn Cooper are other prominent names in the market.

Other key lawyers:

Calvin Ho

Testimonials

The approachable team is familiar with Brunei and that makes things easier ‘.

Key clients

Brunei Economic Development Board

Darussalam Assets Sdn Bhd

Guangxi Beibu Gulf International Port Group (China)

Work highlights

  • Advising Brunei Economic Development Board on the construction and development of an integrated refinery and aromatics complex at Pulau Muara Besar, Brunei.
  • Advised Beibu Gulf Holding (Hong Kong) Co Limited on its investment in the Muara Port -this is a major port in Brunei.
  • Advising its client on a proposed acquisition of upstream oil and gas interests in Brunei.