The Law Counsel > Dhaka, Bangladesh > Firm Profile

The Law Counsel
Suite No. A-12, Green City Square
750 Satmasjid Road
Dhaka 1209
Bangladesh

Bangladesh > Banking and finance Tier 1

The Law Counsel features a strong banking litigation practice which acts for some of the largest private banks in Bangladesh on a range of complex commercial, employment and labour law matters. In particular, the firm is known for its expertise in handling Shari’ah aspects of finance projects as well as its vast experience in administrative and banking law. The main points of contact at the firm are Abdur Razzaq, Ehsan Abdullah Siddiq and Imran Siddiq.

Practice head(s):

Abdur Razzaq;  Ehsan Siddiq; Imran Siddiq

Testimonials

‘Law Counsel is a very forward-thinking law firm which is quite adept in adopting to address ever-increasing challenges introduced by constant technological improvements experienced by the industry in recent years. They always focus on the capacity building of their team so that they are able to provide the best service available to their clients.’

Key clients

Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd.

Social Islami Bank Limited

Reliance Insurance Ltd.

Alpha Credit Rating Ltd.

Sandhani Life Finance Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised Islami bank Bangladesh Limited (“IBBL”) and acted as Common Legal Counsel in a syndicated financing arrangement valued at USD 74.10 million for establishing a 113MW Power Plant in Bangladesh with Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd. as the lead financier.
  • Advised Sandhani Life Finance Limited, a large non-banking financial institution in Bangladesh regarding the raising of USD 3.3 million by way of issuance of Commercial Paper Notes.
  • Advised and defended Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (“IBBL”) against a claim made by a Singaporean company before the High Court Division in Bangladesh for payment against a Letter of Credit although the documents were found to discrepant by the nominated bank.

Bangladesh > Dispute resolution Tier 1

The Law Counsel‘s litigation and dispute resolution team has a proven expertise in constitutional and administrative law issues, having been involved in a number of landmark matters. Other areas of expertise for the firm include insurance law, labour law and public law. Mediation is a growing specialism of the team, particularly in relation to property disputes. Key contacts on the team are  senior partner Abdur Razzaq, employment specialist Ehsan Abdullah Siddiq and Imran Siddiq, who has a strong intellectual property practice.

Practice head(s):

Abdur Razzaq; Ehsan Siddiq; Imran Siddiq

Testimonials

‘Imran Siddiq and his team at The Law Counsel have made themselves my top pick for IP enforcement in Bangladesh. They impress at every turn with their knowledge of local law, as well as the unique legal and business climate of the country. Most recently, Siddiq and his team, particularly Chowdhury Ishrak Ahmed Siddiky, secured a licensing deal with our firm, where previous efforts by others had fallen short.’

Key clients

Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd.

Saudi Arabian Airlines Ltd.

BIGO

RELX India Pvt. Ltd.

Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Ltd.

Delta Shipping Lines Ltd.

Siemens, USA

Dabur India Ltd.

PCCW Vuclip Singapore (Pte). Ltd.

Reel Tuz Kimya

Private client (victim of medical negligence)

Hellenic Garments Pvt. Ltd.

The Daily Sangram

Members of the Supreme Court Bar Association

Employees of the National Board of Revenue

Work highlights

  • Represented Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Ltd., the country’s leading natural gas distributor, before the Supreme Court in a dispute with its subscribers.
  • Represented members of the Supreme Court Bar Association in a public interest litigation challenging the use of the Pegasus spyware in Bangladesh to intercept and monitor mobile phone communications of citizens.

Bangladesh > Tax Tier 1

The ‘professional, sincere, competent and diligent’ VAT and tax department at The Law Counsel has considerable experience in handling matters relating to income tax in front of the High Court. In addition, the firm is regularly instructed by international companies on income tax implications and tax withholding requirements in Bangladesh. The main contacts for this work are Abdur Razzaq, Ehsan Abdullah Siddiq and Imran Siddiq.

Practice head(s):

Abdur Razzaq; Ehsan Siddiq; Imran Siddiq

Testimonials

‘The Law Counsel provides a wide range of tax services. Its practice areas include Corporate Tax Solutions, VAT Solutions, Individual Tax Solutions, Tax Litigation which includes Appeal before Tax Appellate Tribunals, VAT Appellate Tribunals, Tax Reference before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of Bangladesh and Appeal from the same in the Appellate Division of Hon’ble Supreme Court of Bangladesh.’

‘This firm is one of the most experienced law firms in Bangladesh which has experience of dealing with national tax authorities and has successfully provided tax services to both national and international corporations for more than three decades. They are professional, sincere, competent and diligent in their client dealings. I have had the wonderful experience of working with Mr. Abdur Razzaq, Ehsan A. Siddiq, Imran A. Siddiq, all Barristers and Advocates of Bangladesh Supreme Court.’

Key clients

Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd.

Cisco Systems Inc, USA

Amazon Inc., USA

Deloitte Customs Korea LLC

Samsung

Microsoft Corporation

IMO

Bigo Technology (Pte) Limited

Summit Alliance Port Limited

Furniture.com

Arbella Fashions Ltd.

Supermax, UAE

Work highlights

  • Advised Deloitte-Korea in regard to how ready-made garments exported from Bangladesh to Korea would have the requisite Regional Value Content (RVC) in order to benefit from the reduced customs duties in Korea available for LDCs.
  • Advised Samsung on the tax and duties regime applicable to the import of Completely Knocked Down (CKD) and Semi Knocked Down (SKD) smart phones.
  • Advised Bigo Technology (Pte) Limited with regard to the legal and regulatory compliance in making the Bigo Live App available in Bangladesh and also with regard to the Advance Income Tax regime in setting up their businesses in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh > Corporate and M&A Tier 2

The Law Counsel includes a strong corporate and TMT department, which services clients in Bangladesh and beyond. The team acts on a wide variety of corporate mandates, including market entry, compliance and commercial contracts in addition to its strong intellectual property practice. Important names on the team are the firm's founder Abdur Razzaq, telecoms expert Imran Siddiq and Ehsan Abdullah Siddiq, who has a strong employment law practice.

Practice head(s):

Abdur Razzaq; Ehsan Siddiq; Imran Siddiq

Testimonials

The Team of Law Counsel is renowned for its services with integrity. It has the capacity to tailoring services in accordance with the needs of the time and the industry as well as the needs of its clients.’

‘The key leaders of Law Counsel i.e. Mr. Abdur Razzaq, Ehsan A. Siddiq, Imran A. Siddiq all have both national and international legal education, training, and experience which makes them stand out amongst other similar law chambers.’

Key clients

Badische Anilin & Soda-Fabric AG (BASF), China

Reliance HMO, Nigeria

Naga Markets Europe Ltd., Cyprus

Haider Building Materials Company Ltd., HongKong

BIGO Live Technologies Ltd.

IMO

A.P. Moller-Maersk, Netherlands

Samsung Electronics, Korea

Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd.

Caterpillar Power Generation Systems (Bangladesh) Ltd.

Cable News Network (CNN), USA

Saudi Arabian Airlines Ltd.

Cisco Systems Ltd., USA

Uber Inc, USA

Reliance Insurance Ltd.

Alpha Credit Rating Ltd.

Northrop Grumman

Automattic, France

Supermax, UAE

Work highlights

  • Advised Badische Anilin & Soda-Fabric AG (BASF), China regarding the data protection and privacy laws of Bangladesh.
  • Advised Reliance HMO (Nigeria), a start-up tech company, regarding the legal and regulatory restrictions on setting up a business in Bangladesh.
  • Advised NAGA Markets Europe Ltd., a regulated financial services firm in Cyprus regarding the legal and regulatory restrictions on offering financial services in Bangladesh through cross-border arrangements.

The firm: Established in 1990, ‘The Law Counsel’ is an international law firm based in Bangladesh which is widely recognised as one of the leading firms in the country. It was founded by Mr Abdur Razzaq, currently the senior partner of the firm and in the year of its inception had only two associates. In the last 25 years, the firm has grown in size and stature, with many of its former associates establishing successful independent practices of their own. Currently the firm has three partners, including the senior partner, three senior associates and eight associates.

The Law Counsel regularly collaborates with foreign firms in providing services in Bangladesh. It has worked extensively with Baker & McKenzie LLP and Willkie Farr & Gallagher in the United States and has provided legal assistance to Mayer Brown LLP, Field Fisher and Norton Rose Fulbright LLP.

Areas of practice
Arbitration: the firm’s lawyers have been involved in arbitration proceedings both as arbitrators and counsel. The firm successfully defended the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation against a claim for damages for failure to accept delivery of petroleum products. It has also successfully represented Dunham Bush Sdn Bhd, a Malaysian company in a multimillion-dollar international commercial arbitration for installation of mechanical ventilation equipment at the largest shopping mall in Bangladesh, the Jamuna Future Park. The firm is currently involved in an arbitration involving an insurance claim against a local insurance company, and is also involved in enforcing an ICC award on behalf of Smith Co-generation (Bangladesh) Limited against the Bangladesh Power Development Board.

Banking: a dedicated team of lawyers provides legal services to a number of banks and financial institutions, including drafting and checking of security document such as mortgages, fixed and floating charges and conducting verifications of the ownership of properties. The firm recently advised Bangladesh’s largest private bank in relation to a syndicated finance project valued at $188.46m to set up a steel mill. The firm regularly advises banks in relation to contracts executed with foreign banks and organisations, including Visa Worldwide Pte Ltd and the International Finance Corporation. Recently the firm advised a local bank in relation to obtaining a $100m facility from Singapore for its offshore banking unit.

Civil liberties and human rights: The firm has a strong track record of advising clients who have been subjected to human rights abuses and violations. In the recent past, the firm has represented victims of enforced disappearances and their family members in legal proceedings before the Supreme Court .

The firm has successfully defended the right of free speech of religious clerics sought to be silenced by radical secular groups. Recently, the firm represented students of a seminary before the High Court in challenging discriminatory practices of public universities in imposing restrictions on their pursuit to higher education. The firm prides itself on representing unpopular and vulnerable sections of the community and is reputed for a skilful use of the law to protect their clients’ interests.

Corporate compliance: The Law Counsel provides a range of legal advice to a number of companies incorporated and registered in Bangladesh. The firm also provides secretarial services to companies, and regularly drafts notices, board resolutions and shareholders resolutions for companies. It currently advises companies such as Oracle, Caterpillar, Nokia and Microsoft regarding all aspects of their business operations in Bangladesh.

Data protection, privacy and cyber-security: The firm regularly advises foreign entities operating in Bangladesh regarding the scope and application of local data protection laws. We have provided comprehensive advice to US based firms regarding regulatory compliance obligations, particularly with regard to data privacy and protection of privacy of local data subjects. The firm has also advised clients with regard to notification obligations in the event of data security breaches as well as with regard to data protection and security in respect of information stored in cloud servers.

The firm recently instituted proceedings before the Supreme Court challenging the legality of the Digital Security Act, 2018 for having contravened constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights.

Employment: The Law Counsel regularly drafts employment contracts for both foreign and local companies and examines pre-drafted contracts for compliance with Bangladesh law. It also advises companies with regard to processes in relation to dismissal/removal/termination of employees. The Law Counsel has a dedicated team of lawyers practising before the labour courts and the labour appellate tribunals of Bangladesh. Representative clients include Accenture, KAFCO and Columbia Sportswear Company.

Foreign investment: the firm provides assistance in incorporation and registration of companies in Bangladesh. Recently, it helped incorporate a number of 100% foreign owned companies, including Caterpillar Power Generation Systems (Bangladesh) Limited and Power Apparels Limited.

The firm has also provided assistance in the setting up of liaison/branch offices of a number of foreign companies, including Dell Global BV, Tyco Health Care and Abt Associates. The dedicated team of lawyers has experience and expertise in working closely with the Board of Investment in obtaining registration/approvals/extensions of permissions etc.

Immigration and asylum: The Law Counsel is experienced in advising and assisting in immigration applications for travel to the United Kingdom and United States. Lawyers of the firm are experienced in advising and processing immigration and asylum applications before the UK authorities, including the tribunals and the High Court.

The firm also has extensive experience of providing expert country reports relevant for adjudication of immigration and asylum applications, and has provided expert reports to UK law firms, including M-R Solicitors, Uzma Law and Duncan Lewis on matters relating to guardianship, adoption, marriage and divorce laws of Bangladesh as well as advising on authenticity and interpretation of local court records.

Intellectual property: a dedicated team is engaged in registering foreign trade marks in Bangladesh and attending hearings before the Trademarks Registry when objections are raised to the registration.The firm also regularly represents clients in passing-off and trade mark litigation before the District Court and the Supreme Court. Recently the firm represented Novartis, a multi-national pharmaceutical company in a trademark appeal in the Supreme Court which culminated in an out-of-court settlement.

The firm carries out searches/background checks of entities in breach of trade mark laws to advise on the feasibility of pursuing trade mark claims.

Telecommunications: the telecommunications industry has boomed since the turn of the century resulting in the grant of licences to private television channels, radio stations and telephone/mobile phone companies. A large part of the firm’s telecommunications practice involves advising global mobile phone operator groups such as Vimpel Com in respect of expansion of their services within Bangladesh.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Arbitration Abdur Razzaq
Arbitration Dr CIA Siddiky
Banking Sadia Afrin Jenny
Islamic Finance Nazibur Rahman
Constitutional and administrative Abdur Razzaq
Constitutional and administrative Imran Siddiq
Family Md. Ariful Hoque
Foreign investment Ehsan Siddiq
Foreign investment Imran Siddiq
Intellectual property Imran Siddiq
Intellectual property Md Ariful Hoque
Telecommunications Abdur Razzaq
Telecommunications Imran Siddiq
Corporate Ehsan Siddiq
Corporate Mohammad Shahnewaz
Insurance Ehsan Siddiq
Insurance SM Raihan Uddin
International crime Abdur Razzaq
International crime Imran Siddiq
Crime Mir Ahmad BinQasem
Crime Ehsan Siddiq
Civil liberties and Human rights Imran Siddiq
Immigration and Asylum Abdur Razzaq
Immigration and Asylum Ehsan Siddiq
Immigration and Asylum Mohammad Shahnewaz
Data Protection, Privacy and Cyber-Security Imran Siddiq
Sports Law S. Abdul Haque
Criminal Law Mahmud Al Mamun
Revenue Law Md. Shabriar Shafi
PhotoNamePositionProfile
Sunny A Haque photo Sunny A HaqueJunior Associate. 
Shadia Afrin Jeny photo Shadia Afrin Jeny   Associate 
Mahmud Al Mamun photo Mahmud Al MamunJunior Associate
Syfullah Al Muzahid photo Syfullah Al MuzahidAssociate
Md. Shabriar Alam Shafi photo Md. Shabriar Alam ShafiAssociate
Md. Ariful Hoque photo Md. Ariful Hoque2012-present : Associate, The Law Counsel, Chambers of Abdur Razzaq, Barrister-at-Law, Senior…
Mohammad K. Shahnewaz photo Mohammad K. ShahnewazAssociate
Muhammad Nazibur Rahman photoMr Muhammad Nazibur RahmanAssociate
Syed Mohammad Raihan Uddin photoMr Syed Mohammad Raihan UddinAssociate
Chowdhury Ishrak Ahmed Siddiky photoDr Chowdhury Ishrak Ahmed SiddikySenior Associate
Abdur Razzaq Siddiq photoMr Abdur Razzaq SiddiqSenior Partner and Head of Chambers, The Law CounselTenant of Legis Chamber.…
Ehsan Abdullah Siddiq photoMr Ehsan Abdullah SiddiqPartner
Imran Abdullah Siddiq photoMr Imran Abdullah SiddiqPartner
Number of lawyers : 14
Bengali
English
TRACE Partner
Contacts : Abdur Razzaq (a.razzaq@thelcounsel.com)

  • Represented a group of students in successfully challenging discriminatory practices of a public university in barring admission of students who had studied under a religious (Islamic) curriculum at Madrasahs. The judgment of the High Court has resulted in Madrasah students being secured equal opportunities for admission to the university (Sajjadul Islam vs Jahangirnagar University and others, reported in 24 BLC 706).
  • Represented a group of students in successfully challenging their expulsion from a public university. The judgment of the High Court Division lays down the principles of natural justice and administrative fairness required to be observed by a public university (Md. Shamsujjaman and others vs Bangladesh represented by the Secretary, Ministry of Education and others, reported in 71 DLR 505, 27 BLT 272.
  • Represented a resident of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) in challenging the constitutionality of a Peace Accord executed between the Government of Bangladesh and representatives of the tribal population of CHT and various discriminatory provisions of the District Council and Regional Council legislations. The High Court struck down the Regional Council Act and the District Council legislations as being discriminatory and contrary to the basic features of the Constitution (Md. Badiuzzaman vs Bangladesh and others, reported in 15 BLC 531).
  • Represented employees of a multinational company successfully in a proceeding filed against the Board of Trustees of the company for payment of the workers’ share of the profits. The High Court judgment expanded the scope of administrative law to allow legal challenges against decisions of entities functioning under a statute, although not established under a statute (Md. Mehedi Hasan vs. Bangladesh, reported in 19 BLC 472).
  • Obtained an order from the court allowing a citizen to travel outside Bangladesh, after the Home Ministry had imposed restrictions on his travel abroad (Allama Delwar Hossain Sayedee v Bangladesh and ors  reported in 18 Bangladesh Law Times 188).
  • Successfully represented 4 shareholder-directors in a minority protection application before the High Court Division, whereupon a court-appointed Chairman oversaw the operations of the Board for 6 months and reported on misappropriation (Md. Akter Hossain v Capital Tower (Pvt.) Ltd. (High Court Division), reported in 7 Law Guardian 265).
  • Successfully represented an insurance company against a claim lodged by the heirs of the deceased in a motor vehicle accident. This case will determine the extent of the liability of insurance companies in Bangladesh in case of fatal accidents. (Catherine Masud v Md. Kashed Miah reported in 70 DLR 349).

BANGLADESH

CONSTITUTIONAL & ADMINISTRATIVE LAW

  • The Law Counsel represented a group of Supreme Court lawyers in a Public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the use of the Pegasus spyware in Bangladesh. The PIL was filed seeking directions from the Court upon the Digital Security Agency in Bangladesh to investigate into the threats to digital security arising out of the use of the Pegasus software and to take necessary remedial measures under the Digital Security Act, 2018.

  • The firm represented a number of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) specialising in anti-tobacco awareness in challenging the constitutionality of section 2 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1952 according to which ‘cigarettes’ has been classified as an ‘essential commodity’. The High Court has admitted the matter for hearing.

SPORTS LAW

  • The Law Counsel has been engaged by a leading football club in Bangladesh (‘the Club’)to represent its interests in a dispute with a player arising out a pre-contract. The firm successfully represented the Club in hearings before the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) and obtained a landmark ruling in favour of pre-contracts.

FAMILY LAW

  • The Law Counsel successfully represented a young lady in obtaining custody of her minor children after divorce proceedings were initiated by her husband. The firm’s lawyers appeared in the Family Court and made arguments in support of the children’s welfare and best interests, which were accepted by the Court.

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

  • Recently, the firm was engaged in challenging the encroachment of a river by a private organisation to the detriment of the interests of the members of the local community. The High Court admitted the matter for hearing and has recently directed the National River Commission of Bangladesh to provide a report on the status of the river.

REVENUE LAW:

  • The Law Counsel has represented a number of private limited companies in the recent past in challenging the legality of VAT claims made by the VAT authorities under the VAT Act, 1991 and the VAT Rules, 1991. In one such matter, the legality of making a VAT demand and simultaneously issuing a show cause was challenged by the firm.
  • The firm recently won a protracted legal battle involving interpretation of various provisions of the Income Tax Ordinance, 1984.

LABOUR & EMPLOYMENT LAW

  • The firm is currently representing a garments factory in legal proceedings instituted by a former employee before the Labour Court. The case involves interesting questions as to whether the employee satisfies the definition of a ‘worker’ and consequently, whether he is entitled to invoke the jurisdiction of the Labour Court.

ADMIRALTY LAW

  • The firm is currently representing a local vessel in proceedings before the High Court for release of the vessel, which had been arrested by an order of the Court following an accident at sea which caused financial loss and damage to the consignee.