Senior Partners: ABM Badrud Doulah, ABM Shamsud Doulah
Number of lawyers: 29
Languages: Bengali, English
Doulah & Doulah (D&D) is a leading law firm in Bangladesh under registration number 27074. Established in 1965, the firm is one of the oldest and most experienced law firms in Bangladesh, representing the world’s largest business houses and working with the biggest international law firms. The firm’s top-ranked transactional capabilities are complemented by a strong litigation practice with a large client-base of over 100 of the Fortune 500 companies. With 29 lawyers all over Bangladesh, the firm is now one of the biggest law firms in Bangladesh.
Main Areas of Practice:
Admiralty, Maritime & Shipping:
D&D offers one of the strongest shipping practices assisting in both wet and dry contentious and non-contentious matters. The practice advises owners, agents, P&I clubs, financiers, charterers and their insurers. In 2015 the firm acted in 11 admiralty lawsuits and four shipping finance transactions.
D&D represents major aircraft leasing companies including both ILFC and General Electric Capital Aviation. The firm acts in both wet and dry leasing transactions. Recent transactions include wet leasing by Air Atlanta in Biman. The firm represents major airlines including, among others, Eithad, Gulf, Air Arabaia, Singapore, and Korean airlines. D&D has been appointed as honorary adviser to Aviation Working Group.
The firm offers true banking expertise both on regulatory and transactional aspects. The Bangladesh modern banking legal platform was finalised by D&D partners under World Bank’s Financial Sector Reform Programme in 1996. D&D is working on two FX arrangement transactions for Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan following similar projects for Merrill Lynch and Bank of New York. It also completed a banking project for Calyon Bank on money market products followed by a similar project for JP Morgan. Following the deregularisation of commodity derivative products, it worked for CommerzeBank in a number of such transactions.
D&D is one of the few local firms that possesses capital market expertise. It represents major institutional investors including Morgan Stanley, CitiGroup, CLSA, Credit Suisse and ABN Amro. Currently, the firm is working on the pledging of a big Bangladeshi listed security portfolio for LGT Bank. It worked on the first PIPE transactions in Bangladesh for Global Emerging Markets (GEM). The firm is also working on a Malaysian Sukuk bond matter.
Corporate & M&A:
D&D offers market leading corporate and M&A practice. It works for a number of multinationals in corporate structure and restructure matters including Nokia, LG, GE etc. The firm acted for KPMG in liquidating the Lehmann Brothers entities and has just completed acquisition of Dhaka Stock Exchange acting as local counsel for Shanghai Stock Exchange and Shenzhen Stock Exchange. D&D has completed over 58 M&A transactions in 2014 with clients such as GlaxoSmithKline, Mitsubishi, Huawei, A&E, UL, Microsoft etc. Currently, the firm is working on sale of AIG assets in Bangladesh. D&D partners drafted the Bankruptcy Act, hence the firm specialises in claw back and insolvency reorganisations.
Finance & Securitisation:
This is a valued area of D&D practice with extensive experience in financing, security, mortgages, pledge and collateral documentation. The firm is advising IDB and ICICI in two large scale financings in different power projects with respect to relevant regulatory framework and securitisation. It also advised in syndicated lending in Grameenphone, and other cross border complex financing clients include IFC, OPIC, Liberty Commodities, ICICI, Morgan Stanley, KFW, AB Svensk Exportcredit etc.
Infrastructure, PPP & Construction:
Extensive experience in all kinds of infrastructures is D&D’s speciality. The firm was appointed by both of the construction and dredging contract awardees for the Jamuna Multipurpose Bridge. The firm is now advising another government on a potential financing of another large scale bridge. Currently, the firm is working on Dhaka Water Sector Development Project for Groupe Cobra and on New Mooring Container Terminal for P&O following Hyundai’s River Bank Protection Project and Kuanta’s Cox’sBazaar Airport Project. The firm is now acting for China Shandong Highspeed in its EPC contract and equity investment in the First Dhaka Elevated Expressway PPP project.
D&D’s IP practice is regarded as one of the strongest, offering both protection and enforcement services for trademarks, patents, designs and copyrights. D&D first implemented the concept of a well known mark, for Nokia, in Bangladesh. It also has big scale enforcement capabilities which were established when it worked for Sony against over 200 counterfeiters in Bangladesh.
Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution:
Complemented by a strong litigation practice, D&D offers effective dispute resolution capabilities. The firm is active at all levels of judiciary platforms. Currently, the firm is working in two large volume litigations for Cargill and Intelsat. The firm is also conducting an ICC arbitration for Gulf Air and another for Microsoft. The firm acted in two of the largest anti-dumping suits in US courts.
D&D is one of the leading firms to advise on both up-stream and down-stream aspects of the energy sector especially in the exploration of oil, gas and coal. The firm represented Zhenhua Oil is its successful bid to acquire three gas fields from Chevron and Ophir acquisition of Santos assets. It has been advising US based Quanta in gas transmission construction project following participation on similar projects for Saipem and Drilltech. D&D worked for ABB for the erection of a gas compression station for Rashidpur Gas Field. D&D has finalised the production sharing contracts for ONGC, OIL, POSCO, Daewoo, among others, for the exploration of hydrocarbon in the Bay of Bengal.
Power & Energy:
D&D possesses unparalleled expertise in the power sector. So far it has been involved in structuring 62 power projects in Bangladesh. It is now working on structuring the 150MW Fenchuganj power plant and the first wind power station for a Swedish client following its participation in the first biofuel power plant in Chittagong. The firm acts as local counsel to a large number of power producers including General Electric, Blackstone, AES, El Paso and CMEC. Other power project financier clients include OPIC, IDB and ICICI. It has extensive experience in the M&A of power plants, with AES and ElPaso as clients. The firm has been acting for IFC in its financing of the first regasification terminal in Bangladesh.
Regulatory & Pro-Bono:
D&D recognises its responsibilities towards the society and allocates a specific number of hours for CSR and pro-bono projects. It worked in the FSRP project to reform the financial sector of the country. After extensive research the Corporate Government Assessment Report was published in collaboration with World Bank. The firm regularly participates in the finalisation of other laws and has drafted laws like the Bankruptcy Act. The firm is working for ADB on modernising municipal laws, and in the UN’s MHealth project. D&D also acted as legal advisors in establishing USAID’s Tropical Forest Conservation Fund.
Taxation & Employment:
These are integral parts of D&D’s corporate practice with the contentious and advisory practice representing clients from tribunal to appellate division in Supreme Court. The firm is currently working in a constitutional writ for MAS in a very large VAT and for UPS in direct tax disputes. The firm successfully represented El Paso for a tax exemption. With an in-depth employment practice, the firm has just completed a pension fund creation for Children’s Place. It also advises clients like BAT, GE and Intertek on long term incentive options with regular employment clients like GAP, Puma, EWM, VF and HP.
Telecommunication & Fintech:
The telecommunication and fintech practice at D&D is one of the finest. It is working for Space Partnership on the procurement and launch of the first satellite for Bangladesh. It is also working with NERA on the auction of 3G licenses. Current major projects include the establishment of a global roaming hub for a leading global operator, a global mobile banking platform for Belgacom, and a dedicated access point for Akamai. M&A clients include Huawei and Vimpelcom. Other corporate projects include AT&T, WorldCom, ZTE, Nokia, Grameenphone, among others. The firm represents a large number of clients in fintech matters such as Microsoft, Ant Financial and Google.