Number of partners: 4
Number of associates worldwide: 14
The firm, established in 1980, is one of the largest law firms in Bangladesh. It provides a comprehensive range of legal services for both national and international clients. Its strength lies not only in the breadth of individual expertise available, but also in over thirty years of institutional experience in advice and representation in key practice areas which include admiralty and shipping, arbitration, aviation, banking and financial regulation, commercial and corporate law, constitutional and administrative law, employment law, energy, human rights law, property law, intellectual property, revenue law, taxation and telecommunications. The firm actively encourages and supports its members in providing pro bono advice and representation in public interest and human rights litigation.
Main Areas of Practice:
Admiralty & Aviation:
The firm handles the full range of shipping matters, including claims arising out of collision, limitation of liability, claims for loss of or damage to cargo, charter party disputes and salvage. The firm also advises on aviation matters relating to aircraft purchase, financing and leasing and on liabilities of carriers under the Carriage by Air (International Convention) Act.
Members of the firm act as arbitrators, conciliators and mediators locally as well as internationally. The firm also provides advice to national and international clients in all kinds of large scale business disputes. The principal of the firm, Dr Kamal Hossain, has acted as arbitrator and Chairman in various ICSID, UNCITRAL and ICC Arbitral Tribunals. The firm recently represented the Government of Bangladesh successfully in an ICSID Arbitration. The firm also represents clients in securing interim relief from courts in Bangladesh.
Banking & Finance, Capital Markets:
The firm provides advisory services to several major multinational banks, insurance companies and financial institutions on a diverse range of matters, including central bank regulations on international monetary transactions, negotiation and preparation of documents for local and foreign loans, structuring and issuance of securities including hybrid securities, capital market transactions, negotiation of leasing transactions and foreign trade and other domestic and international financial and banking transactions. The firm has advised and assisted multinational banking companies in their amalgamation, acquisition, reorganising and restructuring process and their internal management and employment issues. As part of litigation work, members of the firm provide representation in loan recovery cases in specialised money loan courts.
Constitutional & Administrative:
Constitutional and administrative law and the enforcement of fundamental rights occupy a central position in the collective expertise offered by the firm. Dr Kamal Hossain, who chaired the Constitution Drafting Committee established by the Constituent Assembly of Bangladesh, is considered to be the country’s leading expert on constitutional matters and has appeared as counsel or been appointed by the Supreme Court as amicus curiae in many landmark cases. The firm has a successful track record in challenging the actions of administrative and regulatory authorities and enforcement of government contracts in constitutional petitions. It also has extensive experience in judicial review of administrative decisions concerning assessment and payment of customs duty and VAT. The firm has been involved in many proceedings for the enforcement of fundamental rights, including the rights to life and liberty, equality and equal protection of the law, safeguards on arrest, fair trial, freedom of expression, association, movement and religion and the right to property.
The firm has considerable experience in corporate and commercial law, including experience in advisory work, drafting of documents and litigation. It handles a range of general corporate work including cross-border private M&A, negotiation of shareholders’ agreements, preparation and drafting of commercial contracts, compliance with corporate legislation, business laws and laws relating to foreign investments in Bangladesh. It has substantial experience in corporate acquisitions, and has been involved in a number of large-scale corporate acquisitions in banking, energy and telecommunication sectors. The firm also acts for multinational and national industrial engineering companies in negotiation and dispute resolution arising from turnkey contracts, joint ventures and other construction contract claims.
The firm also advises and assists with regard to questions concerning property, family and labour law.
The firm regularly advises and acts on behalf of local and foreign clients in connection with a wide range of intellectual property services, including registration, infringement, passing off, licensing and litigation in relation to trademarks, patents, designs, copyrights and domains. The firm has experience in conducting litigation in connection with trademarks, patents and copyright disputes both in the Supreme Court as well as before trial courts and concerned tribunal. It also has experience in preparing and drafting agreements to secure intellectual property rights.
Oil, Gas & Energy:
The firm has a reputation for its exceptional expertise and experience in the energy sector in Bangladesh. It advises on both up-stream and down-stream aspects of the energy sector, and has worked on transmission and distribution projects, including corporatisation of local distribution and exploration companies and their regulation. It advises both foreign and local companies considering entry into the Bangladesh energy market. The firm works with oil and gas clients on a broad range of matters, including oil and gas production sharing agreements, domestic and international asset acquisitions and dispositions, project financing, operating agreements, oil and gas regulatory issues, joint venture and participation transactions, general commercial advice, including opinions and interpretation of contracts and contracts drafting, environmental due diligence, tax planning and analysis, resolution of corporate governance issues and providing independent counsel to boards of directors and dispute resolution and litigation of every description. The firm has acted for various independent power producers. The firm has also advised the government on mining and mineral regulations and regularly advises private clients on mining regulatory regimes.
The firm has legal expertise in income tax, capital gains tax, corporate tax, tax holidays and tax planning matters. It also advises on customs and VAT matters. The firm provides a full range of litigation services in respect of tax, customs and VAT matters before the Supreme Court as well as civil and administrative tribunals.
The firm provides regulatory advice on telecom, IT, e-commerce and media. It has advised telecommunications operators on interconnection agreements, frequency allocations, licence applications and equipment leasing agreements. It has been involved in a number of recent major acquisitions by foreign investors of stakes in Bangladeshi telecom companies. The firm was involved in the drafting of the Telecommunications Act of Bangladesh.
Several members of the firm provide pro bono services in the areas of constitutional and administrative law, family and environmental law.
The firm has advised a range of clients on a broad spectrum of projects. The firm regularly advises multinationals and other international clients on their trade, business or investment interests in Bangladesh. It acts for international clients intending to establish themselves or their products in the Bangladesh market. Many international clients and their Bangladeshi subsidiaries seek assistance from the firm on issues and disputes involving Bangladesh law.