SUITE 15/1, CITY HEART (14TH FLOOR),
67 NAYA PALTAN, DHAKA 1000,
Tel: +880 2 934 9647
Fax: +880 2 934 9866
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.
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.
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.