Bernard Tan Thiam Swee



LL.B (Hons) Sheffield; Barrister-at-Law, Inner Temple; Advocate & Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore and Brunei Darussalam and the High Court of Malaya.

Areas of Practice

Corporate & Commercial, Securities & Funds, Banking, Conveyancing and Property Development.


Bernard is a partner and specializes in corporate, commercial, banking and property practice areas with experience in mergers & acquisitions, stock exchange listings, public offerings, capital markets, corporate finance, structured finance, Malaysian and Brunei securities and mutual funds legislations, corporate and retail banking transactions, property development, insurance and corporate and debt restructuring schemes. He has been in practice for over 18 years in Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam.

Prior to joining the Firm in 2003, he practiced law in Kuala Lumpur with Rashid & Lee (now known Sharizat Rashid & Lee) and was the principal counsel in a number of successfully completed major corporate and debt restructuring workouts in Malaysia.  Bernard  advised  and  acted  for  a  number  of   Special Administrators  of  Pengurusan  Danaharta   Nasional   Berhad  (the  Malaysian National Debt Restructuring Agency), merchant banks and listed companies involving a wide range of transactions including debt restructuring payments, members and creditors schemes of arrangements, equity and debt issuance, public listings, securities laws compliance and assets securitization. Significant workouts include:-

  • Idris Hydraulic (Malaysia) Berhad’s debt and corporate restructuring exercise involving debt reconstruction and settlement in the amount of approximately RM857,000,000-00 with, inter alia, 12 banks and credit and finance companies;
  • Austral Amalgamated Berhad’s debt reconstruction and settlement of approximately RM805,000,000-00 of debt and transfer of its listing status to Furqan Business Organisation Berhad;
  • Time Engineering Berhad’s successfully restructured repayment obligations of US Dollar 250,000,000-00 mortgage bonds working in association with JP Morgan Inc and a group foreign syndicated institutional holders;
  • Woo Hing Brothers (Malaya) Bhd’s corporate restructuring exercise involving the acquisition of the entire equity for RM1,560,000-00 and the purchase of 10 asset companies valued at RM256,000,000-00 via a combination of equity and debt securities;

In Brunei, Bernard has advised on a wide range of corporate, commercial, securities and financial transactions.  Bernard has been involved in a number of significant transactions and projects in Brunei including acting for:

  • the Brunei Economic Development Board on a number of its major projects and initiatives involving inter alia –

– the setting up of the Sungai Liang Industrial Park consisting of approximately 271 hectares of land to locate up to 4  petrochemical plants;

– the establishment of the Sungai Liang Authority via the Sungai Liang Authority Order 2007 working in conjunction with foreign solicitors;

–  the cooperation and project agreements with the Brunei Methanol Company Sdn Bhd for the proposed setting up of a methanol industrial plant in Sungai Liang and the marine export facility; and

–   the setting up of the first Brunei SME ICT Incubation Centre (i-Centre).

  • the Islamic Development Bank Berhad in its B$400,000,000-00 merger transaction with Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam;
  • a local joint venture liquefied natural gas company and its co-adviser in its Brunei $100,000,000-00 issue of Islamic Sukuk (bonds);
  • a local company in its cooperative venture with the Postal Services Department to undertake hybrid mail services;
  • Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Berhad on its acquisition and transfer of the business and assets in Brunei Darussalam of Aviva Insurance Berhad and its setting up and licensing registration with the authorities;
  • Clients in tender, negotiations for ICT contracts with the Brunei Government and their technical partners in a number of transactions including (i) the e-Government Public Key Infrastructure System (EG PKI) Project with the DTSS, Ministry of Finance, (ii) the Industry and Trade Management System (ITMS)
  • Project with Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources and (iii) the Gerbang Bahasa System (Library) Project, with the Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka Brunei, Ministry of Culture, Youth & Sports; and a leading banking institution on its multi million procurement of banking solution and systems software and services from multiple vendors and service providers.
  • a leading banking institution on its multi million procurement of banking solution and systems software and services from multiple vendors and service providers.

Bernard is a committee member in his capacity as legal advisor of the French-Bruneian Business Association.