The nature of expat life means we often need Singapore legal advice and legal advice in Australia too. It can become tiresome and expensive if you need to instruct lawyers in different jurisdictions.
Thankfully, the lawyers at BMS Law LLC are qualified not only to provide Singapore legal advice, but also to advise in multiple jurisdictions, so you can obtain legal advice for cross-border issues in one place! We sat down with Mr Bachoo Mohan Singh, the founder of BMS Law LLC, to hear about how he built his family practice.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your lawyers at BMS Law LLC.
Born in Singapore, I went to Scotch College in Western Australia (WA) and graduated from the then University of Singapore in 1972. I was called to the Singapore Bar in 1973 and three years later started my own small firm providing Singapore legal advice in a shop house in Tanjong Pagar. I also subsequently qualified in WA and New South Wales (NSW) meaning I can also provide legal advice in Australia.
I’m one of the rare lawyers to hold practising certificates in both Australia and Singapore – if not the only one! With over 48 years of experience as a lawyer, I’ve appeared in all of the Singapore Courts, various Courts including the Supreme Court of WA, the Federal Court of Australia, the Wardens Court of Australia, and the Privy Council UK.
Being lawyers is a family affair, and I’m fortunate to have both my wife Sunanda Koh and my son Jay Mohan Singh in the practice by my side in Singapore and Perth respectively. Rounding out our strong team, Too Xing Ji is one of our longstanding lawyers who’s also qualified in Malaysia.
What types of legal advice do you provide in Australia and Singapore?
We are lawyers who offer a broad range of dispute resolution and litigation. We provide legal advice on matters including landlord-tenant disputes, family law, company and contract law, trusts and estates, arbitration and mediation, probate law (deceased estates) and crime.
The value-add to my clients of being dual qualified in Australia and Singapore is that I can seamlessly advise on cross-border disputes. International divorces can be a tricky business, and I have acted for Australian couples who enter into an agreement in Singapore to divide matrimonial assets. The alternative would be for both parties to instruct Australian lawyers to provide legal advice in Australia, which would only make matters more costly.
How do you save money for your clients?
I’m in the unique position that I can act for clients in Australia on legal matters even when they are based and live in Singapore and vice versa, thereby avoiding the inconvenience and expense of travelling. For example, I had a client who was based in Perth, WA. He had to sue a Singapore company in Singapore. However, he didn’t have to come to Singapore to instruct me as I took instructions from him on my trips to Perth. He only had to fly up in person once the matter finally reached court in Singapore.
Another area where I save clients’ money is by witnessing Australian legal documents in Singapore. A popular service is executing loan documents for Australians buying property at home (saving them a trip). Settling deceased estates also keeps me busy – for example, for a couple who died in Singapore leaving a large estate with beneficiaries in Singapore and Australia. My Perth office handled the court application for probate for Australian assets. Happily, the clients didn’t need to go to Australia.
Can you tell us about a memorable case?
Over the years, I’ve seen it all! A particularly memorable case involved the Alkaff family of the Alkaff Mansion in Telok Blangah Green. I’ll also never forget the case of Chris El Khouri who was extradited to NSW for trial for possession of stolen cars and parts, and who was acquitted after trial in Sydney. I even appeared in the Federal Court to quash the decision of the Federal Attorney General to extradite him but failed. That’s the wonderful thing about our family being lawyers, there’s always another interesting case right around the corner! Right now, I’m looking forward to appearing in the Supreme Court in Brisbane in December for a Perth client.
BMS Law LLC | bmslaw.com.sg
Singapore: 6255 1963 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Australia: +61 8 6389 0270 | email@example.com
Read on for more helpful information about setting up a business in Singapore
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