Partner, Advocate & Solicitor, Supreme Court of Singapore
– Commercial Law
– Corporate Law
– Intellectual Property
– Mergers & Acquisition
– Technology & Media Law
– Wills and Probate
Bernard helped my company with an important project that we were awarded, and brought immense clarity and timely guidance to us by helping us understand the client’s terms, what the legal risk implications were and how to negotiate. He was easily contactable, made sure to understand our business and the project details, came back quickly to our questions, and knows his stuff.Alysha Lentholm, Operations Manager, PHG Oilfield Services (International oilfield consulting and industrial training services), October 2016
We recently engaged Bernard to assist us with certain HR-related matters in line with our company’s expansion into Singapore and Southeast Asia, and he was knowledgeable, responsive and committed to understanding our specific needs and expectations. He helped us develop a good understanding of Singapore employment law and practice, and streamlined our employment forms and processes. We would not hesitate to recommend him if asked for one for a good employment and commercial lawyer.Violaine Blejan and Elmira Khadzhibaeva, Senior Director Human Resources & Corporate Citizenship, Europe Medline International and Legal Counsel, Europe Medline International (Largest privately-held manufacturer and distributor of medical supplies), June 2017
I worked with Bernard when the company was launching one of its most revolutionary products in Singapore. It was being rolled out to our distribution channels here, and we needed a good commercial lawyer to help us to make sure our agreements with customers and distributors protected us. Bernard took the time to understand the product liability risk and our distribution plans and made sure our contracts covered these. He was very thorough when customising our standard terms, but still completed the review and advice well within the deadline. He’s easily contactable and responds quickly, and we have gone back to use his services a few times and have always gotten what we needed.Samuel Chua, Regional Marketing Manager, Sonova Singapore (Swiss-listed maker of hearing care solutions), November 2016
Our firm performs penetration testing and infrastructure security to financial institutions, government and public sector entities and other large entities, and our services are relatively unique. We therefore need a lawyer who is technologically-savvy, fast, understands large corporates and government institutions, and who is familiar with software development and reviewing IT contracts. Bernard helps us negotiate our engagements with large corporates and their lawyers, which is not straightforward due to of the confidentiality, data security, IP and other concerns that our clients need assurance on. He’s been an asset, and his knowledge and experience as an inhouse lawyer at an MNC and in technology law has helped us cut down the amount of time and delays in our client engagement process. He cuts through the legal terms, knows his stuff and helps us manage legal costs and time by telling us which contracts or terms not to bother negotiating and when not to engage him as he’s not able to add much value.Ryan Baxendale, Principal Consultant, Centurion Information Security (IT Consulting Firm, specialising in penetration testing, and infrastructure security), August 2017
We engaged Bernard when our company was expanding our fast-growing business into Singapore, and needed advice to localise our contracts and comply with Singapore law. He helped us redesign our contracts to be easier to read and to better limit our legal and operational risks. We appreciated that he and his team explained legal concepts patiently and clearly, and were fast and responsive. I will not hesitate to recommend Bernard and his team to other business managers and owners.Natasza Kurniawan, Project Manager, Bride Story (Wedding marketplace, directory and exhibition operating and management company), February 2018
I head the marketing and communications arm of a cutting-edge creative agency specialising in digital marketing, creative content development, and management of creative talent, including influencers, creative directors, photographers, stylists, set designers and other talent. We roped in Bernard to help guide us on the legal aspects of our unique business model, including to advise on IP matters, and to create and negotiate contracts with our clients and talent. What we were looking for in our legal counsel was someone who got our business and would make sure we were covered legally but without making it hard for us to close deals and manage our client relationships, and Bernard definitely does that. He is pro-active and concise, and just gets the job done with minimum fuss.Eileen Keh, Marketing and Communications Manager, Supreme Plus (multi-disciplinary creative agency and talent management agency), Mar 2017
Bernard was recommended to me, and I also heard him speak at a talk on IP law that he gave to the events and entertainment association I’m part of. I got him to advise me when I was engaging an overseas singer as my company was staging a live music event, and Bernard knew exactly what aspects of the contract to focus on, and made sure he became very familiar with the way my industry operates, and helped make sure my main commercial objectives were part of the contract. He also helped guide me on negotiating with the singer’s agent when they made certain tricky requests that I didn’t know how to deal with, in order to manage our risks. Easy to work with, and charges fairly.Kevin Paton, Sales Director, Majestic Production (events and entertainment company), October 2017
Our team worked with Bernard when we were launching our business concept, which was an innovative and new concept that allows homebuyers to buy eco-friendly “tiny houses” on wheels to rent out to tourists in scenic places abroad. We tapped on Bernard’s expertise as a commercial lawyer to translate this new business model into workable legal relationships and concepts, to make sure that we launched the business and service in an above-board and transparent manner. He and his team understood our business needs, identified the legal risks and helped us design a bespoke set of contracts and legal terms to manage these risks and protect our company and also set out clearly the relationship with the buyers of the tiny houses. Bernard is a commercial lawyer in the fullest sense, and would be an asset to any business and entrepreneurial team, and we cannot recommend him enough. Bernard also helped us with our company’s seed fundraising, and made it a very efficient and quick process by preparing easy-to-understand investment documents that protected our company but which our investors were happy to sign relatively quickly. He’s helped us build a solid foundation for our company’s finance and operations.Adrian Chia and Dave Ng, Co-Founders, Big Tiny Pte Ltd (Makers of tiny houses, and property managers), July 2017
Bernard helped my design agency prepare a customised employment agreement as we were looking to expand our team, and wanted to bring in some senior and experienced professionals. He did not simply churn out a “template” but took the time to really understand my agency and industry’s features to prepare the exact legal terms that I needed, especially to help us protect our IP, customers and vendor relationships, and he also helped create a solid incentive package for the agreement. I liked that he’s not only a seasoned employment lawyer but also that he’s very familiar with IP law, as my company is in the creative line, and IP protection and ownership is very important for us. I also later got Bernard to help me to negotiate with a key client in Vietnam over the ownership of IP in the work I created for them, and I’m grateful for his guidance as we sealed that deal and continue to work with that client till today.Goi CY, MD and Owner, Lucidity (Multi-disciplinary creative agency), April 2016
I was part of a group that acquired the shares of certain Singapore companies operating in the retail line. We engaged Bernard to advise us on the share acquisition, and he prepared the share purchase agreement and helped us negotiate with the sellers. Bernard brought a lot of value to the deal by identifying and focusing on key legal terms, and guided us on which ones to not prioritise. His prior and big firm experience on M&A deals helped us to complete the deal faster than expected, and to help bridge the valuation gap and other expectation gaps between us and the sellers. We are particularly grateful that he worked over a major public holiday just to make sure the deal moved along, but would have recommended him anyway simply for his attention to detail and ability to add value to deal structure.See L H, Director, Kingdomway Pte Ltd (Subsidiary of China-listed company, Xiamen Kingdomway Group Company), February 2016
My company needed help from a lawyer experienced in software and intellectual property matters, to advise us on a request from one of our biggest clients. We were referred to Bernard, and were very happy with his help. He’s well-versed in the software development process and explained very clearly the IP aspects of our client’s request, and helped us come up with a solution that was logical and commercially-sound, and we achieved an outcome our client and I were happy with.Lee Chou Wee, Owner, Celes Solutions (Software development firm), July 2017
We brought Bernard in to help advise us on negotiating the terms of a teaming arrangement. Bernard helped us tremendously by clarifying the key IP and legal issues that came up in our negotiation. As we had spent significant financial and other resources developing our proprietary knowhow and IP, it was essential that our IP was not compromised by our collaborations with others. Bernard also took an active interest in our technology and software solutions in order to advise us, which we felt made the difference.Edwin Ng, Head, Business Development, Aviationlearn (Technology-driven Aerospace Training Provider), December 2017
My partner and I were in the midst of negotiating the acquisition of a majority stake in an F&B company for a rather significant amount. As we were provided with terms that weren’t very straightforward, we decided we needed an experienced deal lawyer to guide us to derisk the acquisition. We met with Bernard to see if he could help us. While the deal fell through because the seller changed his mind, we would have engaged Bernard had the deal went ahead. This was because he is commercially-savvy, responsive, and knew his way around a deal. His charges are transparent and fair too. Would definitely reach out to him the next time we come across an interesting deal.Shaik Qamal, Business consultant and investor
I was making an angel investment in a tech startup and needed guidance from someone familiar with startup investing. Bernard charged me a reasonable fee to advise me on how to protect myself, and to help me prepare an agreement to implement that advice. He clearly knows the startup game, and gave very clear advice, and the entire process working with him was smooth and easy. Good guy to have on your side if you want someone experienced and on-the-ball.Shaik Qamal, Business consultant and investor
I recently agreed to make an investment in an F&B company thorough a loan, as it needed some short-term liquidity. The company provided me with the legal forms for the loan and security, but as the loan amount wasn’t small, I needed legal guidance to make sure I was covered. I met Bernard through a networking event a year ago, and decided to get him to help. He helped do searches on the company to help check if there was any litigation or winding up and to verify the identity of the shareholder and director who I was in contact with, and he knew exactly what to look out for in the loan and security documents, and identified gaps and ways to plug them. I got the assurance I needed, and paid a fair sum for quick, good work.Charles N, Director, enterprise solutions company
I engaged Bernard’s services to advise me on a joint venture when I decided to expand my business outside of Singapore. Bernard focused on key legal issues and made the legal documentation easy to understand. He is commercially sound and gave legal advice that is business-driven and practical for business owners. I also went back to seek his help for an angel investment I wanted to make in a promising company, and Bernard applied his deep understanding of startup financing deals to help me significantly derisk my investment.Joelle Chia, Director, Pharma to Market (pharmaceutical consulting company), November 2016
My team and I were embarking on a corporate joint venture with a large Chinese company to develop a new product and to break into new markets together. As this sort of strategic alliance was new ground for us, and because the JV terms and mechanics were not straightforward, we needed an experienced and commercially-savvy lawyer to guide us on the negotiations and to paper the deal. Bernard understands technology and IP, which was essential, as the key value drivers of the joint venture were the IP and technology of the Chinese JV partner. He helped us cross the finishing line over an intense few weeks of negotiations with the JV partner and its lawyers, simplified the deal for us, and helped us make key decisions quickly. I’m glad to say that the joint venture is working out very well, and we’re grateful for Bernard’s help in getting us off the ground.Gerald Cai, Managing Director and co-Founder, MXR International (Singapore Media technology company with operations in PRC), October 2016
“I am the founder and head of an events management firm, and unfortunately got into a dispute with my co-founder over the direction of the business and other matters. It then became clear to both of us that she wanted to exit the business, and as this was the first time I was involved in something like this, I got Bernard to represent and advise me. He helped me understand the legalities of my co-founder’s potential exit, the possible options, and what was the bests way of doing so in the best interests of the firm and myself, and helped me negotiate an amicable exit with the co-founder. Bernard’s knowledge of companies, shareholders’ rights, and negotiation strategy definitely helped me deal with a very difficult situation, and I’m glad to have gotten him on my side.”Ms. Ko Ping, Head of an events management and consulting firm (name has been changed to preserve anonymity and confidentiality), Sept 2017
I was previously hired into a senior position with the Singapore subsidiary of an MNC that is in the area of professional services, on local terms, and unfortunately found that the business here was not as good as everyone hoped, and I was facing redundancy. The company and I discussed exit options for me, and because my employment contract contained a significant level of ambiguity on the severance package on a retrenchment, I was recommended the services of Bernard when I asked around for an experienced employment lawyer who could advise on severance-related matters. Bernard helped me negotiate the terms of my redundancy, and took special care to made sure that this was optimized from a tax-perspective, and I got out of the company with a decent package and that was rational in terms of tax. Great work; solid lawyer.Andy Overs, ex-Director, Singapore subsidiary of professional services MNC (name has been changed to preserve anonymity and confidentiality), March 2016
“I am the general counsel of a fast-growing gym-operating and fitness consulting company. We were getting a lot of traction by running our gyms with a revolutionary approach, and looking to grow our overseas presence. It was at that point we got in touch with Bernard to help us tidy up our growing share capital table, and to help us with our fundraising exercise. He understood exactly what we needed, from a business and legal angle, and helped us with our fundraising documents in a very business-driven manner. While I’m legally trained, my CEO and I appreciated an extra pair of experienced eyes and hands, and Bernard helped us close our fundraising round quickly, and also to design and document our incentive programme for early stakeholders.”Luo Ruizi, General Counsel, Cheat Day (Owners and operators of the Ritual-branded gym and international franchise), May 2016
My startup was trying to raise money for product development and other key matters, and we decided to raise money through a simple agreement for future equity (SAFE). We got to know of Bernard through an online legal services matching platform, and got his help to prepare the SAFE, as not many lawyers seem familiar with this instrument. He was familiar with it, and advised us on key aspects of the SAFE, including pitfalls, and helped us customise it based on what our investor asked for, but not before guiding us on the implications of the investor’s request. We liked working with Bernard, and would recommend his services to other tech startups or businesses seeking someone to guide them on the fundraising process.Poon DQ, Founder and Head, Butler in Suits (Home cleaning services platform-operating company), July 2017
Bernard’s experience is in the areas of M&A, commercial, technology, intellectual property and succession law, and has advised healthcare, hospitality, insurance, manufacturing, retail, digital and social media, financial technology, data analytics, medical devices, lifestyle, F&B, and education businesses and their owners.
As an IP lawyer, he helps his clients to acquire, enforce, and license IP and data rights. Bernard also advises on the structuring of IP and data rights as business assets, including for collaborations, brand equity, value chain, fundraising and exit purposes.
As part of his private client practice, Bernard advises individuals, families and business owners on estate, family business and legacy planning through the use of wills, lasting powers of attorneys, trusts and family constitutions. He also assists on estate administration and mental capacity matters, i.e. grant of probate, grant of letter of administration, and deputyship applications. Finally, by uniquely combining his corporate and estate law expertise, he advises business owners on business succession and exit planning.
Before joining I.R.B. Law LLP, he practised in one of Singapore’s big 4 law firms, was regional legal counsel for the world’s largest luxury group and a private equity fund group, and started and headed a boutique corporate and technology law practice. He has advised on cross-border transactions involving Singapore, Greater China, most of Southeast Asia, the UK, the USA and Australia.