A dedicated team of lawyers of The Law Counsel provide legal services to a number of banks and financial institutions, including, Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited, Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited, First Security Islami Bank Limited and South-Bangla Agricultural Bank Limited.
The firm also has a specialist team dealing with shari’ah banking and commerce. The Shari’ah banking team is headed by an experienced lawyer who holds the Islamic Finance Qualification (IFQ) from the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment, UK.
The services include drafting and checking of security documents such as mortgages, fixed and floating charges. The firm also carries out verification of the ownership of movable and immovable property.
Conversions to Islamic Banking – Since the introduction of Islamic banking in Bangladesh, 3 conventional banks have switched to Shari’ah-based banking. The Law Counsel has been involved in the conversion of the first 2 of these banks.
Syndicated Financing – Advising Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited in relation to a syndicated finance project valued at BDT 14.70 billion (US$ 188.46 million) to set up a steel mill. Also advised in the participation in the syndicated financing of a BDT 1.6 billion (US$ 20 million) power generation project.
Introduction of Shariah-based Credit Cards – Advised Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited in relation to the introduction of the first Shari’ah compliant Credit Card (Khidmah Card) in Bangladesh. Assisted Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited in drafting the terms and conditions of a business expense card.
International Agreements – The firm regularly advises Islamic banks in relation to contracts executed with foreign banks, including Wakala Agreements for investment of funds. The firm also advised Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited in relation to execution of agreements with Visa Worldwide Pte Ltd and the International Finance Corporation. The firm is advising Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited in relation to obtaining a US$ 100 million facility from Singapore for its Off-shore Banking Unit.
Drafting Investment Agreement – Lawyers of the Law Counsel have extensive experience of drafting Shari’ah compliant investment contracts. The firm regularly drafts Murabaha contracts and Hire Purchase Shirkatul Melk agreements. The firm has a dedicated team of lawyers advising and assisting Islamic banks. The firm advised Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited and drafted a restructuring agreement for a facility of BDT 3.4 billion (US$ 42.5 million) under a special scheme introduced by the central bank.
Verification of Securities/Collateral – The firm also verifies the ownership, possession and chain of title of properties which are offered as security/collateral for banks.
Litigation – The firm has represented Islamic banks in all major litigation in Bangladesh involving issues of Shari’ah. Lawyers of the Law Counsel are currently defending the legality of the Islamic banking system in Bangladesh which has come under attack before the High Court. The firm also appears on behalf of Islamic banks in recovering dues from defaulters. In November 2015, the firm instituted proceedings for recovery of almost BDT 8 billion (USD 102.56 million) from a manufacturer of ocean-going vessels. This is one of the largest default cases in recent times.The law firm represented Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited in relation to its claims for tax exemption against the National Board of Revenue in relation to payments of Zakat (a charitable payment) made compulsory by the central bank on all Shari’ah based banks.