Adrian Tan, president of the Law Society of Singapore and a partner at TSMP Law Corporation, has passed away following a battle with cancer. He was 57.

In a disputes-focused career that spanned more than three decades, Tan advised on matters ranging from intellectual property and confidential data misuse to shareholder oppression and class actions. His notable cases include Thomson View and Gilstead Court cases, where he acted as counsel and successfully resisted en bloc applications by exposing unfair or bad faith practices.

Having launched his career at Drew & Napier, Tan joined Morgan Lewis Stamford (then Stamford Law Corporation) in 2013, before moving to TSMP in 2018.

In 2022, Tan became president of the Law Society of Singapore. In an interview with ALB shortly after that, he talked extensively about the future of the legal profession. “Big Law will continue to look like the Big Law we see in Hollywood movies and TV shows, he said. "But there will also be virtual firms, that forgo all that real estate to slim down so that they can offer affordable legal services to individuals and small businesses. And hybrid firms will have a blend of physical and virtual offices, to be leaner. In reducing overheads, and passing on cost savings to the client, they are improving access to justice. Lawyers will then enjoy greater flexibility, and not feel the need to commute to the office daily.”

Tan was also the published author of novels, including the bestselling The Teenage Textbook (1988), which was adapted into a stage play, a musical, and a TV series. He was also a prolific poster on LinkedIn because lawyers, as he put it, “have a duty to speak out on issues which concern how people are treated, and what people can do to secure their rights. If lawyers do not speak on legal issues, then non-lawyers will rush in to fill the vacuum, often with misinformation.”

Following news of his death, tributes poured in from across Singapore’s legal community. “Adrian was multi-talented, a true Renaissance Man. He was a best-selling author as an undergraduate, dabbled in technology and took a second degree in Computer Science while a practicing lawyer, and in the last few years, became known for his virally popular posts on LinkedIn,” said K Shanmugam SC, Singapore’s Minister of Law, in a Facebook post. “I have had the privilege of knowing him for many years. His passing is a big loss.”  

Added TSMP in a statement: “As President of The Law Society of Singapore, Adrian played an instrumental role in advocating for the interests of lawyers in Singapore. Adrian was also a strong proponent of continuing legal education and professional development for lawyers. During his presidency, the industry was facing a high attrition rate, and he sought to make lawyering great again.”



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