Our first Speaker Meeting after the summer break saw a joint gathering with the Arbitration Association of Brunei Darussalam and other guests where the Right Honourable, Sir Martin Moore-Bick, QC and Lord Justice, delivered an informative summary of the history, role and progress of the UK’s Commercial Court along with the benefits that have been the result. This was in the context of a similar court being set up in Brunei. 

Among the main advantages of a specialist Commercial Court presided over by Commercial Law specialists were:

– Enforcement of the rule of law, giving confidence to businessmen that their interests would be protected;
– Developing and updating laws to keep up with the ever-increasing changes in the business world;
– Enforcement of decisions;
– Expertise;
– Development of “Best Practice” in processing cases.

Following Sir Martin’s talk, a panel consisting of the British High Commissioner and BBBF members Dr Colin Ong and Hj Shazali Dato Hj Sulaiman gave their views from a business and legal perspective. Both stressed the importance of such a court in promoting the smooth running of business transactions as well as the diverse legal heritage of ASEAN and the need to provide for the requirements of Islamic banking. The overriding conclusion was that, for the court to succeed in Brunei, it needed the full support of the business community, as this has been (and continues to be) a key factor in the success of the UK’s court.

Indera Motors, agents for Jaguar Land Rover in Brunei, kindly hosted the meeting surrounded by some of their luxury vehicles, before serving an excellent buffet which went down very well with members and hosts. Our thanks go to Alfred Yong Foh Seng (General Manager), Noormala Othman (Senior Executive Manager, Sales, Marketing & Business Development) and the Indera Motors team for their first-class hospitality as well as to the AABD and the British High Commission for organising such an informative event.