10 Jul 2023

Mr. Adrian Tan Gim Hai, President of the Law Society of Singapore, sadly passed away on Saturday 8 July 2023. I had the privilege and pleasure of working with Adrian between 2012 and 2019 and would like to say a few words in honour of the great man that we have lost.

Adrian was a giant amongst men. A man without equal. A man whose smile lit up the darkest hour. Whose humour illuminated and enhanced the best of all moments. The door was always open. And behind that door lay a warmth and welcome that is rarely, if ever, found.

To those for whom Adrian advocated, he was an advocate without equal. A rock. A beacon. A lawyer who guided the ship with care, passion and the greatest measure of professionalism. Yet forever a man of compassion. A man that could be trusted to put all others before him.

To those with whom Adrian worked, he was an inspiration. Trainee, associate, partner. It mattered not. He was deeply loved by us all. Much is said today of diversity and inclusivity. Much is said, but Adrian delivered. He fought as hard for his clients as he did for his profession, as he did for his colleagues, as he did for his firm. I know. Because I was there.

Perhaps the greatest compliment that can ever be paid is to say of a friend, I wished I had met you years ago. How I wish I had met Adrian at school, university, law school, during pupillage or as we slogged our way through the trials and tribulations of an associate or junior partner.

But thank the stars that we met. Thank the stars that Adrian brought his humour, perspective, intellect and compassion into my life, and that of so many others. Adrian made a difference. By every day, every smile, every laugh, every guidance. Always genuine. Always sincere.

Adrian left us far too soon, as the great men and women often do. And the irony will not be lost on one who railed against the Great Resignation. But that of course is his legacy. The advocate’s advocate. The President who fought for the Law Society, the legal profession and the lawyers, young and old, from all walks of life, in whom he so passionately believed.

Adrian will be looking down on this, smiling. Knowing that he made a huge difference and brought love and light to the lives of thousands in a profession for which he so deeply cared.

For me, he will always be Adrian. The guy whose door was always open and whose smile was always broad. The guy who always had time for a coffee. The guy who was my friend.

Rest in peace, Adrian.

You will be deeply and profoundly missed.