Firms to Watch 2020
As COVID-19 continues to sweep around the globe, Indonesia has found itself weathering an economic slump. For businesses, more than ever, this has emphasized the need for trusted expertise and savvy counsel. The firms featured have proven themselves as stand out operations for their commitment to clients, knowledge of the market and resourcefulness in the face of adversity.


Iabf Law Group
Established: 2003
Partners: 5

Established in September 2003 and headquartered in Jakarta, Ivan Almaida Baely & Firmansyah Law Firm – Iabf Law Group – is one of Indonesia’s leading smaller law firms.

Led by founders Ivan Baely and Almaida Askandar, the operation spans everything from corporate and company law, banking and finance, capital markets, energy and resources, real estate and hospitality, technology, telecommunication, infrastructure and literation.

Since it launched, the firm has provided legal services to Indonesia’s business community with its clients ranging from individuals and start-ups to large national and multinational businesses.

Today the firm has 32 fee earners and a well-established profile in the Indonesia market.

The firm makes a point of striving to establish ongoing, strong client relation-ships, utilising its network of contacts to ensure clients are kept up to date with the latest developments and are rewarded with unique market insights and expertise.

With a team of lawyers with broad working experience that ranges between government bodies to international law firms, the firm positions itself as some-thing of an expert, and an insider.

IABF also works closely with inter-national law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner in order to assist its clients with local legal interests in Indonesia.

Recently, the firm has advised on a number of big-ticket deals and litigation, including several state-owned enterprises, banks and corporations.

The firm acted as legal counsel for property developer firm PT Makmur Berkah Amanda Tbk, when it carried out its initial public offering on the Indonesia Stock Exchange in March this year.

It also acted as legal counsel to Shanghai headquartered Chailease International Financial Service, in relation to a vessel financing facility in the amount of (i) $7 million and (ii) 5.27 million euro ($6.2 million).

Firms to Watch 2020In June this year, the firm was hired by Los Angeles-based Chris Burden Estate to sue Bandung’s commercial theme park Rabbit Town over alleged copyright infringement in a case that gained a slew of coverage in the art industry.

While the firm has a long reputation behind it, it says the trick to its success in the business world is underpinned by a team that truly values teamwork and offers an open exchange of ideas.

LHBM Counsel
Established: 2016
Partners: 4

This Jakarta-based boutique law firm is truly on the rise. Established in 2016, LHBM Counsel has tripled its fee earners over the course of two years — and its revenue is also on the up.

Led by founders and partners Rio Lassatrio, Alexander Hutauruk and Heru Muzaki, LHBM Counsel works across a variety of different practice areas ranging from IP to corporate and M&A.

“We are more than just traditional lawyers serving general practices,” says the firm, whose teams have recently focused on expanding their knowledge of industry-specific areas by working to understand capital markets work, fintech and healthcare and start-ups.

While it is working on gaining depth, the firm has tackled big projects. During the COVID-19 pandemic, LHBM Counsel assisted with the acquisition of PT Pyridam Farma Tbk.

It also represented PT Kembar Abadi Prima KAP in the contract negotiation related to the supply and construction of 500kv transmission line tower T516a.

But while the firm has been busy during the pandemic, this has been something of a double-edged sword.

“On one side, we are forced to be out from comfort zone,” the firm says, citing remote working, challenges around access and it not being easy to meet people, “but on the other hand we are blessed with new work (mostly force majeure related), reduced costs, and experience for our people.”

Despite building a strong operation, LHBM Counsel are still striving to round out its knowledge and expertise. For the firm, it is important to know what is best for its clients across different areas. “We want to speak in their language. This is the key strategy to grow our business,” the firm says.

When it comes to key drivers behind the operation, the secret to LHBM Counsel’s external success has been resilience and trustworthiness. For its clients, this was only further reinforced during the pandemic.

“Many of our clients gave feedback that we could get the work done in toughest situation. We are able to sort out complex circumstances and provide information in layman terms for clients to make decisions.”

“We are not afraid to lose work if it is not adding any value or if it is not in the best interest of the client. This creates trust,” the firm adds.

Internally, the firm also promotes a flat structure, with the team “trained and encouraged to speak their mind regardless of how senior he or she is”.

“We practice open culture in the office so no one has to be afraid to throw out an idea. In our office, the best idea wins,” it says.


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