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Ahmad Nizam Abbas

Of Counsel
Fax +65.6538.1311
Ahmad Nizam Abbas has acted for clients from diverse countries in cross-border disputes involving children and matrimonial assets. He has also represented various accused persons who were facing the death penalty, in the Singapore High Court and Court of Appeal. His probate experiences span various international jurisdictions.

He is the current chairman of the Muslim Law Practice Committee of the Law Society and deals with family law and probate work in both the civil law and Syariah law systems. He was a member of the Law Society’s team which participated in the Parliamentary Select Committee Hearing on the amendments to the Administration of Muslim Law Act back in 1997.

In December 2009, he was appointed by the president of the Republic of Singapore to sit on the Panel of Advisers of the Juvenile Court and continues to do so under its new name, the Youth Court. Since May 2010, he has been an associate mediator of the Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC). In 2015, he was appointed on SMC’s panel of family law mediators was one of the pioneer members of the center’s Family Law Mediator scheme.

Professional Background

Mr. Abbas graduated from the University of Keele, United Kingdom and was called to the UK Bar (Lincoln’s Inn) in July 1992. He was admitted as an advocate and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore in January 1994. He obtained a Master of Laws in Islamic law and finance from the Singapore Management University in 2013. He is a facilitator and trainer at the Singapore Institute of Legal Education for three subjects – family law, wills, probate and succession planning, and mediation.


  • Pingat Bakti Masyarakat (PBM) or Public Service Medal, 2007.
  • Listed as a Recommended Individual in Dispute Resolution in the 2017 edition of Asia Pacific Legal 500.
  • Nominated for Matrimonial and Family Law Firm of the Year 2017 of Asian Legal Business award.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Teaching Fellow, Singapore Institute of Legal Education (2018)
  • Member, Singapore Academy of Law (2018)
  • Member, Law Society of Singapore
  • Board Member, Education Trust Fund (ETF)
  • Chairman, Muslim Law Practice Committee , Law Society of Singapore (since 2011 )
  • Family Law Mediator, Singapore Mediation Centre (since 2015)
  • Primary Justice Lawyer with Community Justice Court JC (since 2016)
  • Child Representative, Family Justice Court (since 2016)
  • Member of Audit & Risk Committee, MediaCorp Pte Ltd , (2011-2017)
  • Member of Advisory Panel, Youth Court (since 2009)
  • Board Member, MUIS (2005-2008)
  • Member of Audit Committee, Civil Authority of Singapore (2002-2005)
  • Board Member, Mendaki (2003-2007)
  • Board of Governors, Nanyang Polytechnic (2010-2013)

Speaking Engagements

  • National University of Singapore, MUIS (Islamic Religious Council of Singapore) and Syariah Court (collaboration) where the participants included Family Justice Court judges, Singapore 2018 ; Muslim Law Practice Course
  • Inaugural Family Law Conference of the Law Society of Singapore, Singapore in May 2018
  • INBLF conference in March 2018 on “International Issues in Family Law”
  • GE Talk in September 2017 on “Wills and Estate Planning” (international context)
  • CIMB Talk in July 2017 on “Inheritance Laws Across International Jurisdictions”
  • Rockwills Seminar in June 2017 on “Legal Aspects of Estate Planning”
  • National University of Singapore Inaugural Syariah Law Forum in May 2017
  • MUIS Inheritance and Estate Planning Seminars, Singapore 2016 and 2017
  • AXA Seminar in November 2015 on “Wills and Probate Law”
  • National University of Singapore and the Singapore Academy of Law conference, Singapore 2011 - “Current Issues in Private Client Business: Wills, Wealth Planning & Succession”
  • Law Society of Singapore seminar and conference, Singapore 2011 - “Inaugural CPD Day: 2011 Developments in a Nutshell for Busy Practitioners”
  • Asia Research Institute and the Singapore Faculty of Law workshop, Singapore 2009 - “The Islamic Legal System in Singapore”
  • East-West Centre Conference, Hawaii 2003 - “Challenges to Religious Diversity”

Additional Information

  • “The Islamic Legal System in Singapore,” Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal of the University of Washington, 2012
  • “Children in Family Law, Custody Issues: Similarities and Differences between Civil and Syariah Courts,” Singapore Academy of Law Journal, October 2018
Criminal Matter
  • Angliss Singapore Pte Ltd v Public Prosecutor [2006] 4 SLR(R) 653 (public policy considerations in criminal sentencing
Employment Matter
  • Pang Chew Kim (next of kin of Poon Wai Tong) v Wartsila Singapore Pte Ltd [2011] SGHC 194 (how the concept of ‘in the course of employment’ in modern working life relates to WICA (Workman Injury and Compensation Act)
Muslim Law Matters
  • Zaini Ibrahim v Rafidah Rahman [2007] 3 SSAR 135 (whether the civil law concept of joint custody is consistent with Muslim Law)
  • Yeo Pei Chern v Seow Zheng Xin, Isa [2007] 4 SSAR 146 (Jurisdiction of Syariah Court where the validity of marriage itself is in dispute)
  • Rosemawati v Mohd Hisham [[2011] SGSAB – on the weight to be given to the children’s wishes on the choice of parent they desire to live with and the guidelines which the Court should adopt when interviewing children.
Conflict of Laws
  • Sanjeev Sharma v Surbhi Ahuja [2015] SGHC 104 High Court appeal case on the whether the husband’s nullity proceedings in Singapore should be stayed as the wife had also initiated action in India for domestic violence, dowry harassment and maintenance.