Adnan Buyung Nasution Associates (ABNA), Forerunner to the Birth of the Second Generation Modern Advocate Office
“I’ve always wanted to establish a Legal Aid Institute (LBH). The term LBH has come to my mind. I have had this intention since the 60’s, after returning from Australia, but its implementation has been delayed. When I arrived in my country from Australia, I had a dialogue with Mr. Besar Mertokusumo who at that time served as Secretary General of the Ministry of Justice (Ministry of Justice),” said the late Adnan Buyung Nasution in his book ” Unstoppable Struggle – Dismissed by Soekarno, Fired by Suharto”.
Bang Buyung, as he is often called, has aspirations to continue to defend the “papa” who have difficulty accessing legal justice. In this regard, Bang Buyung described how difficult the legal process he had been due to choosing a different path with the Government.
While explaining the basic principles of habeas corpus which later inspired the pretrial provisions in the Criminal Procedure Code (KUHAP), as recorded in his book “Arus of Constitutionalism – Advocates” , he described how helpless a person is who is deprived of his freedom and thrown into a cell. prisoners, so that they cut off their relationship with the outside world, including their families.
In his dialogue with Mr. Growing up in 1959, Bang Buyung expressed his intention to establish a legal aid agency as a defense division at the Ministry of Health/AGO, as a model for public defenders in the United States. Unfortunately, the idea could not be implemented immediately. At that time, the condition of Indonesia in general and the government in particular were not happy with the idea of defending human rights which was considered individualistic.
“You wait another ten years,” said Mr. Great as summarized in the book “The Endless Struggle – Discharged by Soekarno, Fired by Suharto”. Mr. Besar himself is an indigenous jurist who first succeeded in becoming an advocate during the Dutch East Indies era, the period before the war of independence.
Ten years later, in 1969, to be exact, he discussed the idea of establishing LBH again with Soemitro Djojohadikusumo and Mochtar Lubis. Through the discussion, Bang Buyung received input to work professionally as an advocate first. The reason given by the two figures is that to fight requires financial independence so as not to depend on others.
By Soemitro, Bang Buyung was then introduced to Mochtar Kusumaatmadja, the Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Padjadjaran (FH UNPAD) at that time. To the two, Soemitro advised that together they should establish a consulting firm in the field of law. To support their initial work due to the absence of a client, Soemitro promised to hand over legal matters from his office with Mochtar Lubis, Indo Consult, to Buyung and Mochtar Kusumaatmadja.
Unfortunately, after that Soemitro was appointed Minister of Trade by President Soeharto. Busyness as the Minister of Trade hinders communication between them. Even Indo Consult began to decline in its reputation after Soemitro left. Finally, Bang Buyung and Mochtar agreed to go their separate ways.
Still on the path of establishing a legal consulting firm, Bang Buyung found a place on Jalan Juanda III/No.31-i. Riding in the office owned by PT Angkola owned by Rudi Siregar, a room that was occupied was then divided into two using bamboo curtains. One side is for work receiving clients, then the other side is occupied by a secretary. It was there for the first time that the office of a legal consultant, Adnan Buyung Nasution Associates (ABN Associates) operated.
Together with Victor Sibarani, Minang Marwan, Sukayat, Bang Buyung runs his office. A year later joined Moh. Assegaf, John Kusnadi, Erman Rajaguguk, Nono A, Makarim, Zen Umar Purba, and others. According to Putri Bang Buyung, Pia AR Akbar Nasution, this group then filled ABN Associates which was concerned with handling litigation cases.
“Those who are litigation as I recall their office on Jl. Juanda,” explained Pia who is also the Managing Partner of Adnan Buyung Nasution & Partner (ABNP) to Hukumonline at his law firm office .
In addition to establishing ABN Associates, Bang Buyung later founded a non-litigation law firm with Timbul Thomas Lubis and Sri Indrastuti Hadiputranto which was named NLH (Nasution Lubis Hadiputranto) in 1982. NLH is based in Prince Building, Jl. General Sudirman. “So the building is specially made to handle corporate ,” said Pia.
Unfortunately, this office was short-lived because in 1985, Sri Indrastuti Hadiputranto and Timbul Thomas Lubis merged with the recently established Ganie & Surowidjojo so that the law firm changed its name to Lubis, Hadiputranto, Ganie, Surowidjojo (LHGS). The NLH then discontinued. This is as explained in Ahmad Fikri Assegaf’s writing with the title “Big is Necessary: The Development of Advocate Offices in Indonesia and the Challenges” in the Journal of Law & Capital Markets Volume VII/July 10-December 2015 Edition.
In this period, in 1983, there was a case that Bang Buyung thought was quite memorable. That’s because he defended a foreign company that was in dispute with the national side. It is ICEC ( International Commodity Export Corporation ), an American company defended by Bang Buyung, conducting free on board (FOB) transactions with PN Adhuma Niaga.
Goods that have been received on board, along with the bill of loading (list of cargo) that has been sent by ICEC to PN Adhuma Niaga in Jakarta as the buyer, even ICEC has received payment. The problem arose after a ship that was supposed to sail to a port in Indonesia had problems in Athens so it could not continue its journey.
The Adhuma Niaga District Court then claimed that the goods on the ship that ran aground should be the responsibility of ICEC to save. This is different from ICEC, which considers the transaction with PN Adhuma to have completed the payment, so it does not feel responsible for saving the goods.
Representing himself, Adhuma Niaga District Court appointed Prof. Go Giok Siong alias Sudargo Gautama and Prof. Mochtar Kusumaatmadja. Bang Buyung when representing ICEC was assisted by an advocate from his office, namely John Kusnadi while working with an American lawyer . Long story short, the case which was tried in these three places, New York, Athens, and Jakarta, at the initiative of Bang Buyung with the assistance of General Hasnan Habib who was the Indonesian ambassador in Washington was finally withdrawn by both parties.
Contempt of Court and license to practice revoked
On January 8, 1986, an interesting incident occurred before the trial hearing the verdict of the Tanjung Priok case that made Lieutenant General (Ret.) HR Dharsono a defendant. In considering the verdict, the judge stated “The conclusion of the defense team and the defendant that it seemed as if the incident had been planned and the Government was involved in finalizing the situation was too early, without evidence, dangerous, creating a bad image of the government, inappropriate and unethical”.
Hearing the judge say “the defense team is inappropriate and unethical”, in front of the trial which was open to the public, Bang Buyung then took the microphone at his desk and interrupted the presiding judge who was reading the verdict. Bang Buyung felt that the judge’s consideration that the defense team was inappropriate and unethical should not take place.
“A blasphemous verdict condemned an unethical defender, so I immediately reacted,” said Bang Buyung as described in his book “Unstoppable Struggle – Sowing the Seeds of Reform” .
The incident of interrupting the judge’s description in the trial for reading HR Dharsono’s decision then had a long tail. Many parties questioned the incident. The print media coverage at that time said “Buyung did a contempt of court”.
The Indonesian Advocates Association (Ikadin) then held a code of ethics session by forming an Honorary Council (DK). The DK formed consists of two levels. Jakarta level DK led by Lukman Wiradinata and central level DK led by Prof. Subect. In the trial held by the Ikadin DK, Bang Buyung was examined and put on trial.
In the book “The Endless Struggle – Sowing the Seeds of Reformation,” the DK Ikadin stated that the attitude and actions of Adnan Buyung Nasution who defended the honor of an advocate’s profession could be understood and justified by the DK. However, the way Bang Buyung interrupted the judge who was reading the verdict was deemed inappropriate. According to the DK, the protest against the judge’s description should have been submitted at the end after the judge had read out his decision.
As a result, for his actions, DK gave a stern warning to Bang Buyung. In addition, in the DK’s consideration, the judge was found guilty for not giving prior warning, but immediately blamed the defense team in considering the verdict. This is the decision of the DK Ikadin at the two levels of the code of ethics trial.
But the problem does not end there. The government through the Minister of Justice (Menkeh) Ismail Saleh, demanded that Bang Buyung be punished. On February 24, 1986, the Chief Justice of the Central Jakarta District Court, Soebandi, summoned Bang Buyung to provide a written answer or defense.
Bang Buyung objected to the forum and the procedures used in the summons, examination, and assessment of himself as an advocate. According to him, there are no formal arrangements regarding the supervision of the Government and the Supreme Court (MA) on lawyers as mandated by MA Law No. 14 of 1985.
Finally, on March 17, 1986, PN Jakarta Pusat issued an administrative decision letter to Bang Buyung. His actions in the hearing of HR Dharsono’s verdict were said to be unjustifiable, either according to the applicable procedural law or according to the professional oath of office.
The Central Jakarta District Court sentenced Bang Buyung to be fired from his lawyer position and proposed to the Minister of Justice that his license to practice as an advocate be revoked. Not long ago, the verdict was changed by the Central Jakarta District Court to a 6-month suspension. Finally, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Ali Said, annulled all the verdicts as a warning.
The Supreme Court’s decision did not end the Contempt of Court polemic. The Minister of Justice, Ismail Saleh, summoned Bang Buyung within two weeks to appear before the Dutch Embassy to defend himself before taking administrative action against him. At that time, Bang Buyung had returned to the Netherlands to continue his studies. Bang Buyung only replied to the summons of the Minister of Finance Ismail through a letter through Ambassador M. Romly which rejected the purpose of the summons.
As a result, on May 11, 1986, on behalf of the government, the Minister of Justice, Ismail Saleh, imposed a year-long sanction of revocation of his practice license on Bang Buyung. To Hukumonline , Bang Buyung’s daughter, Pia AR Akbar Nasution, explained the impact of the revocation of the practice permit. According to Pia, due to the revocation of the practice license, the ABN Associates office experienced a major shock.
“There, the office shook, the client was also afraid to leave, so the office was forced to close,” recalls Pia.
Nasution, Soedibjo, Maqdir & Partner (NSM&P)
Two years after his return from the Netherlands, Bang Buyung spent fixing the Legal Aid Institute (LBH). After that, he felt it was time to open a private office again. Together with two colleagues, Bang Buyung opened a private office at Jalan Angkasa Number 20 CD Kemayoran. The legal consulting firm was named NSM&P (Nasution, Soedibjo, Maqdir & Partner).
After a long period of inactivity as a professional lawyer , Bang Buyung felt the need to reintroduce himself and his new law office. For this reason, a reception was held by presenting Soemitro Djojohadikusumo as the keynote speaker . This effort is not in vain. NSM&P’s first client was the Nurtanio Aircraft Industry (IPTN) before changing its name to the Nusantara Aircraft Industry.
BJ Habibie, who is Director of IPTN and Minister of the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT), asked NSM&P to become IPTN ‘s corporate lawyer . In his book “The Endless Struggle – Sowing the Seeds of Reformation” , Bang Buyung said that becoming an IPTN corporate lawyer is a golden opportunity and the right strategic action. After that, Bang Buyung and NSM&P were asked by the Minister of Industry IB Sudjana to become corporate lawyers for PT Migas. At that time, PT Migas was in dispute with other parties regarding the construction of the Oil and Gas Building (Migas Center).
After that, several other strategic industries such as PT KAI (Indonesian Railways), Pindad (Army Industry), PT PAL (Sea Fleet Company) in Surabaya also asked Bang Buyung to be a legal adviser. This gave Bang Buyung confidence that the Government put its trust in his expertise in the legal field.
When handling IPTN, there is one condition where IPTN is in a tight situation. IPTN as the license holder for the manufacture of spare parts for the Fokker-VFW NV aircraft in the Netherlands, which was established in 1919. Due to unspecified conditions, Fokker went bankrupt. Based on the legal provisions in force in both the Netherlands and Indonesia, companies that are declared bankrupt may no longer operate, including contracts built with other parties that are no longer valid.
In the contract between IPTN and Fokker, there is a provision that states that all production of IPTN ordered by Fokker must be sold through Fokker. With the bankruptcy of Fokker, it will automatically have an impact on IPTN production, which then cannot be sold.
Bang Buyung, who was asked for his legal opinion regarding this matter, suggested that IPTN contact the Dutch Court to report the conditions faced by IPTN. This is so that IPTN can find a way out so that it can sell its products to the market.
Adnan Buyung Nasution & Partner (ABNP)
In 1996, Bang Buyung founded Adnan Buyung Nasution & Partner (ABNP) after Soedibjo resigned from NSM due to health reasons. Together with Maqdir Ismail, Bang Buyung’s partner at NSM, they founded ABNP. This ABNP has survived to this day. But in the middle of the trip, Maqdir Ismail chose to establish his own law firm called Maqdir Ismail & Partners. Bang Buyung himself died on September 23, 2015.
Ahmad Fikri Assegaf, in his writings in the Journal of Law and Capital Markets volume VII/July 10-December 2015 Edition published by the Association of Capital Market Legal Consultants (HKHPM), “Advocates, Law Firms and Business Dynamics in Indonesia”, calls ABNA the ‘parent ‘ most importantly, which gave birth to many modern second generation advocate offices.
While visiting the ABNP office, Hukumonline discussed with the three current ABNP partners. Pia AR Akbar Nasution, Sadly Hasibuan, and Indra Nathan Kusnadi. Bang Buyung’s footsteps were clear at the ABNP office after his death. Moreover, the three ABNP partners are currently very aware of maintaining the legacy left by Bang Buyung.
Boutique Law firm , that is the term used by Bang Buyung to describe the ABNP office. In the midst of the rapid flow of industrialization of law offices that rely on capital capacity and a strong corporate organizational structure, ABNP still maintains the characteristics of a litigation law office without abandoning the handling of clients who come from corporations.
ABNP’s Managing Partner, Pia AR Akbar Nasution, said that ABNP’s managerial office currently uses the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) instrument. By implementing ISO, there is a quality standard system that can be applied by ABNP in carrying out its operational activities.
These quality standards cover all aspects. From the management of the incoming case to the determination of the lawyer who handles the case. “Case handling, the three incoming cases will be discussed. Can we handle it , who is the lawyer? We’ll just have to see who doesn’t have too much of a burden, that’s what we give. Because all the lawyers here must be able to (handle) all (cases),” said Pia.
The mechanism for handling cases in ABNP starts with a junior lawyer. The junior lawyers are given the task to make a kind of summary of the case to be submitted to the senior lawyer. In the hands of senior lawyers, case summaries are analyzed.
The results of the analysis are then discussed with a partner to determine the next strategy. All these processes are recorded in a documentation that will be audited annually by ISO. “Is the implementation correct or not ?” added Indra Nathan Kusnadi.
In addition to the mechanism for handling cases, quality standards in ABNP also cover aspects of how law offices are run. Procurement mechanisms, recruitment patterns, wages, client acceptance, career paths, and so on. All of them are also part of the assessment by ISO.
“The purpose of this ISO is so that everything is in accordance with the procedure. There is an element of coercion so that we are all organized,” said Sadly Hasibuan.
Describing the career path at ABNP, Pia said that basically it is an internship. On top of the apprenticeship, there are the legals. The legal persons at ABNP are law graduates who do not yet hold an advocate license. After that, there is a junior lawyer whose level above is a senior lawyer.
Before becoming a partner, there is an associate level that must be passed first. The tiering process is supervised by each level above it, until it is reported to partners for re-discussion on the assessment of the results of supervision before it is decided. Again, this process becomes part of the assessment by ISO.
After all that, one important thing that the ABNP is trying to maintain is the quality of case handling. This is crucial considering the intense competition for existing law offices, as well as the ways in which the partners keep Bang Buyung’s spirit alive among them.
One Bang Buyung message that is always remembered by everyone at ABNP is “There are no big things or small things, everything is the same. In the smallest of civil matters, it has to do with one’s wealth. In the smallest of criminal matters, it has to do with one’s independence. Never underestimate the things you handle. No restless clients come to us. Reassure them, hug them, and help solve their problems. Never take advantage and use them, “recalled Pia.
Source: http://www. Hukumonline.com/berita/baca/lt59de058823368/abna–cikal-bakal-lahirnya-kantor-advokat-modern-generation-second