1966 - 2023
Adrian was a remarkable lawyer, a generous and fatherly mentor, a caring colleague and a kind and loyal friend. Around him, there was always laughter, listening, and learning.
He touched many lives in our firm, in the legal community, and even more as the “King of Singapore”. We invite you to pen your thoughts of and tributes to Adrian at email@example.com
A Great Loss
We are deeply saddened to hear of Mr Adrian Tan’s passing, and offer our heartfelt condolences to his family.
An extremely passionate alumnus and a wonderful speaker, Adrian delivered the Commencement Address at our Commencement Ceremony exactly a year ago. He was very much a part of the NUS Law family and always found time to support us in initiatives for our students.
Just a few months ago, Adrian readily agreed to moderate a Fireside Chat for the NUS Law Alumni Mentor Programme.
Adrian’s passing is a great loss to Singapore’s law fraternity as well as to future generations of lawyers and law students.
We Miss Him
It is sad to hear that Mr Adrian Tan has passed on. I personally have worked with him since I joined SAVH in 2014. I attended meetings for discussions when he met up with SAVH President and Executive Director. He was SAVH’s Honorary Legal Advisor for 11 years from 2010 to 2021. SAVH benefitted immensely from his professional advice and guidance to the constitutional, legal and governance matters.
We miss him. Rest in Peace, Mr Adrian Tan.
Rest In Peace
We did not have an opportunity to meet. While my written words might not reach you, I hope my feelings and wishes will.
While I cannot speak with the same fervour as many whose lives you touched or inspired, I always read your messages on social media as I found them to be intelligent, witty but having a spirit and a message.
I pray to almighty to give your soul a resting place and strength to your family, friends and colleagues to cope with this huge loss.
Go With All Our Love
You had just gotten into your top stride, Mr Law Society President and King of Singapore. You made the law and issues of the day relevant and easy to understand to all Singaporeans. You had a wacky way of seeing the world that was at the same time so grounded. You made legal practitioners lovable again.
Thank you for being one of us. And for seeing the best in us. A light has truly gone out in our lives. I hope you’re annoying the angels with your puns. We will do our best to look after Angelina, you have my promise.
And we will do our best to live up to the versions of ourselves you saw in us.
Adrian has passed away at the age of 57. Far too young, far too soon. He was witty, pleasant to spend time with. A sharp mind with a wonderful heart.
Adrian was multi-talented, a true Renaissance Man. He was a best-selling author as an undergraduate, dabbled in technology and took a second degree in Computer Science while a practicing lawyer, and in the last few years, became known for his virally popular posts on LinkedIn.
He was the current Law Society President, working to address long hours, and working conditions for young lawyers.
I have had the privilege of knowing him for many years. His passing is a big loss.
My deepest condolences to his family.
Rest Well, My Pupil Master
Adrian Tan was many things, but to me he was first and foremost my Pupil Master. And I was his First Pupil, or FP. Despite being known as a funnyman, this was a duty he took seriously. He told me that tenacity was the most important trait for a litigator, and he had spades of that.
He loved his work so much, he said he wanted to work until he dies. When he was diagnosed, I said that he should transfer the work stress to me. I promised to keep the fun bits for him. He said that that was what he was doing, but he did not rest. Towards the end, he was still working overnighters on submissions, talking to clients and arguing in court.
I joked that I should have my son be a YouTuber to pay for my mortgage. He said, “Life moves fast; don’t do yesterday’s stuff. We are not here to make obscene money. We provide for ourselves and then we do something for the world.”
Once, as I was exiting a hearing, an Assistant Registrar remarked, “You work for Adrian Tan? How lucky.” I know how lucky I was to have worked with him for 16 years, or in other words, my entire career. Thank you for the 16 years of conversations, coffees and court hearings.
I wish I could have just one more conversation with you.
A Ceaseless Fighter
Adrian, thank you for inspiring us to be fighters. To believe in cause above self. You had every right to focus on yourself and make the most of every second to just take care of yourself. Yet you dedicated it to a cause greater than yourself. You remained cheerful throughout. You were always smiling and I was super encouraged to see you still wear that smile when I saw you in office once, while you were undergoing treatment.
Rest in peace, Adrian. Till we meet again! Thanks for being an inspiration.
His Gift To Me
We spoke of life. We spoke of death. But mainly, we laughed.
Adrian Tan was sent off on 12 July, having spent a full life helping others directly as a friend and lawyer, and indirectly as a writer, speaker, teacher. He led a busy life but made time to catch up with friends. Maybe because we always managed to see the lighter side of things.
My interview with Adrian for www.silverstreak.sg was wide-ranging and covered more serious topics. Living with cancer forces a sense of perspective. Maybe he knew his days were numbered. He didn't let on. But he was still the same, sharp-minded, witty, cheerful Adrian I had known for close to four decades.
That was his gift to me, and the best way to remember him.
A Personal Touch
About a year and a half ago, my previous firm moved to a new office at 11 Beach Road from Paya Lebar Quarter. We were still a small firm, relatively new, but saw this as a bit of a milestone for us.
I put up a LinkedIn post celebrating this. It got a few likes and congratulatory messages. One comment stood out, from the then President-elect of the Law Society, who took time to congratulate a relatively junior lawyer, in a small, fledgling law firm, on our new office. He also commented to say we could contact him if we needed any help.
I have never had the privilege of meeting him face to face, but miss him all the same.
Rest in Peace, the King of Singapore.