David is our Senior International Counsel. He is a Herbert Smith Freehills partner heading the firm’s specialist Indonesian practice in Jakarta and leads our team of International counsel from Herbert Smith Freehills dedicated to Indonesian transactions and projects. He has practised in Jakarta since the early 1990s and is consistently ranked as one of the leading foreign lawyers practising in Indonesia. He is fluent in Bahasa Indonesia, both spoken and written. He advises a broad range of cross-border, corporate and financial transactions. He is trusted advisor to many major multinational corporations and financial institutions, with a wealth of experience in investing and doing business in Indonesia.David also regularly supports the firm’s specialist Indonesian disputes resolution practice in relation to strategic and commercial aspects of regulatory investigations and dispute proceedings based on his long involvement and experience with Indonesian matters.
Selected major transactions include advising:
CVC Asia Pacific on its USD275 million private equity investment in Indonesian fixed broadband and cable TV operator, Link Net through a combination of pricing shares in Link Net and bonds issued by First Media, the listed parent company of Link Net
Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) on its acquisition of a 47-storey office tower in Jakarta to be developed by Rajawali
Dubai Islamic Bank on its investment and joint venture in Bank Panin Syariah
Asahi on its strategic Indonesian beverage joint venture with Indofood (an affiliate of Salim Group, one of Indonesia's largest conglomerats)
Pirelli ; Trade on its Indonesian tyre manufacturing joiunt venture with Astra Otoparts, an affiliate of Jardine Matheson, and related land acquisition for construction of factory
ANZ Bank on the integration of acquired RBS retail and corporate banking operations in Indonesia
A Chinese Sovereign Wealth Fund on its US$1.9 billion secured investment facility to Bumi Resources, to be used for refinancing various loans and for investment purposes
British American Tobacco (BAT) on its acquisition of a controlling interest in Bentoel Internasional for US$494 million, following a tender offer and merger with BAT's pre-existing listed Indonesian subsidiary
Hutchison Ports Holding on the privatisation and operation of Jakarta's international container port, Jakarta International Container Port
Hutchison International Telecommunicationson its acquisition and shareholding an Indonesian 3G cellular licence , Hutchison 3 Indonesia
Mitsubishi Corporationon the US$350 million acquisition of a strategic 19.9% interest in Medco Energi Indonesia, a large Indonesian listed oil and gas company
Mitsubishi Corporationon the Senoro LNG plant in Sulawesi with Pertamina and Medco Energi Indonesia
Newcrest Mining Corporation on its Indonesian gold mining operation in Halmahera North Maluku through PT Nusa Halmahera Minerals
Rio Tinto and BP on the high profile mandatory divestment of a majority interest in the world-class coal mine, Kaltim Prima Coal, to Indonesian investors, including related litigation
HJ Heinz on the acquisition of the ABC Central Foods (sauces) business
Zuellig Pharma on its acquisition of a majority interest in and operation of Anugerah Pharmindo Lestari, one of Indonesia’s largest pharmaceutical and healthcare distribution groups
Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank  on the set up and operation of their respective Indonesian securities broking and underwriting operations
Marubeni   in relation to a significant Indonesian asset swap transaction relating to the debt restructuring of the major Indonesian petrochemical producer, Chandra Asri
Diageo   on its Guinness stout business in Indonesia and other distribution arrangements
David Dawborn is highly rated by clients, who cite him as a "go-to guy" who is "very impressive."
Chambers Asia Pacific, 2016
David Dawborn is deemed a ‘very good lawyer and a safe pair of hands,’ and is often sought out by foreign investors entering the country.
Chambers Asia Pacific, 2015
The team boasts 'top-class' lawyers including senior international counsel David Dawborn, who is a 'go-to-guy' in Indonesia.
Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2015
Dawborn,…., is lauded by one client as the "dean of foreign lawyers" in Indonesia and is praised for being "a very talented lawyer" who "always provides solutions" and is "easy to approach".
Asialaw Profiles, 2014
"He is a highly respected practitioner and his position as one of the leading foreign consultants is unanimously acknowledged by his peers."
Chambers Asia Pacific, 2014
"Dawborn is a key individual who has the advantage of having both the international perspective and also local knowledge. He is well respected within the industry," says a senior partner in a rival law firm
The 'phenomenal' David Dawborn leads the team and is known for his oil and gas expertise…
Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2012
One client puts David Dawborn on a pedestal, saying: "He's probably one of the few lawyers in Indonesia who has both local Indonesian knowledge and highly basic commercial skills as international practitioner. He's very commercial-oriented and he gives tailored advice."