As LawSoc president, Mr Tan had many ideas and a full agenda, such as looking at ways to improve retention in law firms and speaking up for the profession when it faced criticism, said Mr Shanmugam.
“Many of us know Adrian as a gifted storyteller. In the past year, as he fought cancer, I believe his life also told us a story – a story of courage, a story of devotion, and a story of service,” Mr Shanmugam added.
The minister said he had called Mr Tan two weeks before he died, having heard about his prognosis.
“I could hardly hear him. He couldn’t speak, but what he told me left me scratching my head because he sounded as if he was going to come back to the office the next week,” Mr Shanmugam added.
“We could not be prouder, or more privileged, than to have had Adrian lead the profession … Singapore is poorer for the loss.”
HIS WIT AND HUMOUR DID NOT DIMINISH
Other speakers also shared of their close friendships with Mr Tan, often speaking directly to his wife Angelina.
They comprised Justice Nair; Far East Hospitality’s chief executive officer Arthur Kiong; Mr Wendell Wong, director of dispute resolution at law firm Drew & Napier where Mr Tan worked for two decades; and Mr Thio Shen Yi, founding partner of TSMP Law Corporation and a former LawSoc president himself.
Harking back to their law school days, Justice Nair – who was also Mr Tan’s former colleague at Drew & Napier – elicited laughter from the audience as he recounted stories of a ritual they had to undergo as NUS freshmen, and how they often skipped classes to go bowling.