The Principal of Trident Law, Mr. R. Thrumurgan was called to the Bar in 1999 after chambering with the late Mr. R. Palakrishnan, Senior Counsel.
In the 21 years that he has been a lawyer, Mr. R. Thrumurgan has acted as Lead Counsel in several high-profile criminal and commercial disputes. In the conduct of these cases, Mr. R. Thrumurgan has been commended by the Courts at all levels for his tenacity, rigour and ingenuity.
In the landmark case of Muhammad bin Kadar & Anor v PP  SGCA 32, Mr. R. Thrumurgan received high commendation from the Court of Appeal for his impassioned advocacy and meticulous attention to detail. The Kadar case (as it is commonly known) remains the longest pro bono criminal trial in Singapore’s history with a 95-day trial. The Court of Appeal had this to say of Mr. R. Thrumurgan:
207. Finally, we would like to acknowledge Mr Thrumurgan for his impassioned advocacy and the commendable conscientiousness with which he has conducted Ismil’s defence. He deserves credit for placing on the record of proceedings many of the facts we have referred to above.
His client, Ismil, had provided more than 10 written confessions admitting to having committed murder.
Following a 6-year battle in the Courts, Mr. R. Thrumurgan successfully proved that Ismil’s confessions were wholly unreliable and that he was completely innocent of the murder charge. The Court of Appeal, in agreeing with Mr. R. Thrumurgan that there had been serious lapses in police investigations, introduced new obligations on the Prosecution to disclose evidence to the Defence.
Mr. R. Thrumurgan has also achieved several legal “firsts” in Singapore.
Recently, he secured the first acquittal in a labour trafficking case under the Prevention of Human Trafficking Act after a trial that stretched more than 36 days.
He also secured the first acquittal in a section 300(d) murder charge in Singapore.
Mr. R. Thrumurgan was also the first criminal lawyer in Singapore to succeed in a drug trafficking trial where the defence was that the accused did not know the specific nature of the drug.
Mr. R. Thrumurgan’s client, Somchit, had confessed to knowing that she was packing and organising the sale of drugs. Despite the statutory presumption of knowledge operating against Somchit, Mr. R. Thrumurgan successfully argued before the High Court that Somchit did not have knowledge that the drug in question was heroin.
Apart from trial work, Mr. R. Thrumurgan spends a substantial part of his time assisting corporates and individual clients when they are subject to investigations by the different agencies of the Police Force, the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD), the Corrupt Practices Investigations Bureau (CPIB) and the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS).
Additionally, Mr. R. Thrumurgan advises clients in multi-jurisdictional investigations concerning allegations of foreign bribery, money laundering and tax evasions involving enforcement agencies from the United States of America, Australia, Thailand, India, and Hong Kong SAR.
For his own and Trident Law’s commitment to pro bono efforts, Mr. R. Thrumurgan was awarded the Law Society of Singapore’s Pro Bono Ambassador Award in 2015.
Since 2016, Mr. R.Thrumurgan has been an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore (NUS).
Mr. R.Thrumurgan is also a Member of the Life-Imprisonment Review Board and the Long-Term Imprisonment Review Board under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore.