1 Official Publication of The Law Society of Singapore September 2016 by social media
3 President s Message An Independent Bar Public Good or Professional Vanity? Lawyers have a special position in society not because they are loved or because they are particularly admirable people, but because they are responsible for the rule of law. That is true whether they administer law as judges, advise on law as legal advisers or act as advocates in courts and tribunals a professional, expert, respected and independent advocates profession, which faces up to its responsibilities represents a very precious asset to a modern civilised society. Indeed, it is a vital component of a modern civilised society. Lord Neuberger President, United Kingdom Supreme Court We are fortunate in Singapore. We have stakeholders who are prepared to listen, to discuss issues respectfully. Unlike other jurisdictions, our default setting is not confrontational. We enjoy an environment where the rule of law is the common aspiration and accepted touchstone, and where it largely works, even though we may disagree with the precise content and specific application. However, we cannot be complacent. Just as the price of liberty is eternal vigilance, so too with the rule of law. No system is perfect, and there are always gaps that have to be addressed, or at least discussed. But these gaps are thankfully not chasms. Where we see an erosion of the rule of law, we have a duty to speak, and where necessary, to be the lone voice that rejects silence, that demands reasonable debate, discussion and confrontation of issues. In this area, lawyers, by reason of our training, can and should be at the forefront of civil society and active citizenry as Singapore matures. As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Law Society, some introspection is called for, and I hope to provoke some thinking on what it means to have an independent Bar. This is probably something that most practitioners have neither the time nor inclination to contemplate in the course of their professional lives given how business-centric practice has become. To most commercial lawyers, the rule of law is an abstraction, encountered in law school, and stranded there. It s time to catch up. Like all Law Gazette messages, the views expressed below are solely mine, and may or may not represent the collective wisdom of the Council. We live in a country where law is one of the crucial organising principles of our community. Politics, policies, and preferences often find expression in laws and regulations. Lawyers are indispensable stakeholders in the rule of law, and while Judges may be the final arbiters of it, we are its gatekeepers. The practising Bar, as a collective body, has a part to play. In upholding the rule of law, we must be prepared to support the Government where we agree, and conversely, just as prepared to articulate our objections and concerns when we don t. The Preamble to the United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers adopted in 1990: Whereas professional associations of lawyers have a vital role to play in upholding professional standards and ethics, protecting their members from persecution and improper restrictions and infringements, providing legal services to all in need of them, and cooperating with governmental and other institutions in furthering the ends of justice and public interest. This is echoed in the Preamble to the International Bar Associations Standards for the Independence of the Legal Profession ( IBA Standards ), also adopted in 1990, in almost identical language. The point is that lawyers play a proactive and facilitative role in upholding and guaranteeing the rule of law. We do not define our efforts in this by whether we confront or collaborate with our stakeholders, but by our fidelity to the rule of law. The IBA Standards articulate the substantive content of what independence means, individually and collectively, and it is worthwhile to highlight some parts: Articles 6 and 7 respectively state: Subject to the established rules, standards and ethics of the profession, Continued on page 4
4 Contents President s Message An Independent Bar Public Good or Professional Vanity? 01 News Features Columns Lifestyle Diary and Upcoming Events 06 CEO's Message 08 The Law Society of Singapore Guidance Note 1 of 2016 Limited Retainers 10 Singapore International Commercial Court Suit No 1 of 2016 (HC/Summons No 1542 of 2016 and SIC/Summons No 3 of 2016) 13 The Use of Social Media and Internet Message Boards to Effect Substituted Service in Singapore 16 Case Review: Allplus Holdings Pte Ltd and Ors v Phoon Qui Nyuen  SGHC Any Risk Will Do The New Law on Scandalising Contempt in Singapore 29 The Young Lawyer Amicus Agony 34 Thinking Out Loud Training a Lawyer 37 Pro Bono Publico Empowering Community Organisations Through Legal Awareness 41 Wellness and Personal Development What's Your Formula for Success? 45 Alter Ego Protecting the Protector 48 Food I'm KIM Korean SOTA: Value-for-Money Sumptuous Buffet 51 Notices Information on Wills 55 Appointments 56 The Singapore Law Gazette The Law Society s Mission Statement To serve our members and the communitty by sustaining a competent and independent Bar which upholds the rule of law and ensures access to justice. An Official Publication of The Law Society of Singapore The Law Society of Singapore 39 South Bridge Road, Singapore Tel: (65) Fax: (65) Website: The Council of The Law Society of Singapore President Mr Thio Shen Yi, SC Vice Presidents Mr Gregory Vijayendran Ms Kuah Boon Theng Treasurer Mr Tan Gim Hai Adrian Mr Lim Seng Siew, Mr Dhillon Singh, Mr Chia Boon Teck, Mr Tito Isaac, Mr Kelvin Wong, Ms Lisa Sam, Mr Anand Nalachandran, Mr Sunil Sudheesan, Mr Yeo Chuan Tat, Ms Katie Chung, Ms Wendy Lin, Ms Felicia Tan, Mr Paul Tan, Mr Arvindran s/o Manoosegaran, Ms Simran Kaur Toor, Mr Grismond Tien Editorial Board Ms Malathi Das, Ms Celeste Ang, Mr Rajan Chettiar, Ms Simran Kaur Toor, Mr Cameron Ford, Assoc Prof David Tan, Ms Janelene Chen, Ms Aileen Chua, Dr Colin Ong, Mr Fong Wei Li, Mr Kishan Pillay, Ms Lee Hui Yi, Ms Debby Lim, Ms Lye Hui Xian, Mr Evans Ng, Mr Benjamin Teo, Mr Vincent Leow, Mr Marcus Yip, Ms Alicia Zhuang, Dr William Wan The Law Society Secretariat Chief Executive Officer Mr Zaid Hamzah Communications & Membership Interests Mr Shawn Toh Compliance Mr Daniel Tan Conduct Ms Ambika Rajendram, Mr K Gopalan Continuing Professional Development Ms Jean Wong Finance Ms Jasmine Liew, Mr Clifford Hang Information Technology Mr Michael Ho Knowledge Management Mr Kenneth Goh Pro Bono Services Mr Tanguy Lim, Mr Gopinath s/o B Pillai, Mr Eoin Ó Muimhneacháin, Ms Claudine Tan Publications Ms Sharmaine Lau Representation & Law Reform Ms Delphine Loo Tan, Mr K Gopalan Publishing Reed Elsevier (Singapore) Pte Ltd trading as LexisNexis Associate Director, Publishing, Singapore Terence Lim Director, Sales, Singapore and OSEA Angie Ong Editor Terence Lim Cover Design Ogma Solutions Pvt Ltd Designer Ogma Solutions Pvt Ltd Web Administrator Jessica Wang Advertising Account Managers Wendy Tan, Perry Tan For Advertising Enquiries Tel: (65) Printing Markono Print Media Pte Ltd LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier (Singapore) Pte Ltd, is a leading provider of legal and professional information in Asia, with offices in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, India, England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa. The complete range of works published by LexisNexis include law reports, legal indexes, major works, looseleaf services, textbooks, electronice products and other reference works for Asia. LexisNexis 3 Killiney Road, # 08-08, Winsland House 1, Singapore Tel: (65) Fax: (65) ISSN X The Singapore Law Gazette is the official publication of the Law Society of Singapore. Copyright in all material published in journal is retained by the Law Society. No part of this journal may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including recording and photocopying without the written permission of the copyright holder, application for which should be addressed to the law society. Written permission must also be obtained before any part of this publication is stored in a retrieval system of any nature. The journal does not accept liability for any views, opinions, or advice given in the journal. Further, the contents of the journal do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the publisher, the Law Society or members of the Law Society and no liability is accepted or members of the Law Society and no liability is accepted in relation thereto. Advertisements appearing within this publication should not be taken to imply any direct support for, or sympathy with the views and aims of the publisher or the Law Society. Circulation 5,000 Subscription Fee S$ (inclusive of GST) for 12 issues
5 LOCKTON BROKERS WHO THINK LIKE BUSINESS CONSULTANTS INSURANCE RISK MANAGEMENT EMPLOYEE BENEFITS THE WORLD'S LARGEST PRIVATELY HELD, INDEPENDENT INSURANCE BROKERAGE UNMATCHED GLOBAL REACH AND LOCAL UNDERSTANDING. Lockton is a global professional services firm. Key services and solutions To talk with a trusted advisor who can help you make your business better, call: Claims Management Cyber Risks Directors & Officers Liabilty Expat Medical Employee Benefits Group Medical Group Travel Health Risk Solutions Mergers & Acquisitions Political & Trade Credit Risk Product Recall Professional Indemnity Property & Casualty Insurance Strategic Risk Management Surety WICA C. Nandakumar (65) Deven Lim (65) Colin Kwek (65) Clarence Goh (65) Lockton Companies (Singapore) Pte Ltd 1 Raffles Place, #12-62 One Raffles Place, Tower 2 Singapore Tel: (65) Fax: (65) Company Registration No: N
6 President s Message Continued from page 1 the lawyer in discharging his or her duties shall at all times act freely, diligently and fearlessly in accordance with the legitimate interest of the client and without any inhibition or pressure from the authorities or the public ; and The lawyer is not to be identified by the authorities or the public with the client or the client s cause, however popular or unpopular it may be. Article 14 talks about the rights of individual lawyers and states: Lawyers shall not by reason of exercising their profession be denied freedom of belief, expression, association and assembly; and in particular they shall have the right to: a) take part in public discussion of matters concerning the law and the administration of justice; b) join or form freely local, national and international organisations; c) propose and recommend well considered law reforms in the public interest and inform the public about such matters. Article 18 deals with Bar associations and states: The functions of the appropriate lawyers association in ensuring the independence of the legal profession shall be inter alia: a) to promote and uphold the cause of justice, without fear or favour; c) to defend the role of lawyers in society and preserve the independence of the profession; d) to protect and defend the dignity and independence of the judiciary; e) to promote free and equal access of the public to the system of justice, including the provision of free legal advice; g) to promote and support law reform, and to comment upon and promote public discussion on the substance, interpretation and application of existing and proposed legislation. Are we there yet? It s self-evidently a work in progress. Criminal lawyers in particular will understand and appreciate the need not to be identified with the client. The most heinous criminal has the right to due process and a fair trial, and that is only possible when there is representation by competent counsel. That counsel ought not be subject to public opprobrium. Liberty or life is often at stake, and it is here that diligent and fearless representation is most needed. A lawyer should, in fact must, act zealously, constrained only by his or her duties as an officer of the Court to uphold the fair and effective administration of justice. In an adversarial system, especially where the mechanism of the State is brought to bear against the accused, this can be difficult to navigate. More so in capital cases, where many defence counsel are motivated by a principled and conscientious objection to the death penalty, it is all too easy to get caught up in the maelstrom of battle. In times like these, one needs to find wisdom in the midpoint between valour and discretion. And this is where we as a collegiate body can involve ourselves; to offer advice, be a sounding board and share experience through agencies such as our Criminal Practice Committee. It s not confined to criminal practice. In civil litigation, lawyers in the larger firms exhibit a reluctance to sue big corporates or large financial institutions. This is wholly understandable, as dealing with actual and commercial conflict is a reality, and the independence of the individual lawyer must defer to the collective demands of a partnership, and to client loyalty and trust. Consequently, there is a natural space for good quality small law firms who are specialised enough to be independent, to undertake cases for litigants who wish to sue the business and financial establishment. This includes the Government, which in both its commercial and administrative dealings can quite rightly be taken to Court when there is a dispute. This ability to find good, unconflicted and independent lawyers is fundamental to access to justice, without which the rule of law is hollowed out, and without which property, contractual and personal rights are not universal, but exist only for the select. I ve previously written about why we need to foster vibrant and healthy small firms. Add this to the list of reasons. One of the major undertakings of an independent Bar is to promote access to justice for those who cannot afford lawyers in criminal cases. This is expressly mandated in sections 38(1)(f) and (g) of the Legal Profession Act and Article 18(e) of the IBA Standards. We do this through our pro bono programmes in close collaboration with the Government, in a public-private-people partnership. We aim to develop a model of effective stakeholder collaboration, and the Bar s active volunteerism represents our profession at its best. I have written extensively about the importance of pro bono
7 President s Message work in other messages, so I need not develop this point further here. Law also is an area of human endeavour which comfortably lends itself to a multitude of causes. While this will become more important in an age of active citizenry, it is especially apt to consider this in the context of developing a new generation of lawyers with a fire for justice, fairness and the rule of law. These young lawyers must enter practice with a passion and purpose for something more than a monthly salary and an annual bonus, which was very much our Chief Justice s exhortation at this year s mass call. That passion, that purpose, is our internal narrative, and serves as a reminder of the greater significance of being a lawyer. There are many legitimate causes which need the input of lawyers the limitation or abolition of the death penalty, access to justice for the needy, immediate access to counsel for an accused, enhancing environmental sustainability or corporate governance in the commercial world, advocacy against discriminatory rules, or legal protections for vulnerable groups. These are just a few possibilities. A cause doesn t have to be in your area of practice before you start caring about the issue. Lawyers develop expertise in advocacy, analysis, negotiation and critical thinking. The efficacy of an intelligent and informed voice should never be underestimated. Consistent with Article 18(g) of the IBA Standards, the Law Society comments on legislation from time to time. We were recently invited to offer our views on the Administration of Justice Bill, which deals primarily with contempt of Court, very much lawyer s territory. Our views, both supporting and dissenting, 1 were candidly given. Some suggestions were accepted, others were not. The exchange was respectful, informed, and even where our views were rejected, they were not glossed over but accepted as legitimate points of view, though not accepted for reasons of politics, policy or preference. Of course, we are presently restricted under section 38(1)(c) of the LPA to commenting only on legislation submitted to us. However, over the last 20 or years or so, we have been consistently consulted on proposed legislation, and we have endeavoured to provide rational and constructive feedback, sometimes successfully, sometimes less successfully. I believe that we have consistently been reasonable and responsible stakeholders. I have extended an invitation to the Minister for Law to have a forum with the members of the Law Society on the function and scope of section 38(1)(c) and he has accepted my invitation. So we look forward to a robust and constructive discussion and exchange of ideas. A reminder of how a Bar s independence can be compromised only requires us to look north to our neighbours. A series of amendments to the Malaysian Legal Profession Act 1976 have been proposed by the Government. It is not my intention to discuss all of them, though many proposals look to be potentially disruptive and inimical to the idea and function of an independent Bar which regulates itself. I have quite some sympathy for my colleagues across the Causeway. One amendment is of particular concern the new quorum requirement for all general meetings of the Malaysian Bar. It is being raised from 500 members to 25 per cent of the membership, which is approximately 4,000 members. This is clearly unworkable, and will make it virtually impossible to convene an annual general meeting or an extra-ordinary general meeting, crippling the effective functioning of the Bar Council. Given that the Bar Council has been at the forefront of addressing the many rule of law issues Malaysia finds itself embroiled in, this proposal will operate as a muzzle on the advocacy of the Malaysian Bar. This would be regrettable, as the Bar Council has been a voice of reason, conscience and independence in challenging actions and policies which they perceive to be prejudicial to the rule of law. It is their right, and duty to do so, and they discharge it without fear or favour. Any erosion to the rule of law, especially in the regions nearest and closest to us, extracts a toll on its vitality. No man is an island, we do not live in silos. Where attacks to the rule of law are unchecked and unchallenged, the laws of entropy assert themselves, and time and apathy will diminish what we expect and demand of the rule of law, leaving us all the poorer for it. We, as lawyers, cannot be sanguine about that. This is by no means the last word on the independence of the Bar. It is, I hope, only the beginning of a continuing discussion. I leave you with a final observation made in the Supreme Court of Canada in the case of Canada (Attorney General) v Law Society of British Columbia  2 SCR 307: The independence of the Bar from the state in all of its pervasive manifestations is one of the hallmarks of a free society. The public interest in a free society knows no area more sensitive than the independence, impartiality and availability to the general public of the members of the Bar and through those members, legal advice and services generally. Fiat justitia ruat caelum. Thio Shen Yi, Senior Counsel President The Law Society of Singapore Notes 1 We were generally supportive of codifying the law on contempt in general, supportive of the specific rules against scandalising the judiciary, but far less enthusiastic about the prohibition on commenting on cases that were sub judice.
8 News Diary and Upcoming Events Diary 3 August 2016 Data Security in Law Firms: Enabling Secure File Sharing and Mobile Productivity Jointly organised by the Law Society of Singapore and Stone Forest IT 2.30pm-5.30pm 137 Cecil Street 15 August 2016 Basic Written Advocacy Workshop (Module 1) Organised by the Continuing Professional Development Department 6.00pm-7.30pm The Law Society of Singapore 25 August 2016 Networking Skills for Lawyers Guide and Tips to Market Yourself and Your Law Practice Organised by the Continuing Professional Development Department 12.00pm-1.30pm The Law Society of Singapore 25 August 2016 Probate Seminars (Part 1): Seminar on Muslim Inheritance Law Organised by the Muslim Law Practice and Probate Practice Committees 4.00pm-6.15pm 55 Market Street 25 August 2016 Mass Call 2016 Hosted by the Young Lawyers Committee 10am-2pm Supreme Court of Singapore
9 Diary and Upcoming Events News 26 August 2016 Mass Call 2016 Hosted by the Young Lawyers Committee 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm Supreme Court of Singapore August 2016 Mediation: Strategic Conflict Management for Professionals (Module 1) Jointly organised by the Law Society of Singapore and Singapore Mediation Centre 9.00am-5.00pm The Law Society of Singapore Upcoming Events 11 October 2016 Annual General Meeting 14 October 2016 Malaysia/Singapore Summit October & 15 November 2016 Basic Written Advocacy Workshops 1 November 2016 Annual CPD Day November 2016 Day of Conveyancing Highlight 11 November 2016 Law Society Annual Dinner & Dance Notice of Change of Particulars Members are required to submit a Notice of Change of Particulars through elitigation ( aspx) whenever there is any change in the particulars relating to your practice, eg if you move from one law practice to another, if there is a change in your designation, or if you cease to practise. The Notice of Change of Particulars can only be submitted through the elitigation account of the individual lawyer. If you do not have an elitigation account, you may approach the Service Bureau for assistance, subject to payment of applicable fees and charges. Please refer to the Supreme Court's step-by-step guide on submitting a Notice of Change of Particulars at supremecourt.gov.sg > elitigation > Practising Certificate > e-filing Service.
10 News CEO's Message From the Desk of the CEO Call for Law Firms to Participate in Pilot Project Legal Industry Transformation Program Dear Member, The Law Society of Singapore ( LSS ) is piloting our Legal Industry Transformation Program ( LITP ) and we are seeking more member law firms to join the six-month pilot (September 2016 to February 2017). The objectives of the LITP are to: 1. Find new sources of growth for law firms through internationalisation; 2. Optimise the use of technology to improve productivity, raise efficiency and accelerate capabilities for higher value creation; 3. Create a roadmap for Singapore law firms to move up the value chain through new business models and legal service innovation; 4. Explore new practice areas where Singapore law firms can create a new source of competitive advantage regionally and internationally in emerging fields such as cybersecurity, financial technology, clean and green technology, big data and predictive analytics and Islamic finance; and 5. Promote the adoption of Singapore law in cross-border transactions. 6 month Pilot LITP: Framework VISION A value creating and vibrant legal industry MISSION Develop new higher yielding practice areas Generate higher revenue from overseas revenue Leverage technology to move up the value chain Create stronger brand value for singapore lawyers Foster Legal Service Innovation After the completion of the pilot program, LSS will use the data gathered to develop a three-year program if the LITP proves to be feasible. Firms of all sizes are invited to participate. Key Performance Indicators for the LITP At the end of the pilot program, the key performance indicators are: 1. Whether the firms have been able to adopt technology to improve efficiency, raise productivity and optimise their resource management. 2. Whether new sources of revenue have been generated. 3. Whether the firms have been able to build new capabilities that would lay the foundation for greater competitiveness in the marketplace in the longer term. What Law Firms Will Need to Do The program will entail law firms investing time and management resources to do the following: 1. Share with LSS their growth development plans and go to market strategy. 2. Choose existing or new practice areas the firms want to develop. 3. Highlight challenges and problems that they face in growing their legal practice or in building their brand. 4. Indicate the type of technology support system they are currently using and how much they are prepared to spend on new technology solutions. 5. Indicate the new overseas markets or the type of crossborder work they would like to focus on. New Clients & Customers STRATEGIC & ENABLING PILLARS Access to Access to Know-how, Go to market Highly Skilled Responsive best practices Toolkit Workforce IT Infrastructure Strategic Collaboration with vendors 6. Propose specific needs whether it be business development or practice support or hiring challenges.
11 CEO's Message News There is no cost for law firms to participate in this pilot program except where they choose to buy software or subscribe to technology services. LSS plans to aggregate demand from participating law firms and to negotiate group discounts from legal technology vendors. Role of Technology Vendors LSS has invited legal technology vendors to participate in this program spanning the following areas: 1. Practice management solutions (matter management, time and billing, scheduling and calendaring); 2. Document assembly or agreement generator (linked to precedent database); 3. Document management including e-archival; 2. Business development program (including providing law firms with marketing toolkits). 3. Creation of a new knowledge data base on foreign markets (especially for cross-border transactions). 4. Online marketing (including using search engine optimisation and search engine marketing). 5. Client engagement and outreach. 6. Face to face meeting or skype sessions. 7. Securing of new clients or businesses. 8. Seeing through legal transactions. 9. Evaluation. 4. Knowledge management; 5. Cloud-based deal rooms; 6. Corporate secretarial solutions; 7. Intelligent legal research; 8. Devices (secured laptops as toolkits); 9. Secured communications and cybersecurity readiness; 10. Artificial intelligence and legal analytics; 11. E-Dispute resolution solutions; 12. Learning solutions (especially experiential workplace-based learning); and CFE Legal Industry Transformation Program Go International Program Work in progress Program Pillars Knowledge & Skills Base & Applied Learning Future Economy Legal Skills Framework & Practices SMLF* Development Information, Communication and Technology Research, Innovation and Development Funding Mechanism Organisational execellen * SMLF : Small & medium sized law firms CFE : Committe on the Future Economy Shared IT Platform (LSS managed) Promote Singapore Law Whole of Govt Approach MinLaw supported legal industry study (technology adoption++) 13. Managed service operations. Program Pillars and Activities Participating law firms are likely to be grouped in complementary practice areas targeting a new overseas market. Upon completion of an initial business and practice needs evaluation, groups of law firms will embark on jointly agreed go to market plans covering the following activities, among others: Interested law firms are invited to contact me at lawsoc.org.sg. A briefing session will be held for interested law firms. Zaid Hamzah Chief Executive Officer The Law Society of Singapore 1. Review of market opportunities.
12 News Guidance Note 1 of 2016 The Law Society of Singapore Guidance Note 1 of 2016 Limited Retainers Unbundled Legal Services 1. Limited retainers are also known as unbundled legal services. (d) in relation to the completion of a retainer and withdrawal from representation (rule 26 PCR) apply as well to a limited retainer. 2. Unlike a full retainer where a practitioner deals with all matters from initial instructions from the client until the case is concluded, a limited retainer is an agreement between the client and practitioner to limit the scope of services rendered by the practitioner. The practitioner provides legal services for part and not all of the client s legal matter. 3. In a limited retainer, there may be certain risks for practitioners. This includes the risk that a client may misunderstand or may be unaware of the extent of a practitioner s responsibilities. This misunderstanding or lack of awareness may result in allegations of professional negligence or complaints of professional misconduct against the practitioner for matters that are actually beyond the scope of the retainer. 4. This Guidance Note is the Law Society s view of good practice on how to manage the risks in the area of limited retainers. It is not legal advice and it is not intended to be the only standard of good practice that practitioners can follow. Professional Responsibility 5. The standard of professional responsibility for limited retainers is the same as the standard expected of a practitioner in a full retainer. 6. A practitioner s obligations in accordance with the Legal Profession (Professional Conduct) Rules 2015 ( PCR ), including the following obligations: (a) to maintain the confidentiality of information (rule 6 PCR) (b) to avoid any conflict of interests (rules PCR ) (c) in relation to professional fees and costs (rule 17 PCR) 7. The prevention of money laundering and financing of terrorism requirements set out in Part VA Legal Profession Act, Legal Profession (Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism) Rules 2015 and Council of the Law Society s Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism Practice Direction (Paragraph 1 of 2015) apply as well to a limited retainer. 8. Limiting the scope of representation does not limit a practitioner s exposure to liability for work he or she has agreed to perform. Risks for Practitioners in Offering Unbundled Services 9. In Lie Hendri Rusli v Wong Tan & Molly Lim (a firm)  SGHC 213, the High Court made the following comments: The scope of a solicitor s duty in any particular case depends on his retainer. The retainer is to be defined by reference to what the solicitor is instructed to do by the client and how he is expected to discharge his responsibilities in accordance with the notion of a reasonably competent solicitor. This inevitably must vary from case to case. 10. There may be greater responsibilities to clients of limited retainers to clearly set out the precise scope of the practitioner s responsibilities not least because the provision of unbundled services tends to increase the risks of communication issues and inadequate investigation or discovery of facts. 11. If the terms of a limited retainer are not clearly defined, a client may ask for or expect legal advice and services which fall outside the practitioner s scope of legal services, as seen in this hypothetical scenario:
13 Guidance Note 1 of 2016 News An existing client engages Webber to act for him in the purchase of a unit in a development site. The client is keen to save on legal fees and is negotiating many elements himself. The client obtains a letter of offer for funding from a bank and forwards the letter to Webber, who places the letter in his file. The transaction proceeds smoothly but completion is delayed pending resolution of certain issues which the client is negotiating. 6 months later, shortly before completion, Webber receives an angry call from the client, who informs Webber that the offer of funding expired 3 months ago as stated in the letter. The client is unable to obtain alternative funding and commences a claim against Webber for the lost development value of the site. Seminar on Risk and Compliance: Business Benefits of Risk Management (Law Society of Singapore and Lockton Companies (Singapore) Pte Ltd) on 6 & 7 January In the hypothetical scenario, it was not clearly explained to the client that the terms of the funding arrangements fell outside the retainer, and the client expected the practitioner to advise on the funding arrangement. 12. The potential risks in a limited retainer were highlighted in the English case of Minkin v Landsberg  EWCA Civ The claimant, following her divorce, negotiated a settlement on her own with her former husband and she instructed a solicitor to amend a draft consent order so that it was in a form likely to be approved by the county Court. The solicitor carried out those instructions. The claimant subsequently regretted the consent order and made a claim for professional negligence on the basis that the solicitor failed to advise or warn her against entering the consent order. The district Judge dismissed the claimant s claim on the basis that the retainer was limited (namely to embody the matters agreed between the husband and the wife in a consent order which the Court would approve) and the solicitor was under no duty to give such advice or warnings. The claimant appealed to the Court of Appeal. The central issue in the appeal was whether the solicitor s duties were limited. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. The Court of Appeal agreed that the solicitor was working under a limited retainer and held that the solicitor was not under a duty to give the broader advice or warnings to the claimant. 13. The risks of a limited retainer are well-illustrated in litigation. For example, in motor accident litigation, it is common practice for one practitioner to file a writ on behalf of a client for personal injury losses, and another practitioner to file another writ for property damage losses, even though both types of losses arose from the same motor accident. Each practitioner should advise the client of the risk that the discontinuance of one writ could prejudice the client s remaining writ. In Ng Kong Choon v Tang Wee Goh  SGHC 83, the plaintiff filed three writs for three types of losses arising from the same motor accident. The first two writs were settled and discontinued without adjudication on the merits. The third writ was for cost of repairs to the plaintiff s vehicle. The High Court held that section 35 of the Subordinate Courts Act, which contemplates one action for one cause of action, precluded the third writ. Thus, the plaintiff (or in this case, the plaintiff s insurers who instituted the third writ as a subrogation claim) had no recourse for the cost of repairs. 14. The following is a summary of some of the risks for practitioners in limited retainers: (a) A client may misunderstand or may be unaware of the extent of a practitioner s responsibilities. (b) A practitioner may fail to fully explain to the client the extent and limitations of the unbundled services. (c) A client may infer or believe that a full retainer was created. (d) A practitioner engaged under a limited retainer may not be in a position to provide complete advice to the client if the client omits to inform the practitioner of a crucial fact. (e) If inadequate information is given by the client, there is potential for a practitioner to make incorrect assumptions about the facts. (f) A practitioner may fail to qualify advice to a client by explaining that such advice is based on the facts, circumstances and assumptions evident from information provided by the client and may change with additional information. (g) A practitioner may be unaware that a duty of care may in some limited circumstances extend to third parties. Managing the Risks 15. The following are steps practitioners should take to manage the risks:
14 News Guidance Note 1 of 2016 (a) A practitioner should be able to identify matters that are not appropriate for a limited retainer. These may include matters where the legal issues may be too complex, or where it appears that a client may not understand the consequences of a limited retainer. (b) A practitioner must ensure that he or she has the relevant knowledge, skills and attributes required to undertake the matter on behalf of the client. As with a full retainer, a practitioner should strongly consider rejecting a limited retainer in areas of law in which the practitioner or the law practice have little or no experience. (c) A practitioner must take precautions to ensure that there can be no inference that a full retainer was created in the first place. (d) A practitioner must create clearly defined retainers and it should be reduced in writing to avoid any misunderstanding. The practitioner should also obtain the client s acceptance of the limited retainer on the terms discussed and obtain a written acknowledgement from the client that he or she understands and accepts these terms. (e) A practitioner must clearly advise the client of the limits and alert the client to the consequences and associated risks of the limits, even if the client knows that the retainer is limited. (f) A practitioner must keep within the terms of the retainer and avoid giving the impression to third parties that the practitioner is providing full services. (g) A practitioner must inform the client that the advice given is based on the information provided by the client. If the information provided by the client is inadequate, the practitioner must make it clear to the client and depending upon the circumstances, either qualify the advice accordingly or not advise until the necessary information is provided. impending deadlines, statute of limitation issues and res judicata issues. (i) A practitioner should ensure the staff involved in the matter are aware that the retainer is limited and not full. 16. In Law Society of Singapore v Uthayasurian Sidambaram  4 SLR 674;  SGHC 184, the Court of Three Judges held that a solicitor should document the nature and scope of retainers with clients, maintain reliable minutes of discussions with clients and consider whether to document through correspondence, significant advice rendered. The case concerned the issue of professional conduct when acting for multiple parties. However, the practical reminder by the Court to keep records would be applicable in the context of a limited retainer. 17. Practitioners must also note rule 5(2)(k) of the Legal Profession (Professional Conduct) Rules 2015 which provides that a practitioner must keep proper contemporaneous records of all instructions received from, and all advice rendered to, the client. 18. With regard to fees, practitioners must ensure that there is no misunderstanding about what limited services are to be performed and the fees for such services. Practitioners should use clear, simple and unambiguous language in communicating with the client concerning fees. 19. Once a matter is concluded, practitioners should confirm this in writing. If the client gives further instructions after the matter is concluded, practitioners should ensure that the client understands that this would be a new limited retainer. 16 August 2016 The Law Society of Singapore (h) A practitioner may still owe a duty to alert the client to legal problems outside the scope of the representation that are reasonably apparent and that may require legal assistance. Therefore, a practitioner should inform the client not only of the limitation of the representation, but of the possible need for other practitioners regarding issues the practitioner has not agreed to handle. In this regard, pertinent examples include highlighting to the client
15 Singapore International Commercial Court Suit No 1 of 2016 (HC/Summons No 1542 of 2016 and SIC/Summons No 3 of 2016) Teras Offshore Pte Ltd v Teras Cargo Transport (America) LLC  SGHC(I) 02 Supreme Court of Singapore 22 June 2016 Media Summary Media Summary News Background to the Applications 1 The defendant in these proceedings filed two applications to be heard in the Singapore International Commercial Court (the SICC ): first, for a decision that the action is an offshore case, pursuant to O 110 r 36 of the Rules of Court (Cap 322, R Rev Ed) ( Rules of Court ); and second, for summary judgment under O 14 r 1 of the Rules of Court in relation to a component of the defendant s counterclaim. 2 This is the first application to the SICC for a decision that an action is an offshore case. Under paragraph 26(b) of the Singapore International Commercial Court Practice Directions ( SICC Practice Directions ), when the Court decides that a case is an offshore case, a party to the proceedings and in appeals from such proceedings may be represented by foreign lawyers. Facts 3 The proceedings concern various claims and counterclaims arising in connection with three liquefied natural gas projects in or near Queensland, Australia. The defendant entered into a series of contracts (the Main Contracts ) with Bechtel Oil Gas and Chemicals Inc. and Bechtel International Inc. for the provision of various services and the supply of equipment in relation to these projects. The defendant then subcontracted such work to the plaintiff on back-to-back terms (the Sub-Contracts ). The plaintiff s claims total approximately US$29m. The defendant denies liability and itself advances various counterclaims totalling approximately US$14m. In addition, both parties claim interest and costs. Offshore Case Application 4 In its first application, the defendant sought a decision by the Court that the case was an offshore case (the Offshore Case Application ). The defendant also made a related and unopposed application for an extension of time to bring the Offshore Case Application. 5 The Court allowed the Offshore Case Application. The Court made several observations about the definition of an offshore case under the Rules of Court and the factors that are relevant to the determination of whether an action is an offshore case. 6 The relevant inquiry under O 110 r 1(1) is whether the action has no substantial connection to Singapore. What is significant is the absence of a substantial connection with Singapore rather than the presence of substantial connections with other jurisdictions. The Court observed that the Rules of Court do not provide a positive definition or description of what is meant by substantial connection. O 110 r 1(2)(f) puts the matter negatively by identifying two situations where an action has no substantial connection to Singapore. The Court found that O 110 r 1(2)(f) was not applicable because the Sub-Contracts were governed by Singapore law and it was common ground that the dispute did not fall within either of these situations. 7 The Court accepted that the SICC Practice Directions and the subsidiary legislation indicate that the predominant consequence of a decision that an action is an offshore case is to allow representation by foreign lawyers. In addition, given that the SICC aims to provide a dispute resolution framework for the resolution of international commercial disputes,
16 News Media Summary it may be inappropriate to insist on representation by Singapore qualified lawyers where the action possesses only a handful of coincidental or procedural connections with Singapore. However, the question whether or not an action is an offshore case must be determined by reference to the particular action and whether it can properly be said that the action has no substantial connection with Singapore. 8 The Court then considered paragraph 29(3) of the SICC Practice Directions, which sets out a list of factors and states that each of these factors will not, by itself, constitute a substantial connection between the dispute and Singapore for the purposes of O 110 r 1(2)(f)(ii) of the Rules of Court. The Court observed that the definition of an offshore case in O 110 r 1(1) of the Rules of Court refers to the absence of a substantial connection of the action with Singapore, while paragraph 29(3) refers to the absence of a substantial connection between the dispute and Singapore. It also noted that paragraph 29(3) refers specifically to O 110 r 1(2)(f)(ii) where the word dispute rather than action is used. 9 After a careful consideration of the parties arguments, the Court was prepared to assume, in favour of the plaintiff, that: (a) The test for the existence of a substantial connection embraces not only the underlying substantive dispute(s) between the parties but also other matters relevant to the action as a whole, including the procedural and administrative matters identified in paragraph 29(3) of the SICC Practice Directions. Summary Judgment 11 The defendant s second application was for summary judgment in relation to one of its counterclaims against the plaintiff. This counterclaim was for reimbursement of freight tax allegedly incurred by the defendant on various voyages transporting cargo and pre-fabricated modules from ports in Thailand and the Philippines to Australia. 12 The defendant s case was that its obligations were subcontracted to the plaintiff on back-to-back terms and thus the freight tax was recoverable by the defendant from the plaintiff under two of the Sub-Contracts. The plaintiff resisted the defendant s application on the basis that there was a common understanding or agreement between the parties that the defendant would bear the freight tax. 13 The Court found that it was impossible to determine the issues on a summary basis. The resolution of the claim necessarily involved ruling on factual issues that could not be resolved at this stage. Thus the Court dismissed the defendant s application and granted the plaintiff unconditional leave to defend the counterclaim for reimbursement of the freight tax. This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court s judgment. It is not intended to be a substitute for the reasons of the Court. (b) The existence of more than one of the factors identified in paragraph 29(3), taken either on their own or with other factors, is at least capable of justifying a conclusion that an action has a substantial connection with Singapore. 10 On the facts of the case, the Court found that the action had no substantial connection with Singapore. The Court noted that there were several procedural or administrative factors connecting the action with Singapore, but did not find that such connection was substantial. Significantly, the various claims and counterclaims were all concerned with the provision of services in Queensland, Australia, and such services had nothing whatsoever to do with Singapore. Accordingly, the Court decided that the action was an offshore case and allowed the Offshore Case Application.
18 Feature The Use of Social Media and Internet Message Boards to Effect Substituted Service in Singapore In a recent Singapore High Court application, the plaintiff effected substituted service of the writ on one of three defendants, through a combination of electronic means, namely , Skype, Facebook and an internet message board. This article discusses various jurisdictions position on substituted service through social media and, in particular, the Singapore position through David Ian Andrew Storey v Planet Arkadia Pte Ltd and others  SGHCR 7 ( David Storey ). It also evaluates the growing role and potential risks of such electronic means in carrying out an essential Court procedure. Introduction Service of the writ is key to notifying a defendant of the suit. Correspondingly, Court procedure in Singapore prescribes that service be effected personally 1 to give due consideration to service of the writ, but also provides for substituted service which includes electronic means. a. The Court s discretion to order service of writ through substituted service Substituted service is typically sought and ordered when the plaintiff has tried, but is unable to personally serve the writ on the defendant. It is undoubtedly important for a defendant to be appropriately notified when Court proceedings have been commenced against him. However, this must be balanced with the need to ensure that a plaintiff is not prevented from obtaining a just remedy simply because he cannot locate the defendant to effect personal service. The latter consideration is crucial, especially when a defendant is intentionally evading service. The Court's discretion to order substituted service is founded in Order 62, rule 5 of the Singapore Rules of Court: (1) If, in the case of any document which by virtue of any provision of these Rules is required to be served
19 Feature personally on any person, it appears to the Court that it is impracticable for any reason to serve that document personally on that person, the Court may make an order in Form 136 for substituted service of that document. (2) An application for an order for substituted service must be made by summons supported by an affidavit in Form 137 stating the facts on which the application is founded. (3) Substituted service of a document, in relation to which an order is made under this Rule, is effected by taking such steps as the Court may direct to bring the document to the notice of the person to be served. (4) For the purposes of paragraph (3), the steps which the Court may direct to be taken for substituted service of a document to be effected include the use of such electronic means (including electronic mail or Internet transmission) as the Court may specify. (emphasis added) The rules are clear that before any order for substituted service can be obtained, the Court must be persuaded that it is impracticable for the plaintiff to serve that document personally on a person against whom substituted service is sought. Once that hurdle is overcome, and the order for substituted service is obtained, service is deemed effected by taking such steps as the Court may direct to bring the document to the notice of the person to be served. It is worth noting that as long as the steps are complied with, it is unnecessary to show that the person to be served had actually received notice of the proceedings. As such, before an order of substituted service is granted, the Court should be convinced that the method of substituted service being sought is likely to bring the proceedings to the attention of the person to be served. b. Traditional forms of substituted service and procedures to observe The forms of substituted service as provided under Order 62, rule 6, include the following: (i) by leaving the document at the proper address of the person to be served; (ii) by post; (iii) by fax; (iv) in such other manner as may be agreed between the party serving and the party to be served; or (v) in such other manner as the Court may direct. In addition, to ensure that plaintiffs are not merely using substituted service as a backdoor and to avoid effecting personal service, additional key procedures to observe are set out in the Supreme Court Practice Directions 2 as follows: (i) In any application for substituted service, the applicant should persuade the Court that the proposed mode of substituted service will probably be effectual in bringing the document in question to the notice of the person to be served. (ii) Two reasonable attempts at personal service should be made before an application for an order for substituted service is filed. In an application for substituted service, the applicant shall demonstrate by way of affidavit why he or she believes that the attempts at service made were reasonable. (iii) The applicant should, where appropriate, also consider other modes of substituted service, such as AR registered post or electronic means (including electronic mail or Internet transmission) in addition to, or in substitution of, substituted service by posting on doors or gates of residential and business premises. (iv) If substituted service is by electronic mail, it has to be shown that the electronic mail account to which the document will be sent belongs to the person to be served and that it is currently active. (v) An application for substituted service by advertisement (in one issue of The Straits Times if the person to be served is literate in English, or one issue of The Straits Times and one issue of one of the main non-english language newspapers where his language literacy is unknown) should only be considered as a last resort and should contain evidence that the person to be served is literate in the language of the newspaper in which the advertisement will be placed. In particular, the above directions stipulate that any applicant for substituted service must show that at least two attempts to personally serve the defendant were made, and that substituted service would achieve the overarching aim of bringing the document to the defendant's notice.
20 Feature c. Electronic means of substituted service Given recent developments in technology and online communication devices, traditional methods such as posting a document or leaving a document at a place of the last residence may no longer be the most effective means to bring the originating process to the attention of a potential defendant. To facilitate the aim of notifying the defendant, Order 62 rule 5(4) was introduced in 2011 by the Rules of Court (Amendment No 4) and Rules of Court 2011 (S 513/2011) to expressly direct the Court's consideration of the use of electronic means as a possible avenue of effective substituted service. In using the broad term electronic means, as noted by the learned High Court Assistant Registrar Zhuang Wenxiong in David Storey at , It made eminent sense for the Rules Committee to merely state that substituted service could be effected electronically, but without descending into the details as to which platforms or applications were permissible and which were not details which would be left to the Court of the day. 3 Further, as the Assistant Registrar noted, the cornerstone of substituted service is efficacy at bringing notice and the Court must be open to substituted service through electronic means other than s. 4 However, there were no prior reported Singapore judgments on substituted service through social media and internet message boards. Position in Singapore The plaintiff in David Storey brought a suit against three defendants for, amongst other things, copyright infringement, breach of contract and conspiracy. The second defendant, David Michael Dobson, is the managing director of the first defendant company, Planet Arkadia Pte Ltd. The plaintiff had obtained leave to serve the writ outside jurisdiction and attempted personal service on multiple occasions at the known addresses of the second defendant in Australia. However, the plaintiff was unable to effect personal service on the second defendant and subsequently applied for leave to effect substituted service through social media accounts and an internet message board (the Substituted Service Application ). In the Substituted Service Application, the plaintiff adduced evidence that the second defendant: (i) operated two accounts; (ii) owned and recently used a Skype account and had used this to hold a previous conversation with the first defendant company; (iii) owned and recently used a Facebook account which belonged to one David Dobson ; and (iv) owned and used an internet message board administrator account David Arkadia on the domain arkadiaforum.com, a forum for the virtual inhabitants of the first defendant's gaming platform. The plaintiff showed that the Facebook and arkadiaforum. com accounts profile pictures were identical, and that the Skype account's profile picture was a different picture of the same person. The plaintiff also showed that these platforms were recently used where a video was shared and photos were added through the Facebook account, while the Skype and arkadiaforum.com accounts showed that the second defendant was very recently online. The Court considered the position in various jurisdictions and held that in Singapore, substituted service is permissible through social media and the internet message board, where these electronic platforms are owned and in recent use by the defendant. The Court considered the following grounds in ordering substituted service through social media and the online forum: (i) The language of Order 62 rule 5 of the Singapore Rules of Court is wide enough to encompass service through Skype, Facebook and internet message boards, which constitute electronic means as the Court may specify; (ii) The plaintiff successfully showed the impracticability of personal service, which is a prerequisite for substituted service; (iii) The proposed methods of service would in all reasonable probability, if not certainty, be effective to bring knowledge of the writ to the second defendant; and (iv) There were cases in Australia and Canada where substituted service through electronic means other than was allowed. 5 The Singapore Court also clarified that electronic means would include WhatsApp and other smartphone messaging
21 Feature platforms linked to mobile phone numbers, which could be used to send PDF attachments. 6 However, the Court also considered arguments against allowing substituted service through electronic means apart from , where such means may not be effective in bringing notice to the defendant. Overall, the Court held that this fear should not be overblown and recognised that the only completely certain way of bringing notice is actual physical service. 7 For example, posting on the front door may not be effective because an owner is not habitually resident at that particular property, or he has moved out in the interim; or a mischievous neighbour has detached the notice. Similarly, advertising in a national newspaper may not be effective because the person to be served is not in the habit of reading that particular newspaper; and even if he does, he may not read the notice section of that newspaper. Nonetheless, the Court held that such risks may be managed with the following requirements: (i) Ordering electronic service to be accompanied by either posting on the front door or AR registered post. Such service should only be dispensed with if the address of the person to be served is attested to be unknown or if there is proof that the person no longer owns or is resident at a known address; (ii) Proof that the electronic platform in question is owned by the person to be served; and (iii) Proof that the electronic platform in question was recently used by the person to be served. The Position in Foreign Jurisdictions Regarding Use of Social Media to Effect Substituted Service Whilst there are arguments that the use of electronic means to effect service of legal process may detract from the formality of personal service and the usual legal process, Singapore is not the only country that has adopted such a practice. a. Position in England The English Courts have permitted general service of process. In Blaney v Persons Unknown, Donal Blaney, a known solicitor and blogger, discovered that he was being impersonated on Twitter by an anonymous microblogger who was using Blaney s username and photograph. In order to seek Twitter s disclosure of the impersonator s identity, Blaney could have directly contacted Twitter to resolve the issue or commence the US equivalent of Norwich Pharmacal proceedings. However, in order to avoid the costs and lengthy cross-border litigation, Blaney applied for an injunctive relief before the English High Court, which permitted service of the order for injunction via Twitter in view of the impersonator's anonymity. b. Position in Australia In Citigroup Pty Ltd v Weerakoon  QDC 17, the applicant applied for substituted service either to a PO Box where the defendant had credit card statements sent or via a sealed copy of the claim ed to the defendant s Facebook page. The Court found that personal service was impracticable, and ordered the plaintiff to post the writ to the PO Box but rejected substituted service by to the defendant s Facebook page. The Court held that anyone could create a false Facebook page and some of the Facebook page's information did not satisfy the Court that the defendant had created the Facebook page. The Court therefore refused such substituted service since it was uncertain whether the person who created and owned the Facebook page was the defendant. Conversely, in MKM Capital Pty Ltd v Corbo & Poyser (Supreme Court (ACT), 12 December 2008, unrep.) ( MKM Capital ), the Court ordered that the Court papers be sent to the defendants addresses and that a private message be sent via computer to the defendants Facebook page informing them of the entry and terms of the default judgment. Here, the plaintiff showed that the Facebook profiles were those of the defendants because MKM crossreferenced the dates of birth and the addresses of the accounts with the defendants details and the two Facebook profiles were linked as 'friends'. Likewise, in Byrne & Howard  FMCAfam 509, the Court allowed substituted service via private message on the defendant's Facebook page. The Court was satisfied that the plaintiff had done as much as possible to conventionally bring the proceedings to the defendant's attention. Crucially, the defendant was shown to be a regular Facebook user, whereby the photograph on the Facebook profile was identified as that of the defendant. Further, there was an electronic receipt of delivery to the defendant s Facebook account and the defendant took down his Facebook page following the attempted service on Facebook.
22 Feature c. Position in New Zealand In Axe Market Gardens v Axe (High Court (New Zealand), 16 March 2009, CIV: , the New Zealand High Court followed the Australian position and ordered substituted service via Facebook on an overseas defendant. Here, the plaintiff company had problems finding and serving the defendant where the defendant was in UK without an exact known location. While newspaper advertisements would be probably ineffective, the defendant had corresponded through and was known to have a Facebook account. As such, the High Court ordered service via Facebook to prevent the defendant from evading service and frustrating proceedings. d. Position in South Africa In CMC Woodworking Machinery (Pty) Ltd v Pieter Odendall Kitchens  ZAKZDHC 44, the defendant s attorney on record discharged himself and failed to provide the plaintiff with an alternative address to notify the counterparties. Both sides had exchanged pleadings and were waiting for a trial date. Further, all the plaintiff s ensuing attempts to serve the defendant proved unsuccessful and the plaintiff applied for substituted service on the defendant s personal Facebook page. The Court considered the recent amendment to the Uniform Court Rules which allowed litigants to serve Court documents by or fax and emphasized that each application must be decided on its own merits and on the kind of document to be served. Further, the Court recognised that while Facebook is primarily used as a social network, this particular network could be used for other useful functions such as tracking individuals as well as to obtain essential information. As such, the Court eventually ordered that the applicant effect service through a personal Facebook message and that the notice be published in a local newspaper should the defendant lack access to electronic communication devices. The abovementioned cases demonstrate that when sufficient care is taken to identify the appropriate individual to be served, the various Courts have recognised that electronic means, and in particular social media, can be an invaluable tool for a plaintiff to effect service. Likewise, such tools may prevent a defendant from evading service and potentially frustrating a plaintiff from commencing his claim. Safeguards for Consideration a. Risk of trivialising proceedings and not actually effecting service Whilst not strictly authoritative, the Public Consultation Paper released by the Singapore Supreme Court on the Use and Impact of Social Media in Litigation in August also recommends that social media may be used for service of Court documents and substituted service. The Consultation Paper also recognises that social media may even be more effective than the traditional modes of substituted service such as posting at the Supreme Court s notice board or advertisement in the daily press. b. Considerations of privacy or defamation Further to the general concerns raised in the Public Consultation Paper, there should be considerations of privacy. In MKM Capital, the Court considered the issue of privacy. While there is no common law tort of breach of privacy and there has not yet been a legislatively created cause of action in Australia, there were concerns that an open message on Facebook could be problematic: the information provided to the Court could be wrong, and the defendant may have been out of jurisdiction. However, as the judgment in David Storey shows, this concern can be addressed by effecting service through the private messaging functions of a social media platform. c. Substituted service cannot be used to overcome limitations on jurisdiction The Singapore Court s position is clear that substituted service through social media would be improper if used to overcome limitations on jurisdiction. The Court in David Storey cautioned that substituted service cannot circumvent the general rule that the plaintiff must first obtain leave to serve the writ outside jurisdiction and show that such personal service is impracticable. Otherwise, such substituted service may be challenged on the basis that it contravenes the foreign jurisdiction s law, or that the substituted service was not effected in accordance with the order granting leave for substituted service. Similarly, the District Court of New South Wales decision in Motherships Music Pty Ltd v Ayre  NSWDC 42; 14 DCLR (NSW) was overturned in Flo Rida v Mothership Music Pty Ltd  NSWCA 268. The District Court had ordered substituted service on Flo Rida, a US-based plaintiff, through Facebook, but the Court of Appeal overturned the
23 Feature judgment since the legislature had not granted the District Court jurisdiction based on personal service of its process outside Australia and had carefully confined the scope of the Supreme Court s jurisdiction. Conclusion Ultimately, the Singapore Courts retain discretion under the Rules of Court in considering all facts of the application for substituted service. With David Storey, it is now clear that the Singapore Courts have accepted the use of social media accounts to effect service, but remain cautious against its frivolous or improper use to effect service. Above all, applicants for substituted service must convince the Singapore Courts that the use of social media to effect substituted service will likely notify the defendant of the proceedings, so that the defendant is not denied the full opportunity to defend himself. Cheah Yew Kuin Local Principal Baker & McKenzie.Wong & Leow Faith Lim Associate Baker & McKenzie.Wong & Leow Notes 1 Supreme Court of Judicature Act (Cap 332, Section 80), Singapore Rules of Court (Rev Ed 2014), Order 62, Rule 5. 2 Supreme Court Practice Directions, paragraph  and State Courts Practice Directions, paragraph . 3 at . 4 Storey, David Ian Andrew v Planet Arkadia Pte Ltd and others  SGHCR 7 at . 5 David Storey at  to . 6 accessed on 17 May 2016). 7 David Storey at .
25 Feature Case Review: Allplus Holdings Pte Ltd and Ors v Phoon Qui Nyuen  SGHC 144 The High Court has recently issued grounds of decision in Allplus Holdings Pte Ltd and Ors v Phoon Qui Nyuen (Pan Weiyuan)  SGHC 144 questioning whether a clause in a Settlement Agreement was in violation of the rule against penalties. This article summarises the issues raised in that case and suggests that the principles laid down in this case may not be entirely applicable to a situation where a debtor has unconditionally admitted his liability to a creditor. Background and Factual Matter Introduction The rule against penalties was considered in the context of a Settlement Agreement in the recent High Court case of Allplus Holdings Pte Ltd and Ors v Phoon Wui Nyen. 1 The case concerned a dispute over the performance of a Settlement Agreement (the Agreement ) that had been struck between the parties. The Plaintiffs had sued one Phoon (the Defendant ) and his incorporated company Zenna for a sum of $2,500,000 and interest at 12 per cent per annum owing to them from 18 August Following mediation at the Singapore Mediation Centre, the parties entered into the Agreement, of which the following terms are relevant: 1. The Defendants [Zenna and Phoon] shall pay the sum of Singapore Dollars One Million (S$1,000, (the Settlement Sum ) to the plaintiffs as follows: a. S$500,000 by way of a cheque dated 23 June 2014; and b. S$500,000 by way of a cheque dated 5 June Save in the event of any breach of this Settlement Agreement, the amount referred to in paragraph 1 herein is paid in full and final settlement of all or any
26 Feature claims whatsoever arising out of or in connection with the Loan Agreement relating to the loan of up to S$4,000,000 to ZENNA OVERSEAS LIMITED dated 19 August 2008 and/or to matters raised in the Suit (collectively, the Subject Matter ) and the Plaintiffs hereby waive any existing or future claims against the 1 st and/or the 2 nd Defendants arising out of or in connection with the Subject Matter. 4. In the event the Settlement Sum or any part thereof is not paid on or before the date stipulated in paragraph 1 above, the Settlement Sum shall be increased to the sum of S$2,500,000 along with interest accrued thereon at 12 per cent per annum from 20 August 2008 to date of full payment (the Aggregate Sum ). The Aggregate Sum less any amounts already paid under this Settlement Agreement shall become jointly severally immediately due and payable by the Defendants to the Plaintiffs and the Plaintiffs shall be entitled forthwith to file proceedings to recover the Aggregate Sum against the Defendants less any amounts paid under the Settlement Agreement. 3 The Proceedings The Defendant s second cheque pursuant to Clause 1 of the Agreement failed to clear on time and the Plaintiffs filed for summary judgment for the sum of $3,644, The Defendant on his part filed an application arguing that Clause 4 was void for being a penalty clause. 4 The Assistant Registrar granted Summary Judgment to the Plaintiffs and dismissed the Defendant s application, holding that the Defendant was estopped by representation from asserting that Clause 4 was a penalty clause, and that Clause 4 was not a penalty clause. 5 On appeal by the Defendant to the High Court, the learned Judicial Commissioner allowed the Appeal and found that: (1) Clause 4 was a penalty provision and was therefore unenforceable; 6 and (2) the Defendant was not estopped by representation from raising the rule against penalty clauses. 7 Several important observations follow from this decision. Application of The Rule against Penalties Rule Against Penalties Applies to Settlement Agreements The rule against penalties is well established at common law. Where parties have stipulated as a contractual term in an agreement that a sum is to be paid in the event of a breach, that term is enforceable upon proof of breach if it constitutes a genuine pre-estimate of loss, but not if it is a sum of money stipulated as in terrorem of the offending party. 8 The classic principles were formulated by Lord Dunedin s judgment in Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co Ltd v New Garage & Motor Ltd: 9 (1) It will be held to be a penalty if the sum stipulated for is extravagant and unconscionable in amount in comparison with the greatest loss that could conceivably be proved to have followed from the breach. (2) It will be held to be a penalty if the sum stipulated for is extravagant in comparison with the greatest loss that could conceivably be proved to have followed for the breach. (3) There is a presumption (but no more) that it is a penalty when a single lump sum is made payable by way of compensation, on the occurrence of one or more or all of several events, some of which may occasion serious and others more trivial damage. (4) It is no obstacle to the sum stipulated being a genuine pre-estimate of damage that the consequences of the breach are such as to make precise pre-estimation almost an impossibility. On the contrary, that is just the situation. 10 Foo JC in the present case applied the principles above to determine if Clause 4 was a genuine liquidated damages clause. 11 In the process, he recognised that the rule against penalties applied to Settlement Agreements as much as it did to any other civil contractual agreements. Genuine Pre-Estimate of Loss to be Based on Loss Arising from Defaults Under a Settlement Agreement And Not from Defaults under Prior Agreements The learned Judicial Commissioner also held that the effect of a Settlement Agreement was that it alone governed the parties legal relationship and was meant to put an end the issues previously raised by the parties save for any prior issues expressly reserved. 12 From the point the parties agreed to the Settlement Agreement, their relationship was solely to be governed only by the obligations imposed by it. 13 The learned Judicial Commissioner went on to hold that any genuine pre-estimate of the Plaintiff s loss had to be
27 Feature relational and arising from the Plaintiff s failure to clear the second cheque on time and could not be based on the sum previously claimed by the Plaintiffs against the Defendant under the suit before the mediation efforts. 14 In assessing that the sum of S$ 2,500,000 plus 12 per cent per annum interest as stated in Clause 4 of the Agreement was extravagant and exorbitant, Foo JC held that the Plaintiffs had failed to prove any specific loss that might result from the late payment other than the usual interest and / or costs of recovery, 15 and suggested that a more acceptable estimation would have been to make the Defendant and Zenna liable to pay the outstanding sum of $500,000 plus interest. 16 Further Analysis Applicable Principles in Cases of Admitted Liability? Notably, Foo JC emphasised that the loss which the Plaintiffs relied on was based on a default judgment they had previously obtained against Zenna (and not the Defendant himself), and a claim against the Defendant which they had yet to prove in a Court of law. The Defendant also had not admitted any form of liability in the proceedings thus far. 17 This raises the possibility that the result might have been very different if the Defendant in the present case had admitted his liability, or had had no real defence to the claims. If that had been the case, a Settlement Agreement would mean that the Plaintiffs were taking a haircut on their unassailable dues at law in the hopes of a speedy recovery. This raises the question of whether the principle that any estimate of liquidated damages should be based on defaults arising under the Settlement Agreement and not antecedent defaults under previous Agreements that were the root cause of the Settlement Agreement, should continue to apply. A Settlement Agreement in the circumstances as envisioned in paragraph 10 would see the Plaintiffs exercise forbearance for the benefit of the Defendant. It would then be wholly indulgent to say that the Defendant would be entitled to rely on the later agreement to avoid a more onerous obligation when he had not satisfactorily performed his dues despite the leeway given to him. In such a scenario, it would be most perplexing to argue that while the Plaintiffs could recover the full sum if the Settlement Agreement had reserved the Plaintiff s right to re-commence litigation for the full sum, 18 they would not succeed in the recovery of the full sum if they had not done so, having instead transformed payment of the full sum into a conditional obligation triggered by the Defendant s failure to pay a smaller sum according to such terms imposed on him. 19 Critics of this approach might argue that it might be neither appropriate nor convenient for a trial Judge to delve into the merits of an earlier claim that is not based on breach of a Settlement Agreement in order to assess whether a Defendant has no real defence to the said claim. Nonetheless, it is suggested that this is not an insurmountable difficulty.
28 Feature Proceedings for summary judgment are based on the rationale that there are circumstances where there are no real issues to be determined at trial. Lord Halsbury in the case of Jacobs v Booth s Distillery Co 20 summed up the kind of factual context that this procedure is utilized for: There are some things too plain for argument; and where there were pleas put in simply for the purpose of delay, which only added to the expense, and where it was not in aid of justice that such things should continue, Order 14 was intended to put an end to that state of things, and to prevent sham defences from defeating the rights of parties by delay, and at the same time causing great loss to plaintiffs who are endeavouring to enforce their rights. 21 It is therefore suggested that a trial Judge in determining whether there is a real defence to any claim of debt should follow a similar standard. Further, the Courts should not be dissuaded from concluding that a defence has no real merit just because certain questions of law and fact may at first blush be of a certain complexity. 22 Australian Case Law Parallels and Possible Ways Forward The Australian case of Lachlan v HP Mercantile Pty Ltd 23 provides some useful guidance in this area of law. In that case the Appellant sought declaratory relief against the Respondent who was the assignee of a debt owed by the Appellant to a company. The Respondent cross claimed to recover the full debts owing under the loans (the Judgment Debt ). The Parties had entered into a Deed of Release and Assignment (the Deed ). Clause 10 of the Deed ( Cl 10 ) stated that in the event of default in the payment of certain agreed instalments (the sum of which amounted to a smaller amount than what was owed by the Appellant to the Respondent), the Judgment debt which constituted the full amount previously owing less any paid instalment immediately became due and payable. The Deed also contained recitals which: (1) made reference to the Respondent s cross claim for recovery of the amounts owing under the loans 24 ; (2) stated that the Appellant unconditionally affirms and confirms the debt obligations under the Loans 25 ; and (3) stated that the Appellant s obligation to repay the debt obligations were current and continuing obligations 26. pay a compromise sum would not be construed as a penalty clause where: a creditor agrees to accept payment of a specified sum in full discharge of a debt on the basis that certain conditions are met but the agreement stipulates that if the conditions are not met, the creditor is entitled to recover the whole sum 27 The New South Wales Court of Appeal in Lachlan found that on the facts before them, the recitals stated that the debts were currently owing under the loans and amounted to a statement of the relevant factual background to the Settlement Agreement in Lachlan. 28 As such, there was an unconditional admission by the Appellant that he owed the debts to the Respondent. 29 Cl 10 was accordingly not a penalty clause. Lachlan thus stands as support for the proposition that Allplus Holdings could have been decided very differently had the Plaintiff in the latter case admitted (either expressly or impliedly) through any form of written acknowledgement that he was unconditionally liable for the debts owing to the Defendant. As a case where a debtor has unconditionally admitted his debts in circumstances similar to Lachlan has yet to come before the Courts, it remains to be seen whether this strand of reasoning finds favor with the Courts in Singapore. Another related concern relates to common business practice. Creditors and debtors commonly enter into negotiations for some degree of debt forgiveness in exchange for timely payment of a smaller sum. These negotiations commonly do not take place with the benefit of legal counsel, especially in the context of Small or Medium Enterprises ( SMEs ). If Foo JC s reasoning in Allplus Holdings that the terms of Settlement Agreements shall displace former legal obligations between parties is extended to non-settlement Agreements such as agreements for debt forgiveness, the effect may be to encourage wariness on the part of creditors in formulating the terms of debt forgiveness. A creditor would be wise to ensure that any compromise agreement: (1) explicitly preserves the right of the creditor to pursue the larger sum by way of suit if the smaller sum is not paid according to such applicable terms (if any); and (2) provides explicit admission and assumption of responsibility by the debtor for the debts due. The New South Wales Court of Appeal held that a clause in a Settlement Agreement requiring a debtor to pay a larger sum upon default of the terms of a Settlement Agreement to
29 Feature Conclusion Allplus Holdings provides welcome clarification to the rule against penalties in the context of Settlement Agreements. Further case developments will be necessary in order to bring certainty to creditors looking to safeguard their legitimate interests in the settlement of credit disputes. 11 Supra n 1 at  . 12 Supra n 1 at . 13 Ibid. 14 Supra n 1 at . 15 Supra n 1 at . 16 Supra n 1 at . 17 Supra n 1 at . Gerald Tan Jiamin LLB (Hons) (Singapore Management University) Notes 1 Allplus Holdings Pte Ltd and Ors v Phoon Wui Nyen (Pan Weiyuan)  SGHC 144 ( Allplus Holdings ). 2 Ibid at . 3 Supra n 1 at . 4 Supra n 1 at . 5 Supra n 1 at . 6 Supra n 1 at . 7 Ibid. 8 Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co Ltd v New Garage & Motor Ltd  AC 79 ( Dunlop ) at . 9 Ibid at  ; These principles were most recently affirmed by the Singapore Court of Appeal in Xia Zengyan v Geng Changqing  SGCA 22 at . 10 Ibid at pp Supra n 1 at . 19 See the case of Acron Pacific ltd c Offshore Oil NL  157 CLR 514 at p. 518, cited with approval in the case of Lachlan v HP Mercantile Pty Ltd  NSWCA Jacobs v Booth s Distillery Co (1901) 85 LT Ibid. 22 In the context of a summary procedure, see Bank Negara Malaysia v Mohn Ismail & Ors  1 MLJ 400 at . Mohamed Azmi SCJ said: Where the issue is solely a question of law without reference to the facts or where the facts are clear and undisputed, the court should exercise its duty under Order 14. If the legal point is understood and the court is satisfied that it is unarguable, the court is not prevented from granting a summary judgment merely because the question of law is at first blush of some complexity and therefore takes a little longer to understand. 23 Lachlan v HP Mercantile Pty Ltd  NSWCA 130 ( Lachlan ). 24 Ibid at . 25 Id. 26 Id. 27 Supra n 23 at . See also the judgment of Gibbs CJ in O Dea v Allstates leasing Systems (WA) Pty Ltd  CLR 359 at p. 367 which was cited with approval in Lachlan. 28 Supra n 23 at . 29 Supra n 23 at .
31 Feature Any Risk Will Do The New Law on Scandalising Contempt in Singapore The new Administration of Justice (Protection) Act codifies a number of common law contempt of Court offences, and has attracted much debate on its potential effect of chilling public discussion and criticism of the administration of justice. This article will focus on the offence of scandalising contempt as its codification represents the most significant departure from the parameters of the hitherto common law offence established by the Court of Appeal and from the other Commonwealth common law jurisdictions. The Administration of Justice (Protection) Bill, introduced in Parliament this year, was passed after seven hours of heated debate at its Second Reading and much controversy on 15 August The Workers Party (WP) chief Low Thia Khiang called for a division twice, and both times, all 72 PAP MPs voted in favour of the Bill and all nine WP MPs and NCMPs against. The Bill, which was first tabled in Parliament in July, aimed to consolidate the different contempt of Court offences into statute. Under this new Administration of Justice (Protection) Act ( AJPA ), different types of conduct which constitute contempt of Court are codified. The two which attracted the most vigorous debates are: (i) making allegations of bias against the Judges or the Court, otherwise known as scandalising contempt (s 3(1) (a)); and (ii) publishing material that interferes with ongoing proceedings, also known as sub judice contempt (s 3(1) (b)). In particular, under s 3(1)(a), a person scandalises the court by intentionally publishing any matter or doing any act that imputes improper motives to or impugns the integrity, propriety or impartiality of any court; and poses a risk that public confidence in the administration of justice would be undermined. This legislative formulation sets a lower threshold for scandalising contempt in stark contrast to the Court of Appeal s requirement of real risk as articulated in Attorney-General v Shadrake Alan. Moreover, the maximum punishment for any kind of contempt under the Act is a fine of $100,000, a three-year prison term, or both (section 12(1) (a)). In the Shadrake case, the Singapore Court of Appeal (CA) held that a sentence of six weeks imprisonment and a fine of $20,000 was appropriate despite there has not been an iota of remorse demonstrated by the defendant. Thus in combination, ss 3(1)(a) and 12(1)(a) arguably have a potential effect of chilling public discussion and criticism of the administration of justice. This article will focus on the offence of scandalising contempt as its codification represents the most significant departure from the parameters of the hitherto common law offence established by the CA and from the other Commonwealth common law jurisdictions. A Global Appreciation of Scandalising Contempt Scandalising the Court or judiciary has been described as an archaic title 1 but it generally embodies [a]ny act done or writing published calculated to bring a court or a judge of the court into contempt, or to lower his authority. 2 However, it can be a fine line between what qualifies as fair or justified criticism of the conduct of the Courts or the individual Judges in their administration of justice and what constitutes an undue interference with the administration of justice 3 that amounts to contempt. Indeed it has been observed that the law of contempt has been considered, not just in Singapore, but in other jurisdictions as well, to be a justifiable restriction on the right to freedom of speech. 4 The law of contempt of Court in English common law was examined by the Interdepartmental Committee on the Law of Contempt chaired by Lord Justice Phillimore over 40 years ago. 5 The Phillimore Report divided contempt of Court into a number of categories, 6 but the eventual passage of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 (UK) focused only on conduct tending to interfere with the course of justice in particular legal proceedings regardless of intent to do so, and the strict liability rule applies only to a publication which creates a substantial risk that the course of justice in the [active] proceedings in question will be seriously impeded or prejudiced. 7 The regulation of conduct which scandalises the Court has been left largely to the interpretation of Judges in the development of the common law governing contempt of Court, but it has recently been abolished by statute in the UK after a lengthy consultative process. 8 As Lord Diplock declared in Attorney-General v Times Newspaper Ltd, [t]he provision of such a system for
32 Feature the administration of justice by courts of law and the maintenance of public confidence in it, are essential if citizens are to live together in peaceful association with one another. 9 The due administration of justice requires, inter alia, that citizens: should be able to rely upon obtaining in the courts the arbitrament of a tribunal which is free from bias against any party and whose decision will be based upon those facts only that have been proved in evidence adduced before it in accordance with the procedure adopted in courts of law; and that, once the dispute has been submitted to a court of law, they should be able to rely upon there being no usurpation by any other person of the function of that court to decide it according to law. 10 Indeed public confidence in the judiciary is a fundamental tenet of any democratic society. In Australia, it was noted that scandalising is thriving and this head of contempt [is] becoming increasingly potent in Australia. 11 Even in a highly pro-speech jurisdiction like the US, cogent exhortations have been advanced that public confidence in the Court demands at least that it acts according to professional standards and adheres to principled reasoning in its decisions. 12 US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has also referred to concerns of institutional legitimacy in explaining why the Court should avoid fivefour decisions in cases involving the most controversial questions in American politics. 13 It is also interesting to note that even the judiciary in the US does not always appreciate having its own integrity questioned. 14 Academic commentator Margaret Tarkington observed that [t]hroughout the United States, state and federal courts discipline and sanction attorneys who make disparaging remarks about the judiciary and thereby impugn judicial integrity. In so doing, courts have almost universally rejected the constitutional standard established by the US Supreme Court in the seminal 1964 case New York Times Co v Sullivan for punishing speech regarding government officials. 15 The Real Risk Standard: What the High Court and Court of Appeal Decided In Attorney-General v Shadrake Alan, 16 the Singapore High Court rejected the inherent tendency test for deciding whether acts and words complained of should be held in contempt of Court, and held that the Attorney-General had to prove that the publications pose real risks of undermining public confidence in the administration of justice. 17 Quentin Loh J explained that such an approach strikes an adequate balance between the freedom of speech and the countervailing constitutional interest in ensuring that public confidence in the administration of justice does not falter as a result of scandalous publications. 18 This holding effectively departs from previous decisions of the High Court which appeared to endorse the inherent tendency test. 19 Hitherto the CA has not decided on the applicable test for liability for contempt of Court on the ground of scandalising contempt; neither is there a legislative provision articulating the appropriate standard to be applied for contempt cases. 20 However, in considering Alan Shadrake s appeal, the CA in 2011 made an important pronouncement: We therefore unequivocally state that the real risk test is the applicable test vis-à-vis liability for scandalising contempt in Singapore. 21 In Shadrake I, Loh J found Alan Shadrake in contempt of Court for 11 of the 14 impugned statements, but the CA held that only nine of the statements were contemptuous. 22 Nonetheless, the unanimous CA affirmed the sentence, and was of the view that this is still the worst case of scandalising contempt that has hitherto come before the Singapore courts [and] the Appellant s conduct merits a substantial custodial sentence. 23 It would seem that the fine of $20,000 and a six weeks imprisonment would be at the higher end of what the CA would contemplate to be the appropriate punishment for one of the worst cases of scandalising contempt. It is important to note that under s 12(1)(a) of the AJPA, one could be fined up to $100,000 and be sentenced to a three-year prison term. The real risk standard, as correctly pointed out by Loh J in Shadrake I, has been adopted in the United Kingdom, 24 Australia, 25 New Zealand 26 and Hong Kong. 27 Loh J emphasised that the law of scandalising contempt is concerned with the potential effect on public confidence
33 Feature in the administration of justice. 28 However, there is always a danger that scandalising contempt will have a significant chilling effect on the citizen s right to freedom of speech, especially when the impugned criticism of the judiciary implicates public interest in the administration of justice by the Courts. 29 The CA in Shadrake III acknowledged this tension, when it commented that: it should be noted that the law relating to contempt of court operates against the broader legal canvass of the right to freedom of speech that is embodied both within Article 14 of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore as well as the common law. The issue, in the final analysis, is one of balance: just as the law relating to contempt of court ought not to unduly infringe the right to freedom of speech, by the same token, that right is not an absolute one, for its untrammelled abuse would be a negation of the right itself. 30 Many of the reasons proffered by the Singapore Courts in the defamation cases when reading down the ambit of the available defences, for example that the fragile ethnic and religious harmony in Singapore must be preserved to prevent the recurrence of the race riots that the country experienced in the 1960s, 31 do not apply to contempt of Court scenarios. While earlier High Court cases in Singapore appeared to have rejected the defences of fair comment, justification and fair criticism, 32 Loh J in Shadrake I considered a number of Australian and English cases and concluded that there is a defence of fair criticism subject to three conditions. Loh J was of the view that it is very much in the public interest that judicial impropriety should be brought to light 33 and that the public should be able to debate judicial conduct. 34 Acknowledging that while it would be inappropriate to import wholesale the defence of fair comment [from defamation] into the law of contempt it may well be that there is in the final analysis some functional similarity between fair comment and fair criticism, Loh J relied on the analysis of Judith Prakash J in Attorney- General v Tan Liang Joo John ( Tan ) that fair criticism does not amount to contempt of Court. 35 This aspect of the test for scandalising contempt has been codified as an explanatory note in the APJA, which states: Fair criticism of a court is not contempt by scandalising the court within the meaning of subsection (1)(a). As Prakash J astutely observed in Tan, such bona fide, temperate and balanced criticism allows for rational debate about issues raised and thus may even contribute to the improvement and strengthening of the administration of justice. 36 Although an independent legal defence of fair criticism was rejected by the CA, Andrew Phang JA examined a number of English and Australian decisions, 37 as well as treatises 38 and law commission reports, 39 and concluded that the nature, tenor and thrust of these statements of principle are, in our view, more consistent with the concept of fair criticism as going towards liability instead. 40 According to the CA, fair criticism therefore will be evaluated within the ambit of liability for scandalising contempt, through an analysis of a number of factors articulated by Prakash J in Tan (which were also cited by Loh J in Shadrake I). 41 These factors include (i) the extent to which the allegedly fair criticism is rationally supported by argument and evidence; (ii) the manner in which the alleged criticism is made; (iii) the party s attitude in Court; and (iv) the number of instances of contemning conduct. The practical result of this is the evidential burden would be on the party relying on it [and the] legal burden, on the other hand, would be on the [Attorney-General] to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the impugned statement does not constitute fair criticism, and that it presents a real risk of undermining public confidence in the administration of justice. 42 According to the CA, in applying the real risk test, the Court must avoid either extreme on the legal spectrum, viz, of either finding that contempt has been established where there is only a remote or fanciful possibility that public confidence in the administration of justice is (or might be) undermined or finding that contempt has been established only in the most serious situations. 43 It is also clear that an objective analysis should be undertaken of the precise facts and context in which the impugned statement is made and the court must not substitute its own subjective view for the view of the average reasonable person. 44 Furthermore, it must be beyond a reasonable doubt that there is a real risk that the impugned statement would undermine public confidence in the administration of justice in Singapore. 45 In Attorney-General v Au Wai Pang, handed down by the High Court in 2015, Belinda Ang J agreed with the present author that the decision in Shadrake III strikes an appropriate balance between safeguarding, on the one hand, freedom of speech and, on the other hand, the public interest in protecting public confidence in the administration of justice in Singapore. 46 In Au Wai Pang, the Attorney-General brought committal proceedings against the respondent Au in connection with two articles published by Alex Au on the internet at the his blog the Yawning Bread which the AG said amounted to contempt of Court in the form of scandalising the Supreme Court of Singapore. Although Ang J did not explicitly refer to how the respondent as a Singapore citizen was specifically entitled to the freedom of speech under Art 14, a point that was crucial in Review Publishing v Lee Hsien Loong 47, her Honour was concerned that the law relating to contempt
34 Feature of court ought not to unduly infringe the right to freedom of speech. 48 Ang J concluded that the combination of the real risk test and the placing of the legal burden on the Prosecution calibrates appropriately the tension between freedom of speech and the public interest in protecting public confidence in the administration of justice. 49 On appeal, the CA in 2015 unanimously affirmed the real risk test, upheld the conviction and the fine of $8, Belinda Ang J sought to reason that the real risk test is also in line with the test applied in other common law jurisdictions such as Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. 51 However, this does not mean that Singapore should be open to an alacrity to align itself with every aspect of doctrinal developments in this area. It would appear that an autochthonous approach does not entail an erection of four walls that is impervious to all foreign influences, but the walls act as a filter for Courts to evaluate which developments are instructive in the context of Singapore s history, constitutionalism and form of representative democracy. For example, in Au, Ang J considered the recent Privy Council s decision on scandalising contempt in Dhooharika v Director of Public Prosecutions, 52 and held, inter alia, that Dhooharika is distinguishable from our Court of Appeal s decision in Shadrake given the respective local circumstances and constitutional contexts in which these two cases were decided. 53 Fair Criticism But Who Will Take the Risk? The decisions in Au and Shadrake III resonate with the recent extra-judicial comments of former Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong, who pointed out that: mechanisms such as the doctrine of contempt should not be used to stifle fair and reasonable criticism of the work of the Judiciary and also judicial decisions. The right to criticise is only part of the freedom of speech and expression the citizen enjoys in a democracy and its exercise will encourage or ensure that judges are independent in their decision-making... Fair and objective criticism of judicial decisions will instil accountability and greater discipline in decision-making. If no one is allowed to judge judges, there could be lawless courts and irresponsible judging. But criticism of judgments should not lead to the denigration of judges. 54 One does not disagree with the Law Minister Mr K Shanmugam, who in his Second Reading Speech on the Administration of Justice (Protection) Bill, said: If you allow constant attacks; attacks, say of bias or corruption, over time, the public perception of the Judiciary will be affected. Minister Shanmugam acknowledges that there is the one change to the current law in the clauses, on the substantive elements of contempt which adopts the standard of risk rather than real risk, on the basis that [t]his will give us strong anchoring in the Rule of Law, which in itself is of basic, fundamental importance to our people 55 and that it allows Singapore to be the pre-eminent vibrant legal centre in the region. 56 In addition, Minister Shanmugam was of the view that the Judges developed the common law based on a strict legal precedent perspective, but we in the Ministry have a larger policy perspective in terms of the other bits and pieces and aspects of the whole legal spectrum. 57 With respect, the Judges on the Singapore High Court and Court of Appeal in arriving at the real risk test, did not adopt this standard based purely on a desire to achieve comity with the Commonwealth common law jurisdictions, but it was substantially influenced by the result of a constitutional balancing exercise between the guarantee of freedom of speech to Singapore citizens under Article 14 of the Singapore Constitution and the national interest in preserving public confidence in the administration of justice. Ultimately, the Singapore Constitution empowers the Parliament to pass laws to restrict the freedom of speech as it deems necessary or expedient. It is perhaps ironic that the judiciary permits a wider latitude of criticism of itself than Parliament would otherwise tolerate. Associate Professor David Tan Vice Dean (Academic Affairs) Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore Notes 1 Attorney-General v Wong Hong Toy [ ] SLR 398, Attorney-General v Pang Cheng Lian and Others [ ] SLR 658, 662 (following R v Gray  2 QB 36, 40). 3 R v Davies  1 KB 32, Attorney-General v Hertzberg  1 SLR(R) 1103, at . 5 Sunday Times v United Kingdom ( ) 2 EHRR 245, at  ( Sunday Times ). 6 Sunday Times, ibid at . 7 Contempt of Court Act 1981 (UK) ss 1 4 (Cap 49). 8 Crime and Courts Act 2013 (UK) s 33 (Cap 22). See also The Law Commission, Contempt of Court: Scandalising the Court (2012) < gov.uk/docs/lc335_scandalising_the_court.pdf>. 9  1 AC 273, 307 ( Times Newspaper ) (as cited in Attorney-General v Shadrake Alan  SGHC 327, at ). 10 Ibid at 309 (as cited in Attorney-General v Shadrake Alan  SGHC 327 at ). 11 Eli Fisher, The Courts Scandal: Scandalising the courts in Australia (2011) 16 Media & Arts Law Review 73, Amnon Reichman, The Dimensions of Law: Judicial Craft, Its Public Perception, and the Role of the Scholar (2007) 95 California Law Review 1619, 1623.
35 Feature 13 Lawrence Baum and Neal Devins, Why the Supreme Court Cares About Elites, Not the American People (2010) 98 Georgetown Law Journal 1515, Margaret Tarkington, A Free Speech Right to Impugn the Judiciary in Court Proceedings (2010) 51 Boston College Law Review 363, Ibid at 364. See also Margaret Tarkington, The Truth Be Damned: The First Amendment, Attorney Speech, and Judicial Reputation (2009) 97 Georgetown Law Journal 1567, 1569, ,  SGHC 327; 2 SLR 445 (Quentin Loh J, High Court, 3 November 2010) ( Shadrake I ). See also Attorney-General v Shadrake Alan  SGHC 339; 2 SLR 506 at  (Quentin Loh J, High Court, 16 November 2010) ( Shadrake II ) (on sentencing). 17 Shadrake I, ibid at . 18 Ibid. 19 Eg Attorney-General v Wain Barry  1 SLR(R) 85 ( Wain ); Attorney-General v Lingle  1 SLR(R) 199 ( Lingle ); Attorney-General v Chee Soon Juan  2 SLR(R) 650 ( Chee ); Attorney-General v Hertzberg Daniel  1 SLR(R) 1103 ( Hertzberg ); Attorney-General v Tan Liang Joo John  2 SLR(R) 1132 ( Tan ). 20 Article 14 of the Singapore Constitution states, inter alia, that: 14 (1) Subject to clauses (2) and (3) (a) every citizen of Singapore has the right to freedom of speech and expression;... (2) Parliament may by law impose (a) on the rights conferred by clause (1)(a), such restrictions as it considers necessary or expedient in the interest of the security of Singapore or any part thereof, friendly relations with other countries, public order or morality and restrictions designed to protect the privileges of Parliament or to provide against contempt of court, defamation or incitement to any offence; Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (1999 rev ed) art 14 (emphasis added). But the Singapore Parliament then had not enacted relevant legislation governing the appropriate test to be applied for the determination of contempt of court. There are laws in place for criminal contempt and for both the subordinate courts and the Supreme Court to punish acts of contempt. Eg Criminal Procedure Code (Cap 68, 1985 rev ed); Subordinate Courts Act (Cap 321, 2007 rev ed); Supreme Court of Judicature Act (Cap 322, 2007 rev ed). 21 Shadrake Alan v Attorney-General  SGCA 26; 3 SLR 778, at  ( Shadrake III ). 22 Ibid at . 23 Ibid at . The CA also held that [t]here are also no mitigating factors whatsoever in this case that could possibly be considered in the Appellant s favour and that there has not been an iota of remorse demonstrated by the Appellant who continues to stand by the statements made. Ibid at . 24 Eg R v Duffy, ex parte Nash  2 QB 188, 200; Times Newspaper  1 AC 273, , Eg R v Hoser and Kotabi Pty Ltd  VSC 443 at , ; McGuirk v University of NSW  NSWSC 1058, at  . 26 Eg Solicitor-General v Radio Avon Ltd  1 NZLR 225, Eg Wong Yeung Ng v Secretary of Justice  3 HKC 143, at . 28 Shadrake I  SGHC 327, at . 29 The Court of Appeal observed that justice is not a cloistered virtue but a public one (citing Ambard v Attorney-General for Trinidad and Tobago  AC 322, 335 (Lord Atkin)). 30 Shadrake III  3 SLR 778, at . 31 Eg Thio Li-ann, Singapore: Regulating Political Speech and the Commitment to Build a Democratic Society (2003) 1 International Journal of Constitutional Law 516, Eg Attorney-General v Chee Soon Juan  2 SLR(R) 650, at  ; Attorney- General v Hertzberg  1 SLR(R) 1103, at . 33 Shadrake I  SGHC 327, at . 34 Ibid at . 35 Ibid at  (referring to Tan  1 SLR(R) 1132, at  ). See also Lingle  1 SLR 696, 700. See also ibid at   (where Loh J sets out the elements of the defence of fair criticism). 36  1 SLR(R) 1132, at . 37 Shadrake III  3 SLR 778, at  . 38 Ibid at . 39 Ibid at  . 40 Ibid at . 41 Ibid at  . See also ibid at  ( In approaching this concept, the court should bear in mind the various factors set out (albeit non-exhaustively) in Tan Liang Joo John... The court ought always to apply this concept not only in relation to the precise facts and context but also bearing in mind the following key question throughout: does the impugned statement constitute fair criticism, or does it go on to cross the legal line by posing a real risk of undermining public confidence in the administration of justice in which case it would constitute contempt instead? ). 42 Ibid at . 43 Ibid at . 44 Ibid. 45 For instance, one of the statements was found in Shadrake III not to pose a real risk of undermining public confidence in the administration of justice in so far as the Respondent has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the logically prior step that the second statement refers to the courts. Ibid at . 46  SGHC 16; 2 SLR 352, at  ( Au ) (referring to David Tan, A Real Risk of Undermining Public Confidence in the Administration of Justice (2011) 16 Media & Arts Law Review 191, 202). I had previously suggested that this balance is appropriately achieved by the application of the real risk test for liability, coupled with the placing of the onus on the party bringing the committal proceedings (typically, the prosecuting authorities of the jurisdiction concerned to prove the elements of the offence based on the criminal standard of beyond reasonable doubt. 47  1 SLR 52;  SGCA Au  2 SLR 352, at  (citing Shadrake III  3 SLR 778, at ). 49 Ibid at . 50 Au Wai Pang v Attorney-General  SGCA 61;  1 SLR Au  2 SLR 352, at . 52  3 WLR 1081 ( Dhooraika ). 53 Ibid at . 54 The Honourable Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong Securing and Maintaining the Independence of the Court in Judicial Proceedings (2010) 22 Singapore Academy of Law Journal 229, (internal citations omitted). 55 Second Reading Speech by Minister for Law, Mr K Shanmugam, on the Administration of Justice (Protection) Bill (15 August 2016) at . 56 Ibid at . 57 Ibid at .
36 Columns The Young Lawyer Amicus Agony Dear Amicus Agony, I am a junior litigation associate in a medium-sized firm. I have been with the firm since I was a practice trainee. My experience with the firm as a practice trainee was generally positive; I was exposed to a wide range of litigation matters and was even involved in some high-profile matters. It was then that I realised that I particularly enjoyed working on commercial litigation cases. I had hoped that my involvement in the firm's commercial litigation matters would continue, after being called to the Bar. Much to my dismay, most of the files which I have been saddled with are motor injury matters. Whilst I appreciate that there are learning points to take away from motor injury files, it has been almost a year since my being called to the Bar, and I fear that the situation is not going to change. There are a few non-motor injury matters which I had been tasked to do research for, and I would like to get my hands on the files proper, but these have been kept away from me. I feel as though I am being pigeon-holed. How should I let my partners know that I would like to have a better balance of the different areas of litigation practice without sounding too presumptuous? Dear Troubled Associate, Troubled Associate Motor injury cases may be routine in nature and the work can get rather mundane at times. However, the situation may not be as bleak as it seems. Assuming that you have some autonomy over your files, it sounds to me that you are getting sound exposure to client and file management and a fair share of airtime in the Courts. As you may be aware, some of your peers are not getting as many chances to hone these aspects of legal practice. Your partners may not have otherwise allowed you to handle these files on your own too, if they didn't have a reasonable degree of trust in your work. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. I trust you are on top of your current files and that you are not leaving someone else to pick up the slack. With that track record, you should be better equipped to convince your partners to allocate other matters to you. Not all partners bite, though some do. You should know your partners well enough, having been with them for over a year and vice versa, so find an appropriate time to speak to your partners about how you would like to be involved in other matters. Open communication between associates and partners is important; partners sometimes forget the struggles they went through as associates as the old days are always looked upon with rose-tinted lenses. Bottom line is this: if you have capacity and you feel the need to be challenged at work, let your partners know! You can be sure that your partners would like to have their ablebodied associates gainfully and meaningfully employed. Dear Amicus Agony, Amicus Agony I am interested in doing criminal work, but my firm does not take any criminal matters. I have spoken to my partner and he is agreeable to my volunteering with the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme ( CLAS ). However, I am concerned about taking on files without any supervision as I am unfamiliar with criminal procedure and the general practice in the criminal Courts. I am also not entirely confident about advising clients in relation to the prospects of successfully mounting a defence as opposed to pleading guilty, and dealing with any emotions that may be involved on the part of the client and family members. I am scared I will err and potentially face a professional negligence action. What do I do? Dear Tom, Tom The thought of venturing into new areas of practice can be nerve-wrecking, and justifiably so. However, there are many support systems available if you are interested in doing criminal work. Firstly, it is great that you are keen to volunteer with CLAS and that your partner has agreed to let you do so. As far as criminal procedure and general practice in the criminal Courts is concerned, speak to your friends who practise in the criminal Courts to get an idea of what it is like, and what are the general practices to adopt in different situations. You may also wish to assist senior lawyers on CLAS files before taking on files independently. This will allow you to familiarise yourself with the criminal Courts, and also provide you with an opportunity to learn from a more senior practitioner. It is also a good idea to attend events where you can meet criminal lawyers and make
37 The Young Lawyer Columns some friends it is always less intimidating when you see familiar faces around, and can always reach out to them if you need some tips. When you do take on files independently, begin with straightforward cases whereby the accused have indicated an intention to plead guilty, before moving on to more complex matters. Of course, if in doubt regarding any material issue, do speak to a partner at your firm to discuss what would be the appropriate course to take. As with everything, over time, you will, having observed your seniors and experienced some cases yourself, develop a sense and ability to evaluate the case and render appropriate advice, as well as confidently deal with any emotions that may arise. Do not let your inexperience stop you from gaining experience in an area you are interested in choose your cases wisely, reach out to one of the many possible avenues of guidance when needed. All the best! Amicus Agony Young lawyers, the solutions to your problems are now just an away! If you are having difficulties coping with the pressures of practice, need career advice or would like some perspective on personal matters in the workplace, the Young Lawyers Committee s Amicus Agony is here for you. your problems to The views expressed in The Young Lawyer and the YLC s Amicus Agony column are the personal views and opinions of the author(s) in their individual capacity. They do not reflect the views and opinions of the Law Society of Singapore, the Young Lawyers Committee or the Singapore Law Gazette and are not sponsored or endorsed by them in any way. The views, opinions expressed and information contained do not amount to legal advice and the reader is solely responsible for any action taken in reliance of such view, opinion or information. Woon s Corporations Law Desk Edition General Editor: Walter Woon, SC Woon s Corporations Law Desk Edition focuses primarily on the interpretation and explication of the Companies Act (Cap 50). It consists of annotations to the sections of the Companies Act fully updated to include all the latest amendments and seeks to illustrate the provisions by references to case law and related legislation where necessary. This book is an invaluable source of information for practitioners, company secretaries, academics, students and anyone engaged in or interested in the laws governing companies in Singapore. Order
39 Columns Thinking Out Loud Training a Lawyer What should the training for a lawyer in Singapore be for these times when the world is facing great economic and political uncertainties: wars and urban terrorism, maritime disputes turning confrontational, unstoppable waves of refugees from different countries crashing onto the shores of the rich nations despite the best attempts at diplomacy to control or close off porous borders. Added to this list is the age-old problem of corrupt public officials in most countries, the willingness of politicians in rich nations to defend and protect wealthy businessmen and enable them to dodge a bigger share of tax payment or other social contributions they should make. Also, many countries stand lukewarm or even in denial over climate change, and many political leaders turn a blind eye to environment degradation, mass hunger, poverty, slavery and sickness. These are all big issues which impact Singapore, and, sadly, Singapore trained lawyers from NUS and SMU are not among those in the forefront to solve some of these problems, even though they represent some of our brightest and best students. It is my observation that our law schools are focused on training their students to enter prestigious law firms or the Legal Service and that they are not tasked to train their students to take on roles bigger than practising law. But this may be the time to re-focus the profession to play its broader role as society's navigator of change and conflict; and the sooner this happens the better it will be for the profession, for the law students, and for our society. Today, we have more law graduates than the profession can absorb. It will be sensible if those who are still in law school here or about to enter law school be given guidance to consider careers as public servants or policy thinkers whether in the Singapore civil service, as international public servants or to work in policy institutes. It is my belief that the lawyer, because of his understanding of law and justice, should be able to find meaning and satisfaction in helping to solve the world s bigger problems, if given the chance. We have to get away from the mind-set that working for a law firm or the Singapore Legal Service is the only worthwhile career path that a Singapore lawyer can take. There are international agencies, NGOs, charities which have adopted worthwhile causes for their funds to be used. Political parties and think tanks also have need for thinkers as well as doers to raise their game. And if all other leadership paths are closed to a passionate legally trained person then writing or even blogging on a favourite cause and building a following is also a worthy leadership pursuit, since causes require people with sharp intellects trained to promote them, and with depth and logic to be effective. But to be practical, financial reward is important for a meaningful job to be done properly and done well. Hence, for starters it would probably require the Government to step in getting some of these persons hired and given more training before they can be useful at a high level. It would not be unthinkable to have some of our law graduates who are interested in the big issues be seconded to work in those nations that are already sending their public servants for training at our training institutes like the Lee Kuan Yew School of Policy, etc. We already have exchange programs with some of these countries, such as the Singapore-Thai Civil Service Exchange program. Singapore may have its civil servants active in other countries too. Our law graduates who become civil servants when sent abroad may find satisfying work to do. They may even have a chance to be heard on what the law ought to be in some of these countries and may get to participate in change in those countries. At the least they will have their minds opened to a bigger range of jobs and challenges than being a middling lawyer in a Singapore law firm. With the stiff competition in legal practice, as I write this, a successful career in the law is no longer a sure thing for young people just entering the profession in Singapore, now with fewer openings in law firms for trainees and young lawyers. Before we get too far into the prospects of a lawyer after graduation and of his playing a different role than being a lawyer I have observed that there is one thing lacking today in the law school curriculum as a core subject which could prepare its students better, whether they become mere practising lawyers or they become operatives dealing with larger global issues. This is the subject of negotiations, which should be made a core subject in any of our law schools, but in our two established law schools they are offered as electives. Our law schools prepare their students to be good advocates, and have done well in this respect. But this emphasis in turning out advocates make the products of these schools behave and think in certain set ways even though the setting is not in a Court. A skilled negotiator, on the other hand, has to draw from within himself skills involving verbal or body language, psychology and cultural understanding which would befit an accomplished actor taking on different roles. There are of course principles about negotiations to be learnt, as the many publications on negotiations attest, and the subject is not less important than say, arbitration, in making the student a better lawyer. A very experienced London solicitor, who is a litigator, told me recently how his role as a litigator/solicitor is different from that of the barrister's. In his view it mostly comes down
40 Columns Thinking Out Loud to skilful negotiations on behalf of the client after the case is framed. Negotiations would be the job of the solicitor. And, as we all know, even in the profession here, lawyers whose work is mainly solicitor s work outnumber the dedicated advocates by far. One other proposal I make here is there should be a review of the curriculum of core subjects and electives offered in the law schools here to see what should be the contemporary essential core subjects, which are the truly foundational subjects without which a person will not be able to perform as a lawyer in the common law. There should next be a review as to what topics in any core subject can be shortened and summed up without skimping knowledge of the subject. Some subjects, which are easy to grasp, like tort and criminal law, can probably be taught by this summing up approach, with a short discourse on the known arguments made in earlier cases regarding each tort or each crime to alert the students to the range of known arguments, and drawing the students to certain key passages in the judgements which are a must read, and then leading them through briskly in a Socratic method exchange. Most law schools overburden students with a copious amount of cases to read with no guide given to the students as to which cases are more important than the others. All this in the name of more content or sharpening the students critical faculties. If time is saved by the faculty taking an active role in prioritising the content of core subjects by narrowing the cases from a vast field to a tight list then the law schools can squeeze in one year of general education alongside the three years of core legal studies, and a more complete education can then be offered within the four year period. As for the general education subjects, they should be long on critical thinking (e.g. western philosophy) and should also give the law student a basic knowledge of science, engineering and accounting to better prepare the lawyer to speak the language of the people who would be his clients. Better if the general education course could be designed in conjunction with the Public Service Commission. This way the Public Service Commission will feel itself invested in the law graduates, rather than see them as the natural talent pool of the Legal Service Commission. With the involvement of the PSC law graduates aspiring to join the elite ranks of the Civil Service will have opportunity equal to the graduates of other disciplines. If there are to be open exams for the elite Civil Service, then so be it. We are already seeing the day when law graduates would be grateful should the Civil Service have entrance exams which will be open to them. It is my surmise that if there are such exams many law graduates will sit for them and those who qualify will get meaningful jobs in the public service this way, a career path no less prestigious or meaningful. There is no point being unemployed after qualifying as a lawyer, or, if employed, being exploited in an overcrowded market for lawyers. A proposal about time saving to allot more time for general studies is what I hope to see taken up by our educationists. The post-graduate Part B course set by the Singapore Institute of Legal Studies ( SILE ) prepares law graduates for a career in the legal industry, but it is also skewed toward developing litigators, more than anything, with some of its core modules being Criminal Litigation Procedure, Civil Litigation Procedure, Family Law Practice as well as Trial Advocacy. The elective modules are more wide-ranging, with offerings such as Mediation, Arbitration, Advanced Corporate Practice, and Cross-Border Transactions; however, the syllabus for elective subjects covers just three practice sessions, as opposed to the six practice sessions in Civil Litigation Procedure, and five for Criminal Litigation Procedure. Moreover, the Part B course spans a period
41 Columns Thinking Out Loud of six months, but classes are only conducted three days each week (Tuesday to Thursday), and for an hour and a half each. Surely, given the frequency and length of the sessions, the entire duration of the course can be shortened? And if the post-lawschool training period can be trimmed and reduced, perhaps it will not be unthinkable if a bit more time was allocated to the undergraduate years instead, consisting of time spent learning more about other subjects. One other idea to be considered would be for law graduates enrolled in the Part B Course to serve their training contracts simultaneously. Given that practice sessions are at 6pm, and only for one and a half hours, surely this suggestion should be easy to adopt? It might puzzle some to note that, for law graduates who join the Attorney-General s Chambers upon graduation, they begin training at the AGC almost immediately out of law school. They report to work at the AGC during normal office hours, and attend Part B classes at 6pm, just like everyone else. If need be, they return to office after the practice sessions end to finish up their work. One might wonder why such an arrangement is not also opened to other Part B participants. I totally understand the need in Singapore to keep educational costs down, and instead of a seven year period of tertiary education for a US law graduate we have a four year plus one course. But the US student, with his four year Pre-law college education, would have acquired a very wide scope of knowledge ranging from science and engineering to less technical but practical subjects like economics and accounting, or reflective subjects found in the Great Books, anchoring the student to Western thought. This puts the US student ahead in content acquisition by the time he is ready for employment. To be a leader tapped to solve the big issues one cannot just have knowledge as to how the law applies and how the justice system works in one's own jurisdiction. Such a time when a lawyer was his blind society's one eye man has probably passed. We should do more for our students to level the knowledge gap between the training of our students and the training of the US lawyer. More important than this measuring up to the training of a US lawyer is the fact that the world has changed. And if students in our two law schools are our brightest and best they need to be challenged to do more than practising law, as Singapore is itself is challenged by the big issues to be more than a financial hub, and its lawyers, as jurists, walking in designated paths, when they could serve a wider public in Singapore and the world. Arthur Loke* Senior Partner, Virtus Law LLP Alliance Chairman, Stephenson Harwood (Singapore) Alliance *The views expressed here are the author s own.
43 Empowering Community Organisations Through Legal Awareness Community organisations such as charities, non-profit organisations and social enterprises are dedicated to creating a positive impact. They play a key role in our society by addressing a myriad of community problems. Besides traditional charities, social entrepreneurship, which seeks to tackle unmet social needs through innovative business solutions, is also on the rise. Regardless of the model adopted, it is essential for community organisations to operate in a sustainable and legally sound manner in order to maximise their social impact. Pro Bono Publico Columns precious time and energy away from achieving the organisation s mission and objectives. LEGALESE: A Legal Toolkit for Community Organisations The Law Society of Singapore recognises the importance of empowering administrators and managers of community organisations. It has introduced LEGALESE: A Legal Toolkit for Community Organisations, to equip community organisations with a broad understanding of legal issues relevant to them and their initiatives. Unfortunately, many community organisations are not adequately aware of legal issues which may arise when developing and implementing their social programmes. This may lead to larger problems down the road, diverting LEGALESE aims to provide bite-sized pieces of information on the various legal aspects of setting up and running a community organisation. Launch of LEGALESE on 1 July 2016 at DBS Foundation s Social Enterprise Exchange.
44 Columns Pro Bono Publico Published in December 2013, the first edition of LEGALESE focused solely on social enterprises. In the second edition of LEGALESE, the scope of LEGALESE has been expanded to include charities and other nonprofit organisations. It covers a wide range of topics by following the life-cycle of a community organisation for example, setting it up, operating it (covering issues such as franchising and taxation) and winding it up. This helps to guide community organisations in assessing their legal needs at all stages of their operational life-cycle. The chapters of LEGALESE were contributed on a pro bono basis by lawyers with deep subject matter expertise, together with some input from the relevant specialised agencies, and with assistance from the students of the National University of Singapore s Faculty of Law. Launch of the Second Edition of LEGALESE The second edition of LEGALESE was launched on 1 July 2016 at DBS Foundation s Social Enterprise Exchange. A life-size standee of the revamped cover was unveiled by Mr Gregory Vijayendran, Vice President of the Law Society, and Mr Jeffrey Lim, Chairperson of the Law Society s Project Law Help Committee. Panelists: Standing - Mr Andy Sim; Seated, left to right Ms Sarita Misir, Ms Ow Kim Kit, Mr Lam Chee Kin and Ms Camilla Loh LEGALESE is also available for free download on our website at < LegaleSE.aspx>. The publication of LEGALESE would not have been possible without the support of sponsors. Members of the Project Law Help Committee would like to extend their gratitude to DBS Foundation, SBF Foundation and Withers KhattarWong for their donations towards its publication. Law Awareness Talks In addition to LEGALESE, the Law Society also seeks to raise legal awareness amongst the community organisations on specific topics through talks and seminars. After the launch, representatives of community organisations and volunteer lawyers were invited to a networking session. Its main objective was to allow the lawyers, who provide pro bono legal advice and assistance to community organisations through the Law Society s volunteering schemes, to learn more about the good work of those organisations and better appreciate what they are contributing to by volunteering with such schemes. Hard copies of the publication are available in limited numbers and were distributed for free to those who attended the launch event. Increased collaboration with key agencies in this sector, including the Charity Council, National Council of Social Services and Singapore Centre for Social Enterprises (raise), has been instrumental in enabling the Law Society to reach out to a much wider pool of community organisations by tapping on their membership networks. A panel discussion on crowdfunding, which was held on the same day of as the launch of LEGALESE, was oversubscribed and attended by over 70 representatives from various community organisations. The panel consisted of:
45 Pro Bono Publico Columns Mr Lam Chee Kin, Managing Director & Head of Legal, Compliance and Secretariat at DBS Bank who kicked off the panel discussion with an overview of crowdfunding (legal frameworks, risks and corporate finance matters); Ms Ow Kim Kit, Partner at law firm RHTLaw Taylor Wessing, who focused on lending-based crowdfunding; Ms Camilla Loh from TOUCH Community Services, who shared TOUCH s experience with crowdfunding using a foreign platform; and Mr Andy Sim, Director of Digital Innovation at NVPC, who gave an introduction to Giving.sg and crowdfunding platforms in general. In the view of the overwhelming response and the oversubscription to the panel discussion by more than 50 representatives, the Law Society intends to hold a series of follow-up talks in the coming months. Conclusion A suitable business vehicle, compliance with rules and regulations and properly drafted documents, amongst other forms of legal prudence, will enhance the effectiveness of community organisations. Knowledge of the law and the ability to avoid potential legal pitfalls right from the start also enable community organisations to scale up. The Law Society will continue to support and assist community organisations through its various initiatives to maximise their potential and create a more effective social sector, which will in turn amplify the positive impact of their work on society. Soo Bei Han Pro Bono Services Office The Law Society of Singapore Photo with representatives of the sponsors. Mr Mahesh Kumar (Withers KhatterWong), Ms Tan Sher Leen (SBF Foundation), Ms Patsian Low (DBS Foundation), Mr Gregory Vijayendran (Vice President, Law Society of Singapore), Mr Jeffrey Lim (Chairperson, Law Society Project Law Help Committee)
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47 What s Your Formula for Success? Columns Wellness and Personal Development Social and print media in Singapore has been abuzz with Joseph Schooling s gold medal win at the 2016 Rio Olympics. One key thread of conversation has centred around the factors for his success. What makes a winner? The corporate world too is constantly looking out for factors of success, whether as an executive developing his corporate career, or an organisation. Yet few of us realise that every individual has already developed a subconscious individual formula for success. This formula has likely led to where you are today. Ironically, this same formula might also constrain you from being truly effective. Working styles is a key concept in the organisational application of Transactional Analysis ( TA ). The concept suggests that there are certain distinctive sets of behaviours which individuals consistently go into. These behaviours are essentially the individual s success formula for surviving and thriving in this world, formed during the individual s formative years. This notion is not new. The Jesuits are quoted as having a saying, Give me a child until he is seven, and I will give you the man. The TA theory suggests that these behaviours can be both effective and ineffective. When they help us function effectively, we know them as working styles. When we are stressed and have less control over these behaviours, they are known as drivers. Knowing what your drivers are can help you understand your vulnerabilities when stress kicks in. Clinical psychologist Taibi Kahler s research suggests that there are five common working styles. Here is a summary which of these behaviours can you identify with? 1. Be Perfect For these individuals, the key to success is perfection. They work accurately, check facts carefully and prepare thoroughly. They have high standards for themselves and their team. Yet, this same attention to detail and perfection can be tiring and frustrating for themselves and for their team members. Understanding which battles to fight (and win perfectly!) is key here.
48 Columns Wellness and Personal Development 2. Be Strong These individuals have succeeded by being strong. This means they are likely unflappable under pressure, steady and reliable. They are likely to be described as the rock or anchor of their team. Yet, they might find it difficult to ask for help, or refuse to show vulnerability in front of their team. Understanding that it is ok to ask for help in a timely manner (not at the last minute!) is helpful. 3. Please Others (Be Pleasing) To succeed, these individuals have learnt to take care of others, sometimes at the expense of their own needs. They have a strong ability to intuitively read body language. Harmony and consensus are important to them. However, they might find conflict and unpleasant decisions difficult. Understanding that it is ok to speak up for their own ideas and needs is important. 4. Try Hard Hard work and effort are key to these individuals success formula. They tackle tasks enthusiastically, and usually take on many projects at the same time. They are selfmotivated and open to new ideas. Yet, following through on many projects with attention to quality might be difficult. Understanding that it is ok to focus on what s important will be helpful. 5. Hurry Up If you ve wondered why this article took so long to read, you re probably one of these individuals! These individuals thrive under the pressure of delivering a lot in a short time, and their energy peaks under pressure. Yet, they might miss out on quality or listening well to others in their impatience. Understanding that some tasks or people require the proper time is key. What s stated above is just a simple summary of the concept, which allows for individuals to have multiple styles, and also for the different behaviours to manifest differently in different aspects of life. Understanding your success formula can help you understand how you can mitigate the limitations, particularly when you come under stress. Want to find out your working style and how you can harness that to be more effective? Working styles is just one of the topics covered in the module called Develop Personal Effectiveness for Legal Practitioners that SeraphCorp Institute offers, organised by the Law Society. Look out for more information in electronic fliers sent by the Law Society! Karen Earn Lam SeraphCorp Institute Pte Ltd
50 Lifestyle Alter Ego Protecting the Protector It is a common signboard that we see in public places, constant reminders not to physically or verbally abuse staff in government offices, bus drivers, restaurant staff and the like. There are laws protecting family members and others from abuse. The introduction of the Prevention of Harassment Act has seen many come forward to seek protection from harassers, especially on social media. Even my eight-year-old nephew will tell me not to torture him when I lovingly tease him. When my teenage niece was much younger, she once complained of abuse during one of my telephone calls with her. Periyappa (elder uncle in Tamil), can you take action against my parents? she asked. What s wrong? I asked, chuckling. They are so strict with me. I can t take it. Maybe, I can complain to the MSF (Ministry and Social Family Development). I was trying not to laugh. She continued. How about the newspapers? I can give an interview. They will be interested. You mean, you cannot help me? Well, you are complaining about my brother and you want me to take action against him and my sister-in-law. But, you are a family lawyer, you are supposed to protect children like me. I laughed out loud, feeling sheepish and at the same time proud of her. Sometimes, it is difficult to recognise abuse as the form it takes can be subtle. In the Asian context, punishing children by physical means is considered acceptable. In other societies, it is considered abuse. The language and tone of voice that parents use with their children can also be tantamount to abuse. We have read of many children being abused in the newspapers. Sometimes it arises when domestic helpers are abused or ill-treated by their employer and they in turn become abusive towards their young charges. There are also many instances of abuse continuing for a very long period of time and being unreported. As lawyers, we are sometimes also abused by clients in the guise of criticism and complaints made against us. Unfortunately such conduct is not recognised as abuse. Clients have an avenue to complain about lawyers. Yet, we lawyers do not have any avenue to complain against clients or litigants in person. As lawyers we try as much as possible to tolerate such behaviour. Of course, it affects us emotionally and in other ways. Many clients also understand their lawyers personality and their need for business from the client. So, some of them behave badly towards their lawyers. We do the best we can and when we cannot tolerate the situation any longer, we discharge ourselves from acting for them. The client then moves to another lawyer, the cycle continues and he ends up having engaged a series of lawyers. Lawyers often do not check on such clients with the lawyers preceding them due to commercial interests. Lawyers who hand over conduct of such clients cases also do not share willingly with fellow lawyers about such difficult clients. Abuse of lawyers by fellow lawyers is also not uncommon. We lawyers must support each other. The learned friends needs to extend beyond the honorific address to helping each other, supporting each other and being true brethren in law. My view is that we do not do so. Being on opposing sides extends beyond our cases as well. We are an independent lot, vocal, argumentative, competitive and busy looking out for ourselves.
51 Alter Ego Lifestyle In family litigation cases, it is common for lawyers to take on the persona of their clients. They become aggressive and use strong language against the other party during Court hearings. As opposing lawyer, I wonder at times whether they are really my learned friends or even a fellow member of the Bar. Outside of the Courtroom, however, they suddenly become friendly. The chameleon roles these lawyers adopt are interesting. In a sense, we are actors, all dressed up, regurgitating our scripts and putting on an act on that interactive stage, the Courtroom. There is a lot to be gained in being united and working collectively as lawyers and collaborating amongst law firms. We can cross-check lawyers and support staff with each other when hiring. We can learn from each other and implement best practices in the profession. One such area that we need to urgently work on as one body is lawyers fees. Lawyers have created a fee war. Many lawyers are slashing their fees in an attempt to attract work. This is not a good marketing strategy and works against the profession. What is happening is that the value of legal services is being undermined. The price of professional services should not be bargained down like goods in a wet market. I would say that comparing and bargaining of reasonable legal fees is a form of abuse as well. There needs to be public awareness and education on the role of lawyers, our work, the services we provide and the fees for standard legal services such as drawing up of wills, or obtaining grant of probate. I urge the Law Society to take the lead in this area to help lawyers and the Bar as a whole. We as protectors of the abused need protection and help as well so that we can continue to provide important services to those in Singapore. Rajan Chettiar Rajan Chettiar LLC
53 Food Lifestyle I'm KIM Korean SOTA: Value-for-Money Sumptuous Buffet I m KIM is a Korean BBQ restaurant conveniently located at School of The Arts ( SOTA ) just beside Cathay cinema and within walking distance from the Dhoby Ghaut MRT station. It is opposite Hotel Rendezvous. Look out for the distinctive cardboard caricature that is said to resemble South Korean star Bae Yong Joon. Since its opening in 2014, I m KIM Korean BBQ Restaurant has been tantalizing meat lovers with a hearty buffet spread. It is brought to you by the KVC group which includes Singapore s prominent brand and fashion retail chain 77th Street and 77th Street Plaza in downtown Beijing. The restaurant concept was inspired by a Korean friend who encouraged the founders to open the BBQ restaurant. Kim is the surname of that particular Korean friend who is also one of the partners in the restaurant.
54 Lifestyle Food
55 Food Lifestyle A wide spread of meats and condiments
56 Lifestyle Food I am sure some of us would have fond memories of mass market Korean BBQ buffet from a particular chain in the late 1990s. This was the place that we would disappear to whenever there was a half-day at school. With the advent of popular Korean shows such as Running Man, we are seeing a new Korean BBQ wave. In total, there are more than 50 dishes on I m KIM s eat-all-youcan menu. A smorgasbord of marinated and non-marinated meats is available. These include Pork Collar, Spicy Pork Collar, Bacon, Pork Belly, Signature Volcano Chicken, Garlic Chicken, Chuck Tender Beef, Beef Roll, Marinated Ribeye, Beef Short Rib. Unlike traditional Korean BBQ restaurants, I m KIM offers sausages and seafood to cater to the local palate. They also have a huge selection of vegetables, mushrooms and condiments for the BBQ. They have specially mixed onions and other condiments such as garlic and more. The mildly spicy and well-marinated Signature Volcano Chicken is a must-try. I m KIM uses tender thigh meat with some skin on for this. For the pork, we would recommend the pork belly and the spicy pork collar. The pork belly was leaner than expected. The beef was good and tasty as well. While we have had better cuts of meat elsewhere, I m KIM does deliver good value for its affordable price. The cooked food selection includes glass noodles, sweet potatoes, fried chicken wings, spring rolls, four stoves of soups including ginseng chicken soup, wedges and kimbap rolls. Some of these items such as the soup were passable. The popular cooked food items include the Bushimgae (also known as Korean pancake) and Tteok-pokki which is sticky chewy rice cakes slathered in mildly spicy Korean chili paste sauce. The piece de resistance from the cooked food selection is really the Irresistable Chicken Wings. This essentially is Korean-style fried chicken which differs from typical American fried chicken. The cooking methodology involves frying the chicken twice and subsequently coating the chicken in a sweet, spicy, garlicky glaze while still hot. This caramelizes the sauce on the surface of the chicken. As less flour batter is used, this results in the skin being crunchier and less greasy. These tend to run out fast the moment they arrive from the kitchen so do keep an eye out! splash on my hands like in some other Korean BBQ places. The service is good. Plates are cleared regularly and even the grill was replaced when ours was blackened from barbequing the meats. One of the staff recommended that we grill enoki mushrooms wrapped in bacon. Another pro-tip is to grill the kimchi so that it becomes crispy. Thereafter pair the kimchi with a piece of meat for a spicy-and-savoury pop of flavour. Really, the best way to eat Korean BBQ is in the traditional Korean Ssam style. Ssam means wrap, and what you do is wrap small amounts of ingredients in a larger ingredient to create a single delicious morsel. These wraps are made one by one on the spot by the diner and are meant to be eaten in one bite. First place the meat on some lettuce from the salad bar. Add in the meat, then the various ingredients such as red peppers and soybean paste or even kimchi. As for some minor grouses, the ventilation can be improved and also the floor can get slightly greasy towards the end of the day. It is certainly an affordable venue for large group gatherings of colleagues, family, classmates and NS buddies. Since the food-tasting, I have been back once with my secondary school classmates. Debby Lim Member, Publications Committee The Law Society of Singapore I m KIM is open for both lunch (11:30AM 2:30PM (3:30 on Sundays)) and dinner (5:00PM-10:30PM). The lunch service is priced from S$14++ and the dinner service is priced from S$ They also have discounted prices for students and senior citizens. Remember to make reservations at or by sending them a private message on Facebook before you visit this hugely-popular restaurant to avoid disappointment. 1 Zubir Said Drive Singapore The buffet includes free flow beverages such as Ice Water, Lime Juice, Mango Juice, Rice Punch, and Korean Barley Tea. The grilling is DIY, but the helpful staff will lend a hand if needed. The oil from the electric table-top grill does not
57 Notices Information on Wills Name of Deceased (Sex) NRIC Date of Death Last Known Address Solicitors/Contact Person Reference Lee Lay Beng (F) S H 2 August 2016 Blk 75 Bedok North Road # Singapore Dennis Chua & Co DC.LA Soh Cheow Hoe (M) S F 23 July 2016 Blk 112 Bukit Batok West Avenue 6 # Singapore Legal Solutions LLC MNC/ Lee Choh Khoong (F) S D 8 April 2016 Blk 66 Kallang Bahru # Singapore P. Tan & Company PT/Probate/ Yeo Soon Hui (M) S I 12 June 2016 Blk 189C Rivervale Drive # Singapore J S Yeh & Co YJS.AT.al Sin Moh Kwang (F) S H 30 May Jalan Mutiara Singapore J S Yeh & Co YJS.bi Ong Lay Suat (F) S A 21 January 2016 Blk 43 Bedok South Road # Singapore Tng Soon Chye & Co TSC.3034.PROB.2016 Chan Weng Tuck Alvin (M) S G 29 June Guillemard Road #05-04 Singapore Bernard & Rada Law Corporation DL dh Law practices are encouraged to submit their Information on Wills requests via the online form available at our website > For Members > eforms > Information on Wills. Using the online form ensures that requests are processed quicker and details published with accuracy.
59 LEGAL RECRUITMENT FIRM OF THE YEAR SINGAPORE 2015
60 Advertorial LEGIS POINT LEXIS AFFINITY CASE STUDY Legis Point LLC is a boutique Singapore law firm with specialist legal expertise in Banking & Finance, Corporate & Commercial and Dispute Resolution. WHY LEXIS AFFINITY? Legis Point LLC was among the first in Singapore to use Lexis Affinity when they commenced operations on 2 May Lexis Affinity came to mind as their practitioners were users of Locus software prior to the commencement. Despite the presence of other solutions in the market, they chose Lexis Affinity due to their familiarity with both the software and the relationship managers. They knew that Lexis Affinity could do the job they required, and it was the only software that offered full integration
61 at that point of time. The integrated, cost effective and holistic approach to financials, matter management, CRM and knowledge management put Lexis Affinity ahead of other solutions in the market. IMPLEMENTING THE SYSTEM Migrating to a new system can be a difficult process. For Legis Point LLC, the process experience was a positive one. The migration was well planned and executed over a period of three weeks. Having the firm s management support was critical to ensure all department information was compressed and smoothly transitioned onto the new software templates. Extensive training on the new system was also carried out to ensure all employees in the firm were able to maximise the use of the new system. It required both LexisNexis and Legis Point LLC to develop an effective training program as it was not just about the technology but also the perspective of the firm to fully harness its capabilities. Having a responsive technical team from LexisNexis also contributed to the smooth transition. COST EFFECTIVE, EFFICIENT AND EFFICACIOUS SYSTEM Among the full range of practice automation that the solution provides, two features greatly benefited the firm Financial Reporting and Document Management. Financial reporting made it feasible and easy for lawyers in the firm to call up facts and figures and generate reports on their own. This is important to the firm especially when they were moving towards a greater sense of accountability. On the other hand, the Document Management module was somewhat primitive in the past. Back then, preview screens were unstable and usage was generally low. It was not until 2013, with the roll out of a new document management module, that the firm reached 99% usage. The new document management module has drag and drop capabilities that allow files to be saved simply by dragging and dropping them onto the required folders. The integral indexed search functionality also makes it much faster than running traditional folder based searches. Document recovery for deleted documents was also made feasible at the administrative level. Lexis Affinity is an integrated, cost effective and holistic practice management system for financials, matter management, customer relations management and knowledge management. It is undergirded by a proven and dependable support and product development framework. Since the migration, Lexis Affinity has enabled the firm to manage the practice with a cost effective, efficient and efficacious system. This has enabled the firm to overcome obstacles of time and resourceintensive processes in its operations and in providing its services for its client. 1
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You will also enjoy diverse training programmes that include developing leadership skills, a friendly and nurturing work environment as well as a good work-life balance. Apply today for the chance to work in an award winning key public institution that is committed to developing talents, promoting innovation and providing ample opportunities to grow and excel. Your Role Working closely with management, you will play a crucial role when advising on a wide spectrum of legal matters. Your key responsibilities will be to: Provide legal advice on issues varying from IP and IT to divorce and probate. Provide legal advice on CPF Board s duties and corporate affairs. Draft, review and advise on a wide range of commercial and IT contracts, service level agreements and deeds. Draft and advise on CPF legislation. Manage CPF Board s external lawyers. What We Offer Competitive pay package and employee benefits. Good work-life balance. Excellent opportunities to learn new skills, such as legislation drafting, and to understand how policy is made and implemented. Opportunity to work with other government and statutory bodies. Dedicated mentoring, ample training and development. What We Require A good Honours degree in Law from a recognised university and be eligible to be called to the Singapore Bar. At least 1 year PQE (for junior position) and 4-6 years PQE (for senior position), whether in practice or in-house. Good communication skills. Ability to work well independently as well as in a team. To apply Visit our website at to apply. (We regret that only shortlisted candidates will be notified.) 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PLEASE SEND DETAILED RESUME INDICATING LAST DRAWN AND EXPECTED SALARY WITH RECENT PHOTO TO: THE OFFICE MANAGER, M/S ROLAND TONG, 3 PICKERING STREET #02-22, SINGAPORE One Raffles Place #12-00 Singapore Telephone Be Part of the MAS Team Help shape Singapore s financial landscape Capital Markets Department Assistant Director/Associate (Legal), Enforcement (Ref: _62011) At the forefront of a specialised area of practice, you will be a member of a team responsible for the enforcement of the civil penalty regime under the Securities and Futures Act (SFA). You will investigate potential market misconduct, including insider trading and market manipulation and conduct litigation on behalf of the MAS for the award of civil penalties for market misconduct. You can expect to be challenged intellectually and professionally as you work closely with other regulators and enforcement agencies. You will gain insight into how capital markets participants operate, and the rules and regulations at play, as you serve as an important part of MAS' enhanced enforcement regime under the SFA. Your work will shape the legal landscape for this area of Law, which is fundamental in safeguarding and enhancing the reputation of Singapore as a financial centre and ensuring its continued growth. Requirements: Recognised Law Degree and admitted to legal practice in Singapore At least 1 to 3 years of Civil/Commercial Litigation experience Willing to be a pioneer in an emerging area of practice Ability to be innovative and creative in solving problems For enquiries, please contact: Perry Tan: Wendy Tan: Application: To apply, please log on to our career page at Information on the other positions is also available at the Singapore Public Service Job Portal at Closing Date: 7 August 2011 R R
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