Rise of the Machines

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President’s Message

Rise of the Machines In 2011, IBM’s Watson beat two of the reigning champions of Jeopardy! In multiple encores, the cognitive computational system, commonly referred to as artificial intelligence, has learned to diagnose cancer better than senior oncologists and has been working as a wealth management expert for our very own DBS Bank. Watson’s key feature is that it is able to understand and answer questions in natural language terms (no need for Boolean search terms here), allowing easy integration into any human work environment. To us laypersons, Watson works like iPhone’s Siri on steroids. It has not taken long for Watson to find a role in law. Earlier this year, a group of entrepreneurs launched its legal cousin, Ross, as the world’s potentially most formidable legal search engine. With access to terabytes of structured and unstructured content, Ross, like Watson, is capable of searching over 200 million pages of simple text in under a second to provide better answers than most first or second year legal associates. It gets better: Ross also gets smarter with time as it “learns” from user history, providing increasingly accurate and reliable answers over time. Sceptics may argue that artificial intelligence has a long way to go before it is able to imitate the “high-level” human thought, judgment and analysis required for the practice of law. Others call it the hubris of our profession. The reality, however, is that Ross will not need to imitate human thought in order to substantially undermine the current monopoly that lawyers enjoy in the legal industry. The strength of artificial intelligence systems today lies not in actual artificial “thought” but in brute computing force. It will be humanly impossible to beat the speed and efficiency at which Ross will be able to complete legal grunt work. Add to this the fact that unlike young legal associates currently doing the same, Ross will be just as effective without sleep, leave or caffeine, and the appeal becomes undeniable. But artificial intelligence is only just getting started. It goes beyond brute computational force. We produce exponentially increasing amounts of data and metadata, which can then be processed by machine intelligence. Douglas Copland, “artist in residence” at Google, has an equation for this: “Data + Machine Intelligence = Artificial

Intuition”. He explains that machines are beginning to mimic human intuition at the deepest levels – natural language, hierarchical and even spiritual thinking. They are designed to replicate human neural networks which can further connect to form larger artificial networks. This goes way beyond Amazon “knowing” what you like based on your historical purchases. And it’s happening now. The message is this: lawyers, like the rest of humanity, face the threat of becoming increasingly irrelevant in the onslaught of technological advancement. While Ross the legal associate may be some years away, the computerisation of legal services and the resultant shrinking market share for lawyers is occurring across multiple fronts today. For example, US based business LegalZoom provides lowcost, standardised legal documents online, allowing millions of people to create wills, incorporate businesses and register intellectual property rights. LegalZoom is now one of the best known legal brands in the US, better known than most law firms. Similar open source platforms with legal document precedents and online dispute resolution software (currently resolving a yearly average of 60 million low-cost transactional disputes for websites such as Ebay and Paypal) provide commoditised, pre-packaged legal products to those who demand it, effectively cutting out lawyers (and their fees) from the supply chain. LegalZoom and Ross are excellent examples of what Richard Susskind, the legal futurist, refers to as disruptive technologies. Where sustaining technologies enhance and support existing business models, disruptive technologies fundamentally challenge that industry’s structure. As a professional service that depends heavily on processing large amounts of data and information, the legal industry is a ripe candidate for the application of disruptive technologies which commoditise this process. It doesn’t just stop at commoditisation. Legal services will be unbundled. Consider a typical litigation case. The work involves fact gathering, research, legal analysis, statement taking, document collation and management, pleadings, formulation of case theories, strategy, negotiation, arguments

Singapore Law Gazette September 2015

Continued on page 4

Contents President’s Message News






Rise of the Machines



Diary and Upcoming Events From the Desk of the CEO Mass Call 2015 Local Bench & Bar Games – Badminton

05 08 09 14


Legal Regulation of Drones Or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Singapore Patent Litigation 101 – Defending Against a Claim of Patent Infringement A Doctor’s Duty of Disclosure: UKSC Sets New Paradigm in Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board

18 24 28


The Young Lawyer — Amicus Agony The Young Lawyer — “So, What Body Part Do You Work on?” Pro Bono Publico — Pro Bono Outreach Comes Full Circle to Save a Life

36 38 40

Alter Ego — Why, Mama? Food — Peranakan Delights

42 44

Disciplinary Tribunal Reports Professional Moves Information on Wills

48 52 53





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 058673 Tel: (65) 6538 2500 Fax: (65) 6533 5700 Website: http://www.lawsociety.org.sg E-mail: [email protected] The Council of The Law Society of Singapore President Mr Thio Shen Yi, SC Vice Presidents Mr Kelvin Wong Mr Gregory Vijayendran Treasurer Ms Kuah Boon Theng Mr Lok Vi Ming, SC (Immediate Past President), Mr Lim Seng Siew, Mr Adrian Tan, Mr Steven Lam, Ms Parhar Sunita

Sonya, Ms Lisa Sam, Mr Anand Nalachandran, Mr Chiam Tao Koon, Ms Usha Chandradas, Mr Sunil Sudheesan, Mr Yeo Chuan Tat, Ms Katie Chung, Ms Wendy Lin, Mr Paul Tan, Mr Arvindran s/o Manoosegaran, Ms Simran Kaur Toor, Mr Grismond Tien Editorial Board Ms Malathi Das, Mr Rajan Chettiar, Ms Celeste Ang, Ms Simran Kaur Toor, Mr Benjamin Teo, Mr Cameron Ford, Ms Debby Lim, Mr Evans Ng, Mr Kishan Pillay, Ms Lye Hui Xian, Mr Marcus Yip, Mr Prakash Pillai, Ms Shen Xiaoyin, Mr Vincent Leow The Law Society Secretariat Chief Executive Officer Ms Tan Su-Yin Communications & Membership Interests Mr Shawn Toh Compliance Mr Kenneth Goh 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 Pro Bono Services Mr Tanguy Lim, Mr Eoin Ó Muimhneacháin 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 Chandranie Cover Design Mohd Khairil Johari Designer Mohd Khairil Johari Web Administrator Jessica Wang Advertising Account Managers Wendy Tan, Perry Tan For Advertising Enquiries Tel: (65) 6349 0116 Email: [email protected], [email protected] 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.

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Singapore Law Gazette September 2015

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President’s Message


Continued from page 1

and advocacy. Some of this can and will be done, especially over the next 20 years, by machine technology. Lawyers will then exclusively focus on areas like strategy and tactics, negotiation, advocacy and higher level analysis, which are harder to replicate. Understandably, no successful law firm is keen on fundamentally changing its business model. Change is likely to be driven by demand from clients seeking greater efficiencies. While we may not want to admit this, the reality is that significant parts of even large transactional and dispute resolution work are repetitive and routine. With time, some (but not all) clients will move away from bespoke lawyering and demand standardised work that is commoditised and mass-produced. This same phenomenon was observed in the rise of legal process outsourcing, where large corporates demanded that their routine legal services be outsourced in anticipation of costs savings. We ourselves have adopted an e-discovery regime and are now heavily reliant on Lawnet services, search engines and our Blackberries. As information technology continues to grow at an exponential rate, the way we provide legal services in Singapore will continue to change as we adopt more disruptive technologies. Consequentially, with commoditisation and unbundling, the portion of the market reserved for lawyers will shrink. Soon, innovative legal services which mass produce legal solutions may not only be cheaper alternatives to lawyers, but may also become better alternatives as they gain economies of scale. Similarly, the future prototypes of Ross may easily replace some junior lawyers, destabilising the pyramidal structure that many firms operate on today. Senior lawyers will not be spared either: the development of predictive analysis software has meant that the experience and intuition that we value can now be replaced with a computer’s predictions as to the outcome of a case or its likely settlement value. Insurance companies around the world are already relying on such software to determine their litigation strategies. US 7th Circuit Court Judge Richard Posner said in an address to Boston University: “I look forward to a time when computers will create profiles of judge’s philosophies from their opinions and their public statements, and will update these profiles continuously … The profiles will enable lawyers and judges to predict judicial behaviors more accurately …”. As apocalyptic as it sounds, the increased use of innovative technologies in our legal sector is not all bad. In fact, the exponential increased access to justice and legal services that the public enjoys may create a culture of, and an increased preparedness to assert one’s legal rights. Also, at some level, despite access to technology, many clients will still want to receive advice from a human being.

The Proposed Game Plan We need to learn to use artificial intelligence, or even artificial intuition as a tool. Nate Silver, author of The Signal and the Noise observed: “We’re not that much smarter than we used to be, even though we have much more information – and that means the real skill now is learning how to pick out the useful information from all this noise”. Ensuring the long-term health of our legal industry will require us to differentiate ourselves from what the machines can do. While Ross and other innovative technologies may be able to complete grunt work faster, better and cheaper than lawyers can, they remain limited in other areas. First, our value will be in knowing how to frame or ask the machines the right questions. More importantly, lawyers continue to have the comparative advantage in areas of law that are still developing or specialised; machines cannot build any real client relationships or networks; neither do they seem ready to take on the adversarial process. Artificial intelligence works best when there is a lot of hard data to crunch – so it is less effective in new or cutting edge areas, or where the legal envelope of the law is expanding or being tested. While artificial intuition can suggest strategies and provide options, making a good decision in a complex case requires more. Judgment isn’t limited to the pure tactical matrix, it requires an understanding of the situational psychology and human dynamic at play; let’s call this “soft” data. Some situations are best resolved with a deft combination of persuasion, tact and goodwill. Therefore, the nature of legal work will necessarily require some human input and bespoke work. Having recognised that, surviving the coming tide of technological advancement will require us to stay relevant and find ways of invaluably inserting ourselves into the supply chain of legal services. It will require a greater emphasis of developing networks and trust with clients, being wise counsel, building our soft data skills. We remain, at least for now, more adept at relationships than machines. The challenge as we move forward is not to assess how commoditisation and artificial intelligence might threaten our monopoly or our business structures so that change can be avoided. It is to find, embrace, engage and use machine intelligence to our advantage, and migrate our services up the value chain. As Ken Jennings, the man who holds the longest winning streak on Jeopardy! wrote during his game against Watson: “I for one, welcome our new computer overlords!”. ► Thio Shen Yi, Senior Counsel President The Law Society of Singapore

Singapore Law Gazette September 2015

05 News

Diary and Upcoming Events

Diary 3, 4 & 5 August 2015 Mediation: Strategic Conflict Management for Professionals (Module 2) Jointly organised by the Law Society of Singapore and Singapore Mediation Centre 9.00am-5.00pm The Law Society of Singapore

6 & 20 August 2015 Basic Legal Secretarial Course (Module 3 & 4) Organised by the Continuing Professional Development Department 4.30pm-7.00pm 137 Cecil Street

12 August 2015 Corporate/M&A Seminar Series – Valuation of Acquisition Target Organised by the Continuing Professional Development Department 2.30pm-5.10pm 55 Market Street

17 August 2015 Visit by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences 9.00am-12.00pm The Law Society of Singapore

18 August 2015 eHearing: The Next Frontier after eLitigation and eDiscovery [Webinar] Organised by the Continuing Professional Development Department 3.00pm-5.00pm

19 August 2015 Seminar on Demystifying Financial Statements Organised by the Continuing Professional Development Department 2.30pm-4.30pm 55 Market Street

20 August 2015 Seminar on Anti-Money Laundering (1st Run) Organised by the Continuing Professional Development Department 2.30pm-4.30pm 137 Cecil Street

22 August 2015 Mass Call 2015 Hosted by the Young Lawyers Committee 10.00am -1.00pm Singapore Expo

31 August 2015 Seminar on Intellectual Property Disputes – Arbitration or Litigation? Organised by the Continuing Professional Development Department 2.30pm-5.00pm 55 Market Street

Singapore Law Gazette September 2015


06 Diary and Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events 8 & 9 October 2015 Biennial Lecture/Annual CPD Day 2015

19 October 2015 Annual General Meeting

29 October 2015 Council Elections

4 November 2015 Seminar on Anti-Money Laundering (2nd Run)

6 November 2015 Day of Conveyancing Highlights 2015

13 November 2015 Seminar on Elder Law and Mental Capacity Act

13 November 2015 Law Society Annual Dinner & Dance

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Singapore Law Gazette September 2015


08 CEO's Message

From the Desk of the CEO In addition, since May 2015, we have been pleased to open up our meeting rooms for booking by members at reasonable rates. The take-up so far has been encouraging, as the configuration of rooms allows us to accommodate mediation sessions with a medium-sized meeting room on the first floor and two smaller break-out rooms. We offer meeting rooms in a range of sizes, with a seating capacity of four, 12 or 20. These rooms are open for booking between 10:00am and 5:00pm on weekdays (excluding public holidays), subject to availability. Pictures of the rooms, rental rates and other details are available on our website (www.lawsociety.org. sg) at “For Members > eForms > Rental of Meeting Rooms”. For further enquiries, please contact our Administration department at [email protected] We look forward to hosting you at our premises.

Supreme Court Bar Room Attendant

Dear Member,

Meeting Rooms at 39 South Bridge Road It has been almost a year since the completion of the Law Society’s renovations at 39 South Bridge Road. The building was officially re-opened on 18 November 2014 by past Presidents of the Law Society, followed by a simple open house for members to visit. Over the past couple of months, we have had the pleasure of hosting members, overseas delegates and local guests at our renovated premises. The “new” premises now comfortably accommodates 45 Secretariat staff, with the capacity to accommodate up to 60. One of the main aims of the renovations was to make available additional meeting room space for use by members. More Continuing Professional Development courses organised by the Law Society are now conducted in-house (rather than at an external venue) for members, and Council and our Committees continue to be the most frequent users of the rooms for Committee meetings and other meetings with stakeholders.

Our long-serving Supreme Court Bar Room attendant, Mr Choo Chong Seng has been in and out of hospital this year due to various health conditions. Mr Choo was on hospitalisation leave for over a month in July and August this year and continues to require medical treatment. As of end-August, we are pleased to note that Mr Choo is now slightly better although he tires easily and continues to have dizzy spells. Mr Choo has been coming to the Bar Room as and when his health allows as he very much enjoys the company of those in the Bar Room and likes catching up with his lawyer-friends. Mr Choo continues to be employed by the Law Society in light of his long and loyal service to the Law Society and our members, and we welcome him to help out and visit whenever his health allows. To ensure that there is no disruption to the Supreme Court Bar Room operations, the Law Society has hired another full-time Bar Room assistant, Ms Cheryl Chan to serve members. Cheryl is also our long-serving staff who has worked with the Law Society in different capacities for more than 10 years, and we are very happy to have her on board again.

► Tan Su-Yin Chief Executive Officer The Law Society of Singapore

Singapore Law Gazette September 2015

09 News

Mass Call 2015

Mass Call 2015 A total of 535 advocates and solicitors were admitted to the Bar on Saturday, 22 August 2015 at the Mass Call which was held at Singapore Expo. The Law Society hosted the freshly minted lawyers and their families to a lunch reception after the Mass Call. The Young Lawyers Committee was also on hand to welcome the young lawyers and give away goody bags containing a specially commissioned power bank and bag as well as a magazine put together by the Publications Committee, all bearing this year’s tagline – “Survival Kit for the Fittest”.

The list of advocates and solicitors admitted at the Mass Call and at other calls held throughout the year may be viewed at the Society’s website www.lawsociety.org.sg > For Members > Admissions and Training Contracts > Admission of Advocates and Solicitors. Congratulations to our newest members of the Bar!

Singapore Law Gazette September 2015


10 Mass Call 2015

Singapore Law Gazette September 2015

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12 Mass Call 2015

President’s Speech at Mass Call 2015 This speech was delivered by Law Society President, Mr Thio Shen Yi, SC at the Mass Call held on 22 August 2015. May it please Your Honour, I speak on behalf of the Law Society to welcome the cohort of 2015 to the Singapore Bar. Congratulations. You have been called to the Bar and many of you will start in private practice. You will take the first step in what I hope will be a long and fulfilling legal career. Some millennials think that the idea of a career is an antiquated notion in today’s world, where change is the only constant, where job mobility across industries is common, and where the conventional wisdom of the long term is a three year plan.

Legal practice is often a portal to understanding other fields of knowledge, be it medicine, engineering, corporate finance or technology. Part of the thrill of practice is constant and continuing learning, which both edifies and enriches us as human beings. Aspire to understand the law. But as the former Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong observed: You need more than knowledge and experience. You need to know something about the vast body of knowledge of human endeavour, especially politics, economics, history, social science and maybe literature. So embrace lifelong learning.

Our statistics are sobering. If history is any guide, a large chunk of you, within seven to 12 years, what we call our “middle category” will leave the profession. Only onequarter of your cohort will remain in practice. Some leave for real, or perceived, greener pastures; and others do stay within the larger legal community as foreign solicitors, inhouse counsel, or government lawyers. But, for a variety of reasons, many burn out, lose interest, get disillusioned, or are simply unfulfilled. Yet, if you exit the profession too early, you lose something. To put it candidly, being a lawyer becomes more fun and more satisfying, the longer one stays in practice. Longevity pays off. You get to be lead counsel and engage in the sharp end of advocacy, strategise and structure corporate transactions, engage in business development and build networks and ultimately, find yourself in a position to use your knowledge to meaningfully give back to the community. There is inherent satisfaction to be gained from committing to, and mastering, a craft. I recognise that being a young lawyer in Singapore is tough. You need to survive the associate years. How do you “hang in there”? Let me offer some modest proposals for survival beyond “outwit, outplay, outlast”. Develop intellectual curiosity. If you see practice as “just a job”, you will not survive, or you will be intensely unhappy. Cut your losses now. The practice of law must interest you. It does not have to be an academic obsession with legal esoterica. It could be an interest in people or psychology, because the law deals with and impacts human beings. It could be an interest in business, and how the law can be used to regulate, encourage and shape enterprise or innovation.

Next, be engaged. No man is an island. You are part of a larger community of what I hope are like-minded fellow professionals. If you silo yourself, bury your head and only generate work product, your boss may be happy, but then you become a legal zombie. The job becomes drudgery, albeit challenging, difficult and relatively well paid drudgery. Being engaged in the legal community gives you a holistic perspective of the law and its significance in our lives. So, get involved in the Law Society or the Academy of Law. Get involved in something beyond your immediate and direct interests as an associate. Develop relationships and connectivity in the legal community. Find a mentor. It may or may not be your boss. There are a lot of senior lawyers out there who are willing to impart their wisdom, war stories and passion to younger members of the Bar. They will help you see the law as more than the sum total of your paid briefs. This segues to my next point. Volunteer. It may seem that the call to participate in pro bono work is in danger of being overused. That doesn’t make it any less true or important. Practising law is a privilege. Give back. Do good. That’s a moral imperative. Take advantage of the plethora of pro bono schemes that the Law Society initiates. Dealing with regular people with real problems will remind many of you why you went to law school in the first place. In many ways, it is the sharp end of the law. And it is where the nobility of our calling lies. As far as I know, nobody who undertakes pro bono work suffers regret. It may not always be as intellectually challenging as complex litigation or high end transactional work, but there is real satisfaction and real meaning in helping the poor and vulnerable, the widows and orphans. It makes you stick around, because you then realise how much good your skill

Singapore Law Gazette September 2015

13 News

Mass Call 2015 sets allow you to contribute. Find a firm or find a boss that allows you to do this. Next, be ethical. For obvious reasons. And getting into trouble is not fun. As your seniors might say – don’t get “lawsoced”. But there’s a bigger picture. Earl Warren, once Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court said “in civilised life, law floats on a sea of ethics”. As lawyers, as professionals, as decent human beings, good ethics must become hardwired in us, a part of our DNA. Closer to home, our Court of Appeal in Lim Mey Lee Susan v Singapore Medical Council was emphatic: “To be a member of a profession is to declare oneself to be someone of whom more than ordinary good conduct may properly be expected”. Take pride in your professionalism. If you litigate, familiarise yourself with the formalities and niceties of Court address, figure out when to speak, stand, sit or bow. Just as importantly, be courteous and collegiate. This makes sense. Today’s adversary is tomorrow’s ally. If you never give your learned friend a break, you are never going to get one yourself. If you have friends in practice, you reduce friction in transactions and in the Courtroom. It allows you to treat your opponents as worthy competitors, exhibit magnanimity when things go your way, and grace when things work against you. Your professional life doesn’t become a series of unremitting conflicts. It doesn’t have to get personal. It doesn’t have to get ugly. There is a little red book published by the Academy of Law. Two of my Council members are part of the team of authors. It is called A Civil Practice: Good Counsel for Learned Friends. Get your hands on one. Read it cover to cover. Balance or “work life balance”. This is a phrase dreaded by most law firm partners. Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, famously said, “There’s no such thing as work life balance. There’s work, and there’s life, and there’s no balance”. The associate years are hectic, even frenetic. It is not about finding balance, but finding a way to decompress, “chillax” or reboot the brain. And to do it quickly. Running,

reading, diving, family, drinking, travel, baking, whatever does the trick. Something that can be done intensely, passionately ... and legally. Last. Focus. Have a plan, have a vision. It may be an aspiration to partnership, excellence and recognition in a specific area of practice, or domination within an industry or client sector. Work out a series of sequential professional goals you want to reach. For example, lead counsel in your first High Court trial, leading the deal team for the first time, independently bringing in your first client all by yourself. Having a definable reachable target helps to keep you in the game and separates the important from the urgent. Some of you here are going into practice with the noblest and best of intentions, to strive for the benefit of your fellow men. You may be disappointed. You may get disillusioned. There will always be some clients that are ignoble, dishonorable and wholly unappreciative. Some of you here are going into practice in pursuit of wealth, to earn as much as possible and as fast as possible. You too, may be disappointed. You may feel tainted by mammon, or face an existential crisis in worship of the billable hours. Stay the course. Take off those rose tinted and green tinted lenses. I have benefited from the clarity of hindsight. As with life, the truth lies somewhere in between. To be a true professional is a life in tension, you must balance the noble calling with the demands of commerce, and keep your sanity, and sense of humor, while doing it. Nevertheless, may all of you survive the associate years, and make it into our middle category! I look forward to seeing you in Court, meeting you at a pro bono event, or working with you under the umbrella of the Law Society in the course of your careers. Thank you and enjoy this day. You’ve earned it.

Singapore Law Gazette September 2015



Badminton Tournament

Local Bench & Bar Games – Badminton

JC See Kee Oon presenting the Challenge Trophy to the President of the Law Society, Mr Thio Shen Yi, SC

A great battle between lawyers and Judges was fought in Court. The Judges lost. And no, it was not a battle involving affidavits or witness statements (fortunately) but of racquets and shuttles. As part of the local Bench & Bar Games 2015, the annual badminton competition between the “Bench” (comprising Judges from the High Court and Legal Service Officers from the Supreme Court, State Courts, Attorney-General’s Chambers and ministries) and the Bar was held on Saturday, 11 July 2015 at the Ministry of Manpower Services Centre. Several eminent guests came to support the event, including Judicial Commissioner See Kee Oon, Chairperson of the Sports Committee, Ms Laura Liew and Mr Nicholas Tang, Managing Director of Farallon Law Corporation. They were treated to a spectacular display of power, grace and amazing skill by both teams. The Games kicked off with a VIP Celebrity (non-death) match between Judicial Commissioner Foo Chee Hock and Principal District Judge of State Courts Ong Hian Sun against President of the Law Society, Thio Shen Yi, SC and Council member of the Law Society, Anand Nalachandran. The Bench team started the match with a startling array of smashes which left the Bar team stunned. However, the Bar pair finally eventually found their rhythm and attempted to mount a comeback. Unfortunately, the Bench team had other very different ideas and stepped their game up a gear to race away with a victory in straight sets. However, the tables proverbially turned for the remaining matches. The Bar team, captained by Brandon Chung,

Convenors of the two teams squaring off!

gave a masterclass on how to avenge the defeat of their comrades by winning the remaining fixtures in straight sets. All the matches were played at a high tempo and the Bench team came at the Bar team with every weapon in their arsenal but alas, without their Court robes, they were not able to exert any authority or influence on the games. The Bar team won with an overall score of 5–0. After the official matches were over, the players took part in a friendly competition where pairings consisting of a player each from the Bench and the Bar played against a similar pairing. This was a tradition which had begun many years ago during the Bench and Bar Games against the Malaysians and was adapted for the local games as well. Only winners emerged from this friendly competition as new friendships were formed and old ties renewed. The festivities ended with a spread of savoury food and delicious makan kindly sponsored by the Judicial and Legal Officers’ Association (“JLOA”). The event this year would also not have been possible without the assistance of Ms Dorothy Ling, a Deputy Director with the Ministry of Manpower. In spite of the one-sided victory by the Bar team achieved on that fateful Saturday morning, balance was restored when players from the Bench team donned their Court robes the following Monday morning. Such is life.

► Muhamad Imaduddien Badminton Team The Law Society of Singapore

Singapore Law Gazette September 2015

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Drones or unmanned aerial vehicles have become ubiquitous, prompting the authorities to introduce a regulatory framework for their commercial and recreational usage. This note explains the new legislative amendments and policy regulations in this area.

Legal Regulation of Drones Or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Singapore Existing Regulations

Introduction Commercial drones (or unmanned aerial vehicles or remotely piloted aircraft) have become ubiquitous of late, deemed as a type of disruptive technology. For instance, many commercial and hobby videographers and photographers in Singapore today use drones to achieve camera angles previously only possible by way of rental of helicopter. Drones are now also used for delivery of goods (known as parcelcopters) by companies such as Amazon and DHL, and even as robotic waiters delivering food in a Singapore restaurant.1 Previously, the regulatory framework in respect of commercial and recreational drone usage was very limited. The only relevant regulations were paras 64C to 64F of the Air Navigation Order (Cap 6, OR 2) (“ANO”) relating to “model aircraft”, which is defined in Regulation 64I as “any aircraft that weighs not more than 7 kilogrammes without its fuel and that is capable of being flown without a pilot”. However, the Singapore Parliament introduced the Unmanned Aircraft (Public Safety and Security) Bill (“UA(PSS)”) on 13 April 2015. The UA(PSS) is, therefore, a welcomed regulatory framework. Further, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (“CAAS”) has announced certain amendments to the ANO. This note discusses significant provisions in the Bill and amendments to the ANO which drone users, whether for commercial or recreational purposes, should take note.

Under the existing regulations in the ANO, a person cannot fly or operate any model aircraft or unmanned airship: (i) at any altitude within five kilometres of any aerodrome; or (ii) at an altitude higher than 200 feet above mean sea level in any place beyond five kilometres of any aerodrome, unless he had a permit to do so (para 64C(1), ANO). Further, a “person shall not fly or operate a model aircraft or an unmanned airship unless he is reasonably satisfied that the flight of the model aircraft or unmanned airship, as the case may be, will be conducted safely and will not pose a hazard to any person, aircraft or property” (para 64(5)). Further, under para 64D, a person may not fly or operate a drone: (i) within the boundaries of any danger, restricted or prohibited area; or (ii) in a manner which is likely to endanger the safety of any person, aircraft or property. Aerodromes are defined in para 2, ANO as “defined area on land (including any building, installation and equipment) used or intended to be used, either wholly or in part, for the arrival, departure and surface movement of aircraft”. Presently, the aerodromes certified under the ANO include Changi Airport, Seletar Airport, Paya Lebar Airport, Sembawang Aerodrome and Tengah Aerorome. However, as pointed out by another commentator,2 the definition of “aerodrome” in para 2 is sufficiently wide to also include various installations such as helipads and airstrips. As such, it is difficult to identify with precision whether any given geographical area within Singapore is within or beyond five kilometres of an aerodrome. It may, therefore, be prudent to apply for an exemption permit, which may be granted by the Chief Executive Officer of CAAS pursuant to para 64C(2).

Amendments to ANA In the light of the existing regulation, we turn to consider the UA(PSS). Part 1 and Part 2 of the UA(PSS) amends two existing legislation: the Air Navigation Act (Cap 6) (“ANA”) and the Public Order Act (Cap 257A) (“POA”) respectively.

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Definitions First, the interpretation section, s 2, of the ANA is amended to include various new definitions, inter alia, such as “command and control link”, “unmanned aircraft”, “remotely piloted aircraft” and “operator” of an unmanned aircraft. “Unmanned aircraft” is defined as “an aircraft that may be flown or used without any individual on board the aircraft to operate it”. An “operator” is defined as “a person engaged in, or offering to engage in, the operation of the unmanned aircraft, and where the unmanned aircraft is a remotely piloted aircraft, includes—(a) the person who causes the remotely piloted aircraft to fly; and (b) the remote pilot of the aircraft with duties essential to the operation of the remotely piloted aircraft, such as manipulating the flight controls as appropriate during flight time, if the remote pilot is not the operator”.

Regulations Regarding Air Navigation Safety, Public Safety, Aircraft Registration Etc Second, ss 3 and 3A of the ANA are amended to empower the CAAS, with the approval of the Minister of Transport, to make regulations in respect of the safety of air navigation and/or protection of public safety, and control of eg “aircraft registration, airworthiness and maintenance, operator licenses and operating rules” (Explanatory Statement to the UA(PSS)). A brief reference to the regulatory approaches taken in other jurisdictions would be instructive in this regard. In the UK (see the UK Air Navigation Order 2009 (Cap 393)), drone operators are required inter alia to: (i) apply for permission to operate drones if it is on a commercial basis (a similar approach is taken in the US known as s 333, Federal Aviation Act (“FAA”) exemptions) or within congested areas; (ii) register their drones and apply for certificates of airworthiness for their drones where the drones are above a certain size; (iii) complete certain operator courses or apply for operator licenses. In respect of general safe operation of drones, arts 166-167 of the UK Air Navigation Order 2009 (Cap 393) provide inter alia that the operator: (i) must be “reasonably satisfied that the flight can safely be made”; (ii) “must maintain direct, unaided visual contact with the aircraft sufficient to monitor its flight path in relation to other aircraft, persons, vehicles, vessels and structures for the purpose of avoiding collisions”; (iii) must not fly the drone “at a height of more than 400 feet above the surface” (subject to exceptions); (iv) must not fly “over or within 150 metres of any congested area … over or within 150 metres of an organised open-air assembly of more than 1,000 persons … [and] within 50 metres of any vessel, vehicle or structure which is not under the control of the person in charge of

the aircraft”; (v) must not fly the aircraft within 50 metres of any person other than the operator, but during take-off or landing, the aircraft must not be flown within 30 metres of any person other than the operator. Across the Atlantic, the US has only recently issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (similar to a Public Consultation on a proposed bill in the Singapore context) in respect of small drones, entitled “Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems”. The proposed rules in the Notice are similar in principle to those in the UK Air Navigation Order 2009 (Cap 393). It is to be anticipated what regulations CAAS may make in respect of the licensing of drones and operators. CAAS has specifically announced3 (“13 April Announcement”) that the following require a permit: 1. Flying or operating unmanned aircraft which weigh more than 7kg in total weight (ie weight of laden aircraft, including fuel, payload and equipment); and 2. The flying or operation of unmanned aircraft for certain activities: a. Commercial purposes; b. Specialised services (eg activities relating to agriculture, construction, surveying, observation and patrol, flying display performance for the purpose of providing an exhibition or entertainment at an organised event, search and rescue, aerial advertising, and research and development). Further, it may be surmised from the 13 April Announcement that there will be certain general regulations or guidelines for flying or operating drones for recreational or private use including inter alia: (i) ensuring the drone is safe for flight; (ii) maintaining line of sight with the drone; (iii) ensuring a sufficient distance between the drone and people, property and other aircraft; (iv) prohibition from flying over crowded places; (v) prohibition from flying over moving vehicles which may endanger or distract drivers or such as to interfere with emergency service providers; and (vi) ensuring that transmitting devices of the drone complies with Infocomm Development Authority (“IDA”) requirements on short range devices. In the UK, it has been recently reported that a man has been charged for flying a drone over the Houses of Parliament, Queen Victoria memorial and various football stadiums during matches as well as failing to maintain direct, unaided visual contact with the drone.4 In April 2014, a man was convicted for dangerously flying a drone within 50 metres of a bridge and flying over a nuclear installation, the BAE System submarine-testing facility.5 According to the

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report, the operator alleged that he “couldn’t have controlled it” and that the radio and homing technology failed. These cases are cautionary tales for recreational drone operators in Singapore in the light of the impending regulations. With respect to the IDA requirements, it should be noted that generally the possession of telecommunication or radio-communication equipment requires a license under (sectionsss 5 and 34 of) the Telecommunications Act (Cap 323) (“TA”). However, short range devices (“SRD”) found in drone remote-control operation systems may be subject to an exemption from licensing if they are and: (i) in a manner that does not interfere with other radio-communication networks authorised by IDA; (ii) in a manner that does not exclusively protect the SRD from interference and thus shares the radio frequencies with other radio applications; (iii) the transmitter output power is below the maximum approved field strength or power stipulated in the First Schedule of the Telecommunications (Exemption from ss 33, 34(1)(b) and 35) Notification; and (iv) the uses of these devices are localised (see generally s 5, 5A, 3335, TA and Regulations 48, 70 of Telecommunications (Radio-communication) Regulations (Cap 323, Rg 5, Rev Ed 2002)). Separate regulations also exist for dealers selling SRD telecommunication equipment under the Telecommunications (Dealers) Regulations (Cap 323, Rg 6, Rev Ed 2004). In the author’s view, it is the detailed regulations on “aircraft registration, airworthiness and maintenance, operator licenses and operating rules” which would determine the future landscape for drone usage, especially for commercial purposes. The relevant regulatory framework should sufficiently accommodate future technological advancements and provide a broad regulatory space for commercial applications of drones. For instance, a requirement of maintaining line of sight with the drone for the purposes of preventing air collisions must be questioned in the light of improving first-person-view on-screen display technology. Further, query whether a segregation of airspace and stipulation of flight altitudes in respect of commercial trans-island flights would also address safety issues.

New Offences Third, s 7 of the ANA is amended, and new ss 7A to 7C are inserted, to introduce certain regulatory offences relating to drones. Under the new s 7(2), a strict liability offence is created whereby the operator of an unmanned aircraft which captured a photograph, film or video (generally referred to as “photograph” under s 7(5)) of a “protected area” through equipment on board, and the person taking the photograph if he is not the operator, shall be guilty of

the offence. A “protected area” is an area declared by the Minister of Transport pursuant to s 7(1) to be as such. The new s 7A introduces a strict liability offence whereby the operator of an unmanned aircraft operates it to fly at any height over any part of any “protected area”. The prosecution need not prove that the accused knew or had reason to believe that the area is a protected area or that the unmanned aircraft had photographic equipment on board. There are only two express defences under s 7(3) (b) and 7A(3)(b). First, the photograph was taken because of some “unavoidable cause” such as “weather conditions”. For instance, the wind blew the drone to fly above a protected area or a third party hijacked the drone to cause it to fly over a protected area. Second, the accused had the necessary permit from a competent security officer designed by the Minister of Transport and charged with the responsibility of homefront security. The offences are stipulated as arrestable offences under ss 7(4) and 7A(4). Given the strict liability nature of the offences, drone users should take all precautions to identify if they are operating their drones in the vicinity of protected areas and to plan for a sufficient buffer distance from these areas. The Protected Areas (Consolidation) Order (Cap 256, O 1, Rev Ed 1990) sets out several plausible protected areas. Generally, these are the military areas, and key installations such as radio transmission installations, oil refineries, the airport and certain portions of the small offshore islands. Given that such areas are scattered across the island, it is likely that trans-island drone flights may expose the operator to liability. The new s 7B introduces a strict liability offence against operating an unmanned aircraft to fly indoors or at any height over any area in Singapore carrying a prohibited item when flying. (Prohibited items are defined under s 7B(4)). Section 7B(2)(b) provides for an expressly stipulated defence if the accused “did not know, and could not reasonably have been expected to know, that the unmanned aircraft carried a prohibited item when flying”. The new s 7C introduces another strict liability offence against operating an unmanned aircraft to fly indoors or at any height over any area in Singapore and the unmanned aircraft discharges anything, whether gaseous, liquid or solid. However, s 7C(2)(a)-(c) sets out three express defences. First, the accused did not “intentionally” or negligently (“want of reasonable care”) cause the discharge and “took all reasonable steps” to ameliorate the consequences, ie “stop or reduce further discharge … as soon as practicable after discovering the discharge”. In this respect, the burden would be on the accused to prove that he had conjunctively taken all “reasonable care”, did not “intentionally” cause

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the discharge and “took all reasonable steps” to mitigate the consequences. This sets a high threshold for drone operators and it would be prudent for them to take all necessary precautions to not fall afoul of this provision in the first place. Second, the discharge was the result of “damage, other than intentional damage, to the unmanned aircraft and all reasonable precautions were taken by the accused after the occurrence of the damage or discovery of the discharge for the purpose of preventing or minimising further discharge”. Third, the accused had a discharge permit from the CAAS. Apart from the foregoing defences, it is expressly stipulated in s 7C(3) that it is no defence that no death, injury, property damage or hazard was caused as a result of the discharge. In respect of the defence in s 7C(2)(b), “intentional damage” to the unmanned aircraft is defined as damage arising where the operator “acted with intent to cause the damage” or “acted recklessly and with knowledge that damage would probably result”. Presently, most drones are electric-powered. However, gas-electric hybrid drones are now being developed to increase flight time and payload. The new s 7C gives pause to businesses which may potentially use such drones because of the additional risk of fuel discharge (over and above existing potential discharge risks).

be seized to prevent its concealment, loss or destruction, or its use in committing, continuing or repeating an offence”. To address concerns of wide discretionary powers, s 29G(3) provides that the Commissioner of Police or the CAAS may limit the scope of powers of the authorised persons. And s 29G(4) provides that any person who “without reasonable excuse” contravenes any direction by an authorised person under s 29G(2)(a) shall be guilty of an offence. Authorised persons for the purposes of s 29G refer to police officers or auxiliary police officers of or above the rank of sergeant authorised by the Commissioner of Police (s 29G(7)(a)); safety inspectors authorised by the CAAS (s 29G(7)(b)); or an individual with suitable qualifications and experience authorised by the CAAS (s 29G(7)(c)). Section 29G(8) expressly clarifies that s 29G does not derogate from s 201B of the Singapore Armed Forces Act (Cap 295), ie the power of the Minister of Defence to authorise the Singapore Armed Forces (“SAF”) to be deployed to inter alia detect and prevent any aerial threat to the defence or security of Singapore, eg intercept, capture or detain any aircraft.

Amendment of POA First, the POA is amended to insert the definitions of certain key terms. Interestingly, the definition of “unmanned aircraft”

Enforcement Powers A new s 29G is introduced to empower authorised persons to do certain acts with respect to any unmanned aircraft which is reasonably believed to be operated in a manner that contravenes the ANA or any aviation safety subsidiary legislation, or that “poses a serious and an imminent risk to safety of the public”. The Explanatory Statement suggests that this includes a situation where a drone is “flying very low in a crowded place or too high into the flight path of commercial airlines on scheduled journeys”. This approach to safety regulation for drone usage is considerably discretionary as opposed to one that is with reference to clearly stipulated limits, eg exact amounts of safe distances. However, it is also a pragmatic one given that authorised officers on the ground and at the critical juncture may not be able to reasonably estimate relative distances or number of persons in order to exercise their statutory powers to prevent danger arising from drone usage. Authorised persons may pursuant to s 29G(2): (i) direct drone operators to “end the flight of the unmanned aircraft, or land it, safely in the fastest practicable way” or to fly it “in the manner specified by” him; (ii) “with such assistance and by such force as is necessary … assume control of an unmanned aircraft”; (iii) “seize the unmanned aircraft and any component … or other thing” that he “believes on reasonable grounds … to be evidential material or needs to

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in the POA expressly excludes balloons and kites as “these are unlikely to present a public order threat” according to the Explanation Statement. Given that the definition of the same term in the ANA is identical except for the express exclusion of balloons and kites, prima facie, this suggests that the authorities envisage the possible application of the ANA to balloons and kites, eg balloons and kites being used for photographic purposes in respect of protected areas (s 7(2)). Second, s 26(2A), POA is inserted to inter alia prohibit a person from causing a prohibited item, any part of it, something contained in or on it, or something produced by it, to enter a “special event” area. While the provision does not make express reference to drones, the Explanation Statement makes clear that the intent is that rockets, remotely piloted aircrafts and other unmanned aircrafts may be declared as prohibited items under s 22(2), POA and accordingly, it may be illegal for a person to operate a drone to enter a special event area under s 26(2A), POA. This is also a strict liability offence subject to three express defences: (i) the accused did not intentionally or negligently cause the prohibited item or something in respect of it to enter the special event area (under s 26(2B)(b)(i)); (ii) there was a permit from the Commissioner of Police (under s 26(2B)(b)(ii)); or (iii) the accused had a “lawful excuse” to possess a prohibited item in a special event area. In regard to (iii), the Explanatory Statement clarifies that what is envisaged is where “everyday activities within homes, workplaces or schools that are in a special event area” may become subject to s 26, POA, and that it could be a “lawful excuse” to possess prohibited items in respect of such activities. For instance, it may be a lawful excuse for a school to possess a loud hailer or a large flag although it is within the geographical boundaries of a “special event” area. The burden would be on the accused to prove the lawful excuse. However, it is pertinent to note that from the wording of the new s 26(2A)(a) and the Explanatory Statement, the lawful excuse defence appears to be available only for possession of prohibited items and not the “use” of a prohibited item in a way that causes it or something in relation to it to “enter the special event area”. Thus, where for instance a workshop is situated within a special event area and typically uses drones to transport certain materials, it may not be availed of the lawful excuse defence. Given that, it would be prudent for persons who are situated within the geographical boundaries of a “special event” area to inquire into their scope of permissible activities during the period of the “special event”. Third, s 32, POA is amended to prohibit a person from operating an unmanned aircraft in a manner that “disrupts, interferes with, delays or obstructs the conduct of a special

event, or any activity associated with the special event; or that interferes with the reasonable enjoyment of” such events or activities. Again, this is a strict liability offence subject to the express defence in s 32(3)(b) that the flight was “not due to any want of reasonable care”. Fourth, s 32A, POA empowers authorised persons to do certain acts should drones be operated in a manner that contravenes ss 26 or 32, POA or that “poses a serious an imminent risk to the security or safety of persons lawfully attending a special event”. In this respect, the powers set out therein, and other related provisions, are similar to those set out in the new s 29G, ANA discussed above. Authorised persons for the purposes of s 32A refer to police officers or auxiliary police officers of or above the rank of sergeant authorised by the Commissioner of Police (s 32A(7)). The Minister of Home Affairs may declare an event to be a “special event” under s 21, POA. In this respect, the Ministry of Home Affairs has previously clarified in an advisory that “[o]nly major events that are of national importance will be declared as special events”.6 For instance, the National Day Parade 2014 was declared a “special event” under the POA.7 The notification of such declarations under s 21, POA will typically describe the geographical boundaries of the “special event” area, as well as set out a list of “prohibited items” declared under s 22, POA.

Other Legal Considerations It should be noted at this juncture that the statutory offences discussed above do not preclude the possibility of civil claims under private law as well as the possible invocation of other statutory regulations. With respect to plausible civil claims, a person who suffered damage to person or property in connection with a drone may sue under the tort of negligence. Alternatively, there may be a claim on the basis of rule in Rylands v Fletcher (1868) LR 3 HL 330 with respect to discharge from the drones. With respect to other statutory regulations or offences, the Personal Data Protection Commission has issued an advisory guideline to clarify that photography involving the capture of personal data could constitute a contravention of the PDPA.8 Hence, the operation of drones for photographic purposes may potentially give rise to PDPA compliance risks. Other possibly relevant legislation would include the Protection from Harassment Act 2014, the Community Dispute Resolution Tribunals Act (which will likely come into force second-half of 2015) and offences under the Penal Code (Cap 224), eg s 268 for public nuisance.

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The UA(PSS) and the CAAS 13 April Announcement regarding amendments to subsidiary legislation in respect of drone regulation are welcomed. However, it remains to be seen what the specific scope and extent of regulations would entail. In particular, those relating to aircraft registration, airworthiness and maintenance, operator licenses and operating rules. Such regulations would likely have substantial impact on business costs of utilising drones for commercial application. Both the recreational drone operator and businesses intending to harness drone technology would do well to watch this space, and if possible, provide feedback to the relevant authorities to shape the regulatory landscape to be technology- and business-friendly while ensuring safety and other legitimate interests are not compromised.




Chen Siyuan, “Regulating Aerial Photography and Videography Proportionately: Some Thoughts on the SAL Seminar ‘Droning on About Journalism – Remotely Piloted Aircraft, Newsgathering, and Law’” Singapore Law Blog (1 November 2014); available at <(http://www.singaporelawblog.sg/blog/article/53)>.


CAAS, “Enhancing the Regulatory and Permit Framework for Safe and Responsible Unmanned Aircraft Use in Singapore” (13 April 2015).


Haroon Siddique, “Man charged for allegedly flying drones over UK landmarks”, The Guardian (18 March 2015).


Charles Arthur, “UK’s first drone conviction will bankrupt me, says Cumbrian man”, The Guardian (2 April 2014).


Ministry of Home Affairs, Public Order Act Booklet dated 1 November 2009.


Public Affairs Department, Singapore Police Force, “Gazetting Of National Day Parade 2014 As A Special Event” (14 July 2014).


Advisory Guidelines on the Personal Data Protection Act for Selected Topics (revised on 11 Sep 2014).

► Ronald JJ Wong Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP E-mail: [email protected]


for Contribution of Articles


Singapore Law Gazette September 2015

Please e-mail all enquiries, suggestions and submissions to Chandranie at [email protected]



Facing a claim for patent infringement can be daunting. It differs from your usual breed of civil litigation in both timeframe and strategy. This article highlights broadly what a potential defendant may expect and examines several key points for counsels to consider when defending against a claim for patent infringement.

Patent Litigation 101 – Defending Against a Claim of Patent Infringement


What is a Patent?

When your client receives a cease and desist letter (“C&D Letter”) alleging patent infringement it should set off alarm bells for your client and rightfully so. This is because the client has carried out an activity relating to a product and/or a process that possibly infringes the patent(s) being asserted. If the allegation of patent infringement is proven, it could spell the end of your client’s business. In defending against a claim for patent infringement, while there are similarities with other causes of action pursued in the realm of civil litigation, patent litigation is somewhat of a different creature in terms of the applicable deadlines, to the strategies to be adopted. As such, this article seeks to highlight what a potential defendant in Singapore may expect when facing a claim for patent infringement, and the salient points that should be noted by the defendant’s counsel.

A patent is a technical document pertaining to an invention. It confers monopolistic legal rights to the proprietor for twenty years from the filing date of the patent. Each patent has a set of claims that defines the invention and the scope for which protection is granted. A case of patent infringement is made out when the acts complained of fall within the scope of the claims of a patent. The monopoly granted by a patent may be exploited in a variety of means; enforcing the exclusive rights conferred by the patent via a claim for patent infringement may be what most of us are familiar with especially with ongoing litigation between the various smartphone manufacturers making headlines ever so often.

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Being Put on Notice and Receipt of a Cease and Desist Letter Unlike most civil litigation matters, the opening salvo, in patent litigation may come as early as 18 months into the patent application process when a patent application gets published, ie, before the patent is even granted. This is because under s 76, Patents Act (Cap 221) (“Patents Act”), an applicant for a patent has the right to also seek damages for infringing acts carried out during the period commencing with the publication of the patent application up to the grant thereof, in addition to the period following the grant of the patent application. However, this right is qualified in that any claim can only be brought after the patent application in question is granted, and provided that the infringing act would have infringed not only the granted patent but also the claims as published after 18 months. This right is further restricted by s 69(1), Patents Act, which prohibits any damages from being awarded during the aforesaid interim period between publication and grant if a defendant had no reasonable grounds for supposing that the patent existed. As such, applicants will send notifications to their competitors and potential infringers informing them of the publication of a patent application in order to avoid the above restriction on damages under s 69(1) in the event that litigation materialises later on. Applicants also typically leverage of such notices in the hope that competitors or potential infringers are intimidated and halt any competing commercial activities upon receiving the notice. Accordingly, such notices could be a hint that patent litigation may be forthcoming and should not be ignored. Apart from such notices, in other instances where allegations of patent infringement are made, such allegations are typically in the form of the C&D Letter. The C&D Letter identifies the patent(s) in issue, and will include demands that the alleged infringer comply with. In particular, there is usually a demand that the alleged infringer cease carrying on acts set out under s 66(1), Patents Act (Cap 221), which includes, inter alia, the making, disposing of, offer to dispose of, using or importing or storing for disposal or otherwise. As with any such demands, it is critical to ascertain whether the allegation of patent infringement is meritorious or not. One may consider that there are two aspects to this, ie, the technical merits and the factual merits. The technical merits, simply put, relate to whether the product or process of the alleged infringer falls within the scope of a claim. Ascertaining this typically involves a detailed technical analysis of the product and/or process vis-à-vis the patent claim in question and in some instances, may even include experimentation. The factual merits refer to whether the alleged infringer has

actually performed the above-mentioned acts set out under s 66(1) of the Patents Act in respect of the product and/or process without the consent of the proprietor of the patent. It is important to ascertain the technical and factual merits of any claim for patent infringement as thoroughly as possible from the onset as that influences the manner in which a potential defendant might subsequently choose to respond to the C&D Letter and even defend against the claim. Naturally any response to the C&D Letter will have to address the allegations of patent infringement raised. Where the allegation of patent infringement is assessed to be meritorious, it would be prudent to consider whether licensing arrangements may be entered into. Alternatively, and if such licensing initiatives are not forthcoming, it may be necessary to explore whether there are technical workaround solutions that may still permit the alleged infringer to sustain a commercially viable business in the future without infringing the patent(s) being asserted. However, the defendant will still be potentially liable for past acts of infringement. If the allegation of patent infringement is unmeritorious in its technical merits, factual merits, or both, then when responding, the potential defendant should set out the same, including any basis briefly, as well as raise the possibility of mounting a counterclaim for the making of groundless threats of patent infringement, if possible.

Challenging the Validity of a Patent A key part to any defence against a claim of patent infringement is the defendant’s right to challenge the validity of the patent(s) being asserted. As a patent is granted for being novel, inventive and capable of industrial application, a defendant may challenge the validity of a patent on the basis that any patent being asserted fails to satisfy the above-mentioned criteria. More specifically, the validity of a patent may be challenged by, inter alia, asserting that the invention had been disclosed to the public by any party through commercial sale and use, display at trade fairs and conventions, or by publication of the details of the invention provided such acts took place prior to the filing date of the patent application.

Facing the Lawsuit The commencement of a lawsuit is not just limited to the proprietor of a patent. A person so aggrieved by threats of patent infringement may also seize the initiative and commence an action for groundless threats. Otherwise, if a writ endorsed by a statement of claim for patent infringement is received, it is important to take note of the timelines that apply depending on the strategy adopted in defending against such a claim.

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Ordinarily, where a defendant simply avers in his defence that his acts in respect of the allegedly infringing product or process do not infringe the patent(s) being asserted, then the usual timeframe for filing the defence of 14 days from the date of service of the statement of claim applies; including, if a counterclaim of groundless threats of patent infringement is raised. However, where the validity of a patent is challenged, the defendant has to give notice within 14 days of service of the statement of claim of the defendant’s intention to challenge the validity of the patent(s) being asserted (see O 87A, r 3(1), Rules of Court). The defendant then has to file his defence and counterclaim (if any) along with any particulars challenging the validity of the patent(s) being asserted, within 42 days after service of the statement of claim. Apart from the above-mentioned grounds, the validity of a patent being asserted in patent infringement proceedings may also be challenged on the other limited grounds set out under s 80 of the Patents Act. At this juncture, any analysis done in ascertaining the technical and factual merits of the allegations of infringement would typically prove invaluable in determining whether the validity of the patent(s) being asserted is capable of being challenged.

Discovery, Experimentation and Expert Witnesses Another critical juncture for a defendant in patent litigation is the discovery process. Although Order 24, Rules of Court applies equally to patent infringement matters, it should be noted that there are exempt classes of documents that need not be disclosed, including documents pertaining to the issue of commercial success (see O 87A, rr 5(1) and 5(2), Rules of Court). Where prior use of a machine or apparatus is relied upon to challenge the validity of a patent, the party seeking to rely on such prior use may not adduce evidence of the same unless that party has offered, where the machinery or apparatus is in his possession, inspection of it to the other parties to the proceedings or, where it is not, used all reasonable endeavors to obtain inspection of it for those parties (see O 87A, r 7(3), Rules of Court). A defendant should also carefully consider whether experiments are required early on in the proceedings. O 87A, r 6, Rules of Court, requires that any intention to establish facts by experimentation must be served on the opposing side within 21 days after service of the list of documents. However, the Intellectual Property Court Guide contemplates that parties should be ready to address the Court on this issue at the first PTC after the close of pleadings. Hence, the issue of experimentation should be at the forefront of any defendant’s mind from the onset

of litigation proceedings. This is especially so since the issue of whether any experimentation is required may also sometimes be tied to the choice of expert witness and the manner in which the expert witness feels is most appropriate to convey his opinion in the matter. The expert witness’ role is to give independent technical evidence to the Court in order to assist the Court in making a determination on the technical issues arising. Just as with any other expert witness, the expert witness’ duty is first and foremost to the Court. In selecting an expert witness, while the academic qualifications of a candidate are often referred to, such indices are by no means the only basis upon which an expert witness is to be selected. Other indicia that ought to be taken into consideration includes, but is not limited to, the technical field of the subject matter of the patent(s) being asserted, the complexity of the subject matter, and the relevant practical experience that a candidate may possess and the candidate’s general disposition, which may be just as, if not more, important than the candidate’s academic qualifications. Such skills may be of increasing importance given the preference in Courts, when dealing with technical subject matter, to avail of “hot-tubbing”.

Conclusion While patent litigation falls under civil litigation, there are clearly several salient differences in respect of the timelines and strategies to be adopted when defending against a claim of patent infringement. In order to adopt the most appropriate strategy, it is critical that the defendant or potential defendant be very clear from the onset on the merits of the claim of patent infringement, whether there are any defences available, and whether there are possible counterclaims to be made. Apart from the legal considerations, practical considerations in respect of the discovery process, the evidentiary burden that is required to be discharged, and expert witness selection are also paramount to consider when defending against such claims.

► M Ravindran Partner Ravindran Associates E-mail: [email protected]

► Jevon Louis Partner Ravindran Associates E-mail: [email protected]

Singapore Law Gazette September 2015



In May 2015, the Law Gazette published an article on the Montgomery decision which looked at the law on consent with a focus on patient autonomy. In this article, we consider another ramification of the decision. The duty of disclosure a doctor owes his patient has been a sticking point in English law. The House of Lords had decided in Sidaway that the Bolam test – a doctor is not negligent if his practice accords with that of a respectable body of experts in the field – applied as well to the doctor’s duty to advise the patient. In the recent Montgomery decision, the UKSC revisited this important issue and radically changed the law.

A Doctor’s Duty of Disclosure: UKSC Sets New Paradigm in Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board In the Court of Session, one4 ground of claim was that the doctor failed to advise on the risk of shoulder dystocia and its attendant consequences, and on the alternative of caesarean delivery. On this ground, the Court accepted the medical evidence given on behalf of the Health Board that the omission was proper and, following the majority approach in Sidaway v Bethlehem Royal Hospital (“Sidaway”),5 held that the defendant had not been negligent. The Judge also held that the plaintiff would not have elected for caesarean even if she had been advised; in other words, there was no causation. The decision was upheld by the Inner House on appeal.

Introduction Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board (“Montgomery”)1 is about a baby being born with severe disabilities. Expectant mothers of small build and suffering from diabetes,2 such as the plaintiff, run the risk of shoulder dystocia, that is – the situation of the baby’s shoulders being unable to pass through the pelvis in a normal delivery.3 In this case, the patient was not told of the risk of shoulder dystocia as, in the doctor’s opinion, the possibility was very small. The doctor was not inclined to warn as most mothers, if told would opt for a ceasarean section and that would deprive them of the (desirable) opportunity of a natural delivery. During delivery, shoulder dystocia occurred and after desperate manouvres, the baby was delivered. Unfortunately, because of occlusion (blockage) of the umbilical cord, the baby was deprived of oxygen and this resulted in cerebral palsy.

The plaintiff further appealed to the Supreme Court and invited the Court to depart from Sidaway and also reverse the finding as regards causation. The Court of seven Judges obliged the plaintiff and unanimously allowed the appeal. The judgment was issued jointly by Lord Kerr and Lord Reed, while Lady Hale delivered a short concurring judgment.6 This case comment deals with the issue of duty of disclosure. Before that, a few words on causation. The Supreme Court was mindful that appellate Courts should exercise restraint in reversing findings of fact made at first instance. Nevertheless, the Court was certain that there had been a failure to consider relevant evidence. In the light of the evidence (in particular, the doctor’s own admission that had she raised the risk of shoulder dystocia with the plaintiff, the latter would “no doubt” have elected to undergo

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29 Feature

a caesarean section), the Court was of the view that causation was established.7 On the main issue of duty of disclosure, the structure of the judgment was as follows: 1. The existing legal landscape; 2. Social and other developments and the need for a change in the law; 3. The new legal framework of disclosure; and 4. Arguments against changing the law.

Existing Law on Duty of Disclosure As readers well-versed in this area are aware, under English law, in ascertaining whether a defendant doctor had lived up to the standard of care expected of him (or her), English Courts apply the Bolam8 test. According to this test, a doctor is not negligent if he can show that his practice accorded with a substantial and respectable body of opinion in his field; he will not be considered negligent “merely because there is a body of opinion who take a contrary view”.9 In Sidaway v Bethlehem Royal Hospital,10 where a patient became paralysed after a back operation, the House of Lords held that the Bolam test applied not only to a doctor’s diagnosis and treatment of his patient but also his duty to advise or warn the patient. Hence, the doctor’s omission to disclose the risks of the particular treatment (here, a 1-2 per cent risk of some degree of paralysis) was not negligent since the practice (of not disclosing, in such circumstances) was accepted as proper by a responsible body of neurosurgeons. Lords Kerr and Reed noted that the lower Courts in Montgomery had applied Sidaway. However, they also noted that according to Lord Bridge in Sidaway, the Bolam protection would not avail if there was a “substantial risk of grave adverse consequences” such that disclosure of the particular risk was “so obviously necessary to an informed choice on the part of the patient that no reasonably prudent medical man would fail to make it”11 (hereafter referred to as the Bridge qualification).12 Their lordships then referred to the qualification made by the House of Lords in Bolitho v City & Hackney Health Authority13 that the application of the Bolam test is subject to an additional requirement (hereafter, the Bolitho addendum) – the Court had to be satisfied that the accepted practice had a logical basis, in that the experts had directed their minds to the comparative risks and benefits and had

reached a defensible conclusion on the matter. The Judges noted14 that there was a “superficial” resemblance between the Bridge qualification and the Bolitho addendum. They also noted Lord Scarman’s dissenting view in Sidaway that a doctor is under a duty to inform the patient of the material risks inherent in the treatment and that a risk is material if a reasonably prudent patient would think it is significant.15 Their lordships also expressed dissatisfaction with a legal framework which places the onus on the patient to ask the doctor questions relating to risk; they noted that patients who do not know what and how to ask are those who are in “the greatest need of information”.16 They then observed that in some subsequent lower Court cases, most notably Pearce v United Bristol Healthcare NHS Trust (“Pearce”)17 and Wyatt v Curtis,18 Judges chose not to follow Sidaway. In Pearce, Lord Woolf MR, in a judgment which Roch and Mummery LLJ agreed with, boldly declared:19 [I]f there is a significant risk which would affect the judgment of a reasonable patient, then… it is the responsibility of the doctor to inform the patient of the significant risk … . Their lordships then referred to the approach taken by the Supreme Court of Canada in Reibl v Hughes (“Reibl”)20 and the High Court of Australia in Rogers v Whittaker (“Rogers”)21 that a doctor owes a duty to inform the patient of material risks. In Rogers, the Court held that a risk was material if either a reasonable person in the patient’s position would be likely to attach significance or if the doctor is or should reasonably be aware that the particular patient would be likely to attach significance.22

Social and Other Developments Lords Kerr and Reed observed that the paradigm of the doctor-patient relationship had changed over time and that what was said in Sidaway no longer reflects the current reality in the provision of healthcare services. Patients nowadays are regarded as “persons holding rights” and “consumers exercising choices”.23 A related development is that, unlike in the past, patients in this age have better information on and understanding of medical matters.24 Their lordships noted that these developments are in fact reflected in statements of professional practice. Good Medical Practice (2013) issued by the (UK) General Medical Council embodies the philosophy of the doctor working

Singapore Law Gazette September 2015



in partnership with patients, giving them information and respecting their rights to reach decisions. Another document – Consent: patients and doctors making decisions together (2008) is even more specific: The doctor explains the options to the patient, setting out potential benefits, risks, burdens and side effects of each option, including the option to have no treatment. The doctor may recommend a particular option … but they [sic] must not put pressure on the patient to accept their advice. The patient weighs up the potential benefits, risks and burdens … The patient decides. Further, there had been legal developments on the human rights front and Judges have become increasingly conscious of the need for the common law to reflect fundamental values (such as the right of self-determination) as mandated by the European Convention on Human Rights and other conventions.25 These developments cumulatively indicate a move from a doctor-patient relationship model based on “medical paternalism” to one where the patient is able to understand the implications of the treatment, to make the decision and to take responsibility for it.26 In this model, the doctor has a duty to inform and the patient has right to decide,27 and the determination of the nature and extent of this right rests not with the medical profession but with the Courts.28 Their lordships also made the incisive comment that the application of the Bolam test to the question of disclosure is liable to result in the sanctioning of differences in practice which are attributable “not to the divergent schools of thought in medical science, but merely to divergent attitudes among doctors as to the degree of respect owed to their patients”.29 In view of all the above, the Supreme Court decided that it was time to officially30 depart from the Sidaway position.

The New Position on Duty of Disclosure After expressing approval of the propositions of Lord Scarman in Sidaway, Lord Woolf MR in Pearce and the High Court of Australia in Rogers, Lords Kerr and Reed began their formulation of the law with the preamble that a patient is entitled to decide on the form of treatment to undergo and his consent must be obtained before his bodily integrity can be interfered with.31 Hence: The doctor is … under a duty to take reasonable care to ensure that the patient is aware of any material risks involved in any recommended treatment, and of any reasonable alternative or variant treatments. The test

of materiality is whether… a reasonable person in the patient’s position would be likely to attach significance to the risk, or the doctor is or should reasonably be aware that the particular patient would be likely to attach significance to it. The paradigm has changed radically. The Sidaway position was that the doctor has the right to decide whether or not to make disclosure, except where disclosure is so obviously necessary to informed choice. The new position is that the patient has the right to decide, and the doctor must disclose all material risks of the proposed treatment as well as of alternative treatments.32 Materiality is both objective (what a reasonable patient would regard as significant) as well as subjective (what the particular patient would likely regard as significant). Elaborating on the doctor’s duty, their lordships pointed out that the assessment of materiality, which “cannot be reduced to percentages”,33 takes into account a variety of factors, such as: 1. magnitude of risk;34 2. nature of risk;35 3. effect upon the life of the patient; 4. importance to the patient of the benefits sought to be achieved by the treatment; 5. alternative treatments36 and their risks; and 6. characteristics of the patient. Elaborating further,37 their lordships emphasised that the aim of the doctor’s advisory role is to ensure that the patient has sufficient understanding so as to be in a position to make an informed decision. The information provided must therefore be comprehensible. Bombarding the patient with technical information or routinely requiring signature on a consent form would not fulfill the duty. The doctor’s duty of disclosure is, however, subject to two exceptions. The first38 of these, the “therapeutic exception”, is where the doctor reasonably considers that its disclosure would be “seriously detrimental to the patient’s health”.39 Their lordships cautioned that this is a limited exception and should not be abused; “it is not intended to subvert [the general] principle by enabling the doctor to prevent the patient from making an informed choice where she is liable to make a choice which the doctor considers to be contrary to her best interests”.40

Singapore Law Gazette September 2015



Counter-arguments In deciding to change the law, their lordships were mindful of various counter-arguments but found none of them unassailable. On the first point – that some patients would rather trust their doctors – the rebuttal was that, in the new scheme, the patient can choose not to be informed of the risks, in which case the doctor is not obliged to discuss them. On the point of practicability (impossible to discuss risks within the time available), the retort was that adjustments simply have to be made. On the argument that the change in law would lead to an increase in litigation, their lordships thought the new model of informed choice may be less likely to lead to litigation. Finally, on the argument of increased unpredictability of the outcome of such litigation, the lordships felt such unpredictability was tolerable in view of the attendant benefit of protecting patients. Above all, the “fundamental response” to all these objections is that “respect for the dignity of patients requires no less”.41

Comment The UKSC decision in Montgomery has brought about a momentous shift in the law. The Bolam test no longer gives doctors protection in respect of non-disclosure or inadequate disclosure. Montgomery lays down the following principles: 1. The patient has the right to receive material information regarding his proposed treatment in order that he can make an informed decision; 2. The doctor must respect the patient’s right and has a duty of disclosure – he must take reasonable care to ensure that the patient receives such material information; 3. This information includes materials risks and benefits of the proposed treatment and of alternative treatments;42 4. The nature and extent of the patient’s right (and the doctor’s duty) are determined by the Courts and not by the medical profession;43 5. Materiality is both objective and subjective; 6. Materiality takes into account magnitude and nature of risk, effect on the life of the patient, benefits sought to be achieved by the patient, characteristics of the patient and other factors; 7. Materiality cannot be reduced to percentages;

8. To facilitate understanding and informed decision, the doctor should ensure that the information provided is comprehensible; 9. The duty is not fulfilled by simply getting the client to sign a consent form; 10. (implicitly) The doctor must have reasonable grounds to believe that the patient understands the information that is given to him; and 11. The duty of disclosure is subject to the therapeutic exception44 but the exception is a limited one and should not be abused. As mentioned earlier, the default position has changed. Under Sidaway, the doctor need not disclose (so long as he satisfied Bolam) unless disclosure was “so obviously necessary”. Under Montgomery, there is a duty to disclose unless disclosure is “so seriously detrimental” (to the patient’s health).45 Note also the change to the threshold which triggers the duty to disclose. As observed by Lords Kerr and Reed,46 while the Bridge qualification refers to “substantial” risk, Lord Woolf MR in Pearce used the term “significant’ risk; the latter expression, they thought, was more apt. In the new Montgomery framework, a material risk is one which is “significant” – a lower threshold than “substantial”. With the change in law, the English Courts now recognise that there is indeed a difference between diagnosis and treatment on the one hand and provision of advice or information on the other. To paraphrase Mason CJ’s explanation47 in Rogers, the dynamics of participation is that the patient gives information to the doctor to assist the doctor to diagnose and treat, while the doctor gives information to the patient to enable the patient to make a decision as to the treatment. The UK Supreme Court has now aligned the law to the expectations of UK’s General Medical Council. No doubt, medical practitioners in the UK henceforth have to take their duty of disclosure even more seriously and perform greater due diligence.

Singapore Position In Singapore, the legal position is the one adopted by the Court of Appeal in Khoo James v Gunapathy d/o Muniandy,48 where Yong Pung How CJ, after surveying the jurisprudence on the subject, firmly declared49 that the Bolam test and the Bolitho threshold of logic apply to the

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whole of a doctor’s duty to diagnose, advise and treat. He also remarked that the Bolitho addendum was timely as it “gave voice to a commonsense understanding … that the Bolam test did not represent immunity from judicial inquiry over the medical process”. Yong CJ commented that the Bridge qualification was a “forerunner” of the Bolitho caveat. The Gunapathy stand was applied in subsequent cases, most notably D’Conceicao Jeanie Doris v Tong Ming Chuan50 and Tong Seok May Joanne v Yau Hok Man Gordon.51 In D’Conceicao, Justice Tay Yong Kwang discussed the subject at length and remarked that Gunapathy was binding on him – the Bolam test together with the Bolitho addendum applied. In respect of the latter, his honour remarked:52 I do agree … that if the medical profession illogically omits to warn of risks which patients should undoubtedly be informed of, then the court should interfere on the authority of Bolitho. In the next breadth, he said that “in this regard”, he would turn to the Bridge qualification and appears to equate it with the Bolitho addendum.53 It appears, then, that the current state of Singapore law as to a doctor’s duty of disclosure is that the Bolam test, as qualified by Bolitho, applies. A doctor will not be negligent if his conduct (as regards advice to the patient) accords with that of a respectable body of experts and passes the threshold of logic. Also, the Bolitho addendum is similar, if not equivalent, to the Bridge qualification. The question is whether it is time for Singapore Courts to follow the lead of the Canadian, Australian, Malaysian54 and, now, English Courts and recognise the doctrine of informed consent55 (also known as the Canterbury doctrine56). An important consideration is whether the paradigm of the doctor-patient relationship has evolved and changed sufficiently. As far as the expectation of the medical profession is concerned, the Singapore Medical Council’s Ethical Code and Ethical Guidelines provide as follows: 4.2.2

Informed consent

It is a doctor’s responsibility to ensure that a patient … is adequately informed about his medical condition and options for treatment so that he is able to participate in decisions about his treatment. If a procedure needs to be performed, that patient shall be made aware of the benefit, risks and possible complications of the procedure and any alternatives available to him.

4.2.4 Patient’s determination






A doctor shall provide adequate information to a patient so that he can make informed choices about his further medical management. A doctor shall provide information to the best of this ability, communicate clearly and in a language that is understood by the patient. These expectations have also been recognised in recent newsletters of the Singapore Medical Association, as one writer points out.57 Clearly, the local guidelines are similar to those in England and encapsulate the concepts of the patient’s rights to information and to make informed decision and the doctor’s corresponding duty to provide material information. As for the knowledge of, and ability to comprehend medical matters, anecdotal evidence suggests that the level is reasonably high in the modern city state of Singapore. In such a society, the importance and respect given to human rights in general and the right of self-determination in medical matters58 in particular is likewise heightened. The absence in Singapore of specific human rights statutes59 is not critical, for the Courts in Rogers and in Reibl did not refer to or garner support from any such statute to arrive at their legal position. More fundamentally, the simple reason Singapore Courts should move to the Montgomery position is that it is fair and just that the patient, whose body and/or life are most affected by the treatment, should be informed of the risks and should have the primary say as to whether the procedure should be proceeded with.

Concluding Remarks The nature of case law is that desired or desirable changes can take a long time to come to pass. Three decades after the House of Lords decision in Sidaway, the UK Supreme Court has finally decided that, on the issue of disclosure, the right of the patient is more important than the protection of the medical profession. Meanwhile, doctors and lawyers in Singapore wait anxiously to see if Singapore Courts would follow in the steps of Montgomery.

► Low Kee Yang Associate Professor of Law Singapore Management University E-mail: [email protected]

Singapore Law Gazette September 2015





Although it should be noted that in Sidaway, Lord Bridge used a 10 per cent risk of a stroke as an example of “grave adverse consequences”.


In this regard, the reader should note that earlier in the judgment (at [78]), their lordships observed that the practice document Consent: patients and doctors making decisions together advised that “doctors must tell patients if treatment might result in a serious outcome, even if the risk is very small”. In similar vein, the British Columbia Supreme Court held in Chen v Ross 2014 Carswell BC 608 that the duty necessitates informing a patient of even a statistically remote risk where the potential consequences are sufficiently serious that a reasonable patient would likely consider it to be significant.


[2015] UKSC 11.


More specifically, insulin dependent diabetes mellitus.


Medical knowledge indicates that women suffering from diabetes are likely to have babies that are larger than normal and having larger shoulders.


The second was the mismanagement of the labour process. Basically, the plaintiff asserted that when complications arose during delivery, the doctor should have performed a caesarean section. This appeal focused on the first ground.


[1985] AC 871.



The other Judges were Lord Neuberger (President), Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson and Lord Hodge.

Presumably, the nature of the operation is also part of materiality: see Hopp v Lepp [1980] 2 SCR 192.



At [104]. There was, therefore, no need to consider the controversial case of Chester v Afshar [2005] 1 AC 134 (where the Court in effect dispensed with the need to establish causation).

In Lemay v Peters 2014 Carswell NB 444, the New Brunswick Court of Appeal held that a patient cannot truly give informed consent if he is not aware that less risky procedures might yield the same or a better result.


At [90].


Bolam v Friern Hospital [1957] 1 WLR 582.


The second is the necessity exception, such as where the patient requires treatment urgently but is unconscious or “otherwise unable to make a decision”: at [88].


At [88].


At [91].


At [93].


Presumably, the information would include the likely prognosis of not having the procedure, as held in Brown v Baum 2015 Carswell Ont 3138.


Note, especially, para [83].


The exception or defence of necessity remains: [87].


To put it more simply (and loosely), there is a shift from “disclose only if grave” to “disclose unless it would be grave to disclose”.


Ibid at 586.


[1985] AC 871.


Lord Bridge at 900. But there is no duty to disclose where there is an emergency or where there is some other “cogent clinical reason” for non-disclosure.


According to Lord Bridge (at [898]), another exception is that when asked by the patient about the risks of the treatment, the doctor must answer “truthfully and as fully as the [patient] requires”.


[1998] AC 232.


At [61].


At 889-890.


At [58].


At [66].


[1999] PIQR P 53.


At 489.


[2003] EWCA Civ 1779.


[2002] 1 SLR(R) 1024.


At para 21.



[1980]2 SCR 880.

Though His Honour did say (at [142]): “… this is not the appropriate place to address a fully argued appeal on the merits of a doctrine of informed consent”.


(1992) 175 CLR 479.


[2011] SGHC 193.


At p 490.


[2013] 2 SLR 18. It was also referred to by the Court of Appeal in Pang Ah San v Singapore Medical Council [2014] 1 SLR 1094.


At [75].


At [76].


At [80].


At [81].


At [82]. The term actually used in the passage is “entitlement”.


At [83]. Whether the risks of a proposed treatment ought to be discussed with the patient is not a matter of purely professional judgment.


At [84].


As mentioned earlier, some lower Court decisions had already ceased to follow Sidaway, even though it was binding on them.


At [87]. Similarly, Lady Hale, at [108], said that the law “protects a person’s interest in their own physical and psychiatric integrity, an important feature of which is their autonomy, their freedom to decide what shall and shall not be done with their body …”.


The New Brunswick Court of Appeal held in Lemay v Peters 2014 Carswell NB 444 the patient cannot truly give informed consent if he is not aware that less risky procedures might yield the same or a better result.


At [124].


The statements of Tay J were cited at length (and with approval) by Andrew Ang J in Tong Seok May Joanne (at [61]-[66]).


See Foo Fio Na v Soo Fook Mun [2007] 1 MLJ 261, applied in Chien Tham Kong v Excellent Strategy [2009] 7 MLJ 261, Hasan bin Datolah v Kerajaan Malaysia [2010] 2 MLJ 646 amongst others.


While the terms “informed consent” and “informed decision” have been used quite interchangeably, technically speaking, consent provides a defence while inform decision is a right, the violation of which allows the victim a course of action.


Named after the US Court of Appeals, District of Columbia case Canterbury v Spence (1972) 464 F 2d772.


Alicia Zhuang, “Consent: Time to Say Goodbye to Bolam and Sidaway?” Singapore Law Gazette (May 2015) 16 at p 21.


Which the SMC Ethical Code expressly recognises (at para 4.2.4).


Although art 9 of the Singapore Consitution does protect an individual’s right to life and personal liberty.

Singapore Law Gazette September 2015

36 Columns The Young Lawyer As the representative body for young lawyers in Singapore, the Young Lawyers Committee (“YLC”) focuses on issues relevant to those new to legal practice. Stay tuned to this monthly column for useful tips and advice, features and updates on YLC’s social and professional events.

Amicus Agony Dear Amicus Agony,

It has been slightly more than a month since I started work at my new office. I used to be a litigator but I have decided to try my hand at corporate work. However, I am starting to have second thoughts about whether I have made the right decision to leave my former firm and a familiar work environment because my new colleagues appear to be cold towards me. I am also feeling stressed that despite putting in the hours and giving my best, my immediate boss is not pleased with my work and has told me to improve on my work on a few occasions. I feel indignant as I am already putting in more than 80 hours each week. I think that I ought to be given more time to learn the ropes as I am new to corporate work. To make matters worse, my girlfriend is not understanding and accuses me of neglecting her. It has become so bad that I am thinking of quitting if the situation does not improve. Should I really quit my current job?

As for the relationship with your colleagues, we would advise that you take the initiative to make small talk whenever appropriate and take it from there. If your colleagues continue to be aloof, you may want to ponder about why they are behaving this way. It may be that the problem lies with the company culture (eg management frowning on small talk during office hours etc). However, it is equally possible that your body language or your words when you first started work could have unwittingly sent a wrong message and caused a misunderstanding. If so, you might want to consider clearing the air. As for the relationship with your girlfriend, it may be advisable to let her know that while you hate to neglect her, you would need to give priority to your work for the next few months. Ultimately, it is all about time management and managing your priorities – it is definitely possible to spend quality time with your girlfriend, friends and family without compromising on the standards of your work.

Troubled Waters Dear Troubled Waters, Your predicament is not unexpected. It is only natural that you are finding it difficult to adjust to a new environment and having difficulty engaging your other colleagues since you have just started work. We suggest that you approach your immediate boss and have a discussion with him and find out which aspect(s) of your work you need to improve on. This will allow you to better identify the area(s) for improvement and work on them efficiently. You may also want to let your boss know that you require more time to meet the standards that he demands but do bear in mind that your firm cannot wait indefinitely for you to perform to expectations. You would have to rise to the occasion as fast as possible and prove your value to your firm.

Any decision about whether to quit is not to be taken lightly, lest you be perceived as a job-hopper at the next interview. You may also want to think about why you decided to switch from litigation practice to corporate work in the first place. If you think you are more suited to be a litigator, then it would be advisable to return to an environment that you are much more familiar with. If you believe that corporate work would pay off in the long run, persevere and you are likely to be rewarded for your hard work in due course. If you find your work difficult now, it may be due to unfamiliarity and lack of experience. Over time, things would likely get better. Wishing you the best! Amicus Agony

Singapore Law Gazette September 2015

37 Columns The Young Lawyer Dear Amicus Agony, I am currently doing my training contract. I have a feeling that my boss does not want to commit to informing me whether the firm would be retaining my services. I feel that it is unfair for me to wait any longer as it is nearing the end of my six-month stint. My boss always gives the excuse that she is busy and unable to review my work performance, therefore she is unable to give me an answer as to whether I will be offered a permanent position as an associate. I hear that many of my friends in other firms already know whether they will be retained. Should I start applying to other firms for a position as a junior associate? I am worried that if I am not retained at my firm, I would have difficulty finding alternative employment due to the less than bullish market. However, I am also concerned that if my boss discovers that I have applied to other firms, she may think that I am not keen to stay on and there goes my chances of being retained in my present firm. Dilemma Dear Dilemma, You are indeed in an unenviable situation and you have to tread carefully to make sure your interests are protected. Admittedly, it would be difficult to get a clear answer

from your boss and you might even come across as being impertinent if you attempt to push your boss for an answer. On the other hand, if you are informed at the last minute that your services would not be required, it would be unfair to you and may result in your being unable to secure alternative employment at short notice. You have not mentioned whether there are other practice trainees in your firm. Have they already been notified about their retention? If they have been notified, this may not bode well for you as your firm may be putting you on the waiting list pending confirmed recruitment of another associate. If you are the sole trainee or the other trainees have also not been informed, it may just suggest that your firm’s management is slower to make recruitment decisions, in which case our advice would be to wait for management or your boss to announce the decision. In the interim, you are of course free to apply to other firms but do bear in mind that you run the risk of jeopardising your chances of being retained in your present firm. Ultimately the decision whether or not to take this calculated risk is your call as you will be in the best position to know whether your chances of being retained are high. Wishing you well! Amicus Agony

Young lawyers, the solutions to your problems are now just an e-mail 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. E-mail your problems to [email protected] 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.

Singapore Law Gazette September 2015

38 Columns The Young Lawyer

“So, What Body Part Do You Work on?” I knew they were here, hiding somewhere amongst the crowd. I just had to find them. Not an easy task in such a big crowd. Moving from group to group, mingling with private practice lawyers, in-house counsel, even entrepreneurs and academics, I was on the hunt when I suddenly overheard a remark. “So, what body part do you work on?” Finally, I thought, I had found the doctors! I was at the Annual Lawyer-Doctor Networking Session 2015 held on 1 July 2015 at the Lexus Boutique at 33 Leng Kee Road. Jointly organised by the Law Society of Singapore’s Young Lawyers Committee and the Singapore Medical Association, this annual event is extremely popular with members of both organisations and this year’s event certainly did not disappoint with a turnout of more than 150 participants. Attendees were treated to drinks and delicious savoury canapés throughout the evening while mingling with one another. Further eye candy was provided in the form of the diverse range of Lexus luxury cars on display, including the super sexy new Lexus RC F. Our generous main sponsor, Lexus Boutique, even extended invitations to participants to test drive some of the cars.

Dr Wong Tien Hua, President of the Singapore Medical Association, then gave a short speech on how the annual lawyer-doctor event has helped members of the two professions get to know each other better and the importance of doctors being aware of their legal rights and obligations and how lawyers can help in this context. Mr Wong Yi, Chairperson of the Law Society’s Young Lawyers Committee, next addressed the participants and concurred with Dr Wong’s remark on the importance of building and maintaining a close relationship between members of both professions. After the speeches, the night was still young and participants continued enjoying the drinks and food amidst interesting conversations. By the time the event was winding down, hours had passed (time really does fly when you’re having fun!) and it was past 9:30pm. To add to their hospitality, representatives of our host Lexus Boutique even assisted attendees who did not drive to the event with calling for cabs – especially useful for those who had imbibed a little too much, thanks to the numerous free-flowing bottles of fine wines! Oh, and the “body part” doctor was an eye specialist.

The evening began in the main showroom, where participants were able to mingle and enjoy the food and drinks while waiting their turn to test drive the cars. Afterwards, participants adjourned to the mezzanine floor to watch two short video clips introducing the Lexus Hybrid technology and the new Lexus NX Turbo.

► Sarita Misir Selvam LLC Member, Young Lawyers Committee E-mail: [email protected]

Chairperson of Young Lawyers Committee, Mr Wong Yi giving a speech to guests

Singapore Law Gazette September 2015

39 Columns The Young Lawyer

President of Singapore Medical Association, Dr Wong Tien Hua giving a speech to guests

Ms Thirlynn Loy from Lexus sharing with guests about Lexus’ Hybrid technology


Guests mingling

Mr & Mrs Michael Chia together with Ms Hany Soh

Singapore Law Gazette September 2015

40 Columns Pro Bono Publico

Pro Bono Outreach Comes Full Circle to Save a Life by drafting the first Constitution of the newly minted nonprofit organisation. Fast forward to 2012, when a young lady lawyer from one of the large law firms was in desperate need of a transplant and when no available match could be found on the BMDP register, she called out to her old NUS law school alumni and fellow Rafflesians to join the register. In response, Norman quickly enrolled the support of his colleagues at Rodyk and the firm ran a donor drive. At the drive, everyone learned the facts about bone marrow donation before taking a few moments to fill out a form and provide a DNA sample via a cheek swab. It was a simple process and they all committed to save the life of any patient, anywhere in the world if found to be a match. The response was tremendous even though everyone was acutely aware that the odds that they would match the young lawyer were just one in 20,000. However, with more than 50 patients waiting for a transplant at any one time, every new donor added to the register could be another life saved.

Norman Ho and Ling Tien Wah, sharing a celebratory moment

Remember those heady days as a fresh graduate working hard – playing harder – and just embarking on a legal career? Coming from a family of doctors, Norman Ho strayed from the well-trodden path of joining the medical profession and instead signed up to become a lawyer. Starting out at Rodyk & Davidson immediately after graduation, Norman rapidly realised that his professional interest lay in the practice of law and so a lifelong career took off. Unfortunately, the excitement of the early days was shattered when he received a call from an old school friend whose son had passed away from leukaemia. His friend’s grief was compounded by the fact that the young boy could have been saved if only there had been a transplant donor for him. This loss sparked the beginning of the Bone Marrow Donor Programme (“BMDP”), a Singapore charity committed to saving the lives of patients who need a bone marrow transplant to survive. Norman stepped in to help a friend and long before the days of pro bono work, he helped

Actively maintaining his support for the BMDP in a number of outreach projects – and of course through providing free professional advice over many years – Norman was thrilled when one of the partners at Rodyk, Ling Tien Wah, was identified as a match for a patient. To Norman, this was tangible delivery on the commitment he made back in 1993 when he stepped in to support a friend and confirmed a couple of years earlier when the call went out to help. After his bone marrow donation in May this year, Tien Wah shared his experience from never imagining he would be a match, to the surprise call and then being extremely well looked after throughout the process. Plus as everyone knows, the legal profession is demanding and while it brings its own rewards, nothing compares to having the life-changing opportunity to save the life of another human being. (More details about Tien Wah’s story can be found on the BMDP website.) Completing his personal circle of commitment to a great cause, Norman was elected President of the BMDP at the last AGM. Many of us have heard his disclaimer that the only thing he knows about “typing” is on a computer, the BMDP has committed to recruit and tissue type another 50,000 donors in the next three years. So if you cross paths with Norman or any of the team from Rodyk, be prepared to sign up to save a life or take the BMDP’s mission of hope back to your own organisation and see how your team can

Singapore Law Gazette September 2015

41 Columns Pro Bono Publico make a real difference to someone in the world. In case you are wondering, more than two years post-transplant, our young lady lawyer is doing well and life, in many ways, is back to normal.

The Bone Marrow Donor Programme manages Singapore’s only register of volunteer donors and saves the lives of patients through finding them a matching donor. In the words of the BMDP Patron, Mr K. Shanmugam, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law, “Saving a life with the BMDP is nothing more than a handful of days for you and me, but it represents a lifetime to another person. This gift of courage, friendship and compassion will go a long way”.

► Jane Prior Bone Marrow Donor Programme

Contact the BMDP at 6340 1040 if you and your team would like to help build a life-saving asset for all Singaporeans.

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Singapore Law Gazette September 2015

42 Lifestyle Alter Ego

Why, Mama?

He was 88. Like many of the pioneer generation, he had his share of health problems. And like many of them, he always wanted good health. To nurse his health, he sometimes spent time in the hospital. I have known him for 12 years. He is my father-in-law or Mama as I call him in Tamil. At his last visit to the hospital four months ago, we took it as his usual nursing period, expecting that he would come back in slightly better shape. Two days later, we received a telephone call informing us that his condition was deteriorating. We rushed to the hospital in time to see him being heavily sedated and being wheeled to the Intensive Care Unit. Again, we had no great fear. Just a couple of years ago, he had spent time in that same unit and had recovered. A few hours later, however, another critical call came. We went to the ICU and watched as he slowly faded away. It was painful to see him leaving us like that, slowly but surely. He did not regain consciousness and there was no farewell. He had always been a fighter and always recovered from bouts of bad health. Why did he give up this time? I have always found him adorable and cute. He had a smirk on his face which I liked. I also liked the way he would purse his lips and shake his head endearingly. He was a good

man. He cared about people. I liked him. We had many conversations during my weekly visits to see him at his home and at the hospital. He would share with me about his younger days in Singapore and about his life. During the last visit to the hospital, he was sharing with me about a particular incident when the conversation was suddenly interrupted. It will always remain an unfinished conversation. I feel an emotional affinity to him as he reminds me of my maternal grandfather whom I was close to and who left me when I was 18. To me, it was like a continuation of that relationship. I cried, and felt yet another deep loss when he too left. His leaving was just so sudden, with no warning which makes it very hard to understand and accept. Death brings families together. I spent a lot of time with the Wife’s family during the mourning period. We reminisced, talked and supported each other through the difficult period. We understood each other better in the process. Death is scary. We do not know when it will hit us. No amount of planning for it is going to be enough. As I enter my fifth decade next year, I am starting to worry about my own death. I am unhappy about growing older. There is

Singapore Law Gazette September 2015

43 Lifestyle Alter Ego so much more I want to do in life and I feel I am getting older too fast and getting closer to Death too quickly. I have clearly already lived more than half of my life. The fear is that I do not know when Death will call upon me. Morbid thoughts of how death may come keep cropping up in my mind. Cancer? I even have a coping plan if I am inflicted with cancer. Smile. Be brave and fight hard against it. Air crash? Accident on the road? Dying suddenly in the office? Dying in my sleep? We can choose the way we live but not the way we die. As I grow older, I feel my energy levels getting lower. I feel the body slowing down and showing signs of wear and tear. I now pay more attention to grooming and becoming fit. Vanity is striking me more each day and getting fit is becoming a necessity. Do I have to work till death comes knocking? Oh no, mid-life crisis has arrived. Keeping busy does help to distract me from such thoughts. The Wife and I are also thinking about crafting a Funeral Plan – choosing the photograph for our obituary, the type of coffin, flowers and the rites we wish to have performed during the funeral. If we can make a lasting power of attorney and draw up a will during our life time, we do not see why we cannot plan our own funeral. It will also not put stress on our families during their bereavement. I can visualise my wake and funeral. Typical Hindu wakes are held at the deceased’s home where he has lived in and makes his final journey from. Grief is shown openly. Hindus also believe in reincarnation. When a husband passes away, the widow is kept out of view in Hindu society until the first anniversary of his death. She cannot attend joyous

celebrations. Even after that period, there is a certain taboo placed on widows which to me is inappropriate in the modern age we live in. However, for many, these traditions and customs are important even in modern Singapore. One of the wishes in my Funeral Plan would be that the Wife should continue her life the same way even after my demise. The thought of not leaving behind children bothers me as well. How will I be remembered? Leaving a legacy has become important to me. There is a sudden rush to want to do many things and a strong desire to really live life. Do I really want to work till I die, I asked the Wife. “Well, you can choose not to work,” she replied. “Can you lower your standard of living and live a simpler life?” she asked with a knowing smile. Like many lawyers, the wants keep becoming needs. How would I want to be remembered when I am gone? As a person who really cares for others, I have decided. It is odd that people are not appreciated better while they are alive. Why not celebrate people and their lives during their lifetime rather than after they are gone? I do not fear Death. I just do not like the manner that it can strike, without any notice. On the brighter side, it reminds us of the true meaning and importance of life and how it should be lived, a reminder we need so very often.

► Rajan Chettiar Rajan Chettiar LLC E-mail: [email protected]

Singapore Law Gazette September 2015

44 Lifestyle Food

Peranakan Delights

Walking into House of Peranakan Petit on a Friday evening after work was like taking a trip down memory lane. It has been years since I have eaten good, wholesome, homecooked peranakan food, ever since my grandma passed away. I have had my share of hits and misses of peranakan food in restaurants since then. With that in mind, dinner at House of Peranakan Petit with a good friend after a long week at work was like coming home to a familiar place, after having been away for a while.

display her Peranakan-inspired art in the restaurant. On the top shelf were orchids in green vases, creating a hue consisting of traditional peranakan colours, in particular turquoise. The seating area is cosy and intimate, sitting up to 30 people at any one time. The place was bustling and the crowd varied – families, big and small groups of friends, and (possibly) tourists too, all gathered at their tables enjoying a warm hearty meal. We felt like guests having dinner at a friend’s house!

House of Peranakan Petit is situated on the ground floor of a three-storey shophouse in Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru – a former peranakan enclave that is now associated with hipster cafes. Upon entering, I noticed a cabinet where various peranakan designed plates were on display. To showcase and support peranakan art, the owners are collaborating with young peranakan artist, Carolyn Law, to

Bee Leng, the daughter of Bob Seah (the owner), welcomed and brought us to our seats by the window. Her warm hospitality kick-started this authentic dining experience. Bee Leng was dressed in traditional peranakan wear – Nyonya kebaya top, paired with a contemporary bottom. The menu for the evening looked tantalising – Starters: Otak Otak; Mains: Scallop Lemak, Ayam Buah Keluak, Curry Crayfish;

Singapore Law Gazette September 2015

45 Lifestyle Food and Desserts: Durian Chendol, Gula Melaka Sago Pudding with Coconut Ice Cream. Bee Leng’s father and owner Bob Seah, a fourth generation Baba, grew up watching his Nonya mother cook. At House of Peranakan Petit, he has crafted a menu consisting not only of the traditional Nonya dishes, but also various peranakan inspired dishes. One such dish is Scallop Lemak, which we had the opportunity to try. While the food was being prepared in the kitchen, Bee Leng served us Ginger Lemongrass tea, which came in a small teapot with an accompanying cup. The tea was strongly brewed and the warm fragrance of lemongrass and ginger perked us up after a long day at work, invigorated our taste buds and prepared us for more. The first dish to arrive was the Otak Otak, a secret family recipe containing more than 20 ingredients, with the base ingredient being pure mackerel fish, steamed to healthy and tasty perfection. The Otak Otak was tasty and packed full of spices. Not only did the spices not drown out the taste of the mackerel fish, it brought out the flavour of the fish in a myriad of interesting ways – it was spicy, tangy, and chewy all in one bite, and melts in the mouth.

The main dishes arrived soon thereafter, the first of which was Ayam Buah Keluak, a classic peranakan dish consisting of braised chicken in a gravy of turmeric, lemongrass and buah keluak, an Indonesian black nut. The preparation process is time consuming and laborious – the nut is scrubbed and soaked in water for two days, and the black flesh of the nut then taken out and blended with spices. To complete the preparation and cooking process, the stuffed nuts, chicken and rempah (spices consisting of up to seven ingredients) have to be simmered for half a day. Having grown up with ayam buah keluak served at the dinner table, this was actually my first time eating the dish at a restaurant. The buah keluak nut was flavourful and tasty. The dish evoked a sense of nostalgia in me, reminding me of meals from days long ago around my grandma’s dining table. What is special about House of Peranakan Petit is that it not only serves up hearty traditional peranakan dishes, but also offers peranakan-inspired dishes with a modern twist. Scallop Lemak is one such dish, consisting of panseared Japanese scallops fused with lemongrass, turmeric and galangal. The scallops were juicy and succulent and

The cosy interior of the restaurant

Singapore Law Gazette September 2015

46 Lifestyle Food came served on a bed of lettuce with fragrant gravy poured over it. Next came another seafood dish, Curry Crayfish. A signature dish consisting of crayfish sautéed in an awardwinning curry gravy, topped with cabbage and a sunnyside up egg, curry crayfish is a treat to the taste buds. The juxtaposition of the crayfish with the egg yolk and cabbage, and the crayfish gravy which was a nice mix of spiciness and sourness, satisfied my craving and left me wanting second helpings. While waiting for dessert to arrive, I took a closer look at their menu and saw many other dishes that I would like to try the next time I visit. Amongst those that caught my eye

were dishes I have had at home and long come to associate with comfort food – Nonya Chap Chye (a vegetarian dish of cabbage, beancurd skin and black fungus in bean paste), Ngoh Hiang (a unique roll of minced pork and prawns deepfried to a crispy golden brown), Itek Tim (a classic Peranakan soup of duck, pork ribs and salted vegetables), Babi Ponteh (a classic Nonya stew of succulent lean meat in a gravy of beanpaste and garlic) and Garam Assam Fish (chermin fillet in a tangy gravy of tamarind, brinjal and lady’s fingers). An interesting dish that I noticed on the menu was Babi Assam, a rare and unique dish of belly pork flavoured with belimbing (sour fruit), bean paste and traditional spices. Belimbing is not new to me – I have heard my aunties mention about

Curry Crayfish

Scallop Lemak

Ayam Buah Keluak

Singapore Law Gazette September 2015

47 Lifestyle Food the belimbing fruit on various occasions, and my dad once made belimbing jam from scratch. This was, however, the first time I have seen belimbing used in a main course, and I look forward to trying it the next time.

Dessert arrived soon enough. My friend and I shared the Durian Chendol and the Gula Melaka Sago Pudding with Coconut Ice Cream. The home-made chendol was a nice pastel green, unlike the more artificially coloured chendol I have seen at other restaurants. While I am not usually a fan of durian, the coconut ice cream and chendol together with durian puree won me over. I found the Durian Chendol really interesting, as the home-made chendol was served with coconut ice cream instead of the usual shaved ice, and topped with durian puree. The coconut ice cream was soft and creamy, and it offered a good contrast to the stronger taste of the durian puree. Much to my delight, the other dessert (Gula Melaka Sago Pudding) came with coconut ice cream too, and salted gula melaka drizzled on top of the pandan-infused sago pudding. We finished the two bowls of dessert in no time. I found myself looking at the dessert menu, and found mention of other desserts such as Pulot Hitam (black glutinous rice topped with coconut milk) and Ubi Kayu (steamed tapioca balls topped with grated coconut). There are so many other good dishes to try, and I found myself mentally planning my next visit already! House of Peranakan Petit is a nice place to relax with friends and family and wind down in the evening after a long day. It is a restaurant that upholds tradition and embraces modernity at the same time, as seen from the mix between the traditional peranakan dishes and peranakan-inspired fusion ones on the menu. With good food, good company and a pleasant and cosy environment, there is nothing much more one can ask for. It is a place I would bring my family to for gatherings over a hearty peranakan meal on days we would rather not cook, a place I would bring friends to for a cosy catch up, and also a place I would bring my foreign friends to for a taste of food that is uniquely Singaporean and South-east Asian. If you are planning a visit here, do call in advance to reserve a table as seats are limited and may be snapped up fast! House of Peranakan Petit Address: 42 Eng Hoon Street (Tiong Bahru Estate), Singapore 169785 Tel: 6222 1719 Opening Hours: Lunch 12-3pm; Dinner 6-10pm (Closed on Tuesday) Web: www.houseofperanakan.com.sg Facebook: www.facebook.com/houseofperanakan #houseofperanakan #houseofperanakanpetit

► Claire Tan Our charming host Seah Bee Leng

Legal Counsel

Singapore Law Gazette September 2015

48 Notices Disciplinary Tribunal Reports Pursuant to s 93(5) of the Legal Profession Act, the Council of the Law Society is required to publish the findings and determination of the Disciplinary Committee in the Singapore Law Gazette or in such other media as the Council may determine to adequately inform the public of the same. This summary is published pursuant to the requirement of s 93(5) of the Legal Profession Act.

Disciplinary Tribunal Reports In the Matter of Udeh Kumar s/o Sethuraju, an Advocate and Solicitor

represented the Defendant … (details of non-attendance) … (details of non-compliance with Court’s directions).

The Disciplinary Tribunal has determined under s 93(1) (b) of the Legal Profession Act (the “Act”) that, while no cause of sufficient gravity exists for disciplinary action under s 83 of the Act, the advocate and solicitor should be ordered to pay a penalty sufficient and appropriate to the misconduct committed.

The Respondent admitted to the charge and the Statement of Facts in its entirety but informed the Disciplinary Tribunal that he had been the subject of two prior Disciplinary Tribunal proceedings, one of which bore a similar nature to the present proceedings and where he was levied with a penalty of $10,000. In mitigation, the Respondent referred to his heavy workload, his lack of intentional disrespect/ dishonesty and that he had compensated the Complainant for the costs arising from the delays. Further, he informed the DT that Council had reprimanded him for his poor case management prior to the present Disciplinary Tribunal proceedings and he submitted that, “a reprimand would be more than adequate in the present circumstances”. The Respondent also informed the Disciplinary Tribunal that, between September and October 2013, he had admitted a partner and two legal assistants into his practice.

The complaint arose from a divorce proceedings and the complainant was the wife of the Respondent’s client. The complainant alleged that the Respondent had on 14 occasions either failed to attend Court or was late for the hearings and that he failed to comply with the Court’s directions as far as deadlines were concerned. At the onset of the proceedings, the Society preferred a charge against the Respondent, which covered all 14 events of non-attendance and late attendance of Court as well as non-compliance with the Court’s directions. During a prehearing conference, the Disciplinary Tribunal suggested to the Law Society’s Counsel to consider whether some of the events detailed in the charge should be parts of the charge and consequently the Society reduced the events from 14 to seven, of which four were for non-attendance in Court and three for non-compliance with the Court’s directions. The Respondent did not object to the amendment and accordingly the following amended charge was preferred against him:

First Charge You, Udeh Kumar s/o Sethuraju, are charged with misconduct unbefitting an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession under s 83(2)(h) of the Legal Profession Act (Cap 161) on account of chronic non-attendance and non-compliance with court directions in Divorce No.742/2011, in which you

Findings of the Disciplinary Tribunal The Disciplinary Tribunal noted that the Respondent had been previously counselled by the then Chief District Judge for his repeated failures to and lateness in his attendance and it would appear that despite the penalty levied against him, he remained recalcitrant in his ways. In any event, a heavy workload is not excuse or mitigation for poor case management when such repeated failures reflect poorly on his diligence and/or responsibility towards his clients. The Disciplinary Tribunal is mindful that the Complainant was not the Respondent’s client but his duties vis-à-vis case management in this regard does extend to the opposing parties and his defaults affects these parties. As to his contention that there was no intentional disrespect or dishonesty on his part, the Disciplinary Tribunal noted that the Respondent should realise that his conduct was disrespectful to the Court and disruptive to the efficient progress of the proceedings and one which was

Singapore Law Gazette September 2015

49 Notices Disciplinary Tribunal Reports unacceptable and unbefitting of an advocate and solicitor. The Disciplinary Tribunal noted that the Respondent’s prior conduct was relevant to the Disciplinary Tribunal’s decision since they are indicative that the Respondent had failed to deal with Court matters in a proper fashion for more than one year prior to the misconduct detailed in this present complaint. In so far as the Respondent’s plea that a reprimand would suffice for the present matter, the Disciplinary Tribunal found this totally inappropriate when no reasons to justify this were advanced by his counsel. There was no reason for him to expect his misconduct in the present matter to be treated as less serious than his previous infraction or that he should be dealt with more leniently. The only positive development noted by the Disciplinary Tribunal was that the Respondent had brought in a partner and had employed legal assistants in an effort to put his practice in order. Having taken all matters into account, the Disciplinary Tribunal determined that, whilst no cause of sufficient gravity exists for disciplinary action under s 83 of the Act, the Respondent should be ordered to pay a penalty of $20,000 and costs of $3,000 to the Society pursuant to s 93(1) of the Act.

The Council’s Decision

his wife, Joyce Mirandha (“Mirandha”) were directors and shareholders. The Complainant agreed to buy over MaryAnne for the sum of US$8,000 and renamed it Welldrill Pte Ltd (“Welldrill”). On the Complainant’s instructions, three separate bank accounts in Euros, USD and in Singapore Dollars were opened with UOB Bank and the Respondent was named a signatory to all three accounts and had in his possession all the cheque books. Following the purchase, the Complainant agreed that both the Respondent and Mirandha would remain the registered shareholders as well as nominee directors of Welldrill and hold the shares therein on trust for the complainant. The Respondent agreed that he would act on the Complainant’s instructions and that the Respondent and Miranda will not take part in the management/decision making of Welldrill. Subsequently, the Complainant appointed Olga Voinova (“Olga”) as the third director of Welldrill to assist the Complainant in managing the business. On 24 May 2010, the Respondent and Miranda signed a Declaration of Trust (“DOT”) in favour of the Complainant. The DOT stated that the parties will “at the request and costs of the Complainant transfer the shares of Welldrill Pte Ltd to such person or corporation at such time or in such manner or otherwise deal with the same as the Complainant shall direct or appoint”.

The Disciplinary Tribunal found the Respondent to have conducted himself in a manner that amounts to a misconduct unbefitting of an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or member of an honourable profession within the meaning of s 83(2)(h) of the Legal Profession Act (the “Act”).

The Complainant also appointed “Aspri Associates” to provide corporate secretarial services to Welldrill. Aspri Associates e-mailed the Respondent on 15 March 2011 to provide details/supporting documents for unknown withdrawals from Welldrill’s UOB account from 8 June 2010 to 18 February 2011 totaling US$158,654.60. The Respondent did not reply to the e-mail. On 11 March 2011 Olga informed the Respondent that she wanted the Respondent and Mirandha to transfer the two shares they held in Welldrill to Olga’s investment company pursuant to the aforesaid DOT. The Respondent did not comply and instead, without the Complainant’s knowledge, authorisation or a board resolution, removed Olga from her directorship on 14 March 2012. Subsequently, without the Complainant’s knowledge or authorisation, issued 1,500 shares of $1.00 each to himself and closed all the UOB accounts.

The complaint against the Respondent was that the Respondent had, in his capacity as the appointed shareholder and one nominee director of one Welldrill Pte Ltd, placed himself in a position of conflict and acted against the interests of his client. Sometime in 2010, the Complainant approached the Respondent with the intention of purchasing a shelf company at short notice. The Respondent informed the complainant that he had a dormant company called Mary-Anne Investments Pte Ltd (“Mary-Anne”) incorporated on 16 July 2003 of which he and

When Aspri Associates informed the complainant that they were unable to get the Respondent and Mirandha to execute the transfer of shares in Welldrill, the Complainant retained a firm of solicitors. The solicitors wrote to the Respondent enclosing the transfer documents with a request to transfer the shares as requested by the Complainant. In reply, the Respondent made various allegations and demands. The Respondent engaged a firm of solicitors who engaged in protracted correspondence with the Complainant’s solicitors but nothing was resolved. On 30 May 2012 the

Council, having considered the Disciplinary Tribunal report, resolved to adopt the findings and recommendation of the Disciplinary Tribunal. After considering the mitigation put forth by the Respondent pursuant to s 88(3) of the Act, Council determined to impose a penalty of $15,000 on the Respondent.

In the Matter of Pascal Baylon Netto, an Advocate and Solicitor

Singapore Law Gazette September 2015

50 Notices Disciplinary Tribunal Reports Complainant, as plaintiff, filed Originating Summons (“OS”) No.513/2012/B against the Respondent and Miranda as defendants. The OS, inter alia, prayed for a declaration that on true construction of the DOT, both defendants were to transfer their one share each in Welldrill to Welldrill Holdings being a corporation to which the Plaintiff had directed and/ or requested the defendants to do so.

Welldrill Pte Ltd. You have, therefore, conducted yourself in such a manner that your acts were clearly deemed as a conflict of interests, as well as acting against your client’s interest and such acts were a misconduct unbefitting an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession within the meaning of s 83(2)(h) of the Legal Profession Act.

On 16 November 2012, the High Court recorded a consent order in the OS. The defendants were ordered, amongst others, to transfer their shares to an entity nominated by the Complainant and the Complainant was required to appoint a new local director and company secretary within one month of the execution and return of the forms by the defendants for the transfer of the shares. Further, the order provided that, if called upon to do so, the defendants would consent to the cancellation of the 1,500 shares issued after the company’s corporation and the Complainant would procure the company not to bring any action against the defendants or either of them in respect of or arising out of directorship of the company.

Third Alternative Charge

Six charges pursuant to s 83(2)(h) of the Act were preferred against the Respondent. Six alternative charges were preferred under s 83(2)(b) of the Act. The charges cited breach of specific rules under the Legal Profession (Professional Conduct) Rules in relation to each of the charge:

First Alternative Charge You, Pascal Baylon Netto, are charged that between 27 May 2011 and 4 January 2012, having been appointed as trustee shareholder and nominee director of Welldrill Pte Ltd and of the Complainant, one Volodymyr Bandurchenko, refused to promptly transfer your ownership of the $1.00 paid up share of Welldrill Pte Ltd and cause one Ms Joyce Mirandha, to transfer her one share similarly held in trust for the Complainant. You have, therefore, conducted yourself in such a manner that your acts were clearly deemed as a conflict of interests, as well as acting against your client’s interest and such acts were a misconduct unbefitting an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession within the meaning of s 83(2)(h) of the Legal Profession Act.

Second Alternative Charge You, Pascal Baylon Netto, are charged that you in or about November 2013, having been appointed as trustee shareholder and nominee director of Welldrill Pte Ltd and of the Complainant, one Volodymyr Bandurchenko, unilaterally removed Ms Olga Volnova as director and signatory of

You, Pascal Baylon Netto, are charged that on 1 August 2012, having been appointed as trustee shareholder and nominee director of Welldrill Pte Ltd and of the Complainant, one Volodymyr Bandurchenko, unilaterally issued 1,500 One Dollar Shares to yourself. You have, therefore, conducted yourself in such a manner that your acts were clearly deemed as a conflict of interests, as well as acting against your client’s interest and such acts were a misconduct unbefitting an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession within the meaning of s 83(2)(h) of the Legal Profession Act.

Fourth Alternative Charge You, Pascal Baylon Netto, are charged that in or about March 2013, having been appointed as trustee shareholder and nominee director of Welldrill Pte Ltd and of the Complainant, one Volodymyr Bandurchenko, unilaterally closed all three of Welldrill Pte Ltd’s bank accounts. You have, therefore, conducted yourself in such a manner that your acts were clearly deemed as a conflict of interests, as well as acting against your client’s interest and such acts were a misconduct unbefitting an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession within the meaning of s 83(2)(h) of the Legal Profession Act.

Fifth Alternative Charge You, Pascal Baylon Netto, are charged that from September 2010 to January 2011, having been appointed as trustee shareholder and nominee director of Welldrill Pte Ltd and of the Complainant, one Volodymyr Bandurchenko, failed to render an accounting of the withdrawals from Welldrill Pte Ltd’s OUB bank account. You have, therefore, conducted yourself in such a manner that your acts were clearly deemed as a conflict of interests, as well as acting against your client’s interest and such acts were a misconduct unbefitting an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession within the meaning of s 83(2)(h) of the Legal Profession Act.

Singapore Law Gazette September 2015

51 Notices Disciplinary Tribunal Reports Sixth Alternative Charge You, Pascal Baylon Netto, are charged that on or about 30 July 2010 to 7 December 2010, having been appointed as trustee shareholder and nominee director of Welldrill Pte Ltd and of the Complainant, one Volodymyr Bandurchenko, took out loans made to yourself, one Ms Joyce Mirandha, and a company owned by yourself and Ms Joyce Miranda. You have, therefore, conducted yourself in such a manner that your acts were clearly deemed as a conflict of interests, as well as acting against your client’s interest and such acts were a misconduct unbefitting an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession within the meaning of s 83(2)(h) of the Legal Profession Act. At the hearing the Respondent disputed each and every of the charges preferred against him and argued that since the OS had fully resolved the parties’ dispute, it was mischievous and malicious of the Complainant to revive the same through the complaint. His counsel asserted that the Respondent was not acting as an advocate and solicitor throughout his dealings with the Complainant and that the Inquiry Committee had earlier absolved the Respondent of dishonesty in the conduct of the matter.

Findings of the Disciplinary Tribunal The Disciplinary Tribunal found that the Law Society had proven all six charges against the Respondent. The Disciplinary Tribunal found that the Respondent acted as an advocate and solicitor in the preparation of the DOT, that

he did not at any time inform the Complainant that he was acting as a private individual in their dealings on Welldrill and not as an advocate and solicitor. The Disciplinary Tribunal was of the view that even if the Respondent was acting in his personal capacity, this would still not exonerate the Respondent as the Courts have consistently held that dishonourable conduct as a man would still breach s 83(2) (h) of the Act (Law Society of Singapore v Ahmad Khalis Bin Abdul Ghani (2006 4 SLR(R) 308)). The Disciplinary Tribunal found that the Respondent had committed wrongful acts in that he made unauthorised withdrawals from Welldrill’s bank accounts and that Aspri Associates had no alternative but to make a subsequent retrospective justification of the sums taken by the Respondent as director’s loans. This exercise did not legitimise the Respondent’s wrongful acts. Accordingly, the Disciplinary Tribunal found that pursuant to s 93(1) of the Act there was cause of sufficient gravity for disciplinary action under s 83(2)(h) of the Act.

The Council’s Decision Council resolved to adopt the findings and recommendations of the Disciplinary Tribunal and accordingly applied under s 98 of the Act for an order that the Respondent show cause as to why he should not be struck off the roll, suspended, pay a penalty and or be censured.

Decision of the Court of Three Judges The Court of Three Judges ordered the Respondent to be struck off the roll of Advocates and Solicitors on 7 April 2015.

Singapore Law Gazette September 2015

52 Notices Professional Moves New Law Practices Mr Sim Mong Soo has commenced practice under the name and style of Sim Mong Soo Law Practice on 3 August 2015 at the following address and contact numbers: 123 Geylang Road #02-03 Singapore 389223 Tel: 6743 8600 Fax: 6743 7400 E-mail: [email protected] Ms Moi Sok Ling has commenced practice under the name and style of MOI Law Corporation on 8 August 2015 at the following address and contact numbers: 50 Raffles Place Level 37 Singapore Land Tower Singapore 048623 Tel: 6646 0238 Fax: 6829 7070 E-mail: [email protected] Website: www.moi.legal

Dissolution of Law Practices The law practice of Loke & Seah dissolved on 31 March 2015. The Law Society has been advised that there are no outstanding matters pertaining to the former law practice. The law practice of Wee Ramayah & Partners dissolved on 31 July 2015. Outstanding matters of the former law practice of Wee Ramayah & Partners have, with effect from 1 August 2015, been taken over by: Quahe Woo & Palmer LLC 180 Clemenceau Avenue #02-02 Haw Par Centre Singapore 239922 Tel: 6622 0366 Fax: 6622 0377

Mr Wee Ewe Lay Laurence John (formerly of Wee Ramayah & Partners) has joined Quahe Woo & Palmer LLC as Director from 1 August 2015. Mr Rajaram Ramiah (formerly of Wee Ramayah & Partners) has joined Quahe Woo & Palmer LLC as Consultant from 1 August 2015. The law practice of Christina Goh & Co dissolved on 2 August 2015. Outstanding matters of the former law practice of Christina Goh & Co have, with effect from 3 August 2015, been taken over by: Wee, Tay & Lim LLP 133 New Bridge Road #19-09/10 Chinatown Point Singapore 059413 Tel: 6533 2228 Fax: 6535 7813 E-mail: [email protected] Ms Goh Siok Leng (formerly of Christina Goh & Co) has joined Wee, Tay & Lim LLP as Consultant with effect from 3 August 2015.

Change of Name of Law Practice The firm name of Jemaine Han & Company has been changed to J. Han Law Practice with effect from 1 July 2015 and is operating at the following address and contact numbers: 133 Cecil Street #09-03 Keck Seng Tower Singapore 069535 Tel: 6337 0522 Fax: 6399 1202 E-mail: [email protected]

Singapore Law Gazette September 2015

Conversion of Law Practices Tommy Choo Mark Go & Partners has converted to a law corporation, Tommy Choo, Mark Go LLC, on 1 August 2015 and is operating at the following address and contact numbers: 151 Chin Swee Road #14-15/16 Manhattan House Singapore 169876 Tel: 6532 2455 Fax: 6538 9850 E-mail: [email protected] The following are Directors of Tommy Choo, Mark Go LLC: Mr Tommy Choo Tuck Soon and Mr Ling Leong Hui (both formerly of Tommy Choo Mark Go & Partners). Mr Poots Laurence James (formerly of Tommy Choo Mark Go & Partners) has joined Tommy Choo, Mark Go LLC as Consultant with effect from 1 August 2015.

Change of Law Practices’ Addresses Alpha Law LLC Main Office Blk 190 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh #04-508A Singapore 310190 Tel: 6255 7707 / 6538 4727 Fax: 6356 7501 / 6538 4728 E-mail: [email protected] (wef 13 September 2015) Arielle Law Corporation 7 Temasek Boulevard #12-07 Suntec Tower One Singapore 038987 Tel: 6268 8963 Fax: 6268 8643 E-mail: [email protected] Website: www.ariellelaw.com (wef 3 August 2015)

53 Notices Information on Wills CK Tan & Co No. 50 Armenian Street #04-03 Wilmer Place Singapore 179938 Tel: 6339 8048 Fax: 6334 7933 E-mail: [email protected] (wef 14 August 2015)

Lim Swee Tee & Company Blk 336 Smith Street #07-304 New Bridge Centre Singapore 050336 Tel: 6438 2788 Fax: 6248 0682 E-mail: [email protected] (wef 27 July 2015)

Surian & Partners 101 Upper Cross Street #07-02 People's Park Centre Singapore 058357 Tel: 6533 1393 / 6225 4911 Fax: 6533 2161 / 6254 0211 E-mail: [email protected] (wef 11 August 2015)

Chin Patrick & Co. Blk 336 Smith Street #04-301 New Bridge Road Singapore 050336 Tel: 6325 6088 Fax: 6225 2998 E-mail: [email protected] (wef 13 July 2015)

Ravi & Associates 50 Armenian Street #04-03 Wilmer Place Singapore 179938 Tel: 6337 7909 Fax: 6337 1613 E-mail: [email protected] (wef 25 August 2015)

Tan Shiew Hwa & Co. 200 Jalan Sultan #04-04 Textile Centre Singapore 199018 Tel: 6294 0518 Fax: 6294 0948 E-mail: [email protected] (wef 15 August 20)

Gloria James-Civetta & Co 25 North Bridge Road #03-02 EFG Bank Building Singapore 179104 Tel: 6337 0469 Fax: 6337 0463 E-mail: [email protected] Website: www.gjclaw.com.sg (wef 15 May 2015)

Sim Law Practice LLC 36 Robinson Road #12-03 City House Singapore 068877 Tel: 6222 0933 Fax: 6222 3816 E-mail: [email protected] (wef 13 August 2015)

Virtus Law LLP 1 Raffles Place #18-61 One Raffles Place Tower 2 Singapore 048616 Tel: 6737 1234 Fax: 6339 4991 E-mail: [email protected] Website: www.virtus-law.com (wef 13 July 2015)

James Masih & Company 151 Chin Swee Road #02-12 Manhattan House Singapore 169876 Tel: 6227 1046 Fax: 6227 1048 E-mail: [email protected] (wef 31 July 2015)

Information on Wills Name of Deceased (Sex) NRIC Date of Death

Last Known Address

Solicitors/Contact Person


Ng Ah Hai (M) Malaysian ID No. 650316-015183 22 June 2012

No. 15 Jalan Lawa 7 Taman Pelangi Indah Ulu Tiram, Johor 81800

Tan Leroy & Chandra 6429 0788


Cheong Pui Ying (F) S0897860C 6 July 2015

Blk 51 Telok Blangah Drive #12-116 Singapore 100051

Andrew Chua & Co 6325 8121


Chia Chui Hoon (F) S1267900I 24 July 2015

Blk 114 Potong Pasir Avenue 1 #06-864 Singapore 350114

Tan Leroy & Chandra 6429 0788


Singapore Law Gazette September 2015

54 Notices Information on Wills Name of Deceased (Sex) NRIC Date of Death

Last Known Address

Solicitors/Contact Person


Soh Ah Sin (F) S0839508Z 29 July 2015

Blk 123 Pending Road #06-58 Singapore 670123

Jayne Wong Advocates & Solicitors 6466 9221


Tay Seng Chuan (M) S1620423D 18 August 2015

Blk 107 Yishun Ring Road #03-209 Singapore 760107

Jayne Wong Advocates & Solicitors 6466 9221


Su Soa Sing (M) S0876375E 4 June 2012

Blk 6 Holland Close #03-18 Singapore 271006

T G Chan Law Practice 6536 3346


Brown Pereira & Co 6536 7176


How Ah Kow @ Howe Kow Chong 132 Lorong L Telok Kurau #01-06 (M) Singapore 425569 S1328491A 9 January 2014 Loh Geng Yu (Lu Gengyu) (M) S8241329D 12 July 2015

Blk 409A Fernvale Road #20-40 Singapore 791409

Summit Law Corporation 6597 8363


Leow Sin Sai (M) S0029723B 2 May 2015

Blk 111 Whampoa Road #08-39 Singapore 321111

Hoh Law Corporation 6553 5186


Soon Et Tin @ Suen Y-Chern (M) S0003821J 5 April 2015

51 Thomson Hill Singapore 574817

Loh Eben Ong LLP 6338 1810

OET/an/2015/4821 (L71)(mr)

Song Guek Ann (F) S0089283A 18 April 2015

Blk 33 Marine Crescent #09-99 Singapore 440033

S Skandarajah & Co 6235 9561

SK/DR/0248/2015 (AHPBS)

Ha Ching Wah (M) S1243147C 21 July 2015

12 Moonbeam Walk Singapore 277225

Vicki Heng Law Corporation 6219 9027


Chia Kim Choo (F) S1060106A 19 January 2015

3 Chatsworth Avenue Singapore 249847

Wee Swee Teow & Co. 6532 2966


Tham Yuit Mui (F) S0244004J 25 May 2015

Blk 14 Marine Terrace #20-182 Singapore 440014

Jayne Wong Advocates & Solicitors 6466 9221


Perumal Bamah (F) S1147433J 17 June 2015

Blk 25 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 9 #04-15 Singapore 569788

Thangavelu LLC 6323 2565


Lu Boon Chiah (M) S0221535G 14 July 2015

Blk 54 Chai Chee Street #14-857 Singapore 460054

Malkin & Maxwell LLP 6327 1088


Law practices are encouraged to submit their Information on Wills requests via the online form available at our website www.lawsociety.org.sg > For Members > eForms > Information on Wills. Using the online form ensures that requests are processed quicker and details published with accuracy.

Singapore Law Gazette September 2015

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of a specialised area 30019402_62011) of practice, you will the enforcement of be a member of a the civil penalty regime team responsible for investigate potenti al market misconduct, under the Securities and Futures Act conduct litigation on behalf of the MAS including insider trading and market (SFA). You will for the award of civil manipulation and penalties for market You can expect to misconduct. be enforcement agencie challenged intellectually and profess s. ionally as you work at play, as you serve You will gain insight into how capital markets participants closely with other regulators and as the legal landscape an important part of MAS' enhanced operate, and the rules enforcement regime for this area of Law, 6LQJDSRUHDVDßQDQ under the SFA. Your and regulations FLDOFHQWUHDQGHQVXUL which is fundamental in safeguarding work will shape QJLWVFRQWLQXHGJURZ and enhancing the Requirements: Wh. reputation of Ý Recognised Law Degree and admitt Ý At least 1 to 3 ed years of Civil/Commer to legal practice in Singapore Ý Willing to be a cial Litigation experie pioneer in an emergi nce Ý Ability to be innova ng area of practice tive and creative in solving problems Application: To apply, please log on to our career page at http://www.mas.gov.s Information on the g/careers other positions is also available at the Singap Closing Date: 7 Augus ore Public Service Job Portal at www.c t 2011 areers.gov.sg.




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8+ PQE



6-13 PQE

A top tier international law firm is seeking a senior patents lawyer to assist in pulling together a regional patents practice. The workload will consist of high quality matters from blue chip clients. Candidates will have already developed strong expertise and client relationships in patents in order to take on this role. (SLG 12562)

Major Investment Company is looking for a lawyer to advice on anti-trust matters relating to its global investments. The ideal candidate should be qualified in a commonwealth law jurisdiction with at least 6-13 years PQE, and with strong experience advising companies on merger control regimes globally or in the region. (SLG 12332)




4-6 PQE


8-12 PQE

A leading law firm is seeking a mid-level Singapore qualified lawyer to join its highly regarded international arbitration and commercial disputes group. Candidates with expertise in shipping contentious or arbitration will be highly favoured. (SLG 12572)

Global Healthcare Corporation is looking for a legal counsel to manage and oversee all legal matters across Asia Pacific. The potential candidate should have extensive range of corporate commercial experience, ideally already in-house in the healthcare or biotech industry with a regional coverage. Due to the nature of their business, proficiency in Mandarin is required. (SLG 12253)




5+ PQE

Global firm is seeking a senior Singapore qualified banking associate to join its Tier 1 team for general banking and finance matters. This individual will need to be sufficiently able to run their own deals and supervise more junior lawyers in the team. (SLG 12582)



5+ PQE

Several leading international law firms are seeking experienced lawyers who already have a background of working in knowledge management or who are looking to switch to a PSL role. Corporate, banking and tax specialists will be of particular interest to these firms. (SLG 12518, 12566 & 12567)



2-4 PQE

A leading international law firm is looking for a junior associate to join its TMT/IP team. The firm is equally open to lawyers from an IT or IP background provided that they have good firm experience and are willing to take on a broad mix of work. (SLG 12558)



1-2 PQE

A top tier US law firm is a seeking a junior corporate lawyer to join its dynamic team in Singapore. First class academics and training are essential for candidates applying to this role. The quality of the work and training in this role will be second to none. (SLG 12629)


5-10 PQE

A leading regional healthcare service provider is looking for a legal counsel to advise the business on a broad range of matters across several jurisdictions, including joint ventures and acquisitions, as well as general corporate commercial matters. The ideal candidate should have at least 5 years’ experience in both M&A transactional and general commercial work. (SLG 12485)



4-8 PQE

Global Insurance Corporation seeks a legal counsel to advise the business on all legal matters across the Asia-Pacific region, including negotiating on all commercial contracts, providing support on any M&A activities, and advising on any litigation or regulatory matters. The ideal candidate should have at least 4 years of corporate legal experience, ideally with an understanding of the insurance industry. (SLG 12587)



3-7 PQE

Global IP organization seeks a legal counsel to manage their business across the APAC region based in Singapore. The role is responsible for developing, managing and enforcing the compliance policies across the region, including taking actions against IP infringement. Candidate should have at least 3 PQE with experience in contentious or non-contentious IP work. (SLG 12494)



3-5 PQE

Global financial institution seeks a junior to mid-level lawyer with experience in corporate TMT work to join their established legal team. The ideal candidate should be familiar with a range of IT outsourcing, data protection/privacy and intellectual property work. (SLG 12150)

These are a small selection of our current vacancies. If you require further details or wish to have a confidential discussion about your career, market trends, or would like salary information then please contact one of our consultants in Singapore (EA Licence: 07C5776): Lucy Twomey or Jean Teh on +65 6557 4163. To email your details in confidence then please contact us on [email protected]

Hong Kong




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ASSISTANT DIRECTOR (LEGAL SERVICE) / LEGAL COUNSEL Responsibilities You will be part of the People’s Association’s (PA) Legal Division. You will provide legal advice and support to PA, its Divisions and Grassroots Organisations (GROs) in all aspects of its functions and duties including: (a)

Working with senior management to develop and implement policies and actions;

(b) Drafting of regulatory instruments such as legislations and subsidiary legislations under the purview of PA; (c)

Providing legal advice and interpretation with respect to various legislations administered by PA, as well as all other laws of Singapore as required by PA in the discharge of its duties and functions;

(d) Drafting, reviewing and providing sound legal advice on a broad range of legal issues; (e) Drafting, vetting and advising on general corporate and contractual matters including, but not limited to, tender documents, MOUs, tenancy agreements and other commercial documents; (f)

Developing and setting in place internal legal processes and guidance for the various PA Divisions and GROs, including setting up a repository of legal advice rendered to PA;

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Private Practice Roles banking . Singapore

restructuring . Singapore


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projects . Singapore

corporate . Singapore



shipping finance . Singapore

construction . Singapore



In-House Roles Legal Counsel . Singapore


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trade finance . Singapore

legal counsel . Singapore


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Employment Counsel . Singapore

derivatives . Singapore

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funds/regulatory . Singapore

regulatory counsel . Singapore



legal/company secretary . Singapore

competition/anti-trust . Singapore



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COMPLIANCE ROLES FOR LAWYERS The Compliance market in Singapore is growing rapidly and there is significant demand for professionals with a legal background. The scope of work in compliance is wide-ranging and includes: anti-money laundering; counter-terrorism financing; anti-bribery and corruption; ethics and governance; conflicts; monitoring and surveillance; enforcement; and competition and sanctions. These opportunities are not confined to a particular industry. Over the past year alone, Taylor Root has received instructions from banks, financial institutions, multi-national corporations and law firms both in Singapore and overseas, for compliance officers at differing levels of seniority. Many of our clients are keen to consider lawyers interested in pursuing a different career path. Here is a selection of current opportunities that would be appropriate for lawyers:


What is your worth? Request a copy of our Compliance Salary Survey from taylorroot.com

A US headquartered investment bank is seeking an experienced securities compliance officer to provide coverage to a myriad of business units in Singapore covering a broad range of products including commodities, foreign exchange, equities and fixed income. Legal/ regulatory experience with products and familiarity with the Singapore securities markets would be an advantage.

MULTI-NATIONAL CORPORATION - singapore A globally renowned FTSE100 MNC is embarking on their first Compliance Director hire for the region to oversee the implementation of the firm’s code of business policies and to identify and mitigate issues relating to anti-bribery and corruption, and trade sanctions. The successful hire must demonstrate a strong appreciation of underlying legal frameworks, and compliance and risk issues.

GLOBAL LAW FIRM - singapore Working closely with the risk and compliance team in London and the firm’s offices within Asia, this role will involve advising and training employees on anti-money laundering and risk issues (including national and international compliance regulations). Stakeholder engagement with lawyers and non-fee-earning personnel at all levels will be crucial.

If you are a lawyer who is keen on embracing a new career challenge away from fee-earning, or already working in compliance but interested to hear about ŽƚŚĞƌŶĞǁŽƉƉŽƌƚƵŶŝƟĞƐ͕ŐĞƚŝŶƚŽƵĐŚǁŝƚŚƵƐ͘ Jeremy Poh Associate Director, Compliance Tel: +65 6420 0500 Email: [email protected]

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YOUR PROFESSION OUR PASSION GLOBAL REGULATORY COUNSEL A leading MNC is seeking an experienced Regulatory Counsel in Singapore. You’ll report into the Legal Director on challenging regulatory matters involving global M&A transactions. You’ll utilise your legal expertise on regulatory and antitrust matters with respect to investment and institutional deals, as well as liaise with external counsel on specific public acquisition matters, together with mentoring and training junior lawyers. You must be a qualified lawyer with at least 6 years’ PQE with specialised knowledge of M&A regulations, competition rules (including merger control regimes) and regulatory filings on a multinational level (preferably with knowledge of the regulatory framework in Singapore, the UK, the EU, China or Hong Kong). You must be motivated to succeed in a high performing team within an established and thriving organisation. Previous experience from a top international law firm, or a relevant in-house or regulatory position would be preferred. Contact Armin Hosseinipour (Reg ID: R1440509) for more information at [email protected] or +65 6303 0725. LEGAL & COMPLIANCE MANAGER (INSURANCE MNC) A prominent insurance MNC is seeking a Legal Manager to join its growing office in Singapore. This entity is part of a multinational conglomerate with a presence in almost 40 countries. This specific role will have a strong focus on insurance claims, corporate matters, regulation and disputes. You’ll be provided with a wide scope of work pertaining to claims negotiation, policy review, contracts drafting, legal training and legal research. You will provide legal support to different business units on corporate, insurance and claims-focussed matters. Given the above job scope, you must have between 4-7 years of relevant legal experience, together with a strong insurance law background preferably from an in-house role. This is an excellent opportunity for an experienced insurance lawyer to progress their career with a successful entity. Contact Armin Hosseinipour (Reg ID: R1440509) for more information at [email protected] or +65 6303 0725. LEGAL ASSOCIATE (ASSET FINANCE) A global law firm is seeking an experienced Asset Finance Associate to join its growing team in Singapore. The role will focus on ship financing, and will provide you with solid exposure to contracts drafting and negotiation, client meetings and complex legal issues. You’ll be working with a team of specialist legal professionals and multinational clients on a range of matters pertaining to Singapore’s active shipping industry. To be considered for this position, you must be qualified as a solicitor in Singapore or the UK, with between 2-6 years of relevant legal experience preferably in ship finance, offshore oil & gas finance or general asset finance. It is essential that you possess good academic qualifications, with a strong legal mindset and a collaborative work ethic. This is a fantastic opportunity for a passionate lawyer seeking to establish themselves within a specialised practice. Contact Armin Hosseinipour (Reg ID: R1440509) for more information at [email protected] or +65 6303 0725.


CAPITAL MARKETS ASSOCIATE A reputable international law firm is seeking a passionate Capital Markets Associate. You’ll handle SGX listings from multinational clients, while supporting a team of reputable partners on capital markets transactions at a regional level. You must be a lawyer admitted to practice in Singapore, with prior experience in an international law firm with 4-6 years’ PQE. Experience in equity capital markets is highly desirable. You must be articulate, passionate about capital markets matters and be open to occasional regional travel. Take the next step in your career with a top firm. Contact Negeen Pejooh (Reg ID: R1547320) for more information at [email protected] or +65 6303 0725. JUNIOR LEGAL COUNSEL An industry leading MNC is seeking a Junior Legal Counsel to join its closeknit legal team in Singapore. The role will entail extensive contracts drafting and negotiation, legal advisory to different business units, as well as some corporate secretarial duties. You will also keep up to date on changes in relevant legislation and regulations with respect to company law, as well as liaise with external counsel on specific projects. You must have a minimum of 5 years’ relevant legal experience, preferably with a background in corporate law and some familiarity with construction and engineering projects. Regional experience in addition to Singapore would also be desirable. Contact Armin Hosseinipour (Reg ID: R1440509) for more information at [email protected] or +65 6303 0725. PARALEGAL (GLOBAL LAW FIRM) A prestigious international law firm is seeking an ambitious Paralegal to join its collaborative team in Singapore. You’ll be working with a team of passionate associates and partners on a range of corporate transactions pertaining to energy & resources, projects and construction & infrastructure. Your role will entail extensive legal research, assistance drafting and general document management. You must have 2 years’ experience as a Paralegal in an international law firm, with exposure to corporate legal transactions (including M&As and JVs) and drafting of legal documentation. Grow your career with a reputable firm. Please contact Armin Hosseinipour (Registration ID: R1440509) for more information at [email protected] or +65 6303 0725.

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The highest quality candidate pool; consistently superior service levels; a local and global market presence; and the most experienced in-house and private practice recruitment specialists – just some of the reasons we’re able to source exceptional new talent for your legal team. Pure Search redefines success in Singapore.

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