de SOUZA Christopher

Christopher graduated with First Class Honours from King’s College London where he topped his law Class. He then pursued the BCL Masters degree at the University of Oxford where he graduated with Distinction. He was awarded a Shell scholarship while at Oxford and received six book prizes when at King’s College London including the Sweet & Maxwell prize for receiving the joint highest honours in his graduating class and the Jelf Medal for his academic and sporting contributions to the University.

His legal practice encompasses a wide number of dispute resolution areas including intellectual property, contract, negligence, defamation, internet defamation, banking and regulatory disputes and disputes involving shareholders, directors, finance and companies, as well as matters involving international arbitration, criminal proceedings and white collar crime. He has acted as lead Counsel in hearings before the Singapore High Court and Court of Appeal, and has acted as counsel in International Arbitrations. Christopher also represents clients in mediations and negotiations, and in the State Courts. Christopher has represented and advised Global MNCs, local & regional SMEs, family businesses, as well as private citizens/individuals. Christopher accords each client legal and strategic attention.

In a 2009 Singapore High Court judgment, the High Court Judge recorded that Christopher and the other counsel in the case had done a “most commendable job”, and were “thoroughly prepared” and “diligent.”

During his years of practice, Christopher was a Justices’ Law Clerk to the Chief Justice of Singapore, Deputy Public Prosecutor and State Counsel at the Attorney-General’s Chambers and an Assistant Registrar of the High Court before moving into private practice.

Christopher has been a Member of Singapore’s Parliament since 2006 and is a member of the Government Parliamentary Committees for Law and Home Affairs (Chairman), and Health.

Christopher’s Court, Dispute Resolution and Arbitration experience includes advising and representing clients in the following reported cases:

  • Long Well Group Limited and others v Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft and others [2018] SGHC 57; [2018] SGHC 164
  • Rohm & Haas v Nexplanar Corporation & Anor [2017] SGHC 310
  • Louis Vuitton Malletier v City Chain Stores (S) Pte Ltd [2009] 2 SLR (R) 684; [2010] 1 SLR 382
  • NUH (Singapore) Pte Ltd v Cicada Cube Pte Ltd [2017] SGHC 53
  • S v N & Anor [2016] SGHC 138; [2016] 4 SLR 972
  • Mitac International Corporation v Singapore Telecommunications Ltd [2009] 4 SLR (R) 961
  • X Pte Ltd v Y Pte Ltd (SIAC Arbitration 2010) (one of the first full International Arbitrations to be heard and decided at Maxwell Chambers) Registered in SIAC Registry of Awards
  • The Chinese Calligraphy Society of Singapore v Khoo Seng Kong [2008] SGHC 121
  • Slide & Hide System (S) Pte Ltd v Chua Seng Guan [2009] SGHC 191
  • Wing Joo Loong Ginseng Hong (Singapore) Co Pte Ltd v Qinghai Xinyuan Foreign Trade Co Ltd [2008] 3 SLR (R) 296; [2009] 2 SLR (R) 814
  • Amanresorts Ltd v Novelty Pte Ltd [2008] 2 SLR (R) 32; [2009] 3 SLR (R) 216

The following is a fuller list of the type of litigation and dispute resolution cases Christopher has recently acted in:

  • Representing oil giant Shell Eastern Petroleum Pte. Ltd. (“Shell”) as lead Counsel in relation to regulatory litigation involving the 2013 fuel leak at Sembawang Station, Singapore
  • Representing Shell, as lead counsel, in relation to the 2011 Pulau Bukom Oil Refinery Fire in Singapore
  • Representing and advising Energy Sector Companies in relation to SIAC Arbitrations involving a regional energy resource industry
  • Representing a local SME in a High Court action claiming for breach of Distributorship Agreement and Wrongful Termination of Contract, and damages arising
  • Representing a Singapore SME in a shareholder’s dispute in the High Court of Singapore
  • Representing a Singapore-based service provider in a patent ownership dispute in the High Court of Singapore
  • Representing an off-shore MNC in a patent infringement matter in the High Court of Singapore
  • Representing a leading Singapore company in multiple related arbitrations involving breach of contract, wrongful termination, negligence and multi-million dollar claim and counter-claims in financial damages before the Singapore International Arbitration Centre
  • Representing a Swiss Company in a cross-jurisdictional contractual dispute in an arbitration administered by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre
  • Representing a Singapore SME in a contractual dispute in an arbitration administered by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre
  • Representing an off-shore company in a contractual dispute administered by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre
  • Representing a Singapore-based family in a dispute involving tortious liability in the High Court of Singapore
  • Representing a young offender who had his first brush with the law, who obtained probation
  • Representing an individual in a trial involving alleged outrage of modesty, who obtained an acquittal
  • Representing a Singapore-based society in an action for passing off against an individual (Lead Counsel – Court of Appeal)
  • Representing a US and British-owned IT-related company in obtaining different sets of injunctions in the High Court (Lead Counsel – High Court
  • Representing an SME and individuals against a Statutory Board in relation to a contractual dispute (lead Counsel – High Court)
  • Advising an individual in relation to a defamation and potential arbitral matter
  • Advising and representing a Singapore listed company in a cross-jurisdictional commercial matter involving a counter party in Hong Kong (lead Counsel)
  • Advising and representing a Singapore listed company on commercial matters involving contracts in Europe (lead Counsel)
  • Advising and representing a Singapore listed Company on tortious matters involving counter parties in Africa (co-Counsel)
  • Representing an individual in an investment-related banking matter (co-Counsel – High Court)
  • Representing a Hong Kong-based listed company in an intellectual property action involving its subsidiary (co-Counsel – Court of Appeal)
  • Representing a client in a private prosecution in relation to a criminal case (Lead Counsel)
  • Representing an individual against a foreign financial institution (co-Counsel – High Court)
  • Representing a Property Developer in an action involving both passing off and Trade Mark law in relation to a project worth approximately $50 million (co-Counsel – High Court)
  • Advising a former CFO in actions relating to alleged Forex transaction losses amounting to close to S$500 million
  • Representing a company in a copyright, trademark revocation and invalidation matter in relation to a dispute over Chinese herbs worth approximately S$20million (co-Counsel – High Court)
  • Representing a local society in a passing off action against an individual in relation to the use of the society’s name (co-Counsel – High Court)
  • Representing an individual in a defamation and retrenchment benefits claim against a MNC arising out of an employment dispute and termination (lead Counsel – High Court)
  • Representing a local SME in an action against a foreign based director arising out of breaches of an exclusive distributorship agreement (co- Counsel – High Court)
  • Representing a London-based MNC in a suit for alleged breach of contract (Lead Counsel – State Court)
  • Representing and advising a Taiwanese Telco equipment manufacturer in a trade mark action against a Singapore based Telco (co-Counsel – High Court)
  • Representing and advising a Hong Kong based listed Company in an action involving Trade Mark and tort of passing off litigation (co-Counsel – High Court)
  • Representing a local SME in an arbitration involving put option clause in Shareholder’s Agreement before the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (co-Counsel – Arbitration)
  • Representing an individual in an arbitration involving a contractual dispute before the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (Lead Counsel – Arbitration)
  • Advising and representing a USA-based MNC on regulatory matters
  • Advising and representing a Europe-based MNC on regulatory matters
  • Advising and representing an Australian-Singapore firm on regulatory matters
  • Advising an SGX listed company on issues of Company accounts, director’s fiduciary duties and announcements to SGX (Lead Counsel)
  • Representing and advising in a Suit against a Managing Agent
  • Representing and advising a Singaporean-based SMC in a shareholder’s dispute
  • Representing and advising S-E Asian-based individuals in a matter involving Forex trades
  • Representing and advising a foreign company in an arbitration involving a S-E Asian power plant, SIAC
  • Representing and advising in a matter involving a cross-border ICDR arbitration pertaining to a mine in S-E Asia
  • Representing and advising a S-E Asian based family and companies in a financial dispute against an European bank.
  • Advising an SGX listed company on possible breach of duties owing by directors to the company, tort of conspiracy to injure and related advisory work (Lead Counsel)
  • Advising an ASEAN-based company on regional mining issues and matters involving arbitration (co-Counsel)
  • Advising the Board of Directors of a Singapore IT-related company on potential litigious action (Lead Counsel)
  • Advising the Board of Directors of a Property development firm on guarding its rights in relation to potentially litigious matters (Lead Counsel)
  • Representation in relation to monies owing for services provided pursuant to a services contract (Lead Counsel – High Court)

Christopher also makes it a point to accept criminal briefs. He has acted for clients in both the High Court and the State Courts in cases involving alleged corruption, outrage of modesty, theft, bomb hoaxes and credit card fraud. Christopher also advises clients (individuals and companies) on aspects of white collar crime and regulatory breaches. Christopher’s criminal practice entails advising clients on a wide spectrum of offences, including regulatory and company-related offences, and the possible outcomes clients could expect. He has been recently instructed to act as Defence Counsel at mentions and trials before the State Courts. Christopher’s most memorable criminal cases are those where probation was achieved when defending young offenders – these cases are often done on a pro bono basis.

Christopher is a member of the Singapore High Court’s panel of Defence Counsel for Capital Cases.

Christopher advises companies on directors’ duties, potential breach of directors’ duties, and options available to listed Companies and their Board in relation to non-litigious and/or litigious solutions. This work involves advice to Non-listed Companies and Small-Medium Enterprises as well, and includes shareholder disputes.

He has authored and/or co-authored the following publications:

  • Halsbury’s Laws of Singapore (Criminal Law) Chapter [5], a Lexis-Nexis Publication (2008)
  • “Expanding the Boundaries of Sudden Fight”, (2003) 15 Singapore Academy of Law Journal 333
  • “Diminished Responsibility: A Less Vindicatory Excuse than Provocation”, (2005) 17 Singapore Academy of Law Journal 793
  • Identification Parades, Criminal Procedure Manual, Singapore Board of Legal Education (2004 & 2005 editions)
  • Article on the Ten or Life Perplexity in section 304(a) of the Penal Code, Chapter 224 – Singapore Law Gazette (2006) Aug/Sep Issue
  • Article on ‘Dismantling Human Trafficking’, Singapore Law Gazette (2015)

In 2010, Christopher was appointed to the Supreme Court’s Rules of Court Working Committee, which is chaired by a Supreme Court judge, for a term of two years. Christopher was nominated as a Young Global Leader in the World Economic Forum and has also been invited to speak at conferences including: The Singapore Legal Forum 2010; The Singapore Academy of Law “Forensics Conference” 2009; The Presidents of Law Associations of Asia (POLA) Conference 2006, Young Lawyer’s Forum, organised by the Singapore Law Society; World Questions: King’s Answers 2013; The Temasek Forum in London; The Thomson-Reuters Foundation Trust Asia Forum 2016; Interviewed by BBC Asia relating to Singapore’s Administration of Justice Protection Act in 2016.

In 2014, Christopher tabled, in Singapore’s Parliament, the Prevention of Human Trafficking Bill. The Bill was passed into Law in 2015 and is now part of the laws of Singapore. It seeks to prevent human trafficking within and through Singapore.

Before university, he completed his National Service as an officer and was awarded the Sword of Honour at his commissioning parade. He was then assigned to a combat unit, the 163rd Squadron. An avid sportsman, Christopher represented Singapore in hockey at various tournaments up to 2005.

Christopher and his wife, Sharon, met when they were in junior college. He cherishes family time with his wife and children. In his personal time, he runs, participates in church activities, reads and enjoys the company of friends.