Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Overview

The Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department is headed by Senior Partner Quek Mong Hua.

Mong Hua leads our large team of lawyers with many years of varied and extensive experiences and expertise in a wide range of litigation work. Several of our lawyers are also accredited arbitrators and mediators and they act frequently as counsel or arbitrators in ICC, SIAC and UNCITRAL arbitrations.

Collectively, we practise in every major field of commercial, criminal and civil litigation. The strong camaraderie and support enjoyed by our lawyers within the department and also with lawyers from other departments within the firm inspires varied and alternative views and solutions to legal problems and disputes. It also enhances our abilities to handle complex cases and equip our lawyers with cross-disciplinary skills and information to give relevant and accurate advice.

Our proficiency and prowess is evident not only in the court-room and other dispute resolution tribunals when matters are litigated. We provide sound advice and creative solutions in the best interests of clients, taking into account practical and commercial considerations in negotiations directed towards pre-empting potential or actual disputes, thus saving our clients substantial expenses and stresses whenever litigation could and should be avoided.

Our loyal and satisfied clients include a wide spectrum of clients ranging from major banks, MNCs, local companies of all sizes to high net worth individuals and the ordinary man in the street who have cause to use our services. Our experiences range from cases involving complex disputes of facts and law to relatively simple dispute resolutions and even routine debt collection, all of which are handled professionally by us with all due regard to the importance and priorities naturally accorded them by our clients.

In recognition of Lee & Lee’s advanced use of mediation as a dispute resolution tool, and a provider of a more complete suite of dispute resolution services, the Singapore Mediation Centre (“SMC”) has recognized our firm in the inaugural “Mediation Advocacy: Power List 2015” published by the SMC. Our firm’s philosophy in relation to dispute resolution is to consistently adopt a holistic approach for clients, and promote the use of mediation, where the client’s interest will be advanced.

Our areas of practice include:

Civil Litigation
In a global society, problems of diverse complexities often need our assistance to resolve and we understand. We extend our professional services with dedication and a keen eye on being pragmatic to reach expeditious effective and successful resolution.Our lawyers possess a wide range of expertise and experience that span across divergent fields. We are lauded for our creative and efficient solutions to even the most complex of disputes. This ensures that our clients receive sound advice. Our aim is to minimise stress to our clients and to receive their affirmation of our excellence at reasonable costs.The firms’ fiercely loyal clientele, comprising major banks, various MNCs and SMEs, high net worth individuals as well as ordinary laypeople, demonstrate the strength of the practice and the expertise of our lawyers.

Our practice areas include the following:

  • Banking and Finance
  • Building, Construction and Engineering Disputes
  • Commercial law
  • Corporate disputes
  • Defamation
  • Employment, Immigration and Labour Law
  • Insolvency Law
  • Insurance and Reinsurance
  • Management Corporation and Strata Titles Disputes
  • Motor Accident and Injury Claims
  • Professional Liability
  • Real Estate, Property and Leases
  • Wills, Probate and Trusts

Some of our notable accolades:

  • Acted in more than 30 different developments in their successful applications (several fiercely contested cases with landmark decisions) to approve their en bloc sales of their respective developments for the total value of more than S$7 billion;
  • Acted successfully for a developer in a contested action for removal of a registered easement;
  • Acted for the CEO of a stockbroking firm, successfully defending against a claim for about RM98 million for alleged negligence and breach of fiduciary duties;
  • Acted for a bank in a case of criminal breach of trust by an employee involving about S$6 million and taking urgent remedial action to trace, seize and recover the embezzled assets;
  • Acted in various banking disputes, including one for a high net worth individual in a claim of S$1 billion against an international bank in respect of trading losses, which claim was amicably settled before discovery;
  • Acted in numerous personal injuries claims and defences, including one for a young debuting professional injured in an adventure training accident and successfully claiming damages of about S$2 million.
  • Acted in company insolvency and restructuring matters, including a landmark case of successful implementation of a Scheme of Arrangement for both the listed company and its subsidiary involving creditors’ claims totalling more than S$30 million;
  • Acted for doctors in numerous medical mal-practice and negligence litigation and disciplinary complaints to the Singapore Medical Council with mostly satisfactory and successful outcomes.
  • Acted in massive construction related claims between owners, contractors, suppliers and related parties involving a 50 day arbitration between a nominated sub-contractor and its domestic sub-contractor relating to a water fabrication plant;
  • Acted for shareholders in a foreign investment project in a dispute with investors who were foreign banks in relation to an allegation that the investors mismanaged the project. The project was worth A$80 million;
  • Acted in resolving numerous employment and restraint of trade disputes, including one for a multinational company in its collective resolution of disputes with its senior management employees;
  • Acted for a group of international banks against various parties involved in an international scam of credit fraud and money laundering; and
  • Acted for various clients in various multi-million dollar claims by listed companies in the US and multi-national companies involving issues of fraud, breach of fiduciary duties and conspiracy to injure.

For further information, please contact:
Quek Mong Hua
Lee Han Tiong


Criminal Litigation
Our criminal practice covers both white collar and blue collar offences where we have vast experiences in prosecution as well as defence roles. We provide a full suite of services from assisting clients in pre-litigation investigations, representations to relevant authorities, bail proceedings, and conduct of trials to comprehensive post trial assistance. Recognising that allegations of criminal activity carry very serious implications if not consequences, we offer our best and dedicated attention to every nature of such work regardless of severity. Our wide and varied experiences include successful defence in the following types of matters:

  • Penal Code Offences e.g. from simple causing hurt to murder, rioting and juvenile offences, theft, cheating, criminal breach of trust, outrage of modesty etc
  • Offences under the Securities and Futures Act
  • Offences under the Immigration Act
  • Prevention of Corruption Act Offences
  • Offences under the Road Traffic Act
  • Breaches of other Statutory or Company laws
  • Extradition matters

A sample of our lawyers’ experience in criminal litigation:

  • acting in a murder charge where the accused was granted a discharge amounting to acquittal without trial by our active pre-trial engagement with the Prosecution on the evidence;
  • acting in a murder charge where the accused was convicted of a lesser charge of robbery with hurt after a full trial in the High Court. Unfortunately, the decision was overturned at the Court of Appeal as a matter of law;
  • acting in successfully securing an acquittal after a full trial for a client charged with a Penal Code offence of causing death by a rash and negligent act in a motor accident;
  • acting in various drug offences including one of successfully proving defence of alibi in a drug trafficking charge and persuading the Prosecution to have the charge withdrawn;
  • acting in a landmark High Court decision in successfully requiring the Prosecution to furnish more particulars at the pre-trial stage under the new criminal disclosure regime involving charges of conspiracy to falsify documents with intent to defraud and money-laundering. The outcome of the Prosecution’s reference to the Court of Appeal is still pending;
  • acting in securing an acquittal after trial for a company director accused of being in a conspiracy to falsify documents with intent to defraud and the alleged conspirator had pleaded guilty and convicted. The Prosecution’s appeal to the High Court was dismissed;
  • acting for a company director convicted of attempting to bribe a public servant and succeeding in having the jail term substantially reduced on appeal to the High Court;
  • acting in maid abuse cases, including securing a discharge after representations made to the Prosecution and acquittals after trial or appeal;
  • acting in successfully defending an individual who was charged with abetting a SATS officer in corruptly assisting Pakistanis to travel to the United States;and
  • acting in all types of offences under the Road Traffic Act, including drink-driving, driving under disqualification and collisions involving personal and property damage claims.

For further information, please contact:
Quek Mong Hua
Julian Tay


Arbitration

Overview

Our firm’s arbitration practice comprises senior lawyers with a wide range of experience in both domestic and international arbitrations, with an emphasis on arbitrations that relate to construction and commercial disputes. Several of our senior lawyers are also accredited arbitrators and mediators and they act frequently as counsel and arbitrators in ICC, HKIAC and SIAC arbitrations.

Case Highlights

Some of the significant arbitration matters our firm has advised and represented clients include the following:

  • Advising and assisting the Claimant in a 13-day International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitration involving a dispute between a foreign corporation and a foreign government arising out of a Build-Operate-and-Transfer Concession Agreement. The total amount in dispute is estimated at US$1,465,000,000. The award of the ICC Tribunal is presently the subject of setting aside proceedings before the Singapore High Court;
  • Acting as co-counsel in an ICC arbitration concerning a foreign airport terminal in which the claim is about US$500 million;
  • Acting as lead and co-counsel in an ICC arbitration concerning a foreign power plant in which the claim is about US$20 million;
  • Advising and assisting in successfully obtaining a partial award on governing law granted by the ICC Tribunal in the abovementioned arbitration, which involved complex issues concerning the conflict of laws and successfully resisting an application to set aside the aforesaid partial award before the Singapore High Court;
  • Acting in construction related claims between owners, contractors, supplies and related parties including a 50 days arbitration between a nominated sub-contractor and its domestic sub-contractor involving a wafer fabrication plant;
  • Acting in an international arbitration in relation to a foreign airport terminal in which the claim is about US$500 million; representing the Cayman subsidiary of a listed P.R.C. company in an international arbitration in Singapore which related to iron and manganese mines in South Africa;
  • Representing a Canadian multinational company in an arbitration held in the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) against a Chinese State-owned company. The disputes related to a joint venture formed under Chinese law for the establishment of a US$200 million copper strip manufacturing plant in China;
  • Representing a listed P.R.C. company in an international arbitration with a European multinational company in relation to a license agreement for the licensing of clean technology. The amount in dispute was more than US$100 million;
  • Representing one of the largest online game companies in the P.R.C. in an ICC arbitration in Singapore concerning an IT and licensing dispute with Korean parties. The issues raised in the arbitration include the extent a licensor has to provide software support for an online computer game for issues such as third party pirated emulators and cheat programs;
  • Representing P.R.C. parties in an international arbitration under the UNCITRAL Rules administered by HKIAC in Hong Kong against a U.S. company and a BVI company in relation to a complex web of investment-related agreements;
  • Representing several investment funds company in an arbitration administered by the HKIAC involving a PRC national;
  • Acting as lead counsel for a company defending a S$14 million claim in an arbitration; and
  • Acting as lead counsel for a contractor against a sub-contractor in an arbitration which concerned a S$9 million dispute.

For further information, please contact:
Yang Yung Chong
Christopher Tan


Employment
Our firm’s employment practice, comprising partners with a wealth of experience across a broad spectrum of employment law related matters, is well equipped to handle this complex and multi-disciplinary area of law. As a full-service firm, we have extensive experience, ranging from preparing documentation like drafting of employment contracts, managing tricky situations like terminating employees to handling multi-million dollar disputes involving former employees.

The practice assists and represents clients in a diverse range of employment related issues, including:

  • Employment-related disputes like claims for workmen’s compensation, breach of employment agreements, breach of fiduciary duties and unfair dismissal
  • Crafting, advising and enforcing provisions such as restraint of trade, non-compete and confidentiality provisions
  • Crafting employment contracts, manuals and staff policies for employees across multiple levels, including foreign employees
  • Advising employers, employees and ex-employees on their rights and obligations
  • Advising HR Departments on data protection issues, crafting data protection policies and conducting seminars to senior HR officers on data protection compliance

Given the wide-ranging nature of our work, we are honoured to work with many established multinational companies as well as local small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) looking to establish a foothold in the market, and laypersons with employment-related legal queries.

Our recent work includes:

  • Defending the Chief Financial Officer of a MNC at the High Court against a multimillion dollar claim involving breaches of fiduciary duty
  • Representing an MNC in their action at the High Court against a few of its ex-employees claiming breaches of their employment contracts and copyright infringement
  • Advising an employer on its options vis-à-vis an employee who was subject to a bond agreement but had been absent from work
  • Advising a leading group of companies in the health and wellness industry on a wide range of employment-related legal issues, including the drafting of employment contracts and staff policies, and breach of employment agreements
  • Representing a leading equipment supplier to the media industry at the High Court against an ex-employee for breaches of fiduciary duty, which involved complex issues relating to computer forensics and electronic discovery
  • Representing a leading offshore oil and gas equipment manufacturer at the High Court against an ex-employee for breach of confidential information and copyright infringement
  • Reviewing, drafting and commenting on employment agreements, handbooks, policies and other related employment documentation for numerous employers
  • Advising on various anti-competition / non-solicitation clauses and/or disputes between employers, prospective employers and employees
  • Advising numerous employers in relation to employment termination and/or retrenchment exercises
  • Advising and assisting numerous clients with transfer of employees and employment passes upon a business sale or business restructure
  • Advising on employment regulatory regime in Singapore, including issues under Singapore’s Employment Act, the maternity protection regime and Central Provident Fund contributions
  • Advising employers on data protection and privacy issues in the Singapore context
 

Contact Partners

For further information on contentious employment matters, please contact:
Toh Kok Seng
Julian Tay
Matthew Saw


Family
Our family practice comprises of a dedicated team of lawyers who have extensive experience across all aspects of this area of the law. We are well regarded locally and internationally and our wide ranging client base covers both global and international clients to local clients from all walks of life. This all due to our belief in remaining accessible and relatable to all potential clients and their concerns.

While there is a firm-wide emphasis on offering comprehensive and complementary methods of dispute resolution including that of collaborative family practice, we are nevertheless known to be extremely tenacious, effective and efficient in litigious matters. Our current team has an excellent mix of veteran, experienced lawyers as well as young and keen lawyers. Our lawyers are known to have acted on numerous novel and landmark cases in this area of the law.

Our family practice covers:

Divorce/Separation & family and matrimonial finance/property

The initial meeting with our team is to discuss the reasons for the breakdown of the marriage, whether the marriage can be saved and if necessary the proposed arrangements for taking care of your needs and the children’s which may involve preparing a Deed of Separation.
Each case will be dealt with on its individual merits. We appreciate that family matters and disputes are distinctively unique and require a holistic approach for the resolution of such complex relationship issues. While there is a firm-wide emphasis on offering comprehensive and complementary methods of dispute resolution, we are effective and efficient in litigation when required and are a proponent of collaborative family practice.

Our expertise includes assisting parties derive a fair and equitable distribution of the matrimonial assets which are subject to division in a divorce or may be dealt with in a the case of separation.

We try hard to resolve cases by negotiation. Our goal is a swift, tailor-made and cost-effective solution for our clients.

Applications involving children’s welfare

Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of divorce and separation. We provide advice on custody, contact (access) arrangements, financial provision and a range of other issues.

Our ethos is to resolve issues involving the children which arise from divorce and separation delicately and sensibly for the children’s sake.

We will work with you to put in place the best possible arrangements for the long term benefit of you and your children.

Family violence

If violence or threat of violence has been committed against you from your spouse, we provide advice on whether an application may be made for a personal protection order restraining your spouse from committing violence against you. If violence has been committed on the children, the application may involve an application on behalf of your children.

Maintenance applications

Part of the separation process and eventual dissolution of a marriage also involves negotiating a financial settlement which adequately provides for the spouse’s and children’s needs.

We will work with you to assess not only the immediate and short-term impact a separation or dissolution of the marriage may have. All the income and assets of the parties will need to be taken into account in order to arrive at a fair quantum.

Pre-Nuptial and Post-Nuptial agreements

Such agreements can provide you and your family members peace of mind as potentially divisive issues involving property and assets are decided beforehand with each party being able to make equal inputs.

Wills

Making a valid and administratively workable will is essential in ensuring that your wishes as regards the distribution of your assets, are carried out smoothly after your passing.

Our lawyers have vast experience in drawing up wills for clients from all walks of life, regardless of the size of the estate. We are also available to review and advise on any existing will that may require updating, owing to changes in financial and family circumstances and the law.

Probate, Letters of Administration & Administration of Estates

We have an established and experienced probate practice.

Whether you are an executor of a will or an administrator, our lawyers will guide you through the court process of obtaining a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Letters of Administration.

As a full service firm, we are able to help you with the administration of the estate once you have obtained the relevant Grant.

We can assist you with administrative matters, such as dealing with a deceased’s shares held with the Central Depository Pte Ltd, shares in a private company or a sale of immovable property.

Re-sealing of Foreign Grants & Fresh Grants for Non-Commonwealth Countries

We have extensive experience with resealing Grant of Letters of Representation issued by a Court from a Commonwealth country, as well as from Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region).

We have also assisted clients from non-Commonwealth countries in obtaining the relevant Grant of Letters of Representation.

Lasting Power of Attorney/Appointment of Deputies pursuant to the provisions of the Mental Capacity Act

If you are concerned over your finances and health care matters in the event of mental incapacity, our lawyers can advise on and prepare a Lasting Power of Attorney for you.

If you have a family member who is mentally incapacitated and there is a need for a Court Order appointing deputies to manage the financial and health care matters of such a person, we can help you with obtaining the Court Order.

Contentious Probate

We have vast experience in dealing with family disputes over wills, trusts and administration issues, with the objective of resolving these disputes in the most cost effective and amicable way possible.

For further information regarding divorce/separation including division of matrimonial assets, children’s issues, family violence, maintenance applications, pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, please contact:

Amelia Ang
Carolyn Bava (+65 65574854 or carolynbava@leenlee.com.sg)

For further information regarding wills, probate, letters of administration, administration of estates, re-sealing of foreign grants/fresh grants for non-Commonwealth countries, lasting power of attorney, and appointment of deputies under the Mental Capacity Act, please contact:
Vicky Yap

For further information on contentious probate, please contact:
Julian Tay
Matthew Saw

Contact Partners

For further information, please contact:
Quek Mong Hua
Lee Han Tiong