Toh Kok Seng is a Senior Partner in the Litigation and Dispute Resolution and the Intellectual Property departments. Kok Seng graduated from the University of Singapore in 1988. After graduating, he joined Lee & Lee, and was admitted to the Singapore bar in 1989. In 1996, he was made a Partner. In 2002, he was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales. He is also a registered patent agent.
Kok Seng handles a variety of litigation work with particular emphasis on property and personal injury claims, employment, intellectual property, and strata title law and practice.
In intellectual property matters, Kok Seng was counsel in the first patent infringement and revocation case (V-Pile Technology v Peck Brothers) to be fully argued in the Singapore High Court. He also argued the first reported registered design case (Nagasima Electronic Engineering Pte Ltd v APH Trading). Kok Seng also prosecuted numerous criminal offences including offences under the Copyright Act and Trade Marks Act on the Public Prosecutor’s fiat.
Kok Seng represents a number of management corporations, managing agents and subsidiary proprietors in strata disputes. He argued the High Point Condominium case which held that structural beams situated inside a unit are common property and that management corporations are obliged to repair structural defects in any event. Kok Seng also argued the One-North Residences case which held that management corporations are not allowed to prevent subsidiary proprietors from installing safety structures such as grilles, even if such installation is mounted on common property and even if it alters the appearance and façade of the building. In the 19 Shelford Road case, he successfully argued that a management corporation which rejected the subsidiary proprietor’s grilles design had failed to provide practical, feasible and workable alternatives. In the Leonie Towers case, Kok Seng successfully argued the appeal against the Strata Titles Board decision, which held that a management corporation had no power to remove common property. The Building Maintenance and Strata Management (Amendment) Act 2017 contains provisions which were introduced as a result of these cases.
In the Watermark Robertson Quay case, Kok Seng successfully obtained an order to compel the management corporation to permit a subsidiary proprietor to upgrade her electricity supply. In the Alpha Industrial Building case, he successfully argued that a by-law which imposed a penalty was not made in the interest of all subsidiary proprietors and therefore invalid. In Soo Kee Investment Pte Ltd v MCST 0661, he successfully argued that the Strata Titles Board cannot interfere with decisions made by the management corporation in compliance with procedural requirements where parties had voted in favour of their own commercial position.
Kok Seng was invited by the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Building Maintenance and Management Bill to give evidence. A number of his proposals were accepted and implemented in the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act.
Apart from being the legal advisor to a number of organizations, Kok Seng is also a member of the following: