Asset Recovery Asia Conference 2019: How to Choose the Right Legal Route with Limited Information

On 14 May 2019, I spoke at the Asset Recovery Asia Conference in Singapore. It was organised by Knect365 as part of its Asset Recovery series. I thoroughly enjoyed attending the conference, hearing from other fraud and asset recovery specialists, and meeting new friends.

I shared a panel with other lawyers from different jurisdictions, an investigator and a litigation funder to share our perspectives. The session was on how victims of fraud have to make a decision early on, without all the facts, about which recovery route to go down – litigation or insolvency proceedings. These strategic decisions can have implications on the remainder of the case.  I set out below some of the views I shared on the panel session. Continue reading

Salutary Reminder to Litigators: Crucial Importance of Well-Researched Arguments Before the Court

The Court of Appeal issued its grounds of judgment dated 19 September 2018 in the case of Mak Siew Wei v Yeoh Eng Kong and other appeals. The Court of Appeal took the unusual step of issuing a post-script to remind counsel of the need for well-researched briefs and advocacy. The Court reminded us that it is a cornerstone of the administration of justice. In our adversarial system, the Courts would rely significantly on the arguments of counsel and on the truth of the legal arguments.

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Shareholder Oppression: A Personal Wrong or a Corporate Wrong?

Lee Shih and Joyce Lim discuss the effect of the Singapore Court of Appeal’s decision in the Sakae Holdings case. This article was originally published in Skrine’s Legal Insights Issue 03/2018.

In the recent case of Ho Yew Kong v Sakae Holdings Ltd [2018] SGCA 33 (“Sakae Holdings”), the Singapore Court of Appeal had the opportunity to clarify the distinction between personal wrongs committed against shareholders of a company and corporate wrongs against the company. This distinction directly relates to the question of whether the appropriate relief in each respective scenario would be by way of an oppression action or a statutory derivative action.

ST Photo. Image from the Business Times Singapore.

The Singapore Court of Appeal set out a framework to determine whether an aggrieved shareholder could maintain an oppression action or ought to have pursued a statutory derivative action instead. Continue reading

Case Update: A Shareholder Derivative Action Can Be Brought for Benefit of a Deadlocked Company

The Federal Court in Perak Integrated Networks Services Sdn Bhd v Urban Domain Sdn Bhd & Ors (see the Federal Court Grounds of Judgment dated 16 April 2018) has ruled on the issue of  whether a common law derivative action can be initiated where the company is in a 50:50 deadlock.

The question of law before the Federal Court was:

Whether a derivative action may in law be brought for the benefit of a company, the management and control of which are deadlocked.

 

The Federal Court answered the question in the affirmative. The Federal Court has also set out the definitive test on wrongdoer control for the purposes of a common law derivative action. The possibility of initiating a just and equitable winding up petition based on the deadlock does not in itself prevent a shareholder from bringing a derivative action. Continue reading

Compendium of Companies Act 2016 Cases: Part 1

With the Companies Act 2016 in force for more than a year, I thought it is useful to set out a compendium of cases and transactions that have applied the Companies Act 2016 provisions.

As a summary, in terms of the reported cases, many of the cases relate to winding up based on the inability of the company to pay debts. This is under section 466 of the Companies Act 2016 (the old section 218 of the Companies Act 1965). Other cases also relate to other areas of winding up or shareholder disputes. I also highlight below examples of capital reduction and schemes of arrangement. Continue reading