Case Update: Singapore Court of Appeal Rules on the Riddick Undertaking for Disclosed Documents

Lee Shih and Nicole Phung write about a Singapore Court of Appeal case on the Riddick undertaking and on the proposed guidelines for the breadth of Anton Piller search orders.

The Singapore Court of Appeal in the recent case of Lim Suk Ling Priscilla and another v Amber Compounding Pharmacy Pte Ltd and another [2020] SGCA 76 dealt with the prospective and retrospective release of the Riddick undertaking for disclosed documents. The Courts will undertake a multifactorial balancing exercise.

The Riddick Undertaking

The Riddick undertaking draws its name from the English case of Riddick v Thames Board Mills [1977] QB 881. Where a party to litigation is ordered to produce documents, the discovering party is under an implied undertaking to not use the produced documents other than for pursuing the action. Therefore, the party who has been provided access to the documents cannot use the documents for any collateral or ulterior purpose.

The rationale for the Riddick undertaking is that public interest requires full and complete disclosure in the interest of justice. But, the production of documents by court order is an intrusion of privacy. This principle strikes a balance between these two interests. The court can release the Riddick undertaking if there are cogent and persuasive reasons. Continue reading

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