Areas of Practice
The firm provides legal services and advice on a broad spectrum of work. Many of the partners who head each practice group have more than 20 years of experience in legal practice.
The areas of practice include:
Arbitration, Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution
The firm has a premier arbitration practice. It is renowned for work in arbitration, mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution including disputes involving building, construction and engineering projects, cross border joint venture contracts and international commercial arbitration.
The firm has partners who are accredited members of international arbitral tribunals, the Singapore International Arbitration Centre, the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators and the Singapore Mediation Centre.
Our Mr Giam Chin Toon S.C. sits on the Board of Directors of the Singapore Mediation Centre. He is also on the panel of accredited arbitrators of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre, a Member of the Hawaii Panel of the Center for International Commercial Dispute Resolution and a Member of the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board. He was also Chairman of the Sub-Committee on the Review of Arbitration Laws in Singapore.
In addition to the above, Expert Guides has identified our Mr Giam Chin Toon S.C. as the Expert in Commercial Arbitration in Singapore.
Who’s Who Legal has in an article Editorial: Construction in Singapore dated October 2007 commented that“Giam Chin Toon SC at Wee Swee Teow LLP is another highly rated individual. He was described as a “real force to be reckoned with” by one interviewee. Particularly well known for his disputes work, especially in arbitrations, he acted for a British contractor in one of the largest building contract arbitrations in Asia at the time, and has also acted for numerous Singapore and international clients in arbitration proceedings involving building, infrastructure and engineering projects in Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region.”
The firm is well equipped and experienced in handling arbitration matters.
Banking, Finance and Corporate
The firm has advised on various forms of corporate, project and trade financing as well as loan syndication. Our services include the drafting of loan and security documents and rendering legal opinions on a range of banking and financing issues.
The firm acts for banks, financial institutions and borrowers in mortgage finance and other securities-related transactions. We also provide services relating to cross border transactions, documentary credits and international trade.
In the areas of securities and corporate finance, the practice has been involved in public flotations on the local bourse, private placements of shares and other security instruments.
We have a Corporate Practice advising both individuals and corporations from various industries in the use of different corporate vehicles to optimise the needs of both our local and foreign clients. In the area of general company law, we offer advice on corporate governance, directors’ duties, responsibilities and liabilities, shareholders’ rights (working with the Litigation Practice Group) as well as regulatory compliance with local business legislation and the requirements of the Singapore Exchange.
We provide registered office, corporate and secretarial services for both private and listed companies. In addition, we provide advice on other commercial areas such as joint venture arrangements, distribution agreements, corporate mergers and restructuring, public offerings, share and business acquisitions.
We also have an insolvency practice that has acted for liquidators in one of the world’s largest corporate insolvencies. The Corporate Practice (liaising jointly with the Litigation Practice Group) has also advised Scheme Administrators and Judicial Managers in various corporate recovery regimes.
The practice also advises on various aspects of employment law issues ranging from incentive programmes such as employee share option schemes to executive service agreements. In contentious employment issues, we work together with the Litigation Practice Group to advise in respect of issues such as restraint of trade and protective covenants.
Our firm also gives advice on immigration law issues.
Civil and Criminal Litigation
The firm has a well-established and experienced litigation team. The team includes a Senior Counsel and partners who were former officers from the Judicial and Legal Service. Many litigation cases handled by our firm had been featured in newspapers and in most (if not all) of those cases featured, our litigation team had been successful in acting for our clients.
The firm practises civil commercial and criminal litigation and our experience includes:
Civil & Commercial Litigation
- Shareholder disputes, involving companies with very substantial assets.
- Disputes arising from complicated trusts and equitable claims.
- Complex building, construction and engineering disputes (See information on the Construction Practice Group).
- Intellectual property disputes, enforcement of trade marks, copyright and other intellectual property rights (See information on Information Technology / Intellectual Property Rights Practice Group).
- Complex estate litigation, many of which were landmark cases involving high profile families (See information on Trust, Estate Planning and Probate).
- Corporate insolvency.
- Securities and futures trading disputes.
- Advice and representation in defamation cases.
- Disputes relating to partnerships and joint ventures.
- Acting in cases involving issues of company directors’ duties.
- Claims arising out of professional negligence.
- Advice and representations in commercial crime prosecutions.
- Advice and representation in prosecutions relating to securities and futures trading.
The firm has earned a good reputation for its expertise in complex building and construction cases. The firm’s clients include active members in the construction industry such as developers, statutory boards, consultants, construction and insurance companies. It has acted and continues to act for some of the largest British, Japanese and German construction companies. It also acts for some of the largest developers in Singapore. It has been involved in claims and arbitration proceedings involving claims of over $1 billion.
Based on the recommendations of in-house counsel at the world’s most prominent companies and financial institutions, our firm was also ranked as one of the firms to go to in Singapore for Construction by Asialaw Profiles – The guide to the Asia-Pacific’s leading law firms.
The practice handles contentious and non-contentious construction law work including advice on pre-tender agreements and construction joint ventures. It has considerable experience in complex multi-party arbitration and court proceedings, claims arising out of difficult ground conditions, disruption and prolongation disputes, failure of structural elements, variations and other construction law issues for building and engineering projects both in Singapore and overseas.
Who’s Who Legal has in an article Editorial: Construction in Singapore dated October 2007 commented that “Giam Chin Toon SC at Wee Swee Teow LLP is another highly rated individual. He was described as a “real force to be reckoned with” by one interviewee. Particularly well known for his disputes work, especially in arbitrations, he acted for a British contractor in one of the largest building contract arbitrations in Asia at the time, and has also acted for numerous Singapore and international clients in arbitration proceedings involving building, infrastructure and engineering projects in Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region.”
Corporate and Retail Real Estate
The firm has established its conveyancing practice since the firm’s founding. It is recognised as a leading conveyancing firm in Singapore.
Based on the recommendations of in-house counsel at the world’s most prominent companies and financial institutions, our firm was also ranked as one of the firms to go to in Singapore for Real Estate matters by Asialaw Profiles – The guide to the Asia-Pacific’s leading law firms.
The firm acts for individuals, corporations, banks, financial institutions, statutory boards and major developers in Singapore as well as overseas. The firm’s clients include some of the largest developers in Singapore.
The firm provides comprehensive legal services for all aspects of work relating to the development of property. These include advice on sale and purchase agreements for individual units, commercial and residential buildings and en-bloc sale of properties, joint ventures for building and property development, building and construction agreements, financing arrangements for the development of property and land acquisition by government bodies.
In servicing Landlord clients, the firm works with them to develop master agreements for leases of large commercial complexes in the retail, commercial and industrial sectors. These master agreements extend to all aspects of the building and cover matters such as redevelopment, major asset enhancement works, relocations, purchase of bulk electricity as well as assignments of Landlord’s interests where a REIT is contemplated. In addition, the firm also provides Landlord clients with other ancillary documentation and advice relating to their leased buildings such as licences, assignments, surrenders and consent terms.
For Tenant clients, the firm provides extensive advice as to their lease provisions and where required, negotiates lease terms on their behalf with their Landlords. The necessary amendments following successful negotiations are then undertaken by the firm on behalf of Tenant clients.
The Property practice group is full serviced in all aspects of landlord and tenancy law and works closely with the Litigation practice group where lease provisions need to be enforced or re-entry needs to be effected.
The firm is recognised for its expertise in resolving complicated problems on titles to land, mortgages and other issues relating to the law of property. The firm also advises and handles referrals from other legal firms and institutions on complex conveyancing and property-related matters.
The firm’s members are active in the development of property law and property practice in Singapore, having been involved in various related committees such as the Conveyancing and Rulings Committee of the Law Society, the Tenants Compensation Board and the Strata Titles Board.
Our Family Law practice provides representation and advice on all aspects of family law and matrimonial proceedings. Services include advice and representation on judicial separation, divorce, custody and maintenance disputes, division of matrimonial assets and other ancillary matters. We believe that discretion and delicate handling of a situation by an understanding lawyer is important.
In cases of family violence, we provide advice and representation for the application for Protection and Exclusion Orders.
The practice also advises on the procedures for adoption, guardianship and appointment of committees for mentally disabled persons.
Intellectual Property Rights
The Information Technology/Intellectual Property Rights Practice Group has been active in the negotiations of licensing agreements with local collective administration societies. The practice group has represented statutory bodies as well as private providers of educational services in such complex and time-sensitive negotiations. The practice group has also advised clubs and individuals in respect of their rights vis-a-vis such collective administration societies and other rights owners.
The practice group is involved in advising statutory bodies of their IP rights in their various licence agreements. It is also conversant in offering advice on strategies for corporations for leveraging on their research and development for particular clients, so that they are able to maximise exploitation of their intellectual capital while ensuring that their clients are assured of sufficient market protection.
Trust, Estate Planning and Probate
The firm has a leading chancery practice in Singapore. It is known for its experience in trust, probate and administration practice which includes the following:
- Creation of trusts, wills and settlements
- Trust and estate planning
- Advice on and applications relating to probate, estate administration and the laws of succession
The firm has been involved in major trust cases that have gone before the Courts. It acted in the last case that appeared before the Privy Council in England involving an estate of a local philanthropist. Examples of some cases dealt with include the following:
- The Sallim Talib Settlements;
- The Tan Tye Estate;
- The Valibhoy Trust;
- The Alkaff Settlements;
- The Tan Lip Boey Estate;
- The Wee Kay Siang Estate;
- The Lee Hiok Kwee Estate;
- The Shaik Ahmad B A.W. Basharahil Estate;
- The Chow Cho Pon Estate;
- The Manasseh Meyer Singapore and Hebrew School Settlements; and
- The Alexander Eu Keng Kee Estate
- Estate of Lee Wee Kheng