Kok Yee Keong

Kok Yee Keong

Senior Associate
T: 
+65 6361 9390
F: 
+65 6438 0550
E: 
YeeKeongKok@harryelias.com

Consummate disputes lawyer with complementary legal experience as NUS Legal Skills Instructor, PIPD Committee Member, CLC Committee Member, CLAS Defence Counsel, Young Amicus Curiae to the Supreme Court of Singapore, and SMC Accredited Mediator.

Civil and Commercial Litigation:

  • Disputes on ownership of properties which are jointly-held, or on trust, or prior representations made, e.g. houses, bank accounts, company shares, chattels.
  • Company/shareholders disputes, e.g. breach of director’s duties, forgeries, true ownership of shareholding, unauthorised use of funds, and unauthorised communication with clientele or vendors.
  • Adept in engaging in novel points of law, e.g. contractual claim in a fresh action for unrecovered costs of a previous proceeding, and for 100% full indemnity of costs instead of O.59 indemnity basis.
  • Acting for parents and minor student against a school for negligence and breach of contract, which involved a novel point of law regarding the scope of statutory gag order: GCP (a minor) (suing by her father and litigation representative, GCQ) and others v GCS [2020] SGDC 122.
  • Advising on employment, e.g. Employment Act, Retirement and Re-employment Act, restraint of trade clauses, conclusive evidence clauses, reasonable endeavors clauses, employees’ collective agreement, implied terms, incorporation of terms, etc.
  • Successfully obtained case management stay of court proceedings in favour of parallel arbitration proceeding against a co-defendant; advised client on serving as witness for the arbitration; applied for striking-out of court proceedings based on arbitral findings.
  • Achieved settlement for an international airline on the claims by passengers who were re-accommodated or did not arrive at the boarding gate in time, which involved cross-jurisdictional and interagency investigation.
  • Advised shareholders and guarantor on their respective liability exposure in the event of winding-up of the parent and related entities.
  • Acted for a chain of hair salons against its employee for loans, theft, and poaching clientele and staff.
  • Advising businesses and individuals on defamatory statements.
  • Advising on insurance terms, e.g. scope of coverage, repudiation, liability entitlement, etc.

Asset Recovery, Restructuring and Insolvency:

  • Routine debt collection (e.g. demand letters, court proceedings and enforcement) for commercial landlords and REITs, bank, a leading local private healthcare provider, a global accredited registrar and classification society, etc.
  • Acting for a REIT in its multi-million claim against the Hyflux Group’s restructuring of S$3.1 billion debts, involving Section 211B pre-scheme moratoria (the longest in Singapore), Section 210 parallel schemes of arrangement (two attempts), Scheme Chairman adjudication of proofs of claims, and applications for carve-outs from the moratoria to effect forfeiture of lease or to apply for Section 227B judicial management.
  • Acted in SK Engineering & Construction Co Ltd v Conchubar Aromatics Ltd and another appeal [2017] SGCA 51, a landmark decision on schemes of arrangement on novel issues of law, e.g. discounts on creditors’ votes, certainty of schemes and assessing creditors’ relatedness.
  • Registration of commonwealth judgment in Singapore High Court for enforcement.
  • Enforcement of share charge in suspended counter on SGX-ST Catalist board.
  • Advised on successful private restructuring of a company with ~S$1.4 million debts.
  • Obtained ~S$6 million summary judgment on a convertible loan agreement, and multi-pronged enforcement, e.g. EJD, WSS, winding-up, engaging auditors to trace assets and director’s misfeasance, etc.
  • Contributed to the firm’s ranking in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2016 to 2020 and Benchmark Litigation Asia Pacific 2019 – for Restructuring and Insolvency.

Construction and Engineering:

  • Acted for a MCST in its High Court suit against builder, architect and engineer on their use of monolithic tempered glass for balustrades despite its susceptibility to spontaneous shattering. The statutory regulation requiring laminated glass was only introduced after the building was completed. The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) filed an AEIC to weigh in.
  • Proceedings under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act (Cap. 30B).
  • Acted for individual landowners on construction of their houses, e.g. failure of main contractor to complete ~S$2.55 million works, damage to neighbouring land and encroachment of boundary lines.
  • Acted for MCSTs and subsidiary proprietors on construction defects, e.g. noise nuisance into unit from pump room, water seepage into unit from façade and defects in common property.
  • Contributed to the firm’s ranking in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2016 to 2020, Asialaw Profiles 2018 & 2019, ALB Southeast Asia Law Awards 2019, and Benchmark Litigation Asia Pacific 2019 – for Construction.

Landlords and tenants:

  • Acting for commercial landlords and REITs on a gamut of tenancy matters, e.g. review of leases, rental arrears, breach of tenancy terms (e.g. touting, fire safety, unauthorised activities and URA regulations), option to renew, reinstatement, premature termination and re-entry and forfeiture.
  • Advised a tenant in its successful premature termination of lease and substantial reduction of the landlord’s initial claim for ~S$280,000.
  • Advised a statutory board on retrospective claim for unauthorised subletting after a court judgment found a sub-tenancy arrangement between lessee and occupier.
  • Acted for an embassy to defend against a landlord’s claim for damage to tenanted ambassador’s residence.
  • Advised MCSTs, landlords and managing agents on compliance with data protection laws including the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA).
  • Advising landlords and tenants on the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020, including the notification for relief, assessor determination, passing on property tax rebate, and rental relief framework for SMEs.

Personal Injury and Property Damage (PIPD):

  • Acting for a Malaysian motor insurer to defend its insureds in Singapore, e.g. advising on claim amounts (including loss of future earnings / earning capacity and loss of amenities), negotiation, court mediation, trials on liability and assessment of damages hearings.
  • Instructed by an Embassy to advise and act in civil claim for its national seriously injured in a group attack, with parallel criminal proceedings.
  • Achieved ~S$1.7 million settlement for an employee injured in the Middle East, with resulting disabilities.
  • Successful dependency claims for the parents of the deceased in a fatal motor accident, where the driver was convicted in parallel criminal proceedings.
  • Converted a motor accident court action at 3-year impasse into ~S$100,000 settlement within 8 months.
  • Advised the insurer of a main contractor in a government project, on the ~S$330,000 claim by a passer-by who had tripped and fallen due to uneven surface of a public footpath.
  • Private Prosecution (Magistrate’s Complaint) for victim against perpetrator for causing hurt and assault.

Other experiences:

  • Emplaced on the Young Amicus Curiae Scheme 2020, by the Supreme Court of Singapore.
  • Member, PIPD Committee 2019 & 2020, The Law Society of Singapore.
  • Member, Community Legal Clinics (CLC) Committee 2020, Law Society Pro Bono Services.
  • Accredited Mediator of the Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC).
  • Defence Counsel under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (CLAS), by the Law Society Pro Bono Services. Handled offences such as drugs related, unlicensed moneylending, voluntarily causing hurt, theft and disorderly behaviour.
  • Volunteer lawyer at Chong Pang Community Club’s monthly legal clinic, dispensing free legal advice on bread and butter issues to residents, e.g. debt recovery, employment, family law, wills and probate, motor accidents, neighbour disputes, criminal offences, etc.
  • Legal Skills Programme Instructor at National University of Singapore (NUS) since 2016, teaching legal analysis, research and communication (written and oral advocacy) to freshmen over two semesters.
  • Called to the Singapore Bar in 2015; graduated from NUS in 2014 with LLB (2nd Upper Class Honours); awarded Ella Cheong Intellectual Property Scholarship and NUSS Medal for Outstanding Achievement.
  • Avid mooter: ECC-SAL Int’ll Moot 2016 (Singapore) - Semi-Finalist Team; William C. Vis Int’ll Commercial Arbitration Moot 2014 (Vienna) - Honourable Mention Oralist; GNLU Int’ll Moot 2013 (Gujarat) - Best Oralist and Champion Team; 13th D. M. Harish Memorial International Moot (Mumbai) 2012 - 13th Speaker & 10th Team; Advocacy Cup 2012 (Singapore) - Semi-Finalist; Red Cross Int’ll Humanitarian Law Moot 2011 (Hong Kong) - Semi-Finalist Team; etc.

Publications:

Get connected: www.linkedin.com/in/kokyeekeong

Recent Awards