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Conventional Thinking
TSMP Law Corporation, August 2019

The Singapore Convention cements the Lion City’s reputation as a dispute resolution hub, making mediation easier to enforce globally. Clients who come to see me about commercial disputes often ask for the same thing: fast resolution. I tell them that there are two tried-and-tested ways to resolve financial claims. First, you can litigate in court and have a judge make a legal ruling on the dispute, in the full gaze of the public...

Time to Take Another Bite of S-chips
TSMP Law Corporation, July 2019

Numerous corporate governance scandals over the past 15 years involving S-chips have tarred these mainland-operating, Singapore-listed companies with the same brush. But do all S-chips deserve their bad reputation?It was meant to be one of the Singapore Exchange’s (SGX) success stories. One of our biggest skincare companies, Best World International saw its profits grow almost 40 fold between 2013 and 2017. It was valued at S$1.8 billion at its peak in February 2019...

Fake Meat Good, Fake News Bad
TSMP Law Corporation, June 2019

For businesses who care about their brands, Pofma may be not be such a bad idea after all.Beyond Meat Inc. makes cows happy and cardiologists sad. Its Beyond Burger uses no meat and has no cholesterol, and contains less fat, fewer calories and more protein than a typical burger...

What the Dickens is Up With Audit Firms?
TSMP Law Corporation, May 2019

It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of incredulity. Blazing yellow sun. Lapping blue waves. Tanned beach bods and a palm tree’s silhouette swaying against an orange sky. Once ubiquitous, the California Fitness logo that hints at its fabulous lifestyle offering has vanished from Singapore. In its heyday “Cali”, as its legions of fans called it, was not merely a gym, it was a status symbol...

The SGX and the New Capital Market
TSMP Law Corporation, April 2019

We bemoan the lacklustre stock exchange and complain that the government isn’t doing enough. We point to greener trading pastures in Hong Kong. Is it time to re-look at the role of the stock market and how we benchmark ourselves?This February,Bloombergpublished an article headlined The Incredible Shrinking Singapore Stock Market, which stated that overthe past five years, more companies had exited than joined the SGX, leading the bourse to suffer a net outflow of S$19...

Big Data Bad Brother
TSMP Law Corporation, March 2019

Corporations and governments are ferreting out and squirreling away voluminous, detailed and private information about each and every one of us – and they are not afraid to use it. Should we be worried? Singapore’s Health Minister recently revealed that confidential details of 14,200 HIV-positive people, stolen from a government public health database, had been leaked online by a disgruntled US citizen who had been in a romantic relationship with a local doctor...

Copyright: An Upgrade is Available
TSMP Law Corporation, February 2019

From re-sharing cat videos to creating memes, tweaks in our three-decade-old Copyright Act will help clarify what’s permissible and what’s verboten as we continue to indulge in our insatiable appetite for social media. Chinese New Year Eve, 2019. Social media was ablaze with a viral video (YouTube link) of an altercation between a Malay Gojek driver and his Chinese passenger objecting to a route that would incur ERP charges...

Doggone It!
TSMP Law Corporation, February 2019

Pet owners do not get damages at law for the wrongful death of their pets, even when caused by fraudulent and unscrupulous profiteers. Should they? For many affluent “parents” of “furkids”, it is a familiar routine come Christmas or any other holiday season: stopping by at an expensive boarding facility on the way to the airport to drop off their precious pets, rather than leaving the cute critters home alone...

Arming the Silent Minority
TSMP Law Corporation, January 2019

Minority shareholders – often forced to silently accept the rule of the majority – should be given a voice. In May last year, Jerry Low, a minority investor in Asiatic Group (Holdings), wrote an open letter to the management highlighting concerns regarding the SGX-listed company’s poor performance, juxtaposing this against the high remuneration enjoyed by its senior management team...

A Case of Foot in Mouth Disease
TSMP Law Corporation, December 2018

Whether you are a business pushing out an edgy ad campaign, or one with an unsolicited media crisis on your hands, in the age of the Internet you are just keystrokes away from things going “viral”. It is important to be prepared. Like many bad ideas, it started innocuously enough. In late November, Dolce & Gabbana uploaded a series of videos on its social media platforms that starred a young Chinese woman wearing a red sequin dress...

A Future-Ready Justice System for Singapore
TSMP Law Corporation, November 2018

While the motivation behind the Civil Justice Commission’s consultation paper – aimed at enhancing the Court system – is laudable, the proposed introduction of litigation scale costs may hurt Singapore’s standing as a global litigation hub. In 2015, the Chief Justice established the Civil Justice Commission (CJC) to review Singapore’s civil justice system, with the goal of transforming and modernising the litigation process...

Disasters – Natural and Man-made
TSMP Law Corporation, November 2018

Companies wanting to do good through corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives face a quandary: how to ensure their aid is going where it is needed most. [Editor’s note: Last month, our firm was honoured to have won the President’s Volunteerism and Philanthropy Awards (PVPA) in the Small and Medium Enterprises category...

Is News Dead (or Have Reports of Its Demise Been Greatly Exaggerated)?
TSMP Law Corporation, October 2018

Traditional news organisations are facing a battle for survival but will they find a new mission in the battle against Fake News? Stefanie Yuen Thio shared her views in an article published by the Business Times on September 15, 2018...

The Human Instinct to Embrace Inequality
TSMP Law Corporation, September 2018

It’s crazy. It’s real. It’s awry. A secretly, stupendously rich man falls in love with a poor girl. His mother declares her a gold-digger. Much gnashing of teeth ensues. Beyond its simple rom-com plot, however, the film Crazy Rich Asians has a less palatable aspect to its story: inequality and our apparent acceptance of it...

Death of a Residential Property Market
TSMP Law Corporation, August 2018

Cooling measures in the form of increased ABSD and tighter LTV limits may be frosting the recent recovery in our property market. Friday July 6:After a few years of drought in the residential property market, the heavens opened a few months back and rained en bloc sales, to the excitement of a market that had been turning frigid from inactivity...

The Long March of the Mei Nü
TSMP Law Corporation, July 2018

Walking the tight rope between making strides for women’s rights and being too strident So, the Trump-Kim Summit has successfully concluded in Singapore, with the Leader of the Free World shaking hands with the Supreme Leader of one of its most coldblooded dictatorships. Looking at these two scions of privilege, it is hard not to be struck by how much they have in common, united not just by their comically bad hair, but also by their low regard for women...

Privacy is Dead
TSMP Law Corporation, June 2018

Privacy is Dead - But we never wanted it anyway, muses Adrian Tan. Over the past few weeks, our inboxes were bombarded by emails about privacy. Companies wrote to us, in a state of panic, because of the General Data Protection Regulation. That is a new European Union law that recently came into force. Among the many things that the GDPR does is to regulate the export of personal data outside the EU...

A Brave New World
TSMP Law Corporation, May 2018

By this time next year, Singapore will have a rather different employment regime from any it has had since independence. One aspect of this needs to be carefully thought through. About ten years ago, a distressed Norwegian client consulted me. His company’s Singapore office had a toxic employee who not only performed poorly and shirked responsibility, but was also habitually insubordinate to management and offensive to his peers...

Sustainability Reporting
TSMP Law Corporation, April 2018

Population growth has become the be-all and end-all for economic prosperity, but how on Earth can we cope with the extra billions of people? While “leafing” – or should I instead say “scrolling” in today’s need to sound tech savvy – through the news websites, the two subjects seemed to have captured the media’s attention: immigration and plastic...

En Bloc Roadblocks
TSMP Law Corporation, March 2018

With collective sales on the rise again, it is timely to examine factors that challenge such deals in the current cycle. It was a saga worthy of a soap opera. In 2007, Horizon Towers was on the verge of breaking the then en bloc price record when, over a period of more than two years and several flip-flopping court and Strata Titles Board (STB) decisions, minority owners eventually blocked the transaction...

Beware Geeks Bearing Gifts
TSMP Law Corporation, February 2018

Technology’s dark side may well be the silent threat to democracy. A year ago, Americans installed a reality TV star in the White House who doesn’t seem to let the facts get in the way of a good tweet. Trump’s shambolic management style has given America’s enemies a perceived opportunity to drive their country’s agendas...

"Hurricane Harvey" and the Winds of Change
TSMP Law Corporation, January 2018

Have we reached the tipping point in the fight against sexual harassment in the workplace? In late August 2017, Hurricane Harvey struck the Caribbean and the United States, causing unprecedented devastation and destruction. Less thantwo months later, a very different “Hurricane Harvey” followed, one that precipitated a renewed global consciousness over issues of sexual harassment...

Housing the Millennials
TSMP Law Corporation, December 2017

Understanding the Gen Y mindset is crucial to riding the next wave of property sales. From selfie-taking to social media-(over)sharing, millennials are famous for many traits, but one thing is for sure: compared to the preceding Generation Xers, their love for snapping photos may be real, but their propensity to snap up new homes trails far behind...

Big Data and the Death of the Shopping Mall
TSMP Law Corporation, November 2017

How retailers can harness technology to beat e-commerce at its own game. “It's official: Singapore malls are dead, as occupancy reaches its lowest level in 10 years,” screams one headline. “At some suburban malls, retailers confront the sound of silence,” another chimes in. As e-commerce takes hold, shoppers are eschewing brick and mortar in favour of the convenience of point and click...

Power to the People – Opening the Gates to Shareholder Activism
TSMP Law Corporation, October 2017

Noble Group continues to draw fire from Iceberg Research more than two years after the short-selling firm first accused the listed commodities trader of questionable accounting practices. In August this year, Iceberg renewed its criticism of the group, but expanded its crosshairs to include Singapore's regulators...

In Vitro Fertilisation And The Birth of a Legal Remedy
TSMP Law Corporation, June 2017

“It is a treasured value in humanity … that no parent would want her child to grow up thinking that she (the child was) a mistake." - Justice Choo Han Teck   In 2010, a Chinese woman, trying to conceive a child with her Caucasian husband, underwent an in vitro fertilisation (“IVF”) procedure at a clinic. Like the previous time she bore a child through IVF at that clinic in 2006, no third party’s gametes were meant to be used...

Rise of the Machines - Antitrust Concerns
TSMP Law Corporation, May 2017

In recent years, company director David Topkins was prosecuted by the United States Department of Justice for conspiring with third-party sellers to fix the prices of posters, prints and framed art on Amazon Marketplace. Amazon Marketplace is an online e-commerce marketplace for third-party sellers, where the sellers control all pricing and shipping decisions on products sold...

From Middle Kingdom To Centre of The Universe
TSMP Law Corporation, May 2017

"WHAT BELT AND ROAD SNUB MEANS FOR SINGAPORE’S TIES WITH CHINA" Thus the headline from the South China Morning Post (SCMP) on 18 May 2017.China had concluded its Belt and Road Forum, to which 29 other heads of government were invited. Only 3 from 10-member ASEAN were excluded: Singapore, Thailand and Brunei. Even smaller nations, with less-established diplomatic ties to Beijing, sent their heads of government...

Class War In Singapore
TSMP Law Corporation, May 2017

The Battleground: On one side of the battlefield, positioned on the lofty heights of moral superiority, the asset managers (and academics) lob propaganda leaflets pointing out their greater firepower in the form of smug principle and the dollar value of their total assets under management. Their opponents are a motley crew. There are the Startup Upstarts, whose uniform is expensive sneakers and untidy man-buns...

GIG - The Shadow Economy That's Taking Over The World
TSMP Law Corporation, May 2017

The Gig Economy So you work in the CBD. Here’s your day: You book a Grab car to get to work; as you leave the apartment, the dog walker shows up to take your beagle for a run and a bath. You’re rushing a presentation for a new client and chow down a sandwich at your desk, brought to your office by foodpanda. The client, a tech entrepreneur who's started an online sales portal, calls to ask you to meet at Starbucks because he needs a chai macha latte...

Singapore's Deep Dive Into Disruption
TSMP Law Corporation, May 2017

Disruption. Possibly the most overused word in today's global lexicon, it refers to the upheaval that is created when a new business (these days, usually founded by a smart alec entrepreneur) uproots an established method of delivering a product or service. Think Spotify, a music-streaming business that has sounded the death knell of CDs. It has, as its most vocal opponent, pop star Taylor Swift, who felt that it did not adequately value her art...

The End Of Proxy Wars?
TSMP Law Corporation, March 2017

Have you ever fought in a war? Chances are, you have. Participated in a proxy war that is. Harassing and coercing are some common tactics used in the attempt to obtain as many proxies as possible to wrest majority control. There has even been a situation where an individual held 250 proxies – effectively being able to make every decision solely...

A Tale of Two Cities
TSMP Law Corporation, February 2017

  "The best things in life are free, the second best things are very, very expensive."—Coco Chanel   Think of the most expensive cities in the world to live and places like London, New York and Paris come to mind. These cities epitomize the pinnacle of sophisticated and luxurious living, as romanticized all too often on the silver screen...

Minding Your W's and P's: The Spectre of Without Prejudice Privilege
TSMP Law Corporation, January 2017

November 2016: In the recent Singapore High Court decision of The Enterprise Fund II Ltd v JongHee Sen [2016] SGHC 259, Judicial Commissioner Hoo Sheau Peng (the "Judge") considered whether “withoutprejudice” privilege ("WP Privilege")applied to certain communications between the parties and, consequently,whether those communications could be received into evidence...

2017 – IN WHICH WE STARE AT OUR BALLS
TSMP Law Corporation, January 2017

(Our crystal balls, that is.) "If you can look into the seeds of time, and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak then unto me … "- William Shakespeare (MacBeth) Happy New Year! 2016 was nothing if not earth-shaking in terms of unexpected developments. The – once unthinkable – departure of Britain from the European Union, was voted in by a legislature feeling increasingly un-homed in its own country...

Autonomous Transport – Speed Bumps Ahead?
TSMP Law Corporation, December 2016

The world stands at the threshold of a new age. Self-driving cars have hit the streets and created the knock-on collision of technology and the law. Autonomous transportation presents a network of complex problems that have to be addressed before we can safely strap ourselves into a vehicle without a driver. August 2016 saw the implementation of the world’s first self-driving taxis in Singapore...

 

 

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