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Yee Keong Kok, Senior Associate

Yee Keong Kok

Senior Associate

Practice areas

  • Construction and engineering
  • International arbitration
  • Litigation and dispute management
  • Personal injury claims litigation
  • Restructuring and insolvency

Practice notes

 

A disputes lawyer experienced in advisory and contentious work in the following areas.

Asset Recovery, Restructuring and Insolvency:

  • Routine debt collection (e.g. demand letters, court proceedings and enforcement) for commercial landlords and REITs, a Malaysian bank in Singapore, a leading local private healthcare provider, a global accredited registrar and classification society, etc.
  • Acting for a REIT in its ~S$120 million claim against the Hyflux Group for premature termination of long-term leases, which court proceedings involve pre-scheme moratoriums, parallel schemes of arrangement and potential judicial management.
  • Acted for applicants in SK Engineering & Construction Co Ltd v Conchubar Aromatics Ltd and another appeal [2017] SGCA 51, a landmark decision on schemes of arrangement, e.g. discounts on creditors’ votes, certainty of schemes and assessing creditors’ relatedness.
  • 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. examination of judgment debtor, seizure and sale of shares, 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 2019 and Benchmark Litigation Asia Pacific 2019 – for Restructuring and Insolvency.

Construction and Engineering:

  • Acting for a MCST in its High Court suit against builder, architect and engineer on their use of tempered glass for balustrades despite its susceptibility to spontaneous shattering. The statutory regulations were amended only post-development to require laminated glass. The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) has 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 Asialaw Profiles 2018 & 2019, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2016 to 2019, ALB Southeast Asia Law Awards 2019, and Benchmark Litigation Asia Pacific 2019 – for Construction.

Tenancy:

  • 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), 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 the landlord’s claim for damage to the tenanted ambassador’s residence.

Personal Injury and Property Damage (PIPD):

  • Member of the Law Society of Singapore’s PIPD Committee 2019.
  • 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 act for its national who was injured in a group attack, which is under concurrent criminal proceedings.
  • Achieved ~S$1.7 million settlement for an employee injured at work in the Middle East, resulting in disabilities afflicting his working abilities.
  • Successful dependency claims for the parents of the deceased in a fatal motor accident, where the driver was convicted in concurrent criminal proceedings.
  • Took over court proceedings at a 3-year impasse and achieved ~S$100,000 settlement for motor accident victims 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.

Civil and commercial litigation:

  • Acted for a chain of hair salons against its foreign employee for advance salary and loans, theft of company funds and poaching clientele and staff.
  • Acted for a replacement main contractor to successfully stay court proceedings commenced by the former main contractor; and advised client on serving as witness for the parallel arbitration proceedings between former main contractor and employer.
  • Achieved settlement for a foreign airline on the claims by disgruntled passengers.
  • Advised corporate shareholders and an individual guarantor on their respective liability exposure in the event of winding-up of the parent and related entities.

Other information:

  • Pro Bono Defence Counsel under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (e.g. drug charges, unlicensed moneylending, voluntarily causing hurt, theft and disorderly behaviour); active volunteer lawyer at various community legal clinics.
  • 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, NUSS Medal for Outstanding Achievement, 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, Advocacy Cup 2012 (Singapore) - Semi-Finalist, and Red Cross Int’ll Humanitarian Law Moot 2011 (Hong Kong) - Semi-Finalist Team.

Publications:

• Strategic use of Offers to Settle (OTS) to negotiate motor accident claims. Issued on 26 Jul 2019: see https://tinyurl.com/offerstosettle 

• What to do in a motor accident? A comprehensive practical guide to motor accident claims in Singapore. Issued on 8 Jul 2019: see https://tinyurl.com/motoraccidentguide 

• Open, says me! Basic Guide for Re-entry by Landlords in Singapore. Issued on 2 Nov 2018: see https://tinyurl.com/landlordreentry 

• Whose scheme is it anyway? The law on schemes of arrangement in Singapore after SK Engineering Construction Co Ltd v Conchubar Aromatics Ltd and another appeal [2017] SGCA 51. Issued on 28 Sep 2017: see https://tinyurl.com/schemesofarrangement