Harry Elias Partnership

Singapore

Review

Dispute resolution

Traditionally strong in litigation, Harry Elias Partnership offers the full spectrum of dispute resolution coverage including commercial disputes, construction, IP litigation, insolvency and international arbitration. The firm’s strength in family and matrimonial law is widely known in the market. Its clients include high-profile local and international individuals, banks, financial institutions, as well as corporations. The firm also offers solid mediation advocacy capability with trained mediators accredited as principal and associate mediators with the Singapore Mediation Centre. Senior counsel, firm founder and legal market pioneer Harry Elias passed away in the summer of 2020.

Managing partner and head of dispute resolution practice Philip Fong and partners Suressh S, Andy Lem, Chau Yee Tanj, Justin Chia and Yvonne Foo are the key figures at the firm. Francis Goh heads the international arbitration department, while Siew Fong Foo and Tien Hua Koh are widely known for their outstanding family and matrimonial expertise.

Highlights in commercial disputes include defending one of the accused in a case involving over 300 charges of market manipulation, unauthorised trading and cheating. This case has been described by prosecutors as “the largest market manipulation case in Singapore’s history”. In a multi-jurisdictional arbitration matter, the team acted for the owners and vendors of a Singapore trust company against the buyers for the breach of sale and purchase agreement for the takeover of the company.

Chia and his team are representing a management group in its claim against the developer, main contractor and subcontractors for building defects in the Singapore High Court. A public utilities board has instructed the firm for its defence against claims by the management committee plaintiff of alleged breach of non-delegable duty of care, breach of statutory duty and nuisance in the execution of the drainage improvement works.

The insolvency team continues to act for Ascendas REIT, Singapore’s first and largest listed business space and industrial real estate investment trust, in its claims for over S$120 million against the Hyflux Group for its premature termination of long-term leases over two buildings, Hyflux Building and Hyflux Innovation Centre. It is also representing First Abu Dhabi Bank as a creditor in the Agritrade International restructuring.

Last year, the firm hired Guo Xi Ng from Dentons Rodyk & Davidson to bolster its construction practice, while the same group lost Justin Tan who departed for WongPartnership. Partner and international arbitration specialist Rodman Bundy and Of Counsel Alvin Yap left last year for Squire Patton Boggs. Partner Ivan Cheong also left the family practice for Withers KhattarWong.

Key clients include BRC Asia, DBS Bank, GAM Kimura Commodity Trade Finance Fund, Rich-Link Construction, Singapore Ministry of Health, Standard Chartered Bank and Vantage Shipbrokers.

Client feedback

“HEP has strong relevant knowledge and experience in international arbitration involving both English and other common laws.” – Commercial and transactions

“Attentive, commercial and flexible.” – Commercial and transactions

Suressh S

“Suressh and Farrah Isaac have provided very good service and excellent handling of this matter.”

Weiyi Tan

“Listens well and is knowledgeable.”