Dominic has a unique ability to combine conviction and clarity to be an extremely effective litigation lawyer in the field of litigation, arbitration and dispute resolution. With more than a decade of experience, he has developed a broad-based practice in commercial litigation in Singapore as well as international commercial litigation and arbitration. He was with the Commercial Litigation department of Rajah & Tann LLP, where he had spent six years working with and assisting experienced counsel including Senior Counsel, before joining the Characterist team in 2011. He was included in Singapore Business Review’s “Singapore’s 40 most influential lawyers aged 40 and under in 2015“.
Dominic appears regularly as lead counsel in the High Court, and he has successfully argued a number of cases and appeals both at the High Court and at the Court of Appeal involving novel issues. His core belief is that the law cannot remain stagnant, but rather, it should develop or change in order to achieve truth and justice. His other core belief is that disputes, where it is in the best interests of his clients, should be resolved at the earliest possible stage, through the use of mediation or other dispute resolution methods.
He has been described by clients as “very sharp”, “knowledgeable”, with the ability to “analyse the facts critically and present all possible options available”, and to “anticipate the most likely outcome on critical and specific issues.” He has also been described by clients as “meticulous” and dedicated, possessing “conviction” and “clarity”, and being “persuasive in Court”.
Dominic is an Associate Mediator with the Singapore Mediation Centre. He is also a volunteer lawyer with the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (CLAS). Dominic is currently serving as a Vice-President of the Catholic Lawyers’ Guild.
Outside of work, Dominic is married, has two beautiful young children whom he is enamored with, and enjoys spending time with his family. He is active in Church, and plays the acoustic guitar, percussions, and is also a worship leader and speaker. While working full time and raising his young family, Dominic pursued further studies, and received his Master of Arts degree in Theology from the Augustine Institute in December 2015, graduating summa cum laude.
Tel: (65) 6222 5562
Fax: (65) 6222 5561
Email: [email protected]
" The good lawyer is like a sower. He believes in your cause with so much conviction and conveys that belief so compellingly that the tribunal and even opposing counsel begin to share that belief. This shared belief is the seed which, under the right circumstances, would spring up to the fruit of a favorable outcome or settlement."
~ Dominic Chan
- • Chan Lung Kien v Chan Shwe Ching  SGHC 136 (High Court): Acted as lead counsel for the Plaintiff and obtained a court order to set aside a previous decision of another High Court judge in Chan Shwe Ching v Leong Lai Yee  5 SLR 295 (which had previously departed from Malayan Banking), and in doing so, the Court affirmed the (almost 2-decades old) decision in Malayan Banking as good law. This is an important decision which clarifies that a judgment cannot be enforced by way of a WSS on jointly held property, and it also clarifies when (and on whose application) a Court can set aside its own ex parte decision.
- • Grande Corp Pte Ltd v Cubix International Pte Ltd  SGHC 13 (High Court): Acted as lead counsel for the Plaintiff and successfully obtained a court order to strike out the defences of the 3rd and 4th Defendants on the basis that they had committed intentional, contumelious and inexcusable breaches of an Unless Order, as well as inexcusable breaches of their discovery obligations. Judgment was entered for the Plaintiff against them, with damages to be assessed, as well as costs. As striking out is only given in exceptional circumstances where the breach is inexcusable, this is a rare decision.
- • iHub Solutions Pte Ltd v Freight Links Express Logisticentre Pte Ltd  SGHC 06 (High Court): Acted as lead counsel for the Plaintiff company (tenant). The Court held that the Defendant landlord (a wholly owned subsidiary of a listed company) had breached an implied term of expeditious renewal and an implied term of quiet enjoyment, by inter alia committing various acts of hindrances against the tenant to pressurise the tenant to agree to a higher rate for the renewal of the commercial tenancy.
- • Solvadis Commodity Chemicals Gmbh v Affert Resources Pte Ltd in HC/CWU 17/2017 (High Court): Acted as lead counsel for the Plaintiff, an independent substantial creditor, and successfully obtained a court order to convert a creditors’ voluntary winding up into a court-ordered winding up. The Court held that there was a need for an independent inquiry of the Defendant company (which had uncollected receivables of around US$31 million), and substituted the provisional liquidators / liquidators in the creditors’ voluntary winding up (without having to make any finding on their conduct) with the Plaintiff’s nominated liquidators, so that the inquiry will also be seen to be independent.
- • Solvadis Commodity Chemicals GmbH v Affert Resources Pte Ltd  SGHC 217;  1 SLR 174 (High Court): Successfully obtained, as lead counsel, a worldwide Mareva Injunction in aid of foreign arbitration proceedings. The Defendant’s discharge application was successfully resisted before the High Court and the Court of Appeal. This appears to be the first reported decision in Singapore where Section 12A of the International Arbitration Act was applied to grant a worldwide Mareva injunction in aid of foreign arbitration proceedings.
- • Acting as lead counsel for the buyer in an SIAC arbitration involving the US$16 million purchase of farming land overseas with allegedly defective title, and a counterclaim for substantial loss of profits.
- • Acting as lead counsel for a large German company to enforce an ICC arbitration award for over US$7 million in Singapore.
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- • Ling Mang Khong Stanley v Teo Chee Siong and others (Yeo Boon Hwa, third party)  SGHC 58 (High Court): Successfully acted as lead counsel for the key witness in a High Court Suit and struck out third party proceedings brought by the defendants against the key witness while the Suit was still ongoing.
- • Acting as lead counsel for a major creditor to recover millions of dollars invested by the creditor in an S$60 million Ponzi scheme which had involved over 60 investors.
- • Acted as lead counsel for a formerly SGX-listed Chinese company in an application to the High Court for pre-action discovery in support of a potential claim against auditors for alleged negligence in failing to detect financial fraud in overseas subsidiaries of that company.
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- • Ng Boo Han & Koo Oi Lian Audrey-Ann v Teo Boon Hiang Edward  SGHC 267 (High Court): Successfully acted as lead counsel for the Appellants in an appeal to the High Court against the decision of the judge below who had substantially dismissed their renovation defects claim against the Respondent. This decision lays down the principles for construing the extent and limitation of a “free-hand rights” clause in a building and construction contract.
- • Chang Mei Wah Selena and Others v Wiener Robert Lorenz and Others and Other Matters  4 SLR(R) 385 (High Court); Kok Chong Weng and others v Wiener Robert Lorenz and others (Ankerite Pte Ltd, intervener)  2 SLR(R) 709 (Court of Appeal): Successfully acted for the purchasers in a dispute arising from their S$550 million en-bloc acquisition of Gillman Heights, which involved the determination of the novel question whether former HUDC Estates were intended to be covered by the en-bloc legislation regime.
- • Successfully acted for certain members of the original sale committee in their appeal against the decision of the Strata Title Board disallowing the S$500 million en-bloc sale of Horizon Towers.
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- • Acted as lead counsel for a former executive against a large national bank in relation to alleged defamatory statements made by the bank’s representatives to third parties.
- • Acted as lead counsel for a local company to defend a libel claim in the High Court by a competitor company in relation to certain allegedly defamatory publicity material.
- • Acted for a former Chief Financial Officer to defend a libel claim by her former employers in relation to messages allegedly sent on the internet via MSN.
- • Attorney General v Faith Community Baptist Church (CA88/2014; Summons 3016/2014) (Court of Appeal): Successfully acted as lead counsel for Faith Community Baptist Church (“FCBC”) in striking out the Attorney-General’s appeal (for which leave of Court was not sought) against the decision of a High Court judge who granted leave to FCBC to commence judicial review against the decision of the Acting Minister for Manpower (who had decided that FCBC had dismissed their former employee without “sufficient cause”).
- • Law Society of Singapore v Nor-ain Bte Abu Bakar and Others  SGDSC 9;  1 SLR(R) 753: Assisted in the prosecution, on behalf of the Law Society of Singapore against certain lawyers who had fraudulently caused the Supreme Court to wrongfully pay out about S$4.3 million in respect of the administration and distribution of a Muslim estate which was embroiled in a series of competing claims.
- • Acted as lead counsel for a TCM practitioner in an inquiry hearing before the investigation committee.
- • Boey Chun Hian (by his guardian and next friend, Boey Ghim Huat) v Singapore Sports Council (Neo Meng Yong, third party)  SGHCR 15 (High Court): Acted for the father of the victim in a near-drowning case against the Singapore Sports Council (“SSC”) and their lifeguards in a High Court Suit. Successfully obtained, as lead counsel, a Court Order for the production of the Committee of Inquiry Report (“COI Report”) on the incident. This is the first reported decision in Singapore where the dominant purpose test was applied to determine (and limit) the scope of legal advice privilege (which was raised to resist production).
- • Advised and acted as lead counsel for an insurance company on substantive and procedural matters relating to widespread motor insurance fraud, including obtaining novel Court Order(s) to join the insurers as defendants, to set aside default judgments against the former insured, and to raise fraud as a defence (despite the insurers having repudiated liability), as well as to adjourn suspected fraudulent cases sine die pending the completion of police investigations.
- • Acted for various accused persons charged with offences relating to the Misuse of Drugs Act (trafficking, possession and consumption), illegal money lending, rioting, unlawful assembly, cheating, theft, voluntarily causing hurt, rash and public nuisance acts, as well as breach of probation orders.
- • "What is Right and What is a Right?: The Claim to Same-Sex Marriage, the Politicization of Rights and the Morality of Law" (2004) 24 Sing LR 93-137
- • "Oral Sex - A Case of Criminality or Morality?", Singapore Law Gazette (September 2004)
- • "Extent and Limitation of a 'Free-Hand Rights' Clause in Building and Construction Contracts where there are Defects: Ng Boo Han & Koo Oi Lian Audrey-Ann v Teo Boon Hiang Edward  SGHC 267" Singapore Law Blog (29 January 2015), online: http://www.singaporelawblog.sg/blog/article/8
Dominic blogs on various aspects of Singapore law at www.singaporelitigationlawyer.com (“To Sue or Not to Sue: Demystifying Litigation in Singapore”).
- • Member, Law Society of Singapore
- • Member, Singapore Academy of Law
- • Associate Mediator, Singapore Mediation Centre
- • Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (CLAS), volunteer lawyer
- • Vice-President, Catholic Lawyers' Guild
- • Member, Inquiry Panel of the Law Society
- • 2015 – M.A., Theology, Augustine Institute, summa cum laude
- • 2006 - Advocate & Solicitor, Singapore
- • 2005 - LLB (Hons), National University of Singapore
“[Dominic is] uncompromising in wanting only the truth so that the Court could make a fair judgement… Singapore needs more lawyers like you to safeguard the integrity of its core institutions… The end result (judgement) has borne the fruits of the root of truth. David has prevailed over Goliath."
“Despite taking over the case from our previous lawyers in short notice of just two days to our [deadline] for our appeal, you were able to grasp the difficulties and intricacies we faced… We took courage and confidence from your conviction and zeal as you put forth our case in the High Court… We felt that [Dominic] put his whole heart and soul in representing us in our litigation. That inspired hope for us in what seemed like an unsurmountable obstacle… Our vindication is a testimonial of your capabilities, experience and dedication to do the utmost for your clients.”
[Dominic] would analyse the facts critically and present all possible options available… He would anticipate the most likely outcome on critical and specific issues. He is very resourceful, knowledgeable and meticulous in presenting his case. Most of all, he is very sharp. I would not hesitate to recommend him for any legal proceeding for the future.
"Dominic...was persuasive in Court and handled my case very skillfully. He was also humble and kind..."
"Dominic is a very professional lawyer and advocate with good knowledge and initiative. He believed in me...and went all out for me without giving up. I really appreciate the tremendous hard work and unceasing effort he put into my case, which eventually paid off with an excellent result. Thank you."