“Equipped with a special set of skills, a lawyer is placed in a unique position to make a difference in the lives of others. A good lawyer is able to stay true to this calling notwithstanding the challenging demands of the profession.”

Johnston Lee

Associate Director

Johnston’s unique ability to assimilate his strong communication skills, conviction, and empathy into his practice has made him an effective lawyer in his primary areas of practice – Divorce and Family Law, Personal Injury, Negligence and Insurance, Criminal Law, as well as Wills, Trusts, Estate Planning and Probate. Notwithstanding being touted as an advocate for the man-on-the-street, clients court his advice on a wide range of civil matters as well.

He has been described by clients as “professional”, “patient”, “extremely competent”, “knowledgeable”, “efficient”, “helpful and approachable”, “very personable”, and “responsible”. Clients have also recognized him as one who “goes the extra mile”, provides “relatable and sound advice” and “understands what [the client] wants”.  He has also been praised for “having very fast turnaround and great follow-up”. (Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific).

In his first High Court trial that he conducted as lead counsel, he was praised by the Senior High Court Judge for having conducted the case in a manner beyond his seniority.

Johnston has more than a decade of experience advocating at all levels of the Singapore Courts. He appears regularly as lead counsel in both the High Court and the State Courts, in both the civil and family justice divisions. He has also successfully acted for clients in appeals to the High Court and the Appellate Division of the High Court.

He advises clients on Divorce and Family Law including divorce proceedings, applications to vary Ancillary Orders, child custody, care and control issues, maintenance issues, as well as cross-border child abduction issues). He also regularly advises both individuals and insurers on Personal Injury, Negligence and Insurance claims arising from industrial and motor vehicle accidents, workmen compensation, motor insurance fraud, amongst others. On the Criminal Law front, Johnston has represented clients in offences including theft, Road Traffic Act offences (drink driving, reckless driving causing hurt, amongst others), criminal breach of trust, and Customs Act offences. In the realm of Trusts and Estate Planning, he regularly advises and conducts training and seminars for financial advisers and estate planners.

Johnston is married with two beautiful daughters. In his free time, you may catch him zooming around Singapore on his road bike, honing his skills as a home-barista, or engrossed in articles about the fascinating world of horology. He is also passionate about working with the next generation and mentors a group of young adults in his church.

Focus Areas

  • Divorce and Family Law
  • Personal Injury, Negligence and Insurance
  • Criminal law
  • Wills, Trusts, Estate Planning and Probate

Johnston Lee

Associate Director

A representative sample of cases & transactions that Johnston has handled include:

  • Wee Lai Soon & Anr v Ong Jian Ming [2022] SGHC 102: Acted as lead counsel representing the Defendant insurers in substantially reducing two claims that amounted to seven-figures brought in the High Court by the Plaintiffs who had suffered serious injuries in a motor accident along Seletar Expressway. The case also involved several difficult and novel issues on loss of earnings at the Assessment of Damages.
  • USD v USC [2021] SGHCF 4: Successfully acted for Respondent wife in resisting multiple appeals brought by her spouse all the way to the highest court of the land. The Court agreed with our arguments to uphold judgment for the Respondent wife to retain a 55% share of the pool of matrimonial assets, which included an uplift in her favour due to the dissipation of assets by her spouse, yielding her a seven-figure sum.
  • Stephanie Tang Swan Leen and ors v Tan Su San (the personal representative of the deceased Tan Seng Huat) [2018] SGDC 218 (District Court): Acted for the Plaintiffs and successfully established liability against the Defendant driver who suffered a stroke before colliding into the Plaintiffs. The Court adopted a 2015 English Court of Appeal’s objective test requiring “total loss of control”. This is the first Singapore decision on the applicable legal standard to establish a defence of automatism under tort law.
  • Acted as lead counsel in a six-day High Court Assessment of Damages for a Claimant bringing a novel head of claim for the difference in premiums for insurance coverage, amongst others, as a result of the injuries that the Claimant had sustained further to the subject accident. There has not been any authority in Singapore on this head of claim and the case gave rise to many difficult and novel issues pertaining to the aforesaid head of claim and involved examining authorities spanning multiple jurisdictions apart from Singapore.
  • Acted as lead counsel for the insurers in successfully dismissing a Plaintiff’s claim for work injury compensation
  • Acted for a multi-national company in a US$26 million claim against a public listed company in relation to a shipbuilding contract dispute involving Singapore International Arbitration Centre (“SIAC”) proceedings
  • Successfully defended an individual who was discharged amounting to an acquittal after being charged for engaging in a conspiracy to deal in custom unpaid cigarettes despite being a confidential informant
  • Acted for insurers in substantially reducing a six-figure personal injury claim in a High Court Assessment of Damages
  • Assisting in advising and representing a quadriplegic victim in a seven-figure personal injury claim
  • Assisting in successfully representing a client in a High Court professional negligence suit against a solicitor that established novel points of law on a solicitor’s duty to his client
  • Advised on and acted for insurers and individuals in a wide range of insurance claims but not limited to property damage and personal injury claims arising from motor vehicle accidents, industrial accidents, fires, fallen trees, as well as matters involving motor insurance fraud and disputes on insurance contracts
  • Advised on and represented individuals in relation to various divorce and matrimonial proceedings including cross-border issues pertaining to child abduction, matrimonial assets etc

Matters Johnston was involved in where the Court rendered a Written Decision include:

  • Su Ah Tee and others v Allister Lim and Thrumurgan (sued as a firm) and another (William Cheng and others, third parties) [2014] SGHC 159
  • Darren Khor Yong Tian v Abra-ah Binte Abidin DC Suit 1853 of 2015 (State Courts)
  • Stephanie Tang Swan Leen and ors v Tan Su San (the personal representative of the deceased Tan Seng Huat) [2018] SGDC 218 (District Court)
  • USD v USC [2021] SGHCF 4 (High Court)
  • Wee Lai Soon & Anr v Ong Jian Ming [2022] SGHC 102 (High Court)

What Clients Say about Johnston

  • “Johnston, who was my lawyer, provided relatable and sound advice. He gave me a wide scope of possibilities and understood what I wanted.” – Client quoted in Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific


  • [He] shared the detailed process of marriage dissolution during the first meeting, allowing me to understand the whole procedure. [He] was patient. He listened to my situation before providing me with the various options for my consideration and allowed me time to make my decision to appoint them to represent me. Very fast turnaround. It only took them one week to finish the paper and submit it. I did hear from my friends that it took them about one month for their lawyers to complete their papers.” – Client quoted in Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific


  • “He is very knowledgeable and has a very good personality. He is patient and efficient in his work.” – Client quoted in Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific


  • “Listened to the situation before providing possible solutions. Very fast turnaround and great follow-up. After the proceedings were completed, he called to follow up on my situation and checked to ensure all was good. Helpful and approachable.” Client quoted in Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific


  • “He is very personable and goes the extra mile to explain in detail to clients about their wills and LPAs.” – Client quoted in Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific


  • “He is able to build relationships with clients quickly and advise with confidence. He is competent in his work and responsible.” – Client quoted in Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific


  • “He was understanding throughout my entire ordeal. He broke things down simply for me and provided different alternatives and choices for me. He also discussed what I could do to ensure that legally I will be protected.” – Client quoted in Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific


  • “Johnston Lee had given me clear and sound advice throughout my case, and I had fully understood the process and procedures.” – Client quoted in Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific


  • “The firm has assigned to me a very competent lawyer, Johnston Lee, to represent my case. The firm acted upon all matters with precise timing.”Client quoted in Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific


  • I contacted Johnston through a referral and was highly recommended. He was kind and professional in his communication and explanations for the entire process of this traffic accident case which were physically and mentally traumatising. He also provided necessary assurance along the way and explained how the process and court systems in Singapore work so we knew we were in good hands and how far we are into the process. I have already recommended others who are experiencing similar issues and will continue to recommend Johnston for his hard work and excellent service.” – Kwon Hyuk Tae


  • “Dear Johnston, thank you for everything you have done for us regarding our dispute. Your professional advice and guidance throughout the whole process makes us feel certain and organised. We are so fortunate to have you and your team as our legal adviser. Once again, I truly appreciate your service and your willingness to go further to help us in many circumstances during the ordeal. Thank you.” – Allen Ewe


  • Dear Johnston, I am truly blessed and grateful to have found you as my family law attorney. During our first meeting, you had explained everything to me in terms I could easily understand and was always very responsive. When I had questions outside of our meeting, you were patient and concise in your explanations. I know it’s your job, but it’s my life – and I feel you went above and beyond. I would also like to commend your composure, work ethic and most of all excellent professionalism. THANK GOD for you and your knowledge of the law.” – David Foong


  • I would like to thank Characterist LLC especially Mr. Johnston for his guidance on my case. Throughout the entire process, Mr Johnston has given me his professional view and advice which is offered in my best interest. I strongly recommend him and his team to anyone who requires their legal opinion and services.” –Tay Jing Ying


  • “I could not be more satisfied with Characterist LLC. The staff are professional and their work are very thorough. They listened to my concerns with undivided attention. They advised, advocated and kept me well informed throughout the proceedings. Their confidence and experience put me at ease throughout the whole process. I rate them 10/10.” – Henry Chiang


  • I was in a financial difficulty before I met with an unfortunate accident which gave me more trouble managing my recovery and claims. Daniel had gone out of the way to help me get through my accident claim by providing assistance along the course of it. Johnston had been very professional and helpful along the way answering my queries patiently and breaking down things i did not understand into layman terms. Both of them have been modest and never ever over promised me and always surprised me with the results. Overall I have been very satisfied all the way from the start to the end of the case. I would highly recommend Characterist LLC for any legal matters.” Seth Ong


  • “Johnston Lee and his team are a great bunch of people who handle legal matters professionally and also put personal attention to them. I have a great experience with the team in Characterist handling the sensitive issues on a timely manner to prevent more angst for me over the complicated legal matters. The value of their services is indeed from their true character.” – June Heng


  • Mr Johnston Lee is a very patient, humble and well-mannered lawyer. Though sometimes I forward him with long emails, he is patient to read through the emails and reply me accordingly. One of the most prominent things I would like to compliment him is though I have provided him with much information for my divorce matter, he came up with neutral facts to justify the grounds of divorce (though initially I have the intention to ask him to mention the prominent incidents) thus showing his expertise in handling the case. I will definitely recommend this law firm and Mr Johnston Lee to my friends for legal advice. Keep up the good work, Mr Johnston Lee!”Hannah Jessline Woon


  • “Thank you very much for the service and advice you had provided to us. The clarity and care you took to explain the procedures and avenues of recourse available to us enabled our mitigation to achieve its intended conclusion. Many thanks once again and we would certainly engage Characterist if we require legal services in future” – Afiq Syazani and Akif Syamil


  • “Thank you for all your help. I am pleased with the results of the case. Especially Johnston, as you went above and beyond to every query I made and ensuring it meets my expectation on the outcome. I can fully trust you with your professionalism and expertise which make me feel at ease and rest assured. I will definitely recommend Johnston and Daniel from Characterist LLC to anyone who require any legal support. Once again thank you Johnston and Daniel for all your time and effort during this journey.” – Helen Chew

Memberships / Associations / Volunteer Work

  • Member, Law Society of Singapore
  • Member, Singapore Academy of Law

Presentations / Seminars

  • In-house seminars and training sessions for insurance executives and financial planners from various companies on estate planning, trusts and probate, amongst others.
  • Presentation / seminar on estate planning for senior citizens at Touch Senior Activities Centre

Johnston Lee In The News

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