Instant Legal Protection for Your Family

Helmed by Lie Chin-Chin, a veteran family law practitioner of more than 30 years’ standing and author of the very well-received book Instant Legal Protection for Your Family, the Family Law team at Characterist LLC has in-depth knowledge and expertise to handle the legal intricacies and emotional complexities involved in the process of divorce. Our Family team comprises both male and female lawyers and staff who bring diverse backgrounds and life experiences to their legal practice to meet the differing needs of individual clients in each and every case. We are well-versed with the multi-faceted divorce process and understand that the journey can be bewildering, frustrating and distressing, but you can trust us to journey with you from the start of the process to the very end. The awards our firm has won over the years, including the Corporate INTL Magazine Global Awards for Boutique Family and Matrimonial Law Firm of the Year in Singapore from 2020 to 2023, Straits Times Best Law Firm award from 2021 to 2024, and Asia’s notable firm in 2020, bear testimony to our dedication and expertise. Most recently, we have been named a Notable Firm in Family and Matrimonial Law by Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific for 2024.

At Characterist LLC, we aim to achieve the best outcome by adopting customised strategies appropriate to your case, be it exploring suitable alternatives to divorce where possible that involve collaborative approaches, or timing the process to prevent asset dissipation or to procure more information on an errant spouse’s hidden assets. We successfully settle 90% of our cases through low-acrimony and cost-effective pathways such as mediation so that our clients can more easily move on with their post-divorce lives. In cases where settlement is not possible, our team of experienced family litigators are able to contest matters at every level of the Court system, including in the Court of Appeal, to advance our clients’ optimal interest.

We also believe that legal cost should not be a hindrance to justice. We help our clients manage costs by having blended rates and assigning lawyers with the appropriate level of seniority and expertise according to the needs of each client and the circumstances of each case.

Areas of Practice


  • Contested and Uncontested Divorce, including high net worth divorces
  • Judicial Separation and Annulments
  • Deeds of Separation and Post-Nuptial Agreements
  • Assets Division and Assets Tracing
  • Custody, care and control for Children
  • Spousal and Child Maintenance
  • Variation and Enforcement of Ancillary Orders
  • Adoption

    Notable Briefs

    • Successfully helped our client obtain sole custody of her child (in contrast to the usual position of joint custody) and backdated child maintenance, as well as recovered a long-standing loan owed to her by her husband.
    • Successfully helped our client obtain 70% of the matrimonial assets in a divorce from an evasive bankrupt husband who had concealed his assets before disappearing.
    • Successfully helped our client resist an application for Mareva injunction pending divorce proceedings on her worldwide assets.
    • Obtained a significant concession for client to remain in rent-free occupation at the ex-spouse’s property, which eased her transition to a new chapter of life post-divorce.
    • Successfully represented our client in resisting multiple appeals brought by our client’s spouse all the way to the highest court of the land. The Judge agreed with our arguments to uphold judgment for our client 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.
    • Successfully defended our client against a natural mother’s claim of $500,000 for an illegitimate child’s maintenance.
    • Successfully obtained an Order of Court giving our client sole usage rights over frozen embryos stored out of jurisdiction and sole parental right over future children born from the embryos. Worked with foreign solicitors and negotiated the subsequent amicable transfer of frozen embryos to our client after assuaging Husband’s concerns about his potential liability for child maintenance given the overseas use of said embryos were not clearly subject to the Status of Children (Assisted Reproduction Technology) Act 2013.
    • Successfully traced and clawed back into matrimonial assets pool upon appeal Husband’s shares in a public-listed company which Husband had disposed of prior to Ancillary Matters Hearing, which Husband had argued originated from premarital assets and had successfully excluded from the asset pool at first instance.

    What Our Clients Say

    Characterist

    Every consultation with Chin Chin crystallizes my thoughts and lifts me out of my struggles and confusion.

    I am always humbled by Chin Chin’s consistent frank and professional advice over the years. Thank you for giving your all to put my best interests first. I appreciate your initiative to really understand my family dynamics and needs before giving me sound and effective advice.
    Y.C. Phang
    Characterist

    Keep up the good work, Mr Johnston Lee!

    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 thing 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
    Characterist
    I would like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to Min Zhi and her team for providing me with very personable legal services. My case is complex and urgent, Min Zhi is able to handle it calmly and professionally. Her follow up has always been prompt and close. My wife and I are extremely pleased with the service from Min Zhi and her team.
    C.Y. Lian
    Characterist
    [Johnston] 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 from Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific (Family)
    Characterist
    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 from Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific (Family)
    Characterist

    The value of their services is indeed from their true character.

    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
    Characterist

    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
    J.Y. Tay
    Characterist
    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
    Characterist
    [Johnston] is very knowledgeable and has a very good personality. He is patient and efficient in his work.
    Client quoted from Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific (Family)
    Characterist
    Listened to the situation before providing possible solutions. Very fast turnaround and great follow-up. After the proceedings were completed, [Johnston] called to follow up on my situation and checked to ensure all was good. Helpful and approachable.
    Client quoted from Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific (Family)
    Characterist
    [Johnston] is able to build relationships with clients quickly and advise with confidence. He is competent in his work and responsible.
    Client quoted from Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific (Family)
    Characterist
    [Johnston] 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 from Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific (Family)
    Characterist
    Johnston Lee had given me clear and sound advice throughout my case, and I had fully understood the process and procedures.
    Client quoted from Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific (Family)
    Characterist
    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 from Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific (Family)

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