Did my lawyer overcharge me? And what to do about it

Having lost a lawsuit, imagine receiving this in your mailbox the next day: “legal fees owed to W&O Partnership: $200,000”. While you know that litigation can be expensive, your lawyer had originally estimated the fees to be half that amount. Could he have overcharged you for unnecessary work? How then can you get the bill reduced? This article will first set out the types of legal costs expected in litigation, followed by a guidance on how fees are calculated. Lastly, it will list the recommended steps to challenge a legal bill if you believe that you have been unfairly charged.

The law and policy of carbon pricing in Singapore – Incoming shifts towards greater ambition towards carbon neutrality

Climate change has recently been given greater attention globally, since it poses one of the greatest security threats that humans have ever faced. This paper, which focuses on carbon pricing in Singapore, will first set out the goals that Singapore have set out in tackling climate action at the international plane. Then, it will look specifically at the laws and regulations in Singapore surrounding carbon pricing to meet these goals and assess their effectiveness. Subsequently, it will take a comparative approach and assess the laws and policy relating to carbon pricing in other jurisdictions, elucidating certain learning points and recommendations to improve the current carbon tax scheme in Singapore.

When the Court may order Personal Costs against Defence Counsel: Syed Suhail bin Syed Zin v Public Prosecutor [2021] SGCA 53

Defence counsel perform an important task of mounting a robust defence for accused persons. In so doing, they must also uphold proper conduct in courts. Where defence counsel invoke the courts’ processes without merit, the Court of Appeal has an inherent power to order personal costs against them. In Syed Suhail bin Syed Zin v PP, a three-step step test was adopted to clarify when the courts would exercise this power.

Trial by media? Understanding the contours of the sub judice rule

High-profile court cases are often newsworthy precisely because they involve sensational or shocking facts, or because they implicate current or controversial sociopolitical issues. However, while such cases naturally attract a good deal of public interest, excessive speculation or highly emotive commentary risk undermining the proper and impartial conduct of the case in question, by placing undue pressure on the court and parties, and affecting the availability and reliability of witness testimony. It is therefore crucial to understand the sub judice rule, which aims to protect the proper administration of justice by governing what can and cannot be published in respect of ongoing cases.

Venturing into the Variable Capital Company: How it works and what to expect

A VCC is a corporate entity tailored for use in investment funds. However, unlike a company which is generally utilised to carry on business, the VCCs can only be used in collective investment schemes. To understand more about VCCs and why their inception is significant, this article will look into what a VCC offers, its benefits and some matters to consider before embarking on a VCC venture.

Can I sue for an inaccurate breast cancer diagnosis?

In December 2020, over 200 patients of Khoo Teck Phuat Hospital (“KTPH”) were found to have been misdiagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer called “HER2”. The misdiagnosis resulted from the false-positive results of HER2 tests conducted by KTPH’s laboratory. While the patients did have breast cancer, the misdiagnosis of the more aggressive condition led to more expensive treatment. This treatment caused severe side effects as well. In such a situation, how can one seek redress through the courts? This article will assist such a patient by informing her of who she can sue, how she might be able to establish a viable claim, and the type of compensation that she can claim for.

Everything you need to know about a Lasting Power of Attorney

It is incumbent on us to be well-equipped to care for our elderly when they lack the capacity to do so. The Lasting Power of Attorney (“LPA”) has become a popular tool used under such circumstances, as reflected by the increasing number of LPA applications in Singapore from 8,000 registered in 2015 to almost 24,500 in 2019. This article will first explain what an LPA is, before discussing the assessment of mental capacity which is governed by the Mental Capacity Act. Lastly, the risks involved in the administration of LPAs will be considered.

The difference between a contract of employment and a contract for employment

What is the difference between a contract of employment and a contract for employment? If I am a business owner, which contract should I use when hiring: a) employees, b) part-timers and c) independent contractors? This article will first discuss the differences between these two legal concepts before concluding with some practical pointers for business owners. 

Britney Spears under conservatorship – Will I ever be placed under one?

On 29 September 2021, fans of the American singer – Britney Spears – cheered when the court suspended her father’s role as her conservator. Britney had previously claimed that her conservatorship was “oppressive” as her father controlled almost every aspect of her life. The court subsequently terminated the conservatorship completely on 12 November 2021. This article seeks to explain how a conservatorship works, and shed light on similar legal arrangements in Singapore. It will explain when someone might be placed under such a legal arrangement and how Britney can challenge her conservatorship if she was in Singapore.