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.

Avoiding Tax Avoidance When Incorporating a Medical Practice

It is said that nothing in life is certain, except death and taxes. This is especially true for doctors who frequently witness deaths in their occupation and, more recently, have had the taxman knocking on their doors. The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (“IRAS”) has been going after doctors aggressively for tax avoidance after finding out that doctors have been setting up companies primarily to reduce their tax liabilities. Against this backdrop, a doctor running his own practice as a sole proprietor may be unsure if the benefits of incorporating a company for his medical practice would outweigh the risk of committing tax avoidance. This article provides guidance for doctors on how to incorporate a company without committing tax avoidance.

Witholding of an employee’s salary

Singapore’s employment law mandates that salary must be promptly paid to resigning employees even if the employee had wronged the employer; this is a strict position with only a few rare exceptions allowed.  Further, the courts have clarified that any wrong caused by a resigning employee is a separate matter. As a separate matter, the proper recourse by the employer to right any such wrong would be to take legal action against the employee under the terms of the employment contract.