Surviving flow-down liability for liquidated damages: a guide for subcontractors

Liquidated damages (“LD”) clauses are a common measure for an employer to mitigate against delays caused by the main contractor. This same clause is often featured in subcontracts – they minimize the main contractor’s exposure to liability for delays caused by the subcontractor, and pass down the liability for LDs to the subcontractor. Unsurprisingly, LD clauses are one of the most common causes of disputes between main contractors and subcontractors as the payable amount can be quite substantial. This commentary will seek to explain the potential liability of a subcontractor for LDs arising from delays, and consider possible defences to be raised.

A Code of Conduct for Collective Sale Committees:   Kok Yin Chong and others v Lim Hun Joo and others [2019] SGCA 28

In Kok Yin Chong v Lim Hun Joo [2019] SGCA 28, a group of subsidiary proprietors (the “Dissenting SPs”) attempted to block the collective sale of the residential development Goodluck Garden, by challenging the conduct of three (out of six) members of the Collective Sale Committee (“CSC”). Specifically, they appealed against a decision by the High Court (“HC”) to order the collective sale of the development, on the basis that the three members of the CSC (the “Respondents”) had breached the Land Titles (Strata) Act (Cap 158, 2009 Rev Ed) (the “LTSA”) in their conduct of the sale.

Presumption vs Proof: Zainal bin Hamad v Public Prosecutor [2018] SGCA 62

In Zainal bin Hamad v Public Prosecutor [2018] SGCA 62, the Court of Appeal clarified the application of the presumptions under sections 17 and 18 of the Misuse of Drugs Act (“MDA”), which relate to a presumption of trafficking (s17); presumption of possession (s18(1)); and presumption of knowledge (s18(2)). Here, the offenders were convicted by the High Court of drug trafficking offences under the MDA; their appeals to the Court of Appeal were based in part on rebutting these presumptions. The Court of Appeal dismissed their appeals for, inter alia, failing to rebut the presumptions.

Busting Myths: Understanding Prosecutorial Discretion

The December 2017 decision to charge a couple who tortured their flatmate, Annie Ee, with the offence of “voluntarily causing grievous hurt”, as opposed to murder, sparked controversy in Singapore. An online petition seeking harsher punishments for the couple, continuing even after sentencing by the courts, garnered more than 39,000 signatories by April 2018. The case suggests some public confusion about prosecutorial discretion and how it works. This article attempts to explain the operation of prosecutorial discretion and to debunk certain common myths.