Friday, July 2, 2010

Justice For All

If you can't trust your lawyers, who can you trust? These are the guys who are supposed to interpret the law for you - remember, ignorance of the law is no excuse in the court. It turns out that in Singapore, a Li and Li partnership could be a Li sole proprietorship in reality, with the other Li doing non-legal works, like mentoring or something. Worse, when either or both Li's kick the bucket, the legal entity still exists!

Orix Capital lost its case to reclaim $263,000 in unpaid loans relating to a lease for two photocopiers because the signatory, and founding partner, on the contractual obligation had passed away. Nevermind if his son took over Chor Pee & Partners. A three-judge Court of Appeal threw out Orix's suit on grounds that the agreement signed by Lim Chor Pee could not bind the two partners in the law firm. The court also claim that the founder ran the firm in an opaque manner, absolving the existing lawyers of the partnership from the financial obligation. Er, so ignorance of the law can be an excuse for some legal experts?

Apparently the legal misrepresentation in Singapore has been going on for years. Lawyer Amolat Singh started his Amolat & Partners practice even though he was fully aware that it was a sole proprietorship "because it appeared to be the norm". "But back then (in 1993), I was just expected to go with Amolat & Partners although I started alone", he said. The sole lawyer in the firm Winstow Low and Partners said that after his partner left for further studies in 1997, he had cleared with the Law Society to continue with the misleading name. Lawyers argue that the name changes to inform the public of the truth would mean higher operatiing costs. And companies like Orix Captial will have to be actually paid for supplying office equipment to law firms.

Meanwhile chef Justin Quek is going to jail for a drink driving charge even though he passed two breath analyzer tests and there was no forensic evidence in the absence of a blood test. The law may be blind, but is it also braindead?


  1. stupid article

  2. This article is inaccurate. The son did not take over Chor Pee & Partners. In fact, the firm dissolved. There are many other inaccuracies and this article should be removed.