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Law Society chief, three others appointed senior counsel

Law Society chief, three others appointed senior counsel

Source: Business Times
Date Published: 08 Jan 2019
Author: Tay Peck Gek

President of the Law Society, Gregory Vijayendran, and three others were appointed senior counsel yesterday.

President of the Law Society, Gregory Vijayendran, and three others were appointed senior counsel yesterday.

Mr Vijayendran, 50, and fellow litigator Siraj Omar, 46, as well as two former judicial commissioners of the Supreme Court, Foo Chee Hock, 58, and Foo Tuat Yien, 65, were conferred the coveted designation when their appointments were announced by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon at the opening of the legal year.

The additions bring the total number of Singapore's equivalent to Britain's Queen's Counsel to 85.

Mr Vijayendran, a veteran lawyer who has practised for 26 years and whose areas of specialisation include banking disputes and corporate insolvency, is also the present president of the Law Society.

He has been commended by the Supreme Court in reported judgements for his meticulous professionalism, demonstrating what it is like to practise the law in its best tradition and being valiant.

Mr Vijayendran was encouraged by his father to read law. Undaunted by the difficulties in funding law studies then, the lawyer now advises young practitioners to do their best and not to throw in the towel in the face of adversities.

He said: "Never give up despite failures, setbacks, obstacles . . . Keep believing in your dream and be persistent."

He also quoted his pupil master Davinder Singh - one of the senior counsel appointed in the pioneer batch - that practice of the law is a marathon, though it is easy to think of it as a sprint.

Like Mr Vijayendran, Mr Siraj with 20 years of experience under his belt, focuses on banking and financial disputes litigation.

The co-founder of the firm Premier Law also appears regularly in international arbitrations, both as arbitrator and lawyer.

Mr Siraj has been described by the global legal rankings publication Legal 500 as a "senior counsel in waiting" and this has proved prescient.

On his most memorable case, Mr Siraj cited the one in which he acted for a group of investors who sued DBS Bank over the huge losses incurred by their investment in a structured financial product during the Great Recession.

Mr Foo and Ms Foo were appointed honorary senior counsel for their outstanding contributions to the development of the law and extensive knowledge.

Mr Foo is the dean of the Singapore Judicial College. Previously, he had held various judicial appointments including senior deputy registrar and district judge in the then Subordinate Courts (now State Courts).

His last judicial appointment was a judicial commissioner of the Supreme Court between 2015 and 2018.

While Mr Foo said that he "literally stumbled into the study of the law", he fell in love with the legal discipline, enchanted by its analytical rigour.

His former fellow judicial commissioner Ms Foo was absent from yesterday's event.

She joined the legal service in 1976 and had served in the Subordinate Courts including as a district judge from 2000-2005.

Ms Foo was on the Supreme Court Bench as a judicial commissioner for three years till 2018.

Source: Business Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Permission required for reproduction.

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