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Mark says
"An effective lawyer is passionate about the law, and strives to help his clients identify and achieve their commercial objectives.”

 

 Mark Cheng
Equity Partner

Practice Area:
Business Finance & Insolvency Practice
Commercial Litigation Practice
Medical Law Practice
 
 LLB (Hons), National University of Singapore
Advocate & Solicitor, Singapore
Solicitor, England & Wales (non-practising)

 

T (65) 62320446
E mark.cheng@rajahtann.com
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Mark has more than a decade of experience in disputes work. Mark has acted for numerous corporations and clients in commercial litigations and arbitrations (domestic and international) on a whole range of disputes. One of his main areas of practice is in banking and insolvency litigation and restructuring. In addition, he also has a niche practice in medical law, having acted for and against doctors and hospitals in medical malpractice claims and disciplinary proceedings before professional bodies.  

Mark was called to the Singapore Bar in 2002, and was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales in 2009. He became a partner of the firm in 2009. 

Notable Cases & Transactions

Dispute Resolution Practice – Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Mark has acted for clients in various domestic and cross-border commercial litigations and arbitrations. The cases which Mark has handled include banking disputes, shareholder disputes, employment disputes as well as claims by and against his clients for breaches of fiduciary duties, fraud conspiracy and other corporate-related wrongdoings. He has also acted in domestic and international arbitrations with very substantive interests or amounts at stake.

Shareholders’ Dispute

Mark’s dispute practice has a particular emphasis in shareholders’ disputes. He has successfully represented many of his clients who are involved in very bitter shareholders’ disputes. Some of the reported cases which he was involved in include:

  • Eng Gee Seng v Quek Choon Teck and others [2010] 1 SLR 241
  • Khoo Eng Hock Patrick and Another v Eastlink Shipbroking Pte Ltd and Another [2009] SGHC 52
  • Govindasamy Supramaniam v Bailey Foreign Holdings Corp and Others [2005] SGHC 199
  • Yeo Boong Hua and Another v Turf City Pte Ltd and Others[2004] SGHC 38

Employment Disputes

Mark’s dispute practice includes advising and acting for companies and individuals on employment related issues and disputes. He works closely with the human resources directors/legal officers of several multi-national companies in dealing with their employment related issues, including termination of their employees’ employment for misconduct, misfeasance and breaches of duties and corporate restructurings; he is the sole legal advisor for some of these multi-national companies. He has also acted for banks in defending claims for alleged wrongful dismissal claims (for example, he was part of the legal team in Ko Yan-Sau Andrew v Standard Chartered Bank [2005] SGDC 39).

He has also acted for companies and liquidators of companies against their ex-employees and ex-directors for breaches of terms of their employment agreements, fiduciary duties and duties of fidelity.

Banking, Insolvency and Restructuring

He has acted for and continues to act for local and foreign financial institutions on banking issues, including the enforcement of banking facilities and securities (local and cross border), advising on banking secrecy obligations, anti-money laundering regulations and general banking issues. 

He has also acted and advised financial institutions and insolvency practitioners in several high profile insolvency restructurings involving SGX main-board listed companies.  Mark was part of the team advising China Aviation Oil (Singapore) Corporation Limited in its debt restructuring exercise, involving over half a billion US dollars in debt, which is by far one of the largest debt restructuring exercises in Singapore’s history.  More recently, he has advised insolvency practitioners in several major insolvencies, including:

  •  2012/2013: The liquidators of Prestige Marine Services Pte Ltd (in compulsory liquidation), a company which was in the shipping/chartering business, which at its peak, had revenues in excess of US$800 million.  As the lead partner on the file, Mark worked with and advised the liquidators in recovering payments which were due to the company and investigating suspicious transactions through which substantial assets of the company were transferred or divested prior to its demise.  
  • 2013: The liquidators of Yung Wah Industrial (Company) Private Limited (in creditors voluntary liquidation).  The company has a paid up capital of S$10 million, and had, for many decades, been in the business of manufacturing and supplying manufactured garments to several key global brands like GAP, Benetton and Macy's. By the time the company was placed under liquidation, the company had incurred liabilities amounting of about S$35 million.  Its manufacturing operations were primarily conducted through its 99.99% owned subsidiary in Cambodia that employed approximately 7,000 employees and operated 5 factories in Cambodia. The particular challenges in this case arose out of the Liquidators' attempts to preserve and maximise the assets and receivables of the company, particularly, by ensuring completion of the company's customers' orders during the provisional liquidation period. The Liquidators' role became more challenging when a large number of the Cambodian subsidiary's 7,000 employees went on strike in Cambodia, with the situation exacerbating when creditors started holding the company's finished goods on ransom. Mark was the lead partner on this matter and worked closely with lawyers from our Cambodian office, R&T Sok & Heng Law Office, who were on the ground to facilitate negotiations with creditors; this enabled the company to complete its final delivery orders yielding further recovery to the company's unsecured creditors by more than S$1 million. The insolvency filing by the Cambodian subsidiary was the second formal insolvency court proceedings instituted in Cambodia (the first is still pending), and the first ever instituted in the Kandal Provincial Court of Cambodia. It is likely that this case will determine novel issues of law in that jurisdiction.
  • 2013: The provisional liquidators of International Formwork & Scaffolding Pte Ltd (in compulsory liquidation).  This was an unusual case in which the provisional liquidators faced immense resistance in its attempts to gain access to the company’s premises to secure the company’s assets and records.  Within a short period less than a month, the provisional liquidators had to make 2 applications to the Singapore High Court to be granted access, and monumental steps were taken by the provisional liquidators to safeguard the company’s assets; the scaffolding had to be removed in nearly 200 truckloads.  The provisional liquidators also had to urgent steps to understand and conduct such part of the company’s business as would yield further payments and returns to the company for the benefit of its creditors.  Mark was the lead partner on this retainer. 

Domestic and International Arbitrations

Mark has also acted in numerous domestic and international arbitrations, with substantial amounts or interests at stake. Some of the arbitrations which Mark was involved in include:

  • Arbitration between 2 Taiwanese corporate and a Singapore company relating to their disputes arising from their joint venture in several solar power plants in Italy.
  • Arbitration between Singapore and Korean parties in relation to a construction dispute relating to a coal-powered power plant in Thailand. 
  • Arbitration between 2 major Indonesian companies relating to their rights and obligations over a major resort enclave in Indonesia.
  • Arbitration involving a company listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange after a failed bid to acquire a majority stake in a Singapore corporation.
  • Arbitration involving a major contamination incident at a well known condominium in Singapore.
  • Various domestic and international arbitrations arising from allegations of breaches of contract.

Medical law

Mark has acted for and against doctors and hospitals in medical professional liability cases, and has acted for doctors in relation to disciplinary proceedings before the Singapore Medical Council. He is also on the panel of lawyers for the Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners Board and Singapore Pharmacy Council. Some of the reported cases in this field of work include:

  • Chai Chwan v Singapore Medical Council [2009] SGHC 115
  • Dr Paul Ho v Singapore Medical Council [2008] SGHC 9
  • Public Prosecutor v Zhong Zhi Li (No.2) [2008] SGDC 138
  • Public Prosecutor v Zhong Zhi Li [2007] SGDC 126
  • Tang Kin Hwa v Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners Board [2005] 4 SLR 604  

Memberships / Directorships

  • Member, INSOL International
  • Member, Law Society of Singapore
  • Member, Singapore Academy of Law
  • Member, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners  

Publications

  • Corporate Director’s Common Law Duty To Creditors? – A Revelation of the Present State of the Law, Singapore Law Review (2002) 22 Sing LR 104 – 131




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Business Finance & Insolvency Practice

Beng Chye Chua
Danny Ong
Eng Beng Lee SC
Farrah Salam
Kwan Kiat Sim
Lionel Tay
Mark Cheng
Nigel Pereira
Patrick Ang
Paul Ng
Poh Ling Low
Raelene Pereira
Rebecca Chew
Ryan Loh
Sheila Ng
Wilma Cheng


   
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