Legal Updates for October 2017
SGX Consults on Proposed Amendments to the Rulebooks
The Singapore Exchange ("SGX") has launched a public consultation on proposed amendments to its rulebooks in an exercise to update the rules and clarify certain policies and procedures. The amendments proposed by SGX mark a shift towards a more principles-based approach to ensure that the rules remain relevant as market practices evolve.
Defaults in Mortgage Payments – The Effect of Extensions of Time
The case of The Bank of East Asia Limited v Lerida Pte Ltd and another matter  SGHC 261 dealt with defaults in mortgage payments and the right to enter into possession after the expiry of the one month's notice required under section 75(2) of the Land Titles Act (Cap. 157). Here, the Singapore High Court considered the effect of an extension of time on the mortgagee's rights, finding that subsequent settlement agreements did not affect the mortgagee's right to recover possession of the mortgaged properties. The mortgagee bank was successfully represented by Chua Beng Chye, Raelene Pereira, Cherie Tan and Chan Min Hui of Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP.
Singapore Court Refuses Ship Arrest for Foreign Court Proceedings
The right to a ship arrest is often a key issue in maritime disputes, as it provides an essential form of security, and incentivises the swift disposal or settlement of claims. In DSA Consultancy (FZC) v The “Eurohope”  SGHC 218, the Singapore High Court considered a basic but fundamental question of law: whether a ship may be arrested in Singapore to obtain security for a foreign Court action. The Defendant in this case was successfully represented by Leong Kah Wah and Lim Ruo Lin of Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP.
When Does a Defamation Claim Become an Abuse of Process?
Defamation as a tort can cover a variety of forms of publication and size of the group of publishees. However, are there situations where a defamatory publication is deemed to be so trivial that it warrants the striking out of a claim without allowing the defamed party the right to prove his case at trial? This was the question faced by the Singapore High Court in the case of Chan Boon Siang and others v Jasmin Nisban  SGHC 249. The Plaintiff was successfully represented in this case by Lau Kok Keng, Chia T-Chien and Daniel Quek of Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP.
Inward Re-domiciliation Regime Takes Effect in Singapore
The inward re-domiciliation regime, introduced in the Companies (Amendment) Act 2017, came into effect in Singapore on 11 October 2017. Under this regime, a foreign corporate entity will be allowed to transfer its registration to Singapore. Once re-domiciled, the foreign corporate entity will become a Singapore company registered under the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore, and will have to comply with the provisions of the Companies Act.
A Historical Change In The Chinese Courts’ Attitude Towards Recovery Of Lawyers’ Fees
Under Chinese law, not all costs follow the event. In practice, the Chinese courts have long been notoriously reluctant in upholding a claim for the litigant’s lawyers’ fees. However, in March 2017, the Supreme People’s Court of China in Wu Xiaoguang v Li Qiang & Others  Supreme Court Civil Final No. 613 espoused the view that where parties have contractually agreed that one party shall bear the lawyers’ fees of the other party, the Court ought to award a successful litigant its lawyer fees. This Update provides a summary of the decision and its potential impact.
Competition Bites – South-East Asia & Beyond
Welcome to the fourth edition of our quarterly regional competition update for 2017! The third quarter of 2017 saw an emphasis on competition law issues in the e-commerce and technology sectors in various jurisdictions with, amongst others, the Competition Commission of Singapore launching its E-Commerce and Competition Policy in ASEAN handbook, and the Philippines Competition Commission clearing a merger in the electronic money sector. New sets of regulations are also scheduled to come into force, including the new Thailand Trade Competition Act which is scheduled to take effect in October 2017. This Update will provide short and easy to read write-ups on these developments, as well as other important legal developments across a number of key jurisdictions that took place in the last quarter.
High Court Rules That It Has No Original Jurisdiction To Revoke Patents
In patent infringement suits, it is a common defence to assert that the claims of the patent in question are invalid. This often leads to the defendant counterclaiming for an order that the patent be revoked. However, in a recent decision in Sun Electric Pte Ltd v Sunseap Group Pte Ltd and others  SGHC 232, George Wei J ruled that the High Court has no original jurisdiction to hear patent revocation proceedings, even when brought by way of a counterclaim in infringement proceedings. This Update provides a summary of the decision and its implications.