Legal Updates

Legal Updates for December 2018

New Rules for Property Developers under the Developers (Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing) Bill
The Developers (Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing) Bill was passed in Parliament on 20 November 2018. The Bill seeks to amend both the Housing Developers (Control and Licensing) Act (Cap. 130) and the Sale of Commercial Properties Act (Cap. 281), and will institute new requirements for developers to facilitate the detection of money laundering and terrorism financing and to bar persons from being involved in developer activities if they have been previously convicted for money laundering and terrorism financing offences. This Update takes a look at the key features and implications of the Bill.

UK Supreme Court Clarifies Burden of Proof under Hague Rules for Cargo Damage
In the carriage of goods by sea, the carrier's duty to exercise due care in delivering the goods which they are contracted to deliver is of central importance. In the recent case of Volcafe Ltd and others v Compania Sud Americana De Vapores SA [2018] UKSC 61, the UK Supreme Court clarified the burden of proof under the Hague Rules for cargo damage. The Court overturned a long-standing decision of the UK Court of Appeal (The Glendarroch [1894] P 226) and unanimously ruled that the burden of proof lies on the carrier to show that he had acted "properly and carefully" and had not been negligent in delivering the goods.

Voluntary Arrangements in Bankruptcy – Extension and Revocation
In two recent decisions, the Singapore High Court had the opportunity to consider issues of voluntary arrangement schemes. In Re Aathar Ah Kong Andrew [2018] SGHC 124, the High Court set aside the approval obtained at a creditors' meeting for a voluntary arrangement for material irregularities. In Re Aathar Ah Kong Andrew [2018] SGHC 227, the High Court dismissed an application to extend the interim stay order covering bankruptcy applications and other legal proceedings. Jansen Chow and Danitza Hon of Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP successfully represented one of the creditors in these proceedings.

Court of Appeal Upholds Setting Aside of Investor-State Arbitral Award
In Kingdom of Lesotho v Swissbourgh Diamond Mines (Pty) Limited and others [2017] SGHC 195, the Singapore High Court allowed the Kingdom of Lesotho’s application to set aside an investor-State arbitral award. This marked the first time the Singapore courts allowed an application to set aside an investor-State arbitration award on the merits. The application engaged novel issues of international arbitral law, international investment law and public international law. In Swissbourgh Diamond Mines (Pty) Limited and others v Kingdom of Lesotho [2018] SGCA 81, the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s decision, further expounding on the issues raised at first instance. The Kingdom was successfully represented by Paul Tan, Alessa Pang and David Isidore Tan of Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP.

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