Legal Updates for May 2018
Stringent Fiduciary Duties Posited on Trustees Seeking Sale of Trust Property
In Lai Chong Lee & others v Ho Mimi Sze and others, the Singapore High Court considered an application under section 56(1) of the Trustees Act to confer on the applicant trustees the power to sell the trust property (the Beauty World Hawker Centre). The Court considered inter alia the question of whether the sale would be expedient i.e. advantageous to the trust as a whole, and held that the trustees’ duties in relation to the sale includes the duty to obtain the best price reasonably obtainable in the prevailing circumstances. The Court ultimately rejected the application on the ground that the trustees had not discharged this duty. The Defendants were successfully represented by lead counsel, Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP’s Gregory Vijayendran, assisted by Evelyn Chua.
High Court Upholds Statutory Demand against Challenge of Undue Influence
In Lim Lee Lee v United Overseas Bank Ltd  SGHC 79, the Singapore High Court dismissed an application to set aside a bankruptcy statutory demand. The Plaintiff sought to argue that she had signed certain mortgage agreements under her husband’s undue influence, and while the Court acknowledged the influence of the spousal relationship, it also highlighted the need to protect innocent third parties (such as the Defendant bank) and the evidential and legal thresholds for proving undue influence. Patrick Ang, Ryan Loh and Edwin Cheng of Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP successfully represented the Defendant bank in these proceedings.
Public Consultation on Phase Two of the Review of the Personal Data Protection Act
On 27 April 2018, the Personal Data Protection Commission issued a public consultation for the managing of unsolicited commercial messages and the provision of guidance to support innovation in the digital economy. This Update summarises the Public Consultation and looks into its key features and implications.
Anti-competitive Employment Practices – The Hong Kong Competition Commission Issues Advisory Bulletin Warning Employers
The Hong Kong Competition Commission ("HKCC") issued an advisory bulletin earlier last month to educate and warn employers not to engage in certain anti-competitive employment practices pertaining to the hiring of employees and the determination of employment terms and conditions. This comes two years after the US Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice published the Antitrust Guidance for Human Resource Professionals ("US Antitrust Guidance") which sought to inform human resource professionals on how competition law applies to the employment marketplace. This Update provides a quick overview of the HKCC's advisory bulletin and the US Antitrust Guidance, and considers these issues from a Singapore Competition Law perspective.
Dealing with Workplace Harassment – Duties and Liability of Employers
Health and safety in the workplace is a key concern for all employers, and workplace harassment is proving to be a very real problem for employees in Singapore. With increasing awareness of the issue, employers cannot afford to turn a blind eye. In this Client Update, we examine what employers should know about workplace harassment in Singapore. What are the duties of employers with regard to curbing harassment in the workplace? When is an employer liable to an employee for workplace harassment? What measures should be taken, and what systems should be put in place?