eOASIS is Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP's legal information website for clients, containing business and legal information prepared from a practitioner's viewpoint. It has four different modules, updated regularly, and materials range from commentaries on the latest legal developments to key legal and business information.

What's new on eOASIS

On 20 February 2019, the Info-communications Media Development Authority published its consultation paper on a converged competition code for the media and telecommunication market. The development of a harmonised competition code that applies to both the Singapore telecommunication and media markets marks a further step towards taking a holistic approach to regulation and competition management of the two sectors. In this Update, we provide a summary and our high-level comments on the key proposals put forth by the IMDA in its Consultation Paper. 

With the curtain falling on the Second Session of the Thirteenth National People’s Congress (“NPC”) of the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”), the PRC Foreign Investment Law (中华人民共和国外商投资法, “Foreign Investment Law”) was, as widely anticipated previously, passed by the NPC on Friday, 15 March 2019, and will come into effect from 1 January 2020. The Foreign Investment Law symbolises a landmark change of PRC laws regulating the activities of foreign investment and foreign-invested enterprises (“FIEs”) in China. Foreign investors and FIEs should understand what this new law focuses on and what issues are yet to be resolved, so that they may know what opportunities and challenges they face with this new chapter of foreign investment legislation in China.  

In the context of family property, or the property of family-owned companies, arrangements regarding ownership tend to be more informal and less likely to be recorded in writing or legal documentation. In Geok Hong Co Pte Ltd v Koh Ai Gek and others [2019] SGCA 15, the Court of Appeal reversed the decision of the High Court that a property registered in the name of a family-owned company was held on trust for one of the sons of the founder. The striking feature of this case was that the claim rested largely on an alleged oral representation from the founder of the company to the son around 1977, but both individuals had passed away, raising significant evidential challenges. The company was represented by Lee Eng Beng S.C. and John Seow of Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP in its successful appeal. 

As part of Singapore's growing role as a centre for dispute resolution in Asia, the Singapore courts have taken on novel cases spanning various areas of the law. In 2018, the courts have issued noteworthy decisions in the field of commercial litigation, taking on the task of further developing commercial law in the jurisdiction. Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP has had the opportunity to be involved in a number of these cases before the Singapore courts. In this Update, we look at some of the firm's notable decisions in commercial litigation from 2018. 

Law enforcement agencies routinely seize properties for the purposes of investigations. However, what is the extent of the law enforcement agency’s power to withhold possession of such property? What is the role of the Courts in policing the law enforcement agencies’ exercise of power? These questions were considered by the High Court in a ground-breaking decision, Lee Chen Seong Jeremy and others v Public Prosecutor [2019] SGHC 48, which sets out for the first time the appropriate procedure to be applied by the Court in all future applications concerning the law enforcement agency’s application for continued extension of seized properties. The Petitioners in this case were successfully represented by Adrian Wong and Ang Leong Hao of Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP. 

Disputes on ship collision and apportionment of liability tend to be fairly complex, with the heavy involvement of issues of law and facts. While Singapore judgments on collision liability have been sparse in the past years, the Singapore Courts have seen a recent spate of cases dealing with ship collisions. The most recent of these is The “Mount Apo” and the “Hanjin Ras Laffan” [2019] SGHC 57. The “Hanjin Ras Laffan”, where liability was determined in her favour, was represented by Leong Kah Wah and Dedi Affandi of Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP. This Update provides a summary of the proceedings and its evidential challenges, as well as the key elements of the judgment. 

The new Resource Sustainability Bill ("Bill") will see new measures implemented to tackle electronic, packaging and food waste. The Bill will affect a wide range of businesses and impact business operations. With proper and advance planning, businesses can keep their compliance costs to a minimum. The measures are anticipated to take effect in 2021. 

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