Legal Updates for April 2021
Further Extension of Alternative Meeting Arrangements Beyond 30 June 2021
On 6 April 2021, the Ministry of Law ("MinLaw") announced that it has further extended the duration of various subsidiary legislation which were previously issued to enable various types of entities to hold meetings via electronic means, beyond 30 June 2021, until the same is revoked or amended by MinLaw.
In this Update, we provide a brief highlight of this extension concerning alternative meeting arrangements in respect of companies, variable capital companies, business trusts, unit trusts that are authorised or restricted collective investment schemes, and holders of a series of debentures governed by Singapore law.
High Court Issues Largest Award for Fraudulent Trading in Singapore
If the business of a company has been carried on with the intent to defraud creditors, directors and officers who were knowingly a party to the carrying of business in that manner may be liable for fraudulent trading. Under Singapore's restructuring and insolvency regime, they may be held personally liable for all or any the company's debts. In Tendcare Medical Group Holdings v Gong Ruizhong  SGHC 80, the High Court issued the largest award for fraudulent trading in Singapore so far, holding a company director (and a company owned and controlled by him) liable for substantially all the debts of the company in the sum of US$65,207,538.03. In addition, the Court found the director to be liable for breaches of fiduciary duties for US$35 million and S$500,000.
The plaintiffs in this case were successfully represented by Lee Eng Beng S.C., Mark Cheng, Chew Xiang, Priscilla Soh, Tan Tian Hui and Darren Lim of Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP. This Update provides a summary of the Court's decision, as well as the key principles regarding the law of fraudulent trading.
Singapore Ratifies the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement
Singapore has ratified the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership ("RCEP") Agreement, making it the first RCEP Participating Country to complete the official ratification process. The RCEP is an economic partnership that builds on existing ASEAN agreements with its five Free Trade Agreement ("FTA") Partners (Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea). Comprising about 30% of global Gross Domestic Product and close to a third of the world’s population, the RCEP is the world’s largest FTA to date.
The RCEP Agreement further broadens Singapore's economic linkages and connectivity within the region, which will open up considerable opportunities by, amongst other means, providing businesses with preferential access. In this Update, we look at the key elements and benefits of the RCEP Agreement.