Legal Updates for January 2018
Developments in Restructuring & Insolvency in 2017
2017 has seen a considerable number of developments in the area of restructuring and insolvency in Singapore. Apart from legislative amendments to the bankruptcy and insolvency regime, the Singapore courts have also issued a number of significant decisions dealing with various aspects of insolvency law. In this Client Update, we highlight some of the notable decisions issued over the course of the past year in the areas of restructuring and insolvency.
MOM Consults on Review of the Employment Act
On 18 January 2018, the Ministry of Manpower ("MOM") issued a month-long public consultation on its latest review of the Employment Act. The Employment Act is reviewed regularly by the MOM and its tripartite partners, the National Trades Union Congress and the Singapore National Employers Federation, in view of changes in the labour force profile and employment landscape. This Update provides a summary of the key areas of review, as well as their possible implications on employers and employees.
Singapore Court Admits Foreign Senior Counsel to Argue Issues of Foreign Law
In Re Harish Salve and another appeal  SGCA 6, the Singapore Court of Appeal allowed the ad hoc admission of a Senior Advocate of India (the "Appellant") to argue issues of Indian law. Notably, this is the first time a foreign senior counsel has been admitted to argue issues of foreign law rather than Singapore law. The Appellant is also the first non-Queen's Counsel foreign lawyer to be admitted. The Appellant was successfully represented by Kelvin Poon, Alyssa Leong and Matthew Koh of Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP.
Sentencing Guide for Offences of Cheating at Play
In Logachev Vladislav v Public Prosecutor  SGHC 12, the Singapore court issued its first judgment on sentencing for the offence of cheating at play under the Casino Control Act. Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, delivering the judgment of the High Court, set out a framework to guide sentencing under this offence. The Appellant here successfully reduced his sentence, and was represented by Yusfiyanto bin Yatiman and Josephine Chee of Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP.
Public Consultation on Revisions to the Code of Corporate Governance and SGX Listing Rules
The Corporate Governance Council ("CGC") has proposed amendments to the Code of Corporate Governance in a Consultation Paper published on 16 January 2018. As a result of the recommendations made by the CGC, the Singapore Exchange Limited ("SGX") has also proposed amendments to the SGX Listing Rules, as set out in the Consultation Paper. These amendments aim to tweak and tighten existing rules so as to improve the corporate governance practices of companies listed in Singapore. The question is have we gone far enough? The CGC and the SGX have invited interested parties to submit their views on the amendments by 15 March 2018. This Update provides a summary of the key changes proposed in the Consultation Paper.
Committee to Study the Regulation of Fake News in Singapore
On 10 January 2018, the Singapore Parliament unanimously approved a motion for the appointment of a Select Committee to examine the issue of the deliberate perpetuation of online falsehoods and provide recommendations for measures to counter the spread of such falsehoods online. This Update describes the developments in the regulation of fake news in Singapore as well as our comments on the implications for businesses.
China’s Anti-Unfair Competition Law Revised
On 4 November 2017, the 29th Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress approved proposed revisions to China’s Anti-Unfair Competition Law ("AUCL 2017"). This is the first revision made to the AUCL since it first became effective in 1993. The AUCL 2017 came into effect on 1 January 2018, and this Update sets out the key amendments and their implications on businesses.
Cybersecurity Bill Tabled in Parliament – Key Amendments Made to Earlier Draft Bill
On 8 January 2018, the Cybersecurity Bill (the "Bill") was introduced in the first Parliament sitting of 2018. The Bill takes into account the feedback received from a public consultation on the earlier draft Cybersecurity Bill ("Draft Bill"). This Update highlights the main changes between the Draft Bill and the Bill, and provides our preliminary comments on the same.
Competition Bites – South-East Asia & Beyond
Welcome to the latest edition of our competition law updates, which captures important developments in the last quarter of 2017. The last quarter has been marked by several international mergers that have been scrutinised by competition authorities in various jurisdictions, with Singapore becoming even more active. A number of mergers are being reviewed in Singapore, with some moved into a Phase 2. In Europe, eagerly awaited decisions in the internet and technology sector have been released. In particular, the European Court of Justice in its Coty decision has now confirmed that it may be permissible under certain circumstances for businesses to ban internet sales on third party platforms. The German Federal Cartel Office has also preliminarily indicated that Facebook's collection and processing of user data could amount to an abuse of dominance. This Update provides short and easy to read write-ups on these developments, as well as other important legal developments across a number of key jurisdictions in the last quarter.
Technology, Media and Telecommunications Regional Update: A Recap from May 2017 to December 2017
Looking back on the year 2017, we are very excited to share with you the significant legal developments in the technology, media and telecommunications ("TMT") sector during the third and fourth quarters of 2017. This regional update aims to highlight the significant TMT-related legal developments in the ASEAN region, as well as in the key economies across the world.
SICC to Hear Applications under the International Arbitration Act
The Singapore Parliament on 9 January 2018 passed a bill that paves the way for the Singapore International Commercial Court to hear matters under the International Arbitration Act. This Update looks at the key aspects and implications of these changes.
CCS Issues Record Fine Against Capacitor Manufacturers; Says Only Compliance Programme Pre-Existing Investigation Aids
On 5 January 2018, the Competition Commission of Singapore issued an Infringement Decision and ordered a fine of approximately S$19.5 million dollars against five aluminium electrolytic capacitor manufacturers for engaging in anti-competitive agreements in Singapore. The fines are the largest thus far in an infringement decision that has been issued. The fines apart, the decision notably stresses the importance of a compliance programme and ensuring that this must have been in existence prior to the start of the investigation. Competition law in Singapore has definitely matured and businesses must ensure an understanding and compliance. This Update provides a summary of the decision and our further thoughts on the same.