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Legal Updates

Legal Updates for May 2019

Data Protection : New Guides on Managing Data Breaches and Active Enforcement
On 22 May 2019, the Personal Data Protection Commission ("PDPC") published the following guides:

(1) Guide to Managing Data Breaches 2.0; and

(2) Guide on Active Enforcement.

(collectively the "Guides")

In particular, the Guide to Managing Data Breaches sets out the expectation of the PDPC for each organisation to have a suitable Data Breach Management Plan, that will assist the organisation in dealing with data breaches, as well as the thresholds of a data breach upon which the data breach would need to be notified to the PDPC and/or the data subject. Organisations must therefore ensure that they have such a Data Breach Management Plan in place.

Apart from the foregoing, in this Update, we provide a high level overview of the Guides and illustrate how the issuance of the Guides sets the stage for the introduction in Singapore of a mandatory data breach notification regime.

5G in Southeast Asia: Legal and Regulatory Implications
This Client Update provides a brief overview of fifth-generation of mobile Internet connectivity ("5G") and related developments in the region, and highlights some of the legal and regulatory issues relating to 5G.

Five Judges of Appeal Overturn Conviction in Rosewood Transit Case
In Kong Hoo (Pte) Ltd and another v Public Prosecutor [2019] SGCA 21, a five-member Singapore Court of Appeal quashed the conviction of a Defendant accused of importing Madagascan Dalbergia rosewood logs, valued in excess of $70 million into Singapore without a permit. This was a rare instance of a successful criminal reference. In reaching its decision, the Court examined the purpose and operation of the Endangered Species Act, providing guidance as to when goods would be considered to be "in transit". Murali Pillai, Paul Tan and Jonathan Lai of Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP were instructed as counsel for the Accused in this matter.

Harassment Laws in Singapore Extended to Companies
On 7 May 2019, changes to the Protection from Harassment Act (Cap. 256A) ("Act") were passed in Parliament. Significantly, the amended Act expressly provides that companies fall within the ambit of the Act, which subject them to liability for, amongst others, causing harassment, alarm or distress, as well as for 'doxxing' – a new offence prohibiting acts of publishing information about a victim's identity to harass, threaten or facilitate violence against the victim. The Act also introduces enhanced protection for victims of harassment and falsehoods. This Update provides a summary of the key changes to the Act.

Grievance Reporting, Investigative and Disciplinary (GRID) Processes: an Employer’s Primer
This Client Update examines what organisations need to take into consideration when structuring their Grievance Reporting, Investigative and Disciplinary (GRID) processes, considers the effects of situations where GRID processes have failed or are inadequate and suggests steps that organisations can take to mitigate litigation and reputation risk, as well as exposure to regulatory sanction.

Schemes of Arrangement and the Requirement of Disclosure
Schemes of arrangement are often the preferred option for companies seeking to restructure their debt. In Pathfinder Strategic Credit LP and another v Empire Capital Resources Pte Ltd and another appeal [2019] SGCA 29, the Singapore Court of Appeal had to consider, among other things, the extent of disclosure that is required of the applicant company in a scheme process, as well as issues concerning the validity of third party releases, classification of debtors and abuse of process. This Update provides a summary of the key aspects of the Court's decision.

What Makes a Valid Collective Sale: Examining the Requirement of Good Faith
In Kok Yin Chong and others v Lim Hun Joo and others [2019] SGCA 28, the Singapore Court of Appeal considered an application for the collective sale of a development, exploring the potential grounds of objection to such an application. The High Court had allowed the Respondent collective sale committee members' application, and the Court of Appeal here upheld the decision. Notably, the Court examined the issue of good faith in the context of the collective sale regime in Singapore, including which party bore the burden of proving good faith. The Respondents were successfully represented by Adrian Wong and Ang Leong Hao of Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP.

Restraining Winding-Up Proceedings in Favour of Arbitration: What is the Standard for Granting an Injunction?
In BWF v BWG [2019] SGHC 81, the Singapore High Court grappled with the applicable legal standard for determining whether an injunction restraining a winding-up should be granted in circumstances where the underlying claim is prima facie arbitrable – ought the standard to be that of a bona fide prima facie dispute, or that of a triable issue? After assessing contrasting approaches in earlier High Court cases, the Court here found in favour of the Plaintiff, holding that the applicable standard is that of a bona fide prima facie dispute. The Plaintiff was successfully represented by Kendall Tan and Ting Yong Hong of Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP’s Shipping & International Trade Group.

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