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Lawyer's fault that will is invalid: Court

He and his firm must pay $841,000 to 18 relatives of late businessman

Published on Jul 4, 2014 7:49 AM
 
Mr Johnny Cheo Chai Beng of Cheo Yeoh & Associates - both sued for negligence by the relatives - had claimed that the mistake was an oversight on his part. -- ST GRAPHIC

A LAWYER who failed to ensure a will was signed in the presence of two witnesses was ordered, together with his firm, to pay more than A$719,000 (S$841,000) to 18 children and grandchildren of an Indonesian businessman.

Mr Johnny Cheo Chai Beng of Cheo Yeoh & Associates - both sued for negligence by the relatives - had claimed that the mistake was an oversight on his part.

But Justice Chan Seng Onn, in his written judgment on Wednesday, was not convinced.

The High Court judge found Mr Cheo was unaware that at least two witnesses are required by law, which showed a lack of competence. Justice Chan said it was most telling that there was only one signature block at the bottom of the will, meaning that space was made in the will for only one person to sign as a witness.

 
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