Veteran lawyer's practice straddles Singapore and Australia

Mr Bachoo Mohan Singh says his greatest satisfaction comes from being able to appear before the Singapore and Australian courts, represent clients and argue cases in the two jurisdictions. Cross-border cases he has undertaken include probate and prop
Mr Bachoo Mohan Singh says his greatest satisfaction comes from being able to appear before the Singapore and Australian courts, represent clients and argue cases in the two jurisdictions. Cross-border cases he has undertaken include probate and property matters. PHOTO: BMS LAW

Veteran Singapore lawyer Bachoo Mohan Singh has taken the path hardly trodden in operating cross-border law firms.

He is believed to be the only sole-proprietor Singapore lawyer to concurrently run a law practice in Australia.

Mr Singh, 74, who was admitted to the Singapore Bar in 1973, has concurrently practised law from the Perth office of his BMS Law practice for nearly two decades.

"The greatest satisfaction I get is being able to appear before the Singapore and Australian courts, represent clients and argue cases in the two jurisdictions," he said.

"I am proud that the law degree from the then University of Singapore and my experience enabled admission to the Australian Bar."

Mr Singh, who commutes often between Singapore and Perth, said the cost benefits provide the competitive edge when clients based in either country are faced with the prospect of having to hire two sets of lawyers to represent them in both countries.

The cases he has undertaken include probate and property matters, like the case of a Malaysian client who bought property in Melbourne.

"He had to sign guarantees in front of an Australian lawyer, but signed before me in Singapore and saved on travel to Australia."

Mr Singh also cited the case of wanted Australian businessman Milled El Khouri who was extradited to Australia from Singapore after a failed bid to stop the extradition in 2018 in an Australian court.

Mr Singh had defended El Khouri in Singapore as well.

"If I did not have an Australian practising certificate, I would have to brief an Australian lawyer. That could cost the client extra, as he has to pay for me to brief the Aussie lawyer, and it will take time for him to read the papers and get up to speed on the case."

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 20, 2020, with the headline 'Veteran lawyer's practice straddles Singapore and Australia'. Print Edition | Subscribe